Monday, last week, I woke up to no hot water. I had a doctor's appointment and was pretty pissed off that there was no hot water, and later that day, no water at all. I was irritable and cranky. My appointment went great, except that my blood pressure was up a bit. There goes that one thing that was going well in my pregnancy. They drew some blood and set me up with a 24-hour urine test (not fun). Roger and I ate an early dinner in Fargo, then went home. I didn't feel great and was still cranky. I had to stay home on Tuesday and had planned to go into school and get the last day's work done for the semester. But, I was to be a couch potato and pee into a cup then pour that into a jug that sat in the refrigerator.
So that's what I did on Tuesday. I called my friend Tiffany to bitch about being at home and still being pregnant. I was miserably uncomfortable and frustrated about having to stay home. I was ready to have that baby! And, I guess I was--or close, anyway. Roger and I toured the daycare and signed unnamed baby Skophammer to start in August. We looked at the perfect little house for us, which happens to be available and affordable. We drove back home so I could collect my urine. As I was going to the bathroom, I had an extremely painful contraction and then a gush of fluid came out of me. Yes, my water finally had broken! I got dressed and Roger and I stopped for gas and food, and another trip home for me to change my clothes--there can be a lot of fluid that gushes out!!
We ate on the way to Fargo. We got to Sandford and went up to the birthing center. They tested the liquid and sure enough it was amniotic fluid. I was admitted. My doula, Jill arrived. We called family to share our news.
I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself for a long time. Upon arrival, my blood pressure spiked to 180/108, which is way to high. I got some meds for that and was told I had to stay lying on my back. I had such high hopes of labor in the jacuzzi tub or walking to ease some pain, or even sitting on a rocking chair or a birthing ball, but no! I was on my back on the delivery bed. I managed with NO pain medicine at all for about six hours. Then the pain became excruciating...I was dilated to 7 centimeters by then and the contractions got much, much stronger and more intense. I finally relented and took some kind of drug that made me feel extremely intoxicated. I warned people that I may not be in control of what I would say. My mom showed up around then. I was feeling pretty good for a while, but meds don't last forever. I took a second dose and it barely took the edge off any pain. When the contractions got on top of one another, I couldn't handle it. Had I been mobile, there were a bunch of techniques to try, but since I was flat on my back...I had to get the epidural--my second biggest nightmare. I was brave and got it put in and it felt good. Or it felt like not much of anything, which is the point. I was proud of myself for letting them put that in, but disappointed that I even needed it in the first place.
At 6 a.m., 12 hours after my water broke, I was able to start pushing. I could feel this hardness and tried with all my might to squeeze it out. After trying for 2 hours, Dr. Tinguley checked my progress...and there was little. There was a head trying to get through. She tried to help the baby out, only to find that it was stuck and could not get out through vaginal birth. I had to have a C-Section (biggest nightmare!). I was pumped full of numbing meds in my epidural. I vaguely remember signing consent forms and being wheeled into the OR. I thought I was going to fall off the operating table. Thankfully, Mark, the nurse anesthetist was wonderful and answered all my dumb and not so dumb questions. I saw some anxiety in Roger's face, which made me worry anymore. This was the one thing we wanted to avoid at all costs. The surgery went quickly. I heard Dr. Tinguley call for immediate help to push the baby's head back in and get it out! I heard a small voice say, "There he is." I looked at Roger and said "It's a boy? I was sure it was a girl." I didn't hear any baby noises though. Those 20 seconds were the longest in my life. I finally heard some GOOD screams! I was so happy I was crying. Roger had tears. It was amazing. I got to meet the baby for a minute before he was swept to the nursery with Roger for some testing. I couldn't stop crying. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I was over the moon in love with him immediately.
I was sewn up and returned to my birthing room. My mom, Jill and Roger were all waiting for me. I had to wait a little longer for Roger Thomas's arrival. He weighed 6 pounds 6 ounces...he was so tiny. When Dr. Tinguley talked to us, she said that my sacrum is tilted and prohibited his birth. I could never have a vaginal birth. I would always have to have a C-Section. She had no idea it would be this way. She said she was sorry several times, but she had no way of knowing. I was just happy to be recovering and to have a beautiful baby boy. It was the best moment of my life. It was all so worth every second of pain and anxiety to meet little RT.
Stay tuned for the next installment--RT's harrowing first days...
We are home and all are healthy and on the road to long lives as a loving family. Life is really, really good right now!