It’s a good thing it has been a couple of weeks since giving birth to Naomi. I’m hoping that being a bit removed from the event will help me remember to have a sense of propriety and decency in posting about it, since you certainly lose all dignity in a hospital. Because I’m usually such a private person, it helped me to remember to just submit to the experience, no matter how uncomfortable or awkward it was. It also helps to be removed from the experience because I will probably be less cynical in recording about it too, not that it was a bad experience, per se, it was just something that in the moment, I decided I didn’t want to experience ever again. ;)
I have to say Hylan was/is the best nurse. He anticipated my needs and fulfilled them with patience much better than I ever have for him. I just love him so much and honestly can’t imagine having gone through any of that without him. I COULD NOT have done it without him. I really couldn’t have. I continue to rely on him more now than I ever have before.
Now, for the birth story:
At about 3:45 am on Thursday, February 7th, I woke up and couldn’t fall back asleep, as per usual in those last few weeks of pregnancy, so I got out of bed to go sit in the living room and read stuff on my phone, watch the early morning news, cry, do some stretches, etc. Eventually, I noticed that my water was leaking. It didn’t full on break, but I decided to take a shower/bath to try to relax and then to get ready for the day to see what would happen. At about 6:00 am, Hylan checked on me to ask what he should do. I said he probably shouldn’t plan on going to work. I finished packing the infamous hospital bag and then we waited…
I wasn’t having any contractions (except for the tightening feeling of Braxton Hicks), so I wasn’t sure what we should do. I received a blessing and felt confident that “it” was going to happen that day. At about 12 noon, Hylan called our doctor to find out what he thought and he said we should head to the hospital. We arrived at about 2:00 pm and after an evaluation, they admitted me.
Hylan joked that we wanted the ocean view delivery room. We didn’t get that, but we did have an awesome corner room with a fantastic view of the mountains and the Mount Timpanogos temple, which was beautiful!
It looked liked this from our window!
I guess I did have different expectations as to how it was all going to go once in the hospital. I was almost immediately hooked up to so many tubes, IV’s, and monitoring devices that there was no such thing as walking around or doing yoga poses anymore . There were no ice chips involved and it was awkward and uncomfortable for any type of massage (although an occasional foot rub helped).
Anyway, they gave me Pitocin to help the contractions start and then I found out what real labor feels like. OW. OW. OW! I breathed deeply through each contraction and remembered that the nurses said I could have an epidural at any time. At about 4:00 pm, I decided to ask for it. BEST DECISION EVER! By about 4:30, they gave it to me and by about 4:45 I felt it kick in. I immediately began to relax and the back pain that I had experienced for so much of the third trimester left completely and I barely felt the contractions anymore. Everything was so much more bearable that I likened the whole experience to eating chocolate cake. It was just such a relief and felt so euphoric. Next time, if there is a next time, I won’t even hesitate to ask for that sweet as chocolate epidural. No shame!
So, then you wait and wait, close your eyes and try to snooze, watch lots of TV, talk deliriously to your husband (I seriously turned into “chatty Kathy” and started apologizing for all the wretched ways I had acted during the previous 9 months). I was a bit worried when the nurses said my doctor had to be at the Provo MTC (Missionary Training Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) until 9:00 pm, which is also about 25 minutes away from the hospital that I was in, but I wasn’t fully dilated and they wouldn’t boost my Pitocin until he was back anyway, so it all worked out. In the meantime, one of the nurses was a little worried that my blood pressure was too low, so she put me on oxygen (one more thing to be hooked up to!).
When my doctor got back to the hospital, they upped my Pitocin, and I upped my epidural medicine in anticipation of a painful delivery (you know, just to be sure I wouldn’t feel it). I started to feel nauseated as it got closer to game time and actually threw up a couple of times, but since I hadn’t eaten, it wasn’t really that bad. And luckily, Hylan knew what those blue cylindrical bags hanging above the bed were for.
Then at about 10:30 pm, the doc said “push.” Fifteen minutes later, Naomi was born (face-up). The doctor and nurses all commented on how great I had done and how surprised they were at how fast it went, especially because her head was facing the wrong direction. I decided I must have done a good job strengthening my pelvic floor muscles, despite how weak they felt during pregnancy, and perhaps that helped the process.
After that, and here’s your TMI moment, the doctor stitched up a third degree tear and episiotomy. I started shivering and asked if that was normal. It was. I put in a drink order for pineapple juice, but couldn’t keep that down either.
Eventually I was moved (albeit awkwardly) to the recovery room. It’s weird to be so helpless, numb, and fatigued that you can’t even get out of bed and into a wheel chair and then back into a bed without the help of two people.
In the recovery room, I was exhausted and received lots of instructions—I always tried really hard to listen to the nurses, but between not being able to keep my eyes open and feeling nauseated, I don’t know how much information I actually retained. But at least the nausea and throwing up went away after a dose of Zofran, and at that point I was finally able to eat some of the boxed lunch they gave to me.
Beyond that, it was all roses! HA. The recovery in and out of the hospital is definitely TMI, and no part of it is something I’d like to remember, though having room service for every meal and drink service every time one of the kind nurses came in was nice. We stayed in the hospital all day Friday and left on Saturday morning.
I must say that I thought that I would have an intense spiritual experience and an immediate feeling of love and happiness once baby girl was born, but I didn’t. I don’t know if it was all the drugs, or unrealistic expectations, or extreme fatigue, or the nausea. Of course I love our little girl, but it is coming on more gradually as I learn to serve her and put her needs above my own.
So, that’s part one of the story. Part two is much more difficult to put into words, but I hope to soon. Needless to say, having a newborn, especially a first baby, is hard work and has not been all rainbows and butterflies like it is portrayed in the movies. Luckily, I have Hylan and my parents (for two whole weeks), so that has definitely helped tremendously.
And this sweet face.
But I'm biased.