Newborn Lily Newborn Lily 2

JULY 11, 2008:

At 3:41am, my first real contraction began. At 3:42am this morning, my water broke. Called the hospital, the doc said for me to take a hot shower to feel better while the water broke. Did not feel any more contractions until about an hour and a half later. Now, they are approximately 20 minutes apart. Hospital wants me to come in to be assessed. The “water” is a light pink color, perfectly normal.

Neither of us have slept yet. Dave got a couple of hours in just now, but it was more difficult for me, especially since the contractions started happening. We’re going to the hospital after I eat some breakfast. We’ll see what happens from here.

Update @ 10am: Just got back from the hospital, after two hours of assessment. I’m 1 cm dilated, and in “early labor.” Still “leaking” water. Contractions are now 5 minutes apart. I can walk around and eat and stuff and am told to come back to the hospital in a couple of hours to continue with labor, unless things progress more quickly than that.

Update @ 12pm: Gonna take a shower, eat some food, and then head back to the hospital. Contractions are coming harder and stronger now. Mucus plug just exited. Couldn’t go back to sleep. Absolutely exhausted.

CONTINUATION (on July 16, 2008):

So, a little unexpected change of events in regards to Baby Bean’s birth. We went into the hospital on the 11th, very early in the morning, thinking she was going to be born that day. She was actually born on the 12th, at 2:03pm. Yup, you heard right. Over 24 hours later.

So here goes my labor story.

I went into what’s considered “hard labor” for 21 hours. It took approximately that long for me to get from 1cm dilation to 10cm dilation. By the end of it, it was already the 12th, exactly her due date. At about 7cm dilation, I was having hardcore contractions almost continuously, but I wasn’t ready to give birth naturally. I asked for medication because it literally felt like I was dying, being ripped apart from the legs. The pain was sharp, intense, and nothing I’ve imagined before. I couldn’t walk, my bladder stopped working, and I could barely move. Still, I was in the delivery room walking it off, thinking it was going to make it better. It sort of did, but not completely. So I asked for drugs. The doc gave me morphine first, then gas. The gas didn’t do shit for me. The morphine relaxed me but didn’t take away the pain. I became extremely tired and sleepy (still hadn’t slept since the day before, since we were such night owls to begin with). According to Dave and Sylv (my mother-in-law, who was present during the time), I was very good-natured, still cracking jokes, and was very nice to the both of them. Go figure. They were both very impressed and proud at how well I handled body-ripping pain. I cried once, that I remembered, because it was so overwhelming. And Dave was so good. He helped me walk around, massaged me whenever I asked, followed me around so I wouldn’t teedle over (a few times I almost did), helped me to the bathroom, etc. He was like a hawk over me, and it was clear that he was very anxious and nervous but kept it well at bay for my sake.

Anyway, morphine in, very tired and sleepy but still feeling the pain, I asked for the doctor to give me something more — the infamous epidural. By that time, I was going into 8 centimeters, and the contractions were almost on top of each other. Still no sign of actual “pushing time” yet. They assigned a permanent nurse to me to watch me and hook me up. I got the epidural and was numb from the waist down. The back aches went away (I had some back labor pains — those were soooo intense I was tearing up all the time), the contraction pains went away. The contractions continued. I still felt Bean move vigorously throughout all of this. It was like she was saying to me, “MAKE WAY, MOMMY! I’M COMING!… I just need to figure out where the goddamn door is.”

I should also mention that my water continued to break during this time, and the mucus plug finally executed itself around 3pm on the 11th, during the “mild” contractions (trust me, they weren’t that “mild”).

Went through the night of the 11th with these continued pains, bed-riddened, hooked up to every possible temperature machine, heart rate machine, blood pressure machine known to man. I have a heart murmur, so my heart rate was watched vigorously, as well as Bean’s. At approximately 6am on the 12th (her actual due date), my doctor said I was 8 centimeters. That was only 14 hours into “hard labor,” if you can believe it.

New doctor came on shift at approximately 8am on the 12th, as well as a new nurse assigned to my room, and the hospital had also called Dr. V-L on duty for me, who is a c-section specialist and obstetrician. They all came in to introduce themselves, and I was told that they were preparing for a possible C-section if needed. I was confused, but accepted it.

I dozed in and out of sleep, the epidural suddenly ran out, and I felt the back labor and the contractions again. At friggin’ 9.5 centimeters. OH MY GOD I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO HELL. For approximately an hour and a half, the 9.5 cm dilation labor contractions were all felt. With no way to know when I was going to reach 10 centimeters. I was told I could not push (and I did not yet feel the urge to push either). The anesthesiologist was called and he re-administered the epidural. Bliss again. He didn’t do much of it, though, because I was supposed to feel the first dose wear off in time to push through for the actual birthing labor, when the time comes.

