Madelyn Mary Jane, Part 2

We make it up to the Labor & Delivery floor and my pants are sopping wet.  I had gray sweat pants on, so it was totally noticeable that I was having issues.  I guess people don’t question that kind of thing when you’re at a hospital though.  Just my dear husband confirming that I was sitting on a towel in his precious car on the way there.

It’s nice because once you arrive at the hospital, you just go straight up on the elevator at the side entrance- they usually want you to bypass the ER because of whatever nasty bugs are hanging out there.  You still have to be buzzed in once you get to the floor, so it is very secure.

I got the very last room.  No joke.  They called in an extra nurse just for me (maybe she lied about that just to make me feel special, but that’s what the nurse told me when she came into my room).  They were doubling up on rooms later on for laboring moms.  Everyone wanted to have babies on March 23, I guess?  I just kept picturing the scene from Friends with Rachel and Janice sharing a room and laboring together.  No fucking way.  Either way, I’m glad I called my doctor first instead of just showing up on the L & D floor.  She called them immediately and had them save a room for me.  But I’ll tell you what – as soon as Madelyn made her entrance and they checked her out, they rushed us out of that room SO FAST to the mother/ baby floor.  Probably had a line a expectant mums waiting for mine…

So back to the sequence of events…they got me settled into my room.  They told me Dr. U wasn’t on the floor yet, so I knew the nurse was going to have to “check” me to see what I was dilated to.  I had talked to my Dr about this before, because some of the nurses are so rough.  She told me I could tell the nurses that they needed to wait until Dr. came in so that she could check me.  I determined at that point that it wasn’t worth the fight.  Who the fuck cares.  So, the nurse checked me, and I think I was 3 cm.  I was still spilling fluids out of me every time I moved a muscle.  I hated that part.  I mean, who wants to sit in their own amniotic fluid?  I felt like I was peeing all over myself.  I’d be cool with it if I had already been given my epidural, because then I wouldn’t be able to feel it.

Dr. U gets there eventually and stops in and asks how I’m doing and if I was ready for my epidural.  Heck yes!  Why not?  This was the most difficult part of my first labor/ delivery (just nervous, really).  She got the fluids going since they have to pump you full of them for a good 45 mins before they can start you on the epidural.

I had asked the nurse who the anesthesiologist on call was, because I couldn’t remember who I had last time but I know I liked him.  She rattled off a few names, but none of them sounded familiar.  I remembered that the Dr’s name had something related to The OC, but couldn’t place it.  Finally, the Dr walks in ready to stick my spine and says, “Hi Melissa, I’m Dr. Cohen” in this super deep, monotone voice.  HOLY SHIT!  Seth Cohen from the OC is going to perform my epidural!  And I said, “It’s you!  You did my epidural last time!  Your wife used to live on LaGrande!”…like that wasn’t creepy.  Last time we talked when Kenzie was born, he asked me where I worked (probably to get me comfortable with him sticking me in my spine), and I told him.  He was like, “Oh no way!  My wife grew up in that city on LaGrande!” and it kind of put me at ease.  So needless to say, I was thrilled that it was the same doctor.  This time, the needle went a little easier and I didn’t move as much because I knew what to expect.  Not sure why.  Who cares – last time ever, hopefully!  They even upgraded their equipment and gave me a button to press to give myself more meds “if I felt like I needed it”..bahahaha, I pressed that sucker a few minutes after they left, just to see what would happen.  Obviously it maxes you out at some point.  But this time, I couldn’t even feel the contractions for the most part.  Well done, pain meds!

I’m going to continue to try to finish writing this now that Madelyn has turned two.  Let’s see what I can remember.  How comical.  

Oh yes, names!  God forbid we agree on any names ever.  You’d think at this point, he would just say, “you know what hun, you’ve been through enough having to go through HG with both pregnancies, how about you pick whatever name you would like and I will support you”…..oh fuck no!  Instead I got, “we can’t name this kid a name that doesn’t start with an M, he/ she would be an outsider for sure”  Come on.  So I was getting texts every few minutes from my friend Kat with name ideas she was getting from other people at her office.  I also spoke with nurses for their thoughts and ideas.  One of the nurses said someone had recently named their daughter Madelyn.  Done and DONE.  For a boy, it would have been Lincoln.  Mike knew it was going to be a girl.  I did not, though I had my assumptions.

So this labor was much faster than the first.  I apologize if I am repeating myself, but I cannot remember what I posted two years ago.  Shit, I can’t remember what I wore yesterday.  Anyhow, my first pregnancy I was there overnight and they needed to use pitocin to get me going.  This time, I got there at about 7 or 8 a.m. and baby girl was born by 4 p.m. with just a couple minutes of pushing  (yep – can’t even remember the exact time).  Not a whole lot of time to hang out or rest.  I wasn’t as scared this time though.  I knew what was coming.  I definitely couldn’t feel as much of the contractions since I used the drug button too many times.  But I was okay with that.

Another big difference was that I told Mike to go home so that he could be with Kenzie since we hadn’t really left her alone overnight.  There was no need for him to stay with me.  It got a little lonely, but I was able to get some sleep and I was smart enough to let the nurses take Maddy when they offered.  With Kenzie, I was all, “don’t take my baby!” and this time I was all, “yes, please take her now – and bring the snack cart in while you’re at it”  Yes, let her sleep in the momaroo for as long as she’ll have it.  I still never had time to shower.  I think I valued the sleep more.

