Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Birth Story

Jason and I did not sleep at all the night of August 2nd. We went to bed at around 11:30. He set his alarm for 4:30, I set mine for 5:00. That’s a.m. My dad had arranged for us to get a refrigerator, so he had his set for early too, so he could check it out before he came to the hospital.
We laid there and talked and cuddled (as much as a hugely pregnant woman can cuddle) pretty much all night–our last night before we became parents.
Jason got up at 4:30 to shower, I ‘slept’ until 5 because I figured a shower would be useless. Then I decided to shower anyway. We got dressed in our “mommy” and “daddy” shirts and left around 5:30. We went to the convenience store, so I could buy a paper with August 3 as the date and so he could get an energy drink. As soon as we pulled in, we realized that we had forgotten Jason’s bag at home, so we drove back in and got it. We arrived at the hospital at around 5:45.
We checked in, got all the paperwork taken care of. At this point, I was still unsure about the epidural. I’d done enough research to know that Pitocin labor would be rough, so I definitely needed to have that option open.
At around 7am, the nurses told me to use the restroom so they could start Cervacil–once it started I couldn’t get up for a few hours. Apparently this would make my cervix ripen and open as well as start contractions. (I’d been having contractions for 8 weeks at this point, so I’m not really sure if it actually did anything.)
So I just sat there in the bed, waiting and waiting. I had lots of visitors at that point: my parents, my sister, my aunt, and Jason’s parents. At 7:25, I posted on Facebook:
at the hospital…can’t wait to meet my little boy!! :)
At around 9:30, my wonderful, amazing doctor came in to check on me and in the process, accidentally broke my water. She told me to take a walk for about an hour and then she would start the pitocin. So, I got up, and walked with Jason around the lobby and down the halls; helped my mom with iPad and Facebook problem; and found the time to post this on FB:
Water broke! Let’s get this show on the road! :)
While I was walking, the contractions definitely got harder and I was having to stop for them. When it was time for me to go back to my room, I was having a hard time talking through them and they were about 3 to 4 minutes apart. I told Jason and Kaitlyn to go get something to eat, since the doctor was about to start the pitocin and I figured (correctly) that there wouldn’t be another opportunity. My mom and my iPod stayed with me.
The nurse started the pitocin at around 10:30. By 10:45, my contractions were less than 2 minutes apart and they never fully went away (normally the machine goes down to 0 between contractions, I never fell below 18). I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get my muscles to relax, I’ve never felt so out of control of my body. I looked at my mom and said “I don’t think I can do this.” She said, “Yes, you can. Why don’t you ask about some kind of pain reliever?”
At this point, time gets a little iffy. I remember Jason and Kaitlyn coming back and rubbing my arms–but they weren’t rubbing in sync—”Will you please stop touching me?” I remember people coming in the room and the door making noise. My mom told me to listen to my music. I put both headphones in and curled on my side. I listened to Francesca Battistelli’s “This is the Stuff” several times. I finally gave in and asked for something, anything to help me breathe and relax. My nurse, Kim, gave me Stadol, which did absolutely nothing for the pain, but did seem to make time slow down. I remember listening to “Our God is Greater” and getting mad at our worship leader for dragging the tempo! (Because he has so much control over Chris Tomlin’s recording on my iPod!) I at one time (apparently) said: “Why do people keep coming in and out? I am not a circus sideshow!” Mostly I just laid curled on my side, earphones in, listening to power songs, only wanting someone to hold my hand when the contractions got bad. All this time, they came steadily every two minutes.
At around 12:30, nurse Kim checked my progress, I was already a loose 5 cm and fully effaced, so I could get an epidural (we’d been waiting for me to reach 4, but I progressed so quickly that we missed it). My anesthesiologist, Dr. Eckert, came in at around 1pm. Sitting up for the epidural was the worst. I had to lean against Jason and be still while leaning forward even through the contractions. But once the epidural started (around 1:30) the relief was instant. I called Dr. Eckert my best friend and talked about the magic green button (apparently the effects of the stadol hadn’t worn off).
After the epidural, I was ready for visitors again. I had everyone, from family to friends come by to visit during the next hour. At around 2:30, Kim examined me again. I was 8 cm. I asked how long it would be, she said believed I would deliver before her shift ended at 7.
At 3:30, I was still feeling great! My teeth kept chattering and Jason kept trying to give me a blanket, but that was just an effect of the epidural. However, at this point I started to feel some pain in my thighs. It scared me to death. I figured the epidural was wearing off and that I was about to be in pain again, so I pressed the button to increase the epidural, just a little bit. (I wish I hadn’t now) I told my mom that I was feeling quite a bit of pressure and that I thought I needed to go to the bathroom. At about this same time, the alarm to my BP machine started going off. It was 172/116. She called Kim and told her about the feeling of pressure and my blood pressure, so she examined me again and said (surprised): “She’s complete!” In one hour, I’d gone from 8 cm, 0 station to 10 cm +2 station. Kim called my doctor at around 3:45 and while she was on the phone I said, “I think I need to push.” Things got a little crazy as all the carts were wheeled in.
We did some practice pushes, so I could get the feel of it. (During this time, I found time to post “Pushing!! :) ” I found that I had absolutely no feeling in my left leg, so my mom had to hold it. The doctor got there around 4 and then I really had to push, because my doctor is former military and she doesn’t play around. At one time she yelled, “I didn’t tell you to breathe, I told you to push!!” (have I mentioned that I love my doctor?”) I pushed one more time and at 4:22 the most beautiful little thing entered our world, with his cord wrapped 3 times around his neck–a miracle because he never once fought against the cord, which would have tightened it and required me to get a c-section. They put him on my chest and I just cried, because I was in awe of this perfect little miracle.
I apparently had some damage, because it took the doctor half an hour to stitch me up, but I didn’t feel a thing (even though the epidural wore off) because all I could do was stare at my precious son. Even with the cord around his neck, he scored a 9.9 on the Apgar (they don’t give 10s). 7 lbs 9 oz, 20 inches of pure perfection.
(Jax was born at 4:22pm on Wednesday, it took several hours before I was able to walk (no feeling in my legs!), I was released on Friday morning, and he was released Saturday evening with a biliblanket, which he came off of the following week.)

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