Friday, November 1, 2013

Xander's Birth Story: Part 2

For part 1, go here.

When last we spoke, we had just decided to head to the hospital. I called ahead of time to let them know we were on our way and when we arrived the floor was pretty much dead. There was no running in the door with Paul screaming "my wife is in labor!" and someone whisking me away in a wheelchair.  There was no commotion. It was just Paul, my mom, and I getting buzzed onto into labor and delivery and a bored looking nurse taking us to a room and telling me to change into a robe and wait for someone to come back. I answered a lot of questions and explained how frequent my contractions were happening, told them that my pain was probably a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10, and was hooked up to monitors. No one seemed terribly impressed by my labor and they seemed even less impressed when they hooked me up to monitors that couldn't pick up my contractions. I'm sure the nurses thought I was crazy, but believe me, contractions were totally happening. 

Over the next few hours Paul and I alternately walked the halls and sat in my room with our moms. Finally at around 11 PM the nurse came in and told me that I was going to be admitted because my blood pressure was still somewhat elevated. Little did they know that I was going to be admitted either way because I was not about to go home in the amount of pain I was experiencing. So they gave me some morphine, Paul went home to attend to Ginny, and my mom settled in on the couch for the night. 

The next morning I was woken up by my new nurse at about 6 AM. Why so early, I'm not sure. She told me that I might feel better if I took a shower. I didn't. She then told me not to wear a sports bra when I got dressed again. I didn't and still don't understand why. 
 At 7:30 AM the doctor came in and I had progressed from 3 cm to 4 cm dilated. The doctor asked if I wanted to be induced and, having said for months that I wouldn't be induced unless it was an emergency, I asked what my other option was and she said to go home. Well that was still not an option so I think I said, "let's do this thing." I was started on pitocin and the doctor broke my water. I expected one big gush and nothing else. But mine continued all day long so I constantly thought I was peeing myself.

Despite my intentions to go pain med-free, I finally broke down and got the epidural at 9:30 AM. I didn't know how long I would be in labor and I knew that if I was in that much pain all day I would be too exhausted to actually deliver a baby. 

Over the next 8 hours I continued to progress, albeit slowly, and rested as much as I could. My epidural wore off a couple times and the anesthesiologist quickly saved the day each time. 

At around 5 or 5:30 PM I developed a fever and had only dilated 6 cm. At about 6 the doctor said that she was going to perform a c section. She said that she would be back in about an hour minutes and if I had progressed more, good, but if I hadn't we would need to talk about a c section. So I had a little meltdown because that wasn't part of my plan, but I moved on. 

When the doctor returned my fever had not subsided and I hadn't dilate anymore, so she told me that we needed to perform a c section because I had been in labor 24 hours and Xander was cooking in my fevered self. So I had a second meltdown ( because this was not part of the plan!) and we got ready for surgery. What no one told me was that Xander's heart rate, which had been normal all day, had gone up. A lot. 

Next: Drama in the O.R. 

Xander's Birth Story: Part 1

Throughout my pregnancy I swore that I didn't have a birth plan. I said I was really laid back and go-with-the-flow. I just wanted to have a vaginal birth with delayed cord clamping and I wanted My husband to cut the cord. And I didn't want pitocin or an epidural or to have my water broken by the doctor. Yep. Totally laid back.

The reality of Xander's birth was much different from my non-plan. 

I started to have true contractions in the middle of the night on Wednesday. At first I didn't realize that's what they were. They felt like the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been having, but with some added stabbiness. Regardless, I got up that morning and went to work where I was practically screamed at to leave by several people. I figured there was no reason to leave since they were still 6-8 minutes apart and I really wasn't that uncomfortable. So I stayed. And then I made the mistake of telling my husband I was in labor. He wanted me to come home and then go to the hospital immediately and I just didn't think it was necessary. I did finally concede to call my doctor's OB nurse. She told me that if I wanted to come in to be checked I could do so at 1. 

It's possible I was channeling my inner Pam Halpert and was so scared of having the baby that I was in denial about being in labor. Maybe.

Over the next few hours my contractions became more frequent, but not more intense. I went to the doctor and had indeed progressed from the previous day, but I wasn't ready to be admitted because I was able to speak full sentences and I wasn't grimacing. So I went home with orders to eat something light and rest. So that's what I did. 

And then around 3 pm things got more painful. And there  was some gritting of my teeth and grimacing and maybe some tears. 

And then around 5 the doctor called to say my blood pressure was elevated and if I didn't come to the hospital that night I'd need to come to the office in the morning. So I called my mom and told her to come on down so that when I did leave for the hospital, she could follow us. 

And then at about 6:30 my mom showed up and my contractions were between 3 and 5 minutes apart so we left for the hospital.

Next: How I spent the next 24+ hours