I gave the birthing meditation my best shot, but it wasn't working. It wasn't even helping. In fact, it's quite possible it was making things worse.
Luckily, it wasn't long before the anesthesiologist showed up.
She started explaining epidurals to me. Calmly and slowly.
I listened. Calmly.
Inside I was yelling, "JUST STICK ME IN THE SPINE ALREADY! THIS IS MY FOURTH KID!!!"
She FINALLY finished her lengthy explanation.
Me: "When can you start?!"
Her: startled..."As soon as you sit up..."
Me: "How long will it take?"
Her: "not long..."
Me: rolling over sitting up...
FINALLY! Sweet relief. You natural-birthers are NUTS! NUTS I SAY!!!!
But wait...one problem...
Me: "I can still feel my feet!"
Her: "Well, we don't want you totally numb or you wont be able to push..."
Me: getting frantic "I DON'T WANT TO FEEL MY FEET! I DON'T NEED TO FEEL MY FEET! I CAN STILL PUSH WITHOUT FEET! .... FOURTH TIME...!!!!
Her: chuckles disapprovingly and ignores me.
Now for the timeline courtesy of Doug's hastily scribbled notations:
With an extremely loud popping sound and an incredible gush, I might add! I'm extremely grateful to not be in my bed at home.
"First feeling of needing to push."
I don't remember this feeling. Was I awake? Asleep? In pain? Who knows. I have no recollection.
9 100 +1
(I assume that means I was dilated to a 9 and 100% effaced. Not sure about the +1)
Time to start pushing.
Dr. Ryan is going to let Doug assist with the delivery! Fabulous! (for Doug)
But who's going to assist ME with the LABOR? And who's going to take pictures?
Me, I guess!
I demand the camera and Doug rushes over to put on scrubs.
While the nurse helps me count through the contractions, I hold up the camera and aim it towards my lady bits snapping furiously.
(Many, MANY of these photo's have since been deleted.)
Yes, that's right. I took pictures of myself giving birth. How many women can say that!?!? (How many want to?)
BIRTH As-yet-unnamed Baby makes his appearance. He, like Max and Sam, has the cord wrapped around his neck -twice- and has aspirated meconium. He doesn't cry at first and then only lets out one little squawk while being suctioned--then he's quiet again. They place him on my chest and I get my first look at him. He's very purple, limp, and swollen. I'm glad when they take him away and get to work on him. While I watch, they place him on a table and lift his arm repeatedly. It falls back limply. He's still not crying. This does not make me happy.
A few minutes later the Pediatrician, Dr. H, comes in to examine him. He's getting oxygen and when Dr. H listens to his lungs he detects labored breathing and crackling. After I'm stitched up (he was 9'2"--I ripped.) Doug, Dr. Ryan and Dr. H take my purple baby to get a chest x-ray where they confirm aspirated meconium in his lungs.
Fortunately, after a blessing and about 48 pricks to the heel to draw blood (inducing excessive crying) his lungs are finally declared "clear".
And my beautiful, chubby-cheeked little boy is delivered to me--perfectly healthy.
Later that day, we name him Michael.
But that's another story.
Thank you Dr. Ryan and Dr. H and all the nurses and assistants who helped my baby make it home safe and healthy! And also Ryan, thanks for indulging my husband and letting him help with the delivery... even if I did have to hold my own partially-numb legs up and take all the pictures!!!