Friday, October 7, 2011
My Birth Story... Meet the Newest Member of Our Team
Whew!! Let me first start off by saying that this pregnancy seems like it lasted FOREVER! Some of you may have noticed the days until widget sitting there was somewhere beyond 40 weeks, and that would be because it took, well, over 40 weeks. It was more like 41 weeks plus 6 days! Our little guy just didn't want to come on his own.
I'd done more research with this pregnancy as far as having a baby naturally. I'd wished I had more resources and felt more comfortable with the whole "at home" scene. I had planned in my heart and mind that I was going to let nature take it's course and try my hardest for an unmedicated, unassisted birth. But as you know, things don't always go as we'd like for them to.
I had been doing quite well making it to my prenatal appointments and everything was going well. It was time for the bi-monthly appointments to start when we up and left for Louisiana to support my mother-in-law, who had gotten the diagnosis that she had cancer and was going to be having surgery to have it removed. During our time in Louisiana in the hottest of heat it seemed, my Braxton- Hicks contractions became more frequent and I just knew i'd end up delivering while we were there. My mother in law even joked that we would be side by side in the hospital.
I do not under any circumstances advise you to not keep up with your prenatal exams, but during my stay in Louisiana, I neglected to try to find a doctor to keep check on things. We'd planned to be gone about 2 weeks, but that ended up turning into a little over a month. When we got back, I didn't follow up with my doctor right away here either. I was still having those Braxton- Hicks and figured things would start on their own soon enough. 40 weeks, 41 weeks.. no baby.
Well, with a little bit of pressure from family members to go ahead and see why progress wasn't happening, at 41 weeks and 1 day, I went ahead and called my OB. They wanted me to come right in for a non-stress test. I went in the same day and everything was looking great..... except that the baby, according to the ultrasound, was looking to weigh around 10 lbs 3 oz. Up until now, my oldest had been my biggest at 8 lbs 5 oz. The staff tried to talk me into staying for an induction, but left it up to me since things were fine otherwise. I was still holding out on hope that this would happen on this own, hopefully in a day or so. I was scheduled to return to my OB the following Monday to make sure things were still going well. I just knew I would not make it back for that appointment, because my body would surely go into labor on its own sometime during the weekend.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday and then Monday rolls around. No labor. No baby. Into the OB's office at 2:30 as scheduled I go. Oh. my. gosh. had I angered my doctor for waiting so long! He told me I need to go over to labor and delivery immediately. He looked at the estimation of the baby's size and tried to persuade me to have a c-section. Something i'd never had, nor did I want. He warned me that because of the baby's size, he could suffer shoulder dystocia and some other possible risks. I was determined that at least I would not give in to this. This baby wasn't much bigger than my oldest and i'd already relaxed things from pushing out the others before. I was thinking I think I can do this. We did go ahead and get over to labor and delivery, and by 4:30 the pitocin was started.
Things only progressed slowly. By the time I hit 5 cm progress pretty much stopped. The doc had them up my pitocin, but the baby's heart rate dropped drastically, so the nurse turned it down. My doctor then decided to rupture my membranes. It was at this time we discovered that the baby had passed meconium while in utero. This could have been due to the baby being overdue or because he was stressed. We were informed that immediately after he was born he would be whisked away and suctioned so that when he took that first breath, he wouldn't inhale the meconium which could cause pneumonia and call for an extended stay in the nursery. A scalp monitor was inserted to better monitor the baby's heart rate, and also something else was inserted in an attempt to flush out the meconium.
I had previously opted for pain meds in my iv if things started to seem unbearable but after my water was broken, and taking into consideration that I had already been laboring, though assisted, for almost 10 hours I asked for an epidural. Something i'd never given in to and really had planned not to, but this was the longest i'd been in labor with any child, and it was late and I was thinking well maybe i'll get some rest while we wait for things to move along. I signed the consent form for an epidural.
I was instructed to sit on the side of the bed and told the position I would need to be in for the anesthesiologist. As we waited for the anesthesiologist to get there, the pain quickly grew unbearable. My husband said I let out the loudest scream ever! My mom, who was also there noticed the nurse asking me what I felt. This got her a little worried, because she was thinking the nurse should have known what was going on. I told her I have to push.
Before long, there were about 10 people in scrubs in the room and I was on my back being instructed to hold my legs right behind my knees. When the next contraction came I was instructed to push. I pushed with all my might! I was determined no baby was going to be lodged in my birth canal, I was going to get him out as soon as possible and the pain was going to stop. At 2:49 a.m. we welcomed our little guy to the world. He was whisked away, and since he let out a cry, instead of inhaling before letting out that cry, the meconium didn't enter his lungs, and everything turned out just fine. After all was said and done, I realized that i'd done this with no meds for pain whatsoever. A first for me. This pregnancy was more challenging than any other had been for me, but we made it.. and we're enjoying him.