Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Labor Story

It was a beautiful day on July 27th. I remember staring at my closet trying to figure out what to wear for work. I was 36 weeks 1 day pregnant, and I had decided on some calf length black stretchy dress pants (on loan from Jenni Hawkins). I remember worrying that we aren't supposed to wear capri pants to work, but, I was pregnant, and I felt like I needed something stretchy and relaxing that day, so that's what I wore.

The morning went slow. Around 10am I decided to have a nice conversation with Jessica. She is also pregnant, expecting her first, and was due mid September. We went into depth discussing our maternity leave plans for work. We both agreed we wanted to time it out perfectly. I wanted my child to come at the very end of August, or beginning of September. That way I could time my PTO and short term disability and get paid for labor day, and then be out for September and October (my favorite month of the year). Jessica had a similar plan, she wanted her son born a week late, so she could take off the rest of the year and the holidays.

Shortly after that conversation I passed by Brandy's cube, letting her know I was excited about Quizno's for lunch which was going to be in half an hour. I waddled back over to my cube, and water broke. Or, what I actually thought was I peed myself! Did I really just pee myself? I grabbed my cell phone and waddled over to the bathroom on the other side of the office. Well, moments later (I will leave out all of the gross details) I decided I was 90% sure it was my water breaking, and I called Ian, from the bathroom stall. He didn't pick up at first (typical) but he picked up when I immediately called again. I said "I think my water just broke." He asked if I was sure, ad I said "I'm 90% sure." He then told me he was going to pack up his stuff and meet me at my office. (we carpool, and his office is a 5 minute walk away, and I park the car at my office.)

After I hung up the phone with Ian, I didn't know what to do, so I walked briskly over to my old bosses office (Karen). She was meeting with a coworker, and I walked into her doorway. She noticed something was wrong by the look on my face. She asked what was wrong, and I burst into tears. I couldn't formulate any words for at least a whole 2 minutes, and then I blurted it out "My water broke." Karen calmly asked me where Ian was, and if my hospital bag was packed. "NO, my bag isn't packed.....I'M NOT READY FOR THIS." Karen calmly responded "well, you are going to have a baby today." She walked me over to my desk to collect my things and walked with me to the lobby to wait with for Ian. I remember asking her "does this mean I HAVE to have the baby today, or can I wait a while?" Wow Marian, THAT's what you were thinking about?

I called my doctors office and made an immediate appointment, and then I saw Ian's face when the elevator doors opened, we got into our car, and he drove me to our house. We had 20 minutes before our doctors appointment, so we started packing our bags. Tossing everything and the kitchen sink into our bags to make sure nothing was forgotten. It was going through my head that I hadn't downloaded my labor music, I didn't have my noise cancelling headphones, my aromatherapy oils were not ordered. Me, Marian, the most prepared person on the earth, was NOT ready.

We took our "luggage" and went to my women's doctor, arrived around 1:20pm, who confirmed my water had broken and I was going to have this baby tonight or tomorrow morning. She ordered me to check into the hospital, and we did just that. We checked in and got situated into our room. We took the LAST room at St. Francis. (Thank goodness!) The nurse was ordered to start me on pitocin to get my contractions started. Although my water broke, I did not have any contractions. I asked the nurse politely "do you think I have time to take a shower first" and I did just that. I took a nice hot shower, washed my hair, blow dried it straight, put on my maternity gown and jumped into the hospital bed. I remember telling myself "wow, this labor thing isn't that bad, I'm refreshed, relaxed and ready to go."

The nurse started me on Pitocin through an IV, some fluids, and penicillin. The Penicillin was ordered because at 36 weeks I had not had my Strep B test. So, they were going to treat me as if I would have tested positive and go ahead and give me the Penicillin just to be safe. That IV BURNED like hell. It was so painful, they had to dilute it down because I couldn't take it. At that point I thought "If I can't handle an IV, how am I going to give birth!?!"

The contractions started. They were not regular, and the intensity was only a medium. Ian and I did our breathing anyways, to stay focused and relaxed. I was hungry so the nurse got me a Popsicle. I was debating whether to ask someone to bring Rita's Italian Ice for me. An hour late the contractions started picking up. My mind was going a mile a minute trying to figure out canceling my work parking pass, trying to get short term disability paperwork copied and to Brandy (a co-worker who was stopping by that evening to pick up the paperwork to deliver to my benefits coordinator the next morning.) I remember Ian leaving to check on the photo copies, and me going through 3 huge contractions by myself, alone, in the room. I thought that was bad, but around 5pm things started getting bad. The contractions were pretty painful, so I asked for my epidural. Easy right? The nurse checked me and I was 6+ centimeters dilated. I was proud I got that far without pain meds (even though that wasn't my intention). The nurse told me the anesthesiologist would be in, in around 15 minutes. Well, 30 minutes passed, then 45 minutes, and the pain was unbearable. I remember holding tight onto the side of the hospital bed screaming "EPIDURAL!!! Just get me my epidural." Ian kept telling me to breath and apparently I told him I didn't want to. My doctor came in to say hello, and I was in so much pain, and was crying so bad, that my nose had stuffed up, and I couldn't breathe (keep in mind I'm still leaned to the side of my bed gripping onto the rail). They gave me an oxygen mask to help me get oxygen, but the pain was so bad, I thought was going to pass out, or throw up, or both.
an hour and 45 minutes had passed with no epidural, and then ta da, the anesthesiologist showed up. FINALLY, dude, what took you so long!
Right before he was going to give me my epidural, I felt pressure, almost like I needed to push. I didn't want to say anything to anyone because I was afraid they'd say it was too late for and epidural, and I was getting my darn epidural!! So I asked if I could go to the bathroom, and the nurse said to let the anesthesiologist give me my epidural and they'd give me a catheter. A Catheter? Gross, no I was going to use the bathroom now thanks, so I got up and wheeled my iv cart into the bathroom.
When I was done I wheeled back and received my epidural. Within 5 minutes I could relax. But, I could still feel the contractions as really INTENSE pressure, and I told the nurse I felt like I needed to push. The next 20 minutes was a blur. The nurse and Ian coached me through my pushes 10 seconds long, 3 sets at a time. After about 10 minutes of pushing the nurse goes "woah, stop, don't push" and she called for my doctor. My doctor came in, put on her scrubs, laid out all of her supplies, stuck her hands down there and told me to push. I did 2 more sets of pushes and out popped out baby girl. She cried instantly. I was in so much shock because I didn't realize how quickly everything went. They tried to give her to me, but apparently her umbilical cord was "the shortest they'd ever seen" so she could go past my upper thighs. Ian had to cut the cord right there. I remember them cleaning her up and placing her on my chest. I saw her hair first, and then her face, and her cry. I will always remember the sound of that cry. It was my baby's cry, she was mine, and my life was going to be forever changed.

That's pretty much my labor story in a nutshell. Sophia Nicole Millikan was born 8:16pm on Wednesday July 27th. I was in labor for about 5 hours, an hour and a half of that being incredibly horrible, but totally worth it. If I would of had my epidural when I asked for it, my labor probably would have been amazing. I still think my labor was pretty easy, but man, I should have gotten that epidural a lot sooner than I did.

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