14 September 2012

The beginning of the end of the beginning aka Paxlet's birth story

This is a long post, you've been warned. *grin*

Wednesday, August 29th
I had just hung up with my stepmom after an hour long call. She called me at my dad's urging, saying he just knew I was going to have my baby that day. I told her that everything was still normal and there were no signs of impending labor. Minutes after we ended our call, and a quick pee stop for me, my water broke! This was roughly 6 pm.

I called Mr Siili, then the Ob/Gyn emergency services phone number and explained my situation: 41 weeks & 1 day, water broke, some liquid but not a huge gush and liquid is still trickling out, it was clear/yellowish and some pink/red, no green. I was told to stay at home until 9am Thursday morning unless I got some green amniotic fluid, contractions became regular and 10 minutes or less apart or I couldn't handle the pain anymore.

So, I called Mr Siili back and told him what was up and that since I wasn't having contractions, there was no rush for him to come home and he could finish up what he was doing. During the evening I did some last minute things around the house (such as freezing the chocolate chip cookie dough I had made the day before, because I wasn't going to have time to bake it). As the evening wore on, Mr Siili suggested I try to get some sleep before things kick into high gear. At some point I acquiesced and went to bed, but I have no idea what time that was.

Thursday, August 30th
Around 2 in the morning I woke up to pee and feeling what I think were my first contractions. I spent an hour waiting to feel Paxlet move, but I didn't feel anything. I went downstairs, got some juice and waited another hour. I still didn't feel him move. Que mild panic. A bit after 4 am I told Mr Siili we needed to go to the hospital to see if Paxlet is ok. I drove us to the hospital, with only 1 mild and manageable contraction at the start of the 10 minute trip.

At 5 am, we signed into the Ob/Gyn emergency services area, I went pee at the midwife's urging and had a contraction in the bathroom. Then a midwife got me set up in a curtained off area to monitor Paxlet's heartbeat and my contractions. (Mr Siili was not allowed into this area, nor are any other men, because there are potentially several women being monitored and in various stages of undress in the curtained areas.) Paxlet's heartbeat was there chugging along like it always has been, he was just sleeping! After about 30 minutes of being monitored, my contractions weren't regular or close together or too painful yet, plus I was only 1 cm dilated. We were told to go home and come back at 7 pm, if nothing changes. We got back home some time just after 6 am.

I tried to get some more sleep, but the contractions started getting more painful. At first the contractions were about 12 to 15 minutes apart. By 7 am, I was downstairs with Mr Siili moaning about the pain. The contraction pain was hitting me right in the front and lower pubic bone/vagina area and very intensely! I tried walking through the contractions, rocking back and forth on the couch, being on all fours, sitting on the toilet and nothing was helping. I even heated my bean bag to try and get some relief, but it wasn't helping either. Poor Rusty cat was confused by my pacing, moaning, groaning and swearing at how much this hurt. At one point Mr Siili suggested I try drinking something and I snapped back at him that if I drink something I was going to puke and besides I had just recently taken a sip of water. It didn't help.

Soon the contractions were 12 minutes and then 10 minutes apart and I WAS IN PAIN. I told Mr Siili, it was time to head back to the hospital because I could not and would not handle the pain anymore. At about 8:30 am, Mr Siili drove us back to the hospital, with me sitting sideways in the back seat. It took a bit longer to get to the hospital this time because morning traffic was in full effect. I had a couple of contractions on the way. I was quite vocal about the pain. Hehe

Just before 9 am, as Mr Siili pulled up outside the hospital and I went to get out of the car, another contraction hit me. I waited, not quietly, through the contraction and then slowly walked into the hospital back to the Ob/Gyn emergency services area again, while Mr Siili went to park the car. As I arrived at the Ob/Gyn emergency services area, the midwives were helping a lady who was puking, and another contraction forcefully struck me. I bent over in pain trying to breathe through it and trying not to moan too much. At this point a midwife looked at me and said "oh, you're definitely in labor".

I was ushered back to a curtained area and told to change into the hospital gown. It took me a while to get changed because another contraction hit me as I was changing. I panted, moaned and groaned quite loudly, so Mr Siili told me later on. Everyone in the waiting area could hear me. *big grin* The midwife said through the curtained area next to mine that she'd be right with me after she helped the  lady she was with. In a couple of minutes the midwife was with me urging me to get on the bed so she could examine me, but another painful contraction hit me. The midwife calmly but forcefully told me to open my eyes and look at her. And then she showed me how to breathe: 4 quick breaths out and then one long one. I managed to get through this contraction a bit better than I had been doing so far and then got up on the bed.

The midwife, Kirsi, examined me and immediately stuck her head out of the curtained area and told another midwife to contact the delivery department because I was 8 cm dilated and we were headed upstairs NOW! (No wonder I was in so much pain!!) Kirsi explained that she wasn't going to make me walk upstairs, but that she was going to wheel me up in the bed.

As the bed was being wheeled out into the corridor, I saw Mr Siili standing there waiting for us. I continued trying to breath, like the midwife showed me, through the contractions I was having, but I now felt the need to push. Kirsi emphatically told me not to push! But I really wanted to. After a short ride in the hallway, up the elevator and then down another hallway, which I was vaguely aware of, we arrived in our delivery room where the delivery midwife was waiting for us.

