First was the Foley catheter. I was allowed to walk the halls, which I'd never been able to do before. Around 11 am, the catheter came out, but it hadn't done anything. I was still at 2 centimeters. At 12:30, I was started on Pitocin. My sister arrived. And we waited. And waited as the nurses kept upping the dose and I slooowly dilated. When I couldn't stand it anymore, I asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist hit a blood vessel and I could feel blood running down my back. Although I was dilating, the baby wasn't moving down. After several nurses performing exams to figure out what was going on, they told us that it felt like his arm was blocking the exit and the doctor might have to do a c-section. Around dinnertime, they ordered an in-room ultrasound, which didn't show an arm in the way, but did show that the baby's head was tilted back at an odd angle, making it difficult for him to descend. They propped me up into a sitting position, which made my legs totally numb. At some point, my water broke, but the baby still wasn't descending.
As the evening wore on, the baby's heart rate began to drop during each contraction. A heart rate monitor was placed on his skull. They stopped the Pitocin, but that stopped the contractions. When Pitocin was started again, his heart rate began to drop again. The doctor said we needed to consider a c-section. He left to let us 'think about it,' but he was already in his scrubs. Scott and my sister promised me everything under the sun ("I'll work from home!" "I'll come back and stay with you another week!") to get me to calm down and agree to sign the papers.
Once I did, my epidural was double-checked and I was rushed into the operating room next door. There is nothing more glamorous than being heaved from one bed to another by a bunch of medical personnel. They began prepping me while I tried to calm down. As the surgery began, I started to shake uncontrollably, which the two anesthesiologists assured me was common. They both held my left arm firmly, which was calming, and instructed my sister and Scott to do the same on my right. I heard the voice of a med student who had shadowed the doctor at my appointments say, "You can blame this all on everyone who said it would be fast and easy," which made me smile.
While it wasn't an emergency c-section per se, it was fast. There was a lot of movement and talking, with people telling me what was going on and the doctor explaining what he was doing to the two med students and to Scott and my sister. Suddenly, everyone was dead silent. Then the doctor said, "Thank God. Thank God." Me: "WHAT? 'Thank God' what?" My sister: "Sarah, the cord is around his neck." I found out later that the doctor had to unwind the cord before he could get the baby out of the incision, and he never would have made it down the birth canal. The cord was around his neck four times, pushing his head back at an odd angle and wrapped so tightly it left marks.
So, at 11:28 pm, Graham was born. Scott held him and my sister held my hand while the surgery was finished. My sister was the first one to notice his dimple. Then when we were wheeled back to our room, I finally held him and fed him.
I love you, Graham.