The Story of Being Born: Asher

Dec 21, 2018

The topic of possible induction arose in March after an ultrasound showed the baby’s growth had slowed, and gestational size fell below the 20th percentile, which was concerning, to say the least. This meant weekly NST (non-stress tests) and ultrasounds (gimme ALL the ultrasounds!) to track placenta flow, fetus growth, etc.

My 37w visit showed progress growth-wise so my OB felt comfortable allowing me to reach my estimated due date of May 16, 2018, scheduling an induction that day in the event I did not go into labor spontaneously on my own and checked me (which I avoid like the plague because, mind games) clocking dilation at a whopping 1-2cm (see?!). 

By 39w I was at 3cm, had lost my mucus plug and was having super sporadic contractions.  As all these things transpired I kept my lips so very zipped (fairly certain Mark didn’t even know), because the thought of additional attention was as appealing as a root canal. In the meantime, I busied myself with moving our guest bed turned toddler bed into the nursery (with Mark), tieing up last minute logistics and squeezing in some self-care by way of a 90-minute prenatal massage, as one does 39w in gestation, obviously.

May 16th rolled around and - no baby, so I called the hospital around 7a and got the green light to head in for my scheduled induction at 8:30a. Surreal I was going to the hospital 100% not in labor AT ALL had my mind whirring. Showered with Hibiclens as instructed, weighed myself (176.6; turns out not working out and eating for sport had real consequences) and took one final photo as a family of three before handing off Owen and the dogs to my mom, and setting off for the hospital, detouring at Hardees for breakfast (which I recall in vivid, delicious, greasy detail) because, priorities. As fate would have it, we got stuck in the worst rush hour traffic and rolled up to the women’s evaluation unit fashionably late (by at least 45 minutes) only to realize we were supposed to go straight to labor and delivery. Facepalm.

Upon arrival into L&D, we were greeted by our nurses Annessa and Danielle and settled into our new home for the foreseeable future. My OB and her counterpart, Dr. Raven popped to explain the induction process/answer questions and I was checked. Still 3cm. This baby was very much cozy and showed no signs of budging. 

Dear longest day ever, I see you.

10:45a Pitocin began at 2mg (increasing by 2mg every half hour). Being in labor and delivery NOT in labor felt so bizarre - hearing mothers very much in labor, and noting each time the lullaby was played for new babies being born (I lost count at 17...) all while labor was progressing at snail's pace (and that was being generous) for me. We walked the halls to beat boredom, toting around my trusty sidekick.

Induction = plenty of time to photo depict my sad liquid lunch

12:15p I was famished and only learned then that I was on a liquid diet. WTF?! Mark leaves to get his lunch and playing cards as we foolishly assumed inductions didn’t include downtime, playing blackjack to pass the (seemingly unmoving) time.

2:30p Pitocin at 16mg. Drifting off to sleep in the chair, with regular contractions. Walk the halls. 

3:45p Cervix checked; 4cm 75% effaced, -2 station. Pitocin steady at 20. Hungry. Give me all the cherry Italian ice!

5:45p "Dinner". Jello never tasted so good. Walk the halls. 

7:45p Shift change! (J'nelle, Dr. Ward ) -  pain at a 7,  but manageable. Contractions still 2-3 mins apart.  For the record, I don't track contractions porpoerly, so I had no clue they were that close.

8:45p(ish) Cervix check; 4cm. I was so frustrated and exhausted at this point my mood got dark, REAL quick.

9:00p Bluetooth fetal monitor!! Never have I ever been so excited to have the belly band monitor taken off. At some point, they also inserted a monitor on the baby’s head as well but I legit didn’t remember and recall asking why a cord was hanging from “down there”. 

10:00p Dr. Sander (chief resident), Siri (med student) came in. Gave me fentanyl (can the church say, AMEN) then broke my water (So. Much. Fluid).

12:23a In hindsight, I now realize I was transitioning at this point and thus clinging to my sanity (gross understatement). The pain was unbearable (fentanyl is only good for an hr or so), I was starving, exhausted and shocker - no change, my cervix was still at 4cm, which is basically sewn shut at this point. The nurse went over pain options and I opted for Staydol(?) fentanyl's cousin and a position change. 

1:45a At this point I've completely lost my mind and all sense of reason. I relent to Mark I NEED epidural because the pain at this duration (fifteen hours, and counting) was "troubling" (read: fucking impossible) considering I still had to push and was already spent. He had “suggested” an epidural earlier but didn’t push as he’d set up camp on the couch, real cozy like, far away from the monster, the artist formerly known as his laboring wife. 

Did you know you have to get a bag of fluids BEFORE an epidural? Me neither. I not so calmly begged for her to open the bag all the way and if it'd help speed things along offered to drink said bag of fluids. Bag drains and the anesthesiologist comes in - she’s calm and ethereal and begins to detail the epidural; potential side effects (terrifying), and the like.  During one hellacious contraction whilst she spoke I solemnly vow not to sue her should anything go awry and ask her to jam the needle in my spine, right now - needle phobia be DAMNED. The process was less painful (hahahahaha) than anticipated and as I started to roll onto my back, had a massive contraction pinning me in place, pooling the drugs into my right side. I’m screaming about pain, the anesthesia is screaming at me to roll to seated and around that time the med student comes back in, takes a look around and I lock eyes with him with an intensity that made him VERY uncomfortable as I exclaimed - MY BABY IS COMING OUT. The details get hazy but shit got REAL. At least ten people flooded in setting up, bustling around me.

2:07a After sixteen hours of labor, less than thirty minutes after an epidural, and mere moments of pushing,  Asher Grey was born.

7lb 6oz 20in. 

Born the day after his due date because “nobody puts baby in a corner”.

5a(ish) We settled into our new room, I’d had my favorite post-delivery meal of peanut butter and graham crackers (every time I have them it reminds me of their birth-days). We all take naps! Finally. 

7:15a Pitocin is complete so I got to officially ditch.the.bitch

Later that day Owen came by with my mom to meet his baby brother and barely cared for his big brother gift (bookmagna doodle, snacks), instead passing the minutes by playing with all the light switches and eating my hospital food off the tray.

Welcome to our family, Asher Grey! We are so incredibly blessed you are ours.

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