The snack cart, meal choices, Food Network, and replenishment of feminine products were the highlights of my day (yes, I enjoyed the company of my new babe too, so shut it).  I would hear the snack cart in the room next to me in the middle of the night and I would get all ready to make my choices.  They never judged either…three rice crispy treats?  you got it!  “Oh wait, can I have cheetos and a granola bar too?”  SURE!!   I would stockpile that shit.

Then the CNA would come in every few hours to check on my feminine supplies (ice packs for the vag area, giant pads, the infamous mesh undies, the spray foam pain numbing stuff).  Every time they would leave, I confiscate just enough into my overnight bag so that they would replenish it each time.  Then, I had more than enough to bring home to last me a few weeks.  No way am I buying this shit after the fact.

The meal choices weren’t too bad.  I did make my husband bring me giant sandwiches and polish sausage/ cheese fries for most dinners.  The rest of the meals I had hospital food.  I always asked for a Pepsi, even though it wasn’t a choice.  Sorry dude, I’m not here for bad health choices, feed me what I want.  They always came through.

The one thing I did miss was the killer fruit punch they had when I had Kenzie there.  They had it on the fountain and with the best little pieces of ice.  They must have updated their stuff because it was no longer an option.   That’s fine.  I just replaced it with Pepsi every time, ahahahaha.

I was also smarter about my attire this time.  I hated those nursing gowns that they had.  So ugly and moo-moo like.  And annoying to unbutton.  I wore my shamrock boxer shorts and a t-shirt the whole time, and brought my slippers too.  Best decision ever.

Here is the best husband story though.  He did bring in Kenzie once to say hi, but she was getting antsy so they only stayed a bit.  I decided to give birth on fantasy baseball draft weekend.  What the fuck was I thinking?   So I knew this, but I thought for sure he would either do it remotely or just let it auto-pick for him since I just gave birth to his second child, BFD.  Wrong, stupid, stupid over medicated mama.  He told me he was going to drop off Kenzie at his parents so he could go to Hooters and do his draft.  I laughed and said okay, whatever.  He was going to pick up baby girl and I from the hospital after he was done.  That’s fine – no problem.

Let me just tell you, this was the longest six hours of my life of day 3 at the hospital.  Baby girl still needed her first bath (I pushed it off as long as I could).  She hated it, obviously.

So my dear husband rolled in around 5 or 6 p.m., because you know, they WILL kick you out of the room on your last day.  He was complaining of a splitting headache.  I parted with one of my super motrin pills for him (no fucking way was he getting my tylenol with codeine).  Yes guys, my husband was complaining of a headache while I stood there with intense pressure and soreness between my legs from producing a child.  I can’t make this shit up.

So we get home, and his parents meet us there with Kenzie and they made dinner (sausage and red sauce or some crap).  Everyone is sitting at the dining room table, Kenzie is running around, I’m holding baby while trying to eat.  That’s when it happened.  Mike looked at me and said, “Do you mind if I go upstairs and lay down for a bit, my head is still pounding”….you guys, I laughed at him.  And then I realized he WASN’T FUCKING JOKING.

My husband went up to lay down in our bed the night I got home with baby girl #2.  To be clear, he is a great father and he’s always been very good to me, but the fact that it actually happened.  Like I couldn’t comprehend it as it happened.  Yes, please leave me to deal with our newborn and toddler AND YOUR PARENTS.

So that’s how Maddy made her entrance – quick and sassy, just like she is.  She demands attention like no one else (aside from big sis) and is more independent and stubborn than I might be.  She’s a strong one.

 

 

 

 

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Madelyn Mary Jane, Part 1

Baby Girl #2 has arrived!  It was a surprise all the way until the end for me as to whether baby was going to be a boy or a girl.  My husband cheated and looked back in February, but that was to be expected.

I’m going to try to get through my second birth story as quickly as possible.  I’m already back from maternity leave, but trying to blog with two kids at home was pretty much never going to happen.  They like to take opposite naps so that mama could never nap.

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, I woke up and let my mom in (thankfully, she babysits for us on Thursdays and even brings us breakfast usually so that we don’t have to worry about getting Kenzie’s food ready).  I don’t think Kenzie was awake yet, so I went back upstairs to start getting ready.  I opted to shower on this day because I have more time on Thursdays.  I remember when I used to shower every day.  HA.  HAHAHA.

I turned on the shower, and then went to the bathroom (pee).  Sorry if TMI, but that is somewhat important in the retelling of this fantastic story.

I was just about to jump in the shower when I sneezed.

BAM.  My water broke!

I believe my exact words were, “YESSSSS.   Ah, SHITTTTTTT”

I was quite relieved that I knew it was my water breaking.  I obviously wasn’t peeing on myself since I had just gone.  And thank God I didn’t get in the shower sooner, because I might not have noticed the steady gush of water.  Since my water also broke when I was pregnant with my first daughter (after I had a good, hard laugh), I was worried that I wouldn’t know when it was go-time if I started having contractions first.  My main fear was that it would be too late to administer the wonderful epidural.

I was only a week and a half ahead of schedule, and that was okay with me (I was a month early with my first daughter, so there were fears of her lungs not being as developed, etc – but she was all good as it turned out!)

I slowly waddled into our room wrapped in a towel.

Me:  “Babe, my water just broke”

Mike:  “Are you sure you didn’t pee on yourself?”   (oh, funny guy)

Me:  “YES!

Mike:  “Do I have time to shower?”  (again, hilarious)

Me:  “Whatever, just do it fast”  (this is where I should have said no, that I would be taking a shower since I didn’t end up showering at the hospital at all.  I did little sink baths instead, but I decided that sleep was more precious than showering).

