Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Ordeal

Dearest my son, this is how mama got you into this world.

Two days passed the day of your supposed entry, mama went to see the doctor. She said you were still head high, if you weren't out in another 4 days, she will make you come out (i.e. induce you). Let's just say mama were worried. You were already measured big, and mama wanted to deliver you as natural as possible.

That day, not sure if you remembered, mama kept begging you to come out.

Being a good boy that you were (are you?!), that same night, you made your move!! Here's how it went down:

10:15pm (on 4/23) While relaxing on the sofa, mama felt a strong contraction. Never been so ecstatic about having pain!

mama was told, usually it takes a long time to be ready for delivery from the first contraction. So mama continued to lounge on the sofa.

10:45pm Contraction had already become 5 minutes apart. So fast!! Because the doctor told mama, under two conditions I will need to go to the hospital: 1, water broke. 2, contractions were 5 minutes or less apart; each lasts at least 45 seconds; and continued for an hour.  (which is called the 5-1-1.)

mama were quite excited! Wow you were really couldn't wait to come out!

So then mama proceeded to take shower, getting ready to go to the hospital. (Though kept thinking, if the labor went fast, really too good to be true!)

12:15am It had been 1.5 hours, I called the doctor, she said given that you were overdue, I should go to the hospital. Though she murmured you were head high that morning.

After drank a bowl of soup, papa and mama ready to go to the hospital.

12:50am The hospital was very quiet, we were the only ones there. The nurse checked mama out, umm... disappointedly it was only 1cm open!! You know, they won't admit mama unless it's at least 4cm open. The nurse asked what was the pain level (1-10), worried to be send home, mama said it was 6-7, when, honestly it was like a 5.

The nurse monitored your heart beat for half an hour, then told us to walk around for an hour.

2:30am We came back from the walk, during which the contraction had become stronger, now really became like 6-7. But still quite bearable. The nurse checked mama out again, still 1cm!!! Ohhh how disappointing that was!!! The nurse said, she will monitor your heart beat for another half hour, and after that, very likely we will be send home.

The contraction continued to escalate while your heart beat was being monitored.

2:50am My water broke!!! A huge gust of water rushed out and didn't seem to able to stop. (Along with some of your poo!) By this point, my pain level had suddenly sky rocketed to 100 fold!! (Really!) There was maybe only a minute of resting time between each contraction; and I started to shiver uncontrollably.

Yes, now they must admit mama. What a relief, we really didn't want to go home.

(From this point on, everything was a bit a blur to me. I asked papa to fill me in on some stuff afterward, this is the best I can remember.)

3:00am Before they moved mama to the delivery room, they needed to insert an IV line into mama's arm. After several failed attempts, I could tell the nurse was getting nervous... all the while I was screaming in pain and she was adding more to both of my arms! The nurse seemed to be relieved when she learned that another nurse from the delivery room will come...

Nurse Joan came, she looked experienced and well respected, mama was relieved too because I didn't want to be poke so many times on top of my contraction pain!!

But then, alas, even nurse Joan couldn't find a vein she could insert the IV line!! I couldn't help but asked, "What's going on?" She frowned to me, "you know you are ruining my reputation here right?" ... Well she too gave up, maybe seeing me in great pain, she didn't want to poke me too many times, she decided to insert the IV into the mid-section (where the arm bends) of my arm... little did I know then how much more pain I would suffer from that insert for the next 40 plus hours!! Because with the IV line there, I couldn't bend my arm at all (the machine will beep), actually couldn't even move!! From then on, it was like I lost one arm...

4:30am Nurse Joan put me on a wheelchair that covered with towels to absorb my nonstop leaking water, and rushed me to the delivery room on the second floor. She was running while pushing me!! By this time I was pretty much half-conscious, but in my mind so glad it was early in the morning so no one was there to see how awful I must had looked.

Once we were up in the delivery room, nurse Joan contacted the anesthetist to come, while she was setting up all the machines and monitors. 

5:00am The anesthetist came. After he had setup everything, nurse Joan had me sat up by the bed side, and she tightly hugged my entire upper body because I needed to be absolute still (from all the shivering) for the anesthetist to inject the epidural. 

It took a while to administer the epidural. After I don't know how long, maybe 10-15 minutes, suddenly I felt a huge pressure coming through my bottom!! I was horrified, "Something is coming out... I think my baby is coming out!!! I can feel his head~~~" I wanted to move, to get off the sitting position so I don't squash your little head... but nurse Joan held me tight and won't let me move... thank God the anesthetist said "almost done!" 

As soon as the anesthetist was done, I knew something had come out of me so I frantically roll myself over and screamed~~~ "What the heck was that?!?!"

Of course it wasn't your head. With my big tummy I couldn't see, nurse Joan told me it was a water sag. I was like "!!!!!!" I asked her if it was common. She said no, she rarely see a water sag as big as that. She also said I had enormous amount of water which was not common too. 
Papa took a look of the water sag and showed me a disgusted face. I told him to take a picture of it. At first he refused and said I shouldn't look, but I begged him to let me see it... yes it was weird...

I heard that when the needle went in it would be painful. Well, with the contraction, I barely can feel the needle going in.

5:30am After the epidural went in, the pain slowly went away. Nurse Joan said I should rest and get some sleep. I wish I could. My right arm was attached to a blood pressure machine, which it automatically checked my blood pressure every 15 minutes. How can I sleep with every 15 minutes of interruption? On top of that, the other machine kept beeping whenever I bended my arm... heck even I swore I didn't even move it still beeped!! Every time it beeped, we had to call the nurse in to make it stop. We kept apologizing; and the nurse did the same. Needless to say it was super annoying.

7:00am Dr Yee came in to to check on me. I was a bit surprised she came so early. She told me it was about 5-6 cm opened. I thought we had good progress.

