Thursday, December 14, 2006

K's Birth Story

I realized after visiting a few other blogs that I hadn't created this. So, here it is - finally.

K was due on April 18th, but decided he wanted to wait it out. I was anxious as hell but I figured I’d go one more week.

After no joy on K’s part to move his own self out, I went in to have labor induced. I had been 80 – 90% effaced and 3cm dialted for 3 weeks, so things were favorable.

On April 25th, J and I got up early – really damn early, like 6 am early. (Sleeping in until 6am will become a god send later on – hell, just sleeping will garner exhaltations of joy!)

We went to the hospital where I was admitted around 7 am and then started changing into the gown, signing paperwork, getting the IV, taking a few picutres, etc.
The nurse started Pitocin and J and I just hung out watching early morning television. There really wasn’t much going on. I was hooked up to a machine that monitored contractions and it was fun to watch for a while. I didn’t feel much of anything, maybe a twinge.

Did I mention K was in no hurry to come out?!

Around 9:30am, (2 hours after starting the Pitocin) I started to feel pretty strong contractions. Pretty strong as in the worst mentstrual cramps EVER!
Did I do the breathing techniques that were practiced in the birthing class? Are you kidding me?! I could barely breath through them at all, much less add “technique”! When the first one passed, I cried a bit. Not sobbing, but enough to let the nurse know things were progressing.

Another contraction hit and I held onto the side bar of the bed and squeezed J’s hand so hard it turned pale pink/almost white. Then I cried more.
At that point, the nurse asked if I wanted the epidural. I said yes, and hurry up! I was more than ready to abandon my immense fear of the large needle going into my back!

I only had to wait 15 minutes or so for the anthesiologist to come in and it didn’t take him long. The epidural calmed things down 20 minutes later.

Then it was more waiting. Again, K was in no hurry. LOL

The nurse checked me and I was making progress. Dialating 1-2 cm, effacing stayed about the same.

About 10:40, the nurse decided that I needed to roll over on my left side. K did not like that one damn bit! We had a little bit of a scare because his heart rate dropped. In less than a minute the room filled with 4 other nurses and the labor/delivery resident DR on duty. Before I knew it, they had me turned completely over on all fours with my bare butt in the air, playing around “down there”. I remember J asking for someone – anyone – to tell him what the hell was going on.
I couldn’t see much since I was positioned like a dog on the bed, but I could see J had been forced from my bedside to standing by the wall. I don’t even want to know what must have been going through his mind. I can imagine how frightening that must’ve looked – the room filling up with 5 other people instantly, your wife flopped over in a hospital bed in a matter of seconds, your unborn son’s heartrate dropping, not knowing why or what will happen next. Thankfully one of the nurses did her best to reassure him that they were concerned with K’s heartrate going down and they were working to get him to even out.

The monitor (that had been placed on K’s head earlier) was being moved around, they were poking him to get him to move – everything to get his heart rate back up. His heart rate came back up and when everyone was satisfied that the scare was over, they rolled me back over and I got to stay laying in my back – just with the bed raised at a higher incline. It was after that that I realized the epidural was working just fine. Too fine, in fact, because I couldn’t move my left leg at all. My right one could move a little bit, but no way on the left.

Whew! Just typing that made me tense. Everything was much calmer after that. You know, I think I waited preparing K’s birth story because of that. It was quite a lot to process then and scares the shit out of me now. Ok, moving on.

The nurse checked my progress more and I was dialating still 1-2 cm per hour. J and I just watched the Travel Channel/Food Channel. There really wasn’t much more that happened........until

Finally! Around 2:30pm, I was completely dialated and effaced and ready to start pushing. The nurse got me started and Dr. T arrived around 2:45pm.
I don’t remember how many times I pushed. I would take a deep breath and the nurse, Dr. T and the labor/delivery resident DR on duty would count to 10 while I pushed. We went through this routine probably 7 times. With each push, K’s head would come out a little more. Everyone could see his black hair, he was that close. They kept telling me to push, and since I couldn’t feel a thing, I did my best.

Like I mentioned before, K was in no hurry!

Dr. T had to use the forceps to get K out. I was hesitant at first but I’d rather have the forceps than the vacuum. She did a great job, though. I think I pushed one more time, maybe two, and K popped right out! Not a mark on him for the forceps, which I was grateful for.

I had been closing my eyes while pushing and since K came out fast, I briefly got to see him being taken over to the warming table to get cleaned up.

K cried, J cried, I was speechless. I didn’t cry because I was exhausted. It felt so surreal. Once K was ready, they handed him to me to hold and I just stared at him, saying calming words to him, looking into his eyes. Poor guy, he looked so scared at times. Other times, K looked sedated.
We held him for a while, then both sets of grandparents got to hold him.
They only gave us an hour to be with K after delivery. Then the nurses took him to get his hospital bath, fresh clothes, big blanket and little striped hat.

The rest of my hospital stay I was a complete idiot. Still shell shocked from everything, I fumbled around, cried, felt incredibly lonely when J wasn’t around. The nurses were okay, but not great. It wasn’t the experience I had hoped for. I didn’t get treated badly or anything – just left to figure it all out on my own, which was incredibly daunting. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing – didn’t know how to change a diaper, breastfeed, soothe K when he cried – nothing. Other than the occassional nurse or student coming in to check my vitals, I was left alone to figure it all out. It became trial by fire.

If I’d change things about my experience, it would be (1) the incident with K’s heart rate dropping and (2) I’d speak up more! I would demand attention and make it very clear that I had no idea what in the hell to do. I wouldn’t be mean about it, but I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be pushed aside.

So there it is, almost 8 months later. Overall, even with it not being the best stay at a hospital, I’m grateful that K was born healthy and that J was able to be there with me.