Peter’s Birth… -Birth Day

If you are just joining me. This is the 4th of 5 posts about Peter’s birth. This one is the hardest one for me to read. I did a rough draft, edited some, then let is sit for a long time. I can’t read Peter’s birth without sobbing, without feeling the suffering I felt on that day.

Peter’s Birth –Introduction

Peter’s Birth –Pregnancy

Peter’s Birth – Stopping Labor

I wrote  in my journal the night before Peter was born. I’m just copying from it.

“Everyone can’t wait to met you! I’m trying hard to get my head around having you outside my body. So far it’s just been you and me (plus Daddy). I don’t want to share you with the world. I’m excited for Jacob to hold you, of course. But with everyone visiting I want to be able to hold you the whole time and now I will have to share. Which is life.

Now the house is clean and our bags are packed. Everyone has been called and we are ready for you to come.

I freely offer all my pain during your labor, in union with the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and for the Conversion of Jacob.

Your birthday will be April 23rd and 2 Saints celebrated are St. George and St. Maria Teresa of the Holy Cross (still pending). I love that there is a St. Teresa on your birthday!”

My middle name is Theresa and my personal patron saint is St. Terese of the Child Jesus.

Jacob wrote in my journal for me during Peter’s birth day. This is what he wrote.

“This is presumably the day of your birth, assuming you aren’t born after midnight. We came to the hospital at 6:45 in the morning and were quickly in a delivery room, room 113, and got all set up. (Which happened to be my favorite of all the delivery rooms! I’ve been in all of them!) Our delivery nurse is Loretta and your mom likes her. She has brought a sense of humor that probably only an experienced nurse can bring*. Your Mom was started on pitosin to start contractions, and started they did. Your Mom would also probably want me to note that she she got the IV put in, she took it like a champ (I’m unsure of needles and it was my first IV). Just after 10 in the morning DR came in and ruptured your Mom’s water and put an internal monitor beside you. As I write this both your grandparents are on their way up. They can’t wait to see you and neither can I.”

Every other time I went into L&D I took off my bra. Today, for some reason I thought I could leave it on. But after they put the IV in, I tried to take it off… It hung on the IV stand for the rest of Peter’s labor.

We even took a picture of it.

Jacob wrote it well. We were excited. And thrilled. And delighted! The pitocin (or devil drug as I will call it now) did start contractions.

My Mom and Dad had my niece and nephew that weekend (my brother and wife decided to plan a vacation around my due date. LOL). They came in as soon as they got there. My Mom started crying and the Loretta said, why are you crying? My Mom knew that today would be a trial for me and was sad for the pain I was going to go through, but still to have the joy of Peter afterward. She didn’t say that though. My niece and nephew was a nice distraction for a while, though I think they were only in there for a couple minutes. 🙂 Jacob and I talked about it before, and we agreed that we just wanted it to be us. Though I wish I had my Mom in the room. There’s nothing like your mom when you are in pain.

They pretty much ramped up right away. I don’t know if it was because I was so exited, but I loved the feeling of my water breaking! I wish it would have happened on it’s own, but what a feeling!! It didn’t hurt or feel uncomfortable at all. After the water was broken, WHOOO Bessy, the contractions really started going. I was moving round the bed, trying to get comfortable. I felt like I had to pee. I went to the bathroom twice. After the second time, a nurse told me that I didn’t pee enough to warrant another trip if I needed to go, and that it was just pressure from Peter. I felt better sitting on the toilet, and was sad I couldn’t do it more*. I had a lot of back pain. Jacob did a good job putting pressure on it, but I don’t think he wanted to hurt me, and I needed more. Loretta put a lot of pressure on and rubbed hard and it felt better for a while. I was told I could move around the bed as much as I wanted, as long as they could get a good read on Peter. I crawled up and down that thing! I was on my hands and knees naturally moving my hips, panting and breathing. Jacob was a great coach. Loretta noticed that I was having back pain and said, good, wiggle as much as you can on your hands and knees. I didn’t know why, but I did it. I was always told that Peter was in the correct position for birth*.

