So Leah's already recounted her epic experience from the perspective of the lady in the hospital gown, but I thought I'd chime in on the view from the sidelines.
Heading in to the hospital to get started with the induction was a pretty simple process. The admission process was easy and the early induction steps were a piece of cake as Leah was just strapped into an IV and the pitocin started dripping. No problem. Easy peasy. La di da. I just hung out over on the day bed and we watched TV together, too tired and excited to go to bed. The baby was almost here! Yay!
Sure, the nurses cautioned us that it could take 18-24 hours for induction to work its magic. Our first resident even warned that it could take as long as 48 hours, worst case.
Yeah, okay. Sure. I think we'll be fine, thanks.
And so the pitocin kept on dripping and we kept on hanging out. We tried to get a bit of sleep that night, but it wasn't really possible. Every half hour Leah's automatic blood pressure cuff would start pumping and wake us up. But no big deal if we didn't get sleep because, really, the baby would be here soon!
And then noon the next day started to roll around. Leah had been contracting for almost 14 hours and had nothing to show for it. A mere 1.5 centimeters and no pain. Boo to no pain! And so the doctor decided to break Leah's water and let nature's pitocin take over. Out doctor was pulled into a c-section and couldn't make it in for the water breaking, so a resident was sent in instead.
And then the breaking of the water began.
I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it's the worst thing I've ever seen. The look of pain on Leah's face while the resident was on top of her, wielding her instrument of torture (which I swear to god was a meter long), was just horrifying. And all I could do was sit over on the sidelines and watch, doing nothing. In the end it worked, but it was distinctly not awesome. Afterwords, I remembered to breath again.
And I think I'm just about recovered from the trauma.
But, in the end, the water breaking was a good thing as the contraction began to really kick in. Yay for pain! On a scale from 1 to 10, I believe she said her pain was a fortheloveofgodstopaskingmethatgoddamnquestion. We spent the next little while walking the halls and dilating (well, she dilated more than I did. I'm still at 1 cm) and the pain kept on increasing. Leah was starting to get really uncomfortable and then the time came. Get me the drugs! And some for Leah, too! Druuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggggggggs.
And so she got the epidural. And it was delicious. I remember walking back into the room (they make the fathers leave during this procedure) and I did a double take. Leah was sitting there on the best smiling and joking with the nurses, back to her pre-pain self. I was starting to feel pretty good about this. And, as a bonus, she was up to 3 cm dilated. Woo Hoo! The baby was on the way!
And then it was a lot of hanging out and waiting. We watched Monday Night Football then slept for awhile. During that time, Leah passed 6.5 and 7 cm and the night was starting to really drag on. Leah covered this pretty well and there's not too much to day about this time. Leah needed her medicine re-dosed a bit, but once the pain was well under control, we both slept a decent amount. Actually, we slept a lot more that night than the night before (when the contractions were very mild), because the real issue with sleeping was an uncomfortable bed. (Note to all the ladies: get the epidural when you *enter* the hospital. Otherwise your butt will keep falling asleep on the very uncomfortable bed and no sleep will be had).
And so, in some regard, nothing interesting happened. Leah just grew more tired and frustrated with the process and time began to slow. But what I remember more is her waking me up and having me come over because she had started shaking violently. Leah broke down with tears of frustration and fear, the big fear being that she wouldn't have enough energy to push when the time came. Her body had nothing left. All she wanted was a drink of water. And still, shaking violently. And through it all, there wasn't a thing I could do. I couldn't give her water. I couldn't help the shaking. Nothing.
I could see things were starting to spiral out of control, so I was very relieved when our amazing doctor came in and had a talk with Leah. It was time to consider a c-section. Or, at least, a c-section was now a viable option. Leah had given it her all and, after 32 hours of labor, had started to lose it. The contractions had lost their zing and her body was out of baby-having juice.
It as time for a c-section. There was really no choice. The doctor, although she wouldn't tell us what to do, gave me the impression that she really felt surgery was the only realistic option at this point. At this point it really appealed to me as I wasn't wild about the direction this was heading and a c-section meant we got to meet little Lucy much sooner.
After a bit of deliberation and waiting a bit longer, the decision was made. Let's make the cut! Yay! It's slicin' time!
And so Leah was wheeled out of the room and I was left to get dressed in my sweet-ass scrubs. The nurse came to get me and took me over to the other waiting room, where I waited for them to get Leah all prepped up. After 5-10 minutes of waiting (or more, I have no idea), it was time to head into the operating room and have a baby, Julius Caesar style.
My job during the procedure was to keep Leah calm. I just kept letting her know that this was a very easy surgery and that, in the end, we would have a Lucy. She must have actually been quite tired as she actually nodded in agreement with me a few times. And through it all, we listened to a live episode of ER unfold. Our doctor was in complete command of the operating room, calmly directing the procedure and explaining each step of the way. The best part was that it was a teaching hospital, so the whole time a med student was getting quizzed and, I might add, getting some answers wrong. Tsk, tsk, tsk.
After a mere ten minutes, out doctor announced that she was making the incision on the uterus and that there would be some pressure (I'd imagine so as she was wrist-watch deep in Leah's insides) and, 1 minute later...a baby cry. I was told I could stand up and see the baby (I think that's what I was told, anyway, as I certainly stood up) and saw little Lucille held above Leah's belly, crying her little (well, "little") head off. Yep, that's what I'd been waiting for.
After that it was a bit of a whirlwind. She was brought over for me to hold along side Leah and then off to be warmed and cleaned. I was allowed to head over to the "giraffe" and watch her get all weighed and whatnot. I really couldn't believe how big she was. To me, she looked like a toddler. It was unreal. The nurse asked what I thought of the size and I threw out a guess of 10 lb 5 oz and, as it turns out, I wasn't off by much.
Yeah, I rule.
What I remember most was just that she was actually cute. I mean, let's be honest, most babies aren't when they first make an appearance in the world. Most are damn ugly. But ours came out full formed and ready to rule the world.
And so now here we are. At 9:12 today she turns a week old and she's already a completely different baby. We've started looking at colleges already (SAT flash cards are a great investment!) and it's pretty clear to me her #1 choice is IU. Go Hoosiers!
4 months ago