May 11, 2011

Delivery Day

With mother's day still in my mind, and Moe's fourth birthday just a couple of weeks away, I thought I'd share the story of Moe's birth. It seems like a blogging rite of passage for us mother-bloggers, so for today's Alphabe-Thursday post, I'm going to write about Moe's Delivery Day.

On May 14, 2007, I was put on bed rest. My pregnancy up to that point was relatively easy. I had gestational diabetes, but controlled it with diet and exercise, and probably had a much healthier pregnancy because I had to watch my food intake so closely.

On that day, I had a doctor's appointment and an ultrasound that showed I had a low amniotic fluid level (oligohydramnios) . The levels were not dangerously low, but this can happen when the placenta becomes less efficient. I was put on bed rest. It wasn't strict, but I couldn't be on my feet for very long, which meant I couldn't exercise and couldn't work. I was six weeks from my due date.

Leaving work actually meant quitting two jobs. I was working as a Product Manager at a start-up, and was also serving on a grand jury (the judge did not let me delay jury duty even though my service was scheduled beyond my due date). So I cleaned out my desk, emailed  the DA, and planned to spend the next six weeks pondering baby names.

But on May 31, the level had dropped again, and my doctor calmly told us to go to the hospital. I would be induced. I asked if I could go home first and get some things; she said no. I called my parents in LA, and Jeff and I went to the hospital, where the nurses were expecting us. Soon I was hooked up to the contraction and heart monitors and was put on a Pitocin drip.

Long before this day, there was never any doubt in my mind that I would get an epidural. Once on the Pitocin drip I had strong contractions right away, but for some reason I told Jeff I wanted to wait to get the epidural. After probably 3 strong contractions, he had seen enough and pres the nurse button himself. I didn't object.

Unfortunately, Moe wasn't tolerating labor. Every time I had a contraction, his heart rate would drop. The contraction would stop and his heart rate would return to normal. We spent a couple very stressful hours watching those monitors. The nurses stopped the Pitocin. Moe did better but labor stopped.

Time passed.

When my doctor came on call that evening, she said she thought we should do a c-section.  Minutes later, there was a flurry of activity. A nurse was in to prep me, Jeff put on scrubs, and we headed to the OR. Moe was born within minutes. He was healthy and weighed about 6.5 lbs.

I saw Moe for a minute or two before they took him to the nursery. At some point we took a picture. Jeff stayed with me while they took Moe to the nursery. I was have a very uncomfortable reaction to the anesthesia, shaking terribly, and was kind of freaked out. And although it only took a few minutes to get Moe out, it took about 25 minutes to sew everything back up.

The whole thing felt surreal. The anesthesiologist and intern were having some kind of strange conversation, and my doctor and assistant were counting out loud. I felt like I was in a David Lynch movie. I later learned that they count to make sure they have all the sponges and things out of you. In my head, I kept chanting a mantra to keep calm. For some reason, mine was "no pain, no gain," like I was training for a triathlon or something.

Once in recovery, I was starting to panic about not being able to move my legs. Just then, my parents showed up, straight from the airport. My dad promised me that the anesthesia was wearing off, and reported that I could already move my toes. They all took turns seeing the baby in the nursery and eventually we made it to my room in maternity.

And then the real fun began.

Could be a movie poster for the next David Lynch film.

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