Monday, June 28, 2010

Grace's Birth Story, part two

(I have decided to just write this post in small dribs and drabs because to find the time and the brain power to actually sit down and write out everything in a well thought out post is seeming impossible)

By about 7:00 a.m. or so, Mister and I both agreed to give up on the sleep thing, seeing as we were too excited and, any time now they'd be coming in to start prepping me for surgery. It wasn't a happy, jittery type of excitement, though. It was more of an I-feel-sort-of-numb-because-this-is-all-too-much-to-take-in sort of crazy, weird excitement. I don't know how to explain it. You'd think I'd be freaking PSYCHED. But I was very in-the-moment...which is weird for me. It was very much like, ok, now: I'm having a contraction. It's a little one. Now: I'm feeling calm. Now: I can hear more activity out on the ward. Now: I am thirsty.

Oh yeah, thirsty. Gawd. They wouldn't let me eat or drink anything all night. Off-limits since I was about to have surgery. Ohhhh I was so thirsty, and probably from the combo of the drugs they had given me and my nervousness, and the horrible crying jags of the day before, I was sooo thirsty! I had the Worst taste in my mouth. I was afraid I would knock out the next nurse that got near me with my vaporous halitosis. If only I had known they were going to make me wait till morning for the surgery, I would have chugged a gallon of water on the car ride to the hospital. Guck. So I sneaked a mini Altoid. Shh. Don't tell.

But I digress.

So, as Mister and I were both awake, we decided to get down to the business of picking a name for this child once and for all. And, since Mister is the awesome geek that he is, he already had a spreadsheet going of our top picks. So, he pulled out his laptop and we got to work. We had a short list of girls names, and we agreed then and there on the one we both equally liked, and paired it with a middle name that funnily enough was a family name for both of us (both of our sisters have the same name). It sounded pretty and I liked it. I sort of saw it as just another thing to check off the list (gotta have a name picked out for boy and girl) but not really that critical, because I was SURE I was having a boy. So we agonized over the boys name. We had a much longer list of favorites as well as middle name choices. There were more names that we both equally liked so it made it a bit harder. I really, really liked the name Liam. Also, it is a Celtic (or Gaelic?) version of William, which is my father's middle name (may he rest in peace) and he always went by his middle name any way so--I thought it was nice. And another name we had really liked, though we knew it was a little popular at the moment was Nathaniel. I also love that it means 'Gift from God' as this little miracle that was about to be born surely was. So we chose it for the middle name. Liam Nathaniel.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grace's Birth Story, part one

April 9th was a very weird day.

It was a Friday--and exactly one week before my scheduled C-section. I had plans to move out of my work studio over the weekend, and then to spend the rest of the following week relaxing and just getting ready for our hospital stay. I was incensed and determined to get the house CLEAN once and for all. I knew I was running out of energy, and time, to get the house somewhat dust and pet-dander free, and somewhat organized before the Big Arrival. And, depressingly, the baby's room was still not finished. I had a lot to do.

But, for some reason, Handsome Man was having one of those days. One of those days where he just haaad to get into everything. It seemed like every stride I made toward getting things clean, at least one new mess was created behind me when I wasn't looking. And I was an emotional wreck. I can see now it must have been my hormones going completely bonkers. But at the time I was just frustrated and despondent (and exhausted) beyond belief and felt that nothing was going right. Toward the end of the day, after Handsome Man had managed to find, and pour out, an entire bottle of bubble solution (someone had given us this as a gift, idiots) all over the carpet I had just vacuumed, I had totally lost it. And I had at least two more hours before Mister made it home from work. I had to call a neighbor friend to come take H.M. for a while because I couldn't stop crying hysterically. I was a complete basket case.

When my friend came over (God bless her) I got in my car and drove down the street, parked it, and just cried my eyes out until I had gotten it all out. (Which took a while). In the meantime Mister made it home and took over--totally puzzled by my state when I came back. He got H.M. to bed, and I decided it would be in my best interest to eat something. Finally, by about ten o'clock, I decided to throw in the towel, put an end to the day, and climb into bed to get some much needed rest.

But as soon as my head hit the pillow, I felt a strange 'twinge' down in my nether regions--sort of like a guitar string popping. And it hurt. Which made me tense up. And when I tensed up, a little bit of pee came out, which was a pretty common occurrence at that point in my pregnancy. I went to the bathroom, and went pee some more, only, it was strange... it just kept trickling out. I went back to the bedroom, and as I lifted my leg to put on a fresh pair of undies, fluid came squirting out down my leg and onto the floor (sorry, tmi). I went back to the bathroom, thinking 'wow, I really have NO bladder control now!' But by the time I made it back to the bathroom, it was pretty obvious this was not pee. It kept streaming out of me. Back in the bedroom, I said to my sleeping husband, "I think we need to go to the hospital. I think my water just broke." He didn't even lift his head from the pillow, being so tired from a long week of work and commuting, and said, "Are you sure it's not just pee?"

"Yes. I'm absolutely sure."

Then we started rushing around the house, throwing things into a bag. I took a shower, because I wasn't sure when I'd have another chance. We grabbed a sleeping Handsome Man, and put him in the car. I called the hospital on the way there. (And they told me to come right in). During the 30 minute car ride, as I sat on a pile of towels, completely gushing now, I started getting contractions. Now I was a little scared too, because I wasn't feeling the baby move at all. By the time we pulled up to the hospital the contractions were getting stronger, and when Mister asked me to help him find the sign for the Labor and Delivery parking lot, I said, through gritted teeth, "I'm a little preoccupied over here....!"

Once inside we were taken to a small room, where I was hooked up to the fetal heart monitor and another monitor for my contractions. A nurse gave me an exam and told me I was not dilated at. all. Which because I was breech, was pretty normal. Or at least that's the gist. All I know is, I sure wasn't feeling very good. And I was already exhausted. They called the doctor on call--Dr. G.. (the same doctor who I used to see before I switched over to Doctor Wunnerful. The same doctor who had, four years earlier, performed my D&C in this very same hospital.) Dr. G. had just gotten off shift, and the nurses asked if I felt ok with waiting until 8 a.m. for my C-section. They would give me drugs to keep the contractions at bay until then. I figured it would be better to wait and have a doctor who's fresh and has had some sleep perform my surgery, and it would be better to try and get some sleep, one last time, before I became a mother of two.

My friend, T., was so kind, and met us there, and took Handsome Man home back to our house so Mister could stay there over night with me. They promised us a room where we both could sleep. Only, we waited for what seemed like forever. And after finally getting into our comfy room, sleep was somewhat elusive. Despite the fact that I had been given (or so I thought) drugs to reduce contractions, and pain meds, they were coming harder, faster, closer together. Finally, I rang the nurse. She hooked me back up to monitor my contractions, and a few minutes later returned and said, yes, I needed more meds. The meds. The meds made me feel yucky too. Shaky and gross. These were the same meds they had given me the previous week when Dr. K. had attempted the 'version' to turn the baby. Icky icky ick. Add to this the fact that it seemed like someone was coming in there every 5 minutes to check this or do that, and sleep was not on the menu. For either of us.

Luckily, despite my earlier crazed emotional state, despite the fact that there was a mountain of things I wanted to get done before the baby came, a mountain of things that would now obviously not be getting done, Iw as strangely calm by this point. I just submitted. I was still a little scared about the surgery. I tried not to think about it. Did I really have a choice? Plus, after what little sampling I had just gotten of labor, I thought maybe having a c-section wouldn't be so bad.