Hadley Ruth Gibson
20 1/4 in. long
7 lbs. 10 oz.
Boy, was that a day. It was quite possibly the LONGEST day of my entire life. Well, no. I take that back. There have been plenty of other days in my life that have been deemed the "longest." But this day was truely the longest in the "most pain ever endured" sense! Here's how it all happened: (prepare this may be a long one...)
June 13, 2011: 5:30 am - check in! As I sat in the waiting room so early in the morning, I looked around and realized there were many other women there for the same reason. Lots of babies were to be born this day! (15 babies to be exact!) They called my name and took me to my room. And so it began...
The morning nurse was great! She got me all set up in the computer, told me how and when everything was going to happen. This nurse's shift was actually about over so I was slightly disappointed. I really liked her. She stayed long enough to start my IV. WELL, to attempt to start my IV. As she inserted the needle into the top of my left hand, she forgot to occlude the vein. I turned to look and blood was running everywhere at that moment. That should have been my first "sign" as to how the rest of the day was going to go. She took the needle out and let the next nurse try. The second nurse was the nurse I had until 7 pm that night. She tried on my right hand this time. She didn't want to do it on top because I am right handed. She said she was going to place in the side of my wrist between to bones. My husband, who is currently a paramedic student, said not do it there because it would be too painful to deal with all day. He insisted she place it in my forearm because you don't bend there. Thank goodness he said that and thank goodnesss the nurse listened (even though, she wanted to put it in my wrist!!).
My doctor came in about 8:30 am and broke my water. She told me that this would be the most painful "check" of the day. She wasn't joking. She did have trouble breaking my water. I'm not sure why. All I know is that it hurt. Bad! They had already started the Pitocin about an hour earlier. My doctor said that about an hour after she breaks my water I should start feeling light "cramps." Then about an hour or so after that I should feel "small contractions." HA! That's a joke. It was 15 minutes and I was having hard, consistent contractions 3-4 minutes apart. Shoot ME!
I was determined to wait until I was a 4 to ask for an Epidural. But the pain was already so intense I wasn't sure I could wait. The nurse suggested giving me Stadol. She said that it wouldn't take the pain away, but was supposed to "take the edge off." She said after giving me Stadol she would slowly start gathering everything for my Epidural. As soon as she gave me the Stadol my head started spinning. Apparently that is common. My head was spinning, I was sweating bullets, and shortly after started vomitting. I'm convinced that stuff did nothing for me except make me feel worse and the pain more intense.
About 30 mintues later the anesthesiologist came in to start my Epidural. This is where the fun begins...NOT! I was only a 3 (with my goal being a 4), but I could care less at that point. It was even 11 am, yet. Lord, help me! I felt sorry for the anethesiologist because you could tell he was b-u-s-y! They prepped me and began. He placed the needle in my spine and I hear "Ok, this one is too short. I need a 4 inch! Ok, Heather hold still and hang on we have to try again." The anethesiologist tries again. AND MISSES! He pulls the needle out. ROUND 3- He sticks the needle in and asks me if I feel it in the middle. I think I do? How am I supposed to know what the middle of my spine feels like? Whatever, dude! He says he will leave it and see if it works. He leaves and they start the Epidural medicine.
Thirty minutes to an hour pass and I realize that only the left half of my body is getting the medicine. I could still feel the contractions on the right side. Craziest feelinge ever. They prop me upward on my left side to help the medicine flow to the right side. I was this way for hours on end. I was so miserable. my back hurt. My hips cramped. Yet, I was told I could not move even the slightest bit because they were worried about the Epidural in my back moving.
Hours pass and I'm still in pain. The Epidural isn't working. Being propped up to shift the medince isn't working. Nothing is working. The anethesioligist comes back in and is very frank with me, "I'm not taking that catheter out of your back and trying again. If I place a 4 needle in your spine I will mess you up." WOW! At the time I didn't think anything of him saying that to me. Thinking of it now, it freaks me out. He came back in and said "I'm going to give you this medicine through your Epidural and we will see if it works." I ask what it is and he puts it so simply, "This is just a mixture that we give women to have C-sections." This was a mixture of Fentanyl and Lidocaine.
To make a long story short, that medication did end up working for me --- but only for about 2 hours at a time. You see, the anethesiologist came back in and said that since I am so short (4' 11'' 1/2'' - the 1/2'' DID matter) he wasn't sure that he even had the Epidural in the right spot. When it only worked on half my body, then the C-section medicine only lasted 2 hours he realized it was in the right spot, just not far enough in!
Two hours later I got a second dose of the C-section medicine. Then a couple hours later ANOTHER dose of C-section medince. This 3rd dose of medicine did NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. I did not even touch the pain. But they didn't want to give me anything else. They explained that a person's body can quickly build up a resistence to Lidocaine and that they were afraid that's what was happening.
With the 3rd dose not working, this was OF COURSE the time I was in the strongest labor of all. And I was practically laboring with no medication. I was sweating, vomitting, crying, screaming. Everything. It was embarrassing. I did NOT want to be one of those crazy women you hear about or see on tv acting psycho because of the pain. But I was. And I couldn't help it. (I later, repeatedly, apologized to the staff for acting crazy.)
So to add it all up: throughout the day I got 3 Epidurals and 4 (yes FOUR!) doses of C-section medication. The 4th dose of C-section medicine was given to me by a different anethesiologist around 7 pm. He came in and acted concerned that previous 3 doses weren't working. I explained to him that they did work they just didn't last. He then informed us that the other anethesiologist was only giving me half doses each time. The 4th dose of medicine was the most glorious thing I've ever been given. Honestly, it changed my life. The nurses were more excited than I was that it worked! LOL. They said you could hear me screaming down the hall. Again-- embarrassing.
The medicine got me through the end of my strongest contractions and I finally got to a 10. They called my doctor. I originally said that during delievery I only wanted Lee in there. At the last minute I decided that I wanted my Aunt and Mother-in-law to stay. They were both over joyed to say the least.
I was so numb when I was trying to push that I couldn't feel anything. They ended up having to use the vacuum/suction thing to help pull her out because we both got tachicardic and my oxygen level was 89. Either way, after 15 minutes of pushing. She was here. Finally.
She scared everyone a little bit because she wouldn't cry a lot. She cried a little, but not a lot. Come to find out everything was fine, she just didn't feel like crying.
Tracey resorted to covering with a towel. They said the a/c was turned to 62 because I was so hot!!!!
Contractions were the death of me. This was an "in-between" moment.
Me getting to hold her for the first time.
Me looking at her wearing her "Hadley" hat. This hat is how we announced her name!
First time rocking in her glider at home. Hanging in her nursery is a picture of Tracey holding Lee and my mom holding me from this same position/angle.