February 8th, 2006


Six Years Ago Today...

I am so glad that I kept a journal during my pregnancy and labor. This is what I was doing about this time six years ago.

February 7, 2000

10 am:
We were due to the hospital at 10 am. I'm going to be induced into labor today. Wow, I'm about to have a baby!!!!! I got hooked up to the machines. Now we wait.

11:40 am:
I just had my first contraction that I could actually feel that beginning and the end. It didn't hurt, but I could feel it!

The nurse, Lara, is really nice. We have really lucked out - Dr. Ottavi and now Lara. We have so much confidence in Dr. Ottavi and I feel very comfortable with Lara.

12:30 pm:
I've reacted to the Pitocin very quickly, according to Lara. I've started to have regular contractions. They are spaced pretty evenly. Its a good sign, Lara said.

I have an IV in my left wrist. It hurts a little, but that's normal. It administers the Pitocin and two antibiotics - because of my heart problems. I think its the same reason that I have to have antibiotics before a dentist appointment.

Monday Afternoon:
Everyone came to the hospital this afternoon. We sat in my room and played cards and talked. Just waiting.

Christine and Cathy came by this evening too. They brought food - grrrr! I haven't had anything to eat since this morning for breakfast.

Lara left at 7pm and a new nurse, Kim, came on. Shortly after she came on, we moved to another room - more chairs for visitors and a private bathroom. We were getting the royal treatment now! (Little did we know we were in for a long haul!)

10 pm:
I had a big contraction - made me cry, (Lindsay too) but it might have been also because of a full bladder. At least that's what the nurse said.

February 8, 2000

1:30 am:
Everyone went home. Nothing seems to be happening.

4:40 am:
Since midnight, I've been sleeping on and off. At 3:30am, Nurse Misha talked to Dr. Ottavi. Dr. O said to check the cervix - the baby had come down a little. Misha tried to insert a baby moniter and to break my water but couldn't because I wasn't dilated enough for her fingers and probe to fit in at the same time. She decided to wait until Dr. Ottavi came in - Misha wasn't comfortable doing this. At 4:15am, I had the epidural. It wasn't terribly painful to administer but it burned and I didn't expect that.

Chris says I've been pretty strong, but I know that its because he's here to support me. The first time that Nurse Kim checked and said I hadn't progressed at all, I felt depressed. The second time she checked, I still hadn't made any progress, but I wasn't too devastated. I was just too tired.

All the nurses here love Dr. Ottavi. So do we. I wish she could be here during the whole time though!

5 am:
Dr. Berens visited briefly.

5:20 am:
Dr. Ottavi arrives. She checks me - 3 cm and -1 station. Great sign! (All this time and I'm only 3cm!) She broke my water with the crochet hook - it felt warm and wet. (Chris's point of view - lots of bloody mucous at first, then a stream of clear fluid).

5:40 am:
Now I'm having steady contractions which I can sometimes feel, but nothing like before the epidural. I'm very relaxed and will probably sleep now.

8:30 am:
Dr. Ottavi came back to check - I'm at 4cm!

9:35 am:
A new nurse - Lori. She came and checked on me because "I felt it in my butt"! (That's what I really said to her!) 5cm! 1cm an hour is average for this point, so we have at least 5 more hours to go! I've been strongly urged to get some sleep. It feels really good to finally be making progress.

One quick observation: "epidural = happiness"

10:15 am:
They increased the pain medication. It was starting to wear off!

1 pm:
Dr. Ottavi returns. 9.5cm! I went from 7cm to 9.5cm in about a half an hour! Now we just need the baby to come down a little more. I have a slight urge to push, but I can't yet.

3 pm:
The contractions are getting quite strong and Dr. Chait gave me another dose of the epidural. I'm quite calm now. I have still a tiny bit of cervix left to dilate. The contractions make me feel like having a bowel movement but its just the baby's head pushing its way out.

3:30 pm:
The nurses get the room and the bed ready for delivery! At 3:35pm they tell me to start pushing. It takes about 6 contractions for our beautiful baby to be born.

Name: Maya Devi Bradfield
"Maya" means magic and "Devi" mean Goddess

Date of Birth: February 8, 2000

Time of Birth: 3:55 pm, Pacific Standard Time

Birth Weight: Seven Pounds, Zero Ounces

Birth Length: 19 1/2 Inches

Number of Hours in Labor: Almost 30

Reading this now, I can still remember a lot of the feelings I had at those precise moments. The feeling of joy I had throughout my labor and delivery. The feeling of sheer panic when Chris left the room for 5 minutes to get a drink and go to the bathroom. The relief of my water breaking. The pain of that first big contraction. And the immediate frantic need I had to hold my baby after I woke up the next morning (from being unconscious for 14 hours because I lost a lot of blood during delivery and had to have a transfusion).

There is almost nothing I wouldn't do to go back and hold that baby again, even just for a moment...