Tuesday, March 9th, 2004
I woke up this morning around 6:00 am with mild cramping. So I got up, and decided to put a movie in and ride it out for a while. After about a half-hour I realized that these were contractions and they were coming somewhat regularly. I got out our stopwatch from our packed Lamaze bag. They were coming about every 5 minutes, but not regularly. They were definitely getting harder to manage, so I woke Marc up around 7 and asked for his help. We went back downstairs and put in “Monsters, Inc.” to help me take my mind off the contractions. Within the next hour, they were consistently every 5 minutes. However, one would be a full hard minute and the next would only last about 20 seconds. Marc called Mary Ann (midwife) around 8:40 am and explained to her our situation. She said it sounded like our baby was face up. She told Marc to have me take a warm bath and to get on my elbows and knees to try to help the baby turn. She wanted us to call her back in a few hours with an update. So we decided that I should get in that position in the shower and Marc would run the hot water over me. By now the contractions were very strong and I was finding myself nauseous as well. A mere 45 minutes later, the contractions were all strong and about 4 minutes apart. Marc called Mary Ann again, and she told us to meet her at the hospital.
We packed up the car and headed downtown. The car ride was awful. Not only do you have to sit upright, but also watching motion out the window only added to the pain. Fortunately, we don’t live that far from the hospital and only had to endure 3-4 contractions in the car. In route, Marc called Kari & my mom to tell them we were on our way.
We arrived at the emergency room, I went in and waited in the wheel chair while Marc parked the car. They eventually wheeled me to a birthing room after what seemed like a forever wait in the ER. At 10:15 AM they had me put on their hospital gown, when Mary Ann and Kari showed up. Mary Ann said she was going to check to see how dilated I was, then put me in the Jacuzzi tub for a bit. However, when she checked me, I was 9 cm and they wanted me to start pushing.
Since the baby’s head was still face up, she had me do ‘specialized’ pushing in 5 counts in different positions for about an hour. The weird thing is in between my long contractions (sometimes lasting as long as 120 seconds), I would be totally asleep. Our Lamaze teacher mentioned this phenomenon, but it was hard to imagine until it was actually happening to me. Finally, with some help from Mary Ann, the baby turned and it was time for the “real” pushing. This was the most difficult part and yet the most relieving part of the labor. Kari, Mary Ann and Marc were so encouraging helping me through each contraction. In fact, they were able to convince me each and every time that I had made so much progress that I started asking after each one, “Just one more?”. Once our baby’s head started to show, Kari and Mary Ann excitedly started to tell us about all the hair they saw on his head. We pushed for full 10 counts for a while and only after showing some signs of distress, did Mary Ann decide to perform an episiotomy. And at 1:00 PM exactly, little Andrew Paul Dykstra was born into this world.
He was so bright eyed and alert. So beautiful and with a full head of hair! They placed him on my tummy and we just stared at each other. It was amazing!
However, unfortunately, I didn’t deliver my entire placenta and therefore wouldn’t stop bleeding. So while the nurses were weighing, measuring, and cleaning up little Andrew, I was getting worked on in a very painful way. In fact, I can honestly say it was as bad or worse than the labor and delivery. I actually grabbed Marc’s arm at one point and twisted it. Mary Ann called the doctor in and about a half-hour later, Dr. Peterson showed up. I must say, that this doctor did not have the same bedside manners that Mary Ann has. When he learned that I didn’t have any drugs, he stated twice out loud that, “She didn’t have an epidural? This will kill her.” At that point, I about lost it. Here my little baby was getting his first bath and footprints and such, and I am stuck here in terrible pain and this doctor comes in with his mouth and scares us to death. They were considering put me out under general anesthesia, which I dreaded, since I have this new little baby. Then they decided they would just give me Stadol and local anesthetic. From there everything got fuzzy. But the horrible pain was gone. It was almost like watching a scene from the outside…. seeing Andrew get his bath from Kari (he peed on her), having them stitch me up, etc…
The fuzziness lightened gradually and shortly after they were finished with me, I was ‘present’ again, though still a little foggy. And only then did they get around to putting my hospital admission bracelet on. Around 3:00 my mom and Andy showed up.
I called my Dad to tell him little Andrew was here (although I hardly remember the conversation now, due to the Stadol) and Marc called his parents. We made a few more calls to friends and family, I ate some dinner and then was ready to move to our postpartum room. I was exhausted, but also full of excitement that our little man was finally here.