Posted in Mommyhood, Pregnancy

He’s Here! Part 2

(Part 1)

Just as an FYI, I tend to forego my mental filter when telling my birth stories, so be prepared for the occasional graphic account. I don’t go all out, but if you’re at all squeamish, you should know in advance. 🙂

So, Cytotec.

The first quarter-pill went in just fine, and I had to lay down for an hour so it would stay put and take effect. I think I tried to watch a movie or TV on DVD–I can’t remember anymore. I had two pieces of Cytotec over the course of a few hours, and I know I watched a movie during one and tried to nap during the other. It may have dropped my blood pressure, too, because the machine didn’t care for the readings it got. I had to be hooked up to the machine, which went off every ten minutes, or so. Not really conducive to napping, but I got a little snoozing in so I wouldn’t be too exhausted later.

Between Cytotec administrations, I sat on the yoga ball and talked to my husband, played the newest Professor Layton game, which my husband bought me the day before (he’s awesome!), and watched TV. Unfortunately, the remotes for the new flat-screen LCDs in the birthing rooms disappear completely, so we had no way of working the DVDs if we wanted to switch between episodes, or watch extra content. Sweetie ended up buying a small universal remote (the next day, I think), but it still didn’t let us switch episodes. We could at least change the channels without getting up; that was something.

At one point, I tried to sit on the ball and it rolled out from under me. I caught myself before I hit the floor, but I used the hand with the IV in it to hold the ball and bear my weight while I regained my balance. OW. I thought I’d injured my vein, or something, but I had a nurse take a look at it later and she said it was fine. It hurt the whole time after that, though.

Sometime in the afternoon, my husband went off to do something . . . get lunch, maybe? . . . and food service brought me a meal. A BIG meal. Whoah! I was surprised that they were going to let me eat at all. I don’t know why; it just didn’t occur to me that a full meal was authorized before going into labor at any time. The midwife’s assistant said it was perfectly fine. If you have to throw up later–and you will–you might as well have something to throw up, right? I don’t quite agree with that logic, because I hate to throw up, especially after eating. Yuck. But it would be good to have the fuel for the work I would have to do later, so I ate: Ribs, a roll, corn, salad, and dessert of some kind–cookies, I think. Pretty tasty for hospital food!

Hours passed, my cervix dilated, like, half a centimeter, or something, I got more Cytotec, killed time . . . I wasn’t having very regular contractions, but they were feeling different, and more frequent than earlier that morning. The midwife’s assistant, who spent more time with me during the day, told me to try nipple stimulation: Stimulate till you feel a contraction start up, stop, then start again when the contraction goes away. I could get some decent contractions out of that, but nothing with any conviction.

There was a change of staff in the afternoon or evening, too. I was glad, because the tentative nursing student wasn’t going to be helping anymore. It wasn’t that he was a bad guy, I just didn’t want that hesitant a person around me when I was going to need firm direction.

With the last cervix check came an epic membrane sweep (separating the bag of waters from the lining of the uterus–actually sounds worse than it is, though it is NOT a comfortable procedure) and a change of tactics. It was about 7:30-ish, I think. I agreed with the midwife and assistant that it was time to introduce the Pitocin. I really didn’t want to be tricking myself into labor all night. It was time for the big guns.

The nurse came in with the Pitocin drip around 9pm. She tried to hook it up to my heplock, but the darn thing just wouldn’t take. She brought in another machine, but it wouldn’t work, either. The IV was going to have to be replaced. Fortunately, she knew exactly what she was doing, had a very sure hand, and I did not skip the lidocaine. The IV went into my other hand at a weird angle, which was the only way it would work, so she taped it down like crazy so it wouldn’t go anywhere and managed to get the drip started by 9:30.

Minutes later (literally!), Real Contractions began . . .

Part 3 later. I dislike typing one-handed. 😛

Posted in Mommyhood, Pregnancy

He’s Here! Part 1

Baby Boy #2, currently nicknamed “Bean” or “Beanie”, made his appearance on October 14th, 2010, at 11:08pm. He was 7 lb 6 oz, and 20 in long.

