Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our birth story

Finally! I have a chance to tell you what all happened about two weeks ago now. Sunday, August 5th, I had been feeling kind of blah all day, really tired, nauseated, and had zip energy...

Then around 3-4pm I started having my daily contractions. Since they had been so common I didn't bother timing them until around 4, did so for about an hour. And even though they never got very regular, they started hurting pretty badly. I figured I better go ahead and call Ben and tell him to come home. I wasn't sure if it was the real thing, but I knew I didn't want to attempt to shower without someone being home just in case. Well, before he got home things really started hurting so I said screw it and got in the shower. In fact, I think I was yelling in the shower right when Ben got home. He helped me time a few contractions and finished packing our bag while I washed my hair (of course Whit waited until I hadn't showered in three days to make his appearance!). Ben talks to the on call doctor to ask if we should come in, and when she hears that at our last appointment I was dilated to 3cm and almost completely effaced she was shocked and said come on in.

We get to the hospital at 7 and sit through WAY too much paperwork for us to have already faxed in a lot of information and get whisked up to labor and delivery. Our nurses were soooooo nice and got me hooked up, changed into my lovely hospital gown, and we start waiting. The contractions never went into a regular rhythm (thanks everyone who never told me *that* could happen), but I started dilating crazy fast. I get to about 7cm with no bloody show, no water breaking, just contractions that hurt like HELL. When we all decided this must be the real thing anyway, they gave me my epidural and broke my water. Okay, let me tell you I am proud I didn't cuss much (for me) pre-epidural, and women who give birth naturally must be out of their damn mind. Maybe my labor progressed way too fast, but I cannot imagine having done it without an epidural. Btw, it didn't hurt like I thought it might, it just felt very strange. The worst part about it was trying to stay perfectly still during really painful contractions. There was one contraction while I was getting the epidural that hurt so bad I really thought about slapping Ben, but that was my only violent thought the whole

The nurse tells me that I should start feeling a need to push or at least pressure down there soon and to let her know when I feel it. Never had that happen either, but I felt a little pressure so we decided to try. Wellll, I pushed for about two hours to no avail. First I had no idea what I was doing or what they wanted me to do. You would think pushing would be easy to figure out, but nuh-uh! Doesn't really matter though, because it turns out baby's head is turned the wrong way. The whole pregnancy pretty much went off without a hitch, labor was going well, baby's in the right position only to have his head slightly turned to the side and he won't budge and he can't get out from under my pubic bone. Gah! The doctor comes to check me and decides they'll have to do a c-section and then everyone starts trying to console me about it. I tell them to not worry about it, if someone was going to need a c-section I'm the best person for it, now let's get this show on the road!

We get sent into the OR and they have a little trouble with my anesthesia. My epidural had started to wear off and when they went to give me the other meds for the c-section I could still feel parts of my torso. But they get it all worked out (and I'm a little out of my head at this point so my memory starts to get fuzzy here) and get to work on getting Whit out. Then comes the scary part. They deliver Whit and I hear a couple of really wimpy cries, not real cries. Then they bring him around to the baby table to work on him and I see his entire head is purple. All I can remember is seeing them bag him and staring at the back of one of the nurses,  and at a clock above their head that's telling how long he's been on the table and I keep saying "Come on. Come on, baby. Come on." The whole time Ben and I don't really know what's happening, and thank God for the anesthesiologist who started telling us what was going on and that it was going to be okay. After what I thought was about 5 minutes, but Ben swears was closer to 12, they had him breathing again and crying a little. They brought him over to us and took our first family pictures. I hadn't cried the whole time until I knew he was okay and then I bawled like a baby! They took him and Ben to NICU. And apparently as soon as they removed Whit from the oxygen tank thingy, they noticed he was breathing on his own just fine and he hasn't had a problem since. We found out later it was meconium aspiration syndrome and just as well we had the c-section. The whole time I wasn't having a bloody show, there was something but no one could tell if it was blood or meconium. Turns out it was meconium and it wasn't a problem until they delivered him. One second he's fine (we even have a picture of him pre-aspiration), the next he's sucked down some of the meconium and can't breathe.

Oh, it was such a scary few minutes and really makes you grateful when you have a healthy baby! We had no warning signs, no risk factors, nothing... it just happened. It really makes you think. The odds are so stacked against humans reproducing and the offspring thriving that it's a miracle any of us are here at all!

I have to say thank God for so many random things about the whole experience. Thankfully there weren't a lot of other women giving birth that night, so there were a TON of people in the OR working on Whit and myself. Our nurses and the rest of the staff were amazing and very kind that night. Ben and I have always tried to be low-stress about the pregnancy and delivery: no plan other than leaving the hospital with a healthy and larger family. And thank goodness I never really thought about nursing, I honestly think it would have been impossible. After Whit's initial issues, they kept him in NICU for a couple of hours for observation and the next 24 or so hours I was almost completely zonked out. They had had to give me some extra painkillers in the surgery to keep me numb and then morphine for the pain later, and after my adrenaline calmed down I was pretty much useless. I would wake up just enough to see our visitors for a minute or two and to see Whit when Ben brought him over to me. But I couldn't hold him for about a day, the nurses had told Ben to not let me if I tried, but I was aware of being too weak. I wanted to pretty badly but I was so afraid of dropping him that I never asked to hold him. Which is fine, my only regret about everything is that I can't remember a lot of Whit's first 24 hours and I can't remember when I first got to actually hold him. But who cares? We have a healthy, gorgeous, funny, easy-going baby boy and Ben and I both are head over heels in love with him!

Proud Papa

And Mama... looking quite rough might I add!

One of my favorite pictures from our time in the hospital.

Ooh, just look at that handsome little man!

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