Letters To My Dead Mother: Congrats Grandma!

September 30th, 2006

Mommy,

You have a granddaughter. It was not an easy labor!  When I was a few days overdue, I was so afraid to stray from home. I could not even bring myself to go down the street to get a tea at the local coffee shop. Fear was right around me. The fear of going into labor out in public. Flashes of Hollywood labors where the woman’s water broke in restaurants flashed in my mind so much. At that point I was so hot and huge I was anxious and impatient waiting for this child. Not a pretty combination for those around me.

When I was eight days overdue, my back felt like it was going to rip apart. I was going to re-intact the scene from Alien when it came out of that guy. I could not do anything to relieve the pressure. When I could fall asleep my bladder woke me up three times. I was so tired that the next morning I started to nap at eight o’clock in the morning. Before I went to sleep I made sure that my birth plan was in place with many copies to pass out.

Did I forget anything in the birthing plan? Take a look.

Birthing Plan

Medication

If I ask for pain medication please wait at least ten minutes before administrating it to me. If the pain does not pass in that time then please give it. Only Nitris Oxide if necessary to try first. If that does not work then Demerol. Nothing with codeine as I have sensitivity to it (not allergic).

Medical Interventions

I only would consent to a caesarean if I or my baby is in distress and time is crucial.

Second Stage

When it is pushing time only my husband and medical personnel are to be in the room.

Delivery

I would like our baby handed to me immediately following birth. I want skin to skin contact right away. I will be trying to nurse the baby as soon as possible.

My husband, Alex, will cut the cord.

Request

     Please help me limit my visitors by reminding them that my baby and I need our rest. Only Alex is to be allowed in the room around the clock.

I started to cramp and feel like I had to make a monstrous pee. When I went to the bathroom, my underwear showed the show (actual medical term). I started to adrenalize. I called my doctor’s office that told me to relax since I did not have contractions. Then I called my husband to put him on stand by. Within the hour the contractions started. They were every ten to twelve minutes. After alerting my husband but telling him to not worry, the intense gripping attack of panic of being alone overwhelmed me. I picked up the phone again to call him. He was already on his way home. The ONE-DAY he had to be farther away. That was my earlier fear. I did not take into consideration that first babies take a long time to come. I feared that I could be home alone when the baby wanted to come. My husband was farther away at home on that day. Of course. After the fact, I realize how foolish that was. The chances of giving birth quickly are like a million to one. (Maybe a little less). The contractions were still ten to twelve minutes apart until late afternoon. I thought if this was how they felt then it was not so bad. By mid evening, they were five minutes apart for an hour and fifty to sixty seconds in length. After a quick call to the hospital they said to come in.

We arrived at 7:30. By eight thirty I was only one cm dilated. I had not changed since the doctors. It was just as well they sent us home. The hospital was full. They were sending ladies all over town. I was a little disappointed. I was sure I was going to give birth that day. It was the fourteenth and it was one of our lucky numbers.

We got home and settled in for what was going to be a long night. Midnight rolled around. I sent my husband to bed. One of us should sleep. Might as well be him since he needs to drive. All night the contractions were up and down in length. I could only sleep for minutes at a time. Early morning came and so did everything I ate the day before. I guess with all the stomach movements that it was going to blow. During one explosive session I had awaken my husband on the top floor. I sent him out for ginger ale and crackers.

It was Friday. I wanted to give birth on a weekday. Hospitals can be really short staffed on weekends. All day the contractions slowed and speeded up. They definitely got more intense. I was so foolish earlier. I could not call the hospital since they were not five minutes apart, one minute in length for one hour. I still could not eat much. The nausea was worse than the first trimester. I camped out on the living room couch once again for a long night of sleep between contractions. There is not much exciting on television at three am in the morning. I counted minutes when my husband would awake. Our cats needed to be fed so after not getting anywhere with me they went and woke him up.

Now it was Saturday morning and they have increased. At 9 am they had gone back to every five minutes. So off for the half hour ride to the hospital. We got admitted! I was only 2 cm still at that point. They gave me a shot of morphine so I could sleep a bit. The rooms were nice and private. Four hours later I had not even moved in dilation. Off we were sent home again. I was so pissed. I had to suffer another long ride home again. Thankfully my husband knew some back roads so we did not have to deal with Saturday traffic. I remember that it was sunny.

