Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What a day!

Well, today was the day. The doctor had to be out of town next week for a conference, and suggested inducing a week early. Since Jen had completed the full term of pregnancy, it seemed like the way to go. We discussed doing the natural thing, and possibly having another doctor deliver it.., but the more we talked about it and discussed it with other people, the more it seemed right to move forward with the inducing. In the end, it was a definite miracle we made the decision we did.
We arrived at the hospital shortly after 3 p.m. on Tuesday. I took Jen out to her last big meal for a while. Surprisingly, we ate a big ol' mediterranean lunch at the Marathon gas station on south Monroe St. Nadia's, I believe it's called. Awesome food. Anyhow, we were whisked into the waiting room where we sat, for nearly 2 hours. We were later told that there was an emergency c-section taking place, which took up all of the nurses who would have normally been helping us get prepped.
Finally, we were moved to a delivery room (317), where they prepared her to start the inducing procedure.

They first put her on Cervidil, which the doctor explained would "soften things up." This actually started small contractions, which was good. I kept her company all evening until around midnight, when we decided she would try to sleep, and I would go home to feed the dog and sleep for a bit. The doctor said they would start the Pitocin around 4 a.m.

I arrived at the hospital around 3:30 a.m. (after 2 hours of glorious sleep) to find Jen awake. She said they had just removed the Cervidil and were getting ready for the Pitocin. Like clock-work, they arrived at 4 a.m. to begin the Petocin IV drip.
More waiting.. We watched television, talked and tried watching a movie. The nurses were so fantastic we couldn't even believe it. They treated us like royalty. They came in every half hour or so to check on Jen to see how the baby's heart rate was and how she was holding up.

Contractions got stronger and she was really feeling them. She never was in serious pain from the contractions, but she explained them like tight cramps that lasted a while, then went away.

Throughout all of this, the nurses and doctor kept checking to see if she was dilating. Checking was a pretty painful process. It was the first time I realized Jen probably could actually break my fingers by crushing them together. Honestly, I thought they were going to break! Anyhow, she wasn't dilating whatsoever. The doc asked her a few questions and they both realized she had a cervix scraping procedure done a long time back (*edit - the procedure is called a LEEP of the cervix, which is a common minor surgery to remove cells from the cervix that are tested for cancer). Anyhow, the doc said that could very well cause scar tissue to accumulate around the cervix and it could never dilate.

They decided to give her the epidural and work to open her cervix manually. They made me leave the room for this part, which kind of sucked, but she did good with it - but said it hurt like hell. Pretty soon, her legs were tingly. They tried a couple more times with the cervix, and still nothing.

Around this time, the baby's heart patters became pretty irregular. The doctor explained that she was technically going through labor, but that cervix was just not going to open up for them. Since the baby's heart was showing irregular patters, he felt the best thing to do was to perform a c-section. He said the baby is getting wore out in there with all those contractions, and it's ready to come out.

Wow. Jen and I looked at each other like "holy shit, this is it!" I asked the doc around when this c-section might happen.. (I expected him to say "oh.. in a few hours.") No.. he says "right now!" That got my heart pumping. I called our mom's and let them know the news. I came back into the room and the nurses were scrambling getting things ready and moving Jen to the operating room.

They handed me this big white outfit to put on, it was like long sleeve, long pant overhauls. I jokingly asked the nurses if I had to take off all my clothes and put it on.. they all got a laugh out of that, and said "Only if you want to Rob.." :)
They whisked Jen off to the OR and had me get my scrubs on. About 10 minutes later, they brought me into the room where the procedure had already started. They had a sheet set up, blocking Jens view from her chest down. I had to walk by her stomach to get behind the sheet, and briefly caught a glance of obvious surgery going on. I can't remember feeling ill or anything, but Jen said when I sat down, I looked pale.

As the c-section went on, Jen was drugged up, but still fully awake and aware. She was feeling all of the pushing, prodding and such going on down there and was tensing up like crazy. It was so hard seeing her in pain, I was holding her hand tight and rubbing her arm, and cringing, holding my breath as she did. There was a nurse sitting by us telling her to breath.. I was glad she said that, because I realized I was holding my breath too.

Not long after, the doc says "Hey Rob, stand up and look at this baby." I stood up, and saw a head poking out of a cut in her belly.. they were slowly working it out. My eyes were probably as big as saucers. I promptly sat back down.. amazing, but not a scene I wanted to watch for too long.

Pretty soon, we heard signs of a baby in the room. I cut the cord, which wasn't as bad as I had thought. (*Edit - later the doc had told us the cord had become wrapped around the baby some. He said a natural birth may have caused some problems).
They carried the baby over on a table next to us. We were thrilled to see a baby girl laying there squirming her arms and legs. They weighed her, cleaned her up some and wrapped her in a blanket.
After Jen had saw the baby, they began giving her more drugs to ease the pain a bit more.

They handed me the baby and told me to take her down the hall to the nursery. I couldn't believe they were putting their trust in me to carry this child 50 feet down the hall, but I don't think I would have let go of that baby if my life depended on it! It was an amazing moment, carrying her, looking at her.. wow. I actually lost the nurse on my way and had to get directions from another nurse where I was going.. haha.

Jen was put back together and we later learned all about breast feeding. I was given a thorough lesson on changing a baby girls diaper (I still need to work on which way the diaper goes on) and we spent hours holding her and showing her off to the family that came to visit.

I really didn't want to leave tonight, but the dog had to be fed and I am going to attempt to get a few more hours sleep tonight, so I can be at the hospital bright and early in the morning to help Jen out.

Oh yeah, we named her Madalyn Rose. The name Madalyn was one of the very first girl names we picked out, only a month into the pregnancy. It stuck for us right away and we spent the rest of the pregnancy going back and forth on boy names. Up until 2 days ago, we had finally decided on 2 or 3 boy names. Figures that's the way it goes!

See more pictures on my Flickr page..more pics posted here too! and a video of me, who totally transformed to a mushy baby talking weirdo on my YouTube page. :)