Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nolan's Birth Story

Dearest Nolan, 
Thank you for giving me the second happiest day of my life.
Love, Mom

Nolan's original due date was July 31st. I elected to be induced on Monday, July 25th due to debilitating pelvic pain. I had been suffering from severe pain since around 18 weeks and I couldn't get this bundle of joy out of me fast enough. When you can't walk, it's time to evict! I really wanted to go into labor on my own and have the hurried dash to the hospital and all the chaos that comes with it, but I just couldn't deal with crawling to the bathroom 20x a day one moment longer.

We were supposed to arrive at the hospital by 8 am, but as usual, we were on Cuban time and we were late. I had preregistered with the hospital, so we only spent a few moments checking in before we were showed to our room. The room was huge, with lots of luxuries that we hadn't experienced with our first born. We were assigned a labor nurse that would be with me the entire birth and I fell fast in love with her. It was about 9:30 am when my OB first arrived to break my water. He asked if I had a birth plan, but my only plan was to avoid a c-section and pooping on the table.  I had managed both of these with almost an hour of pushing with my first, so I didn't consider these lofty goals.

I had been having Braxton Hicks for weeks, and contractions started almost immediately after my OB broke my water. Victor was starving, so I sent him down to breakfast before it ended at 10 am. While he was gone, I was resting peacefully and enjoying the labor pains. I knew this birth would most likely be our last and I wanted to savor and enjoy every moment...even the contractions. Moments later, the room started beeping, the intercom was buzzing with calls for my nurse, and the door burst open to a hurried nurse asking me to roll over and breathe deeply. I knew instantly that something was wrong and burst into tears. The baby was in distress and my blood pressure had dropped. Victor arrived back at the room just as things calmed down and my tears were starting to dry. My nurse did a wonderful job explaining what happened and that everything was back to normal.

Around 10:30 am I was contracting pretty regularly with my pain level at a 3 and only dilated to a 3-4. My husband was pushing for an epidural every 10 minutes, but I wanted to wait, for fear that it would slow down labor. I plugged in my headphones and listened to a recorded book and settled in for the long haul. Around 11:30 my OB came to check on me. My pain level was about a 4-5, and dilation was close to 4, but not much had changed. Things were pretty peaceful at this point. My mom and husband were working, the news was on tv, and I was silently bearing the pain with my recorded book.

Around noon is when the pain level increased to a 6. My nurse declared me dilated at a 5 and Victor was begging me to get an epidural. Apparently the pain was just too much for him to bear. I said I could wait and my labor nursed was very encouraging that I do so. At 12:30 I asked my husband to play some music. At 12:32 the pain suddenly shot to an 8 and I demanded he stop the music. After a few minutes at an 8, I caved and asked for the epidural. My nurse called for it and said she would administer pain meds to take the edge off until my epidural arrived in roughly 30 minutes. Those pain meds were a joke! It was like putting a bandaid on an amputee and expecting the bleeding to stop. I was now curled up on the side of the bed whimpering like a kicked dog and cursing the genius who decided that one anesthesiologist for two local hospitals was sufficient coverage. All the while, my supportive husband is repeating I told so's while holding my hand and shaking his head. Fuck you dude!

I looked at the clock at 12:45 and saw the red epidural cart in my room. Praise the modern medicine gods! Relief was near! Then, as suddenly as the pain shot to an 8, it was at a HOLY SHIT I'M DYING level. This must be what death feels like. I was screaming in pain, begging Victor to just let me go, as clearly this birth would be the end. I was sure I was dying. I kept looking at Victor through my tears while adamantly proclaiming that I was in fact dying. This pain will kill me, I promised him.  I was holding on to those bed rails like it was the edge of the Grand Canyon and I just lost footing.

I remember my nurse checking my dilation and within minutes the room was swarming with scrubs and I heard my OB's voice. I looked up at Victor with sad resolution, and said, "I'm not getting that epidural, am I?" -"Nope, sure not. You waited too long. And I don't want to scare you, but the doc is putting on a plastic face guard..." WTF! LIE TO ME! THIS IS WHEN YOU LIE TO ME! I looked over at my nurse and very calmly said, "Laurie, I've decided I'm okay with a c-section. Let's go ahead and prep me for surgery." Her laughter was unwelcome.

At this point, I felt the most incredible pain of my life rip through me and all birth plans were forgotten. Fuck it, I decided. I'm just going to let this pain happen. I'm going to give in to the feeling of shitting myself for half the hospital staff to see. I remember the OB lifting up my gown and me unapologetically saying to all, "this is it. I'm pooping. And I'm peeing. I'm doing it. I can't stop it and you're all going to see it!" Screams of THAT'S THE BABY provided me with the only relief I had felt in what seemed like hours. My OB threw my legs up and guided me through my one and only push. Nolan was born at 1:15 pm. The room became quiet and it seemed like the perfect time to clarify, "Soooo...I didn't poop?"

At this point the nurse was asking for a middle name. Hell, we had just decided on the first and I panicked. I wanted Nash, but Victor had taken a liking to bestowing him his namesake. I had never taken my husband for the 'junior' type and didn't really care for it. Quite frankly, I never liked that his name was Victor so I had called him Vicki for the first six years we spent as friends. However, fighting that fight seemed trivial when my pelvis had just separated from birth. Demanding morphine seemed like a better use of my time. The next 10 to 12 hours were very painful. My pelvis throbbed with pain from the separation and I spent most of the first night clicking that morphine drip. Luckily, Nolan was a peaceful newborn and slept the entire time we were in the hospital.

This birth was so different from Isla's. We had a wonderful hospital experience with 24 hour room service, extremely helpful nursing staff, and a giant bathtub for bubble baths. Introducing Isla to her little brother for the first time was magical. She had waited 9 long months to meet this baby and I couldn't wait to see her face light up at the sight of him.

Nolan Victor Fernandez
6 lb 8 oz 18.5" long
1:15 PM
July 25, 2016