Okay - sorry for the super long post here. It took me 12.5 years, but I finally wrote down:Kelly's Birth Story
I was due March 28, 1993. I'd had a dream pregnancy - no risk factors - no aches and pains, aside from a little pulling at my groin sometimes - no morning sickness - nothing but a little fatigue. I loved being pregnant and was looking forward to going into labour. At my March 17th checkup, my doctor confirmed that my baby was head down, but hadn't dropped. He said that was nothing to worry about as sometimes they didn't drop at all until labour had started.
The following night, March 18th, I developed a backache at bedtime (a little before 10:00). I told my ex to go ahead and go to bed, as I was going to try a warm tub to ease the pain in my back. The pain was a constant, serious backache, and I had no idea it was the onset of labour. Looking back, I can't believe I didn't clue in, but I'd heard so much about the coming and going of contractions that I didn't even consider the possibility that such a solid, consistent pain could be labour. I took a warm bath and that seemed to ease the backache, so I went to bed. I was on the bed for about five minutes and the pain became too severe to remain horizontal. So, I got up and walked around the apartment for about an hour. I tried to go to bed again with the same result. The cycle of walking around, having a warm bath and trying unsuccessfully to rest continued all night. (I did get a little bit of rest when I rolled onto my side, but never went to sleep.) The backache never went away. I still didn't realize I was in labour, but I wasn't concerned about the backache at all. I just put it down to "one of those things" about being in late pregnancy. Oddly, I also wasn't concerned about the fact that I'd thrown up my entire dinner earlier in the evening.
At about 5:00 am, I went to use the bathroom again and discovered a fair quantity of blood. The lightbulb finally went off and I woke up my ex and told him I was in labour. He got up to keep me company. A little later, I called my mom and told her. Around that same time, I started feeling a noticeable ebb and surge to the pain - real contractions at last! They were focussed mostly in my back, but also my abdomen and pelvis, and slightly in my thighs. I walked around, sat on a chair a little bit, and spent quite a bit of time on my knees bent over the couch. The contractions were painful, but not difficult to ride out by breathing deeply and staying as relaxed as possible.
Later that morning, I realized I had a loan payment that needed to be made, so I sent my ex to the bank with written instructions. But, first he ran over to my sister's and got her to come over, so I wasn't alone in labour. When he came home, my sister stayed. A little later, my mom called and asked if she could come over as well - she wasn't able to concentrate at work (first grandchild!), anyway. So, I laboured throughout the day with my ex, my mom, my sister and a close family friend. The day went well...I kept moving constantly, and spent what seemed like a lot of time on the toilet. My doctor's office had advised me to stay home until the contractions were five minutes apart as long as I was doing okay. I wasn't doing "okay" - I was doing great. I was excited and happy and not finding labour to be as bad as people made it sound - what I mostly expected, really. I was loving labour, and looking forward to meeting my new baby. I was joking with my ex and having a great time between contractions. I had no appetite, but did drink a fair bit of fluids. I kept saying that I was glad it was taking a while, because today (the 19th) was my BIL's birthday and I didn't want my baby to arrive until the 20th.
At about 5:45 that evening, my mom convinced me to go to the hospital. My contractions weren't progressing normally. They'd be 3 minutes apart for 2 or 3 contractions, then 4 or 5 minutes apart for a couple, then 3 again, etc. They were lasting anywhere from 45-65 seconds. I still felt great, but thought I should at least go get checked out. I walked over to the hospital (about a block) and checked in. The admissions nurse told me that I didn't seem very far along, but I could go ahead and go upstairs for assessment.
It looked as though it was going to be quite a long time before anything happened, so my mom, sister and friend went to get something to eat. It was about 6:30 in the evening. My ex and I went into the L&D room. We were both excited - this was where our baby was going to be born. We took a picture of the room, then I went to change into a hospital gown. I came back in, and got up on the bed for a cervical check. The nurse checked me and said I was about 8cm. (quite a shock!), then the resident/intern? checked me - a contraction hit, and she said I was at 10 during the contractions. My ex and I were almost bouncing off the walls - baby was almost here! The nurse asked my ex to get me some ice chips because it was important to keep me hydrated. After he left, they told me they were brining in an ultrasound, because they couldn't find the baby's head and thought he was probably breech, which would necessitate a c-section. I was stunned... exhausted...just overwhelmed...and they'd just kicked my one source of support out of the room! They brought the ultrasound and told me baby was bum first, and I had to have a section. I started crying and saying "no" over and over. My ex walked in with the ice chips and stood there looking bewildered...there were about 5 or 6 attendants in the room, and I was overwrought. He walked back over to the bed, and I started saying (screaming, I think), "I don't want a f***ing c-section - they can't do this - I don't want one" over and over and over. The nurses tried twice to get an IV in, leaving huge bruises on my arm. Someone was putting a catheter in, and people were hooking me up to a bp cuff and a bunch of other monitoring crap. They were all talking about how urgent this was, and was the OR ready yet. I just kept saying I didn't want it, and crying and crying. They never said anything to me - not even about why they were in such a hurry. Suddenly, I was being wheeled down the hallway and my ex was gone. When I got to OR, someone finally sank an IV needle, and they moved me onto the OR table....still crying and swearing and saying "no". I remember a couple of really bad contractions and someone saying something about hurrying and transition labour...
The next thing I remember is pain in my stomach...I didn't know where I was or what I was doing there. I didn't even remember having a baby. I heard a moan - me, as it turns out - and voice saying "it's okay, dear - I'll just put a little more morphine in your IV". A little while later (a long while - who knows?), the same thing happened. Sometime after that, some nurses came and wheeled me away. I still didn't know who I was or what I was doing there...I had no recollection of coming to have a baby. One of the nurses said "it was a boy" as we were going up the hallway, and I didn't even realize at the time that she was talking to me. Just after that, we came around the corner, and I saw my mom, sister & friend. At about the same moment, I heard a baby cry in the nursery and it all came back. I was in an absolute panic - didn't know if my baby was okay or anything. I started asking about it in a panic - is my baby okay? was it a boy or a girl? The nurse said "it was a boy" - tone of voice like teacher scolding a student for not paying attention. They stopped the stretcher in the hallway, and my ex and a nurse brought Kelly (he had no name yet!) out and put him down beside me. I had time to look into those big blue baby eyes and stroke his cheek. Then, they took him away again and wheeled me to my room. The nurse got snotty with me because I wasn't "helping" her transfer me to the bed. I was weak as a kitten, and had tremendous pain in my abdomen. I don't know what I could have done. Anyway...she cleaned me up a bit, switched my pad and gave me a sleeping pill. I didn't see my baby again until the next morning.
The next morning, they took out my IV. A little later, they sent up the bloodwork team to take some samples - half a dozen little needles. Then, they came back that night and said that I was running a fever (I wasn't!) and had an infection. The blood lab hadn't found anything, but they were going to put me on antibiotics "just in case". So, they sank a new IV - the fifth needle in less than 24 hours - in my hand and gave me IV antibiotics ever 12 hours for the rest of my stay - five days. I ate the liquid diet for 3.5 days, before I finally lied and told them I'd passed gas. I still felt incredibly weak, and I needed real food. The nurses were awful - one told me to "hurry up" when I was trying to roll onto my side to feed Kelly. I simply didn't have the strength to make it over on my side.
I found out later that Kelly had been born at 7:02 pm - about half an hour after I got up to the L&D floor. My ex, my mom, my sister, my friend, my SIL and I don't know how many other people saw him and held him before I did...