I was SO hot! So hot! I took off my gown and didn’t care at all to be seen naked, by anyone that came in the room. I was blowing out my mouth, pppppphhh! All the air with each contraction. It felt good to make noise. They had two fans going in the room, the air turned as low as it could get and I still felt cooking. Jacob was waving a magazine in my face (which I asked for). The nurse took it from him and said, she wants more. Like this. See how the wind is moving her hair. If you are not moving her hair, it’s not hard enough. Bless, it felt so much better having cooler air on my face. I don’t remember if I ate any ice chips, I know that we had some around.

I was asked if I wanted anything for the pain. I asked for nubutrin (unsure of the spelling of this drug). It did take a little edge off, but I couldn’t get comfortable. I couldn’t handle the wave after wave of contractions with the devil drug still going. I *think* I was checked around 1 pm and was at 6 cm.

They didn’t go Epi at the hospital, they gave us a reason, but I don’t remember, but they did give ITN. At Lamaze they told the difference between the two but I don’t remember them now*. Jacob helped direct me to not hold my breath, but to breathe and make sounds.

Loretta came back in and saw that I was still in pain and said, “Well, you tried, do you want the ITN now?”

I cried and said yes. I felt like a failure, but needed some relief. I was so hot, I didn’t want anyone to touch me. I think I had my eyes closed or wasn’t looking at anyone because I could tell when I new nurse came in. They would start to touch me and one of the other nurses would direct them not too. The Anesthesiologist came in. (I have two in Peter’s birth story. One is a guy =A1, and one is a girl =A2). A1 quickly was able to give me the ITN and I felt relief. Sweet relief.

Jacob notes for the last time in my journal:

“It is now 3:10 pm and your mother is doing so good. The most painful part is over, I hope, and the ITN is helping. They are bringing stuff in to lay you on when you are born so it is getting close to being time for you to come out. We are all very ready to see you Peter.”

Oh how much I wish that was true. “The most painful part is over.” Not just physically but mentally and emotionally. The rest of the time is a blur with highlights. I’m going to have Jacob talk to me about it and maybe we can get more details talking about it.

When they put the ITN in, they checked me and I was at a 10, but Peter still needed to come down lower. I ‘labor down’ for an hour. At 4 I was told I could start pushing. And I pushed and pushed.

The ITN only works for a couple hours. It wore off around 5 pm. I was still pushing. I started to feel contractions and work with them. Making my pushing more useful. I liked pushing contractions, over dilating contractions. The Lamaze teacher, who was also a nurse there, came in and helped for a while. Focusing me. I used a towel to help with pushing. The nurse told Jacob to look, You can see his hair. Jacob looked and saw Peter’s hair/head! I couldn’t see though, and wished I would have asked for a mirror.

Peter’s heart started to lower with the contractions. I was put on oxygen. A2 was called in around 6 pm. She tried several times (best guess 10 times) to put in another ITN. I was poked with the numbing shot and then she tried several times to put it in. The numbing shot would wear off, and she would repeat. This was also with continuous pushy contractions. I felt like I had a bowling ball between my legs. She couldn’t get it. She tried some more. She was going to ‘give me a break’ and come back in a while and try again.

The doctor came in and checked me again at some time. He didn’t like the way Peter was looking with contractions and how he wasn’t coming out, ‘since he was so big.’ I asked him if he would use the kiwi or vacuum or whatever it’s called. I pleaded with him. He didn’t want to get Peter stuck. He left the room.

I don’t know if they nurses knew then, but they really started, “Push Tiffany, hold him there. Okay, PPPUUUUSSSShhhh again. Again. He’s right there Tiffany, push!” With each push I would fog up the oxygen mask. One nurse was stroking my leg?! I disliked it so much, in-between a push I asked her to stop! I know she was offering comfort.

The doctor came back in and checked me. I remember what he said, “I’m calling it, get the OR ready. She’s having a c-section. We need to get him out.” I lost it. I started crying. NO. Please, no. I had to sign a form. Then I was prepped. The Lamaze teacher shaved me! SHAVED me! They were trying to comfort me, but I couldn’t stand it! I’m not going to give birth, I’m going to have Peter surgically removed from my body! No, please no! I asked at that time that the Devil drug be lowered! I think they lowered it, I don’t know. It was around 7pm.

