Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jack Emmett is Here!

This is going to be a long post folks. I have a lot to say about my birth story. I find it ironic that my last post was about my 38 week appointment. Considering I was talking about my giant baby and the fact that I would go overdue. Well, surprise! This post is mostly for me since I want to remember what labor is like in case I ever decide to have a baby again.

On Sunday the 31st, my husband and I went to my in-laws for dinner. Right as we were about to leave at 8:30pm, I felt a gush of fluid. I went to the bathroom and my underwear was soaked but it was not enough fluid (or so I thought) to make me think it was my water.

On Monday the 1st I got up to get ready for work at 7:00am and felt another gush of fluid. I thought I would at least call my boss to see if I could work from home in case I had more fluid gush or the doctor wanted to see me. The on call doctor I spoke with was very nice. She explained that since it wasn't a huge amount of loss and I wasn't having contractions that it probably wasn't my water. She told me to come on in to Labor and Delivery just to be sure though.

Being that I am super organized, I called both of my bosses and then logged into work JUST IN CASE. I wanted to get all my open assignments reassigned and set my email out of office message so that people would know that I was on maternity leave if they happened to contact me. What can I say? I am a planner.

I ate a super quick breakfast, got some clothes set out and then popped my head into the bedroom and told my husband that I had another gush of fluid and that the doctor wanted me to go to L&D. I told him that he should stay at home since it was probably a false alarm and why bother coming and wasting sleep since he had to be at work at 3:00. Well, that was the wrong thing to do. My husband is a worrier. He said "There is no way you are driving yourself to the hospital if you are in labor". I told him that again, it was probably nothing and that if I was indeed in labor, I would call him from the hospital and he could either drive in or call his mom to take him.

I took a shower and of course, Jason got up and started getting all our bags ready. We had all the hospital bags packed but needed to throw in last minute items. I shaved my legs, got all pretty, put on makeup and did everything because again, I wasn't in labor! We even had time to drink a cup of coffee and headed to L&D around 8:45am. Jason was awesome and got all our bags into the car, the carseat snapped in and then made sure to ask me if I had everything and what he could do to help. He didn't want me carrying anything heavy.

Once we got there, the L&D nurses don't mess around. They didn't even ask me WHY I was there. They took us straight back to a room and had me change into a gown. The front desk nurse said "Your nurse will be right in". Okay, who needs a nurse when all they were going to do was probably check me.

The nicest nurse, Jeanette came in and explained that she would do an internal exam and check the fluid around my cervix, but probably since I didn't have that huge gush of water that is typical, it was probably nothing. I told Jason not to even bother calling his mom and worrying her because we would likely be home around 11:00. My cervix was checked, I peed in a cup, and then we waited. Jeanette had explained that when viewed under a microscope that amniotic fluid looked like a fern when dry.

About 20 minutes later, she poked her head back into the room and said "Well, you surprised me, I saw the plant". OH MY GOD. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BABY. Once your water breaks, you have to deliver within a certain amount of time in order for the risk of infection to remain low. Apparently, my bag of waters had sprung a slow leak. That is why I didn't have the huge gush of fluid that is normal.

The nurse said she would be back and get us some admit forms and at that point is when we decided to make all our phone calls. I called work, Jason called work, he called his mom (who was going to be in the delivery room with us), I called my mom, etc. It was pretty much excited chaos.

Funny thing: My coworker Melissa was currently at the hospital having her baby and I didn't know it yet! I guess since both her and I share a birthday, our babies probably should too.

Jeanette came back and explained that the next part of the process was to insert Cervadil into my lady bits to get my cervix to soften so that I would go into labor on my own. Once the Cervadil remains in for 12 hours, they would then start the Pitocin if I hadn't progressed or started having contractions. It would be at least the next day before our baby would be here, but we were required to stay at the hospital.

The Cervadil was put in around 12:00pm (lunch time) and my cervix was checked to see if I was dilated at all (I was at about 1cm at that point) and the next few hours were pretty much boring and uneventful. I had my gown on, hung out in bed, cat napped when I could, chatted with my mother-in-law and called and texted all my friends. I had brought my laptop so I was able to keep myself busy. My cervix wasn't checked again because the risk of infection is high when your water has broken.

