****WARNING**** If you don't want to know the nasty gory details of giving birth, don't read this post. Don't complain to me if you do read it and think I've disclosed too much; you've been forewarned. I wanted to share everything for the people out there who are still pregnant and might want to hear what the whole labor/birth process really can be like. ****WARNING****
Okay! I don't know where to start. Obviously a lot has happened so there is a lot to say but its going to be hard to remember everything and then arrange everything into a coherent post. I'll try my best.
Today Oliver is a week old. I checked into the hospital Tuesday morning and he finally came out Wednesday afternoon at 3:15. The delivery room was really terrible.. my window was boarded up so I had no concept of time at all, it just seemed to last forever. The cervidil was really icky and I hated it, but it did eventually get my contractions going. I tried to hold out as long as I could for my drugs, but sometime in the middle of the night I took sleeping pills and a shot of morphine to help me sleep.
I think maybe the morphine was a mistake. I was so out of my mind that I just felt kind of crazy and out of control. Even with all of the drugs, the pain was too much for me to sleep so I was just lying around drugged out and half conscious. I remember getting really scared every time Jared moved because I had to have him right there with me and I didn't want him to leave. I don't think I could have done it without him, actually. It made me feel good to know he was there the whole time, he was really a good support.
Sometime in the morning they put me on the pitocin drip because my contractions weren't regular enough. The pitocin really made things hurt ten times worse, but it did give me contraction after contraction. Around 5 cm I couldn't take it anymore so I asked for the epidural, spinal headache be damned. They were about to change shifts so they asked me to wait for the new doctor, so I said okay. Of course, the shift changed and they forgot about me so I was waiting for a very long time and I was not happy. Then they finally came in and said they would page the anesthesiologist. That took another hour for her to come and get all set up, and when she got there all I could think was:
"Seriously? You're kidding me, right?"
She was in training. She didn't know what she was doing. I have a history of spinal headaches and they let a trainee stick a needle into my spine. It was the most unnerving thing in the world because she took so long that I had 6 contractions during which I had to remain absolutely still. It isn't easy. It was terrifying. You never want to hear the person ask "Does this look right? Am I in?"
She finally finished and got me all taped up but I couldn't feel any relief. They tried to make it seem like, "Hey! Don't worry! sometimes these things take time to kick in!" but I knew it didn't work. I jsut knew it. She left and said "I'll be right back" but of course she wasn't right back. The nurses are never "right back." She finally came back and checked to see if I was numb and obviously I could tell her, no... I don't feel numb at all. They had to page the stupid anesthesiologist to try again, which took forever. I was going to ask for the real doctor to do the second epidural, but the real doctor was in surgery so there was nothing I could do but be jabbed again by the stupid trainee. I just wanted to cry, and I might have, I don't know. It was remarkably difficult to hold the epidural position to start out with, but then to have more contractions and pain on top of that was really horrible. Thankfully, the second epidural worked sort of and I was able to get some sleep. I could still feel things I shouldn't have felt, but it was so much better than before that I wasn't about to ask for another one.
The rest of the morning/afternoon I was just lying around eating Popsicles and complaining to Jared. At some point I started to feel like I was pooping all over myself, but it was actually just gross giant bloody clots coming out. I really was paranoid that I was pooping so I kept bugging Jared but every time the nurses just said "No, you're not pooping."
At around 1:45 I was able to start pushing. Pushing actually felt like a relief because I was able to do something about the pain. I really had no idea how long I was pushing, but it seemed to be forever and I just got to be completely exhausted. Jared and a nurse held my legs. The nurse was horrible, I wanted to stab her. Between every contraction she would turn and click away on the computer and jerk my leg to the side. When something as big as a baby's head is coming out of your crotch, the last thing you want is to have somebody jerking your legs around. Even in labor I was still too polite to yell at her so instead I yelled at Jared for rubbing my leg. Poor Jared.
Finally, he started to crown and that was a remarkably horrible pain. Unbeknownst to me, Oliver had his arm up on his face so I had to push out his head and his arm at the same time. His head was so huge that there were multiple contractions with his head partway out of me. It is a real wonder that he doesn't have a cone head at all. After his head and his one arm were out, the one shoulder came out with a pop and the rest of him sort of came sliding out. They put him up on my tummy and let me touch him and hold him while they rubbed him clean. I pulled him all teh way up to my chest and the midwife commented on how long his cord was. I just sort of stared at him and wanted to cry. I didn't even notice Jared cutting the cord or anything else going on.
