If you recall from last week’s post about Mac’s Magical arrival, I was tired, hungry, and surly. I had just sent Chris home to get me a sandwich (against my Physician’s “rules”), and Dr. Word Vomit wanted to break my water. . .
What was my Husband doing at home while I was making my decision? Well, unbeknownst to him, most of our bread was in the freezer. . .The basement freezer. Yeah, he didn’t have a snowball’s chance of finding it.
He later admitted he was running around frantically looking for some bread, so scared out of his mind that I might truly kill him, that it never occurred to him to walk a block away to the store and buy some. I think he finally found some raisin bread. . .Which by the way I would have completely bitched about but devoured regardless.
Meanwhile, back in hell, my Nurse, Logan is explaining to me yet another 800 “rules” they have after your water breaks. You can’t leave the bed. Not for anything. That was a deal breaker I told her. I couldn’t fathom being stuck in this bed indefinitely – it was physical torture.
“Well,” she said diplomatically, “you won’t be stuck in the bed indefinitely, if your water breaks, and things don’t progress, they will just do a C-Section.” I know there’s no good exit strategy for this kid, however, I was really hoping to avoid a C-Section after all this induction bullshit.
I was silent for a few moments weighing risks and rewards. Then Logan, almost conspiratorially, offered one final concession: If they broke my water, and things seemed to be ok with the baby, she would help me out of bed every so often so I could stretch.
I relented. Back in strolled Dr. Word Vomit to once again get Mid-Evil on my cervix.
Dr. Word Vomit explained that since they had been administering nearly the maximum levels of hormones for the past 16 hours or so, there was a good chance that I was going to be in serious pain after he broke my water. So. . .if I wanted an epidural, now would be a good time to get one.
I look to Logan. I explained to her I was neutral on the epidural. I certainly wasn’t looking to be miserable but I did seem to have a high tolerance for pain. Plus, so far, I hadn’t felt one contraction.
Logan said if she were having a baby, she would probably wait a little longer.
That was good enough for me.
Dr. Word Vomit stuck his little plastic crochet hook where the sun don’t shine and I texted Chris to try to hurry back with that sammie.
After Dr. Word Vomit left, Logan perked up and said she had a good idea. She mentioned this thing called a birth ball. She said it was just like a gigantic exercise ball that I could sit on if I wanted to. She said I’d be allowed out of the bed to try it.
I love this Logan chick!
Logan left to get the ball. Finally! I thought, I’m finally alone! I leaned back in the bed and closed my eyes.
And two seconds later. . .
BAM! I’m hot all over. It started at the top of my head and washed over my entire body. And nearly simultaneously, I’m in a cold sweat.
That’s odd. And not at all comfortable. I think to myself.
Hmmm. . .what if I’m having a heart attack? Or a stroke? They keep telling me I have a heart condition. Maybe I do have a heart condition? I’m beginning to feel a little scared. And ironically, alone.
Well screw them, I’m getting out of this bed. I had the overwhelming urge to stand up.
And when I did. . .it looked as if someone suddenly dumped at least 3 mop buckets full of fluid all over the floor. It was like a flash flood gushing towards the hallway.
Ouch. Gross. Ouch. They always take deep breaths on TV. I’ll take some deep breaths. I can’t believe it. . .That actually helps.
Logan comes be-bopping back in the room with the enormous birthing ball and nearly slips in all the fluid lurking at the thresh hold.
“I’m sorry,” I grovel. “I just felt like I needed to stand up and that happened. Is it ok if I keep standing up?”
“Yes,” she said dumping mounds of absorbent materials all over the floor, “Keep standing up. Gravity will help the baby move. Be sure to breathe.”
“Are these contractions?” I wonder out loud.
She looks at the monitor. “Yes. They are two minutes apart. I think we should probably knock it off with so much Pitocin. Let me see if that’s okay with the doctor.”
I’m alone again. Leaning with my barely covered backside on the edge of the bed. This isn’t too bad. . .
BAM! More freaking fluid everywhere. . .A Lot more. . .Like enough to float a small skiff. . .
I feel terrible for Logan. She just got done cleaning the floor.
She returns, messes with the IV thing and she helps me sit on the birth ball while she cleans up the floor again. . .
The birth ball is fine, but every time I feel a contraction, I’m much more comfortable standing up. So that’s what I’m doing when Chris gets back. He seems a little shocked by the scene. . .
And guess what? I could not give two shits about that stupid sandwich at this point. In fact, I kinda’ felt like I was going to puke. I swear he ate that sandwich himself! I never saw it!
The contractions continue seemingly forever. Clench, Hot, Cold and Clammy, Breathe. . .
They tell me I’m about 7 centimeters dilated. It’s sometime about one. . .I think.
“Logan,” I nearly whisper, “I’m so tired.”
And then Logan broke it down for me: In a few hours I was going to have to push. I might have to push for as many as three hours. I hadn’t eaten or slept in DAYS. Her absolute best advice: get the epidural and get some sleep.
This time I agreed. Not because I wanted to be a good patient for Logan and I really, really wanted her to like me, but because I was mortified at the prospect of pushing for 3 hours.