I didn't bother wearing underwear the rest of the day because I kept having gushes of fluid (gross, sorry). They had these pads on the bed (I called them puppy pads) to catch any fluid. I can tell you that it had to be changed a couple of times throughout the day. Throughout the day, I felt crampy, but that was probably due to the fact that my cervix was effacing and dilating. The Cervadil was supposed to be taken out at around midnight, but I went to the bathroom and thought I saw the string in the toilet. So, instead of having it removed by one of the nurses, it came out on its own.

My mother-in-law went home because she knew I wouldn't be having Jack until the next day at least. Jason stayed with me. I slept a few hours and he played on the computer or watched tv.

The next morning around 7:00, I was hooked up to a Pitocin drip. Now, keep in mind, I am pretty scared of hearing stories about Pitocin. I have these horrible thoughts of your labor going from zero to sixty in just a couple of hours. I hate to say it because I don't remember, but I believe my cervix was checked at one point (I don't remember what time) and I was dilated to 3. The contractions were getting more and more painful. One would come on and I would breathe through it which worked for quite a while. My mother-in-law and husband would rub my arm or my leg and remind me to breathe. I could still talk through them, so I knew that they weren't that terrible yet.

They became pretty terrible at some point when I couldn't breathe through them anymore. My pain threshold is pretty low so I knew it was time for the epidural. The nurse had warned me that when I knew I wanted one, not to wait too long and to allow 30 minutes for the anesthesiologist to get there. You don't want to be at your breaking point and still have to wait another 30 minutes.
I called uncle and the anesthesiologist came to administer my epi around 12:00. Once you receive an epidural, you can't get out of bed. So, I was there in bed to stay (which meant a catheter, ew) until I delivered. Adam, the very nice anesthesiologist came in and questioned my body's ability to have anesthesia. Basically he asked me questions about what surgeries I had in the past and how I reacted to the anesthesia.

I got into position and bent over. Adam walked me through everything. My husband held my hand while the numbing medicine into my back. Then, the needle for the epidural went in. I do not know how big the thing was, but I felt a lot of pressure and it overall just felt strange. I kept saying "ow" even though it didn't really hurt. Poor Adam and poor Rachel. He tried several times to get the needle in with no luck. I guess I have small spaces between my bones in my spine. I started feeling really sick because he was trying so hard to get the needle in with no success. My mother-in-law told me that he had a big frown on his face and concentrating about getting the needle in. Finally, he did and he started administering the medication. That is when things got ugly.

As soon as the epidural medication was pumped into my back, I started getting lightheaded and nauseous. I was still bent over and said to the nurse "I don't feel good, something is wrong". The got me back into bed and apparently I turned white as a sheet. I don't remember much, but I could hear the monitors next to me going off and I believe a wet washcloth was put on my head. I couldn't even hear people talking in the room.

It took a good 20 minutes to start feeling better, but what happened was that once the medication went into my epidural space, my blood pressure plummeted. Jason said he saw the monitor and it said 70/64. Yikes! Again, because I couldn't remember what happened, Adam or the nurse put a medicine in my IV to raise my blood pressure as well as an anti nausea medication so I wouldn't vomit. After that, I started to feel better. As a matter of fact, I started feeling great after about 30 minutes. I was not feeling any pain at all. It was explained to me that I might still feel the contractions, but they wouldn't be painful. Sure enough, I could feel pressure, but absolutely not one ounce of pain. I would jokingly say to my husband "Oh, there's a contraction" and sure enough, on the monitor, there would be one.

I feel awful saying this, but the details of my labor are all starting to disappear. There are things that I am going to get out of order. I probably should have blogged about it sooner but golly gee, with a new baby, it's sort of hard.

I know that I wasn't able to eat or drink anything after a certain time, but honestly, I can't remember why. I was allowed ice chips only after the epi was put in, but I can't remember if the Pitocin was the cause of me not being allowed to eat. Jason and my mother-in-law ate a roast beef sandwich in front of me though. Seriously, how cruel is that?!?

At one point, Dr. P came in to check my progression. I THINK it was after my epidural. He checked me internally, which is kind of funny because my mother-in-law was in the room the entire time. She has now seen every body part of mine that there is. Teee hee. Okay, so Dr. P checked me and there was a visible bag of water. He asked the nurse for a hook to break it. Talk about bizarre feeling! It was like peeing my pants but just not with pee. It was very warm and I soaked the puppy pad. After that, I would have a lot of gushes throughout the day.

I had an internal contraction monitor put in me at one point. It was pretty cool watching the contractions on the monitor. Even though I couldn't feel them (due to the epidural), I could see them on the monitor. I was having them every 2 to 3 minutes and they were very strong. I also had some contractions that were doubled up. Of course I can't remember the names of them now. But I would have one, immediately have another and then have a break for 5 minutes. So odd.

