Thursday, March 27, 2014

Two Months Ago I Took the Drugs

Two Months Ago I Took the Drugs


It's hard to believe that two months ago I was in the hospital healing from giving birth to my
daughter.   When they laid her on my chest a little after 6am, I stared into the most beautiful face I have ever seen.  She stared back and stuck her tongue out at me repeatedly.  The steps I took the nearly 24 hours prior were not easy.  They say you forget everything about birth once they're born.  That isn't true.  I remember most of it actually.

I was exactly 40 weeks pregnant when I called the hospital that morning.  I was told that because of my age, they didn't want me to go over my due date so they would induce if she didn't come out on her own.  So, despite all the internet chatter about the dangers of induction and the lines of rhetoric I perused that said don't let anyone take your right to have your baby away naturally, I decided to follow my doctor's orders.

I was given a drug called Cytotec shortly after I arrived.  I googled it, big mistake.  Apparently Dr. Google says it will lead to an almost guaranteed hysterectomy and loss of baby.  My sweet nurse told me to only use my phone for Candy Crush and texting friends for the rest of the day after I told her of my findings.  She reassured me that a woman my age had delivered a healthy baby a week before using this same method.  She then asked me what my pain tolerance was.  I told her fairly high.  She said, ok, but she would still keep the anesthesiologist on call.  

After taking the first round of Cytotec nothing happened.  They told me I could walk around and I did.  It was a Sunday so I walked around the entire hospital.  When I returned to my room I was told not to do that again.  I broke the rules.  I was only to walk around on my floor.  Oops!  I didn't know why it was such a big deal, that is, until I took my second round of Cytotec and my water broke.  

That was actually very weird.  I had been napping and when I stood up to use the bathroom, everything was all of the sudden soaking wet.  I don't know if I was in denial, looking back, I think I was, but I didn't say anything.  I went to the bathroom, and more water leaked out.  So, I went in, and out of the bathroom, making these tiny little circles of steps trying to figure out if I should call someone.  My husband was asleep so I woke him up.  I will never forget waking him up and saying in the calmest voice,

"I think my water just broke."

So, we called the nurse and she came in and we all came to the conclusion that yes, that's what just happened.  They asked what time, and I realized it had been half an hour and they were confused as to why it took me that long to call them.  I didn't know.  I think it was fear. 

Shortly after that the cramps became so intense I opted for the Epidural.  It was also time for the other drug I was told to stay away from, the Pitocin.  I would like to say that the epidural was one of the more enjoyable experiences I have had.  The labor was so intense I was on my hands and knees screaming like a feral cat.  Once the epidural kicked in, I just laid there and giggled.  It felt like water was slowly washing over my back.  It was wonderful.

After some time being turned from one side to another to keep the epidural even, I was stuck full of tubes with a catheter in and I honestly didn't feel a thing.  I was a little uncomfortable with each turn due to the fact that my nurse didn't get me all the way on my side and I was laying there like some kind of strange crumple of flesh and bones.  Brian and I would work together to try and get me comfortable.  I was pulling with all my might up on the sides of the bed while he worked to get my legs even.  Up until that moment, that was the worst part.  

Then, all the nurses rushed in, someone put an oxygen mask on my face and I was being wheeled out of the room.   No one explained until Brian asked.  They said I had dilated to 8cm and it was almost time for Cora to arrive.  

Nothing happened for another hour, then it all happened.  I pushed for nearly 3 hours.  Even though I had taken the epidural, I could still feel just about everything, except for my legs. I was useless in my legs.  But, they had to turn the epidural off because her head was stuck.  So, we sat in that holding pattern for almost the entire 3 hours.  At the end I had torn my hospital gown off and was on my hands and knees begging to quit and would someone please just give me a c-section.  

I thought I could handle pain.  I was wrong.  Lesson learned, labor is something different.  A pain no one can prepare you for at all.  

She finally came out and the room was silent.  No baby cry, no word from the nurses.  I looked at my husband who refused to show any expression.  The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck three times and she was face up.  He told me later she was completely white.  I as so exhausted from pushing and puking, yes puking, I didn't really grasp that my baby wasn't breathing.  But the doctor was calm and cool and she cut through the three wraps of cords and then we heard a faint cry, but we heard it nonetheless.  

Now, when I hear her cry I am still happy.  I still love the sound of her but I get sad when I can't settle her down as fast as I would like to.  There is nothing worse than seeing that little frown and nothing more exhilarating than seeing her smile.  I told my husband after the first time I saw her smile that I would do just about anything to make her face light up with that toothless grin.  Luckily, I am doing something with my improv training.  I make up tunes and have rewritten most of the Disney princess songs.   I also voice all of her dolls and she seems to dig that as well.  

Labor sucked but it was worth it.  So, in closing, like my title says, I did the drugs and we all came out fine. 

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