Monday, December 22, 2014

Birth Story, the finale

Call me naive, but I thought that once I agreed to the c section, things would get easier.  Once again, I was wrong.

I didn't factor in the pain that I was already in, which wouldn't go away until getting the spinal in the operating room.  My contractions were still on top of each other, and I wasn't getting more than a few seconds of relief between them.  They asked if I could walk to the OR, and I shook my head.  I could barely speak since I was concentrating on not passing out from the pain.

My husband got all dressed up in his gear and I sent my mom and doula out to the waiting room while they wheeled me into the OR.  Dr. A was there to greet me and let me know what was going to happen every step of the way.  He said I would have to sit up and try to hold still while they inserted the spinal, and I thought that sounded impossible.  He helped me up and held me still while they did it.  I cannot speak highly enough about his bedside manner.  How many women have doctors that comfort them this way?  He wiped my brow and helped me through each contraction while I tried not to fall off of the table.  Once the epidural was in and they laid me down, things got much easier.  I was numb from the waist down and it was the most bizarre feeling.  I could see them moving my legs as they prepared me for the c section, but it seemed like they must belong to someone else since I couldn't feel what they were doing.

Once the sheet was up, my husband was allowed back in.  I was struggling to keep my eyes open.  Did I mention it was almost midnight?  I had been up and in labor all day long without any rest, and now I was afraid I was going to fall asleep and miss my baby boy's birth!  Luckily, Dr. A was fast and after some weird pulling sensations, I hear my baby boy cry for the first time.  It was amazing.  The husband stood up and snapped pictures immediately, and he went and joined the nurses while they wiped the baby off and weighed him.  9 lbs, 1 oz, what a big boy!  And he made it before midnight.  Baby L was born at 11:53 pm.

When I heard L cry for the first time, I cried too.  The husband brought him over and he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  The anesthesiologist snapped a couple of pictures, and then the husband and our little one went to recovery to wait for me.  After some quick stitching up, and some more bizarre sensations while they moved me all over the place without me feeling it, I was wheeled into recovery as well.

L was just finishing up his bath and then was brought over and laid on my chest.  We tried to breastfeed immediately.  He was alert and eager for the breast.  He was perfect.


There are so many more things I could say, but these are the important details.  L's birth could not have been further from what I had expected, but it resulted in my beautiful boy coming into this world healthy, and that is all that matters.  At least, that's what I tell myself every day.  I still mourn the fact that I didn't have a vaginal birth, and I probably always will.  Thank you to those that stuck around for this very long story.  I know I could have made it a lot less detailed, but this is for my own memories and I didn't want to forget anything.

I don't know where this blog is going to go from here.  Will it become a blog about parenting?  I don't know.  L was born with a clubfoot, so I could document that journey here...but again, I don't know.  We will see.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Birth Story, Part 2

Where was I?

Oh right, we had just survived a super crappy night in which neither the husband or I slept.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014:

After finally falling asleep for a couple of hours, I was woken up by Dr. A during his rounds around 6 am.  He came in to check me, and I had finally dilated to 1 cm!  This may sound like nothing, but it had taken me almost 42 weeks to get there.  Because I had finally dilated somewhat, we had a couple more options than the night before.  Dr. A did not want to put me on pitocin because I was contracting on my own and he was concerned that baby wouldn't handle it well.  The problem with pitocin is that it is designed to make your contractions stronger and closer together, however, mine were already close together.  He didn't want to risk having them get any closer which would cause different problems.

Since I was still opposed to receiving drugs of any kind, Dr. A suggested using a bulb catheter, which is inserted into your cervix and then the bulbs on the end of it (one on each side of your cervix) are inflated with saline to put pressure on your cervix.  He explained that the catheter should fall out on its own once my cervix had dilated a certain amount.  Sounds painless, right?  Wrong.  He had quite a bit of trouble getting it in since I was barely dilated and it was definitely painful.  He said the pain would go away once the catheter was in....he was wrong.  Silly doctor.

Once the catheter was in, I was in quite a bit of pain.  I was cramping pretty much constantly, and the contractions were more intense.  However, they were not unbearable.  I walked and bounced on my birthing ball and tried to keep my mind off things.  I had finally been cleared to eat, so that was amazing as well.  My mom showed up some time after this and she helped me to walk the halls of the birthing center.  She kept commenting on how quiet I was, which I didn't know how to take.  Did that mean that things were not progressing or was I just handling things well?  I didn't know, of course, but at that point I was confident that I could continue with my "birth plan" even though I had already had more intervention than I wanted.

