i guess now is as good a time as any to revive my blog! i've actually been writing this entry for a while now (on and off for the past 2 mths) but haven't had the time to finish it. it's not done but i wanted to start getting into the habit of blogging again so this is installment #1 of my labor & delivery story. installment #2 will come soon after that (i hope). happy new year everyone! i hope and pray that it is a healthy, joyful, blessed year for everyone.
hi everyone! i'm finally back, thanks to some nudging from my friend kyu. :D i've been meaning to write but it's just so hard with a new baby. just when you think you might have an inkling as to what's going on, babies switch things up, just to keep you on your toes. i've learned to never make any generalizations about lana (at least not yet) because as soon as i utter them, they are no longer true. anyway, with that said, since she's no longer a newborn waking every 2 hours (the time FLIES!) i thought now's a good time to change this blog from a pregnancy blog to a baby blog. the benefits for me are twofold - one, it's fun to write about (and get feedback from other moms about the extremely bewildering adventures of mommyhood) and two, it'll be a good way to record how things went with lana.
as fraulein maria sang, let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. the below is my labor & delivery story, so if you're willing to read this, might you take my suggestion to brew up a nice little spot of tea and curl up in a comfy position on the couch with your laptop bc it's gonna be long. o_O
my due date was aug 23, but bc lana was already pretty big, my OB decided to bring me in 6 days early to be induced. so on aug 17, my OB told me to come to the hospital at 7pm, but not before confirming with the hospital that they had room for me. so i called a little before 7pm, and sure enough, they didn't have room for me. (i'm telling you, it's the cold winter months that make august a very popular month for having babies.) anyway i digress. so i tried to take my mind off my impatience by watching airbender. that boy is so cute. after two hours, i couldn't take it anymore so i called back. still no room. i called again and again, but the delivery rooms were still packed. so by 11pm, we decided that it might not be happening that night and went to bed. of course, you know what happens next - i fell asleep at 11:15pm and got a call at 11:30pm to come to the hospital by 12:30am. so we got right back up and headed out. let me tell you - that was a very strange car ride. i mean, we looked at each other as we drove to the hospital and said, "so...this is the last car ride for us before we become parents. whoa." the craziness of those words rang in my ears the rest of the way there. it was such an anticlimactic drive leading up to a very climactic event.
ok, so moving on. i got to the hospital, got checked in, and the nurses set me up in the delivery room. i gotta say, the nurses at hackensack are awesome. they really helped me feel at ease through the entire crazy and sometimes scary process of bringing a baby into this world. ok, so first step was IV. i've never ever been admitted to a hospital, just been to the ER a couple of times. so this was my first time getting an IV. how come no one ever told me how much it freakin' hurts?? it didn't help that the first time the nurse tried, the IV needle thingamajig was defective so she had to pull it out and then try again on my other hand. the resulting bruise from that first attempt lasted two weeks. it really really hurt. second step was monitors - one for baby heartbeat and another for my contractions. turns out, i was having contractions already but i just didn't really notice bc they were pretty mild. third step was cervidil, this thing they put in your birth canal to help induction. the resident on-call put it in, and she also checked my dilation at that point - still 2cm, same as when i had seen my OB a few days earlier. (i predict that only people who have already had babies will read this, but in case i am wrong, i don't want to assume that you know the appropriate measurements, since i definitely did not until i was pregnant. you - or more precisely, your cervix - needs to reach 10cm of dilation to be able to push out a baby. i was at 2cm.) after that, i basically slept on and off till 7am. well, i would've slept better except the damn blood pressure cuff went off every 30 min. and as soon as it started constricting my arm i'd wake up.
at 7am, my OB came by. she checked my dilation - not much change. maybe 2.5cm. so she took out the cervidil, started me on pitocin and broke my water. that was a very weird feeling. all of a sudden this warm liquid gushes out of you...and keeps gushing out...and then you change positions, and more gushes out. once my water broke, the contractions started coming pretty quickly. by 8am, my mom came to the hospital. as soon as she walked in, i remembered something - all those times that i got into trouble as a kid and my mom would say "do you know how hard it was to give birth to you? i passed out afterwards for 24 hours! you'll get it when you're a mom." and i'd respond always with "yeah yeah whatever." man. at that moment those times came back to bite me in the butt and i felt immensely sorry and grateful towards my mom. but you know what? once your mom's kid always your mom's kid. the poignant thought lasted about 30 seconds (until my next contraction hit) and then i was whining for her to come massage my back. the contractions were quickly getting stronger and stronger. each time they came, sh or my mom would massage my lower back, which seemed to be the best thing to help me cope. i would also imagine really happy things like our honeymoon in hawaii or going snowboarding. i'm telling you, the mind is seriously amazing. the imagery really helped me cope with the pain.
at noon my OB came by, i was maybe 3cm dilated. still not much progress. she said she'd come back in a few hours to check again. at 12:30pm i asked for the epidural so my nurse called for the anesthesiologist. she came by and said, "he's coming soon. btw, he's the best anesthesiologist here. he can epiduralize me anytime." that, was weird...but i gotta say, slightly creepy and sexually charged comment aside, i did feel better knowing that he had my nurse's vote of confidence. so by 1pm the anesthesiologist came. he was my savior. seriously, the whole procedure was done in 8 min. and after about 10-15 min., i had complete relief from the pain. i was scared of the epidural needle bc i've heard that it can really hurt. and it did hurt but it was bearable, a small price to pay to have relief from the contractions. after that, it was mostly an uneventful day. as in, no events happened that should've happened. as in, i did not dilate as i should have.
my OB came back around 5pm - i was about 4cm dilated. a far cry from the average dilation rate of 1cm/hour since i had been on the pitocin for 10 hours at this point. -_- she looked concerned by now - she said that she'd give me another 2 hours to see how things were going, but that based on her exam, it seemed that lana's head was not as far down as it should be. so for two hours, i literally prayed nonstop. i visualized my cervix opening and dilating (though i have no idea what my cervix looks like so i just pictured a hole getting bigger). at 7pm, my OB came and said i was maybe almost 5cm dilated. since i had made the most progress in the hours from 5-7, she said she'd give it a little more time. so then it was another two hours of praying and visualizing. but when the 9pm hour of reckoning came, it was disappointing news. i had not dilated much at all since 7pm. my OB said it was pretty abnormal for me to dilate this slowly, and she attributed it to lana's big head and her inability to come down into the pelvic cavity. she said she didn't want to resort to a c-section but that we might have no choice. she said she would think about it for a bit and come back. i was pretty upset at this point. i really never even fathomed that i'd have a c-section. my pregnancy had been very smooth, lana was super healthy, and everything had been textbook till this point. plus, i was looking forward to giving birth naturally (as in vaginally, not sans drugs, of course). it really felt to me like a rite of passage that i wanted to go through in becoming a mom. my mom and sh were there to assure me that whatever happened, it was for lana's best interest, and that everything would be fine. and i knew that. but it's still hard to deal with a change in course when for months and months you had thought the delivery would go a certain (non c-section) way.