Monday, December 16, 2013

Tad's birth story part seven: In which I don't really almost die

Warning: Don't read this if you're squeamish or know me in real life and don't want to think about my reproductive organs when you're chatting with me over dinner.

Part six

After a while I felt something strange and said to the day nurse (Night Nurse had left by then), all casual-like, "I think I might still be bleeding a bit." (By which I meant "I am reasonably certain that a large amount of blood just gushed out of my body and I'm kind of freaked out.") She checked and said something like, "Yeah, I'm going to call the doctor back."

So she got somebody to track down Dr. B and then went to the little table with the scissors and everything and started preparing a vial of something. I asked if it was Pitocin and she said, "I'm going to wait for the doctor to order it, but I'm just going to get it ready."

Dr. B came back and put on a fresh scrub gown over his clothes. My saline lock got uncapped and the vial of Pitocin attached to it. I commented that I had expected to get a shot and the nurse said that it worked faster intravenously.

Dr. B asked me to lie flat back and I did so, asking if Pitocin was supposed to make me feel hot, because my ears got really flushed-feeling just then. Dr. B said something noncommital about everybody's reaction being a little different. It occurred to me later that that might just be how I react to anything going into an IV--I felt exactly the same when I had a CT scan back in September and that was some kind of iodine-based contrast solution--nothing like Pitocin.

While we waited for the Pitocin to take effect, Dr. B started doing some serious fundal "massage." I put that in quotes because OUCH. I told him that I wanted an epidural for my third stage and he said that technically this wasn't third stage anymore since the placenta had already been delivered. Normally having somebody get all technical on me in that sort of situation would have made me mad, but I could tell in context that Dr. B just didn't have anything else to say. (I mean, what else can you say? "Sorry for trying to make you not die" sounds even more smart aleky.)

After a few minutes, I handed the baby to Scott because I was worried that I was going to thrash around involuntarily and drop the baby or otherwise hurt him. While I worked on not thrashing, Scott wandered around the room and bounced on the birth ball. I told him to stop doing that and he tried to explain how there was no way he was going to drop the baby because...and I cut him off. I may have even played the, "I just gave birth to your child so you can do as you're told" card.

So Scott sat in a chair with the baby and I got "massaged" and eventually the bleeding stopped. Dr. B went on his way (he did not tell me how much blood I lost the second time), the nurse and Scott helped me move a little, and the nurse took the giant pile of bloody linens and things and put them in a corner somewhere.

I got the baby back and asked how long we were going to be in the room and found out we weren't leaving until close to 10:00 because the 2-hour count didn't start until the placenta was delivered. Plus you have to be "stable" to go to the postpartum floor. (When I got there, the nurses all commented on my hemorrhage and said only half-jokingly, "You're not allowed to do that here.")

Since we were going to be a while, I got a breakfast tray and Scott called our families to tell them that the baby had arrived and what his name was and everything. I talked to my mother a little, but I don't remember what I said. Something about breakfast, probably.

The baby did try to nurse a couple of times, and I don't remember what else happened. I wish I remembered more--I don't know if it was just that nothing much happened or if I was too out of it at that point to really form any permanent impressions.

Finally it was suggested that I get up and go to the bathroom before I was taken to the postpartum floor. I did, but as soon as I stood up afterwards I felt very sick to my stomach and said so aloud. Day Nurse (who was nice but much more brusque than Night Nurse) came in and grabbed me around the waist. I yelled at her a bit because that hurt, and she apologetically pointed out that I was looking very pale and she didn't want me to fall down and hurt myself. So I washed my hands with her hovering about and then sat down carefully in the wheelchair that had been brought up for me. Scott put Tad in my arms and we were wheeled over to the elevator and down to the postpartum units, where I got a second breakfast tray.

And I think we'll end with second breakfast. I like ending on that note. :) There's a lot more I could write about my postpartum stay and my general thoughts on childbirth and all that, but let's call this the end of the birth story and put those other things in a different story.

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