September 1st- 9 PM- We check into the hospital after having dinner at Red Robins. I had French Onion soup and a salad. I wanted to eat rather light since I'd be pushing a child out the next day. I also had french fries.
9:15 PM- Paperwork for the hospital is quick, no mention of Cobra or self pay.
9:30 PM- I get into my room in Labor and Delivery where I'm instructed to undress and put on a robe. They apply the fetal monitors and offer me a sleeping pill. They check my cervix, still at almost a one.
10 PM-ish- My nurse applies the cervidil. I'm already sick of people struggling to get close to my cervix. We're told that it has to stay in for twelve hours. I didn't know about this time restriction; I thought I'd be on Pitocin by 11 AM. Or, in a perfect world, not need it because the cervidil kick starts my contractions.
September 2nd- 10 AM- They remove the cervidil. The monitor shows I've been having contractions but I don't feel them. I get one hour before they will start the Pitocin. My day nurse tells me I am allowed to have a breakfast of clear liquids. Gross. I call room service and order chicken broth, cranberry juice, and an orange Italian ice.
10:45 AM- Breakfast arrives. I'm dismayed that the chicken broth is really just hot water with a boullion cube added in. It's not dissipated into my water when I get it; I have to mix it around. CS is somewhere, maybe have a real breakfast.
11:15 AM- Day Nurse puts the Pitocin into my IV. CS and I continue to watch TV.
At this point, I pretty much lose track of time. My contractions aren't bad, but they are there.
Afternoon- We try walking around the L&D ward. The nurse doesn't really want me to leave the room, I can tell by the way she's not trying very hard to get the wireless fetal monitors until I keep insisting that I want them. Unfortunately, I am hooked up to the IV and the Pitocin drip so I have to lug my pole around with me. Well, CS does it for me but that sucker is heavy. I feel bad, so we stop.
We go walk again, but the nurse tells us we have to stay in our two halls because she loses me when I go down the hall to Post Partum. Walking is no longer much fun. I don't like walking past the nursing station where all seven of the nurses are sitting. I'm sure they don't care, but I feel stupid walking past them every other minute.
5 PM- Around this time my contractions are getting stronger. My nurse gives me some breathing techniques, which I feel rather stupid doing when it doesn't really hurt that much.
6 PM- Am really good at breathing now. I am having a contraction about every two minutes. They last for about a minute. I'm in bed at this point, holding onto the rail when they hit. CS is behind me, rubbing my back. He doesn't say much throughout this whole process, but I'm always aware that he is there. I don't really need him to talk, just touching is good enough.
7 PM- New Nurse. Amanda Jo is our night nurse. She's young, cute, and sweet. She brings me in a birthing ball and I sit on that. SO MUCH BETTER. I was not doing so well on the bed. While I'm sitting on it, I feel a small gush. Looks like my water is broken. I take it as a good sign. Even though I'm only about a 3 or a 4.
8:30 PM- My contractions have become a lot harder. They are still coming at two minute intervals for a little over a minute each time. I'm still on the ball, alternating with standing up and leaning on CS every once in a while. Amanda Jo comes in and tells me I need to get back in bed because she's losing the baby's heartrate and it seems to be low right now. I get in bed and realize that I am not going to be able to handle these contractions while lying down. In between contractions, I am informed that I can't get out of bed for at least thirty minutes. Hearing this while struggling through my contractions is difficult. On one hand, I'm getting to the point where I can't take the pain, especially in bed. The other hand, I don't want to give into the pain and get the epidural. I finally give in and ask for the epidural. Amanda Jo tells me he will be in in the next fifteen minutes.
8:45 PM- The anesthesiologist comes in. He is a small Hispanic man named Jose. He explains the epidural and begins to put it into my back. I feel coldness but not much else. My IV hurt more than this.
9:00 PM- I feel no more pain. But I do feel pressure. I don't like the pressure and I tell CS this. He's laughing at me though, I must be a little loopy. The nurse comes in and I ask her about the pressure. She checks me to make sure I'm not needing to push. I've gone from a 5 to a 7 in about fifteen minutes. Ouch.
9:00 to 10:30- Just waiting. Pressure. Annoying.
10:30 PM- Amanda Jo checks me again. As she's lifting up my leg, I hear her gasp a little and there there is a lot of gushing. My water finally broke. She thought the bag of waters was the baby's head, which would have been a little bit of a shock. I'm at a 9.
11:00 PM- 10 centimeters! She gets the bed ready for pushing and she explains how I need to hold my legs and counting to ten. I start pushing and apparently they can already see the head. She tells me I'm a great pusher. I can't feel anything, so that's good for me.
11:30 PM- Still pushing. I have a fever of 101 though. They give me more anti-biotics on top of the kind I already have for the Group B Strep. My oxygen is also low, so she puts a mask on my face. This makes it really hard for me to see into the mirror they brought in. All I see when I sit up to push is the mask. Occasionally, CS remembers to move it out of my face.
11:45 PM- There are more nurses in the room now. I'm still pushing but they tell me not to push too hard because the Dr. isn't there. I don't really know how to do this, but I must have done alright. The nurses are asking each other what they think I'm going to have. Only one picks a girl.
11:50 PM- My Dr. arrives. The nurse asks her what she thinks I'm having and I tell her in between pushing that she already knows, she can't play. My Dr. agrees.
11:55 PM- I'm watching the clock each time I push. I want the baby to be born on the 2nd so I've only got 5 minutes left to get that date.
12:00 AM- Still no baby. Guess I lose the pool at work. Can't say I didn't try! As I'm pushing, my Dr. tells me she's worried about going to tear on top. She wants to know if I want to tear or be cut. I tell her whatever she wants. I don't know until later that she does cut me, but I tear anyways.
12:03 AM- On one push, I see a huge gush of fluid fly out and almost hit my Dr. in the face. She dodges it as it flies over her shoulder. That's a little embarrassing.
12:05 AM- The head comes out, quickly followed by the shoulders and my doctor is holding a baby. She turns to Chris and asks him what we had. He says a boy. His cord is short, so she holds him while she puts the clamps on. CS cuts the cord and she places him on my stomach. Jacob. The nurse rubs him off while we just look at him. He has huge hands. He looks just like his daddy.
After we see him, they take him away for a bath as my doctor pulls my placenta out. CS opts not to watch that happen. She stitches me up as I watch Jacob get the Hep B shot without making a sound. He's not really crying but they want him to because his lungs aren't clear yet. When we are both cleaned up and back in bed, my doctor unwraps him and makes him cry. Not a real cry, just a pathetic baby cry that will soon be his trademark cry. His eyes are goopy and he's sleeping. We take pictures and I talk to my mom. Cs goes to get me food and I try to nurse. But mostly, we just look at him and discuss who's features he has. CS doesn't think he looks like him at all.
I beg to differ. I'm sure you will too.
Jacob Mitchell Oliveto-Slattery