Monday, March 24, 2008

Birth Story Carnival-Ride #1

Thanks to Lotus for this great idea!

The Arrival of Little Man

It was Memorial Weekend 2006. We spent time hanging out with friends in the Florida sun. This was the weekend that my mysterious rash started showing up in the middle of the night. The only thing that would stop the itching and burning of the swollen red patches was to submerge the afflicted area in super cold water. The next two weeks entailed me and Daddy waking in the middle of the night to me itching and crying. My fabulous nurse midwife prescribed some meds that would help with the itching but one evening I had this weird feeling it was sedating Little Man, which was really what the “anti-itch” ingredient did for me. While driving to the ER he began kicking again; to tell me to go back to sleep probably.

About two weeks before my due date my cervix was “swept” at my request and my midwife agreed based on the situation with the inexplicable rash and my increasing discomfort due to it. A sweep is defined as:

Membrane sweeping is done by your midwife or doctor. While internally examining you, he or she will simply "sweep" a finger around the neck of your womb (cervix). The aim is to separate the membranes around your baby from your cervix. This releases hormones called prostaglandins, which may kick-start your labor. A membrane sweep increases the likelihood that labor will start within 48 hours. It has a higher chance of working if the neck of your womb is already softening and preparing for labor. It does not increase the risk of infection to either you or your baby.

This is a debated topic and you will find varying opinions. My midwife told me if I am ready I will be in labor within 24 hours but she highly doubted it would work. I told her I would see her tomorrow. She laughed.

Although Little Man was due to arrive around the end of June but on June 17th I woke around 4am the day after my sweep with what we had affectionately named “The Rash” and went to the office to work. I went back to bed and woke around 9am to some back pain. Lots of back pain. Took a shower. Didn’t tell Daddy yet. More pain. Sit. Stand. Walk. Told Daddy. Three minutes apart! Called my midwife at the hospital. This is where I have to remind Daddy’s grandmother that not all midwives work in the woods; some work in hospitals with doctors. I will not delivery this baby on newspaper in a box.

Patty tells me to call later if still in pain. I was at her office within an hour. The hour included me crying and trying to eat jello; then I remembered in birthing class they said one symptom of labor is nausea. Regular back pain, check. Nausea, check. Get to the hospital and get examined. I was only dilated to a 2 and 70% effaced. I was told to go home. You. Have. To. Be. Kidding. Get in the car. Hit the dash with each knife twist in my lower back. I thought labor pains were supposed to move? At home darling Daddy hurries to get work done; thank God we work together at home. Daddy gets work done and pack the bags. The day includes more crying, sitting on the birthing ball, leaning on counters and watching the clock. Still three minutes apart. By 5pm I am done; this cannot go on. We are at the hospital by 5:30. I am checked in and this is where it gets a little fuzzy. I am still only dilated to about a 2 and 70%; I am not progressing.

I am admitted and begin to vomit. A nurse comes in to give me an IV of anti-throw up meds. She must have been a new nurse; how many times can you poke me arm. I was a little cranky at this point and when the “IV specialist” comes in I asked “can you get it in one try?”. I was kind of kidding. Kind of. I hear one of the nurses say to another under her breath that vomiting usually does not occur until you are further dilated….ok…you girls hear me yet? This baby is ready I don’t care how wide the door is, he is knocking.

What seems like hours pass and Patty finally arrives. She only has one other patient tonight in the room next to me so she will be hopping back and forth. For those that do not know about midwives let me tell you this. They are fabulous. When we moved to Florida in 2004 I needed a new OBGYN. I was referred to a particular office that had OBs and Midwives and chose an OB. After all I need a “doctor”. I soon learned that one particular midwife delivered about 90% of all children in my neighborhood…and there were a lot of kids in this hood of 1400 homes. I had the opportunity to switch to the midwives and took it. Thank god. More on Patty in a bit.

Patty arrives and I ask here where in the hell she has been. She laughed because she knows how funny I am. I did not laugh. Epidural Man arrives after Daddy heads to get the bags from the car. Daddy later tells me he kind of planned it that way; he was not sure he could watch. It took a few attempts to get the epi in my back; I guess I was not cooperating. Epi man gave me a little motivation when he said “honey, this is your last chance, I have other patients I need to tend you so if you want this you better bend over”. I did. I instantly felt like I was back at my sister’s first wedding on the beach in Puerto Rico…dos curevos frio por favor!”

