Too much, or too many details? See the abridged version!

“Please make it stop! PLEASE!”

I can feel how scrunched and tight my face is.  The plastic that used to be cool is now hot as I squeeze with a death grip that has turned my knuckles white.  I can’t control my rapid breaths.

I’m supposed to be breathing steady even breaths but that’s impossible.  I open my eyes to find my husband’s face and apologize, “I’m sorry!  I don’t mean to push!”

From somewhere in the room I hear “DON’T PUSH!  Do you feel like you have to poop?”

Through a scream, “oh yes!”  My back arches off the bed as another contraction takes over and without my permission my body pushes.  For a second there’s some relief as I feel a release of fluid.

My water broke at least an hour ago.  What is this?  “I’m sorry! I think I just peed!” I say to the room.

The contraction ended.  I tried to steady my breath and looked again at my husband.  “Where’s the epidural?  Please make it stop!”  Another contraction is starting.  Again every part of my body tenses.  This time I try to breath deep and steady. 

When I opened my eyes again the room was filled with nurses frantically working to get the room ready for delivery.  Another nurse checked my cervix.  She tells the other nurses in the room the baby is coming.

“Where’s the epidural?” I asked again.  The contractions are seconds apart.  There is no downtime between them as the birthing instructor and her charts had said there would be.

“There’s no time.  You’re fully dilated,” the nurse says.

The first nurse is on the phone pacing a few feet away.  I hear her talking to my doctor.  My doctor is on her way to another hospital 25 minutes away for a scheduled c-section.  The nurse repeats what the new nurse has said.  “She’s fully dilated.”

She hangs up.  “She (my doctor) turned back around to go to Sky Ridge.  There’s no way she can make it.  We need the on call doctor.”

I search for my husbands face again.  Not only do I have a death grip on the hospital bed railing but my other hand is clutching his arm.  His face is a picture of shock.  Eyes are wider than I’ve ever seen before.  His mouth is open in an O.  He looks at me.  “It’s happening now!”

I can’t tell how many nurses are in the room.  Another nurse is removing part of the bed.  One is at the baby heater.  My nurse is calling for the on call doctor.  The new nurse beside me has grabbed my leg.

A tall, thin, gray haired man is now at the end of the bed.  The nurses are calling him doctor.  I register his name for a second and then it’s gone.

The nurse holding my right leg is telling my husband to grab my left leg.  I’m trying to remember all that I learned in birthing class.  The one thing in my head is that I shouldn’t be lying flat.  I let go of my husband to raise the bed into an upright position.

As the bed is moving me up, the doctor tells me to push.  I think the nurse and my husband are saying the same.  I can’t form words anymore, but yell clearly in my mind, “I AM PUSHING!  You want me to push harder? FINE!”  Every muscle tenses as I push.

The doctor or someone is saying the head is out and I’m being told to push again.  “Just one more big push!”  My body is already pushing, I just bear down and try to make the push more intense.  I feel myself tear.

I see and hear an explosion of water.  Carried in the water is a football!  What?  My eyes focus more and I see a vagina.  I see a VAGINA!  As I’m processing that I’m trying to figure out how the doctor caught her?  She shot out of me all shiny and slick.  I swear the doctors hands were up over his shoulder as he was going long to catch the football.

I search for my husband’s face.  I find his face as he finds mine and simultaneously we say, “It’s a girl!”

I look for her again in the doctors arms, but she’s gone.  Where has she gone?  My husband must be doing the same.  I hear him say, “she wanted the baby on her chest.”  A nurse responds, “as soon as she’s cleaned.”

Everything had happened so fast that this bunch of nurses and doctor didn’t know I wanted the baby cleaned on my chest instead of on the warming table.  I can’t argue because I feel the doctor working with the umbilical cord still hanging from me.  It’s the strangest feeling. 

The nurse at my side is telling me to push again.  “What?”

The doctor tells me I have to push out the placenta.  “Uh, okay.  This is weird.”

Everything must be fine.  The rushing around has stopped.  What has been a frantic room is now calm.  The placenta must be out.  The doctor is talking to a nurse about stitches.

As the doctor works to stitch the tear, he asks me my name and introduces himself.

Then the baby, my baby girl, wrapped in a blanket with a blue and pink knit hat on her head is on my chest.  The rest of the room disappears.

It’s 6:46 a.m. on Tuesday, August 31st.  Our baby girl weighs 6.1 lbs and is 18” long.  I had been in the hospital for just eight hours.  No one, especially me, expected me to deliver that fast. 

The nurses are now reliving the rush.  They can’t believe I went from 2 cm dilated to 10 cm dilated in only 40 minutes.  More than one nurse is telling me, “When you have your second baby, on the first contraction, get yourself to the hospital!  There will be no time to wait.” 

