Sunday, July 12, 2009

labor day review

i know you all are just dying to hear about afton’s grand entrance in to the world. so please, take a seat and join us for the ride.

first things first, how was the induction? frankly, i feel it played a pretty small role in the birth story/experience. i needed only about two milliunits of pitocin before my body kicked in and took the reigns of the process. am i glad i did it? absolutely. why? because, as predicted, from the time i began “feeling” contractions until the time i needed to excuse dear afton from her cozy womb was only about an hour – and definitely not an hour where i was in any state to be traveling.

when we arrived at the hospital, bryan was put in charge of the captain’s log. here are his thoughts from the first, rather uneventful, six hours:

5:31AM: Nurse A tried to put in an IV. Fails. Tries again. Fails. Emily doesn’t react well.

5:45AM: Nurse B doesn’t like the way the veins look. Nurse A+B call in nurse C, a poking expert. Nurse C isn’t successful either. Bryan doesn’t like the way things are going, and almost passes out himself. Validates his decision to NOT go to medical school.

5:58AM: Nurses decide to page the anesthesiologist.

6:08AM: After answering the same questions over and over, Bryan wonders what’s so hard about moving all these paper forms to electronic medical records.

6:15AM: Anesthesiologist arrives. Has IV inserted in less than 30 seconds. No wonder these people get paid the big bucks.

6:27AM: Pitocin drip starts.

6:44AM: Nurse informs Emily she’s having a contraction. Emily is surprised.

8:15: Dr. Dydell comes in to break Emily’s water (technical term: bag of waters). Dilated to a 4.

8:20: Bryan returns from retrieving a power cord from his office so that he may continue to log his observations.

8:30: Nurse makes a joke about Mormons and polygamy. Mild awkwardness.

8:56: Wendy finishes eating Emily’s breakfast.

9:17: Turn down Pitocin because she’s going strong on her own.

10:13: Watch Rachel Ray pour a bowl of bacon grease on a pile of fries. Increase Pit back to 2.

10:33: Saw a massive contraction on the machine. Emily feels little.

10:56: Emily at a 5.5. Leave for a brisk walk around the maternity ward.

11:34: Come back from walk. Have a new, Russian nurse. The accent rocks.

at this point, bryan’s musings come to an abrupt end as the poo-poo hits the proverbial fan and his attention is needed elsewhere.

about ten minutes in to our walk, i have a contraction wherein i need to stop and lean against the wall. when i walk back into my room, i have another such contraction. and five minutes later, i’m lying on the bed, experiencing a transitional contraction, dilated at a nine and crying uncontrollably.

essentially, i dilated nearly four centimeters in a half hour and went from feeling nothing, or just twinges, to going in to transition. this may seem like an incredible blessing, but it’s a real shock to the system. i chose again to not have any type of pain medication, and most women who have been through transition on their own will tell you that they did not think they would make it out alive. those measly last two centimeters really take all you’ve got, and some you don’t, to complete.

but for me, personally, transition pales in comparison to pushing. and at around this time (12:30pm), after about ten contractions, i enter complete (seriously, complete) hysteria.

remember the princess bride? when wesley is hooked up to that machine that sucks out years of his life, and prince humperdink comes in and gives him a lecture about true love and suffering and then throws the gears to their highest point (the six-fingered man yells, “not to fifty!”), and wesley seizes violently and screams so loudly the whole nation can hear. that’s pushing for me.

unfortunately, as bryan, my mom, my doctor, and my entourage of nurses will attest, this is not hyperbolic. it’s the sad, sad, truth. but i don’t want to unduly frighten all you ladies out there who haven’t yet had children—as with much of my birthing, such an experience is not “normal.”

another bit of good news is that this time, pushing was only 30 minutes.

baby afton made her eight pound debut, they placed her on my tummy and bryan cut the cord. 1:07pm.

afton is so sweet and so soft, calm and content and very sleepy. she is, of course, another wheeler baby with that chin and mouth, and only time will tell what she ends up inheriting from the fairer genes. summer loves her already, and bryan and i continue to be amazed at how pieces and fleetings of perfection grace our lives.

welcome home, afton.


jen said...

Way to go, Emily and congratulations! She is a beauty!

Lisa said...

beautiful. thinking of you! I think you should enjoy several more bowls of ice cream after that. I hope to be able to come meet Afton much sooner than I did Summer :)

Eve said...

wow. beautifully described. I can almost feel the pain myself.
you are amazing!

Anna and Owen said...

"After answering the same questions over and over, Bryan wonders what’s so hard about moving all these paper forms to electronic medical records"

This is a common concern, but there is method to this madness. Relying on something that someone else wrote in a medical record can lead physicians or nurses to make mistakes. Thus, they want to verify the information themselves, because maybe things are not as they actually appear in the record.

Anna and Owen said...

"Anesthesiologist arrives. Has IV inserted in less than 30 seconds. No wonder these people get paid the big bucks."

Again, this is not why they get paid the big bucks. The remuneration is because they give people drugs that can kill them.