Still not progressing. I am informed they need to break my water. A little discomfort and suddenly I have wet the bed; please change my sheets. Watch and wait. Time passes. Patty tells me I will know when it is time. Here we go let’s push. Either I wasn’t doing it right or Little Man wasn’t ready, after pushing for about an two hours we still weren’t progressing. Patty instructed me to take a break and try again in a few minutes. I am later told that after two hours of pushing with an OB I would have been taken for a C-section; thank you midwifery! I took a little siesta while Daddy and Patty talked for 45 minutes! Remember when I said midwives are awesome? Patty was with us the whole time! She talked with us, rubbed my back with essential oils, played music, dimmed the lights and encouraged me. I wake and realize that it was not time to push earlier, it is now.

I am starting to appreciate the fact that I worked out up until the last week of pregnancy; I am not sure I could have pushed that long without the site up improvement. It took Little Man 5 hours of pushing to come out. That is why you had back labor mama! He was sunny side up! Silly boy. Here comes my cone headed boy. Patty puts a cap on him so I don’t see what looks like a Dan Akroyd in the Cone People skit on SNL.
7.9 lbs and tons of red hair (that will soon turn on me to blonde) have arrived. We laugh, we cry, and we call our nationwide network of family. He is here!

Lee Memorial Hospital in Ft. Myers is awesome. We were taken to our private recovery suite with bed for Daddy and Jacuzzi tub. I am wired. Can’t sleep. We keep Little Man with us at all times. I nurse and sleep. Nurse and
cuddle. Reality sets in. It is Friday and we run our own business. Daddy plops the laptop on the bed desk; charge the cards mama, we have to pay for this somehow! I am watching Little Man sleep while I e-mail some of our distributors; what are you doing they say you just had a baby! I know but I can’t sleep and probably never will again. I am filled with joy and anxiety. Almost three years later I still am.

We take Little Man home on a sunny summer day in Florida. He left the hospital a little jaundice and did not improve when we got home. I stopped nursing because he just wasn’t eating. You have to poop the biliruben out bud; better start eating! Back to the hospital after a few days so he can get a tan in the bili bed. Feelings of regret; should I not have asked to be swept? No time for that, there will be plenty of time to second guess my parenting in the years to come.

The Van Zant song below was playing on our radio when we took G home…appropriate.

I was raised on the westside shanty town

I didn't get up until the sun went down
When your back's against the wall
You better get tough
You learn real quick how to swing and duck.

Chorus:I was born in the sweet hot Florida sunshine
Good lookin' women backwoods and moonshine
Learned more about life on the streets then in the school
My sweet mama didn't raise no fool. (That's right.)

Some folks cheat and some folks lie
But I can judge a man from the look in his eye
Don't hand me Jack and try to call it cola
I know the difference between shit and shinola.

Chorus:I was born in the sweet hot Florida sunshine
Good lookin' women backwoods and moonshine
Learned more about life on the streets then in the school
My sweet mama didn't raise no fool. (That's right.)
(I'm talking about mama, oh sweet mama.)

Mama was no angel but she taught me right from wrong
She knew every single word and every single note of every song
She taught me how to gamble, how to roll the dice
If it makes you feel good do it don't think twice.

Chorus:I was born in the sweet hot Florida sunshine
Good lookin' women backwoods and moonshine
Learned more about life on the streets then in the school
My sweet mama didn't raise no fool. (That's right.)

Chorus:I was born in the sweet hot Florida sunshine
Good lookin' women backwoods and moonshine
Learned more about life on the streets then in the school
My sweet mama didn't raise no fool. (That's right.)

Talkin' about my sweet mama
Mama didn't raise no fool...


Law Student Hot Mama said...

Intense! I'm impressed you pushed that long. My kid was sunny-side up, too . . . all 9 lbs. 6 oz. of him. I didn't need the C, but I had to do the vacuum! (But he wasn't coneheaded!)

A Buns Life said...

I've had my membranes stripped 4 times....I have two children. If they aren't ready to come, stripping your membranes isn't going to do a darn thing. He was ready to come, even if it seemed like maybe he wasn't. You are tiny and he was your first. Stripping your membranes had nothing to do with it.

Marie said...

Exercise makes a HUGE difference for me. Wish I'd gotten off my butt more with #1.

Where are you in FL? I lived in St. Pete for three years and never saw any good-looking women (except when I looked in the mirror of course haha), backwoods, or moonshine. :P

Jenni said...

It's amazing how many women dilate to 10 but are not ready to push. When you get that urge, there's no stopping!

I'm so glad your MW let you wait it out!