Sunday, July 11, 2010

Part One: Even in labor, there are vuvuzelas

Tuesday morning (June 22) I woke up to an unpleasant sensation that, quite honestly, felt like I had peed myself. Except I haven't wet the bed in years and years, and believe that I have pretty decent bladder control. I called the doctor's office to ask what was going on, and they had me come in, at which point my doctor checked things out and said that my water had broken and I needed to check in to the hospital. Which I did.

We got situated in a labor and delivery room and just kind of sat around for awhile. There wasn't much on TV and I was STARVING. I hadn't eaten anything for breakfast since I thought this would be a quick visit to the doctor and I would just get something after, but THEN they told me I wasn't allowed to eat anything! NOOOOOO. So I got started on my Pitocin drip and turned on Food Network because if I couldn't eat food, I was at least going to look at it. Tyler Florence made some excellent looking Swedish meatballs.

Argentina and Greece were playing in the World Cup, but the only channel showing it that was available in the room was Univision. I had some fun translating the commentary, and Spanish announcers get REALLY excited about soccer. And may I just say one more time: the sound of vuvuzelas in the background of anything is like having a mosquito embedded in your eardrum.

So around 2 or 3 I started having some serious contractions and pain, and my doctor came by and started telling me how he doesn't believe in epidurals (WHAT NO I WANT MY DRUGS) which was a joke (thank God). The anesthesiologist came by a little while later and shot me up, which was the best thing that happened to me all day because within a matter of minutes I went from moaning into Brandon's shirt from the sheer pain of the contractions to sitting up and talking about how this wasn't so bad! I could totally do this!

My parents came after I got the epidural, which was a small mercy, given that I was an utter mess until I got it.

Sometime around 8:15PM or so they announced that I was ready to start pushing. The nurse got the bed set up and brought in the cart with all the medical supplies, and the doctor came in and just...kind of stood there. Because nothing was happening yet. Once things really did get underway, I pushed until the baby got where he needed to be, and then the doctor set up and started working on getting him out. This was a lot less difficult than I thought it would be. It was a matter of waiting for a contraction, pushing like crazy while Brandon counted to 10, then relaxing. That is, until he started actually coming out, at which point the counting was irrelevant and I just pushed as much as I wanted to.

Calvin was born at 9:03PM and weighed 4 pounds 15 ounces. He was 18 inches long and had a giant bruise on his head where he had been shoved against my pelvic bones for over a week. The first thing he did was open his eyes, and once they got him cleaned up I got to hold him for a few minutes before they whisked him off to special care.

After the hell that has been my pregnancy, labor itself was surprisingly not bad. The worst part was the pain before the epidural kicked in, which was pretty miserable, but even that wasn't too bad. I didn't sustain any major damage from the labor process, and what I did I won't detail here because no one wants to hear about that. I was really happy with the delivery process and how it was handled by the hospital; I don't think it could have been any better. Now the aftermath of the delivery, specifically the ramifications of having a baby six weeks early, was less pleasant.

Part two will detail the two weeks of visiting my own child at the hospital.

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