"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life."- Richard David Bach
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Now That the Fog Has Cleared
It's always interesting to me how a mother's birth story plays out. Probably because I've had five of my own now and I like to be able to relate to another mother's moment of a miracle...or at least try to relate.
My story, or Dillon's rather, goes a little something like this:
Induction date was not only carved into my calendar, but the date of the 21st was engraved into my spirit too. It was the only way I was going to make it emotionally...I was finished! I knew if I had a countdown, it would somehow make it easier for me to wake up every day and realize I was still pregnant.
So when the first contraction started at 4:45pm on Wednesday the 13th, I just knew this wasn't "it."
"No, it's just some major gas bubbles," I said to myself.
But obviously the look on my face appeared a little different than gas bubbles to the kids.
"Mom, are you okay? Are you going to have a baby...like right here on the floor?", asked Anthony?
That was a good question that I didn't have the answer to.
You'd think I'd know...this being my fifth time. But no, I didn't.
After pacing the kitchen/hallway/and visiting the bathroom over 12 times just to make sure it wasn't gas, I had somewhat convinced myself that this indeed was the start of labor. I called Steve. Of course he was at work, all the way in Meridian, and of course it's 5:00 at this time, so 5:00 traffic. Big bummer I would later come to find out!
I called him and told him I wasn't quite sure, but that maybe he should head home. We agreed he would as we hung up with each other.
Somehow the intensity of my pain at that point obstructed anything valuable from entering my brain. Because I called him back in a matter of minutes and asked if he was indeed coming home.
"Yes Honey, I'm on my way!"
Just before I had my first contraction, I had texted Grandma Collie to have her meet the kids and me at Carl's Jr. at 5:30 so they could eat and play. Making dinner was not happening in my house that night. She happily obliged and plans were set to meet there.
Steve calls me back as I'm hunched over our bed withering away in pain.
"Honey, my mom's not answering her phone. I'm going to have Roy come back to the house and stay with the kids when we go to the hospital."
What? Who? Where? And Why?
Well, since Grandma Collie wasn't answering her phone (something we're working on and she's slowly getting better at improving) I knew she was headed to Carl's to meet us in less than 30 minutes. And Roy, who is a friend of Steve's, just so happened to be heading home from our place earlier that day. He turned around and headed back to our house.
Meanwhile, Grandma Collie got the SOS (she answered her phone) and was rushing to our place to stay with the kids. Steve was still in route (5:00 traffic remember) so Roy showed up at my front door to take me to the hospital if Steve wasn't getting there fast enough.
Fast forward several minutes, several severe contractions later, and you have my husband dressed in work gear, smelly boots and all, busting through the door, ready to carry me to safety. The look on Roy's face couldn't have been more priceless. I don't blame him. I wouldn't want to be the one driving a woman in labor to the hospital, especially me of all people! After realizing he wasn't going to have to be the unsung hero, I'm sure Roy's blood pressure dropped dramatically as he wiped the sweat from his brow.
Steve loaded me into the car, he gave his mom instructions; what little he could muster at this point due to adrenaline on his part, and we headed out.
Let me take a second here to let you know something. Let you know how much I LOVE...L-O-V-E my Dr. Dr. Hodges that is. The world's greatest Dr. on the planet right there...and he was all mine for the last nine months and then some.
I was in such pain, misery, and complete disarray, that I didn't want Steve driving all the way to Downtown St. Luke's where only Dr. Hodges delivers. Why? Because that meant another 30-40 minutes stuck in a car, stuck in 5:00 traffic, and stuck with the thought of my dear husband having to deliver this baby on the side of State Street in our car!
What I wanted Steve to do was drive straight to the closest hospital, which was the one two minutes from our house. Granted, Dr. Hodges wouldn't be there, but somehow in my mental/emotional/physical state, I didn't give two sh*ts what stirrups my feet were placed in, as long as they weren't propped up against a car's dashboard.
I later came to find out that I had no say in where I was headed...Steve did...he was driving.
He passed right on through the light and kept pushing on. He had decided for me that downtown would be better. I would thank him in the end. And that his decision would make everything okay. As each contraction came closer to meeting my baby, I was starting to doubt his decision making skills or lack there of.
