Twenty-One Hours of Labor.
One Screaming Baby Boy.
A Birth Story
- August 19th, 2015 -
I started having contractions around noon. They stabilized at 10 minutes apart. I went ahead and texted Sam about the contractions since we had plans that night to go to the movie theater and see the film 'No Escape'. One of the local movie theaters was having a special that if you were a rewards card member with them, that you could see the new movie for free, not to mention the theater was across the street from our hospital. We love free, who doesn't? From noon-6:30pm, the contractions stayed the same so we decided to go ahead and see the movie. Well, during the movie the contractions decided to go ahead and start getting closer. From 8-9pm they were consistently 5 minutes apart. Our birthing classes had taught us that we needed to go into the hospital when either of two things happened: my water broke or I started having contractions 5 minutes apart for a solid hour.
After the movie we decided to head over to the hospital since it was across the street just to see what they would say. When we got there they admitted us to the triage part. We were there from 9pm to 2:30am. While we were there they monitored my blood pressure, my contractions, and the babies heartbeat. Sebastian was constantly fine, the contractions started to slow down, but my blood pressure decided to grow higher and higher. Most likely because I couldn't calm myself down from nervousness about possibly giving birth soon. When the contractions went from 5 minutes apart to 6-7, the on-call doctor told the nurse to have me walk around for a solid hour and to see where my contractions were. After walking around for an hour, my contractions were back to 5 minutes and lessening. Not to mention, they became more and more intense with every contraction. My blood pressure also had not lowered, which worried everyone helping me at the hospital. I've never had a problem with blood pressure, but I've also known people with blood pressure problems and knew the numbers they were telling me were elevated but not crazy high like they were making them seem. My blood pressure during triage was 150s, the highest it got to was 160s because they kept mentioned me stroking out which no matter how much I told myself I wouldn't do, it still freaked me out. Especially since I was still pregnant, so it wasn't just me it would harm. I was also checked three times to see how dilated I was, and it progressed from 2cm to 3cm before leaving triage.
The on-call doctor decided to admit me, so off the Labor and Delivery we went at 2:30am. Not only was I nervous, but now I was exhausted since I hadn't had any rest. Once we were in our room I was set up with monitors wrapped around my stomach again to keep track of the baby and my contractions. The pain wasn't too bad, it was there, but not enough to need any medication at this point. My goal was no medication, but if it got too bad I was definitely open for it. As a last resort. We decided to go ahead and contact my Mom who I wanted with me the whole time with my husband. She had a three hour drive, so I knew she needed to know right away once we actually got admitted. The on-call doctor went ahead and ordered me a cervical pill which should help thin my cervix out. They did another dilation check after I was all settled before the pill and I was still at 3cm, and only about 30% effaced. The pill takes an hour to work it's magic. Once that hour was over they did check me again, resulting in 4cm dilation and 50% effaced. So they decided to start pitocen (which is a induction drug to get my contractions moving along faster and harder).
- August 20th, 2015 -
Around 8am they contacted my actual doctor to let him know I was in labor at the hospital. Unfortunately, he was the doctor on-call for the day at the other hospital which was just down the road so he wouldn't be able to make it over. The other hospital was crazy busy with deliveries. I was stuck with the on-call doctor at my hospital, whom couldn't get over the blood pressure and stroking bit. Before 8am though, my mother did arrive, and we had gotten ahold of my Dad and he had arrived as well. I wasn't really expecting my Dad to arrive, but once he was there I was a lot more comfortable, just with his medical background. He immediately assured me that I was not going to stroke out from my blood pressure.
The pitocen was doing it's job. When I got to 6cm dilated and 80% effaced, things started getting too rough. The pain was too intense for me to handle and I broke down and ordered an epidural. I was glad I made it as far as I did, once I had dilated to 4cm they had let me know I could have an epidural at any time. The epidural took such a long time to get, felt like at least an hour, but I do know that pain makes time stand still. I'm not quite sure how long it took the anesthesiologist to arrive, but once he did he got to work. Once it was in, the pain slowly dwindled away. Unfortunately, it didn't take exactly how it was supposed to, or for how long it was supposed to. It did work perfectly for a couple hours, which allowed me to get some sleep in. (I couldn't believe I actually fell asleep!)
When I woke up, I was starting to get close. I was 8cm dilated and completely effaced. I started feeling the sharpness of the contractions on my left side, but that was still a lot more tolerable then how they were full force without any relief. After a little while longer, I felt so much pressure down below like he was already coming out. The contractions were very strong now and I could barely hold back the urge to push. I let the nurse know, she checked and he was there. The words she said I'll never forget. "Oh yeah, I can feel hair!" She went ahead and got a hold of the doctor, which was the same on-call one I had the whole time. Once she arrived everything started. I was propped up a little, I reached down to the handle bars, and the pushing began. Sam on one side, my Mom on the other. I pretty much kept my eyes closed the whole time, I couldn't really concentrate on any one thing or item because I could barely hold my breath and push for a solid 10 seconds. I was instructed to push three times, each time was for 10 seconds. Little by little, he moved his way down.
