Friday, November 1, 2013

A baby (boy) story -- at the hospital

{Here's part 1}
{Here's part 2}

A common theme in all those birth stories I listened to was that the car ride to the hospital was particularly awful. I was no exception to this trend, especially since my "movement" weapon was gone. My moaning and groaning got a little louder, and I tried desperately to use my hands to put pressure on my hips, which I'm pretty sure were splitting apart at that point. Dallin ran a red light and probably kind of went over the speed limit. And let's be honest, he was probably pretty happy about it.

So we got to the hospital and got buzzed in through the locked doors and the lady checking people in was like "Can I help you?" and we're like "Um...we're having a baby" or something awkward like that. Looking back on this check-in process is hilarious to me, because I compare it to Charly's, when I was pretty composed, sitting down, answering the questions calmly, and so on. Everyone was taking their sweet time. This time, I didn't sit down, I made Dallin squeeze my hips most of the time, and I feel like I was kind of grunting out the answers to her questions. That all added up to her hurrying quite a bit, and calling in the triage nurse while we were still answering questions.

The triage nurse came in and was like "Can I help you?" and I wanted to say "What in the WORLD, people?! This is the maternity ward at a hospital! So let's just assume that if a very pregnant woman and her husband come in at 2 AM and the woman is groaning and stomping and making her husband do something weird like press on her hips every couple minutes, she's probably at least considering having a baby sometime soon."

But I didn't say that. Chicken is what I am. What I said was "Um...we're having a baby," because apparently that is the standard answer to that silly question.

Okay so, triage. There was no way they were sending us home, so I wasn't worried about that at all. I got changed and hooked up to things and checked and was at "7 cm with a bulging bag." My contractions were textbook regular and pretty intense. At that point, I think everyone was pretty sure that this baby was coming within a couple hours, at the most. Everyone moved quickly, my doctor was called, Dallin called several people (and tweeted, of course. #nerd) the epidural guy was notified, I got an IV started, all that fun stuff. And all the while I'm moaning and groaning through my contractions. So attractive.

We get to the room and the epidural guy comes in. He asks me some questions, one of which is "Do your gums bleed easily? Or do you bruise easily?"

And I was like, "Define easily."

And he was like "Like if you barely hit your leg, will you get a bruise?"

And I was like "Sometimes I get bruises without hitting my leg."

And he was like, "Okay, we need to wait for your bloodwork to get back to make sure an epidural won't kill you. Half an hour, okay? Keep groaning."

And Dallin was like, "Half an hour, that's only 15 more contractions!"

And I was like, "Shut up."

Can I just say, though -- Dallin was a labor coach champ. For reals, guys. I know better than anyone else what a great guy he is, and I was even surprised. He was very concerned, very caring, and very encouraging. He quoted "Nacho Libre" to make me laugh. He told me I looked pretty. He asked the hospital people every question that needed to be asked, and helped me stay calm and think straight and make important decisions. He put pressure on my hips and held my hand and kissed my forehead. He was my hero, for reals.

So we held out for "only" 15 more contractions. Give or take. Let's be honest, I wasn't counting them. Although I did keep a pretty close watch on the clock -- not necessarily keeping track of time, but because me and my hippie friends also believe in focal points/visualization, and watching the second hand on the clock seemed to help a little bit.

My mom and sister arrived, and pretty much just hung out on the couch while things were still hard. We talked a bit in between contractions, I was checked again and was at an 8, everyone told me how bad-A I was, etc. That may have just been in my head, come to think of it...but I did feel pretty awesome.

In all honesty, I think I went far enough without pain meds to understand (finally) why someone might want to go au naturel. It's pretty empowering. I mean, I didn't even push the baby out and I felt pretty hard core, if I do say so myself.

But I think, when it comes down to it for me, an epidural just makes sense. Minimize the pain so you can be a little more present (and pleasant) during the experience. As long as you feel safe doing so (which I ultimately do, despite my fears), why not get it?

Which is why, when the nurse anesthetist came in and said my platelet count was plenty high for him to feel comfortable giving me the meds, that I was ready for them. Dallin wasn't feeling quite up to the challenge (I guess the wounds of the last time hadn't quite healed for him yet), so he waited outside and allowed my mom to be my epidural support.

And guess what? It went about as smoothly as it could. I was able to hold still, I only had one contraction come while I was "assuming the position," I was more than ready for the prick and for the pressure and especially for the relief that came almost immediately.

Once the epidural was in, it was pretty much just a waiting game. It was still the middle of the night, so we were all trying to sleep as much as we could. I remember feeling super guilty that Dallin, my mom, and my sister were all trying to sleep on the couch, and they were all freezing (blankets were hard to come by). Despite everyone being so sure that things were going to go super quickly, since I was so far along and all, Parker had other plans. It took a couple hours to get to a 9, and then every time they checked me they kept mentioning how close I was to being complete, but how the baby's positioning was off just enough to stave off pushing time.

Which brings me to my water. Oh that stubborn bag of waters. I kept hoping that it would break, because I was just so sure that that would fix everything and I could have this baby. (With Charly, I was stuck at a 5 all night, and then they broke my water and she was born in an hour). I was seriously laying there literally praying that my water would break, so I could just meet my baby already. This may not seem like an important detail...but as you'll soon see, it really, really was.

And well, my water didn't break. But we did, finally, at about 9:30 AM, get to the point where we were ready to push. I didn't really feel the pushing pressure like I had with the girls, but they said we could push and I wasn't complaining.

As they got everything set up, I pulled out my phone and jotted down a few thoughts:

"In hospital bed. About to have baby. So excited, a little scared. Dallin was my hero during labor. I'm excited to meet this little guy. I hope he looks like his dad. I hope he grows up strong and brave. I hope I can teach him to be a gentleman. I hope his sisters love him. I hope I can be a good mommy of three, and a good mommy to a boy."

It was go time.


  1. Aw. Loving your novel. I've gone natural and had an epidural. They both have their place. Dallin was a champ. You were a champ. I'm all about the movement too. And oh ridiculous hospital people! I think it is absurd. Yes, its 2 in the morning, I'm huge, moaning, and hee hee whoing with my breaths. Isn't it obvious?! Can't they just check you in and fill out the paperwork later?!

  2. Haha, was this at Banner Gateway by chance? I walked in literally dripping water everywhere and they were like, "Can I help you?" Uh, yeah. My water broke? See it? All over the floor?

    I can't wait to hear if you delivered him in the caul!

  3. I can't wait for you to bring in the good ol' water bag in your next segment. I'm holding my breath over here!


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