I started getting super excited around 2:00 when a nurse came in and checked my cervix progress and told me I was dilated to 7! Yippee! That lasted all of about an hour when Dr. P came back, checked me again and said "well the nurse was being generous. I think you are only about 4 or 5". Well hell. So much for progress. And I had texted several of my friends too to let them know that the baby was getting closer. How embarrassing.

Again, the details get sketchy but at around 6:00 Dr. P came back in and checked me again. Or maybe it was the nurse. I was dilated to about a 5 by that point. One centimeter in four stinkin' hours! Dr. P sighed really loud and said "Well kiddo, let's talk about what's happening". Normally, once your water is broken, they want you to progress about a centimeter per hour. I was only progressing about a centimeter every two to four hours. Due to that fact, and the fact that they thought Jack was a big baby, he told me that I would probably need a c-section.

Does it make me terrible that I wasn't even sad about this? When I first became pregnant, I had a theory that I could plan for the worst but hope for the best. So, if I needed a c-section, so be it. I was told that they would check the schedule, but likely, I would have my baby within a couple of hours. My father-in-law had gotten to the hospital at this point and I am glad he was there because I know my mother-in-law was super disappointed that she couldn't see our faces when we saw our son and I know she wanted to be there to see him born. He was a good support person for my mother in law.

Jason changed into scrubs and our items were moved from the labor room to our recovery room where we would spend the next few days.

I ended up going in for a c-section around 7:00. A few minutes beforehand, a wonderful anesthesiologist came in and explained the process of anesthesia for a c-section. They use the same epidural line but just up the dosage of medication. A couple of nurses and the anesthesiologist worked on me for a while. Again, when they upped the medication, I got sick. Immediately after the drip was turned up, my blood pressure crashed, I got nauseous and had to shut my eyes. It was very hard for me because I wanted to be present and aware for when our son was born. I had anti-nausea meds and blood pressure medication pumped into my IV and I was quickly wheeled off to the OR.

All I remember is keeping my eyes shut as I was being wheeled into the OR. I had no idea where Jason was at this point, but I believe he came in about 5 minutes later. I was moved from the gurney onto the surgery table. I heard a nurse say her name was Jennifer and I was aware of my other nurse from the night shift Molly there (Molly was absolutely wonderful by the way). I had to keep my eyes closed because I was shaking so hard from the anxiety and adrenaline. I couldn't stop my arms from shaking. Jason came in at that point and stayed with me behind the sterile drape. I can't even remember if he held my hand or not.

I was not aware that the surgery had even started until I smelled the cauterization of whatever the doctor was doing. I asked Jason, "Have they started yet?" and he replied "Honey, they are almost done". All the tugging and pulling I was feeling was the incision and all the cutting. I had no idea, that is how completely out of it I was. The whole time, the anesthesiologist was talking to me, although he didn't really say what was happening. He was just a soothing nice voice that helped keep me calm.

The second I found out the surgery was almost done, I was instantly better. The shaking stopped, I stopped being nauseous and I was ready for Jack to be born. I finally heard Dr. P say "The head's out!". I think someone else said "Happy Birthday little guy!". Jack instantly started crying. And of course, to hear that beautiful sound, I started crying too. It really truly was the best thing I had ever heard in my life. He had such a strong cry.

Jason got to get up and go see him get washed and cleaned up. It took about five minutes for him to bring Jack around but when he did, it was honestly the best moment of my life. Here is a picture that one of the nurses took of us as a new family:

Just looking at this picture breaks my heart because I am so happy. They had to take Jack again to do a few more things but very shortly, I got to hold him. They moved me back to my hospital bed and handed my sweet baby to me. I just remember staring at his beautiful face. I haven't seen too many newborns as alert and cute as Jack.

Even though the pain and grossness of childbirth is over, I can say it was all worth it. Would I do it again? I don't know. Maybe in a few years. For Jack though, I would go back and do it again a hundred times over. He's worth it.

I am sure I have forgotten a ton of details. Little sleep, excitement of meeting your baby and conveniently forgetting the pain will do that to you. I will post later about my recovery. In many ways, the recovery after my c-section was worse than the actual process. More to come.

Jack Emmett Lastname
Born: February 2, 2010 7:38pm
7 pounds 13 ounces
19.75 inches long
Absolutely perfect in every way

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