I called the triage/ on-call number for my doctor and asked them to page her and to have her call me.  The nurse says, “well, let me see who is on call” – I said, “No no no, she wanted to be paged when my water broke, so please only page her” – I know they have a process, but I wasn’t feeling like fighting with anyone to make sure my doctor knew what was up.  A few minutes later, my doctor calls me.  Sounds like she is in a parking garage somewhere because her voice is in and out.  I have to repeat myself several times, “MY WATER BROKE!” praying that she heard me correctly.  And before her line cut out, I vaguely heard, “Okay, head to the hospital and I will call to let them know you are coming”  Cool.  Cool cool cool.

So I went downstairs to explain the situation to my mom.  I was conflicted about telling her.  I didn’t want her to freak out since she would need to stay at our house to take care of Kenzie.  She was excited.  I told her I was going to sit down and eat while Mike showered.

They would not allow me to eat while I was at the hospital last time.  I understand that if something were to go wrong, they’d need to do a c-section and food is bad in that case.  Whatever.  I knew I wasn’t going to have a c-section.   So it was breakfast burrito time!

Mike proceeds to come downstairs and yell at me for eating.  I tell him to shut it since he is not the one currently leaking amniotic fluid or having contractions.  I still only had one breakfast burrito instead of two since he made me feel guilty.

Kenzie was still sleeping, which made me really sad because I really wanted one last snuggle with her.  And then it was time to head to the hospital.  This time, I actually had my hospital bag packed!   Even including an outfit for new baby.  I felt so prepared for once in my life!

We get in Mike’s car, and I am sitting on a towel.  The leaking seems to have stopped.  Of course I didn’t have any pads on hand to try to soak up everything.  I’m still in my sweatpants, looking good.  The hospital is literally 5 minutes from our house (pretty convenient).   We pull up to entrance C, and of course there is no parking nearby (I told Mike I was fine walking, and he refused to valet the car).  So he lets me out at the door.  As soon as I stand up, it felt like a gallon of water fell out of me.  I wait for Mike before I jump on the elevator.  At this point, it looks like I peed myself pretty bad, because every time I move a muscle, another gush comes out.

STAY TUNED…

 

 

Stop Getting My Kid Sick / My Unplanned Hospital Visit

I don’t even want to write about this experience because it was such a terrible one to endure, but if it will help someone out by reading it, then it will have been worth it.

I always thought dehydration was a joke.  I was always getting sick with my first pregnancy, keeping very little food down.  Water even made me nauseous.  I always asked my doctor if I could get too dehydrated and at what point should I be worried.  She didn’t seem super concerned and told me if I could not keep ANY food or drink down within an 8 hour period to call her office.  I never really got to that point, because eventually, I would have a Taco Bell craving or fountain Pepsi craving and would be able to keep all of that down, shockingly.

The difference this time was that the dehydration that came on was not pregnancy/ morning sickness related.  It was caused by some nasty stomach bug – probably the fancy norovirus that has been in the headlines so often as of late.  Here is a nice article explaining the virus if you are not aware of just how nasty it can be:  Norovirus

Anyhow, this was easily the worst stomach bug I have ever had in my life.  And having it while 8 months pregnant…multiply it by 10.

My daughter had thrown up twice the Sunday before, but nothing else.  She was fine by Tuesday.  Her little buddies at the babysitter’s house were the ones who got her sick.  I later found out that the parents were sending their kids if they had puked that morning, thinking or hoping it was “just a fluke” or the food that was bothering them.  Not the case, assholes.  The problem is, many of the parents are teachers, so their time off is limited.  I understand it is not super convenient to take a day off at the last minute and have to find a substitute, etc.  And I understand that you probably don’t get as much time off as someone with a non-teaching job.

Unfortunately, I DON’T GIVE A FUCK.  Like I had said before, my daughter threw up twice on Sunday night.  No WAY was I about to send her to the babysitter’s on Monday “hoping” that her symptoms would magically disappear.  She had no other symptoms.  No diarrhea.  But, in my mind, I make the decision to do what I hope other parents would do in the same situation.  So I keep her home one more day to ensure that she’s not going to infect other kids.  My work is still piling up.  And I’m using sick time that I was trying to save for after baby #2 was born so that I can get paid for as much as possible since my job does not offer paid maternity leave.  Doesn’t always work out though, and you have to just go with it and put your kids’ best interests before your own.

So, I’m at work on Tuesday and feeling fine.  Around 11 a.m., I get a sudden rush of nausea and have to run to the bathroom to puke.  Almost didn’t make it.  At this point, I’m trying to figure out if this is morning sickness related, or if I have caught the infamous bug.   Not even 20 minutes later, I was running for the bathroom again to puke.  Yep, definitely not pregnancy related.  I headed out of work immediately leaving a trail of antibacterial sanitizer in hopes of not getting anyone else sick.  Called the babysitter and told her I would be dropping off the carseat and that Mike would be picking Kenzie up after work instead of me.  I have no idea how I made it the whole 30 minute drive without having to pull over and vomit out the window, but I did!  I tried taking the smallest sips of Gatorade, just to keep myself a little hydrated.  But as soon as I walked in the door, I was throwing up again.  There was nothing left in my stomach to throw up.  At this point, I was getting a little worried.  I thought if I tried to lay down, that would help.   NOPE.  Three more times, dry heaving and throwing up straight bile.  That is when I decided to call my doctor.

