Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Tale of Two Epidurals, or, The Poppy Arrives

Other alternative titles for this post include: "So That's What a Contraction Feels Like", "A 1???" or "Pleasepleasepleaseplease".

Monday night, the 9th, we spent some time debating when the Poppy would arrive and how (c-section or VBAC).  But debating when a baby will arrive is about as productive as juggling greased lemons so eventually we gave up and went downstairs.  I played Diablo 3 for a while until I realized this off and on discomfort was coming in, shall we say, regular intervals.  Like some kind of, I dunno, contraction perhaps? 

But we didn't really know what to do about it so we went to bed.

After a couple hours of contractions (and no sleep for me), we decided it was time to go in.  But first I threw up dinner (stupid cough).  Anyhoo, we arrived at the hospital about 2 AM and they told me I was at a sad little 1 (of the required 10).  I maybe cried because I didn't want to be sent home again.  But after walking the halls a bit I made it to a 2 and they admitted me.  

This is what happens when they try to draw blood and it won't come out. 

Over the next hour or two, the awesome Dr. B. came by and broke my water (weird) and I made it to a 3.  At that point I was restricted to my bed and decided to get the epidural.  "He'll be here in twenty minutes" they said.  Twenty minutes turned into an hour and it was an awful hour.  Awful.  But he finally showed up and did the thing.

This is what happens when they don't use a short tube on your IV.  Or something?  Lots of tape.

Everything was good for a half hour, until I realized I could feel everything again.  It was very similar to several past experiences at the dentist.  "Oh, are you still not numb?  I guess we'll give you another shot."  It was about another hour before Epidural Man returned, and it was an even awfuler hour.  I was so tired, I couldn't get out of bed and it hurt so bad.  So so so bad.  By this point I'd thrown up three more times.

At this point I started muttering "Pleasepleasepleaseplease", to no one in particular.  Looking back, I feel like I was a crazy person, clawing at my overtight ID band and grabbing at the bed rails.  I was quiet, but crazy.  Drewbles is nice and says I did great notwithstanding.  Anyway, they couldn't explain why the epidural didn't take and so did it again (it was nearing noon by this point).  

Then I fell asleep.  

I was woken up an hour later because the Poppy's heart rate kept dipping and they tried rolling me from this side to the other to get it to pick back up (which it did).  Side note: have you ever tried to roll side to side when you can't feel half your body?  It is basically impossible.  At this point I told Drewbles I was half a body guy.

So, after all the repositioning they told me I was at a 9.5!  Just like that!  In spite of my contraction pattern they said!  So the nurses went over pushing protocol, Dr. B. came in, they gave me some oxygen and put me to work.  Pushing is not hard when you can't feel anything.

Dr. B., the nurses and Drewbles were all so encouraging, and about forty-five minutes later the Poppy made her entrance at 1:56 PM, exactly on her due date.  They plopped her up on me, all bloody and gooey and it was awesome, especially since that couldn't happen last time.  After waiting a bit Drew got to cut the cord, which he didn't get to do last time.  All kinds of firsts, considering this was our second baby, right?  

(Also I got to see the placenta which was bloody, gooey and awesome but not cute at all.)

The Poppy weighed in at 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was a half inch longer than Boo Boo at 20.5 inches.  I love that she has the same fluffy dark hair, though I still cannot explain it.  Thanks, heartburn!  I GUESS.

(I love so much that I don't have heartburn anymore!  And no stupid cough and food doesn't taste like barf!)

So, in the end, after all the low placenta stuff and the breech stuff and the lack of progress stuff, we avoided that second c section and had a perfect VBAC.  Go me, go baby, go everyone else!  I really had no issues with my c-section recovery, I thought it was pretty easy and in some ways it was easier than VBAC recovery.  Mostly I don't like either.  But I'm really glad that I didn't HAVE to have another c-section.

(Custom dry erase marker portrait from Drewbles.  The nurses love these.)

So far the little miss is quite mellow and content.  When she wants something she'll tell you, but she's easily pacified and very snuggly.  I see a lot of sibling resemblance until she opens her eyes, but we'll see what happens as she grows. 

Ready to go home.
As for that sibling, he likes to look at her and has held her once on his own initiative.  He doesn't seem to resent her, though he's definitely been a bit touchy.  But we are just trying to be patient and sympathetic to this big change in his world and I think things will settle down soon.  (You can compare his newborn pictures on this post.  They both like having their fluffy hair washed.)

(I have two kids?  Whaaaaa?)


(He loves this cup!  Luckily I still had an identical one from when he was born.)

And now we are a family of four, just like that.  It is amazing how these little humans grow and develop and finally enter the world, ready to go. 

Welcome, little one!  We're going to have a great time.


  1. Very good and detailed recap! What a lovely birth story, and what a lovely family of mine.

  2. I can't believe how little you are complaining about your epidural not working! You must be very tough! Nice work.

  3. Congrats you guys!!! Love reading your posts.

  4. Cute little baby girl!!! I love the picture of her wearing the bow. Congrats! I love birth stories, so thanks for sharing.