Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Birth Story

While it's still relatively fresh in my mind...I figured it was high time I sat down and typed out my birth story. Someday 10 years from now, perhaps I'll be able to come back and read this and be reminded of that time in my life and maybe I'll have completely different thoughts about the whole experience by then, ha!
Here goes:

So Monday, April 14th is when I had my last appointment. If you all remember, I was still only 1cm dialated and not at all effaced. I was supposed to go in for a non-stress test on Wednesday, and they scheduled me for an induction on that Saturday. That night, we picked up a Klondike pizza (my fave!) and sat down to watch the movie "No Reservations". We headed for bed around 11pm. I stayed up and read for a while and then tossed and turned because my back was hurting . Eventually at around midnight, I got out of bed because I was so uncomfortable. I was feeling waves of backpain....completely different from any of the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd felt before, so I wasn't really sure that what I was feeling were even contractions. I considered maybe a pulled back muscle - or gas....but then I decided to start timing things, and the waves were coming every few minutes or so. As the hour went on, the pain became much more intense and I found myself pacing around the living room and up and down the hallway trying to ease the pain and wondering if I was in labor. I finally woke up hubs at about 1am and told him what was going on...he got up and started timing for me, and within a short time - he saw the look of pain on my face and decided to call the doctor. We got the A-OK to head to the hospital so they could monitor and assess me.
We got dressed and grabbed all our bags and climbed into the car...both of us bleary eyed and baffled at the TYPE of pain I was feeling. My back hurt so bad, that sitting in the car was torture - I just wanted to be walking around and moving my hips. I was still timing contractions at that point, but once the pain reached a certain level I actually said "screw this!", threw the stopwatch into the back seat and told hubs to step on it because IT HURT.
We got to the hospital and paced in front of the ER doors until someone finally let us in. At that point, I was having to lean against the wall to get through the contractions and hubs was eyeballing me with worry. We walked back to labor and delivery...they got us settled into a room and then wanted me to lie down on the bed so they could hook up the fetal monitors and see what was going on. Lying on the bed was absolutely the LAST place I wanted to be...my back hurt so much worse laying down, it was horrible - but I had to suck it up at least until they could check me. At that point, I was still only 1cm dialated...but about 70% effaced...and definately having contractions. I begged to be allowed to stand up next to the bed because I was so uncomfortable laying down - and they finally let me as long as I stayed in one spot so the monitors still worked. It felt so much better to sway back and forth and just MOVE...

After about 45 minutes, they checked me again and I was at 3cm - so FINALLY we officially were admitted and on our way! Hubs called all the family and went out to the car to get all our stuff - while I stood there in the room by myself pacing around and feeling really emotional about the fact that we were actually finally in labor and going to meet our baby.

