Thursday, May 23, 2013

What I've Been Knitting For: 5/23/13

I had been waiting for The Call since the 10th of May . . . The Call in the middle of the night, urgent or panic-stricken, from my pregnant daughter, advising that she was in labor and please come quickly.  Thursday morning, 0555, my cell phone rang . . . my cell phone whose earphones I have sleeping with in my ears.  It was my daughter.

"I think we're in labor," she calmly said.

"How exciting!" for lack of anything better to say at 0555.  "What are you going to do: wait til contractions are 3 minutes apart and then go to the hospital? Do you want me to meet you there?"

 "They are about 5 minutes apart," she said.  "Why don't you come up here and we'll wait together until they are closer together."

I showered and dressed, and called in to work that I would not be in today.  I put in vacation for 4/23 instead of 5/23 and got dinged for it later, but they understood. Then I drove up to their little apartment at the University of Utah.

Nothing much happened for a bit.  I started noticing what sort of body language signs she made when a contraction was happening, and applying pressure to her lower back during each one.  She ate canteloupe, and promptly threw it up.
9 am on 5/23/13. Contractions 3.5 minutes apart.

About 8:30, Jeff went to turn in his request for FMLA, and Cat asked me to start timing the contractions as they were getting closer together.  They were averaging 3:30. When Jeff got back, we loaded up the car with a bag for everybody ( including one for the baby),  the boppy, the car seat, and a bowl for Cat to throw up in.

After the Very Annoyingly Long Check in (0900), Cat got decked out in the indecent robes they give you at hospitals, and a nurse came in and checked her cervix.


"What?!" said Cat, who had been at 3 for several weeks.

All haste was made to get her to a laboring room, and as we progressed up there on foot at her request, we had to stop several times to do Contraction Support.

Enter Midwife Christi Elmore. She showed me how to press in on Cat's hips during contractions, and other massage techniques between contractions to make labor more tolerable.

At 1115, Cat, standing on the side of the bed, her head resting on the mattress, exclaimed, "I feel her! I feel her!" and her water broke. It was tinted green from mecconium. Christi very quietly paged the pediatrics team, as Lucy might have swallowed or breathed in some of the mecconium, and she wanted the team ready to clear her lungs when she was born.  Christi checked Cat again, and there was a tiny bit of cervix left, so she was not given the approval to push.  She puffed through about an hour of contractions and was checked again, and given the OK to push. This was about 12:30 pm.  We used up 3 sets of towels cleaning up after all the fluid throughout the day.

The lights were dimmed, and Cat pushed. And pushed. And pushed. She tried more positions. We could see about an inch of Lucy's hair, then 2", then 3". We could see the curve of her head, but progress was very slow. Cat was running out of strength. Christi was very diplomatic when Cat asked for an epidural, and later when she weakly said, "I can't do this any more."  I nearly cried at that point. My poor little girl!

We could see a goodly portion of Lucy's head by this point.  It looked like a lumpy, rotten cabbage. Difficult to believe it belonged to a human being!

Christi felt around Lucy's head, and felt what she thought were fingers alongside her head. She manipulated them down, so Cat didn't have to push out the arm AND the head.  They also did an episeotomy (several, actually) and with a final push, Lucy's head was out, and her body (all purply and covered in vernix) followed immediately after that.

She was held face down for a few seconds while the cord was clamped and cut.  She was crying, but I could hardly hear her. She seemed to have a lot of gunk in her throat.  They rushed her over to the baby station in the corner of the room and the 7 members of the pediatric team who had been standing patiently for 2 hours hovered around her and cleaned her out and siphoned out her throat and lungs, etc.
She was diapered and wrapped in a blanket and given to her proud father to hold while mom got stitched up.
Lucy, a few minutes old
Proud Papa

There was also the matter of the placenta.  They never tell you, when the talk turns to birth stories, that after you push that huge baby out, you have to push out the placenta.  It's much, MUCH smaller, of course, but you are very sore by this point, and tired, and don't feel like pushing any more.  Which was the case for Cat.

However, not all of Cat's placenta came out in one piece, which meant she had an internal open bleeding sore. The towel under her bum quickly FILLED up with blood.  Later rumors indicated that there was as much as 1300 cc of blood before they finally got enough Pitocin and other drugs into her to contract her uterus to stop the bleeding. She was very pale, and light-headed,
Cat, pale but happy, gets her first look at Lucy.
but did not require a transfusion.
The new little family:
Here's the Birthing Team:
L to R:  Christi Elmore, Chief Nurse Sue, Cat, Jeff and Lucy

No comments:

Post a Comment