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Emma and Nicoletta

woke up on Thurs. at about 5am with cramping pains.  I had been feeling quite a bit of lower back pressure and PMSy symptons for the past few days, and I'd been getting more and more uncomfortable. However, I NEVER expected things to get moving so quickly!  I kept getting up to pee, and I felt like I needed to have a BM, but  nothing ever came (to my great regret later!).  DH sort of woke up, and mumbled something about false labor -- "Its pre-labor!" I hissed at him, not wanting to wake up the MIL in the other room.

By 6:30 the pains (now I realized they were ctx!) were pretty regular, about 7-8 mins apart, but still not very painful.  I called the doula and my OB's office, and we arranged to get to theoffice by 9:00 to check me out (meeting the doula there).  DH had to send some emails to work to tell them that he wouldn't be in, and I called my ride and work to tell them that things were starting, but not much yet.  I had a little bloody show, and I started getting more and more agitated as DH took longer and longer with his freakin' email!  I hadn't even packed my bag, and I had no nursing nighties (I was obsessed with these all day for some reason). 

DH was finally done and we left the house at about 8:20 -- on a weekday, trying to cross the Geo. Wash. Bridge in FULL RUSH HOUR, thank you very much! Also, marathon weekend, so the Park Drive was closed and traffic was a mess!  We finally got to the and I was checked at 9:45 -- 1.5cm and 80% effaced.  She said that it could still be a while, and we (me, DH and Bonnie, the doula) agreed.  We decided to go home and to wait a bit. 

Thurs. and Fri. were to be my last days at work, so I really wanted to get to the museum and tidy things up.  Bonnie went to a meeting and we went to work, stopping at Motherhood to get two nursing gowns and some nursing pads for me.  DH downloaded stuff from my computer while I tidied my desk, and gave my supervisor the excess stuff I had lying around.  People kept coming in to see how I was doing -- I was fine, I just had to stop and pause during ctx!  I got a lot of strange looks, quite a few "It will be a while still," and some "Don't you think you should go to the hospital now?" 

We finished everything and drove home, arriving at around 12ish.  By now my ctx. were getting closer together and definitely more painful.  But I didn't say anything right away b/c I felt bad about dragging DH and MIL to and fro from the city.  (I know, I'm a freak!)  MIL made sandwiches, DH set up the car seat, and I had ctx. kneeling on the sofa while calling my parents and my sister.  When my mother heard that I couldn't speak through the ctx. she told me to leave immediately!  I called Bonnie, told her to meet us at the hospital, and we left around 1:30. Ctx. were now very painful and 5 mins apart.  I writhed around in the backseat, keeping my eye on the clock as DH barreled down the FDR Drive saying "One at a time, keep breathing, one ctx. at a time, we're almost there."  I kept drinking and moving around as best I could. 

We got to NYUMC at 2:15, L&D was FULL!  So they put me in a kitchenette with a very serene, very pg. Orthodox girl who was reading her prayer book. She barely looked at me as I hung over the sink gasping for breath! Thank God she left soon after I arrived!  The L&D nurse (Kim) took all of my info. while we were in this stuffy hole of a room (people kept coming in for ice, etc.).  I hadn't written my birth plan yet, but she offered me meds. and I told her I didn't want anything.  That was the last time I was offered anything for the pain.

A room was finally freed up by about 2:30.  Here my times start getting fuzzy.  Bonnie finally found us (I wasn't checked in so they couldn't tell her I was in the stupid kitchenette!) in the L&D room.  Of course I had the room w/o the audio system so my plans of Mozart during labor and delivery went out the window -- which, BTW, had their shades up, so the workmen going by could peek in!  Good thing Bonnie noticed!  MIL sat herself in an easy chair in the corner, while I entered "THE ZONE".  The OB resident checked me -- 5-6cm and 100% effaced. I changed into a new nightie, they strapped on the ctx. belt and the external fetal monitor -- I hated that thing!  They let me keep moving and changing position, kneeling on all fours on the bed rocking while Bonnie and Roberto kept me breathing. 

R. was especially good at calming me down.  At a certain point I felt neauseous, felt like having diarreha (sp?)  -- but nothing came, and I wanted to push.  My waters broke with a huge gush all over the bed (and my nightie!) and since they were a little brown, they wanted to be extra careful b/c of the meconium.  The OB (Mrs. OB, not Mr.) yelled at me that I couldn't push yet b/c I wasn't fully dilated. She checked during a ctx. (OW!!!!) and said that I could start pushing at 4:15 -- God only knows why!  She wanted me to pee, I had peed when I got into the room, and when I couldn't she made me have a catheter.  Nothing much was there, so it was just another annoyance. They got me into the "position" -- sitting back on my tailbone, legs up -- B and R had one each.  I was soooo uncomfortable!  They put in a hep lock and were still having trouble with the EFM getting a good reading. They decided to use the internal monitor which I did NOT want, but it actually helped b/c they stopped pressing on my abdomen during ctx. to try to get a reading. 

The actual pushing lasted only about 1/2 hour. Kim was yelling at the top of her lungs, "Push Emma! Push Emma!  C'mon! Puuuussssshhhhh!"  She had to do an episitomy b/c Nic wasn't coming out fast enough, and then she yelled something about fetal distress, and for forceps and the peds. team.  All these peoplecame rushing in.  I just focused on Kim's voice and on Roberto and Bonnie who were also urging me on (in Italian on one side, in English on the other).  I gave one huge push and a scream, her head came out, there was a second of pause as the cord was cut (it was wrapped around her neck), and then I felt the rest of her slide out of me.  (4:45 pm) 

It was the most incredible feeling in the world.  I don't think I'll ever forget it.  The peds. team whisked her away immediately under the lamp and began to suction her lungs.  I kept trying to see her, and they finally moved the bassinet so I could look at her.  She was very quiet, with soft, smooth pink cheeks, some dark hair, and little almond shaped dark-grey eyes.  We looked right at each other and I reached over and touched her hand.  Roberto went to the bassinet and she held his finger while they kept sucking her lungs and waving an O2 tuber under her nose.  They wanted her to cry, but she wouldn't, and was breathing just fine.  Dr. stitched me up (with a resident, so they took forever) the rest of the OB group (Mr. and the other Dr.) also came in, congrats all around.   The room cleared out after about 30-40 mins. and I could finally hold Nic.  Bonnie unwrapped her and we lay skin to skin together for almost an hour while my MIL pulled out the sandwiches and R. fed me bites of turkey on wheat as I gazed at little Nic and she looked at me.

Recovery has been pretty uneventful.  I have experienced the joys of hemmorhoids and my stitches stopped hurting only this morning.  I stayed for two nights in the hospital, and Nic was with me most of the time. My roommate was on her 4th c-section and spent most of the time sleeping or on the phone.  Unfortunately she had a voice like Fran Drescher, and about a million relatives and friends to call (including the carpet man, who was due at the house on Sat. morning, owmyGawd!).  Anyway, we're very happy to be at home.  MIL cleans everything in sight and she and R. have been chagning Nic at night.  She feed about every 3-4 hours now, I'd like her to eat more often b/c she gets so mad and agitated right away, that her nickname switches from "Kitten" or "Piglet" to "Snapping Turtle" -- OW!  That first latch is a killer, but we're getting the hang of things.  My scabs have all gone, and now my milk is in the main problem is she gets sleepy and forgets to swallow!

I just adore her and I'm loving being a mother.

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