I was able to handle things for a while, although the back pain was horrible. My mom and dad showed up and then Aaron and Carie showed up....mom and carie were GREAT about knowing where to push on my back and what positions to help me get in so I'd be more comfortable. Thank GOD those two were there to support me - not that hubs wasn't helping because he was doing awesome, it was just nice to have people there who've been through it before, you know?
Anyway, I finally decided I couldn't take the pain anymore and asked for drugs. They gave me something called Staydol (sp?) which was some fabulous stuff, lemme tell you...I thought I could go through the whole thing on that stuff. It didn't necessarily take away the pain, but I just didn't care that I was in pain, which is odd when I think about it - but that's how I remember feeling. I asked if I could just skip the epidural and keep taking the Staydol, but they said no because my kid feels the effects of that drug, and so it was for early and active labor only. Ooookay, so bring on the epidural!
I was actually quite terrified of the whole epidural process, but with all that back pain - I could have cared less if someone hit me over the head with a cast iron skillet....so it wasn't that bad. I did get the shakes pretty easily though...like when your adrenaline is pumping and you just shake uncontrollably. My mom kept asking if I was cold, but it was just my body reacting to everything, especially the meds. I have to say though, I HATED the feeling of my legs going numb....that sooo buggged me. I much prefered the Staydol over the epidural anyday, but at least the back pain was eased. I could still feel the contractions, but they were easy after that...and I was 6cm. At one point, I remember puking my ever loving guts out while poor hubs held the bucket. He's a sympathy puker, so let me just tell you he is a TROOPER because he didn't even gag...he just held that bucket and told me everything was going to be okay.
THEN - what I was worried about happening with the epidural...happened. Everything pretty much stopped. If I remember correctly, I fell asleep during that time - woooo! But I was also getting nowhere...when my contractions started back up, I was grateful because I was worried I'd wrecked everything by getting the medication. Fast forward five hours later, and I was still at 6cm. BAH.
The doc broke my water and there was meconium in the amniotic fluid - which can be risky because of course they don't want the baby inhaling any of that. My doc guessed that the kid's head was stuck behind my pelvic bone because he STILL hadn't dropped and at that point suggested doing a c-section and getting him out safely. He did give me the option of continuing on and trying to push him out...but I trust his opinion, and he really felt that it was better safe than sorry and doing a c-section would be the best thing. I got super emotional at that point. I think I was just so tired, after 17 hours of being in labor, and not really getting anywhere, and of course being scared of surgery, and worried about the baby...I just started to cry. Which is exactly when hub's parents arrived and walked into the room full of smiles and arms open for hugs. The poor things came exactly at the WRONG time because I was a wreck and I just put my hand up and asked them to give me a moment to absorb everything.
I'd say it was about 10 minutes later, they had me wheeling down the hall towards the OR....it was QUICK. Hubs got whisked off to get into scrubs and once I moved onto the operating table and laid down, the anesthesiologist started doing his thing and I started getting draped and prepped. I started to freak out when they strapped my arms down, and something in the medication I was given was causing some MAJOR shakes. I was kind of a mess...tears streaming down my red puffy face...shaking uncontrollably...exhausted and just completely freaked. I felt them start to do stuff to my belly, but I thought they were still prepping...hubs wasn't even in the room yet. I later found out that they'd already cut me open and when hubs walked into the room, he got an eyefull of my guts which got HIM freaked out. I calmed down alot when he finally appeared behind that drape and sat down by me. Luckily, they had left one arm unstrapped and he was able to hold my hand. I was shaking so badly, that he kept telling me to look into his eyes and not think about anything other than focusing on looking at him. I swear I had tears just pouring out that entire time...I distinctly remember feeling them go right into my ears and it bugged me. (weird the things you remember eh?)
It wasn't long before I felt a ton of tugging and pulling and movement and then I heard a loud "mmmmgaaaahhhh!" and it was the first sound my baby made. I will never forget that sound. I gulped and said "Ooooh" and hubs and I put our foreheads together and just relished the sound of our kid...it was an amazing moment. Then we were silent for what seemed like FOREVER while we waited for someone to tell us what it was. We knew they had to immediately check his lungs to make sure everything was okay, so we didn't see him right away...but finally we heard someone say "baby boy" and I think I said OH MY GOSH, I can't believe it! - but I probably just garbled that out because by then I was pretty much a sobbing mess. The next moments are such a blur, I just remember hubs was pacing between me and the baby and doctors and nurses were guessing weight because of his size....turns out his head WAS stuck behind my pelvic bone.
Shortly after that, they determined our kid was perfectly fine - they swaddled him up and handed him off to hubs, who stood there looking at me and looking at our baby and didn't know what to do. By this time I was asking for a puke bucket again and trying to toss to my cookies while still shaking horribly and of course crying.
The nurses told hubs he could walk out and see our family while they sewed me up and took me to recovery...but he just stood there looking at me dealing with what I was going through and holding our baby and said "I can't leave...I can't leave her like this" - he felt so torn. I looked at him and said "go honey, I'll be fine...go see our family" - and while he had a hard time leaving, he knew he couldn't stay with me anyway, so he brought Adam over so I could get a good glimpse of him, kissed me and then he left.

