Our next guest post today is from the infamous McMommy of The McMommy Chronicles. This is the birth story of her second son, Carter – it’s a bit long but it’s worth every character – enjoy!
And Carter Makes Four
My due date was drawing closer and closer. With each weekly visit to the doctor, the nurse would do this whole dramatic thing every time she took my blood pressure and she would FREAK ME OUT. She would say “Ohhhh. The doctor is NOT going to like this! This is stroke level! You are going to the hospital today! This can’t be right. I’m going to take it again. Now just calm down and I’ll take it again.”
Uh, calm down? Lady, you just said “stroke level” to me.
But my doctor never seemed ruffled by the numbers. He would say things like “Take it easy today. Put your feet up and rest. We’ll recheck in a couple of days.” Then it turned into, “Come in tomorrow and we will recheck. And talk about a possible induction.”
I have to admit, I was so scared of an induced birth. I wanted everything to happen exactly as Matty’s birth happened….water breaking, off to the hospital, wonderful epidural, and healthy adorable baby in my arms a couple hours later. The “not knowing” when it was going to happen seemed so much better to me than the anticipation of knowing what was ahead of me and exactly what day it would happen.
So at my recheck the next day, the doctor said “The choice is ultimately yours. We can wait through the weekend, see if anything happens. Or we can induce tonight and I will personally be there to deliver the baby. (If I waited and went into labor over the weekend, he was not on call and someone else from the group would deliver the baby.) You’ll be home by Sunday.”
There were so many things going through my head in regards to pros and cons of inducing that night. But do you want to know what ultimately made me do it? The fact that I couldn’t deal with one more blood pressure check from that nurse! My heart couldn’t take one more scare from her. Plus it just made plain good sense to me that if we did it this way, we could prepare better for leaving my sick little Matty (yes, he had a bad cold) with my parents (sorting out medications and dosages, etc.)
We were to check into the hospital at midnight. Staying up that late was pure torture for us. And I remember us in the car driving to the hospital and suddenly I felt really really scared. Because I KNEW what was ahead. Even though I had such a good experience with Matty’s labor and delivery, there was no denying the pain that was waiting for me in the hours to come. Ugh.
We got settled in our room and the nurse explained to me how this induction would work. They would give me Cytotec (not sure about that spelling…it’s like the new version of cervidil) every so many hours throughout the night. By the morning, they would probably start the Pitocin. And so on and so forth. She offered me a pill to help me sleep but I declined. (I think McDaddy was already sleeping in the recliner at this point!)
I started to doze off and awoke to the taste of blood in my mouth. I thought I must be mistaken, until I coughed and blood came out. TALK ABOUT SCARED! I frantically buzzed the nurse and it was then I realized that I was having a nose bleed and because of the way my head was positioned, the blood was going down the back of my throat rather than out the front of my nose. The nurse changed my gown and got all the blood cleaned up and we were left in peace again to try and sleep.
Only I couldn’t sleep because now my throat was killing me. Yes, I had caught Matty’s sickness. The nurse brought me tylenol and was even kind enough to leave me the cup of water. (technically I wasn’t supposed to have food or water. Just those infamous ice chips!!)
Around 6am, I was definitely dealing with strong contractions and they were coming pretty often and steady. My night nurse came to check in once more before she signed off and told me that with the contractions I was having, she wasn’t going to need to do a third Cytotec. She also doubted they would ever need to start Pitocin. She said “I’d be willing to bet you have this baby by 10am.”
10am?? That’s crazy. A little optimistic, I thought.
By 7am, I was on the phone to my mom, telling her and my sister to come over to the hospital quickly. I felt like these contractions were especially strong and moving much more quickly than I remembered with Matty.
By 8am, I felt it was time for the epidural.
9am–the anesthesiologist arrived to administer the epidural. She looked eighteen years old. Hardly like a doctor. For all I knew, she could have just left the on-call room with McDreamy. And now she’s coming at my back with a huge needle and telling me to hold very still.
A searing pain goes up my spine, up my neck, and ends at the base of my skull.
I think I screamed. That was NOT supposed to happen, I knew that much.
She muttered something about it not “working” and then had to do it a second time. Now I was having contractions AND dealing with an idiot working on my spine, people. McMommy was about to lose it.
They then laid me back and all I knew is that I started losing feeling in my feet, and it crept up to my legs, then kept moving up and up until it felt like it reached my chest. I was flipping out. I couldn’t move AT ALL. My epidural was NOT like this for Matty’s. Last time, my legs just felt really, really heavy….but I had the control to move them when asked, etc.
That was not the case now. I felt paralyzed. And freaked out. I was so scared that it was still going to move up and up and soon I wouldn’t be able to breathe or talk. I just kept holding McDaddy’s and my mom’s hands and keeping eye contact with them. Oh, and I do remember yelling at Dr. Idiot saying “YOU PARALYZED ME. YOU SCREWED UP. YOU GAVE ME A SPINAL LIKE I’M GETTING A C-SECTION. YOU SCREWED UP!!” And then I told my mom to get the doctor away from me, I didn’t even want to see her face. I wanted her out of my room and I wanted a new doc.
