Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Birth story Act II: The light

Cast of Characters
Same as Act I
Nurse Eileen: our beloved delivery nurse 

Scene 1 
It's now 8am on Thursday, February 28. It's Misfit's birthday today. And I'm having a baby girl.

Nurse Eileen is rummaging about the room. I haven't met her yet. When she sees that I'm waking up, she comes over and speaks to me quietly, let's me know that Dr. Smiley will be coming in to check on me very soon. I like her instantly. This tiny Irish woman is kind and exudes competence. My kind of woman.

Dr. Smiley comes in and checks my cervix. Long and closed. She decides to try a Foley catheter* to see if the cervix will open up. She says the prostaglandins are not an option anymore, after the adverse reaction I had last night. Try as she may, she cannot put the catheter in. My cervix, apparently, is posterior which makes it impossible to insert the Foley.

The plan is to start the oxytocin and see if that will move my cervix at all.

I spend the day lying down, looking at the snow outside, sipping from the various beverages Mr. A gets for me clandestinely, texting, and looking at magazines. I also have some nice chats with nurse Eileen, who finds herself very inspired by our story. Dr. Smiley comes in several times during the day and checks my cervix. Each time, she and nurse Eileen note what beautiful contractions I'm having (I can't feel a thing of course). They note that the baby's heart rate is great. But the cervix won't budge. Fort Knox of a cervix.

By mid afternoon, I know what's coming. At 6pm, Dr. Smiley says that we need to do a c-section. I probably could have argued, but I didn't feel like I had much confidence my cervix would do anything different at this point. And Dr. Smiley's opinion means a lot in my view, and she thinks it's time for a c-section. Nurse Eileen says she doesn't want to go home until our baby is born.

Things go very fast from there. By 6:45pm, I am wheeled in to the OR. I think about the fact that my girl is about to be born. The rest will be taken care of by a team of doctors. Lying down on my back makes me immediately nauseous and hot and lightheaded. I am given some drug for that. Then the surgery starts, and I feel some kind of electric current. As soon as I voice this, they ramp the drugs. So now I'm woozy and out of it. Thank goodness I'm not involved in the surgery in any other respects but as the patient. What I'm feeling now maps on perfectly to Bunny's description of the sensations felt during a c-section, especially the pygmy hypo packing sensation.

"OH" I hear "Wide open eyes"

Gummy is here. The room has changed completely. One more person is here, and she didn't walk in through the door. Mr. A and I cry. Our daughter is born.

*essentially a tube inserted into the cervix, which can then be blown up. In attempting to expel it, the cervix opens often starting/helping progress labour. See this for more info.


  1. "One more person is here, and she didn't walk in through the door."

    I love it! So happy for you!

  2. So wonderful--glad you had a good nurse they make all the difference! Ok I'm a little biased ;)

  3. I am gushing in tears. I know that when I found out your due date, I had hoped against hope for a wee little Pisces of your own. BEST birthday. I promise. I cried when that moment happened with E and in the telling, I was right with you.

  4. The last part is wonderful.
    I'm so glad you had a kind doctor and nurse there for you, particularly after the awful experience the night before.

  5. Wow, Augusta, our stories are actually very similar! What the heck is with these cervix's that are all convinced that they want to stay shut tight!?! I have heard a lot since then that the LEEP might have been a reason that i didn't dilate, but I also can't help but wonder if there was something more than that, something in my psyche that was fighting with all its might to hold that baby inside, to keep it growing safe and healthy. We'll never know.

    congratulations again :)

  6. Waaaaah! GUMMY IS HERE! That is incredible. You just GOT to cry when your daughter is born, huh? Sorry about the pygmy hippo, though...