2 hrs old

I’ve been wanting to write this post for weeks, but it’s hard to put my precious bundle down for anything other than caring for my two-year-old or taking a nap. Or maybe a shower. They’re both few and far between these days. 🙂 I have gotten better about putting him down when he sleeps, though, so I can actually get stuff done. Currently, Beanie is taking a morning nap and Pie is distracted by Elmo in Grouchland on Netflix Streaming. I’ll probably get halfway into this post before Beanie wakes up again. Thus, “Part 1”.

MORNING, OCT 14 2010

We left Pie with my parents the night before, so all we had to do that morning was throw stuff in the car and head to the hospital to begin . . . duh-duh-DUUUUH! . . . Induction.

I slept moderately well, but I did wake up once or twice to pray that labor would start up on its own during the night, or that the induction would go smoothly and I wouldn’t have to get a C-section in the end, that the midwife would be helpful and fight for my choices, that the nursing staff would be awesome, that the baby would have no health difficulties, etc. I wanted another good birthing experience, but now that variables were being thrown into the mix, I was nervous.

Fortunately–aside from being at the hospital for many hours before anything even happened, mainly because I didn’t want Pitocin right away–I don’t think the experience could have gone more smoothly. 🙂

We checked in a minute or two after 8am. I donned an oh-so-dignified butt-(and-chest-)revealing delivery/nursing gown, got hooked up to the contraction and fetal heart monitors, and then the staff parade began. With the nurse who would be helping me came her nursing student. With the midwife came the midwife’s student and–I think–a student of the student, unless he was another nursing student . . . Navy Hospital is a teaching hospital, so not only are you a patient, you’re also a guinea pig! This isn’t always a bad thing, but it does mean there can be a lot of wasted time and no real long-term connection with staff or doctors (LOTS of turn-around as students graduate and people get transferred). It can also mean the occasional mistakes or less-than-efficient procedures.

For instance, just getting the heplock for the IV inserted took a painfully long time–emphasis on “painfully”. Though I can be hooked up to a blood donation bag, fill it, and walk out in about ten minutes, I apparently have a poor vein structure for getting stuff INto my blood. Didn’t help that my hands were cold, too. The nurse’s student, unfortunately, was too tentative and inexperienced to get it right on the first try. Or the second. Or the third. And I had decided to skip the lidocaine, thinking that it would just hurt worse than the IV insertion, anyway. I was a big girl; I could handle it!

Here’s a tip: If you have a nervous nursing student putting an IV in your hand, DON’T SKIP THE LIDOCAINE. In fact, if they have a hard time just finding a vein to insert the IV into, don’t skip the lidocaine. They may have to stick you more than once, and the less you feel, the better! Just take my word for it. It probably would have been more comfortable to get an epidural at that point . . .

I focused on listening to the baby’s heartbeat, or the midwives talking to me. I’m not afraid of needles, it just hurt like the dickens. The poor guy was just so intent on not hurting me that it hurt more the longer he took. Finally, another, more experienced nurse walked in and found a vein in my other hand, but had to insert a smaller gauge just to get it in right. This will return to haunt me later.

I was required to sit on the monitors for at least 20 minutes before I could get up and do . . . whatever. The midwives checked me–dilation to about 3cm, about 50-75% effaced (I think)–and then discussed options. I told them I wanted to leave Pitocin as a last resort. I’d heard stories of gals on a Pitocin drip for most of the day, never progressing until they had to up the dosage hours later. I’d heard other stories of labor stopping or becoming too intense, and the birth ending in an unwanted C-section . . . I wanted to avoid that, if possible. If my body could get labor going on its own, I’d rather work with that.

So, first option: Cytotec. It comes in a pill, which the midwives break into four pieces and insert a quarter of it into you to ripen the cervix and hopefully get things moving naturally after that. It at least gets you to a point where you can start using Pitocin, if nothing else. I’d heard something bad about that, too, but at the time I couldn’t remember what it was. The midwife seemed confident that it was safe and effective, so I just prayed she was right and nothing bad would happen. They ordered it, the pharmacy took their time getting it, and more time passed . . .

Beanie just woke up. Part 2 later!