Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kate: A Birth Story, Part III

I'm telling my birth story this week. Part I here. Part II here.

The night nurse arrived, and she was wonderful.  I was her only patient, and she gave me her complete attention.  She woke me every 45 minutes or so to have me turn over.  After about an hour of blissful sleep, I started feeling ill, overcome by an achy, feverish malaise, likely brought on by infection since my water had been broken so long.  She took my temperature: 99.5.  "If it gets above 100.4," she said, "we'll put you on antibiotics and Tylenol."  

{Cleaned up}

I drifted back to sleep.  My nurse, Johann, soon wondered if I was ready to push, and she called for Amy to come in and check me.  I was at a seven.  Since it had been two hours since the epidural and I'd only progressed one centimeter, Amy suggested pitocin to speed things along.  I didn't care--I didn't care about anything at that point except sleep.  Amy left, promising she'd return in another two hours.  

I slept, my feeling of general illness increasing as time went on.  Jay thought I was losing it because I asked my long-suffering nurse to take my temperature at least 30 times over the next couple hours.  The highest it ever got was 99.9, but I felt so sick I could hardly stand it. She brought me Tylenol, and I slept more.  

I was relieved to find that I could still move my legs. I didn't have the strength to lift them or to turn myself over, but I could clench and unclench my calf muscles (which I did almost compulsively) and move my legs and feet to shift my position.  I didn't feel the pain anymore, and I didn't feel the paralysis I'd been so afraid of.

{My hospital "jewelry"}

At around 10:00, I could feel pressure low in my pelvis with each contraction.  I knew the baby was probably close, but I didn't care--I felt ill and just wanted to sleep.  I couldn't imagine trying to push a baby out while feeling so awful.  Jay had started watching the monitors and was getting anxious because the baby's vitals weren't doing as well as they were previously.  He didn't tell me this, but he started pushing for the midwife to come in.  I was shaking uncontrollably and still felt achy and feverish.  I could see worry in his eyes, but I was too exhausted to care about anyone but myself.

In my delirious state, despite my apathy, I kept hoping my baby would be born before midnight. Not because I wanted to be done, but because I wanted her birthday to be on the 24th. Call me crazy, but I come from a family of numbers nerds, and I've always liked even numbers the best: 2/24/12 sounded so much cooler to me than 2/25/12--especially since 2x12=24 and they're all divisible by two. 

Amy came back at 10:30.  "You're at a 10 and plus two," she said--the baby's head had already started to descend past the cervix.  "It's time to push." 

1 comment:

  1. I am not a numbers nerd or anything (the coolness of having a baby on 2/24/12 never occurred to me) , but that is really cool about the date. I'm going to steal it and tell people that about Nora's birthday, haha:)