I was moved to another bed. One of the nurses gently said, “Tiffany, we are going in the hallway, do you want a sheet over you?” I agreed, this would be a good idea! 🙂 I remember saying, I’m sorry, over again over again to Jacob. He was crying and I was crying. He said, ‘It’s okay. I’m okay.” I would cry out and they apologize. I cried, it hurts so much!  With the urge to push. I was in the OR and Jacob had to wait outside. I labored on the table alone, under all the bright blinding lights. Tears made everything seem even brighter. There were other nurses in the room, but I didn’t see them. I felt like it was just me. I was alone.

I said out-loud, ‘I need to push.’ Someone said to someone else, ‘can she still push?’ It was never answered.

A2 came back in the room. Tried again to get the blocker in. UNSUCCESSFUL! She still wasn’t able to get it in. She tried several times. Jacob wasn’t allowed into the room until I had an spinal! Please, get it in! I wanted to say, please.

I could tell that everyone in the room was just done with her. Finally, YES! She got it. I felt relief. Everyone came in. They sat Jacob at my left, by my head. He took my hand. I just cried harder. The sheet was drawn up! I couldn’t see my stomach anymore.

The doctor said, “Do you feel this?”

I answered, “No.”

Do you feel this?

Yes!

The doctor made some noise. He said, “Do you feel this?”

No.

Do you feel this?

Yes!

He said, You shouldn’t be able to feel this!!*

I groaned and said, But I DO! And I feel like I neeeeeeeeedddd to ppppush again.

A2 got it in wrong. They called A1. Everyone left the room again, save a couple nurses. They made Jacob leave the room again. I labored alone.

And labored alone.

and was still alone.

Jacob said that I was in there alone for the better part of 30 minutes! He was in the hallway, worried. Every once in a while I was able to remember to offer up my suffering in union with the suffering of Jesus on the Cross.*

I finally called out, “I want my husband. I want Jacob RIGHT nnnooow! said with a contraction. They hustled out and got Jacob. I apologized again. I remember trying to make Jacob feel better. We were both still crying.

I said, I hurt, I hurt EVerYwhere! but my ears. My ears don’t hurt!

People laughed and I felt a little better for a moment, but still didn’t want a c-section.

A1 came in. I flat out said, there’s no way I can sit up and bend correctly anymore. He said, that’s fine, we can do it with you laying down. He gave me a pat on the hip. One of the nurses pushed my knees up to my chest as far as it would go. Jacob said that he didn’t watch and just looked at my face.

He tried once. It didn’t work. They said if he didn’t get it in the next try that I was going to be put under. I almost wanted it at that time. Just put me under, I thought, it doesn’t matter anymore.

He tried again. And all of a sudden, I felt nothing! They rolled me back on my back and said, “Tiffany, if you say you will not move your arms, we will not tie them down.” I agreed. I almost couldn’t bare the thought of being tied down.

I didn’t feel any pain, physically. Mentally, emotionally, I was crying, breaking, being cut open. I said, I’m going to throw up! They put a pan next to my head. I dry heaved into the pan, nothing came out. A1 said I will give you something for that. I gagged again. Then felt so cold.

I felt them push up on me from between my legs, getting Peter unstuck. I felt weird. They pulled Peter out, he cried. I was able to smile. I wanted to see him so bad. I wanted to hold him! Jacob looked at me. I said, “I’m fine, go with Peter.” Jacob stayed with Peter. He took a short video on the camera, took pictures that I can look over. Peter peed on the nurses! They checked him. I could turn my head and see it a little.

I think I said, I need my glasses! A nurse put them on me. But I still couldn’t see well, my eyes were blurry with tears. They gave him to Jacob and ‘let me’ see him up close. I think I kissed him, I don’t remember for sure. We took two photos and then they left the room.

First family photo

I don’t know if you can see, how much my eyes were almost sealed shut from crying.

