Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Birth Story!

I know, I know. It's been a while. But I have an excuse: I HAD A BABY!!

It's about time, right?! I know. So here's the story. It may or may not be super long. I don't want to be here typing it out forever, but that might just be how it works out. Bear with me!

My birthday (the 13th) came and went and no baby.

I was super bummed. I actually woke up on my birthday and cried! Seriously. That's how badly I wanted him HERE!! My mom took me out to lunch and that cheered me up. The next day, my uncle flew in from Georgia for vacation and Thanksgiving. Still no baby. Ugh.

I went to bed on the 14th having contractions, but didn't think anything of it because I had been having contractions for DAYS. This time was different, though, and I didn't even know it!

At around 1:30 am, I felt a little something. I got up and went to the bathroom and that's when I realized what that "something" was--my water broke!! Yay!! Not another case of false labor! I woke up my mom and she woke up Mike and we were off to the hospital!! (Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children)

When we got to the hospital, the triage nurse had to take a look at the..uh...leaking fluids...under a microscope to make sure it was amniotic fluid....yep! I was sooooo freakin excited!! I was only dilated 1.5cm and 50% effaced, but they kept me because my water broke--they made sure I knew it too! I finally got a room and settled in for some labor and delivery--about time!!

The nurses checked in on me pretty often to take my temperature because they were worried about infection due to water bag breakage. The annoying part was that I didn't know if I was progressing because they wanted to check me as little as possible to avoid further risk of infection. I labored in bed and on a ball and walked the halls...nothing really did any good. They checked me at eight hours and then again at twelve hours....nothing. No progression. At all. Just useless contractions for 12 hours. They were getting more and more concerned about the length of time with no progress. If my water hadn't broken, they would have sent me home, but again--infection.

Finally, much to my dismay and against my birth plan, we started Pitocin. I was not happy about that. Contractions got worse, but I was hell bent on riding them out without an epidural! After a few hours, though, it got bad. Really bad. I was concentrating on relaxing and breathing through them, but I couldn't handle it anymore. The nurse checked me and I was dilated to a four and 70% effaced--yay! Progress!! They gave me phentanol (spelling? most likely wrong, I know) for the unbelievable pain. That stuff was freaking AWESOME. Knocked me right out! I had three doses of that spaced out over about five hours or so. When they checked me again, I was dilated to a seven (!) and about 80 or 90% effaced. They wanted the drugs to wear off before I started pushing, so they wouldn't give me any more phentanol. Bummer. Plus, my temperature was climbing, which points toward...guess what? Infection. Great. They started me on antibiotics--again, NOT something I wanted to do! My birth plan was slowly disintegrating. I really wanted to stick to it, but I couldn't handle the pain after so many hours of labor so I caved and got the epidural. That was nice because I was able to sleep for a while.

The doctor came in to check me after a while and told me I was dilated to a ten and fully effaced! I was so excited! He told me I could start pushing soon and I was ecstatic! We just needed to wait for my regular/usual doctor (Dr. Newcomb) to get there. Some time had passed and the nurse doubled checked things to make sure we were good to go. Wah-wah-waaahhhh.....The doctor had made a mistake. I was still only 7cm and 90% effaced. Boooo!! They said that my cervix was really soft and doing its job, but Gabriel was still at -2 station and in order for me to continue progressing, he needed to descend so his head would push against my cervix and get me the rest of the way.

We decided to give him some more time since his heart rate was still awesome and he didn't seem to be under any stress. An hour or two passed. No progress. The doctor told me that they needed to insert an internal monitor to see if my contractions were strong enough to be doing their job. This way they could see if they needed to turn the pitocin up a notch or two. I REALLY didn't want to do that (there are risks...just like anything...). We decided that we would try blindly upping the pitocin and go from there. We waited a while more and there was no progress. Fine--put in the monitor. They did the internal monitor and saw that my contractions were definitely strong enough to do the job, but something else was preventing it.

Eventually they brought in the attending OB (Dr. Foley) so he could assess the situation and tell us what our options were. He delivered the news: I needed to get a c-section. NO!!! This, aside from one of us being harmed in some way, was worst case scenario for me. I didn't want Pitocin. I REALLY didn't want an epidural. And I MOST DEFINITELY DID NOT WANT A C-SECTION!!!  I cried. I was so upset! And disappointed!! My ENTIRE birth plan went completely out the window! Nothing happened the way I had hoped it would...but that's life I guess. Dr. Foley said that he was concerned for a few reasons: 1) there had to be something keeping Gabriel from descending--especially with how hard my contractions were--and he didn't want to wait to find out if that would put Gabe under distress, 2) whatever infection I had could get to Gabriel at any time, 3) my temperature was high, which meant Gabe's was even higher, and 4) even if I tried waiting for him to descend and he did and I dilated and effaced the way I needed to, my uterus might rupture if I tried pushing because I had been in labor and contracting for sooooo long (over 30 hours at that point!). I agreed with him. I was absolutely exhausted anyway. I couldn't go much longer. I was done! Besides, the most important thing for me was that they get Gabriel out safe and sound. So they prepped me for surgery.

They wheeled me into the OR suite and began adjusting my epidural. Oh boy. Here goes. They put up the blue curtain and started poking me to make sure I was fully numb. Yep. Let's get on with it! I started shaking uncontrollably. It was weird. I tried to make myself stop. Concentrated on it. But I couldn't!! I asked the nurse why I was shaking and she assured me that it was normal--it was the anesthesia.

Okaaayyy..... Finally, they escorted my mom in (all gowned up, camera around her neck) and they went to work.

I gotta say--it was really weird hearing Dr. Foley and Dr. Newcomb talk to each other about what they were doing ("Nice incision."  "Okay good, let's suction that..." "Alright - next layer....goooood...." etc.) knowing it was ME they were slicing up. SO weird. Even though I was kinda out of it, it was still very very odd.

I knew he was about to arrive because they told my mom to get the camera ready. I was suddenly very aware. This was it! THE moment! They told me "Okay, Ashley, you may feel some pressure here..." I didn't. I was concentrating on hearing my baby. That's all I wanted. I heard some gushy sounds and then some suction and "BIG boy...!" and then....little gurgly baby sounds!! And then a cry!! My baby! He's here!!

I was instantly in tears. The nurses took him over to a little station where they cleaned him up and took his vitals really quick. It didn't seem really quick though. From where I was, strapped to an operating table, straining to see my baby, it seemed like an eternity. They untied my arms and brought him over to me so I could touch him and sorta-but-not-really hold him.

MY ANGEL!! MY LITTLE GABRIEL!! I finally had him! It was the happiest moment of my life.

And THAT, is the birth story. Tune in later for updates and other fun facts and stories!


Talia said...[Reply to comment]

Woooow...this all sounds so frustrating. I bet you're glad to have that all over with and I'm so glad everything turned out okay. You're constant concern for his well being makes it very very clear that you're going to be an awesome mommy! I wish you, Gabe, and Ray the best!

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Omg. I'm so happy for you! Ur blogs have been keeping me positive during my pregnancy. I'm also going to be a single mother to a little boy. Its so hard, but I see the beautiful outcome and realize its totally worth it! I know you don't know me but you've been such a big help in my life. Thank you. Prayers to you and Gabriel. Congratulations!

Erin said...[Reply to comment]

I love the picture where you first see him. You've never loved something so much, right? And I had to laugh at your phentanyl comment - I LOVE that stuff! ha