Thursday, October 25, 2007

Look what we made!!

Introducing Ezekiel Monash

The last 3 days have been the craziest of my life. An amazing and overwhelming combination of excitement, apprehension, tedium, dread, elation, intense physical pain, intense euphoria, and finally, a contentment that I have never known. Just typing these words is making me bust out in tears all over again. I feel so blessed and insanely happy, and I wish that everyone in the world could feel what I'm feeling right now, at some point in their lives.

But getting from noon on Tuesday to this point was going to hell and back. I had been 1 centimeter dilated for 2 weeks, and I was afraid I would pass my due date, which would have sucked on so many levels. First, as my previous posts make clear, I was completely over being pregnant. Second, my mom is coming in today, and it would have been a huge bummer for her if I didn't give birth until right before she left, because she has been so excited about seeing her new grandson. So on Sunday, I started going on 5 or 6 walks a day to try to move the dilation process along. This was a huge boon for Max, who is always thrilled when I pick up the leash and slip on my shoes. Monday I must have walked him 5 times, and I also took a couple of brisk mile long walks with the iPod.

I guess it did the trick, because I woke up Tuesday morning feeling off, physically. Very tired and achy all morning, and then at noon I started having contractions. At first they were very mild -- more like menstrual cramps than anything else -- but by 2 or 3 in the afternoon they were definitely discernable and regularly spaced, albeit far apart (at least 12 to 15 minutes). I was also having "bloody show," so I knew that the time had probably come. I called my doctor at about 3:30 in the afternoon, and he said that when the contractions started getting closer together -- under 10 minutes apart -- I should probably head into the hospital. I didn't want to head all the way over there (it's in Honolulu, about 21 miles from where we live) only to get sent home because I still had too long before true labor would begin, so Jason and I hung out for a while and figured that we'd head into the hospital at around 7 or 8. In the meantime, we let our neighbor know (she was going to look after Max while we were gone), did the dishes, did some laundry, and finished packing the hospital bag.

But by 5, the contractions were getting more intense and paintful, and were between 6 and 8 minutes apart. We decided to head in. We got to the hospital at about 6 :30 or so, but I was still only 1-2 cm dilated, so they made me walk around for hours, checking my progress every hour. So we walked. I shuffled along in my hospital gown, and Jason held my hand and walked with me and rubbed my back when the contractions hit, while I gripped his arm or the railing on the wall and tried to breathe through the pain. By 10:30 at night, I couldn't walk around anymore -- the contractions were too painful and too close together, and it was wearing me out. The hospital staff decided to put me in a labor room (up to that point we had been in a triage room) and give me a narcotic to try to dull the pain a little bit.

The pain medication didn't work. For the next few hours, I lay in bed while wave after wave of pain washed over me. At around 2 in the morning, the staff checked my cervix again, and I was still only 2-3 centimeters dilated. I was exhausted and worn out and still had a long way to go, so when they asked if I wanted an epidural, I said "hell, yes."

The anesthesiologist showed up and inserted the catheter at about 3 am, and 15 minutes later, I was in heaven. Totally, 100% pain free, though all my contractions were continuing unabated, growing stronger and stronger and moving the dilation process along. The only scary part was that the medication made my blood pressure plummet and the baby's heart rate dropped very rapidly, so all of a sudden there were 6 people in the room, poking and prodding at me, making me get up on all fours while they inserted more tubes into every orifice of my body and broke my water, and adjusting various medications to get us back on track. Finally, they got me and the baby out of distress, and I spent the next 10 hours or so dilating to 10 centimeters.

The problem, though, was that by the time I was done dilating and ready to push, the epidural was wearing off -- just in time for the hardest part. The doctor gave me two "toppers" -- smaller doses of pain medication to help me out during the pushing -- but they didn't last very long. So I spent the next 4 hours pushing out an 8 1/2 pound baby with a 14 inch head. The baby was tolerating the pushing, so we kept going. At first, it wasn't too bad, but by the last hour, he was starting to move down the canal and then got stuck behind my pubic bone, and it got kind of brutal. Finally, finally, the baby's head cleared my body and the rest of him slipped out, but I was sweating and crying, completely worn out and in horrible pain. I didn't even really get to enjoy seeing him or holding him at first, because the doctor had to stitch me up. Jason was excited, but also traumatized at having witnessed me in so much pain, so he couldn't really enjoy the moment either.

But then, after Zeke got cleaned up, we heard this squeaky little cry. And we looked at each other, smiled, and both burst into tears. There he was. Our little boo-boo. And he was healthy and looked perfect (except for a bit of a conehead) and was alert and beautiful.

The past two days we've spent hanging out in the hospital, snuggling the baby, marveling at how awesome he is, telling each other how much we love each other, and experiencing the family we have created. We were supposed to go home yesterday (Friday), but Zeke was a little bit jaundiced so the docs decided to keep him overnight for photo-therapy. Basically, he gets to spend the night in a baby incubator with a bright light shining down on him. So I'm here with him and Jason went home to spend some time with Max, get a change of clothes, and pick up my Mom from the airport. They'll come straight to the hospital from the airport, so I should be able to see them in about 6 hours. I'm exhausted and ecstatic and weepy and totally in love, with both my husband and my son, and I feel like the luckiest woman alive.

No comments:

Post a Comment