After about 8 hours, Dr. A came back to check the progress.  He removed the catheter (which hurt like a bitch!  P.S. don't ever look at that thing after it comes out of you.  Gross.) and I was so happy to hear that I was dilated to a 6!  Wow, this was great news.  I really thought things were going to start going my way.  Dr. A broke my water to move things along quicker since baby's heartrate was still having late decelerations.  There was meconium in the fluid, but I had expected that since I was so late in the pregnancy.

Once they broke my water, I expected my contractions to get stronger, but they didn't.  They were still coming steady, but I actually felt better since the catheter was removed.  I was looking forward to getting back up and walking the halls again since I knew laying down just made things more painful and slowed progression.  Finding out that I was so far dilated had really motivated me... I thought the rest of the night would go as originally planned!  Unfortunately, before I had a chance to get up, the nurse came in and asked me to roll onto my left side and started getting the oxygen mask out.  She was trying to act calm for my sake, but I could tell that she was concerned.  They rolled me over and strapped the mask onto my face and hooked me back up to the IV fluids.  She let me know that the decelerations were happening more often and they wanted to see if the extra oxygen would help.  Right about this time, my doula showed up.  I was scared, but felt much more calm than one would expect.  I knew I had to keep my own heartrate and blood pressure in check.  My mom looked terrified, though, and I told her she should leave.  She didn't listen, but I asked her to move out of my line of sight because seeing her look so concerned wasn't helping me any!

Dr. A came back in to talk to me at this point.  He was getting more concerned and wanted me to know my options.  Pitocin was still not an option to move things along because my contractions were coming too quickly.  He wanted to check and see if my contractions were actually doing any good---if they were causing my cervix to actually dilate or not.  He inserted a tool that would monitor my contractions more accurately.  Once it was in, we would wait 15-30 minutes to see how strong the contractions were.  I had discussed it with my doula and my husband and decided this option was still better than a c section.  I had handled the contractions so well at this point according to everyone around me that I figured I was doing great.

Once the internal monitor was in, the contractions got much more painful.  I was having to concentrate fully on each one and force myself to relax through them.  I still wasn't making any noise, but I was deep inside myself.  My doula rubbed my feet and my husband held my hand.  Whenever he tried to touch me anywhere else, I told him to stop.  The extra touch was too much for me.  Based on all my reading, I figured that I was in the transitional phase at this point, which is the phase between 7 and 10 cm of dilation.  I had all the telltale signs, even throwing up at one point.  I felt like I couldn't make it any longer, which I knew was another sign.  I was sure the doctor was going to come in and let me know I was almost fully dilated and would be pushing soon.

I was wrong.

Dr. A came in after about 20 minutes and showed me the results from the contraction monitor.  According to the data, my contractions were not strong enough to cause any cervical change.  Since of course this information can vary from person to person, he asked if he could check me again.  I agreed...if he found that I was even 1 cm closer than before (meaning a 7), I knew I could make it the rest of the way.  That was not the case.  Dr. A informed me that I was now at a cervix was going in the wrong direction!

I finally broke down in tears at this point.  I had tried so hard to have the best possible birth for me and my son, but I couldn't go any further.  I had started this process at 7am and had been through so much without sleep or a was now after 11pm.  Before he even gave me my options, I consented to a c section.  It was time to throw in the towel because my son's heartrate decelerations weren't going away and I didn't want to risk his life.  I signed the consent form and they went to prep the OR.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Birth Story, Part 1

Wow, I can't believe I have been absent for so long this time.  The only excuse I have is that dealing with a newborn is so much more time-consuming than I realized!  It is amazing, but I rarely have my hands free for long enough to write up a blog post.  Here is the beginning of my long birth story.  Sorry for all of the details, but I wanted to have something to look back on for my own recollection.

On Friday, September 19th, I had my 41-week OB appointment.  As I feared, I had still not progressed at all.  Based on my size, the doctor predicted that I was carrying a baby well over 8 lbs at this point.  That didn't scare me, because I expected to have a big baby and even looked forward to it (they look so much less fragile!).  However, the doctor caught me in a very emotional state because I was feeling so uncomfortable at this point and was afraid that my body was failing me yet again by not dilating on its own yet.  I was sleep-deprived and VERY pregnant.  Dr. A scheduled an induction for Monday morning and I caved.