Doctor is on vacation this week.  WELL OF COURSE SHE IS!  Luckily the nurses were still there taking calls.  She told me if I started cramping or feeling contractions or thought I was dehydrated, to go directly to the hospital since I was so far along.  Well, how do I make that call?  I didn’t want to be the girl who cried wolf and didn’t really need to be admitted for something as lame as dehydration.  I puked twice more after that.  Called my mother-in-law, who works five minutes from our house to come pick me up to take me to the hospital.  I felt like such a loser.

As it turns out, it was the best decision I’ve made in awhile, probably.  I was severely dehydrated AND having contractions.  I couldn’t even feel the contractions, but they were occurring, and definitely due to the dehydration.  Had I waited, I likely would have gone into full fledged pre-term labor at 32 weeks.  The baby’s heart rate was all over the place, so they kept me overnight.  It took five IV bags of fluids to rehydrate me.  They also gave me zofran for the nausea, but that didn’t do much for me.  They also put me on Tamiflu, just as a precaution.  I didn’t get any real sleep until about 5 a.m. the next morning.  I had such bad heartburn when I would try to lay down (from what – there was nothing left in my system!), that I would toss and turn.  Between that and the baby monitor moving around so much, the nurses were constantly in there readjusting me and taking blood.  I was finally able to keep some broth down at 4 a.m. after a failed attempt at orange Jello (I will never eat Jello again now) – and let me tell you, broth NEVER tasted so good!

I got to go home the next evening.  I was so excited to go home and sleep in my own bed, without any monitors attached to me.  I was told I could not return to work until Monday of the next week (I got home that Wednesday – yayyyy, more sick time wasted and baby #2 isn’t even here yet).  Even though I was home, I was still so sick up until that next Tuesday.  Easily the worst I have ever felt in my life.  I would have almost preferred to stay in the hospital had I known how weak and useless I would be at home with my toddler.  Thank God for my husband, who still took Kenzie to the babysitter’s so that I could rest for the days he had to work, and continued to take care of her when they got home, even though he wasn’t feeling his best.

I will be 35 weeks this Sunday, and I am so happy that baby is still safe and growing.  Moral of the story:  Dehydration is no joke when you are in your third trimester.  You do what you need to do to make sure baby stays put as long as possible.  Fingers crossed that babe will stay put for at least another two weeks.  Can’t wait to meet the newest addition, and I can’t wait to see how Kenzie reacts when she realizes this kid will be with us for the long haul.

MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 5 (10 months later…)

Moving right along…

I still remember it like it was yesterday.  Picture it:  Sicily.  1922…

But for real, I did think that it would take me hours of pushing to get little chicky out.  Only because everyone tells their horror stories about how they were in labor and pushing for 12 hours, yadda yadda…had to eventually get a c-section because baby got wedged in there.  I do realize that she was tiny, so if the next kiddo is bigger, I imagine it taking a little longer.

Note to self:  Next time, have 80s and 90s music blasting in the delivery room for all to enjoy.  I had such great intentions of having a play list ready to go.  But then again, didn’t know little chicky was going to be a month early.

So I’m pushing and pushing every now and then when a contraction comes up.  Still no sweat or anything crazy.   It had probably been about 20 minutes or so.  Nurses are talking about random things.  Mike is being as supportive as he can, and we are holding little conversations in between as well.  So weird!

At no point does she tell me, “Okay, I see the head!”, maybe because I didn’t really seem interested in looking at the mirror to see the progress.  Which honestly, was probably for the best.  I would have been annoyed, I’m sure.

After another push, I’m looking at my wedding ring thinking, “Gosh, who knew I would be delivering our first baby before our one year anniversary” and Mike chimes in, “Babe, look” (he was pointing at my legs/ doctor area) – I figured he was telling me to look in the mirror or something so I told him to shut it, that I wasn’t interested!  He said, “NO, LOOOOOK” ……So I looked up, and there was baby girl, in Dr. Upp’s arms.  And then she let out a good scream, and we knew her lungs were GOOD TO GO.  ::phew, big sigh of relief there, since the lung development were the main thing they were worried about in her early arrival::  MacKenzie Josephine was born at 10:59 a.m. on April 13, 2015 weighing in at 4 lbs and 13 ounces, and 18 inches long.  It was kind of funny, because at some point early in the morning (probably 4 or 5 a.m. when she was checking my cervix again), she said, “Yep, you’ll probably have your baby girl by 11 a.m.”….crazy to me.  She knows her stuff.

As soon as Kenzie was delivered, Dr U said, “Wait wait, Mike, get your camera, and let’s get a few photos before we put her under the warming crib” – it was SO NICE to have them think about that kind of thing, because both of us were not thinking about it at all.  Because of that, we were able to get a few really great photos in the first few moments of our daughter’s life.  Now, we probably have a few thousand photos (not kidding – both of our phones are out of memory – we literally have to delete apps when we need to take more pics, it’s ridiculous).  We really need to invest in a nice camera.  I know camera phones have come a long way, but I want to be able to really control the photos I am taking (not just add instagram filters that I can never decide on).

And in case you were wondering, I did cry when baby girl was born.  Not like a loser who just fell off her bike type of cry, but a good, smiling cry with a few tears streaming.  Plus, it was a beautiful morning.  The sun was shining through the windows, and all was right in my world.  I never thought I would have cried.  Not because I have no heart, but because I thought I would just be happy, but not THAT happy to see a screaming babe 🙂  Mike had some hidden tears, too.