I remember being sewn up and them moving me onto a gurney and wheeling me down to recovery where things went kind of haywire. I remember feeling awful...absolutely horrible - and I was mumbling "why do I feel so awful?" over and over again - and still holding onto my puke bucket and dry heaving every few minutes...bleck. Then I sort of blacked out - and when I came to, I heard the nurse standing next to me on the phone saying "her blood pressure plummeted and I can't get it back up"..and then I heard her say "it's 60 over 64" (which to me sounded like ummm, close to DEATH...). It was so odd because I could hear everything around me, but I couldn't open my eyes, and I couldn't move (I tried, because she kept asking me to try) and I couldn't talk...which later it was explained that of COURSE I couldn't do any of those things with blood pressure that low. But what an emprisoning feeling that was....I so badly wanted to talk and ask questions about what was going on and am I going to like DIE or what? - but I had no ability to function at all, it sucked. Then I heard the nurse say that I'd spiked a fever and it was 102.7...and shortly after that I started up again with the shakes - only this time it was more like convulsions, I couldn't even keep my arms on the table..the nurse kept having to put them back over my stomach for me.
Let me just say - I was FUH-REAKED by this time. I was so sure that I was done for and I was never really going to see or hold my baby. I'm not sure just how serious the situation really was...or if it was just exaggerated because of the state I was in....but I think not being able to talk or see or move and just listening to everything that was going on, really made it seem worse than it was. The nurse was calling my OB and the anesthesiologist, so I kept hearing her tell people over the phone what was going on. Eventually she gave me a shot of demoral to stop the shakes...only it didn't work - so she gave me another one which finally did the trick. I was finally able to open my eyes (barely), and move my toes and fingers, and when I could finally talk - all I wanted was water. She gave me ice chips, but I think after me asking her 6927357 times for more ice chips, she finally caved and brought me a glass of water...which is when I proceeded to drain that sucker faster than you could blink an eye, and I then asked her 34286 times for more water. I was so thirsty, it was all I wanted...and I think I honestly drank about 10 glasses of water in about 15 minutes.
I finally asked about my baby and about hubs to make sure they were okay - and once assured they were fine, I fell asleep until they wheeled me back to my room which was around 9:30pm. Adam was born at 6:11pm - so I was in recovery a bit longer than normal.
I remember entering the room, and seeing hubs sitting in a rocking chair with our son - the biggest grin and yet biggest look of worry on his face once he saw me. He was alone...I can't remember where the family was...but I think it was nice that he had that time to just soak up everything we'd just been through.
Everyone was nice enough to wait to give him a bath until I was there. Course I was so doped up on demoral that I couldn't participate at all - hubs and my brother ended up doing it which was pretty darn cool. I felt so weird at that time, like I was just a lump with eyes...I was in and out and trying really hard to observe and take in everything around me - all the family being there and realizing that I had a SON. But I didn't even hold him, I was so out of it. Eventually, all the family left - my mom was totally upset about everything that happened in the recovery room, and was really concerned about leaving - but I told her hubs would be staying with me and we'd be fine.
So then at about 11pm, hubs got a phone call from our neighbor who was taking care of our pets that evening - and she regretfully informed him that one of our cats had escaped and she couldn't find him. We talked about it and decided he should head home and see if he could catch him and get him back inside. I told hubs it was okay if he couldn't stay overnight because I was so out of it, I was probably just going to sleep most of the night anyway. He went home and couldn't find the cat of course, so he stayed home waiting for the brat to show up on our doorstep, and I crashed into a demoral induced coma, while the nurses watched Adam.

At 4am, I woke up and actually felt somewhat normal...but something major was missing - so I buzzed the nurses and had them bring me my baby. I plucked him out of his little crib and put him on the bed with me while I peeled layer after layer of blankets off of him. I proceeded to spend the next hour just inspecting every inch of my critter, and crying and praying and being so thankful that he was okay and that he was here and he was safe and healthy - but also feeling an incredible sense of guilt that his first night in this world was not spent in my arms. There is a part of me that thinks I will never really get over that. I tried really hard not to have any expectations for labor...but I did not anticipate the emotional roller coaster I'd be on afterwards.
I held him tight and with tears running down my face, he fell asleep on my chest and I just sat there wide awake relishing every breath he took. The nurse who'd been there all night came in at the end of her shift at 6am, and took one look at him asleep on me and said "you know, I think that's exactly where he's wanted to be since he came into this world"...and then she smiled and patted my leg and left.
*sigh*, I could cry right now thinking about it because I think that's exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.

