Monday, December 3, 2007

The one with the little old man

Part 2 of the 4-part birth story series (you can read the first here):

My second child was due on January 6, 2001. Starting on January 4th, I experienced nightly contractions that would start around 11:00pm and continue until between 2:00 and 4:00am, when they would stop. So the night of January 6th, I was VERY ready to get this birth done. Our next-door neighbor's daughter invited my daughter over to spend the night, and my husband and I went out walking. Since it was icicle-hanging-from-your-nose freezing and my husband needed a few things from Staples, we did our walking there. I pushed the cart and would have to stop every little while and try not to moan when a contraction would hit. We went home in hopes they wouldn't stop and we could call the doctor. This time they didn't stop, and we went to the hospital around 4:00am.

After the doctor checked me and determined that I was dilated enough to put into a labor room, we got all settled into one. By that time, I had dilated more and the doctor made the comment that I dreaded to hear, "You might be moving along too fast to have time to get the epidural." To which I responded, "Get the anesthesiologist in here right now, I WANT that epidural." But you know, NICER than that. More like, "Please can we just try? Pleeeeaaaaassseee?" You must understand that I signed that "I want an epidural" paper the moment I discovered I was pregnant. Positive pregnancy test? Fax that epidural paper to me and I'll sign it and fax it back. I know I don't need it for a while, and that my first office visit isn't even for 6 weeks, but you can never be too prepared.

So anyway, about 10-20 minutes later, this little old stooped shuffling man, who must've been just shy of 90, walked in pushing the anesthesiologist's cart and supplies. I assumed that he was just dropping off the cart and the anesthesiologist would arrive in a minute or two but NOOOOOOOO. This little old man with one foot in the grave WAS the anesthesiologist.

I swear the old guy must've been half-blind and suffering from Parkinson's, because it took him no less than a dozen agonizing tries to get the epidural in properly. But he finally managed, which was the important thing.

Soon enough, it was time to deliver. But every contraction and push resulted in a drop in the baby's heart rate. The nurse was looking quite concerned, which of course made me concerned. The doctor began to explain to me that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck, and that every time I pushed, it was restricting the blood flow to the baby's brain. So it was very important that we get the head out as quickly as possible, so that he could unwrap the umbilical cord from the baby's neck. So on the next push, I needed to try to push long enough and hard enough to get the head out. One, Two, Three... PUSH! I gave it everything I had, and got the baby's head out. The doctor got the cord off of the neck, and then one more push and there she was. My second daughter, born January 7, 2001, around 8:30am. She weighed 7 lbs, 5 oz.

The below picture is my oldest daughter holding her baby sister. I didn't have any decent ones of me in the hospital with her.

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