Eventually on the 21st push, when I thought I just couldn't do it anymore and everyone was telling me he was "so close", he came. The big relief they tell you about, is real. As soon as he was out, it felt so much better. The burn and pain was gone, for a few seconds. I wish I could say that as soon as he's on your chest that everything else goes away, but that's not how it was for me. The doctor had started working the placenta out, pushing down on my outer stomach to detach it from the uterus and get it out. Once it was out, that felt better because she stopped pushing on me, but that's not where the pain stopped. I tried to keep my focus on the screaming baby boy on my chest as much as I could. He looked perfect. A little grey, but perfect. I could tell my husband and mother were just beaming, so if I had to concentrate on myself I could. Which, I did. As soon as they took him off my chest to get the official weigh and other tests, the pain started back up. The epidural was long wore off, and I tore bad. Not the worst, but enough to need stitches and numbing. Unfortunately, the numbing kept wearing off fast, so I could feel almost every stitch towards the end. It was like fire. I honestly thought it was worse then the contractions in that moment.
They announced to everyone his weight. Sebastian was 9lbs 6oz. BIG boy!!! We were all expecting someone in the 8lb range, not 9. All his apgar scores came back the highest they could. His body was 21.5 inches long, his head 14.25in and chest 14.5inches. No wonder it took 21 pushes! Born at 6:04pm.
After he was all bundled up and I got him for a while, we tried breastfeeding and found out that he's a great latch along with very strong. He had his eyes open, looking all over the place and he wouldn't stop lifting his head up to get a better view. We were all shocked at his strength. Guess I ate some pretty good food to strengthen him up while he was growing! (I did eat a pretty good diet of fruits, protein, and lots of veggies.) Since the epidural ran out earlier then expected, I could feel my legs a lot faster which came in handy because after about an hour after delivery I REALLY had to go to the bathroom. They had only emptied my bladder once with the epidural. The transferring nurse from delivery to post-pardum was amazing, Tina. She helped me into the bathroom and as shocked that I could pretty much walk on my own. I did allow her to "help" me though, just for her own comfort. They had me use a spray like bottle while I went to the bathroom to help dilute my urine so it didn't burn with the stitches. Thankfully that worked and it wasn't painful, just a big relief! After seeing all the blood and trying not to freak out, I got all diapered up (felt like a diaper with how big the pads were!) and got wheeled back out in a wheel chair into the room. I got to sit in the wheel chair while everyone else got situated for the move to the smaller room to finish recovery.
Things started getting better and better once we made it to the recovery room. The nurses were great during our 2 day stay and our food was amazing. Compared to what I had just gone through, everything was a breeze. I could easily get up and move around the room, it was sore but in my mind nothing compared to delivery. The bleeding worried me a little, but after being reassured it was completely normal I just went with it. That first night in recovery I got to put my own shorter nightgown on, but used their underwear (which is amazing! Get all you can!). That first night was great. Sebastian slept almost the whole night. It was obvious had had a pretty rough day. Ha!
- August 21st, 2015 -
The next day he was still sleepy, but a little more alert. The nurses were going gaga over him, which felt great. I'm biased of course but he's the most gorgeous baby I've ever seen. He is just perfect. Other then taking ibuprofen and getting my uterus checked, nothing major happened on day two. We had family visitors which was great, so much love was in our room. That night however we did end up letting the nurse take him to the nursery because he only wanted held and both Mom and Dad really needed some sleep. He stayed in the nursery a good 5-6 hours, completely content and happy.
- August 22nd, 2015 -
Day three started with feeding, which was starting to get sore. The lactation specialist came by and did say he had what looked like a great latch, so I didn't worry to much. I kept telling myself I just had to get used to it. Today we had a few friends stop on by to see, which was fun! Sebastian liked being passed from person to person but always loved ending back on either Mommy or Daddy. :) Day three was our go home day, so Sebastian got to wear his batman outfit with cape.
The ride home wasn't bad, Sebastian slept the whole time. I sat in the back with him, watching the whole time even though he was completely fine and happy.
- Home -
While we've been home, things have been great and rough at the same time. Healing as been a process but I'm grateful with how fast it's going. Sebastian sleeps a lot, eats a lot, and then really likes being held at night. Hopefully as he gets a little older he'll become more comfortable with his crib and stay asleep in there longer. I've continued to breastfeed, but I ran into a few bumps along the way. Come the fourth day I was very very sore. To the point where it was too painful to have him feed directly off of me, I had to start pumping instead. Thankfully our pump could get some stuff out, just not a lot. So we started supplementing to help keep him full and comfortable.
By day five we had our first appointment with our pediatrician and Sebastian had only lost 2 ounces since leaving the hospital on Saturday. He encouraged full breastfeeding but in the meantime said to keep doing what we were doing because it was good to do. As long as he starts gaining weight then he's eating enough.
He has so many faces, and I'm definitely one of those Moms that takes LOTS of pictures. I just can't help it, he's the most precious baby in the world.
We are definitely cherishing every moment.
This has been another Wild Whisper, just for you.