I NEVER wanted to have to go through an induction.  I knew the statistics and didn't want to have to have additional medical interventions which almost always follow.  I wanted to have a natural birth and knew that would be difficult with pitocin or any other induction drug.  After crying in the parking lot and talking it over with my husband, I called that afternoon and canceled the induction.  The medical assistant told me that Dr. A had already left for the day, but she would call to tell him and call me if anything else was needed.  It didn't take long for me to get a call back---Dr. A was fine with holding off on the induction a little longer since I had had a healthy, normal pregnancy up until then....but he did want me to come in for a non-stress test (NST) on Monday to make sure the baby was still doing okay.  I agreed with this because of course baby's health was my number one priority.

The weekend was a blur.  I was trying every natural method I could find to try and get my body to go into labor on its own.  I was a nervous wreck about Monday.  I re-packed my hospital bag and the diaper bag.  Monday afternoon, I took my time getting ready and tried to relax.  The husband was able to get the time off for my appointment, so he came to pick me up that afternoon.  I decided to leave the bags behind because I didn't want to jinx things.  He didn't even change out of his uniform because he figured he would be going back to work after the appointment.

The NST is done in the hospital's birthing center.  I checked in and was taken to a room and hooked up to a machine that would track the baby's heartrate for a half hour or so, to make sure there were normal hikes and dips.  I was supposed to push a button every time I thought I felt a contraction.  I thought it was odd that they left us in the room for about an hour...but figured they were just busy.  I felt fine and was even feeling a lot of contractions and thought my body was just finally kicking itself into gear.  I was wrong.

The nurse came back in to give me the results.  Baby was having some late decelerations in his heartrate, which meant that his heartrate was dipping after some of my contractions.  I was also contracting quite often.  They said they had called Dr. A and he wanted to come check in with me.  They had me get undressed and hooked me up to an IV to see if maybe I was just dehydrated.  I was in tears at this point and the husband was looking really worried.

Dr. A came in to talk to us a short time later.  He looked over the data from the test and explained the heartrate decelerations in more detail.  They were not happening with every contraction, but often enough that he was concerned.  He examined me again, and I was still not dilated at all.  He talked to me about our options:  we could either do a c-section that night or we could stay overnight for monitoring and re-evaluate in the morning.  He did not feel comfortable sending me home with the heartrate dropping as often as it was.  We decided to wait it out and were moved to a labor and delivery room.  The husband went home to grab our bags and carseat and to get the dog to the boarding facility since we didn't know when we would be home.  I tried to relax, but was full of panic.  I didn't know what was going to happen, but I knew I would be having my baby within the next day or so.

The husband returned and we got settled in for the night since he was able to stay with me.  He got the horribly uncomfortable couch and I got the awful bed.  Needless to say, neither of us got much sleep that night.  I couldn't get comfortable because they kept coming in to turn me side to side anytime the baby's heartrate changed again, and the husband woke up at every sound.  Poor guy was so concerned about me and the baby that he couldn't relax at all.

More to follow next time I get a free moment!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

He's here!!

Sorry for the delay folks.  Little man arrived Tuesday, September 23rd, at 11:53pm.

Birth stats: 9lbs 1oz, 20.5 in long

Things did not go as planned and it has been quite the adventure so far, but we are so happy to have him home with us.  My life pretty much revolves around feeding and changing him, so once I have a little more time to come up for air I will tell my birth story.

Thanks for all those that have followed our journey to get here :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

No, this is not a birth story

If I have any readers left at this point, I would be shocked!  But no, I am not busy enjoying time with my new bundle of joy quite yet.

Baby boy is stubborn (everyone keeps saying how cozy he is in there...I don't think they realize how annoying that is to hear at this point) and has shown no signs of coming out yet.  The doctors are trying to push induction at this point, and I actually caved and scheduled an appointment for this morning...which I later canceled because I knew that I didn't want to go through with it.  We came to a compromise:  I will go in this afternoon for an NST (non-stress test) to make sure he is doing okay in there still.  After that, I'm not sure what happens next.  I do know that my hubs is getting a little nervous at this point, so we may be talking induction later this week if labor hasn't started on its own.  I believe that the body knows when it is time, but I also know that things can possibly get a little more complicated after 42 weeks.

