Friday, December 19, 2014

New Baby Birth Story! Warning, TMI and Gory Details Ahead!

So I just had my baby! He's a beautiful and precious baby boy! I wanted to write down my birth story with him for anyone who is interested. He was born at 7:44 am on December 17, 2014. He's an amazing, precious kid and I'm SO THANKFUL he's out of me! I felt like the pregnancy and labor and everything took FOREVER.

So, FAIR WARNING, there will be a lot of TMI, a lot of gross stuff, and no filter in the following descriptions. If you don't want to read it, stop now. Otherwise, don't say I didn't warn you!

So, I was due December 14 and I expected him to come early because his big sister was 3 days before her due date. And I figured he'd come a few days before she did. But when we got to my 37 week appointment, the midwife said he'd probably come around my due date. So of course I assumed that meant a few days before my due date. Well, we got to the 38 week appointment and I was 1 cm dialated, maybe 50% effaced. Then at 39 weeks, same. Then I started to get pretty upset. When my midwife said he was probably not coming before my due date, I was not happy. I was partly furious with my body and angry at myself for expecting he'd come early.

I was feeling ok pregnancy-wise, just tight and big, but I'd come down with bronchitis and then pulled a muscle or bruised a rib on my left side from coughing so hard. It hurt so much that I was in pain when I was breathing! Ugh. Not fun. I tried calling my pulmonologist because I was experiencing it as breathing pain. But his office was closed (this was a Friday--actually a week ago). So I called my primary care doctor. Their office was closed for a staff meeting. So I called my midwife. She told me to go to Labor and Delivery triage. I didn't want to but I was concerned and so was she. She made it sound like I'd just go in, get checked out, verify that everything was ok, and then leave. When I got there they made sure the baby was fine, then sent me to the emergency room. They gave me EKGs, heart monitors, etc. then I demanded to leave, so they had a doctor come to clear me to leave who checked my chest and said it was bronchitis. I got a chest xray just to make sure it wasn't anything more serious and everything was clear. I asked what I should do for the pain. He said Tylenol. Took 4+ hours for this verdict.

The next day I figured out that the pain was coming from one side and was incredibly severe. So, I took Tylenol and iced it. That helped but it still hurt. At my 40 week appointment a few days later, I BEGGED my midwife to prescribe me something stronger than Tylenol and she prescribed me Tylenol 3, which helped a bit.

I also begged her to strip my membranes so she tried, but I was still only 1, MAYBE 2cm and 60% effaced. She said she couldn't even get in my cervix to strip the membranes. That made me super sad. She said the baby was turned crooked which was why he hadn't come out yet. And why it might take awhile before he did. I got some tips from friends and family on stuff to do to reposition him and I did it all. I worked SUPER hard on it because I kept hearing from people that after they did one position or another they went into labor right away. And, of course, I wanted him to come out so I did every one of them!

The next morning (Tuesday, the 16th) I woke up to a disturbing sight: my "mucus plug" had apparently come out. Yeah, so I never heard of it coming out the way it did. Most people see a bit at a time or once they are in labor and apparently it means almost nothing about when labor will start, but it was basically a GIANT mucous-y dark blood tinged thing that was 4-5 inches long and 1 inch round in diameter. SUPER GROSS. I called Aaron in and said, "you have to see this. Be prepared to see something gross." and showed him. He was grossed out too. And I called my midwife, doula, etc. and read up on it and was basically like, yep means nothing. Call me if you continue having blood come out. And I did. Light blood, but fresh and steady like a light period.

So I made an appointment with the midwife for later that day around 1:30. I started having some contractions around noon so my doula arranged to meet me there. The midwife checked me again and I wasn't any more dialated or effaced, and she said I should go home until labor got more intense. So we did. At that point, my contractions mostly stopped. Even though some were kind of intense, mostly they had stalled quite a bit. So the doula and I hung out, took a walk, and then she left around 5pm. I laid down and tried to sleep a little, but then the contractions started to get longer and stronger. The doula said to call her when they were about 45 seconds long and 3-5 minutes apart. I rested. I took a little walk around the house with AJ and tried to stay upright and moving so they would progress.

The doula came back around 8 and we walked a little around the house, I sat down, we watched some TV and I laid down. Then around 10pm I said that the contractions were getting strong enough we should probably go to the hospital before the car ride was miserable.0

We got to the hospital around 10:30 and they put me in triage, hooked me up to the monitors, and checked me. I was only 2cm dilated STILL and 60% effaced. They asked if my water had broken. I told them I wasn't sure (earlier I thought that it might be leaking), so they checked, but because I had blood they couldn't do the usual test. I was having contractions here and there, but the contractions had reduced a bit and weren't as close together, even though they hurt. They said they couldn't admit me to the hospital unless my water had broken. So they did another test. After another hour they came back and said it hadn't broken. So they said I had to be discharged and I could either get a shot of Morphine mixed with something to help me sleep for about 4 hours if I was in a lot of pain or I could try to walk around the hospital for awhile and see if the contractions got worse.

