There was something beautiful about the pain and literal fruit of my labor.
It’s difficult for me to get pregnant and keep a pregnancy, so pregnancy is difficult and scary. It’s a release and surrender of all expectations and trust that the Creator who knew me and every situation I’d find myself in, is still the same no matter my circumstances. That He has a plan and it may not align with mine and I have to be okay with that.
It may sound weird and crazy when I say that labor and delivery is my favorite part of being pregnant. There is a literal fruit of my pain and labor. There is fruit from every single prayer raised throughout the development of this baby inside my body. I’ve delivered two babies prior. I’ve experienced things so frustrating during my pregnancies and delivery that the nurses all think I’m one of them with the knowledge I have. No. It’s just I’ve had to experience these complicated and rare situations and I know those situations well.
Del came in three pushes in a matter of four minutes. He was beautiful. Red haired. Crying. And large! 9 pounds 12 ounces and 22 1/4 inches long. The baby nurse asks if she could go ahead and wipe him up and get his measurements. During this time they notice his breathing was a bit labored and his blood sugars were a bit low (normal for a gestational diabetic pregnancy and larger babies). They ended up taking him to the NICU.
I sent Dustin to be there at all times next to Del so he could relay to me any information of what was going on while I was still rendered to the bed from that dang epidural situation.
Being a NICU grad I know the way things are done up there are much different than things done on the maternity floor. My delivery nurses also knew this. Remember how I said those nurses became my people? They wheeled me upstairs so I could advocate for my son. I wanted to breastfeed him. They were preparing to give him formula. He latched immediately. The skin to skin period of time allowed for his breathing to settle, too. Oh, and because he was allowed to finally eat, his sugars evened out for the next hour as well. Finally after an hour of nursing him, he fell asleep and I went back downstairs to eat. Not too long after I finished my meal, Del was being brought back into my room followed by his daddy.
Once Del was back in the room with me, life felt comfortable… for a bit. The epidural catheter was still in my back because they knew there was spinal fluid leaking. By leaving it in my back and pushing some saline, it could lessen the symptoms and possibly heal on its own. That evening though the headache set in. I knew the all too familiar headache. Once you experience an epidural headache you never forget that crawling sensation. I knew it was that, but I asked the nurse for some Tylenol (I don’t do pain meds after delivery) just to rule out a stress headache or muscle ache. Sure enough an hour later I started to get dizzy, spinny, and could barely walk to the bathroom on my own.
I asked for a blood patch. The anesthesiologists told me I had to wait 24 hours. I knew what I was getting myself into. At 11 that night I told the nurse I wanted to talk to the anesthesiologist now and wanted a blood patch as soon as possible.
A blood patch is performed when you have spinal fluid leaking. The anesthesiologist will come in, prepare your back like before for an epidural. But you’ll also be hooked up to faster-flowing saline on one arm and the other arm will be sterilized in order to receive sterile blood from. The blood drawn from the arm is then placed in your back where the spinal fluid should be. The pressure from the blood helps keep your brain supported. See, when you leak spinal fluid your brain doesn’t have its normal cushion to sit on and be supported. Thus why the pain isn’t instant it is over time and then makes you miserable. (See I know all this because I’ve done it before. Insert frustration face here.)
Before the blood patch, I told the nurse to let me breastfeed Del before. I knew I’d be laying on my back for at least an hour afterward and not able to care for my son. Not that I was able to care for him well with that dang headache anyway. So I fed the baby and they wheeled him away. In whisked my new anesthesiologist who saved my brain and headache and sanity all in one.
It may not have been the perfect delivery story, but it is mine, ours, Del’s.
I mentioned in the last post, too about the season of rest that was coming…. I really do believe this whole delivery story happened because I was in for a season of rest. More on that season of rest in an upcoming post.
Del was here. He was beautiful. He was perfect. I looked at him in his little crib while I was resting the next afternoon. I told Dustin, “I think I could do that again.” #hormonehigh