Monday, February 18, 2013

By Hook or by Crook: Septimus' Birth Story, Part II

The saga continues (part I is here, although you could just as easily scroll down the page, too), but I am super sure you are going to hate me because it's 11:30 PM and I'm stopping at a real cliff-hangerish point.

I have to, people.  The baby will be up about 35 seconds after I put my head down and I need more than 45 minutes of sleep per night.

Where were we?  Oh right, version time.

They laid the bed all the way back, and the nurse slipped the oxygen mask over my mouth and nose.  The OB helping us told me that they were giving me the terbutaline and that it might make me feel strange.  If by strange, you mean totally heart-racingly awful.

I could feel the tears coming down the sides of my face and trickling into my ears, a sensation I hate, but Rob wiped them away for me.  I kept praying Hail Marys on a continuous loop in my mind while they checked Septimus' position with the ultrasound.

A version feels exactly like it is billed:  the doctor basically manhandles your stomach and tries to force the baby to turn around into the correct position.  I could feel the pressure of the doctor pushing my abdomen, but no pain.  Dr. R. put one hand by the head and one by the rump and shoved.  He just kept pushing and pushing and my heart kept racing until finally I heard him say, "There we go.  Head down."

It worked!  I couldn't believe it actually worked!  I bet you thought I was going to tell you differently.

I was so relieved, and as I was thanking God for a successful version, I started to feel very unwell.  It felt like I couldn't breathe, my head hurt, I was a little dizzy, everything seemed fuzzy.  I felt a little trapped and panicky, and I was trying to explain it to Rob when the nurse and the anesthesiologist asked me if I was feeling all right.

 No, not entirely all right, but I couldn't articulate why.  I just kept saying, "I don't feel well. I feel strange.  I feel very bad."  So not very helpful at all.

My blood pressure was extremely low and not rebounding.  I have a very normal blood pressure typically, even while pregnant, and I am used to hanging out in the 110s systolic (upper number).  After the version, my blood pressure was around 70/20 and aiming for a "how low can you go?" vibe.  All those sensations of feeling strange and/or bad?  Yep, that's called almost blacking out.   Not cool, epidural.

The doctors were not real crazy about that whole situation, so they pushed ephedra through my IV to bring my blood pressure up.  You know what ephedra through an IV feels like?  It feels like someone puts jumper cables on your heart while you're doing crack.  I thought the terbutaline made my heart race, but I had no idea.  I felt like shooting right off the bed and doing a karate kick, complete with resounding "HI-YAH!"  Probably not advisable behavior, but my blood pressure did crawl back up.

All of this had left me feeling exhausted, and I suspect it was more from the nerves and the medications than anything else. I was only 1 centimeter at this point, but I wasn't going anywhere, so my doctor broke my water to get my labor going.

We decided to let the heaviness of the epidural-almost-spinal wear off.  The catheter would stay, of course, but I could let the numbness subside. Eventually pitocin would be started, but all of that was familiar territory for me.  I kept thinking that the hardest part was over; we had gotten the baby to turn and now the rest would be like my previous 5 inductions.

I got a new nurse at the change of shift and to my relief she was extremely nice and very seasoned.  She started the pitocin and tucked me in to labor for a while.  I tried to doze as much as possible, which really meant not at all.  I passed the time by praying and watching the clock and realizing that the epidural had pretty much worn off on the right side of my body again (?!).

The only really useful part of all that was the praying.  I was trying to be very conscious of specific intentions during my labor, in a way that I hadn't been through all my other labors.  I also found myself continually asking for strength, which seemed strange to me since I wasn't feeling overly anxious or stressed at this point.

My doctor would come in at regular intervals to check on me and my cervix was making steady progress.  The baby's heart rate looked great and the most annoying part was trying to keep my arm in the correct position for the IV.  The night of the 22nd gave way to the early morning of the 23rd, and I was happy to realize that Septimus would share a birth date with Sally (6/23) and Baby (5/23).  I remember thinking that if I had the baby on the 23rd and everything was fine, I'd be home on Christmas Day.

As the wee small hours wore on, my nurse had to come in several times and readjust the monitors for the baby.  He was still moving quite a bit, but thankfully his head was still down.  I also had to roll up on my side because he was having decelerations in his heartbeat.  Nothing major, but something to be watched.

I was 7 centimeters at this point, and so I hoped that it might not be too many hours more until I got to meet my baby.   Little did I know, but there would be no more hours to wait until I met Septimus.

I believe this is where some might say the shiz hit the fan.



    This is a whopper of a story, Aimee!

    I had the same thing happen to my blood pressure during my 3rd labor (with an epidural) and I looked at Phil and said "I don't feel good" and then then they made me lay flat and started yelling for the anesthesiologist to hurry up and come back because my BP and the baby's BP was really low. After that scary episode, I swore off epidurals and had the next 2 babies natural. It is so so scary, I feel ya!

  2. Friend, you have a sincere KNACK for cliffhangers ;)

    So glad this ends happily, but I'm still sending you a few prayers backwards in time anyway....

  3. I am going to have a heart attack...and all I am doing is the reading- you LIVED this!! I agree with MamaK- extra prayers up because, just, WOW!

  4. Hello???!!!! It's Wednesday already?! Where's the rest of the story!! Inquiring minds need to know what's next!!!! Thankfully we already know that this story ends well!

  5. And?!?!?! You can't leave us hanging this long ;) !!


Go ahead and say it. You know you want to.