Bill & Sandi Tepper were expecting their first child on or about September 12,
Well, Emma had other plans and arrived a few days late, on September 17, 2002,
at 10:48 PM.
This is the story of the labor that produced Emma Elizabeth Tepper!
Bill and I spent the day calling our family and friends to let them know what was going to be happening. My Mama and Daddy and Grandma Pell got in the RV and headed over. Bill's Mom and Pop needed to wait until the next day due to work. We made some video taped messages for Emma that evening as we waited for the hospital to let us know when we could come in. Mama, Daddy , and Grandma got here at about 8:30PM and stayed with us until time to leave. We finally got to go to the hospital at about 10:00PM. (They had to wait until they had a room to put us in.) As it was we waited in the waiting area until about 10:40. Then they let us go into a room even though we had to wait for a nurse to come on duty after 11PM. We took the time to settle in as best we could. the picture to the left is the view out of the window of the Labor and Delivery Room (LDR). We took some video tape of the room wherein I announce to Emma that this is where she'll be born unless we have to do a C-section or something. A little unknowing foreshadowing of things to come! The nurse got me checked in and brought the Cervadil insert at about midnight and hooked me up to all sorts of monitors. We then tried to sleep on the rock hard bed and couch in the room.
Finally, at about 4:15PM or so, I decided that I needed to rest - to try to sleep if possible. The contractions had been getting harder and harder - I was having to stop walking and lean against the wall during them. Laura asked everyone but Bill to clear out so I could get some sleep. My grandma told me later that she thought I didn't look right when I came to the room - my face had lost its color - but she figured it was the contractions. I tried to sleep on that rock-slab they try to pass off as a bed. I could not get comfortable between the bed and the contractions - they were both killing my back!
At about 5PM or so, I finally asked Laura for the epidural . They brought in a fast-acting pain killer (and boy did it work! I didn't even want the epidural after it!!!) and I got the epidural itself at about 6PM (12 hours of labor so far if you were counting). I was able to get some sleep after that. Unfortunately, when I woke up I was throwing up and shaking violently. They said that shakes were frequently a side effect from the epidural - but they seemed unprepared for the barfing! I fell back asleep, but I remember having a hard time waking myself up. I would be talking to myself inside my head saying "Wake up! You can't push if you aren't awake!" but I couldn't actually gain consciousness. The last thing I really remember clearly was asking Bill what time is was at about 7:20PM . After that, things go in and out. At some point, the midwife ( Ruth by this point) decided that my contractions had slowed and softened to be nearly non-existent after the epidural kicked in. So they started a Pitocin drip to get them started again. Bill said the nurses kept coming in and cranking the dosage up and up, but the contractions weren't getting any stronger. The nurses and Bill at one point tried to get me to do something (I think it was to roll over) and although they thought I was awake (my eyes were open), I couldn't respond or move. That was when Bill realized that I was not all there!
At about 9:30PM , Ruth checked my dilation and found that I still hadn't dilated more than about 4 cm. She had them check my vital signs and found that my blood pressure was down to 90/50, my temperature was up to 102.5 degrees and Emma's heart rate (which had been steady at 135 all day) was now up to 175. Along with my unresponsiveness, these things added up to problems. So she called in Dr. Weinstein to consult. He examined me and talked to me about what he wanted to do. Bill informed him that "Sandi may seem like she's paying attention and she may even answer you if you ask her a question, but she has no idea what you are saying to her right now." So the doctor agreed that a C-section was in order. The nurses told Bill to get all of our stuff packed up and put on some scrubs while they went to work on me. I got a big bolus of epidural to block all sensation from the middle of my back down.
Next thing I knew, we were wheeling down the hallway at what seemed to be a high rate of speed! (Bill told me later that it really wasn't that fast - but the movement was enough to make me hurl again!) I was in and out of it as they strapped my arms to the table and got me ready for the C-section . Meanwhile, Bill was storing our things and waiting for them to bring him in. Once they had me all ready, they let Bill come in and sit next to my head. I do remember looking up at him and thinking how beautifully blue his eyes were in the scrub hat! Then I saw the anesthesiologist point over the curtain and Bill stood up to see. His eyes got huge as he watched them getting Emma out! I heard the nurses say "Get your camera, Get your camera!" and Bill took a couple pictures.
Emma was born at 10:48PM on September 17, 2003, after a total of 16.75 hours of labor. Bill went over to the warming table with Emma as they worked on her. She weighed 8 pounds 5 ounces and was 21" long. I was craning my head backward to try to look back and see her. All I can remember seeing was an oxygen tube over her - I was panicking as best I could in my semi-conscious state! I was trying so hard to ask what was wrong - they finally heard and told me nothing - she was fine. Bill was able to bring her over to me so that I could give her a kiss and a nuzzle and that was about it. I passed back out pretty much until I woke up in the recovery room. Bill was able to be with Emma the whole time they worked on me and got her settled in to the nursery.
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