Here’s the full story of Ivy’s birth.
Wednesday, the day after my due date, as you know my Dr. reported nothing was happening. No dilation, no effacement, no head engaged. So she sent me to the hospital Friday for a fetal non stress test and monitoring. We left that morning like we’d be back by the afternoon. We even figured we’d go out to lunch afterward.
We got there and did the non stress test and everything was fine with the baby. We did the ultrasound and everything was ok with the amniotic fluid. However, everything was not ok with me. My blood pressure was still very high (I can’t remember the exact #’s but I know the bottom one was in the 90’s which is no good).
After the ultrasound technician told us everything was ok w/ the fluid and the baby seemed very happy in there we were ready to walk out. We were saying goodbye and thank you to the nurse who did the NST and she said “Don’t go anywhere just yet I have to call your Dr. first and let her know the results. So we sat down in the waiting room for about 15 minutes, when the nurse came out and said “I’m taking you down to L & D”
In a daze we followed her out and only when we actually got the the labor and delivery ward I said “Wait, Labor and Delivery?” and she said “Yes your Dr. thinks your blood pressure is too high so they are inducing you today” Today? I asked and though incredulously. Jon said his mum told him this would probably happen when he told her about my blood pressure. “We knew this would happen any day now” he said. All I could think was but not TODAY as I tried really hard to figure out what was going to happen here. I called my doula and told her what was happening so she could come down. I tried top breath and calm down but this was kind of impossible. I’m having a baby!! Today!! was all I could think. On the way into the ward I ran into my Dr’s partner and she asked what I was doing there. “They’re inducing me today!” I told her and she looked surprised.
When we got into the ward where they triage you my Dr. was there and told me she wanted to do a c-section straight away because of the size of the baby in ratio to the size of my pelvis. This was everything I didn’t want to happen with my birth happening in rapid succession. Induction! C-Section! These were the terms of my nightmares for the past few weeks! I took a deep breath and told her I didn’t really want a c-section and what happened to inducing me. She let me know that a) since I wasn’t at all dilated or efface induction could take DAYS and b) because of the size of the baby after all that I could end up having a c-section anyway.
As much as I wanted to avoid all these things I knew my Dr. knows what was best so ok, here we go. I went into the triage room and changed into my lovely hospital gowns. I got hooked up the the fetal heart beat monitor, the contraction monitor and the blood pressure machine. I got an IV and a drip put in. And tried to breathe. Various nurses and Dr’s came in and asked me a ton of questions. The really nice nurse who was actually taking care of me last time I was admitted for high blood pressure is here and this makes me feel better. At some point I asked if I could have some ice chips and was denied. I hadn’t eaten since 9 that morning. And since I wasn’t planning on being admitted to the hospital that day i only had a bowl of shredded wheat and a glass of OJ. I hadn’t even had a drink of water since like 10:30. My mouth was so freakin dry it was unbelievable! But no, no ice chips because of the anesthesia. I wasn’t even getting knocked out and yet they denied me ice chips.
Obviously Jon had made all the required phone calls to family who were on their way and my doula was on her way as well. She got there and immediately helped me get really zen about everything. Leg massages and music and all sorts of talk about how exciting this was! My baby will be here soon! I was in triage for a couple of hours – we got down there at about 2 and they had schedule my c-section for 5:30. My mom and sister got there and I was finally feeling ready to do this.
They came and put the catheter in which was no fun but Jon made it funny by cracking jokes the whole time. Plus I was holding both his and Kat’s (my doulas) hands which I squeezed profusely. Next someone came in and gave Jon his scrubs to put on since he was going in with me.
They took me in alone first to the operating room which was a horrible scary room that was filled with instruments and bright lights and cold metal tables. I longed for those warm labor and delivery rooms with the nice views that we got to see on our tour. But no, here I was in the OR.
Next came the anesthesiologist and his resident assistant. The anesthesiologist has a thick Russian accent and explains to me how they are going to do my spinal block. I am barely absorbing any of this information. They ask me to lean over so they mark the injection sites and get the lidocain in there. This is really difficult because I can’t see what they are doing back there and it’s freezing everything hurts and tickles. Ok – the lidocain is in and they are getting ready to inject all the anesthesia. The resident is asking me where I can feel pain but it can feel it all over so I don’t think I’m helping him by yelling “middle! no left!! no right! back to left! I don’t know!” I’m supposed to be hunched over with my head and shoulders relaxed but there’s no way this is happening because I’m practically jumping off the table. The nice nurse comes over and lets me lean on her to make this easier. Ok. The needle part is done. It’s funny that someone so heavily tattooed would be so jumpy about needles in her back but there it is.