Logan puts in the request for an epidural. Soon, in walks enough people to man an entire softball team. I’m beginning to hate teaching hospitals. I can’t focus on anything they are saying. I’m just trying to maintain my composure through all the contractions.
Before I know it, I’m seated on the edge of the bed resting my arms and head on that wheelie-tray table they have in every hospital room. Logan is standing on the other side of it. We are nearly nose to nose. Chris is seated in a chair behind Logan because apparently this placement ensures Dad won’t pass out watching the procedure.
Half the crowd disperses. Logan admonishes me that I must stay as still as possible. No matter how badly I hurt, I can’t move. She tells me if I need to actually bite her arm, I should feel free to do so. My heart nearly melts.
There’s some coolness on my mid to lower back. Betadine? Alcohol? Contraction. Rustling plastic. I presume they are opening all the sterile packaging. Contraction. Some discussion behind me. Contraction.
The male anesthesiologist asks Logan to let him know as soon as the last contraction ends so they can proceed.
What the FUCK IS taking so long?
There’s fishing. And turning. I can feel them wiggling stuff around in my back. “Can you feel that?” He asks.
I’m not sure if he means the contractions or the stuff they are doing to my back. Either way the answer is “Yes.”
Then I hear him whispering to his associate (whom I have finally brilliantly deduced is a resident and is clearly jacking up my epidural), “You’re just going to have to start over. Pull it out and start over.”
Contraction. Breathe. Contraction. Breathe. Dream about punching the resident in the neck.
Finally, they declare they are done. They explain to me that there’s a little control I can use myself for added pain relief if I need it. Finally, I get to control something. Logan very deftly hooks up a catheter. She also gets me to agree to put on some surgical type knee – socks but they were open at the bottom so my toes were free. I heart Logan. I’m tingly and numb and I’m asleep in minutes.
I’m awakened by Logan about 2 hours later. It’s about 4 in the afternoon. “Listen,” she says with all the excitement one of my best girlfriends would exude if we were going for a brunch and high end shopping bender, “Let’s see if you are ready to push. If you are, then hopefully we can have this baby before my shift ends in a couple of hours.”
I guess they finally let Dr. Word Vomit go home because in came two more doctors to check things out. One Chris referred to as the “Gym Coach from Glee” and the other one – a resident – had her foot in a big boot cast and was rolling herself around on some kind of stand up tricycle looking contraption. I made a mental note I didn’t want her clumsy ass anywhere near me. It seems I still had a little more dilating to do. And the baby was still pretty far “up there.” So we wait. . .
In the meantime, Logan explained to me that I had exactly 3 hours after being fully dilated to evict the kid before they would perform a C-Section.
“I’m not sure I can push for three hours,” I said apprehensively, “But I definitely do not want a C Section after all this.”
Logan asked if I used that little medication pump on my epidural. I told her I hadn’t needed to. “Good,” she said, “Don’t. You’ll want to feel as much as possible so you can push well. That will help a lot.”
In parades a new anesthesiologist (which is good, because if those other two clowns had returned, there might have been some violence). She extends her hand and says, “So I hear you are having a good-sized baby.”
I squint at her suspiciously. I look towards Chris slightly confused. The last ultrasound showed the baby was about 7 pounds. So I was assuming a few days later, the baby surely wasn’t much more than 8.
Why was I just hearing about this? And what the fuck kind of medical term is “good-sized”?!
Chris immediately starts to smooth it over. . .”I think she means healthy. . .A healthy baby,” he says slowly, locking eyes with the anesthesiologist. She apparently took the hint and retreated quickly.
I didn’t have too much time to stew on how big the kid was because Chris started playing “Eye of the Tiger” on his stupid iPhone and soon enough Dr. Gym Coach is back along with Dr. Clumsy Boot Cast Flying Monkey. They declare I’m all ready to push and leave.
It’s nearly 6 PM. Logan explains what I’m supposed to do – which in a nutshell involves holding my breath and pushing so forcibly that it feels like I’m certainly pushing my liver, spleen, and kidneys out of my uterus along with the kid. (Yes, I know/hope that’s anatomically impossible).
She removes the catheter. She tells Chris to grab a leg. She grabs the other. And I do exactly what she says. Over. And Over. And Over.
We talk between contractions. However, she says if that’s annoying to me, we can just be quiet. That this is “my time” and I needed to do whatever it took to be completely calm and focused. So Zen, that Logan.
But I don’t mind the talking. And I don’t even so much mind the pushing. Logan says I’m a great pusher. At about 6:30 Dr. Gym Coach returns.
She’s fishing around in my pelvic area. Logan is telling her what a good pusher I am. Logan asks the doctor “if the baby will fit?”
And I see the doctor shake her head negatively. However, what she SAYS is, “A baby will fit, sure.”
What the fuck? I saw that Dr. Gym Coach! I saw what you did! I’m not stupid!
And then they all leave the room. Chris and I sat staring at one another. In a few minutes Logan returns with a determined look on her face, “We have to push, as hard as we can.”
