Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Birth story

Hey everyone!  Things are going great so far with baby S.  He's nursing well and has already gained quite a lot of weight.  He passed his birth weight, plus 6 ounces, by day 10.  He's up about 4 times a night to nurse, but he sleeps well between feedings and is up most of the day.  He has fussy time in the evening, but other than that he's very chill.  I've been working on the birth story for a while, here it is! 

The day before, I had a non-stress test.  He passed but it took a long time.  I met with the doc, who said he hoped I would go into labor very soon.  I did a bunch of errands, then went home and cooked dinner.  After dinner, I vacummed and mopped the whole downstairs.  There were severe thunderstorms coming in, and the Bunny and I spent a long time on the back patio watching the dark clouds and lightning.  I didn't sleep very well, cause I kept getting woken up by storms.  S was more active than usual.
2:30 AM - I woke up as usual to use the bathroom.  When I stood up to flush the toilet, noticed something dripping down my legs onto the bathmat.  I looked in the toilet and saw green particles (meconium).  I was confused at first, then realized my water must have broken.  I woke the Bunny up and told him what happened then went downstairs.  I called the doctor and they told me to come to the hospital.  I was worried about the meconium but they said it's not a big deal.  I took a shower, ate a banana (big mistake - should have eaten a proper meal).  I quickly packed up our stuff and headed to the hospital.  The Bunny was groggy and out of it, after being woken from a deep sleep!
3:30 AM - I arrived at the hospital.  A midwife checked me - it was indeed amniotic fluid with meconium, they admitted me.  Zero dilated, 70% effaced.  I started having contractions every 5-7 minutes.  They gave me the first dose of cytotec.  I stayed in triage room and tried to sleep, which was difficult on a gurney with very bright lights. 
6:15 AM - Moved to L&D
7:45 AM - I saw Dr. M who checked me and said I was at nearly 2 cm, 70% effaced.  She was getting off her shift and let me know that Dr. C would be my doc.  I had never met him before, he fills in for my docs every few weekends.  Contractions were every 2 mins.  All the nurses said how great Dr. C is.
10 AM - Met Dr. C, what a great doctor.  Very handsome, sweet and laid back.  He gave me the option of taking a 2nd dose of cytotec or starting pitocin.  I chose the cytotec because I was contracting on my own and wanted to avoid pitocin if possible.  He seemed to agree with me.  I was 2 cm dilated.  They offered me morphine or Ambien, but I declined both at that time.  Mom, my sister and the doula showed up around this time.  They wouldn't let my sister in the room, she waited in the waiting room then ended up going home! 
At this point, having contractions every 2 mins and they were getting more painful.  I asked for some sleep meds and/or morphine, but they wouldn't give me it because S wasn't having enough heart accelerations.  They made me lay on my side, because he seemed to like that position better.  That caused me to have bad back labor.  They finally gave me morphine, which made me drowsy but didn't help the pain.  But, I got a little rest between contractions.
 3 PM - Given balloon catheter to speed up dilation.  Dr. C said it would put me at 5-6 cm "like magic." 
5PM - Checked and the balloon catheter did its work!  6 cm.  Requested epidural.  I complained to the doc that I was very hungry - he joked that he'd sneak me in something when the nurses weren't looking!
5:30 PM - Got epidural - what great relief after 15 hours of labor!  Doc said he'd let me rest and check me later.  There was still a possibility of getting pitocin if the epidural slows things down.
8 PM - Watched the Olympic opening ceremonies!
9:15 PM - 8 cm.  No need for pitocin, doc is letting things go.  I'm starting to feel the contractions again, especially on the right side and I can feel it when they check me.  Epidural was apparently wearing off.
1:30 AM - Checked, finally complete!  Doc gave me the option of "laboring down" for a while before I start to push.  I pushed a few times just to see what it was like, then labored down for about an hour.  Finally, I decided I wanted to push.  Was starting to feel more pressure and urge to push.
2:15 AM - Started pushing.  Nurse Awesome and Mom helped, the Bunny held my head.  Started out pushing flat on my back (which I didn't like much).  3 pushes per contraction (sometimes I did a 4th).  After a while, we tried pushing where I grabbed two handles on the side of the bed and pulled on them while I pushed.  I didn't seem to be making much progress, though the nurse said he was slowly moving down.  Tried that for awhile, then she put up a bar at the end of the bed and allowed me to squat and lean on the bar while I pushed.  I liked this best, but it still wasn't getting anywhere.  Doc suggested we do "tug of war" with a sheet, where I pull one end of the sheet and the nurse holds the other.  We tried that a few times.  In all, I pushed for about 2 hours straight.
4AM -  Doc suggested we try vacuum assistance.  He said he was fully confident that I could push the baby out - that I had room and wouldn't need a c-section.  But, if the vacuum didn't work, he'd have to do a C-section.  He said he'd try it twice, but if it kept popping off, he'd have to give up.  He put the vacuum on and S was delivered in about 4 pushes.  The vacuum actually did pop off a few times, but the doctor kept at it.  I started to tear so doc did an episiotomy.  I could feel a lot of it, but I don't really remember.  I just remember the nurse saying that he's coming out, keep pushing!  Finally he was out and they put him on my chest.  The Bunny put his head down on my shoulder and cried.  It was amazing, I just kept saying "I can't believe it!"  They took him over to the warmer to suction his mouth and nose really well due to the meconium.  The Bunny and my mom went over to get a good look and take pictures.  I had to kind of crane my neck to get a good look at him, while I laid on the table and the doc tried to deliver the placenta.  It took almost an hour for the placenta to come out.  I could tell Dr. C was getting nervous, it was the first time I had seen him be really serious.  He said we have to get it out soon, or else he'll have to either take me to the OR and surgically remove it, or reach in and pull it out.  Finally I was able to push it out, but it was a tense few minutes.  Then it took another 15 minutes or so to stitch everything up.  I was getting kind of annoyed because I wanted to hold S.  Finally they brought him over for skin to skin, because they wanted to stabilize his heart rate and breathing.  It immediately stabilized once he was brought over.  It was amazing to finally hold him and I started to cry.  They took him back for a few minutes, then brought him back again so I could nurse him.  He latched on right away and nursed for a few minutes.  At that point, the Bunny and my mom were absolutely exhausted and they both left and went home.  I didn't make the Bunny wait till they took me to the mother/baby room because I was worried about him driving home so tired (it's about a 30 min drive to our house).  Finally around 6 AM they took me to the room in a wheelchair, while I held S.  I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open!  I couldn't even focus my eyes when I spoke to the nurses.

Three weeks later, I'm feeling pretty good.  I'm getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night (no more than 2 hours uninterrupted, though).  I feel mostly recovered from the birth (it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected).  Bunny is home till late October and I'll be back to work in about a month.  I'm already doing some work from home and will pop into the office tomorrow.  (I have my own law office so it's hard to be away)  Because of the Bunny's help, life with a newborn has been much easier than expected.  I thought I'd be really resentful and unhappy about the lack of sleep, since I was used to getting 9-10 hours a night.  I've gotten used to the lack of sleep and frequent wakings, though, and have only had 2-3 three cries since he's been born, all in the first week.  It really and truly is a dream come true for us.


  1. Wow! What a story! Congrats to you both!!!!!

  2. Wow I good for you for holding out so long on the epidural I wish I would have done that, things probably would have been a lot better for me. My little one sleeps all day and wants to be up all night, sounds like everything is going well.