So they lay me down and start making sure the anesthesia is working and thankfully, it is. They let Jon back in and put up “the curtain” so I can’t see while they operate. I think my arms are also strapped down to something.
So far,I’m doing ok- better now that Jon is here. He asks if he can put on music and my Dr. says “As long as it’s nothing fast or angry – I want my babies born to nice music” So Bob Marley it is. This helps immensely. As they start the surgery the worst part is the sounds and smells. I start to feel a bit nauseous and the Russian anesthesia guy puts a little bedpan next to my mouth in case I barf. Luckily I don’t.
They ask how I’m doing, and I’m ok, except I can feel an immense amount of pressure in my abdomen now. I tell them this. “That’s your baby” 2 seconds later I hear her crying and breath a huge sigh or relief. It’s a few minutes before I get to see her while she’s weighed measured and gets her apgar tests. I can still hear her crying and Jon and I both are now grinning ear to ear. We see the nurse walk by with her footprints and they’re huge. They announce that she’s 9 lbs 3 oz and bring her to Jon to hold. At this point I’m in tears and can’t believe I’m looking into the eyes of my baby girl. The scary OR background is gone and all I can see is her beautiful face. AT some point the Russian anesthesiologist sticks his face in front of mine to offer me congratulations in his thick accent, and he’s off.
After a while they have to take her up to the nursery. Jon asks if I want him to stay or go with the baby and I tell him to go with her. The rest of the surgery is kind of a blur because all I can think about is Ivy’s gorgeous face. They take me into recovery for monitoring and Kat and Jon come back in. I’m really out of it and can’t focus on much. I want to see the baby but I’m in and out of sleep. I’m actually in recovery for about 3 and 1/2 hours but it goes by really quickly.
Then the nice nurse is back and she’s telling me how she had her daughter via c-section and is giving me all sorts of advice and guidelines. She tells me transport is on it’s way to take me upstairs. I remember, in my haze to try and request a semi-private room with no one in it so I can block it and get my own nice room. The nurse from the maternity ward comes down to tell me all the semi private rooms have people in them and there are no private rooms available! The nice nurse tells me that they delivered 9 babies on her shift today, which is close to the record of 12. Long Island College Hospital baby boom!
When I get upstairs and get settled they come with magical ice chips which taste as good as Veuve Clicquot. Jon goes away for a minute and comes back rolling in our beautiful baby girl! She’s awake and alert and he lays her down next to me and we stare into each others eyes. Here’s a picture that Jon took right after I got to see her again;
We bond as a new family of 3 for a few hours until almost midnight. Since we couldn’t get the private room, the only option Jon has is a really hard chair and we decide it’s best for him to head home and get some proper sleep. Lucky bastard! He takes the baby back to the nursery and a wonderful nurse brings me an entire pitcher of apple juice. She’s sure to warm me it might make me nauseous and gives me a little bedpan and tissues in case I vomit. There is no way this juice is making me sick. I ask her about food and she says if the juice sits well they will give me a liquid breakfast which will consist of things like jello and applesauce.
The first night is a bit rough. My roommate falls asleep with her TV blasting and snores, and I have to call the nurse in to turn it off. All I really want is to hang out with our baby but man am I out of it. I finally manage to fall asleep until the Dr.’s and nurses come in for the rounds at 5:30 am. At about 6 they come and give me pain meds and tell me I have to get out of bed for a while and I sit in this hard chair. Then breakfast comes and its amazing. Corn flakes! and more apple juice.
Jon gets there early and wheels Ivy in and we all hang for a few hours until Grandma Grandpa and Auntie Jill get there. All the nurses love our baby. Although I’m too weak to have her room in with me she spends tons of time with us. The rest of my hospital stay goes by slowly – I can’t wait to get home but they keep me there for 3 days!
In the end, even though I never had a birth “plan” I knew I wanted to avoid a c-section. At first I felt kind of depressed that I gave birth and will never know what a really strong contraction feels like, never had to push and never got the experience of all that work. But you know what? My baby is healthy, I’m healthy and even though it was surgery it was still an amazing experience with the same result as a vaginal birth: an amazing life changing special delivery.