Sunday, December 21, 2008

Again, I give a doctor a complex...

When our eldest daughter Kjersti was born, they had to page the doctor 3 times to get him to my room and he almost didn't get ready in time. That was blamed on it being April Fools' Day & him thinking the nurses were pulling his leg. This time around, I know it's just how my body

I was admitted at 9am Wednesday, pumped with meds and left to cook, as it were. Things would come and go, and at some point overnight the doctor decided to try upping the ante by breaking my water (since it worked last time). However, the magnesium sulfate they had me on to prevent preeclampsia complications like seizures, etc. was fighting my body's natural ability to advance contractions. They started a pitocin drip on me in the morning on Thursday, slowly, and would watch the increase levels to try moving me forward gently. It worked like a dream thanks to a wonderful nurse (murse, as it were...) named Glenn. He was diligent about eying the contractions until he thought they were steady, then backing my meds off to see if my body would take over, and upping the dose if it didn't or if it slowed. The doc came back in around 10:45, checked everything and said I was up to 7cm and doing good but the outside monitors kept losing the baby's heartbeat when I'd move during a contraction so he put a little monitor on her scalp instead (yay - one less thing making my discomfort even worse!). He left to pick up his son from school & drop him off at home. That's all my body needed to know.

Once he left - nearly immediately after he closed the door - the contractions started coming closer. And stronger. I remembered from Kjersti the little signals my body was getting close, and I mentioned to Glenn that it was a lot of pressure and almost a "pushy" feeling, as they called it when your body wants to start pushing instinctively (kinda like how you can't control the stomach contractions when you're throwing up). He said to keep an eye on the feelings and he was going to get the other nurses to start getting stuff ready. The room was a flurry of activity, and the head OB nurse came in to check me out and see if it was physically safe for me to not fight my body's instincts. She had just answered the call from downstairs (her daughter was a nurse on 2nd floor and wanted to check on me since she'd admitted me on Wednesday) and told Jayne that I was ready and to watch for the doc to come back. I found out later that he'd gotten his son home and had just turned on the car, backing out of the driveway, when the call came to get back ASAP. He was apparently stripping out of his coat and sweater as he came up the stairs after Jayne told him I was nearly there. He came into the room, asked the head nurse if I was safe to push, she said yes, and he said to just let it happen. He got into his gown (but not the cover-up pants) as the second contraction hit and he told me to just push with my body's urges. He sat down, with a nurse tying the back of his scrub gown as the third one hit me, he said to push with it again, and she slid into his arms. Talk about timing, huh?

He's not used to being that rushed, usually a very methodical and calm man. It was kinda funny to watch him scrambling ;-) She passed all of her tests, looked nice and pink, and was a generally healthy baby. All 6 pounds 13.5 ounces of her, 21 1/4 inches long. 11:52am December 18, 2008 will forever be etched in my memory - just like April 1, 2005 has yet to fade. This time I was definitely more scared, for the safety of myself and the baby after all the medical complications and the threat of serious intervention if I didn't progress. I feel very fortunate to have worked with such wonderful nurses, doctor, and support staff at our small local hospital. I didn't get nearly the same individual attention and personal service at the larger hospital when I had Kjersti. I mean really, how many hospitals have a cook that does everything from scratch - including homemade banana bread, bread pudding with lemon sauce, cream chicken & veggies over homemade biscuits... We're so spoiled here in this small community hospital :-)

I want to sincerely thank all of our friends and relatives for their thoughts and prayers. We've got a few more re-checks to go (she's a bit jaundiced like her big sister was, so we're watching her blood levels closely) until we're given a completely clean bill of health, but we're well on our way back to "normal". :-)