7:00pm, Monday, 17 October 2011
We're checking into the hospital with a woman named Mary Moore in Labor and Delivery. She has a mid-western accent, and I'm loving the fact that she's wearing butt-shaping shoes with her blouse and slacks. She gathers all the necessary info from us before we are admitted. After scanning in all signed paperwork and my driver's license, she has printed our wrist bands. Real-life "I'm-going-to-be-a-parent-soon" hospital wrist bands. Not the kind for being admitted to the ER with gastroenteritis like the last time I stayed in a hospital bed. Mary Moore asks us if we are nervous. I'm feeling pretty relaxed and ready to get this show on the road. Michael is more anxious, praying for the upcoming events to go smoothly so that I'm not uncomfortable and for our baby to be delivered safely.
|8:00pm, 17 October: Ready to hit the runway in this 2011 designer hospital gown. Do they make matching heels?|
|8:01pm, 17 October: Last photo together before parenthood. We were in for a long night.|
|8:30pm, 17 October: I can handle getting shots, but I really hate IV needles in my arm.|
8:30pm, Monday, 17 October 2011
Our nurse for the night was Marcy. Cute, blonde, gentle Marcy. She was exactly the kind of nurse one dreams of when you are in the hospital to have a baby. She found it funny that I wanted to watch ESPN and Monday Night Football with my husband during the induction process. Everything she did was by the book, but she was all smiles and laughter. My veins impressed her as she was trying to decide which one to insert the IV needle into, even giving me 3 choices of where I would like wear the needle for the next few days. But when the first vein rolled, she apologized and had to move to one on the side of my wrist. She also apologized when she had to insert the Cervidil that would induce my labor. Apparently, you needed GPS to find my cervix, it was so high. Marcy felt bad for my discomfort, but I was too excited about what our end result would be to let a little cervical pain bother me.
Then Marcy explained the 3 scenarios that could play out once the Cervidil was in place.
- Nothing could happen at all. No contractions. No dilation. Perfectly good hormone insert wasted and Pitocin would have to be given through my IV line instead to induce.
- Contractions would begin and last for several hours. Baby would arrive sometime the next day.
- Contractions would come on so quickly and strongly that we could have the baby within 4 hours of induction.
We were fortunate to have experienced Scenario #2.
The fetal heart rate monitor was strapped low across my enormous belly bulge. It was no bother. Marcy warned me, though, that the contraction monitor would feel as if I was being poked by something sharp and would most likely leave me uncomfortable. She couldn't have been more right. I still have an irritated imprint on my skin.
Somewhere between 3rd and 4th quarter of the Jets vs. Dolphins game
The first few contractions registered on the screen, and I couldn't feel them. But when the contractions had be sitting straight up in my bed, we called for Marcy to bring me a half dose of Nubain. Talk about insta-drunk. Watching the Jets run the ball on a screen that was now fuzzy through my eyes was rather tricky. It was merely a matter of minutes before the intensity of my contractions could hardly be felt and I was able to doze off.
All Night Long...17-18 October, 2011
Eventually, the Nubain wore off and extra doses weren't helping to relieve me of the pain of my contractions. Michael tried his best to get sleep on his pull-out bed beside me, but the fact I had to vocalize my pain kept him from getting much at all. He fetched me ice chips when I was parched, dug through my purse to give me ChapStick when my grimacing cracked my lips, and rubbed my back when I needed a distraction from the pain.
With all the pain endured during the night, we hoped the morning would bring news of significant dilation. Marcy removed my Cervidil just before 7:00am. After several hours of contractions, I was at only 2cm. Ugh.
8:00am, Tuesday, 18 October, 2011
The nurse staff changed, and we now had nurse Pat and her shadowing nursing student, Kim. Nurse Pat was easily in her 60s, so she was a master in delivering babies. Kim was maybe 22, quiet, laughed nervously when someone cracked a joke. Pat would ask Kim to do something, and then change her mind and do it herself. They would be by my side for the rest of the day.
Received epidural and started Pitocin in my IV. Relief. Contractions intensified.
Baby Nerd wasn't liking the sudden changes, and her heart rate was showing her irritation. So Pat put an oxygen mask on me and turned me on my side.
Dr. Goggin came by to check my progress (4cm…things were moving slowly…) and to break my water. Even though I was I numb, I could feel the pressure being released from my swollen body. And just as the great doc had predicted, I was a gusher. Even Pat--with all of her years of experience in L&D--was shocked by the amount of fluid.
The baby was still irritated by everything going on with my body. The oxygen mask that had been removed before breaking my water was replaced. They turned me on my side again. Baby Nerd's heart rate did come back to a normal range, but with these warning signs she was giving us, there was now talk of the possibility of cord wrap. We were starting to get edgy, but they encouraged me to rest a while since the most taxing part was yet to come. Our TV was still tuned to ESPN. We watched Skip Bayless host First Take while we tried to relax.
|Hooked up to the oxygen to calm little Mallory. It helped, and I was able to rest.|
Nurse Pat checked me again. We were 8-9cm. How did we progress that quickly? Pushing would begin soon. When the nurses walked out of the room to call Dr. Goggin in an attempt to get him to the hospital earlier than anticipated, I turned to my husband and said, "Hand me my compact. I want to look presentable for our baby when she arrives." Time for my game face.
Fully dilated. Started pushing. Pat was on one side, Kim on the other. Michael stayed near my head, continuing to be the rock star husband he had been all night. Ice chips, ChapStick, more ice chips. Deep breath, push, count to ten, repeat for an hour.
Charge nurse walked in looking for Pat. She needed help delivering a baby in another room. Seeing that I was in the middle of pushing, the charge nurse said, "Nevermind!" and backed out of the room.
Pat asked me to push harder. It was difficult to tell just how hard I was pushing, so I just scrunched up my face a little more than before. It must have worked. I was commended for my efforts.
Dr. Goggin finally arrived for the homestretch. Based on the fetal heart rate, he was also expecting cord wrap. He carefully instructed me on how he wanted me to push so we could avoid causing fetal distress. He also announced he would have to make room in order to get her out, but not much (I would require 2 stitches only). I followed all directions. Michael watched and held my hand. Dr. Goggin's glasses showed the reflection of what was going on down below, and since my belly was blocking my view from up top, I occasionally watched the action in his spectacles.
The nurses got fed up with ESPN being on in the background. They turned it off. Bye, bye, interview with Hines Ward.
Baby Mallory Olivia enters the world! Just as predicted, she had cord wrap: around her neck and her thigh.
Mallory poops all over Dr. Goggin. He's laughing, holding a newborn covered in meconium all down her front side. He exclaims that 2 ounces of birth weight were in that poop.
Daddy cuts the cord.
|Michael does his first job as Mallory's daddy: cutting the cord.|
A cleaned-up Mallory is placed on my chest for our first skin-to-skin contact. Tears in our eyes, we are finally holding our long-awaited baby girl.
|She's here! And we're in love!|
|Get those footprints for the baby book.|
|7 lb. 13 oz.; 20.5 in long.|
|Daddy-daughter time. A grown man wrapped around the tiniest of fingers.|