I can’t believe I’ve just had one baby.  There’s no way I’m thinking about having a second baby.  I just smile though.  I have no energy to respond.  All the energy I have is for my new baby girl and my husband.

A nurse takes the baby again to give her a bath.  My husband is with them at the warming table.  He takes pictures of our baby getting her first sponge bath. 

I lay there and go over exactly how I got here without an epidural.

Last week my doctor suggested we consider elective inducement.  I had an unusual pregnancy that included surgery and dizzy spells that made me switch my schedule around at work.  My doctor believed it would be best for me not to go beyond my due date of September 1. 

We spent a few days discussing pros and cons of being induced. From the moment my doctor uttered the words “elective inducement” I felt a peace I hadn’t felt the entire pregnancy.  It’s my nature to have a plan.  To schedule an inducement would be a plan.  It took away my fear of going days beyond my due date, of something more going wrong in the pregnancy, and, yes, of starting labor wrong.  I know that sounds weird, but it was a fear of mine that I would be out somewhere and would go into labor and do something wrong that would harm the baby.

I knew the risk of having a c-section increased with induced labors.  I know women who had horrible experiences being induced.  I know women who loved being induced. 

We told the doctor to schedule it.  Since it was an elective procedure it depended on how busy the labor and delivery unit was with other births on if we were actually going to get in for our scheduled time.  I called the hospital at 7 p.m. Monday night to see if we could come in at our scheduled time of 9 p.m.  The nurse said the unit was busy but that I could still possibly be admitted.  She asked me to call back.

After a couple more requests for me to call back, at 9:30 p.m. I was told to be at the hospital at 10 p.m.  It felt good to be going to the hospital. 

After we arrived it took an hour or so to actually be admitted.  I was settled in a room and hooked up to the monitor but there were tons of questions the nurse had to ask me before I was actually admitted.  While she asked questions the monitor showed that I was having contractions.

The nurse thought I could be going into labor on my own and advised that we wait to see how I progressed.  She checked my cervix around 11:30 p.m.  I was 2 cm dilated.  We continued to wait.  The baby danced continually inside me.  The contractions kept coming.

The nurse was working as fill in for a few hours only.  She had to hand me over to the nurse that was on duty for the entire night.  She told the new nurse that she thought I could be starting labor on my own and she left us with good luck wishes around 1 a.m.

The new nurse monitored me for a little while and checked my cervix again.  I hadn’t dilated more.  She decided it was time to insert a pill against my cervix that would cause  the cervix to thin.  I think this was done around 2 a.m.

Soon after the pill was inserted, I really felt the contractions come over me.  I was given a sleeping pill to help me rest.  I think I slept lightly for about an hour before the contractions had me fully awake and alert.  With my husband at my side, I bared down during the rolling contractions.

Around 4:30 a.m. a contraction started on my left side and traveled across to my right side.  With it came a pop and a rush of fluid.  My water broke.

The nurse checked me again and I was still only 2 cm dilated.  She asked me questions about the pain and decided to give me fentanyl to help the pain.  I was given the fentanyl around 5 a.m., but there was no relief from the wrenching from my gut to my back.

The contractions came so fast.  Each one more intense than the last.  I squealed through them as my husband tried to calm me with soothing words.

Every time I thought about calling the nurse, I stopped myself.  It’s crazy, but I didn’t want to be needy and over-reactive.  Around 5:15 a.m. the nurse came to see how I was doing.  I don’t remember what exactly I told her.  She started talking about giving me more fentanyl at 6 a.m. to get me to the point to where I could have the pitocin and then the epidural.

After 20 minutes or so the nurse told me she would try to reach my doctor to ask if the epidural could be given before the pitocin.  I was just glad to hear the word epidural!

I thought the contractions couldn’t get any worse.  I was wrong.  The next 40 minutes was contraction after contraction.  I just kept asking myself, “where is this downtime I’m supposed to have between contractions?”  I would get one, maybe two steady breaths in between contractions.  Just as one ended and I thought I would have relief, the next contraction enveloped me. 

Sometime through this my body started pushing without my permission.  I apologized to the room for pushing.  The nurse heard me and told me not to push.  She immediately checked my cervix again.

It was for me to be on my back while the nurse pushed her hand up inside me, so I concentrated on her face to get through it.  I saw a look of surprise and confusion.  “Oh my.  I’ll be right back.”

As she’s leaving the room she asks, “DON’T PUSH!  Do you feel like you have to poop?”  When I said yes, she responded, “oh!” and hurried out of the room.

Another nurse came in and told me she was going to check my cervix too.  I realized she was checking because the first nurse didn’t trust herself.  She didn’t believe I was fully dilated.  Apparently I had gone from 2 cm dilated to 10cm dilated in 40 minutes!

The room became a scene from any movie or television show that overdoes baby deliveries.  It felt like a television studio audience though with as many nurses that were hustling around.  And so Baby Girl Montano was born.

End Scene.