So we do. For another half hour or better. At which point Logan very apologetically said her shift was over a while ago and she must leave. And as if on cue, in walks Dr. Gym Coach with my new nurse: Nurse Ding-Dong (already notorious on this blog). Dr. Gym Coach introduces us. She has her arm around Nurse Ding-Dong like they are best buddies. And on her way out the door, Dr. Gym Coach says to Nurse Ding Dong, “You know what your job is, right?” To which Nurse Ding Dong responds affirmatively.
What the hell did that mean? Chris and I eyed one another nervously. I decide I hate Dr. Gym Coach. She’s not being forthcoming with me.
I can feel the contractions again at this point. So when I tell Nurse Ding Dong that I’m about to have a contraction and I need some help, AND she debates me, pausing to look at the monitor and so forth, I’m flabbergasted.
“Let’s just rest through this one,” she says.
The problem is by now, I can’t just “rest through” a contraction. I feel like I HAVE to push. It’s almost unbearable NOT to push. Chris watches me writhe around on the bed through a few contractions as Nurse Ding Dong wanders around the room talking a bunch of non-sense.
“Do you want another nurse?” Chris whispers.
I did. I wanted Logan! But since Ding Dong seemed to be hand-picked by Dr. Gym Coach, I wasn’t sure what to do?
Another contraction. I needed help, but Nurse Ding-Dong was over by the sink looking for I kid you not – “her lucky forceps.”
And then Chris did something so heroic and so mortifying I’m still so conflicted about it I’m not sure if I should cry out of happiness “go team my Husband rocks” or sheer humiliation “he did what?” (Putting my own humiliation and ego aside, the guy was a rock star and I have never never never felt closer to him or more thankful for his presence for what happens next)
He stood at the foot of the bed, helped me hold both my legs and started counting. Just like Logan taught us.
For the next HOUR AND A HALF!
We had never attended a birthing class. AND Chris promised me he would stay behind my knees because I didn’t really want him seeing too much gore. . .But I didn’t care at this point. I needed help.
And while we were doing this?
No doctor ever came to check on us. And Nurse Ding Dong flitted about seemingly hell-bent on keeping me from delivering this kid.
She wouldn’t shut up.
She told us about how one time she was helping deliver a child while there was pornography on the TV. . And she described it: A nautical scene where a woman was holding on to a large sailboat mast. . .
This was followed by her peering over my husband’s shoulder and saying to me “Honey, do you know you have hemorrhoids?” Um, Nurse Ding-Dong, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be completely wrecked after this experience, no thanks to your stupid ass. I’d move if I were you before I make your face look like a hemorrhoid.
And then she INSISTED she put the catheter back in. Insisted. I thought this odd since Logan removed it when I started pushing. I tried to debate Ding Dong, but she kept telling me how she was certain I must have to urinate by now. Like I’m a two year old. I can assure you, I did not have to urinate at that point. Probably because I already pushed my bladder and kidneys out of my body and they were half-way to Denver at this point.
On the upside, my urethrea only felt like a horrific burning mess for 3 days. Plus, I was at least getting some wholly unnecessary medical attention. Frankly, the most attention I had received since Logan ended her shift.
Sometime about 8:40, Dr. Gym Coach comes strolling back into the room.
Now, if you haven’t quite put all the pieces together yet, don’t worry, it took me a while to add it up myself: Dr. Gym Coach is coming back in the room to tell me they are going to do a C-Section. She thinks the kid is huge, won’t fit through my pelvis and decided to just let me push for 3 hours. . .or hopefully not push, having assigned Nurse Ding-Dong to distract us. . .
Well, Dr. Gym Coach, WE DIDN’T GET YOUR FUCKING MEMO!
Because, as she approaches the bed, Chris says, “Deni, I can see his head.”
Dr. Gym Coach peers over Chris’ shoulder. (What’s wrong with this picture?). Elbows him out-of-the-way and starts barking orders. Before I know it, Dr. Clumsy Boot Cast Flying Monkey comes skidding into the room bringing her wheelie tricycle to a screeching halt and starts screaming “I need gloves! Nurse Ding Dong I need gloves!”
Dr. Gym Coach has just enough time to partially suit up. She managed to find some gloves and a paper gown or cover. Nurse Ding Dong is finally by my side. She asks me if I would like a mirror.
Um no thanks. I can feel what’s happening down there. I don’t need further empirical evidence.
And just like that, at 8:57, Mackinley arrived. . .
All 7 pounds, 4 ounces of him. . .
The following day, poor Dr. Word Vomit is back on call and he gets a good grilling from my Husband who was no doubt scarred for life by what he had witnessed 12 hours earlier. Dr. Word Vomit fumbles to find the right words. . .”Well sometimes a Doctor moves ahead to the next necessary medical intervention. . .”
“Necessary?” Allow me to editorialize for a moment: What a bunch of condescending assholes.
Then a pediatric nurse comes for a look at Mac. Thankfully, he’s perfectly healthy.
However, as she was leaving, she turned, one hand on the door knob, and said, “Oh by the way, is this the baby that had the vanishing twin?”
I damned near dropped the kid. He’s barely 12 hours old, and already you have HIS medical history jacked up too?
Kinda’ makes you want to adopt a cat, doesn’t it?