I wondered what would happen at this point in my blog....would I rename the blog, "Not-So Pregnant In Texas"? or maybe "UnPregnant in Texas"? All those months of waiting...of heartburn....of crying.....and of wondering what the perfect being inside me would look like has come down to this.
Zachary Russell. Zac. Peanut.
For those who want the technical details, keep reading. For those of you that would rather not, skip ahead. My labor was supposed to be chemically induced on Wednesday, July 7th at 7pm, but lo' and behold, there were no beds available in the hospital. This event reminds me of: (a) 1st century Jerusalem. "Sorry lady, there are no rooms in the inn, but we have a stable around back." (b) 20th century Soviet Union bloc countries and protectorates. "Oh. Batbold. You can't check in the hospital today because the govenor's cousin is sick and the hospital needs wood for the winter. If we don't take his cousin, the governor won't give us wood." or (c) 21st century Friendswood, Texas. "This area has just outgrown our labor and delivery capacities."
Finally, at 5am the next morning and a completely restless, sleepless night, I got the OK to come to the hospital at 7am. I checked in with my Mom, my labor coach, at they inserted cervicil, which is kind of like a tampon thing with a whole lot of chemicals to ripen my cervix. Cervicil can also jumpstart labor and cause a crampy, menstrual like feeling. Twelve hours later and one centimeter dilated, they inserted another cervicil...this time without any lubrication. It was so painful to have that nurse's hands up my vagina that I blurted out, "I'm never having sex again!" I'll speak to that issue at another time.....
My Mom and Dad went back to their house for the night, thinking that most of the action would happen the next morning when they started pitocin, but at 1am, Peanut got things rolling. I woke up and knew that these weren't ordinary cramps. I had started in active labor, contracting every 2-5 minutes. I thought for about three minutes about not calling my parents and waiting for them to return at 6am...then I called. From this point on, my Dad gets the short end of the stick. Occasionally, I was aware that we was in and out of the room, but really, anything outside of my uterus and my Mom has a hazy, blurred quality. Between 1-3 am I had the most painful back labor that I can possibly describe. With every contraction my Mom would jump up, rub my back, and look at the fetal monitors to tell me when the contraction was at its peak. I peed three times and vomited once. After they got me back into bed, they checked my cervix and found that I had gone from 1 cm to 5cm in two hours. The nurses looked at each other, shocked, and asked if I wanted an epidural. My answer of "Yes, please" was shouted before she even finished her question.
Then the man of my dreams who I can speak no ill of, my anesthesiologist, came in and inserted the epidural. Note to all: epidurals don't hurt at all compared to labor. I passed out and woke up around 7am, at which time my cervix had dilated to 8cm, but there was still no sign of Zac. He hadn't dropped into my pelvis yet. Every Debbie, Angie, and Cheryl that shoved their hands into me on exploratory missions to find the baby came back bare-handed. When they broke my water around 9am, they found meconium in the liquid, which means that Peanut had had a bowel movement in the womb and possibly swallowed some of the liquid. Vaginal birth was no longer an option.
At 12:30am my Mom scrubbed up to go into the OR with me and although they gave me more medication, I could still feel the contractions and I had feeling in my legs and feet. They wheeled me in and strapped my arms and legs down to the operating table. I was scared. I started crying and threw up, which isn't easy while strapped down in a sterile environment. I felt most of the surgery. The doctors kept saying, "It's just pressure, just pressure," but I know the difference between pressure and stabbing pain. When they said that his head was out, I was in shock. They took his body out immediately after, but all I could see was the nurses. He was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and he was blue. My Mom saw him, but as soon as the baby was out of my body, they flooded me with pain medication and when my Mom turned around to talk to me, she found me snoring on the table, finally comfortable, but without a baby to hold.
I woke up back in the labor and delivery room and was told that Zac was taken to the NICU for oberservation. I couldn't go and see him because my incision prevented me from going in a wheelchair and he couldn't come to me because of his respiratory problems (see the article "Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn" thanks to Aunt Jen). We saw each other for the first time the next day and once again I cried....this time out of relief and happiness.