9:00am Dr Yee came in again. Umm... this time no progress at all, same as two hours ago. She told the nurse to give me some Pitocin to help the process. I was reluctant to take Pitocin, but it didn't seem like there's any other way.

At some point, nurse Joan had ended her shift, and nurse Trisha came to help mama.

All the while, the machine kept beeping at my left arm. Nurse Trisha also told mama if the pain escalated, I could push a button to burst the pain killer dose. I didn't want to but I did push it couple of times.

11:00am Dr Yee came to check on mama again. I begged for good news, but there was none. Still 5-6 cm opened only.

Then Dr Yee broke the news: she recommended to have a c-section to get you out.

Needless to say mama was shocked and refused to accept this was happening. Dr Yee explained, normally she would have recommended c-section two hours ago, but knowing mama so she tried the Pitocin first. But since no progress in two hours, plus your head was still high, also the fact you were overdue, I should really go with c-section.

I wished she had told me two hours ago there was a possibility of a c-section. At that point I just couldn't accept I needed one. I begged the doctor to let me (and you) to try a little longer. She consented because both mama and you were under good conditions, she had the nurse to add more Pitocin and let us try another two hours.

During this time, mama and papa talked, though there weren't much to discuss. As much as mama wanted to bring you to this world naturally, we need to do what's best for you in the given situation. If we tried too long you would get stressed out, which was not good either. We really didn't have much a choice if nothing progress in the the next two hours, but mama conceded that c-section would be the only thing we could do.

1:15pm Dr Yee was not back. I called the nurse and was concerned. I was still hoping for good news. The nurse said Dr Yee was running a little late but she can check my cervix.

No progress.

I could wait for Dr Yee to come to check again before making my decision, or the nurse could start preparing for the surgery now, and everything would be ready when the doctor arrived. 

I told her to go ahead to prepare the surgery.

Dr Yee arrived shortly after. She seemed she knew there was no progress but she gave me another check anyway. 

Same. So surgery it was.

2:00pm Mama was already in the operating room.

By this time mama hadn't slept more than 30 hours!! I was so tired I hardly could keep my eyes open.

2:15pm They started to operate on mama.

They allowed papa to come watch, but papa couldn't really see anything; they had a big blanket up from my chest. Mama was so tired couldn't even open eyes to see papa, but I know papa was next to me.

The last thing I remember was the doctor was telling papa when they plan to cut me open, and I yelled, "Please don't tell me when!!" Even though mama couldn't feel the pain but I still could feel the doctor's hands on me!

2:50pm Papa was holding you next to me. I slept through the whole thing! But I was still so sleepy that I barely opened my eyes to give you one peak. I wanted to look at you longer but my eye lids were so heavy.

You weighted 8lb 1oz and 20 inches long. Such a big baby. The doctor also told mama that your head was at an angle to the birth canal, so there was no way you could have come through!! But you really tried cause your head had turned into cone-like. So glad we didn't delay any further to bring you out.

They had to bring you to the nursery to do checkups, and papa went with you.

I was half sleep half wake while they closed me up. I could hear the doctors talking; I heard some suction noises. I wanted to keep myself awake to know what's going on, but I was too tired.

3:30pm The operation was done. The anesthetist, who stood next to me the whole time, asked me how I felt. Immediately I felt pain on the right side of my abdomen; I was a bit scared and told the anesthetist. But he said it was normal. (What?!?!) I also felt nauseous, a bit disoriented at the time.

4:00pm I was moved to the recovery room. They needed to make sure mama was doing okay after the surgery before moving me to the postpartum room. 

(Later my attending nurse told me, at the recovery room nurse to patient is one-to-one; but in the postpartum room is four-to-one, so I should stay as long as I needed.)

Upon arriving I felt so nauseous I began to vomit. But since I didn't eat anything almost 24 hours, only some water came out.

The IV line continued to cause the machine kept beeping. My blood pressure was too low and it needed to go back up before I could leave the recovery room. The nurse told me to keep breathe in and out strongly but I was so tired I kept forgetting. And when my blood pressure dropped to an undesired level, another machine would beep. Sigh.

The nurse asked me if I want to meet you here or wait till I go to the postpartum room. Of course as soon as possible, I said. 

5:30pm Papa brought you in. Ohh baby you didn't look like a newborn at all, you were huge. How did you fit into mama's tiny body? 

We had some skin to skin time. While you laid next to mama, you naturally started to search for milk!! Wow that was amazing!!

6:30pm Mama's blood pressure finally went back to the normal level, and was moved to the postpartum room.

。 。 。

From this point on, I can't really remember all the details or timeline. 

Upon arrived, the nurse wrapped my legs with "stimulate mats," (haha I don't know the medical term!) it would stimulate (shake) my legs every 20 minutes so the blood wouldn't clog. (Which means can't sleep with that thing on.)

I started to breastfeed you every two hours. My left arm continued to cause problems, I couldn't even use it. With my c-sec wound, I only could lay you in bed and use my right arm to hold you. 

The next morning, the nurse couldn't stand the beeping from my arm and decided to reinsert my IV line. Guess where she put it? On top of my hand! It was painful but at least I could finally move my left arm!! 

。 。 。

I guess I can go on and on, such as you had a mur mur in your heart; (thank God that turned out nothing!) you had jaundice; my milk didn't come in till we went home (on the 5th day); my blood pressure was low; my legs were all swollen; and my arms... they were bruised for couple of weeks...

But we made it. The important thing is, baby you are healthy. 

This was just the beginning. So much have changed after you came into mama's life. Mama continues to be sleep deprived for months, but mama loves you so much, I just want to give you the best.


PS: It took me 6 months to write this!! Haha.

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