The nurses kept watching my oxygen levels and were trying to talk me through it….telling me Dr. Idiot didn’t even give me the bolus shot so this would wear off in an hour.
My sweet mother was very calming for me, even though I saw the panic in her eyes. She just held on to my hand and kept counting down the time for me. She would say things like “Ok, it’s been 10 minutes. Ten minutes are down, only 50 minutes to go.” The nurse kept doing tests on me, asking me to wiggle my right foot, etc. Nothing was happening. I remember Daniel looking nervous. My poor sister, who hasn’t had any children yet so this was her first experience in a labor and delivery room, was seeing all this firsthand. And not liking it.
Finally, as it drew closer to 10am, I could slowly feel my body again. It was such a huge relief, you have no idea. But ohhhhhhhhh….I could also feel the contractions again and they were off the charts bad.
The nurse asked me if I wanted to consider getting another epidural. Can you believe it?
I was squeezing McDaddy’s hand so tightly and screaming from the pain of these contractions. (As a side note, McDaddy’s hands were so black and blue afterwards, I couldn’t believe I was the one who did that to him. I never would have believed that I had that strength.)
After that terrible experience with Dr. Idiot and the first epidural, I briefly entertained the idea if I could keep on going without pain relief. Then the next contraction hit (they were one on top of one another now) and I realized I couldn’t do it. It was terrible. But I demanded Dr. Idiot come nowhere near my room….I wanted a different, dare I say, more experienced anesthesiologist.
They bring in a man who I’ll call Dr. Williams, because he looked exactly like Robin Williams. But right away, I knew he was good. He spoke with me about what they think happened with the first epidural and what the plan of action was to administer a new one (which technically would be my third of the day. Remember Dr. Idiot shot one UP to my skull, then she paralyzed me with the second.)
Time was now 10:10am. They asked everyone to leave the room so he could start prepping me for the new epidural. I begged them to let my mom stay (McDaddy doesn’t handle needles well.) With all the drama of the first experience, they allowed her stay with me.
10:15am–I’m prepped for him to start the procedure but the contractions are not stopping at all for breaks and I’m in incredible pain. Dr. Williams tells my nurse to do one more “progress check” to see where I’m at.
She checks me and declares I’m at 9 1/2.
9 and 1/2? I remember saying “Good! We still have time! Hurry up and give me the medicine so it can start working!”
I remember seeing the nurse and Dr. Williams look at each other…..as if to say “Who’s going to be the one to tell her?”
The nurse then says, “Uh, you know what? You are gonna do this! You are ready to start pushing! Let’s have this baby!”
McMommy: “Sure thing. Just give me the epidural first.”
Dr. Williams: “Well, McMommy. If I did that, it will take about 30 minutes for it to kick in. And you might have already had the baby already.”
McMommy: “No. No baby until I get that epidural. START IT NOW!”
Nurse: “I’ve called the doctor. He’s walking over now. Let’s start some practice pushes. You are going to do this just fine.”
I started bawling….this time not from the excruciating pain, but from the realization that I was going to have to have this baby with no epidural.
What happened next was a whirlwind. I remember doing one practice push and the nurse stopped me because…without getting too graphic here…the baby was ready to make his entrance into the world.
I remember screaming for her to find a doctor, ANY doctor, because I couldn’t hold it one more second.
I remember my doctor breezing into the room, dressed in his scrubs, telling me exactly how to push.
I remember thinking to myself the pain was exactly as horrible and excruciating as you would imagine it to be with no epidural.
I remember everyone around me, shouting, cheering me on, telling me I was doing it. My mom was crying, and McDaddy might have been too.
10:23am…almost to the minute my original night nurse predicted….Carter Christopher was born! 8lbs, 12oz. 20 and 3/4 in.
I remember the doctor telling me to open my eyes, to look at my baby. I opened them and saw a 3 month old. HE. WAS. HUGE.
I remember thinking OH MY GOD. I DID IT. I JUST GAVE BIRTH TO HIM WITH NO EPIDURAL.
I remember all the pain was immediately gone as soon as Carter was delivered. All gone. It was the strangest feeling ever. To have such intense physical pain and it could stop so suddenly.
I remember everyone fussing over how big he was. The nurse said “His feet barely fit on the birth certificate!”
I especially remember the doctor saying “It’s a good thing you didn’t wait through the weekend! He would have been over 9lbs by then!”
There was quite a bit of hustle and bustle in the room and then everyone left and it was quiet. Carter was on my chest and I was finally at peace.
And guess what? I felt fantastic.
I didn’t remember feeling this way afterwards with Matty. I remembered feeling nauseous, and shaky, and weak.
This time around? I asked the nurse to bring me a menu and I ordered a grilled cheese and french fries and apple juice.
Carter was perfect. Like my Matty two and half years before him, little baby Carter was absolutely perfect. I was a mom of two. We were now a family of four.
And after that labor and delivery, a family of four is just how we want it to stay…..
Here is a little montage I made as a gift to MYSELF to celebrate our first year with Carter. No one loves a montage more than me. 🙂