Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Birth Story (from laboring woman's point of view)

Benjamin's estimated due date, Nov. 24th came and went without Benjamin showing up or any sign that he may be making his entrance into the world anytime soon. Only 5% of babies are born on their estimated due dates, so I didn't think too much of it. Thanksgiving was spent over at Kim and Hugh's house, ate turkey and lots of other good food. We threatened Benjamin that this was his last meal if he didn't start making any progress! Guess it worked because Friday morning at 2:30 in the morning I woke up with contractions.

The contractions weren't too painful and nothing timeable, so didn't wake Alan. We did things around the house Friday and then went to Lowes and Meijers to stock up on food and other items since we figured that we would be having a baby by the weekend. I'm sure people at Lowes and the grocery store thought we were crazy since I would have to stop walking and breathe through contractions. We came home and Alan finished painting the closet doors and I did some cleaning. The contractions were all over the place, time wise; they would be 10 minutes apart for an hour and then go to 6 minutes and then back to 8 minutes and then 5 minutes. When they got to 4 minutes apart for an hour, we decided it was time to go to the hospital; that was at 7pm Friday.

Ok, before I go any further, let me tell you what I had pictured Benjamin's birth to be:
1. go natural, but not against the epidural if necessary
2. have Alan cut the cord
3. do NOT want a c-section

Three simple things...ok, back to the story.

We got to Baptist East and checked in, the nurse checked me and I was only dilated a centimeter! I wanted to cry, I had been awake and in labor since 2:30 that morning and I was only a centimeter??? REALLY??? The nurse said that they wanted to check out Benjamin's heart rate and then they will send us home. Sounded like a great plan, didn't want to stay in the hospital if I didn't have to. So the nurse got me hooked up to the contraction monitor and the heart rate monitor. Benjamin's heart rate was all over the place; up and down so they wouldn't let me get out of bed to walk around. Do you know how hard it is to lay in bed while going through contractions? Not fun. Two hours go by and Benjamin isn't calming down, I would have a contraction and his heart rate would go up (which its supposed to do) but wouldn't go back down after the contraction. He would be kicking me after the contractions, which made his heart rate stay elevated, which lead to me being admitted to the hospital. So much for laboring at home. The nurse finally let me walk around a bit and that seemed to help ease the pain.

Ok, here is where is gets a little blurry, now keep in mind I had been awake since 2:30 Friday morning.

I think it was Saturday morning and I had been awake for more than 24 hours, I was exhausted and had progressed to 5 centimeters, half way there (which is a lot further than you think!). I was throwing up and Alan did great, didn't puke! I remember laying in the bed hooked up to the monitors and watching Alan sleep in a chair and being so mad at him for sleeping. I was in pain and I needed his help, but every time I tried to call him a contraction would come on and I couldn't speak. My nurse came in to check on me and she said that I wasn't progressing and she suggested the epidural. I was all game at this point. Give me the drugs! I was exhausted! The epidural was great (other than Alan almost passing out when they had to give it to me) , actually there are no words for how wonderful an epidural is after you have been awake and in labor for more than 30 hours. Once the epidural kicked in, I returned to my normal self and not hating my husband and took back the words "this is it, no more kids, this is your only one!" I was able to relax and I think I slept, but not sure. Alan called my parents around 11am and then his parents. We had many visitors and everyone was so excited, won't be long now!

They broke my water and found that Benjamin had already had a bowl movement, so a neonatologist had to be present at the birth. The then had to slide a wire up me to attach to Benjamin's head so that the monitor more closely how he was doing. The also had to slip a tube up there to flush out the poopy amniotic fluid. Hours passed and by 4pm Saturday I was at 9 centimeters! Woohoo! We are all getting excited! However, little Benjamin wasn't quite in position, he was still very high. They cranked up the pitocin and tried to get me to 10 centimeters, but Benjamin wasn't dropping. The Dr. came in and said that we could wait one more hour, but then we would need to do a c-section.

I cried and I'm pretty sure I saw Alan wiping away tears. I did not want a c-section. Alan almost passed out when we watched a video of one in class! I needed him to be there! My mom and grandma were great (both nurses so they know what they are talking about) and said that we have to do what is best for Benjamin and me. I had been running a fever and my blood pressure was really low, 78/39

Around 4pm Saturday they started prepping me for the surgery. At this point I just wanted it to be over with. Alan said he would be ok to go back with me, he promised he would not look over the sheet to see the surgery. We said goodbye to my family and off we went. They got me ready and then they brought Alan in where he sat on my right hand side by my head. He kissed my forehead and told me everything was going to be ok. The anesthesiologist was a younger guy and was awesome. I was throwing up and he gave me meds to make me feel better. My teeth were chattering and I was shaking, which was normal he said. I asked him what they were doing and he told me every step. "They are making the cut..." "Now you will feel like some one is jumping on you, like a trampoline..." "They are pulling him out..." "He is here!" Alan saw him and looked at me and I said "go." Alan went over to the warmer to see our son. I still hadn't heard him cry, but they reassured me he was ok. I later found out that they had to intubate him and bag him so that the meconium wouldn't get in his lungs. Then I heard him cry! Alan took him out to meet our family. I wish I could have been there to see their face and hear what they had to say. After they put me back together, I went to recovery where Alan and Benjamin sat waiting. The nurse encouraged me to breastfeed and he latched on immediately, there the three of us sat for an hour getting to know each other. At that point it didn't matter how he got here, didn't matter that Alan didn't get to cut the cord, or that I wanted a natural childbirth. Benjamin arrived a healthy, 7 pound 9 ounces and 20 inches long at 5:07 pm Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009.

And that is all that matters.

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