The stats:
How far along: 41 + 5

Size of baby: I dunno...huge? haha

Physical symptoms: elephant-sized ankles, backache, sciatic pain in legs

Weight gain/loss: too much

Maternity clothes: I believe I'm down to one pair of maternity shorts and a couple maternity tanks that still fit.  I pretty much live in sweat shorts at home and maxi skirts when I venture out.

Stretch marks: some on the boobs still, and I have now developed a few on my love handles and butt.  Very sexy, I know, but I can't really complain because I have gotten off easy so far in this area.

Sleep: What sleep?

Best moment since last week:  umm....nothing much happens these days.

Movement:  Now that he has less room to move around, there isn't quite as much movement during the day.  However, he has a party in my uterus pretty much every night between 8:30 and 9ish.

Cravings/Aversions:  still love sweets and spicy food

Gender: Boy!!!!

Labor signs: Not a whole lot.  Still a lot of BH contractions, some days I do have menstrual-like cramps but they haven't caused any cervical changes yet.

Belly button:  Outie

What I miss: sleep

What I am looking forward to: meeting my little boy

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

35 weeks

Sorry it's been so long folks, but there's nothing really to report over here.  I am in shock that I have made it to 35 weeks, and that I could be meeting my son very soon.  Since my last post a million years ago, I have found a wonderful OB that I actually trust.  I have also been reading through my Bradley Method book and have attended a childbirth class with the hospital.  Between that and my doula, I finally feel prepared for the upcoming birth....well, as prepared as one can be I suppose.  I am still planning on doing things all natural, which I will be doing unless for some reason they need to do a c-section.

My mom and sister threw me a wonderful baby shower last month, and we received so many things that we needed (plus lots of clothes of course).  After that, we were able to decide on nursery furniture and have been working on getting the nursery finished.  Little man will be sleeping in our room for awhile, but we still want to have his room set up for later on.  It has been stressful for me (I'm not so great at organizing or making decisions on decor), but so much fun for my husband since I let him choose the theme and he is basically designing the man cave he never got.

Cloth diapers are all prepped and ready to be put on his little tush.  Clothes are washed and put away.  Things are really coming together :)

Here's the lowdown:
Size of baby: honeydew melon

Physical symptoms: swollen ankles, huge belly

Weight gain/loss: probably close to 35 lbs, geez

Maternity clothes: Even the maternity clothes don't fit as well these days

Stretch marks: just the boobs still

Sleep: Awful.  I wake up at least 4-5 times a night to pee, and the little sleep I do get isn't great.  Preparing for baby I suppose

Best moment since last week:  finally deciding on a name!

Movement: It's like there is an alien inside of me

Cravings/Aversions:  love sweets

Gender: Boy!!!!

Labor signs: lots of Braxton Hicks contractions

Belly button:  ready to pop out any day now

What I miss: sleep, shoes that fit, being able to shave my hoo-ha without a mirror

What I am looking forward to: meeting my little boy...only 5 weeks!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

3rd Trimester!

Wow, has it really been 4 weeks since I last posted?  Sorry folks, I guess there just hasn't been much to tell.  I'm struggling with what to say on this blog now that I am finally expecting my I'll just stick to the boring ol' updates.

How far along: 28 weeks...there are several different ideas on when each trimester starts, but I am going to say that 28 weeks sounds good for the 3rd trimester :)

Size of baby: eggplant

Physical symptoms: cankles...oh the horror!  Everything else is pretty much the same

Weight gain/loss: Much higher than I expected at this point...let's call it 26 lbs.  Ouch

Maternity clothes: Yup

Stretch marks: Boobs only...hoping since I have gone this long without stretch marks on my belly that I can avoid them altogether.

Sleep: Eh...I'm so uncomfortable, so it's hard to fall asleep.  Once I do, though, I guess I sleep alright.

Best moment since last week:  Making it to the 3rd trimester!

Movement: Tons.  I've gotten to see my belly move a little too, which is awesome.

Cravings/Aversions:  Poppyseed muffins...random.  Still dislike chicken

Gender: Boy!!!!

Labor signs: Nope

Belly button:  half n half

What I miss: fitting in my shoes :(

What I am looking forward to: meeting my new OBGYN July 1st...hoping that I get a better vibe from this one so that I can stop worrying so much about what my birth experience will be like.