The new midwife, Tiina, introduced herself and asked if I wanted to speak in Finnish or English. I said Finnish (in Finnish), unless I don't understand then it will be English. (Towards the end of the delivery, I think I started speaking mostly in English, but also some Finnish. Basically whatever came to my mind first.) Tiina finished explaining what was going to happen: I was too far along to get an epidural or most other pain killers, so we were just going to deliver the baby. Tiina also told Mr Siili that when the baby was close to coming out, it was going to be his task to push a specific button to call in another midwife to help get our baby out. Then we were ready to start delivering our baby.

Mr Siili took up residence at my head on the left-hand side of the bed. He held my hand as I needed it, but there were times when I couldn't hold onto anything. For that matter, there were times when I couldn't really focus on anything but the pain and what Tiina was telling me. In between contractions, I did ask Mr Siili how he was doing and if he was feeling ok. Was he nauseous? Was he going to faint? Each time he said he was ok. I never had time to be mean or snap at him, except for the one time at home.

As the contractions came, Tiina told me what to do and how to push. At one point, a triangle of pain on my lower back started hurting quite badly. Tiina said she could give me an "aqua injection" of sterilized water that could potentially alleviate some of the pain (it works for some, not all). I agreed with it and she got it ready. Tiina told me the needle would sting going into my back and the shot itself would feel like a bee sting. I 'ouched' as the needle went in and then as she injected the water I yelled "STOP! I don't want it anymore! I can't remember the last time I had a bee sting, but it sure didn't feel like that." I have no idea if she managed to give me the entire injection or not, but it actually helped. I don't think the pain was fully gone, but it was less.

The other "pain medication" I received during labor was a numbing spray on my lady bits. That's all. It must have helped, but I still think giving birth was quite painful. I remember feeling so tired and just wanting to sleep. I also remember that as I pushed, my head would go a bit black, as if I was going to pass out. I told Tiina I didn't want to push anymore, it hurt and other things like that. Mr Siili said I just sounded scared and not sure of what was going to happen. I guess I was scared. At least a bit. This whole labor and deliver thing was like nothing I've ever experienced before!

My contractions slowed down a bit and stopped being as strong as they needed, so I was given a nose spray to help them along. That stuff tasted like a pine tree. (Pine-Sol/Lysol is what came to my mind.) Tiina sprayed the stuff into my nose the first time; 2 sprays into each nostril. I managed to do it a time or two after that and then I was too exhausted to do it again, so Mr Siili sprayed it for me, except he thought one of the sprays didn't produce anything and sprayed a third time as I moved my head and he sprayed the stuff all over my face and eye. Some comic relief in the delivery room. I didn't like the spray stuff to say the least, but it seemed to work!

As Paxlet got closer and closer to being born, it was harder to push with out breathing and more painful. -- Take a deep breath, hold it, tuck your chin in and PUSH! Quickly let the breath out, take another deep breath and repeat. -- I told Tiina and Mr Siili that I was going to cry when the baby was born. Not because I had a baby, but because it would mean the pain was over! But before Paxlet could arrive, I had to push some more. I could feel Tiina stretching my lady bits out in what I assume was meant to lessen any potential tearing. It wasn't painful, but it wasn't a normal sensation either.

Paxlet's head came close to being out and it was Mr Siili's time to push the button. A few seconds later a second midwife came in to help with the rest of the delivery. I never did catch her name. As Paxlet was coming out, I swear Tiina was pressing on my perineum and clitoris. Oh My Effing G, that HURT! I'm not sure if she was actually pressing on my clitoris, but it felt like it and whatever she was pressing, I didn't like it. It hurt so much that I actually started reaching my hands down to push her hands out of the way. The second midwife was prepared to stop my hands. LOL Soon after, Paxlet's head arrived and a few seconds later the rest of him arrived at 10:31 am. I did cry a bit when he was born, from pain relief and having him here. It's amazing how fast the majority of the pain went away once he was born. Sure, I was sore and felt strange, especially in and around my lady bits, but I wasn't in active pain anymore.

Tiina showed me an upside down Paxlet and asked "which is it?" to which I replied "poika" (boy). Paxlet cried almost immediately. Tiina quickly wiped him off, showed me his fingers and toes so I could count them and then put Paxlet on my chest while she and the other midwife helped the placenta come out and cleaned me up.

My entire active labor was 2 hours and 55 minutes! Although, Mr Siili and I aren't sure if we should have said contractions were 10 minutes apart at 7:15 am instead of 7:45 am, which would have made it 3 hours and 25 minutes. We just can't remember exactly when the contractions started being so close together. 45 minutes the active labor was actual pushing and about 15 minutes was expelling the placenta.

I only lost 2,5 dl (1 cup) of blood and I could have lost that much again and still been in the normal range. I had a second degree tear, for which I did get some local anesthesia before she stitched me up.

And that was the end of my pregnancy at 41 weeks 1 day and the start of my being a mom!