Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How it all fell down


So what exactly did happen last Thursday?

Lily happened.

Despite each of our little nightly talks about the pros of staying in utero until after the 15th of February, each night last week saw me falling asleep with my hands on the belly, quite certain that something felt different inside and that Baby Seeley would soon be making an exit/entrance.

On Wednesday I began showing my replacement around the workplace. As she is my friend Kate who has previously worked for the College of Urban Planning and Pubic Affairs in her own right, I wasn’t too worried about her ability to pick up the subtle skills of being Assistant to the Associate Dean. We were to have two weeks of training time before my leave began but all day I kept feeling the need to show her more and more things, just in case this was our only day of training.

I went home to my parents’ that night. I was staying with them just in case anything baby happened while Oli was away. Mom and I stopped by Babies ‘R’ Us to pick up the last of the things our apartment lacked: the car seat, the stroller/pram, crib sheets, etc. Oli had told me I shouldn’t stress myself and should wait to do this shopping until he got back. Subtle signals from my belly told me to disregard this kind suggestion.

Mom, Dad and I ate dinner at 7:30 p.m. After dinner I went to the bathroom and noticed that my mucous plug (gunk that plugs up the cervix) had apparently begun to come out. Hm, no worries. Doc had said this could happen up to two weeks before baby’s arrival. I was two weeks from my due date. All the same, I emailed Oli saying he should not stick around England too long after Thursday’s visa interview. I took a bath. In the following couple hours before bed I felt the need to poop about four times. Strange.

I passed out at about 10:00 p.m. and remember nothing until some sensation (probably a mild contraction) woke me at 11:30 p.m. and I noticed I was wetting myself in gushes. Agh! I jumped up, noticed happily that none had gotten on the bed despite my soaked knickers and ran to the bathroom. OK. I am peeing myself again. Damn. But why is it still trickling out? And why is it coming out in pulsing gushes? Perhaps my bladder is just being humorous? This can’t be labor, don’t be labor, Oli’s not here.

I was out of pads and had nothing but tissue to stuff in the clean underwear I had put on. I lay in bed trying to believe that no more wetness would occur, I would go to sleep and tomorrow go to work. But more gushing happened. Oh Oli!

I tiptoed downstairs to where my Mom sleeps, still unsure if this was labor. I knocked on the door and entered. “Mom, I think something’s happened.”

We sent my poor Dad to the store for pads and lay in my bed waiting for something to confirm or deny labor. “Are you having contractions?” Mom asked. “Not yet….Oh wait,” I said as a funny little ripple spread over my belly. Felt like painful gas, only all over. Five minutes later it happened again, but stronger, and this pattern continued for an hour and a half, the length of time Doc suggested to wait before calling him.

We called Oli first. Just as he was about to pop out the door of Buckleigh House to catch his train to London for the accursed Fiance Visa Interview I informed him that I was having contractions. His response: “Oh No.”

Fast forward to the hospital where a quick peek at my undercarriage in an exam room confirmed I was totally in labor and dilated to between one and two centimeters. They poked me with loads of needles and wisked me off to a delivery suite.

Mom was good throughout; she had brought her chimey yoga CDs, which she played on the stereo in the suite. I used the sounds of India to transport myself to monsoon season when particularly nasty contractions hit. Some seven hours after the contractions had begun I was wasted; I hadn’t slept but an hour or so before coming to the hospital and though exhausted couldn’t sleep through the contractions that were coming every two minutes and stronger than ever….and I was now only at two or three centimeters!!!! They offered the epidural and I took it. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk to anyone, I was a lifeless shallow-breathed sickly being and if there was seemingly ten more hours of this ahead, I wasn’t going to enjoy a moment of it. I had to wait another hour for the anesthesiologist, though, who was currently in surgery. (Side note: I don’t feel guilty for taking the epidural but pay the deepest homage to all women who have done it without whether by choice or lack of the option. It’s true that contractions are manageable but to breathe through them for hour upon hour….I can’t imagine.)

The doctor called and told them to put me on Petosin, a hormone that speeds up labor and makes your contractions intensify. Thank God they had given me the epidural beforehand. I was now happy, smiling, talking, laughing. A little later my sister showed up and joined Mother and I in waiting. It was now around 10:00 a.m.

Fast forward again to 2:00 p.m. Time to push, mates. By this time even though I couldn’t feel my legs due to the epidural, I could feel the tightening and pressure of each giant contraction, which was great because it didn’t hurt but allowed me to push with each one and get Baby Seeley out! The doctor arrived, said to start pushing with the nurses, that he’d be back in a few minutes after he got into scrubs.

Mom and Sis held my legs back and we pushed for about twenty minutes and got that head right down into the opening. Then the nurses said to stop. Doc had to be there when the head came out in case anything strange happened. So they paged the doctor and there I was sitting through major contractions with a head wedged in my hoo-ha. Imagine someone catching you mid poop and saying, “Stop. Hold it right there.” It wasn’t so much painful as odd.

Doc popped in, the head popped out, my sister and mom squealed, I felt excited and happy that they were excited and happy. “Oh my God, it looks like Oli!” my sister said. I looked down and indeed, I laughed, an Oli head was coming out of me. That was weird. A couple more pushes, shoulder out, baby out. 2:44 p.m. It’s a girl! Sis cuts the umbilical cord….

Wisked off to the side, cleaned up. She was a bit bitey when the nurses bathed her and let out giant impressive cries. Doc informed me that my delivery had given a little boy thirty more minutes with his foreskin, which he had been just about to remove when he had been paged. Within a few minutes the girl was in my arms clamped onto my left nipple sucking voraciously. Just then, Oli called and I asked him to guess what I was doing at that moment……

Job done.

1 comment:

The Tricyclist said...

yea! thanks for posting that. i can't get enough of the birth stories, you know. i fiend for them. also, this way i don't have to bite my tongue when i see you, wondering if it's rude to ask how it went. now i know, and it went quite well, it seems. you are a champ.
hey, we were hoping to come over tonight, bring you some quiche and cookies, and see that baby. is it a good night for you? we'll call first, of course.