Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lo's Birth Story

I turned 38 weeks on Thursday, October 4th.  It started out as a typical day at work for me, then I had to deal with some of the things that, as a pediatrician, are dreaded.  The afternoon turned into being a very challenging one and very emotional for me, to say the least.  I kept jokingly saying, "this day is going to throw me into labor."  Little did I know...

At 1:15 am Friday morning, October 5th, I was awoken by the sensation that I was about to pee the bed.  Turned out that it was just my water breaking.  Thank goodness I wasn't starting to wet the bed again.  I haven't done that in years!  At the time I really wasn't sure if I was indeed going into labor.  So what did I do?  I did what anyone would do, I went back to bed.  Well, I tried to go back to bed.  I couldn't stop thinking about if my water really did break or not.  So I got on google.com (wouldn't you have?) and read about "how to tell if my water broke."  Gotta love google!  Around 3 am, I got back up and went to the bathroom and realized something just wasn't right.  I sat there and just stared at the toilet.  It didn't look like urine...It didn't smell like urine...(sorry if TMI, but I want to remember this) Did my water really break?  Why don't I know for sure?  hmmm, was all I could think, my water really broke...it really did.  Yes, I was sure...I think...

I knew if I woke Andrew up at that time, he would want to hurry to the hospital since we were making a 2 hour trip to the hospital that my doctor delivers at.  Crazy, I know.  Anyway, I really wanted to take a shower and shave my legs.  So that is exactly what I did.  I wasn't in any pain at all, not having any contractions that I could feel, so why not?  After my shower, I woke Andrew up.  It was around 4 am.  I told him, "I think my water broke."  He got up, in a daze, realized what I had just told him and packed his not yet packed hospital bag, I finished getting dressed, etc. we packed up our stuff and the dogs and we were on our merry way.

Andrew asked me if he thought he needed to hurry.  I didn't think so.  I wasn't in any pain, at all..yet.  I remember being really hungry and knowing that once we got to the hospital that they wouldn't let me eat anything, I asked Andrew to stop at McDonald's once we got to the half way point of our drive.  About that time, I started feeling a few contractions/pain, instead of stopping to get something to eat, I asked him to pull over on the side of the turnpike so I could throw up. It hit me so suddenly.  Not sure if it was the pain or what, I wasn't really in a lot of pain, just a little uncomfortable.  I hadn't puked once the entire pregnancy, until then.  It was at that time that Andrew picked up the pace on the driving, bypassed getting gas and food, and got us to the hospital as quickly as possible. 

I called my mom around 5:45 that morning to tell her.  She immediately woke up my dad and my sister, even though I told her not to.  She refused to go into work and came straight to the hospital.  I told her it would be a while...but you know how mothers are?!?!  However, I was so very thankful she was there.

We arrived at the hospital at 6 am.

They got us checked in, verified that my water broke, told me I was dilated to a 3, and hooked me up to the monitors.  I was contracting, but they were irregular and I wasn't feeling a thing.  The nurses called my doctor, who wasn't on call, but said he would deliver my baby regardless.  So thankful for him, we were in great hands!  He had me started on Pitocin right away, the devil of all drugs, to get my labor started since I wasn't really contracting but my water had been broke for 5 + hours.  

I started having regular contractions, but wasn't feeling a thing...strange.  Around 9ish, my doctor stopped by, said I wasn't in "labor" yet and we needed to up my Pitocin, ugh!  He also mentioned possibly inserting an IUPC to measure my contractions internally, since I wasn't feeling them, he wasn't sure how strong they really were.  Sounds like fun! 

My sister got to the hospital around 11 or 12, I can't really remember, maybe it was earlier...  She was my photographer :) It was at that time that the nurses came in to check me again.  I was still a 3 and still not feeling any major pain.  Walk in the park? Little did I know what was about to happen...

Around noon the nurses came in and said that my doctor wanted to go ahead with the IUPC.  A nurse came in to do it.  Long story short, she did not insert it correctly, hit something, separated something, who knows, but I started bleeding... A LOT, like clots!  It was scary.  She looked shocked by all the blood, NOT reassuring!!  I had a small emotional breakdown at that time.  I was scared!  Even I knew that something wasn't right.  My doctor wasn't in the hospital at that time, so he called the OB Hospitalist that was in-house and asked her to come see me.  She was the nicest lady.  Thank God!  She examined me, did an ultrasound, checked my cervix, reassured me that the bleeding wasn't anything serious, even though she wasn't sure why I was bleeding so much and found that my part of my amniotic sac was still intact.  She broke the rest of it, said I was dilated to a 4+, and  reassured me again that everything would be ok and that baby looked perfect. 

