Friday, August 12, 2011
OK so be forewarned this is a long post. Sorry but I typed it up in word to print for his baby book and I didn;t want to miss any details.
Nathaniel’s Birth Story
Nathaniel’s crazy birth story actually starts at my 39-week doctor’s appointment, which was on Thursday July 30, 2011. While there the doctor again told me that I was 3 cm dilated and that my cervix was really ripe and he asked if he should strip my membranes. At the time I said no because my mom was at home caring for a special needs child while her parents were away and I knew she couldn’t get to Baltimore until Sunday at the earliest. I was worried that if I went in to labor Thursday or Friday she wouldn’t be able to come and see the baby right away. I didn’t want her in the delivery room but there is something comforting about having your mom at your house when you get released from the hospital. In any case since I decided against the membrane stripping the doctor asked me to schedule an induction date. He doesn’t like to let patients go past their due date because of placenta issues and larger babies. Quite honestly he has a very busy practice and is the only doctor so I’m sure scheduling deliveries makes his job a lot easier. He had already delivered 8 babies that week and it was only Thursday so I agreed because I also wanted to make sure I could go to my hospital of choice. The next day I woke up panicked because I realized I would rather try and do everything I could to get the baby out before going in for the induction. I called the doctor as soon as his office opened and asked to come in and get my membranes stripped. Luckily he could squeeze me in before another scheduled c-section that day. All day I had some minor spotting and cramping but nothing to be excited over. Saturday Tom and I went to see Captain America in the movie theater and I was so uncomfortable, looking back now I was probably having contractions but just chalked it up to being squished into a theater seat 39 weeks pregnant. After the movie we picked up Chipotle because I wanted to try some spicy foods. I will also say that we definitely had sex to try and induce the labor. I really tried everything minus the castor oil route because who wants to poop themselves. Saturday night we walked the dogs like always and although I was feeling contractions they weren’t any different than the ones I had been feeling for weeks. I was still hoping to go into labor overnight to avoid the induction the next night. Sunday I woke up dreading the thought of being induced. My sister in law had a terrible experience and although I know not everyone has a bad experience I was just really working myself up over it. Finally around noon I called the doctor and told him I wanted to cancel the induction. He understood and told me to be patient and that in 3-5 days I would have a baby or we would reevaluate the induction then. I was relieved.
Tom and I spent the afternoon walking around Target and the grocery store trying to walk in the air conditioning still holding out hope that we would get that baby out as soon as possible. We came home and had dinner, walked the dogs and hung out. I was feeling minor contractions but they never got consistent in timing. I had been having the same issue for days. I would feel contractions and start timing and they would be all over the place. They would be 5-10 minutes apart and then it would be 25 minutes. It was crazy. My sister called and told me just to relax that the baby would come when the time was right which is what everyone says. She also suggested a bath, which I did take because I love baths but it’s hard when you are super pregnant, especially since we have a tiny tub low to the ground. I took a bath around 8:30 pm on Sunday July 31, 2011. When I got out at 9 pm I came downstairs and had a peanut butter tortilla and started the movie SWAT with Tom. The contractions had all but stopped which annoyed me because I was hoping the bath would have the opposite effect and get things moving. Within 45 minutes the contractions had started again and this time they actually hurt. Up until this point they were merely an inconvenience but around 9:45 pm they were painful enough to make me stop walking around. I started timing them again and within 20 minutes realized they were coming every 4-5 minutes. I made Tom call the doctor’s answering service while I jumped in the shower to wash my hair and shave my legs. At this point they were painful and it took me forever to get a shower because I had to keep hanging on to the wall to breath. Looking back I should have skipped the shower but I really had no idea how fast labor would come for us. The doctor called tom back and told him to check with our preferred hospital to make sure they had a room for us (they only have 5 laboring rooms but more recovery rooms). He then called back 5 minutes later and said just to go to the other hospital because if I was progressing as fast as we thought we didn’t want to take a chance at the smaller hospital. Luckily both hospitals are the same distance from our house just in opposite directions. We finally got in the car at 10:45 pm and drove to the hospital. I was panicking at this point because it was such intense pain and so frequent that I said to Tom “I feel like we aren’t even going to make it to the hospital, I might deliver in the car” I’m pretty sure he almost had a heart attack when I said