So Mike got our pics with the iPad, and then they moved her to the side of the room with the warming crib, and the NICU team checked her out and cleaned her up.  Final outcome?  Baby girl is perfectly healthy at 36 weeks!  WHAT UP.  My doctor then said, “Well, I guess we can cancel your appointment for Thursday!”  YEAH!  No more checking of the cervix, now I just get to hang with my happy baby!  Haha, oh how little I knew then about how the first few months would go.  I was so dumb and uninformed.  That’s okay though.  You live, you learn.  ::alanis::

After babe was born and the NICU team deemed her good to go, they put her on my chest for some skin-to-skin, while Mike went out and got the grandmas.  They were shocked that I had already delivered.  Everyone was happy as clams, as you could imagine.  Tears were flowing.  Happy happy.  After the grandmas got their fix, it was time to try to breastfeed.

I’ll save the breastfeeding topic for another post, because it seriously needs its own post with all of the BS that comes along with it (I am still breastfeeding, but I was so uneducated at first that it was frustrating and upsetting.  So if I can teach just one person something about my experience, it will be worth it).

Next post:  about the next two days spent in the hospital (pretty much a blur), and bringing home baby girl.  Oh what a journey it has been.

 

 

MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 4 (6 months later…)

Well hello!

I really hope I remember as many details as I thought I would.  Clearly, I never have time to blog, let alone do my hair or makeup anymore.  I’m happy to report my showering has become more consistent, so that’s cool.  I always told myself before that I would never let my appearance go down the tubes when I had a baby.  I thought it was a lame excuse to be lazy.  I WAS WRONG.  Now that I am back to work full-time, it’s a wonder how I am able to pack her up, drop her at the babysitter’s house, and get to work by 9.  You should see me packing up the car in the morning – it’s much like a circus act.  I’m glad our garage is in the alley so I only have to walk through our backyard.  The neighbors would get a show every single morning.  As long as my daughter is fed, clean, and dressed for the weather that day, it no longer matters if I am wearing a shirt that hasn’t been washed in a week, if there is crusty spit-up somewhere on me, or if my hair is in the same bun from the night before.  I’ve come to terms with it, and I am okay with it.  I think it will eventually get better.

Alright.  Onto the 4th installation of the birth story of Miss Mack:

Epidural was a success.  The scariest part was officially over (although at the time, I thought that the pushing part would be the scariest because I thought they let your epidural wear off).

So, it was about midnight or a little after.  The nurse suggested that I needed my rest and to try to sleep before the big morning ahead.  I decided to watch the Food Network for a little while (we love Chopped and pretty much anything on the channel).  I couldn’t concentrate, of course.

I was suddenly very thirsty.  Still no food – only ice chips.   The nurse came in to check the monitors a little while after they completed the epidural.  I asked in my nicest, kindest voice for a sprite or something bubbly.  She said, “Sure!  I think I can manage that for you” – and off she went.  She came back with a tiny Styrofoam cup of Sierra Mist with one of those bendy straws (good thing they were a Pepsi account).  I could not have been more excited.

Cut to 3 a.m. – Mike was working on his laptop while laying on the couch, and we had the lights dimmed so I could relax.  So I took a few sips of Sierra Mist and sat back to relax.  Ten minutes later, I started to feel nauseous FAST.  I look over at Mike who had fallen asleep on the couch that seemed like a mile away from my bed.  I start saying, “Babe” to try to get his attention.  “MICHAEL!” – still no response.  I know how tired he must have been.  Things weren’t getting any better, and I knew I was going to throw up.  So, I pressed my trusty “PAIN” button which alerted the nurse that I needed her ASAP.  She was probably like, “WTF, this girl is on an epidural – she feels nothing!”

Thankfully, they move incredibly fast at Community Hospital.  That, and there was only one other lady in labor on the floor.

She swooped in and I said, “I’m going to be sick – I can’t reach anything and I don’t want to puke on the floor!”  By then, trusty husband was awake.  “I told you they shouldn’t have given you the pop to drink!  Why did you insist on asking for pop?”  Hahaha, always my fault.  Oh well, it tasted great for those few sips.  And then I puked.  Good to know for next time:  Nothing after epidural.  Stuff face before going to hospital and hide cheeseburgers within reach.  Easy peasy.

After the pop debacle, I was able to sleep for a few hours, on and off.  The nurses were pretty kind to me and didn’t bother me too many times, since the baby monitors were all wireless (they have the monitor transferred to a big screen at the nurses station so they can constantly monitor baby and contractions).

I woke up at around 6 a.m. to get “checked” again.  This wasn’t as bad since I couldn’t feel anything.  I think I was 3 centimeters.  Nothing crazy.  Still feeling good from the epidural.  By then, our moms had called to say they were taking the day off and heading over to hang out – time kind of started to fly by at this point.

At some point, like 8 a.m. maybe, the nurse decided that I should put the giant “peanut” pillow between my legs to soften my cervix – or whatever.  It didn’t hurt or anything, just super awkward trying to talk to everyone, because they had to keep switching sides, so when I was on my left side, I was facing the other wall and talking over my shoulder to them.

My mom, brother, and Mike’s mom popped in and out, giving us our privacy.

My doctor stopped in again to check me – still around 8 a.m.  I asked how would I know when it was ready to push?!  And I said, “please don’t stop the epidural, I don’t want to feel anything!”  Luckily, it was on a drip, so it’s not like they would have to give me another one or it would randomly stop working if I had to push for too long.

My doctor’s famous words:  “When you feel like you have to poop – that’s when you’re ready to push!  I think you’ll have your baby in your arms by 11 a.m.”

At some point, I started to feel a little bit a pressure, but nothing that hurt at all.  Still hanging out with the moms and Mike.  I was starting to get anxious/ excited/ nervous since I still couldn’t believe I was about to become a mother – a whole month earlier than planned.

At about 10 a.m., I started to feel the urge – and it was getting closer and closer together – which I’m sure were the contractions.  I didn’t want to exclaim to the room that I really felt like I needed to poop, but the nurse happened to pop in to check on me.  I said, “Um, Dr. Uppulurri told me to let her know when I felt like I needed to go, so could you tell her please?”   She came into the room just a few minutes later, checked me, and said, “Whoa – you are completely ready to go, we are ready to push!”

That was the cue for the moms and my brother to hit the bricks.  They headed out to the labor and delivery lounge – seriously the fanciest lounge I have ever seen in a hospital.  Labor and Delivery is on the top floor of the hospital, so the lounge had one entire wall that were windows – so you could see the Chicago skyline while helping yourself to coffee or Pepsi.  They even had a tray of donuts/ danishes that were brought in daily.

After my doctor told me it was go-time, she must have put a call out to the entire hospital, because about 10 nurses/ doctors filed into the room and started opening cabinets that I didn’t even know existed and transforming the room for delivery.  She also told me that the NICU team would be there to make sure that her lungs were developed enough – that was her only real concern since she was 36 weeks.  That scared me a little, but for some reason, I had a good feeling that she was going to be okay.

So they turn on this super bright light above me, even though it was a sunny morning.  This light was TERRIBLE – it was the same one they turned on when I got my epidural.  When we were ready to go, I asked my doctor, “Um, would it be okay if we turned off the heating lamp above me?”  I’m sure she needs to see and everything, but I didn’t feel bad asking since she wasn’t about the stick a needle in my back.  My doctor said, “Of course!”  And she instructed one of the 10 nurses to turn it off.

Then she explained how we were going to approach the pushing.  She told me that the pressure I was feeling every 30 seconds or so were indeed contractions.  So when I start to feel the beginning of one, that is when I want to start pushing.  She said I could either determine it and say, “Okay!  I feel one coming on!” or I could ask them to tell me when to push.  Since I could feel the pressure so well, I told her I would make the call.  Then she explained the best positioning – i.e. where the best place was to put my hands to make sure I was getting the biggest bang for my buck when pushing (which was basically grabbing behind my knees and pulling towards me).

Then one of the nurses said, “Oh!  We forgot to bring the mirror down from the ceiling so you can see your baby being born!”  And I quickly stopped them and said, “NO NO NO, I don’t want to see, no mirrors, NO NO NO”  and we all had a good laugh.  I think people are nuts who want to see their baby coming out of their business.  To each her own, though.  I told Mike he wasn’t invited to see that either.  He was okay with that.

And then we were ready!  Mike was by my side.  Couldn’t hold his hand since I had them on my legs, but that was fine.  He was really supportive.  It was kind of funny to me.  I mean, you see these TV shows and movies with women giving birth and what you see there is really NOTHING like what actually goes on (in my situation, at least).  I know TV and movies are fake, but sometimes, that’s all you have to compare it to if you haven’t actually been present when someone else has given birth.  And those “real” movies we watched during birthing class were TERRIBLE – especially those who didn’t want the drugs.

First contraction started – and I said, “Okay, I think I feel one – can I push?” and she checked the monitor and confirmed that it was indeed a contraction, and then told me to go for it.  So I pushed for the duration of the contraction – maybe like 20 seconds?  Nothing crazy.  And then it was like I was in an alternate universe because in between contractions, everyone went back to chit-chatting.  My doctor and the other nurse were talking about some other lady who delivered the other day and didn’t want the drugs and was like a drill sergeant.  The other nurses were talking amongst themselves, and Mike and I were just making small talk.  Weirdest thing ever!  I thought once you started pushing, that was all that you did!  I only had a few short minutes between contractions, but it was still so weird.

I wasn’t dripping with sweat like I thought I would be, I wasn’t crying or screaming…which made me think that maybe it would be a long while before baby girl was ready.  WRONG.

MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 3 (Epidural Story Included)

So, I’m walking around all classy, leaking fluids, etc.  Oh, and by this time, Mike’s parents arrived to hang out.  Since I wasn’t having contractions, I didn’t really care who was in there – as long as they left the room when I had to get up to pee or be “checked” by the nurses or doctor for dilation.

Prior to arriving at the hospital to hang with us, my in-laws were drinking margaritas after a very stressful day of getting ready for and throwing my sister-in-law’s bridal shower.  They were celebrating that it was over.  And then Mike called them.  “Yeah, we’re at the hospital right now, Melissa’s water broke at Kim’s shower.”   And they promptly paid the bill and headed to the hospital.  Like they needed the extra stress a month early!  They walked in and I just started crying like a baby.  “It’s too early!  I’m so sorry!” – such a loser.  They are seriously the nicest people ever – I am so lucky to have married into their family.  I don’t hate them, like most people hate their in-laws.  We were all talking about food and  the fact that I couldn’t eat.  I sent Mike down with his dad so that he could eat without feeling bad sitting in front of me.  He was nice once he got back, saying that the food sucked.

Then I sent him home to get my toothbrush and face wash.  I also had big plans for him to pick me up some Italian Ice from Jodi’s.  He kept saying, “the nurses said no food!  only ice chips!”  So I fought him tooth and nail and even had his parents on my side.  End result:  I got Jodi’s Italian Ice.  The best lemon Italian Ice I have ever had.  It had pieces of lemon zest in it.  AMAZING.  By this point, I still had no drugs or anything because I still wasn’t feeling any contractions, even though they kept pushing the pitocin (and in larger quantities as it got later).  It was to the point where I was worried that they would have to do a C-section if things didn’t start progressing.  Well, things started to progress.  I’d like to blame the Italian ice instead of crediting the pitocin.

The in-laws stayed until about 7 p.m., when things started to get real.  I finally started to feel these mild “contractions” that everyone was speaking of.  It’s hard to explain what they felt like.  Not like a stabbing pain, but more of a slow dull pain that progressively got stronger.  Like bad menstrual cramps that would come in waves.   When they started to annoy me, I suggested walking around the floor, because I had heard good things about people “walking off” the labor pains.  Those people lied.  I got around the circle once and paused in front of my room.  Mike laughed as he said, “We’re done?!” so I humored him and walked around one more time.  After that, all bets were off.

At my last doctor’s appointment, which was the week before, I had asked how my doctor felt about epidurals.  She told me she was all for them, but that she warns all of her patients not to try to be rock-stars when it came to having it administered.  As in, don’t wait until the pain is absolutely unbearable if you plan to have the epidural, because it takes a full hour to prep your body for the procedure (they have to push a certain amount of fluids into your body before they can even start the procedure and schedule the anesthesiologist).  She certainly didn’t need to worry about me being a rock star.  Not even remotely interested.

At about 10 p.m., I was not happy with how the contractions were feeling and I was just plain tired.  No way was I going to go through another 12 hours of this bullshit as it got progressively worse.  Time to call in the druggie doctor.  I decided to prompt the nurse and hit the “pain” button on the little remote I had.  I knew they were about to have a shift change, and I didn’t want to mess around with updating the new nurse on anything.  “Yeahhhh, let’s go ahead and order the epidural, please”.  So she hooked up my IV with the special fluids and away we went.  It was a long hour, but contractions were not unbearable.  They were getting there, and I could imagine how terrible it would have been without pain meds.  No thanks!

Once all the fluids were in me (about an hour later), they started lighting up the room like Christmas.  It’s seriously amazing what they are able to hide in those rooms behind those cabinet doors.  Super bright light above my bed was turned on, and then they started opening all these secret compartments in the room with different tools and such for the epidural.  Right before midnight, low and behold, Dr. Brody comes in and introduces himself as the anesthesiologist.  The only reason I remember his name is because of Adam Brody and how intricate the show The OC was to my late teens/ early 20s.  Dude looked nothing like Adam Brody, though his voice was monotone/ nerdy to an extent.  The nurse asked me to sit up and turn to one side and drape my feet over the side of the bed.  At this point, I was visibly shaking.  I was terrified of getting stuck in the spine.  Plus, we just had birthing class the day before, and they explained how sometimes to epidurals don’t always work if they don’t stick you properly and then you end up feeling EVERYTHING, or they are a little off and only half of your body goes numb while the other half feels EVERYTHING.  So many things could go wrong.  Aside from possibly being paralyzed, you know.  So I was visibly shaking, and that is what Mike said freaked him out the most about the whole situation.  He was holding one of my hands, while the nurse was holding my other hand and talking me through what was happening.

The anesthesiologist started to make conversation, which I hate.  I know it’s fake, and they’re only doing it to try to “calm you” or whatever.  He said, “So, where are you from?” – when I responded with my hometown, he responded with, “that’s where my wife is originally from” and blurted out the actual address from memory.  Small world!  I still didn’t care – I was just thinking about how he was about to literally stab me in the back.  He explained each part of the process as he was about to complete it.  First, he washed my back down with a sponge.  Then, he said he was going to place some glue on my back to hold up the dressing thing that squared off where he would be putting in the catheter.  All fine things, but let’s get to the point.  It was about another 10 minutes of nonsense before he said, “Okay, I need you to push out your lower back, like you have really bad posture, and then you will feel a small sting from the needle”  Well, first off, I like to pride myself on my posture.  Second of all, bad posture is easiest to achieve in the top portion of your back.  Especially when you have a giant belly on the lower portion of your other side.  So it was hard for me to do, and I was getting frustrated.

The first try, I felt the needle and held still.  I felt the sting and still held still – thought that was it!  YAY!  Wrong.  I must not have been sticking out my lower back enough, because it didn’t work.  Tried again, visibly shaking more now!   Second prick.  Oh hey – bigger sting!  I jumped a little – more shifted.  The nurse scolded me in a nice way, “you have to be still” – well no shit, thanks for the update….have YOU been stuck in the spine before?  You look like you’re 16, so I’m going to guess no.  The doctor was pretty cool about it and didn’t seems frustrated with me.  Third time was a charm.  I still don’t know if the procedure requires them to stick you in several different places in your lower back or if he just had to do that because I wasn’t sitting right the first two times.  I didn’t care, because I started feeling the lovely sensation of drugs.  And everything was balanced, meaning I couldn’t feel BOTH of my feet by the time the doctor left the room.  The nurse had to help me get my feet back up on the bed.  AWESOME!!!   THIS IS WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR.  And then I was able to relax and enjoy the show, so to speak…

MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 2

So, we finally arrive at the hospital on Sunday afternoon.  After trying to remember if we needed to enter in the emergency room or the west tower, we remembered in our hospital tour guide lady’s voice that it was indeed entrance C – “C for child birth!” – so Mike dropped me off at the front revolving door.  This was the one time I didn’t fight him on dropping me off first.  I hate when he does that on normal occasions.  I like walking into places WITH my husband.  I know he is trying to do the gallant thing by not making me walk, but it’s usually just awkward for me if I’m standing around at a restaurant and they won’t seat me without him.

I walked into the main lobby, and asked the security guard/ administrator (had to be 70 years old – I seriously LOVE the security guards at hospitals, they are adorable) where I needed to go.  He told me to take the elevators up to labor and delivery, and then buzz in.  He asked me if I needed a wheelchair.  I contemplated it for a second since I had never been offered one before, but was clearly in no pain at all and declined.  I just waited nervously for Mike to walk in.  Turns out, Sunday was a very busy day, so he had to park all the way on the other side.  Longest 10 minutes of my life.

We went up to Labor & Delivery and hit the buzzer.  Thankfully, we went on the hospital tour.  You can’t even get into the labor and delivery wing without buzzing in and having a really good reason to be there.  So we buzzed in, and I shakily said, “I think my water may have broken, and my doctor asked me to come get checked.”  They buzzed us in right away.

As we walked to the nurse station, I was ELATED to see my doctor sitting there with one of the nurses who would check us in!  I suddenly got more comfortable (as comfortable as one can get in the beginning stages of labor), and smiled.  I said, “I hope you didn’t just come in for me!” and she said that she had been there since 7 that morning anyhow, so when I called in, she decided to stick around for me.  So yeah, probably shouldn’t have made that Target trip and stalled for so long, but she had other deliveries going on anyhow.  🙂  So the nurse checked us in, and I even brought my pre-registration forms for insurance purposes.  These ended up doing me no good at all since she was an entire month early.  So much for trying to be prepared.  Screw that in the future!

The Labor and Delivery floor felt very quiet and almost like everyone was on vacation or out to lunch.  I loved it. It made me feel like I wouldn’t be forgotten about.  My doctor then took us into one of the birthing suites and the nurse gave me a nasty hospital gown to put on.  I put the hospital gown on (first, I put it on the wrong way, like a loser…thanks to all of those movies where people walk around with their asses hanging out in hospitals, I switched it around) and then got into the bed.

Here is where things got semi-interesting.  I thought my doctor would be the one to “check me” aka check my cervix/ see if I was dilated at all.  Nope!  Surprise!  It was nurse-lady!  So she goes on to tell me that she was going to check me first, and then determine what tests they would run to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid.  So, she basically shoves her hand up into me feeling around and such.   She took her sweet time, too!  I don’t remember what the hell she was feeling around so much for, but she eventually said, “You are about 1 cm dilated right now” and that she would come back with the test the doctor wanted to do on the fluid.  Shortly after, she came back with two giant q-tip looking items that she would essentially shove up into me and swab around.  I just kept thinking, “OMG, giving birth is going to be 10 times worse than what she is doing to me right now, and I hate this!”  I just didn’t like how much freedom the nurses had, I guess.  I’d rather have heard that from my actual doctor.

The nurse came back about 30 minutes later and said, “Yep!  It’s amniotic fluid!”  Well no shit.  I could have told you that by now, but thanks for the update, since you’ve already informed me that I am 1 centimeter dilated.  Something else I would have preferred to have heard directly from my doctor, but I understand how busy she was and that she was there on a day that she wasn’t even scheduled for, and now would likely be staying another 24 hours for me.

Thankfully, my doctor came in a few minutes later to touch base with us.  My first question was, “Um, does this mean I am staying?”  And of course she said yes, and if everything progresses as it should, I would be giving birth by noon tomorrow.  {Holy shit!  I’m going to be a mom tomorrow!}

Once your water has broken (no matter how much longer you have to go in your pregnancy), there is a chance for infection getting up in there, since there is no longer the protective barrier between the world and baby girl.  So that was that.  Labor would ensue.  She told me that they would wait a little while to see if my contractions would get stronger on their own (evidently, I was already having contractions, but did not feel them).  If the contractions didn’t strengthen, they would give me the dreaded pitocin/ oxytocin to get things going.  I had heard a few horror stories about pitocin not working properly, not getting you dilated enough, and ultimately resulting in a c-section because things don’t progress.  I was not thrilled about this.  I really wanted to just wait it out until I started contractions on my own, but I know that this was in the best interest of baby girl, so we went with it.

My next question to the nurse was this:  “Can I eat anything?”

Her response:  “I can bring you some ice chips if you’d like”

Oh, this is going to be a fun couple of hours.  As I listened to the nurses trying to decide what kind of pizza they were going to order in for dinner.  Assholes.  (I actually did grow to love the ice chips, oddly – they were the perfect size to crunch on).

One thing I wish someone would have told me:  You are constantly leaking nasty fluids out of you onto the bed where you will eventually give birth.  I don’t know if it’s because my water was broken, but every time I moved or adjusted myself to sit up in bed, a surge of stuff would come out.  Sorry for the nastiness, but it’s real and something you might want to know for one day!  And I really wish I would have known.  I don’t even like having semi-damp clothes out of the dryer, so to sit on this pad that resembled a puppy pad (like what you train your dogs to pee on in the house) and just constantly leak was not something I was cool with.  And the best part was when I had to get up to pee (yeah, you still have to do that even though your leaking all over the place), you leak all over the floor on the way there and back!  You also have to roll the IV fluid thing around with you and pray that you don’t slip and slide on your leakages going back to your soaking wet bed, all while trying to hold the back of your gown shut so you don’t give the nurses a show.  Luckily, by the time I got back to the bed, a nice CNA lady changed out the puppy pad for me.  She probably changed it a total of 10 or 15 times while I was there.

More later – baby girl is awake.