Wouldn't ya know it?! We happened to get stuck behind every slow driver on the road. Every driver wanted to NOT rush home to their families. Every driver who would rather meander on home than hurry the hell up and get out of our way!
Needless to say, we arrived at St. Luke's with one hurting momma.
Steve drove right up to the front and I managed to roll out. No wheelchair, no crutches, no assistance what-so-ever! It was rough. I walked into the revolving doors at the hospital and saw faces. I knew I couldn't stop and break during a contraction I was having because I didn't want the people staring at me. And I knew my butt had to get to the second floor. So I pushed through the pain as I hit the #2 button and headed to triage.
Once back in triage, I was weighed, (really? You have a woman literally dying here and you need to make a mockery out of her one last time by weighing her?) and given a gown. Then the nurse left.
Oh God NO! I thought. Don't leave this room, you'll never come back. I'm not like most women who walk through these doors. I'm having a baby here, I need a room, I'm not kidding around here! HELP ME!! Luckily she returned, ready to check my cervix to see what the status was. The status was: I was a five and 100% effaced. This baby was coming and coming fast!
They gathered a wheelchair, a bariatric one at that, (you could have sat three of me on that thing) and wheeled me into a labor and delivery room.
When I entered, my low groans only got worse. My pain was only increasing. And my need for an epidural was exploding at this point.
Let me preface by saying this:
I had Anthony, Juliebelle, and Lauren all naturally because I delivered too fast. With Lucas, well, he took his sweet a** time, so I was able to enjoy the wonderment of what mothers around the nation have been calling a godsend for years: an epidural. After experiencing a labor and delivery with an epidural, I had been blessed, or cursed rather, with the actual enjoyment of having a human being pushed through your insides without an ounce of pain. Who wouldn't want that feeling again? I sure did. And I was starting to FREAK OUT! I knew this kid was coming. I could feel the pressure each time I was contracting. The pressure of my water breaking. I knew then it was over. On all four previous births, if my water breaks, out comes a baby with the flow...no waiting.
I begged at that point for an epidural. I begged at that point for the pain to go away. And I begged at that point to never have another child. (Don't we all say that during labor?)
The nurses had to start my I.V. before any pain medication was going to enter my body. Great, I have veins that can be seen from space, this should be quick, almost painless, and the start of something really good for Momma. Wrong! I just so happened to be really cold. Cold equals not so great veins...apparently. I was poked three times before the nurses finally settled on the top of my hand...eight minutes or so later. Eight minutes closer to meeting this baby, eight minutes more of the world's worst pain, and eight minutes more of my low groaning/moaning. (Just think of a room full of laboring cows all moaning at the same time. That was the sound the room was adorned with.)
After finally getting poked enough, the I.V. was in place...thank you Jesus! The anesthesiologist walked into the room and introduced himself. Really? I don't care who you are, what your name is, just give me my damn drugs! I might have uttered a swear word here and there at this point...several rather. Needless to say, I received my slice of heaven and within 30/45 seconds I was pain free.
I was given a short acting epidural, the same ones used in C-sections because I was going so fast and they didn't need it to last more than 30 minutes.
Just as I was turning human again, Dr. Hodges walked in. The waters parted and the angels sang when he walked into my room. He proceeded to break my water. After the water was broken, he happily informed me I was complete and ready to push. I couldn't feel a thing. I couldn't feel pressure, pain, nor the need to push. How was I going to get this baby out without the capability of knowing when to push?
"Well, I'm going to tell you a really funny joke and you're going to laugh him out," said Dr. Hodges.
And that's exactly what I did. I gave the Dr. half of what I thought was a push and out he came!
6:49 pm was the arrival time of our newest little angel.
The nurseswere all astonished at how fast I delivered. They said we checked in at 6:00pm and had a baby 49 minutes later.
Now that's how it's done!
*Roy, thank you for stepping up to the plate and willing to deal with me. I can only imagine what your head and heart were saying to one another. I'm happy to have saved you from a lifelong memory that may have admitted you to Intermountain Mental Hospital.
*Grandma Collie, thank you for not driving to Carl's, picking up your phone instead, and taking such wonderful care of the children that night! You're the best!!