After the excitement died down, I fell asleep. Andy did too. He got serious with the sheet this time.
(You can catch a peek of the birth ball hiding under the white pad on the right).
And I'd like to take this moment to say, the man's back was hurting him like crazy. We NOW know, a month later, that it was a herniated disk.
After the epidural, life was good. I laid there watched my contractions pass on the monitor. I also began to feel my legs disappear. (My mind, oddly enough, began to remember reading about the death of Socretes. And after he drank the potion that would kill him, he began to feel the effects on his toes and feet first, and then it traveled up his legs, you know, eventually killing him.) This is the HONEST blog, remember? That's really what I was thinking. And then I fell asleep.
8:00AM- Pitocin administered. My contractions had slowed down at this point, and they wanted to get the baby out in a timely manner, so Pitocin it was. Hey, I didn't care! I was feeling NO pain. Dr. Berich gave the orders, then gave me a hug and left for the day. This would mean the midwife, Sandy, would be delivering my son. When she entered the room, I believe I said something to the effect of, "Sandy!! I prayed to Jesus that you would deliver my son and here you are!" Perhaps I took her aback...she said, "How about you go back to sleep...?" But I was so thankful and excited. It was like the cavalry had come. And for the record, I would not have minded Dr. Berich delivering our son, but Sandy was just such a driving force in my pregnancy. I was glad to have her there to see me through.
10:00AM- I have to poop. Like, really really poop. And I need chapstick. Poop and chapstick. No more Greek philosophers for this girl. The nurse was there, Alecia, that was HER name. I promise I'll never forget it for the rest of my life. Alecia got me the chapstick from my bag (Andy was still sawing wood in the corner) and she did an internal to decipher that I was 10 cms, the contractions were now right on top of each other (were they? darned if I knew!) and it was not time to poop, but to push. She radioed for Sandy, who came in, did her own internal, and then declared it was baby time.
10:45AM- The nurse, Alecia, dropped the bottom of the bed and put the stirrups on the bed and then put the back of the bed up like a chair. They placed my legs up in the stirrups (remember I can't feel them at ALL) and told me to hold my butt under my legs. Every contraction I get three good pushes and then I can rest. "Grab a leg, dad!" The nurse instructed. Andy put his eyes BACK in his head, and then did as he was told.
I knew my son was on his way. I focused all my attention on this. I would be meeting him momentarilly. Just have to get him out first. The things that were happening in the room are foggy memories because I was just so intent on pushing. For the record, I didn't scream, and I didn't cry. I just...pushed. I stared at the ceiling in between contractions (fifteen seconds apart at this stage) and then I stared at a lighting fixture while I was pushing. I counted until ten during every push. I could hear Alecia saying, "Pushpushpushpushpushpush" during every contraction and I could hear my Andy saying, "Great job, Whoot. We're almost there. We're almost there. I'm so proud of you." And he'd push my hair out of my eyes and then grab the leg again. They each pushed back on my legs and I pushed out and held on.
It's a common misconception that the epidural takes all the pain away. It doesn't. It takes the contractions away. It doesn't penetrate your bones, which is ultimately what the baby is pressing against to get out. There is still pain involved in childbirth with an epidural.
I felt the baby crown. The goal was to get the baby to crown, then call Sandy back in again, allowing the baby to rest on my perineum to avoid tearing. But they neglected to tell me of this goal. Alecia just said, "Stop pushing." And radioed for Sandy.
I think I screamed at this point. But I don't remember. Stop pushing?! Are you kidding me?? He's almost out! He is lodged in my pelvis! Stop pushing? No! Andy informs me at this point I checked out. He said he thought he lost me at one point because I just kept staring at the ceiling, not blinking, not breathing, not anything. I had to focus. I had to concentrate. I had to get the baby out.
Sandy sat down and instructed me to push again. And then I felt the tear. And then my son began to scream.