The Birth Story of Miss Eleanor Joyce (PART I)November 23, 2014
It was an eventful and anxious few days leading up to Ella’s birthday.
I’d gone to see Dr. T and we came to a mutual decision to move my induction day up for ‘better safe than sorry’ reasons.
I’d wanted so badly to go into labor naturally… not only because I was convinced it was healthier, but I also wanted that organic experience; I wanted the thrill of having to time contractions at home and contacting everyone to surprise them with ‘IT’S BABY TIME!’ news.
But alas, my induction was scheduled for 40weeks2days.
I dared my body to go into labor before then.
Labor never came. What we WERE surprised with instead was a scary diagnosis for Adry. I’d taken him to the doctor a few times for a persistent cough and swabs came up with nothing. Finally, as a precaution since my son is fully vaccinated, one of the doctors did a pertussis swab and put him on a Z-pak. THANK GOD she did, because it came back positive. *Freak Out Freak Out* I was about to give birth to a brand new human with a brand new immune system and my 6-year-old son had just been diagnosed with freaking whooping cough. That totally stressed me out, so to help me feel better we got out markers and crayons and stickers and had ourselves a surgical mask decorating party a few nights before Ella came.
I woke up at 3AM on November 4th to prepare for my 4:30AM induction.
I was thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong and I was so nervous!
When it was time to leave for the hospital I woke Adry up to take him with us in his PJs and a pillow in tow. I naively thought he’d be so tired he’d nap while we were there. Hah. As soon as I tapped him on the shoulder he sprung out of bed and exclaimed, “IT’S TODAY! ELLA IS COMING TODAY!” It’s the day he’d been waiting for and dreaming about for nearly 1/6th of his life. This was an infinitely more exciting day for him than Christmas was or will ever be.
We got to the hospital. I was a ball of nerves. My stomach was churning. Why should I be so nervous, I thought. I’ve done this before. Oh, that’s probably why I’m so nervous- because I HAVE done this before.
They took me back to my room.
I undressed and put my hospital gown on.
I went to the bathroom and I could hear the woman in the room beside me through the walls. She was screaming in agony at the top of her lungs, “NO! NO! AAAAAH NO GOD PLEASE NOOOO AAAAH.”
Holy crap, what have I gotten myself into. Is there an undo?
And then I anxiously awaited my pitocin IV, which, I must say was probably the worst part of my whole experience.
Nurse #1 tried and dug couple of times. Float nurse tried and dug a couple of times. Got one in. Needle was too small. Had to remove it and try again. Anesthesiologist came up and looked at my veins and said, “well if they can’t get it I’ll get one in for you!” Ultrasound guy came up and gave me a shot of lidocaine and finally got a successful IV with the right gauge needle. By the time that was all over I had huge bruises and was in a lot of pain in both arms, and the damn IV hurt the whole time. Me and my veins are the worst with blood draws and IVs. The. Worst.
While we waited for the pitocin drip Mom gave me this pretty barrette to hold my hair back with during labor.
And Keithy also gave me a couple of gifts.
I have several lockets with pictures and charms and dried flower pedals that represent Adry and my memories with him, so Keithy got me this pretty little gold locket for Eleanor. He had her name engraved on it.
And he also got this little jewelry box to keep it in, and had that engraved as well.
I LOVED my gifts. SO much. And they were a great distraction as well.
Then came the pitocin and contractions.
Obviously not that bad at first.
Before too long I was feeling it a little.
At first I was very unsure about getting an epidural. I’d had a poor epidural experience with Adry- it was positional and I only felt the effects in my upper abdomen and the pain relief didn’t kick in ’til Adry moved and it was time to push and they had pumped so much medication in me I couldn’t feel a thing in order to push, yadda yadda that kind of thing. But I’d heard these lovely stories of ladies getting their epidurals and having such comfortable labor and delivery experiences… plus the anesthesiologist had a little chat with me and convinced me to give it another try. So before the contractions got too intense I decided just to get the whole needle in my back thing over with.
They kicked everyone out but Keithy. Just me n’ him. They had him put my hair net on for the little procedure. He stumbled around and put it on my face “on accident” and made me giggle. The nurse said, “Aw, at least you have someone who can make you laugh at a time like this.” I was nervous and for some reason I was uncontrollably shaking all over. But after a sting here, a pinch there, and the oddest uncomfortable sensation when they put the catheter in, it was done. They pumped me up with
magic medication and for the next several hours I had the most wonderful labor. I was numb, but not too numb; I could feel the contractions come and go but I wasn’t in any discomfort. It was amazing. I thought I was going to have the easiest labor ever.
And then the medicine wore off.
I had mistakenly made the decision to wait until I was in enough discomfort to warrant another dose of epidural medication. Gravely gravely mistaken. I let it go too long and by the time I called the anesthesiologist in for more pain medication it couldn’t keep up with the intense and quickly progressing labor. And that’s when I was so so thankful for my labor partners!
…To Be Continued