That morning, I begrudingly got myself out of bed at 8am and hobbled to the restroom - which in all honesty, made me wish we had a handicapped rail installed in our bathroom at home because yowza, that was an experience.
I tried to be on my feet alot that morning, or at least sitting in the rocking chair, because getting in and out of bed was really difficult and I knew that the more I could move around, the better off I'd be. Hubs came in at about 9am and was absolutely ecstatic to see me out of bed. He said I looked like a different person compared to the wife he left the night before.
We spent the next few hours napping together and marveling over the fact that we DID THAT and gazing at our little boy. All of hubs family arrived that afternoon, which was slightly chaotic with 3 little ones - but everyone was so excited to see the baby and they had to go back home that day, so we tried to let them hold him as much as possible. That night, my parents came by and took hubs to dinner - and then he was able to stay that night with me, which was awesome. I refused the good drugs and just stuck with Motrin because I'm super sensitive to medication and didn't want to be all loopy with a newborn to care for - again with the mother's guilt about not being able to care for him that first night, ha! (why do I get the feeling that mother's guilt is going to be a real bitch in this whole parenting process?)
The next day, we found out the hospital got slammed with five c-sections that morning, and we'd have to end up sharing a room. I was disappointed because they said it's really rare for that to happen, and I liked having our own room to ourselves. Lo and behold, our roomie gets wheeled in after her c-section and it turns out to be a couple from our birthing class. I overheard the nurse telling the husband that he wouldn't be able to stay the night since they were sharing a room, and he flat out said he wasnt' leaving...he couldn't leave his wife and newborn son...he'd stay awake all night if he had to - and I sympathized with the poor guy because I know how hubs felt leaving me that first night. So after cruising around all day and doing pretty darn well on just the Motrin - I asked one of the nurses (the nurses at French are FABULOUS by the way) what she thought my chances were of going home early, so not only could I get the heck out of dodge, but so they could have the room to themselves. I figured it was a long shot, but she said they were all marveling at how well I was doing and said she'd put in a good word for me and that I should ask my doctor about it when he stopped by.
My wonderful smiley doctor walked in shortly thereafter, and the first thing out of his mouth was "I hear that you are doing really well....AND I hear that you want to go home sooner rather than later". I laughed and said "well yeah, I think I'd get more rest at home don't you?"
and with a twinkle in his eye, he chuckled and said "well, I think we can make that happen - you've been a good patient, and on your feet and walking around fine - so I agree...you'll get more rest at home, let's get those bandages off, and I'll get the discharge papers in the works".
And THAT'S how I was able to get sent home within 48 hours - WOOOO!
The next couple of hours were a blur of paperwork and packing up and disbelief that they were going to just let us bring this kid home, just like that. Finally, we were wheeled out to the car where we strapped the boy into his carseat, and I sat in the backseat with him and cried almost the whole way home staring at his little sleeping face and amazed at everything that had taken place in the last couple of days and how our lives are forever changed by this experience.

All in all, I'd say that "birth day" was both the scariest and most wonderful day of my life thus far. Two very different emotions and feelings crammed into 24 hours...

and finally, "that's all I have to say about that". The End

3 comments:

Jeannett Gibson said...

HOLY. CRAP.

Unbelievable...I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!

*aron* said...

finally the birth story!!! sounds like a crazy amazing day... like you said, total extremes! thanks for sharing :)

Kelly said...

Oh my god girl! I have no idea why, but I cried FOR you while reading that! I felt like our birth story was horrible and was hoping for the best for you. NO medications for you next time! That crap did horrible things to you. Poor thing!

I bet Adam's cry was precious! I freaked out when I heard NO sound when Aubrey was born. That was rough. Thank goodness he's here, you're both okay and now that chunky monkey is growing like crazy!

Thanks for taking time to write that all out. One day Adam will appreciate all you went through to get him here. (Let's hope!)