It was at that time that my labor "started."  The contractions picked up.  I felt pain and nausea.  Around the time I was dilated to a 6-7, I was in pain, felt crummy, wanted to puke, and just didn't want to remember my labor like this.  I finally opted to get an Epidural because I just didn't want to be miserable.  The Anesthesiologist came and put it in rather quickly and said to give it 30-45 minutes to work.  An hour later I was in excruciating pain and all that was numb was my right leg.  That is it.  I felt every contraction and they were coming closer and closer together and I felt like I was going to die!  Pitocin and natural labor are NO JOKE!  It was seriously an out of mind type of pain.  The Anesthesiologist came back in, after I was already dilated to a 9+ to redo my epidural.  So pretty much I experienced natural labor on Pitocin up until the time to start pushing, fun times!  I remember barely being able to breathe I hurt so bad.  I didn't say a word, I just closed my eyes and prayed and prayed and prayed.  At that time, I was so thankful to have my husband and my mom at my side.  They were my saving grace at that moment.

The epidural finally kicked in.  I think he must have triple dosed me.  Boy was I numb!  I was also dilated to a 10 and completely effaced and ready to start laboring down.  They let me labor down and push a little for almost 3 hours.  Around 8 pm, my doctor made his appearance.  He said baby just wasn't moving down.  He gave me three options...continue to labor down (not recommended), try vacuum extraction for 2-3 rounds of pushes (recommended first), or go straight to c-section (which he also stated was a major abdominal surgery.)  Yes, I know...

We opted to give the vacuum a try.  It didn't work.  Baby just wasn't moving through my pelvic bones.  They were just too narrow...

My doctor said we tried as hard as we could.  They told Andrew to put a pair of scrubs on, we were going to section.  Poor guy was a nervous wreck.  (Maybe sometime I can get him to tell his side of the story.) 

I think my doctor stopped the vacuum/pushing around 8:30 pm and rolled me back to c-section 5 minutes later.  15 minutes later, at 8:50 pm, 19 hours after my water broke, our sweet baby was born.  I got a quick peek at her and the tears just started rolling down my face.  That was my baby.  So surreal!  I told Andrew to go with our baby, I would be fine.  Little did I know how worried about me he was.  My doctor did an awesome job with my surgery.  I felt like I was in great hands.  I do remember looking over at the things that hold the blood lost in surgery and it was almost to 1 liter.  Yikes!  That's a lot of blood, on top of all the blood I lost earlier in the day from the catheter placement.  Good thing Andrew didn't see that.

My baby's apgars were 9, 9. Perfect! She weighed 6 lbs 5 ounces and was 18 1/4 inches long.  After the nurses were done assessing her, Andrew brought her over to me to let me get a peek before they took her off to the nursery to clean her up while they were finishing up with me. He followed her and took pictures for me.  After my section, it seemed like forever until they would let me see my baby.  That was the worst part...being separated from my baby right away and everyone else getting to see her before me, not fair.  While I was waiting, Andrew came to my side and we had a moment alone together to somewhat grasp what we just went through.  Wow.  What a day it had been.  An emotional day at that.

"what just happened??"

I had gotten the "labor shakes" sometime around being dilated at a 9 and continued to have them after my c-section.  When they wheeled me back to my room, they made me lay flat and I remember continuing to shake.  Finally after what seemed like FOREVER, they let Andrew bring our baby back to me.  I wish I remembered more about that moment, but I don't...I am so thankful for my sister for taking pictures so that I can have those memories captured.  My sister also told me that Baby Lo was crying before Andrew handed her to me and once I held her she stopped crying.  I just remember not being able to sit up, therefore I couldn't feed her right away.  I also remember her being so stinkin cute and loving her full head of hair.  My sweet baby couldn't have been more perfect.

Soon after, they took Andrew and us to the postpartum room where we would stay for the next three days.  My "labor shakes" finally stopped.  I finally got to attempt to breast feed my baby and didn't have a clue what I was doing.  Not a clue.  One of the nursery nurses came to the rescue and helped us out.  The rest of the night is such a blur.  I wasn't allowed to get out of bed, and I had a hard time moving.  Andrew stayed up pretty much all night with me helping me with feedings and diaper changes.  Thank God for a great husband!

We had a handful of visitors that sat in the waiting room of the hospital while I was in labor.  It really meant a lot to us that they sat there all day or even part of the day to show their support and cared so much to be there for us during this special time.

I am so very thankful for my mom for being there for me the entire time and for my sister for her support and for taking these great pictures so I can always treasure these wonderful memories.  

I can't say enough about my husband during this time.  He was superman.  He helped me with everything imaginable from the time we were admitted to the hospital and continues to do so.  I thank God for such an amazing husband, I really don't know what I would have done without him.  He's been my rock through it all and been so understanding.  

We are so very blessed.

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

*please pray for those still yearning to start their family, may God bless them with a child when His time is perfect

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