When they took him away to measure him and test him, it was just like I was immediately relieved. I wasn't passed out and drugged out of my mind, I was able to talk and be sort of normal. It was a really weird feeling to look over and see his feet kicking while the nurse measured him. It was weird to see him actually outside of me as a real person, and it was weird that he was mine.
The nurse kept saying how big he was and all I kept thinking was... Yeah. I know. I told you so. He was 9 lbs 14 oz, 22 inches long with a head circumference of 15". We were told the average head circumference is about 13". With pushing out his head and his arm at the same time, you can understand why I'm still a little sore.
Delivering the placenta was easy, but gross. It felt like a ziploc of Jell-O just plopping out of me. I asked to look at it and all Jared said was.. "Uh.. honey, are you sure you want to see it?" Of course I did, no matter how gross it was. I mean really, it was disgusting but it was also pretty cool, too, despite the weird smell.
During the delivery I sustained a second degree tear so the midwife set to work stitching me up. Being stitched was a weird feeling because it actually hurt a lot more than I thought it would. You would think that after pushing his head and arm out that a few stitches would be nothing, but they bothered me more than they should have.
They bathed Oliver and had me try to pee before going up to the recovery room. I was still too drugged up to walk so they forwent the peeing and wheeled me upstairs anyway. I could tell I was about to pee myself, so they brought me in a portable little potty chair and helped me flop onto it, and I have never peed more in my life. It just kept coming and coming and the nurse was thrilled with my ability to pee. I guess I'm a good pee-er. For the record, though, that was the worst pee of my life. The stitches were horrid and all kinds of nasty plopping clots came falling out of me.
The rest of hte hospital stay was pretty good. We had Oliver rooming in with us so we got plenty of time to get to know him before bringing him home. Luckily, Oliver & I have been pretty good a nursing. The staff was very impressed by how much he pooped in the hospital. He graduated from nasty meconium to orange-yellow baby poo before we even got home. I haven't gotten cracked or bleeding nipples or anything, and now as of a week later they're barely tender at all.
Having him home with us has been going pretty smoothly, aside from some problems with the apartment. While I was in the hospital a pipe in our bathroom ceiling broke and was leaking above our toilet. I called the landlord from the hospital but the problem wasn't fixed until we were home with Oliver. We had to juggle being in and out of the house because we didn't want O to be around all of the construction dust from the holes they cut int he ceiling.
All apartment issues aside, though, things have been (knock on wood) easier than I thought. I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to take care of him and that breastfeeding would be really hard but thus far I'm feeling pretty confident. Oliver has regained his birthweight already (which they don't expect until he is two week old, not one) and he seems to be a pretty content baby so I can sort of relax now. He has been sleeping for 4 hour stretches through the night so we've been able to get a decent amount of sleep, which I think helps a lot.
Sometimes things do get a bit emotional though, but since I know its normal I'm trying not to worry too much. Sometimes I can just look at Oliver and cuddle him and it makes me tear up, even though I'm not at all sad. There is a woman on The Biggest Loser who had her 2 week old baby killed in a car accident and that made me cry. Sad stories on the news bother me a lot more right now. Its really inconvenient because when I get all emotional my milk lets down and I drip onto my shirt. Jared has been really supportive of me though and even when I'm crying because of the kittens on TV he's very understanding.
Jared has been a great dad. Its easy to see that he really really loves Oliver. At first he was very worried to handle him and hold him but he is getting more and more confident as time goes on. Jared changes his fair half of diapers and gets up at night more often than I do. He always brings him in to me to nurse so I don't have to get out of bed as often. Oliver loves his daddy and knows who is Daddy and who isn't. I truly feel like having Oliver here has made Jared & I even closer, despite all of the extra work he entails. I know its going to get harder but for right now I can honestly say I am happy with where my life is at, even if its not hwat I planned and I don't know what the future will bring.
Later I'm going to write about breastfeeding and what its been like to wake up in cold puddles of rancid smelling breastmilk, but for now I'm going to get myself dinner before he wakes up. O & I are going to a coffee shop tonight with a friend of mine, so we're both pretty excited to get out. Email for pictures if you haven't gotten any, I'm not sure if Jared wants me to post any photos of Oliver or not.
(PS! I am wearing a pair of normal jeans that are only 1 inch waist size too big for me. Its exciting, and I only have one pair of maternity long pants that fit me.)