They discharged me around 12:30am. The doula and Aaron and I discussed what we should do. Should I go home and try and sleep? I said if I had to go home, I would definitely take the Morphine because I was in so much pain and because it was my reward for having to go home and come back again, but I had questions about what if I progressed quickly--what would the effect be? Aaron suggested we just go home. I couldn't decide (it was hard to make choices even in early labor and that late at night. I asked the doula what she thought. She said we should walk around for 30 minutes then check in and see if it makes sense to leave, then go and get the morphine if I want that. So we walked around the L&D ward a few times and the contractions started getting a little stronger, but not dramatically. After a few laps I was tired and said we should just go back and get the morphine.

So we checked back in, then they had to monitor my contractions and the baby again. I tried laboring with my arms draped over the back of the bed and moving around so I could get "uncomfortable" to try and progress labor. They monitored me for 30 minutes and then checked me and I was still only 2cm dilated. At that point, I just started crying. I completely broke down and bawled my eyes out. Then, in between contractions cried because they hurt and cried because I hadn't progressed at all. I was having back labor and it hurt in between contractions, too.

At that point the midwife decided to admit me because she saw that my labor was changing and because with my daughter I progressed so quickly, she was concerned that if they gave me the morphine and I had to turn around and have a baby in an hour it might hurt the baby (then my question is why the heck would they give it to me anyway?). She said she'd admit me, but not do any interventions unless my body started showing progress on my own.

It took an excruciating hour at least to be admitted and when I finally did I was hardly able to walk. But sitting in a wheelchair sounded worse, so I slowly walked, supported by my doula and husband to the room, stopping for a couple contractions. When we got to the room I had to be monitored again, but I was begging for drugs. I decided to try the Fentanyl first but I was almost sure I wanted an epidural. However, because I wavered on that, I decided to try the Fentanyl first and then see how I was. After at least another 30 minutes of contractions they finally got me the Fentayl. It did help a little, but not as much as I needed. 30 minutes after I got that, the midwife checked me and I was finally at 3cm. The midwife asked if I wanted her to break my water and I said yes please. I wanted to speed up the process. Apparently the bag of waters was very thick, she said. Which explained why it hadn't broken yet.

After she broke my water, everything got MUCH worse. I was in the most severe pain I could imagine, even with the Fentanyl. I was begging for the epidural. I had been previously been concerned if I got it that it would stop labor and I'd need Pitocin, then more epidural and then end up with a C-section. But at that point I was begging for a C-section, so I didn't care. Within 15 minutes the guy got there, but during that time I was screaming. I could not bear the contractions. They were at least 90 seconds long and a minute or so apart. I couldn't go with the pain. I couldn't do the breathing they told me too. I couldn't get a break. When I finally go the epidural around 3:30am, the guy who did it told me that I needed to move a certain way and I felt I couldn't especially with the contractions. I was screaming and crying about it, but eventually he got it in me. He said it would take 15 minutes to kick in. Slowly it started to, but I screamed through it until the contractions finally were lessened. I could feel the pressure and my crotch felt sore and my teeth were chattering uncontrollably, but there was relief. I felt itchy all over from the numbness and I could still feel contractions, but I could finally get some rest. I fell asleep for a little bit.

I woke up a little before 6 and asked when someone would check me to see if I'd progressed. They said they wouldn't do it until 8 unless I thought I was feeling pressure. I said ok, then in about 15 minutes had 4 contractions in a row that had a lot of pressure and I felt like I had to poop or push. So the midwife came and checked me and I was all the way dilated and effaced! I was thrilled. I wasn't sure if they were going to tell me I hadn't progressed and they needed to give me Pitocin. So they got ready for me to push and I started pushing at 6:44. I pushed and pushed to try and get the hang of it--it was a little tricky with the epidural and numb legs and laying down. I was expecting I would squat like I did with the first one. But the epidural meant I couldn't squat. And the contractions helped me push. I could feel them but they weren't the horrible pain I experienced with my daughter.

At 7am there was a shift change and the nurses and midwife that had been helping me had to leave and new ones came in. The midwife who came in looked in on my next push and then said, "Oh! We're getting ready to have a baby! Let me get my gloves!" That was so encouraging and exciting. I was so happy. I thought for sure at that point that I'd have to push for hours and then need a C-section.

So she helped me push and pretty soon I heard that the head was coming out. The pushing contractions became more intense and I pushed him all the way out. When he got out, I held him. It was so exciting and wonderful! I said, "I'm SO GLAD you are out of me!" I have never ever ever been happier about my baby being outside of me and in the world. The pregnancy and labor were so long I thought he would never come out of me! And he had. I held him close while they cleaned us up. He had pooped meconium all over me, but I didn't care, he was here! It was the most amazing moment of relief I ever had.

And that's about it. I had first degree tears and got 2 stitches, but really my recovery has been fine. Being up all night really exhausted me, but beyond that I feel pretty close to recovered. Once I got some sleep, I feel really good. Baby is perfect. Literally came out not crying - just a few fusses, didn't cry from his heel pricks, or being naked, or getting a bath or anything! Hardly even fusses when he's hungry. And I love him so very, very much.

Hope that labor story was fun.