Once the morphine wore off all afternoon and early evening they progressed till they went from every six minutes to every two minutes. Once they were like that for fifteen minutes I begged my husband to call the hospital. He protested to wait till they were an hour (as we were taught). That was the first time I got cross with him. Obviously when they heard my groans over the phone they told us to come in. Off for another car ride. I have memorized every lamppost and street sign. Still to this day I can tell you where they all are. That third ride to the hospital was the longest in my life. I gripped the seat so hard I think I broke some of my fingernails. We arrived at the hospital with no baby. There was a kind man in the parking lot that suggested a wheelchair. I had not previously because of super stupidity. I relented. Wow. That was much more comfortable. We got up to the wing. Obviously I looked much more in labor because we were rushed thru the assessment area to a room. I was still only freaking 4 cm! We got set up with the ice chips and machines. I was asked what drugs I wanted. I had chosen the gas mask because it was the less evasive for the baby. My husband and I set up in the shower to help relieve my back labor. At that point I had no modesty. I was buck naked in the shower with my swim trunked husband. The nurses were in and out asking questions. They kept asking me if I wanted an epidural. When I became too pruny (we were in there for over an hour) got out. The contractions were really pissing me off. I felt like I was doing tummy crunches forever. For three and a half hours I breathed in the gas and talked briefly to the nurse. My husband closed his eyes for a quick nap. I still had not peed. I drank so much water. They had to put in a catheter. I would not recommend it. It was so uncomfortable. At midnight the doctor came in (my doc was off that night) to check in. I still had not progresses past four cm. This baby does not want to come out! I was now eleven days overdue. She broke my water. After a quick discussion they set me up with an IV containing okytocin (to speed it up) and gave me another shot of morphine. I was asked again if I wanted an epidural. Do they get a bonus by how many they administer? From three am to four am I was praying like I have never prayed. That may have been due to my breathing in the gas too fast (which they told me not to do). It made me delightfully light headed.

By 5:30 am I was finally at ten cm! I barked orders at my husband who jumped up right away to get more ice and washcloths. I recommend ice to every woman in labor. It can ease you and hydrate you. Plus, it can calm your anger by crunching to your hearts content. Fifteen minutes later the room was set up with all the equipment and I started to push. It felt like the worst bowel movement in your life.

One hour and ten minutes later our baby had barely moved. They could see the entire baby’s hair. So she was there. The doctor said I was giving a great effort. Whatever. I was exhausted. My husband, nurse and doctor kept telling me to push. Duh. Like I can stop now. Yeah- sorry- changed my mind. Refund please. The doctor suggested that she help by forceps or vacuum. I heard bad things about the forceps so I asked for the push button vacuum. What I did not realize that I still had to push. I was so into the pushing (all the while hoping it was the last), as was my husband our daughter came out. I had to point to her to show my husband that I did not have to push anymore.

At 7:05 am on the Sunday morning, after seventy hours of labor, our daughter was born weighing eight pounds twelve ounces. She proved that she was in great health by her lung capacity. That was my motivation by not having any harsh drugs. Her cries filled the room announcing that she was here. The nurses placed her on my stomach as my husband got to cut the cord. Then they had to bring her over to the bassinet to clean her and weigh her. I encouraged my husband to leave me while I was getting stitched up to go be with our daughter. When he went over to her he started to talk to her. Right away she turned to him and quieted down. She watched him fascinated. He had spoken to her many times in the womb. She could not take her eyes off of him. My heart swelled to a new size.

I was so elated that it was over. I was uncomfortable but happy that I was no longer pregnant and pushing!

      My placenta still did not drop. No surprise that nothing of mine was working. The doctor had to bring in an obgyn to go in and get it. The door opened to reveal the doctor who told me at eighteen that I should have a hysterectomy. I almost died at the same time I wanted to smack her. I bit my lip and waited for her to do what she needed to do.

After our girl was cleaned up and swaddled he got to pick her up to take her over to me. He almost did not want to let her go. We still had not picked out a name. He looked at me and said Trinity Patricia. I loved it. Trinity was short for my middle name. Patricia for you. When he finally released her, I tried to breastfeed. I was apprehensive. Many doctors had warned me that I might not be able to because I had a breast reduction over eleven years ago. It has been found that the best I could hope for was partial feed. I was still determined to try. It was the best of the best for her. I avoided many foods and lifestyles because it was best for her. I was not going to settle for second best nutrition now.

She latched on so well. I could not be any happier. Trinity is gorgeous. She had so much hair right away. Her alertness to the world was amazing. She was ready to explore this world.

The nurse came in with great news. It was time for a shower. I did have to go in with the IV but who cares. It was awkward at the same time so delightful. I could touch my toes! It was at that time I realized how gushy I was with all the fluid and blood.

After seventy hours of labor, light drugs and only a few surface stitches, we were ready to spread the news. Only a few people knew that we were in labor. We did not know whom to call first. Of course, everyone wanted to come. I only wanted a few people to come to the hospital. I only got one catnap before my sister and her husband showed up. Apparently when I closed my eyes so did Trinity who was beside my bed. It was hard to not get up at will. I was still attached to the IV and had a catheter back in. My back was sore. I could not feel too much pain inside. I was only taking over the counter pain medication. That was strange since I had not taken one pill the entire time I was pregnant. Maybe that is why I did not feel the need for drugs. The gas took the edge off.

The rest of the day flew. We had three visitors. They left gifts of clothes, donuts and coffee. My husband had let me indulge in grilled cheese and fries. (My pregnancy favorite). I know I would have to cut back the calories pretty quick. But-hey I just gave birth. I hear women saying they are ready for another right after giving birth. Not me. I am not that crazy to gamble again. This perfect angel was plenty. As it was the angel I did not know I could have.

Since we were doing so well we were discharged after only one night. (Not including the labor night).

I knew that we were not over. This was just the beginning of this adventure called parenthood. I do wish that you were here at least for back up. This girl could have used her mommy!

                    Love you. I gotta sleep.

                                      Nicole

One thought on “Letters To My Dead Mother: Congrats Grandma!

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