Thursday, January 21, 2010

A new day

Friday began like any other day. But by 4:30, I was being admitted into the hospital to be induced. I was thrilled.

On Sat morning at 8:30, they began pitocin and I walked the halls. I walked myself to 3 cm within an hour and then returned to bed.

My OB predicted that when I dialated, it was going to be quick and suggested pain medication earlier than later. So by 4 CM and 10:30, I was receiving an epidural.

From the start the epi went badly. The needle hit a vein and my leg literally felt like it would explode. Once it was placed, however, and the pain meds administered, I felt wonderful. Euphoric. Sleepy. Happy. This lasted about 1 hour. Then feeling started slipping back. I could feel how sore my calves were. I could feel the contractions coming back. I could feel the tightening in my lower back, the slipping of the baby into place.

I sat up and discovered that the epi had slipped out. I had been receiving no medication for nearly 2 hours. They reconnected it and gave me a bolus of more pain meds, but it had already failed. There was no getting ahead of the pain.

From that point onward I felt everything, except for a 1 hour window after they gave me a 1/2 c-section dose of lidocaine.

I hit 9 1/2 cm at 8 PM. I wanted to push. They refused. I was feeling everything, and the pressure was the most intense thing I had EVER known. My world shrank to the pain only. In the end, I was simply sitting indian style, moaning and screaming and rocking until they agreed to let me push. This went on for nearly 3 hours.

There was hardly time for the doctor to get into the room. It felt so good to push that even when they told me to stop I couldn't. Samuel was born at 11:12 PM, after only a few hard contractions. The cord was around his neck.

I watched as the baby nurse worked on him, as people piled into the room. As the NICU team showed up. Their voices were hushed and their faces unreadable. I went from relief that it was over to terror as he didn't cry. 5 minutes passed, then 10. Mark went from Samuel to me, and at one point, everyone left my side to go to the baby. Those 2 minutes were easily the scariest of my life.

Suddenly, a cry. Small and wimpy and full of fluid. Then another, then suction. One by one, people left the room. My doc came back to me and began joking and smiling. I watched them as they kept working on the baby, but it was no longer with frantic precision, but with purpose. He was breathing, but shocked by the quick birth. His face was a mass of bruising. His blood sugars were low. I watched with a heavy heart as my precious baby's first feeding was administered- glucose and formula to boost his sugars.

I would like to tell you that when I held him for the first time, there was a chorus of angels. That the heavens opened and I fell in love. But that would not be true. The pain overrode everything, the intense after contractions in my back were like lightining. My blood sugar plummeted, and I was so pale and shaky Mark had to feed me.

They took me to the mother/baby wing. I was told that the baby would need to be in the nursery for the night because of his sugars and slow start. To tell you the truth, I was relieved. I took vicodin, Mark left, and I fell asleep.

I woke at 6 AM. The hall was quiet. I couldn't get out of bed, so I watched the sun come up through the shutters. And then, finally, like a wave it hit me. I have a boy. I have a son. And I NEED him. I have to get to him. I called the nurse and was told he had an incident in the night, turning dusky and needing suction and close supervision. He couldn't come to me.

I could have lain there and cried. I could have waited. But I didn't. I got up. It took an easy 10 minutes to make it to the bathroom. It took forever just to put on clean underwear. My leg was numb, but I slipped my feet into slippers and walked to the nursery. I held the handrail. I took one step at a time. But I made it.

When I saw my boy, my whole world shifted. I could not stop smiling. I sat in the rocker and put him to my breast. Without a moments hesitation, he latched on. His eyes were closed, but his little hand reached and laid on my breast. I have never felt such joy. All of the agony of my body faded.

His little head is covered in fine black hair. His eyes are gray. His feet and hands are perfect. His ears and nose are his father's. I looked him over again and again. My little boy, so hoped for and so loved, is here.

Recovery has been difficult this time. I lost alot of blood and have been very tired and a little lost. I am striking the balance between one child and the other, and it is difficult. But I am utterly in love with my family. It is perfect and complete.

And my little boy? The one I carried and wrote of and longed for and expected- he is perfect and a joy.

I am blessed. I am fufilled. And God is great and good.