that. This was also the point when I told him I would most certainly be getting drugs. He laughed because I had been training him for months to just keep telling me “After the next contraction” I think I might have threatened him that if he tried to stop me I would kill him. We got to the hospital and had to fill out the paperwork since I hadn’t preregistered there. We finally got settled in our room and when I went to give a urine sample I had a lot of blood, which made me scared because I didn’t expect it to be there. They immediately called the midwife who came in to check me and told me I was already dilated to 6 cm. This was around 11:30 pm. They called the doctor again to let him know and then asked me if I was interested in pain meds. I kept waffling and telling them I wanted to wait as long as possible. They started the IV because you have to have a certain amount of fluid in you before they will proceed with an epidural. Finally my doctor arrived around midnight and checked me again and told me I was already at 9 cm. He told me if I wanted the meds it was now or never. I tried to rationalize not doing it but I was miserable. Everyone around me was talking and joking and I really wanted to smack them all. I opted to get the epidural so they called in the anesthesiologist. When he arrived they told him I had a codene/morphene allergy and how far along I was which basically meant that I could not get an epidural (they take 2 hours to kick in and I could deliver in the next 45 minutes if my water broke). Not only did he tell me I couldn’t have the epidural but he could not get the cart with the meds open. So there I was lying in pain while they banged and tried to pry the cart open for the drugs they told me I couldn’t have. At one point I asked the doctor to just break my water so we could start pushing but eventually he and the anesthesiologist agreed that I could get a saddle block (spinal block) which would work pretty fast and would only numb me waist down for 2 hours. This would be perfect since they were sure I would deliver before it wore off. It was also a good compromise because you still feel everything but just in a duller state. They finally gave me the meds around 12:35 pm. It kicked in fast and the doctor broke my water. Fifteen minutes later they asked me to start pushing. Unfortunately the meds worked too well because I wasn’t pushing properly since I was too numb to feel my butt. After 3 or 4 pushes the doctor asked me to rest and said he would come back in an hour once some of the meds wore off. I was comfortable and feeling okay for about 40 minutes before I started having intense pressure which was of course the baby coming down further in the birth canal. We started pushing again around 2:15 am and my baby was born at 2:49 am. Honestly the pushing wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be even though I could feel most of it. The worst part was that my doctor, nurse and Tom kept saying “you are doing so great, he’s right there” which made me think that I was almost done but I still have a few pushes to go.
While we were waiting to push between contractions everyone was taking bets on his size. This helped me because it distracted me from the pain and pressure I was feeling. As soon as he came out everyone’s faces looked shocked which worried me but as soon as I heard his little cry I teared up. When they put him up on my chest I remember saying “He’s perfect” to which everyone, replied, “He is a big baby, let’s weight him”. Turns out the ultrasound tech who told me he would be 10 lbs was pretty close. He weight 9 lbs 7 oz and was 21.5 inches long. My doctor was shocked and just kept saying, “You did so great, look how big he was!” He and all the nurses all commented that my belly did not look big enough to hold such a big baby and I have to agree. I said all along that I thought he would be little but I guess we were wrong. Since he was so big they had to test his glucose level right away so I only got to hold him for a few minutes before they did all the testing. I couldn’t believe that my little guy decided Sunday/Monday was the right time for him to arrive after all. It made me feel so much better about my decision to not be induced. I guess it was an instinct that he would come when he was ready but never did I think he would be ready right then. I also couldn’t believe that he came so close to his due date. I know so many women who go days past their due date with their first child and my little guy came 1 day early. It makes me smile because all weekend before he came I kept saying to Tom how cool an 8/1/11 birthday would be, I guess Nathaniel thought it would be a good birthday as well! Once I got him back in my arms I couldn’t stop smiling and was amazed at how quickly my instincts took over. Just looking at his face made me realize that 40 weeks of my life produced the most perfect human being I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe how blessed I felt and how big my heart swelled looking at him. Everyone kept telling me how intense the love you feel for your child is but you really cannot fathom it until you hold your baby. He makes me feel complete in a way I never could have imagined. He makes me thankful for every day, every minute that I get to have with him. I think this quote best describes how I have felt the last 10 days : “No one will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside”