Since the dental school is only a couple miles from our house (and since denver has 300+ clear days a year), it'll be the perfect mode of transportation for him! And since it gets almost 80 miles per gallon gas mileage, he'll probably have to fill up... mmmm... once a semester?
Now, our childbirth class instructor (the aforementioned Ellen who is really fantastic aside from her lies about breastfeeding being pain-free) encouraged us to rank order our priorities for labor and delivery. That way, we could pick our battles, so to speak, and focus on the things that really matter to us. Our final list of the things that were most important to us included: Adam being able to be there with me, no C-section, no epidural and no induction (in that order). I also thought that being able to move around, not being chained to an IV, and having access to a tub, shower and birthing ball would all be helpful (less important than our Top 4, but still on our list of priorities). So this news is not great news... staying in bed is NOT part of the birth plan!
5/17, 6:00 pm: Dr. Chu and Nurse Kelly come into our room- the room where I'm stuck in bed having contractions and looking longingly at the bathroom where I'm not allowed to use the shower- shoot! They both have pretty serious looks on their faces. Uh oh. Dr. Chu begins with, "I am so glad you came in to get fluids today." Really uh oh.
Turns out, I do in fact have HELLP syndrome. The Itsy Bitsy is just fine, but my body is having a really hard time being pregnant. They need to give me Magnesium Sulfate (from here on referred to as "the devil drug"), a central nervous system suppressant. They also need to break my water and give me Pitocin (the drug they use to induce labor) to counteract the devil drug, which slows everything down.
So I will be stuck in bed for my entire labor, with tons of IVs in and no option to move around AND my contractions will be superclose together and pretty intense because of the Pitocin. Awesome. I am starting to reconsider my, "let's-try-this-without-pain-medication" plan. But my dear sweet husband gives me credit for being way tougher than I actually am and still thinks that this is totally do-able.
5/17/08, 7:00 pm: They break my water, start the devil drug and start the Pitocin. Oh boy.
5/17/08, 7:30 pm: My contractions are pretty intense (thank you Pitocin) and there is only about 45 seconds between each one. Adam and I are trying to figure out how in the world we are going to manage this with me stuck in bed, tied to lots of little machines and IVs.
We finally find a system that works... I am sitting upright, uncomfortable as that might sound. When a contraction is about to start, Adam gives me fair warning (he can see them coming on a monitor) and then helps me relax by gently touching the areas where he sees tension (mostly my shoulders and my face) and rubbing the small of my back. I figure out that counting helps me. When Adam leaves to get me some ice (and is gone for more than 45 seconds), I realize how much his coaching is helping me- I am WAY less functional without him.
For the next 10 hours, it is pretty much a variation of the above- contractions every 45 seconds and Adam getting me through them. The contractions get more intense and painful as we get into the early morning, and I'm not really able to relax through them anymore, but gripping the sides of the hospital bed is a close second to relaxation. I am dilated to 9.5 cm for almost 4 hours at the end. That's frustrating.
The nurse and Dr. Chu recommend pain meds around 4:00 am so that I can sleep for an hour or two, but I've been in labor for 28 hours without them and would rather just finish this way.
5/18/08, 5:30 am: I've finally gotten the go ahead to start pushing! WOOHOO! Two hours later (after hearing, "One last push, Kirst..." about 10 times), little Burke is born. The whole time I was pushing (ok, really, for the last 9 months), I was wondering if this would be a little boy or a little girl, so to hear them say, "It's a BOY!" is one of the greatest moments of my life! Indescribable really... He is teeny tiny and perfect and I can't believe he's mine.
So, in the end, we got our top three priorities- Adam was with me the whole time (and oh goodness, I could not have done it without him), I didn't have to have a C-section and we didn't need pain meds. Now we can tell Burke, "It was a little tricky, having you. But you were totally, completely worth it!"
The refrain in the Gentry house for the last few weeks has been, "Gentle... gentle, Keadryn... gentle." But it isn't because she has been rough with Burke on purpose- just the opposite actually. She ADORES the little bug... whenever he's around, she wants to kiss him and hug him and hold him and rock him and crawl into his car seat with him. It is absolutely precious. She is going to be a darling big sister in a few months!