I was alone again. With the doctors. I heard noises. No one really talked. I wanted to know what they were doing. But I couldn’t ask because I was crying too hard.

I was wheeled out of the OR and past my family. My Mom cried, “Oh Tiffany, I’m so sorry.” She leaned over me and kissed me. Jacob’s mom kissed my check.

The nurses saw I was in the hallway and they held him up high so I could see. What torture, TORTURE, it was to be able to see Peter and not hold him.

I asked, How big was he?* When was he born? Everyone knew before me. His mother. I was wheeled into recovery. I still don’t remember how much is weighed unless I check. He was 8 pounds and 12 ounces. So much for 10 pounds and 3 ounces! He was born at 8:45. Almost 2 hours after the Doctor called my labor…

I wasn’t allowed to see him until I could move my legs. I was shaking so hard. My teeth where hitting each other so hard it almost hurt. I had these painful contraptions on my legs to make sure I wouldn’t get a blood clot. There was a nurse in there and she talked to me a couple times, I don’t remember.

A nurse rushed in and said that Peter’s blood sugar was dropping and needed formula. I said, No. I want to breastfeed. She looked at me and said, his blood sugar is dropping! He needs formula!

I didn’t know what that meant! I was going natural, Peter was going to latch and nurse right away! I didn’t know! I said, “okay.” I didn’t want him hurt. I cried harder.

Jacob told me that he was the one to hold him and give him the bottle that helped some, but not enough. I don’t know how much formula they gave him, but it was too much.

After a time, I don’t know how long it was, an hour, two? Peter was brought into me. I was able to move my legs. I worked so hard on it. I think Jacob brought him in? I didn’t get time to be alone with Jacob and Peter. The rest of the family came in. My Mom and Dad, my niece and nephew, Jacob’s Mom and Dad, and his sister. In our small room. I held him. Our first photo is painful to see. I can’t look at it without crying.

I cried and cried, even when holding him. Notice that I didn’t even hold him right, with his head dropping off my shoulder.

I wanted to be alone with him. I wanted to see his toes, I wanted him to be safe back in me, for this to be just a baaaaad pregnancy dream. But it wasn’t. Everyone was staring at us.

My Mom gently came to my side, “Tiffany, people don’t want to leave until they hold him.” I understood. I had to let everyone hold him so they would leave. I JUST WANTED TO BE ALONE WITH PETER AND JACOB! I wasn’t able to talk much. I said that he has my dimples that I had when I smiled without teeth. I think someone made a comment about, ‘what does that look like?!’ I felt ridiculed. I needed gentleness. I needed peace. My mom was at my side the whole time. Peter was taken and passed around the room and I could just watch. I was too drugged up to do anything else. My SIL holds him, crying sweetly. Then my MIL, and FIL,

and my Dad hold him (with niece and nephew).

My mom gave up her turn* and Dad brought him back to me. My baby is back.

My Father-in-law posted photos of Peter on facebook the day after he was born. He shows Peter’s first feeding captioned, “Dads first to feeding aged 85 minutes old.” I want to cry! IT should have been ME! I should have been my MILK! Why is this on facebook?! I asked for it to be taken off. It’s still up today. I was never given any copies of these photos even after I’ve asked. I DON’T REMEMBER THIS. Why can anyone look at these and see the same thing I am looking at. I should have different memories! I should be the one in the room, NOT everyone else. The first hours, I was not by his side. Thank God Jacob was there with him the whole time. Thank God. But I’m jealous, I’m mad that everyone else saw him. Got to see what he looked like. Why did this happened?

The saga continues with the next post. Processing Peter’s Birth.

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2 Responses

  1. Tiff, my heart breaks for you. I’m so sorry this happened the way it did & I’m so sorry that those precious first moments were taken away from you. ❤

    • Thank you Bran. I need to remember that when you share pain it divides it; When you share joy it multiplies it.

      I take great solace in the fact that suffering is not pointless, that is can be used or harnessed for a great purpose. I explain more in my last post in the series.

      ❤ to you too.

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