April 23, 2015

Baby A's Birth Story

My due date of March 31, 2015 came and went with no sign of baby; the same went for the next few days. To try and induce my own labor, I tried walking and eating spicy food, and still nothing. On Saturday, April 4th, we did some more walking around. In need of some hedges for the yard, we went to the nursery to do some shopping, followed by a quick meal at Wendy's (I can never say no to their kids meal), Starbucks, and some more walking around at Lowe's to look at more hedges and some patio furniture. At 40 weeks, 4 days pregnant, I was pretty much spent after all the walking, so we headed back home. Bored, I searched for a movie to watch On Demand. With a lacking selection, I opted for "Wanderlust" starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd. I laid down in my spot on the couch, enjoyed some Thrifty's Cookies N' Cream Ice Cream and relaxed.

Towards the end of the movie, I felt a *pop* in my belly, which was accompanied by some slight pain. I thought I needed to use the restroom, so I got up to go upstairs. When I got to the top, I felt some trickling and thought, "did my water just break?!" At the same time, George came upstairs to tell me that some friends were coming over, to which I replied, "I think my water just broke!" At this point, my heart was beating so fast because I realized that this moment, the one I had been waiting months and months for, was finally here. With that realization also came fear; a million thoughts went through my mind, like, "am I ready to be a parent?" (too late, I know). I told George I was scared and got a little teary eyed, but he assured me that we'd be okay. I then jumped into the shower to get ready to go to the hospital.

As we got ready to go, I left my OB a voicemail to let him know that my water broke and we were on our way to the hospital. As we started making our way to the hospital, my doctor called back and basically told us that if I wasn't having contractions yet or bleeding (I wasn't), we didn't have to rush to the hospital and to wait and see if labor started within the next 6 hours. We didn't want to drive to the hospital and not be admitted, so we decided to go back home and wait it out. Within 10 or so minutes of being home, I started to bleed a little (I suppose it's what they call "the bloody show") so we decided to play it safe and just go to the hospital. I texted my OB to let him know and off we went.

By the time we got to the hospital, I was having some moderate contractions which basically felt like period cramps. I was 1 cm dilated and the nurse told me they were going to admit me. She also advised that I eat something soon before I got the epidural since I wouldn't be eating for a while. I definitely wasn't hungry, but we ordered pizza and then walked around the hospital floor for a bit to see if it would aid in my labor progress. Around 11:00 p.m., my parents, sisters and aunt came and the waiting game began.

I labored through the night with little progress. The pain of the contractions was starting to get uncomfortable, but I didn't want to get the epidural quite yet, so they gave me another drug to take the edge off; that basically lasted a whole 20 minutes or so. Around 4:00 a.m., I decided to take some Pitocin to speed up the contractions and finally requested the epidural. The epidural was heavenly; I was finally able to get some much needed rest and continued to labor.

While family expected I'd have the baby by the morning, I didn't. My labor was progressing really slowly which was due to the baby's position. He was "sunny side up", so while his head was down, his back was facing my back (as opposed to my belly), so I was having back labor (really uncomfortable) and it hindered the intensity of my contractions. On top of that, I had to lay on my right side the whole time because the baby's heart rate would drop if I switched to the left side. He also wasn't handling the contractions very well, as his heart rate would dip with each contraction, so I had to wear an oxygen mask to help the baby.

At 1:00 p.m., I was barely 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. I continued to labor through most of the day still making little progress. But around 7:00 p.m. or so, I got excited because the nurse told me that I was 8 cm dilated and 90% effaced. At that point, I thought I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and assumed I'd be having the baby soon.

What followed after this is pretty fuzzy to me because a lot happened really fast. Because it had now been 24 hours since my water broke, I was at risk for getting an infection and had spiked a fever, so they started me on antibiotics. The baby's heart rate was responding pretty poorly to my contractions, so they put me on a med to stop the contractions in order to allow the baby to recover. This medicine made me throw up and shake uncontrollably. Around 9:00 p.m., the nurse told me that my OB was coming in to check on me. When he came, I was told that I was only about 6 cm dilated, which was really discouraging to hear since the nurse had told me that I was 8 cm. My OB basically told me that a vaginal birth at this rate seemed unlikely and I was given a choice: I could increase the Pitocin and see how the baby responded to the contractions. The risk with this approach was that if his heart rate dipped dangerously, I'd have an emergency C-Section. My other option was to go in for a scheduled C-Section.

I can't tell you how defeated I felt. The one thing I really didn't want was a C-Section, and to be told that a C-Section was likely after laboring for over 24 hours was really disheartening. But at this point, it's really no longer about you. I knew that I didn't want to do anything to endanger my baby, so we decided to call it quits and go in for a C-Section.

I was extremely nervous going in for the surgery. To make matters worse, I was still shaking uncontrollably from the medicine, my heart rate was sky high, and I threw up right before I went in for the procedure. My husband wasn't allowed in the room until after they finished prepping me, and I remember just laying there with my arms out, shaking and nervous as can be, still feeling incredibly defeated (and quite honestly, kind of like a failure). Finally, my husband was allowed in the room and it was go-time. All I remember feeling was a lot of pressure and tugging near my belly, and I just waited to hear the sound of my baby. Finally, at 10:25 p.m., I heard the nurses tell my husband to get ready with the camera and I heard my baby's cry. Since they put a sheet in front of your face during the surgery, I couldn't see him yet, but I cried the moment I heard his cry; I remember telling George, "that's our baby!"

I continued to wait to see the baby as he was getting cleaned and as the doctor sewed me back up. All I saw at that point were some photos George showed me on the camera. Finally, George brought the baby near my face and I met the love of my life for the first time. I remember he was crying and I felt his long eyelashes against my cheek. As I started to talk to him, his crying stopped and I remember George saying, "you know mama don't you." It was the most beautiful moment of my life.

Things got really blurry here again. At this point, my fever was 103, and since I had a fever, the baby had a slight one as well. I was wheeled into the recovery room where the baby got worked on some more, and I was given (more) meds to control my fever. I remember not wanting to hold the baby yet because I think I was still shaking from the previous meds, and I was afraid I'd drop him. When I finally became more alert, I held my baby for the first time for our "skin on skin" and it was pure bliss.

Our beautiful baby boy was born on April 5, 2015 at 10:25 p.m. He weighed 8 pounds and was 21 inches long. He has since stolen our hearts and is our entire world. We are blessed beyond measure.

The moment I met my angel

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