I dozed into sleep again. At about 11am, I woke up to lots of commotion. I was still in the delivery bed. The nurse on duty told me that I had run a high fever and Bean’s heart rate had suddenly plummeted to 60 bpm. She had told me to switch to the opposite position on my side, and I did. It made Bean’s heart rate back to normal, but my temperature was still a concern. It continued to fluctuate back and forth between normal and concerning, apparently. The doc on duty and the c-section doc both came in every 10 minutes to check how I was doing. The c-section doc finally said to me that my temperature posed a risk of infection for both myself and for Bean, and if I didn’t reach 10 centimeters soon, she will be forced to make the executive decision to give me a c-section in order to save the both of us. It wasn’t really registering what she was telling me. I told her to make whatever decision she thought was best to ensure both of our healths.

At about 1:30pm, Dr. V-L (the c-section specialist) told me that I was at 10 centimeters, and that she needed me to push. Dave and Sylv got into positions at both my side, I was raised onto my back, with my legs spread, and both of them holding onto either one. I pushed as if my life depended on it. The doc saw Bean’s head, but there was no time for me to do the natural possible 2-hour labor, given the risk of infection because of my high temp and my body weakening from the long labor contractions. Doc said she was going to try to use forceps to help me. She tried, but it was obvious that my pushing wasn’t going to produce Bean any time soon. She said, “I’m sorry, Helen, I’m going to have to give you a caesarean.” I said “GO FOR IT.” I started crying, and Dave kissed me and said I was doing so well, and that he loved me.

They prepped me. Boy, there must have been around 50 people (or so it felt) rushing in and out, all female hospital staff, all dressed in hospital blue gear, prepping me for the c-section over the next 3 minutes. It was so fast, it made me scared, but at the same time it made me confident that they knew what they were doing. I was moved into another stretcher, moved to the 2nd floor of the hospital (the operating floor, I was told), and given a spinal anesthetic to prepare for the operation. Dave came with, but Sylv had to stay back. I was put on the operating table, completely numb and didn’t feel ANYTHING — not even pressure — from the neck down. In fact, I only felt pressure in my arms and neck, and I became very light-headed. And very, very, very frightened. I kept asking for Dave, and they finally let him in, after he was dressed into blue gear as well. He kissed me, told me he loves me, that I am doing so well. I teared up again, and told him I love him too. He held my hand, and as we were both really frightened, all of a sudden, we heard it.

A soft, yet firm and pissed-off-at-the-friggin’-world meow of a cry. Our baby’s cry. We both gasped at the same time, and both started crying. They said, “A baby girl! Here she is!!” Dave got up, took a video of literally her first (within) two minutes of life. They let me hold her momentarily with him, and then the two of them were taken back up to the maternity ward, where Dave held her for the next hour while the nurses did her vitals and measured and weighed her. I was still in the operating floor, being sewn up, and then I had to stay there for another hour and a half recovering until I could move my legs again.

I stayed in the hospital for the next 3 days. Bean is a beautiful, healthy baby girl. 6 lbs 10 oz. I am so proud of her. She was 20.5 inches long, though now she is a little shorter (since her cone head from being pushed through the birthing canal has gone down). She and I spent the next 3 days getting to know each other, in between lots of nurses visiting us, lots of doctors visiting us, and lots of family and friends visiting us.

She currently had jaundice, so we had to stay an extra day while she “suntanned” in this weird blue lighted bassinet bed at the hospital. We just got home today. She is a very outspoken, looouuuddd little baby girl, unafraid of telling the world what she really thinks. Hehe. I am sooo proud (although sometimes when she hollers like that, it really breaks my heart because her yelps are so loud and angry). Dave is absolutely in love. IN LOVE, I tell you. He can’t stop looking at her, refuses to let anyone else hold her (hehe), and just constantly is talking to her. The new love of his life. His “daddy instincts” kicked in the second she was born. She can’t have a better or more worthy protector in this life. Bean also seems to know who he is. Every time he calls her name, she stops crying (well, mostly every time, unless she’s looking for a certain boob), and looks directly towards him. The two of them are quite a pair. Father and daughter. I’m in deep trouble, aren’t I? Hehe.

Dave says she looks exactly like me. You be the judge when I post these pictures of her. She has very round, chubby cheeks, beautiful big dark blue (!!!!) eyes with brown specks in them, the cutest, most perfect rosebud lips, and the cutest little button nose. A full set of dark dark dark brown (almost black?) hair. Long fingers, like her mother’s. Long toes, like her father’s (“Look at them monkey toes!!”).