Saturday, February 14, 2015

3 Minutes. 9 Pounds. No tearing.

So I have someone simply wonderful and absolutely perfect to introduce to the word: FG!

Born on Wednesday, February 11 at 3:55 AM, he surprised everyone on the labor and delivery floor by coming hours earlier than we anticipated.  Starting the Cytotec, a cervix ripening drug, at 9:00 PM, the nurse briefed the treatment plan that I would receive another dose every three hours until 6:00 AM when I'd have the option of an epidural before starting Pitocin at roughly 7:00 in the morning. Not having decided if I wanted an epidural this go around or not, HB and I nodded in acknowledgment of the schedule as we followed the nurse out into the hall way to begin our ritual of walking the baby out.  

Getting a bit too crampy and too tired to continue our laps by 11:30, we went back to our room where the nurse began to encourage me to take a dose of Ambien and Tylonal so I'd be able to sleep comfortably after receiving my next dose of Cytotec.  Decline both of these medications, the nurse administered the second dose of Cytotec and reported that I was slowly progressing and only 1 cm dilated before turning out the lights and leaving HB and I to a) stew about my lack of progress and b)  sleep.  

A little after 1:30 in the morning, the contractions changed and I couldn't sleep through their frequent and rising intensity.  Thwacking HB with my pillow to get him to wake up (did he take my Ambien?), he helped me to the bathroom and gradually began to look at me with consternation as I went from "me" to "cranky" (his words, not mine).  Attempting to breath my way through the pain, I finally asked HB to go ask the nurse for that dose of Tylonal she'd offered... finding that she was on break, the back-up nurse assigned to my room, Debbie, came in with the small pills and immediately asked if I wanted to consider that epidural. 

Feeling like a complete wimp for not having made it remotely close to 6:00 before giving in on the pain and accepting the drugs, HB translated my non-comprehensible grimace and whimper as an articulate "yes, please" and the nurse called for the anesthesiologist at 2:45.  Gathering supplies and bouncing back and forth from the hallway - before double checking my dilation - it was 3:30 by the time the back-up nurse began to register the look of concern on my face and  helplessness on HB's. 

As the anesthesiologist began to prep by lumbar spine for the epidural placement, I was beyond my own abilities.  Unable move due to my own tension, HB and Debbie helped me sit up and breath calmly though the first series of needles. Looking at Debbie the whole time, I told her in no uncertain terms that "I feel like I need to push - I'm not - but I feel like I need to."  Having not checked my progress yet, she had no idea what we stage of labor we were actually looking at and could only respond by parroting that I not push.  Within a few seconds of the large gauge needle being inserted into my spine, however, I couldn't wait for the actual medication to be administered and I flat out said "I don't trust myself - I have to push NOW!" 

Helping my lie down, HB and Debbie found the baby fully crowning.  Sending the anesthesiologist into the hall for reinforcements, he returned a moment later with the closest thing he could find to my doctor: two random residents and my primary nurse.  With minor instructions and as much encouragement they could find amid the general shock of the unexpected, the baby's head, his shoulders and then his body along with ALL of my amniotic fluid were out within 3 minutes.  Without tearing. 

Unfortunately for the residents, it was only after my water broke following delivery that the nurse remembered to state: "Oh, yeah, she's poly."  

Collectively feeling like what just happened was completely surreal, the nurses quickly began working on the Baby - who didn't start crying immediately - as the residents cursed the late arriving polyhydramnios warning as they delivered the placenta and collected the pieces necessary for our cord blood kit.   

"Holy cow! He's nine pounds and sleeping!" laughed the nurses from the warming table.

Bringing him over to me, the nurse casually informed us of the NICU nurse lurking in the hallway due to FG's low blood sugar levels of 34 mg/dL.  Having talked with our nurse earlier in the evening about our intent to correct his hypoglycemia ourselves with nutramigen upon birth, she bought us some time as HB held our newborn skin-to-skin on his chest and dripped the formula drop by drop into the baby's mouth.

Requiring that FG's blood sugar above 50 mg/dL in order to prevent his admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it was half an hour later that we anxiously watched the nurse prick his heel and apply his blood to the glucose strip.  Feeling like the resulting two seconds of processing was closer to two hours, there was a collective sigh of relief when the number 51 finally appeared upon the screen.  Happily dismissing the NICU nurse to return to her other charges, the labor and delivery team put our paperwork together and transferred our care to the maternity ward where we were generally left in peace by the staff given our "veteran" parent status.

Spending the following 24 hours going through the typical newborn routine, he received his first round of vaccinations, his hearing exam (which, unfortunately, he failed), bilirubin checks (slightly elevated) and his first pediatrician visit.  The pediatrician indicated some concern over his red color (likely a result of elevated hemoglobin levels) and his hips clicking (likely caused by his position while in utero), but indicated that the various abnormal results could be resolved with time or on an out-patient basis.  Otherwise granting a clean bill of health, the doctors found FG fit enough to  earn us a discharged ticket home.

Now that we're here... life with three kids will certainly take some time for us to get accustomed.  Upon walking in the door and introducing the baby to big brother GW and big sister GV, we found ourselves swimming in the deep end as FG promptly peed on the couch mid-diaper change as GV went into a full-on overtired two year old tantrum and GW raced about the house showing off his latest drawings and demonstrating his race car speed for his new brother (it was only on lap number three that he slipped on the hardwood in his socks and began to cry after careening into a cabinet).  I think things will be just fine when we develop our new rhythm, but for the mean time, I'm going to let the contentment of my post-delivery glow and a touch of mommy-brain carry me through.

Happy, happy, happy Mama!

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