A Day Of His Own (A Birth Story)

Where to even begin? This child has had his own game plan the entire time. Ever since my water broke at 29 weeks on March 19th, I had experienced multiple occasions where I thought I might be starting labor. I want to say there were at least 5 days where I was having contractions for 2 to 5 hours, but they weren’t able to pick them up on the monitor.

Flash forward to Tuesday April 16th. I officially had been in the hospital for one month. It seemed like an ordinary morning. Around 10am or so I started having some discomfort in my lower abdomen. I figured it was bowel related so I kept brushing it off. My mom and the kids came and saw me around noon or so. About an hour after they got there I noticed the discomfort still hadnt gone away and my back was aching. I had let my nurse know just because they like to know every single thing. She decided to go ahead and put me on the monitors. The monitors weren’t really picking up anything, as usual. Around 3 my mom and the kids left. I was still on the monitors since I was still having discomfort.

I had noticed that I was starting to have leaks with each pain (I figured contractions but the monitor was not confirming that). Around 4pm, since the pains hadn’t stopped and were getting worse they decided to do a cervical check. Now, previous to this day I had been “closed closed closed”. When they checked me I was 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and at a negative 2 station. By this point I knew I was having contractions. This obviously was not my first time so I gave up trusting the monitor and it’s inability to pick up what I was feeling.

The contractions were getting stronger so they decided to go ahead and move me back to the labor and delivery side of the floor. That was about 5pm or so.

Around 645 my doctor decided to check me again to see if I was progressing or not. I was 3cm dilated and his words were “call your husband”. I had been communicating with him and my mom the entire time, so they were already on stand by.

After Chris and my mom got there, the pains started to progress to stronger and lasting longer. After this point I lost any sense of time. After being in the bed on the monitor, my nurse finally got the ok to let me walk around. Chris and my mom walked with me back and forth through the halls. During each contraction I would grab the railing on the wall and crouch over to breathe through each one. My mom and Chris took turns rubbing my lower back because the back labor gets pretty intense for me.

When I got back to my room, I tried getting on all 4’s on my bed. My nurse suspected that baby was positioned nose up which can cause more back labor, so doing that position was to try and help him rotate.

I kept going back and forth in my mind over whether or not to get the epidural. I kept thinking, “I did this before and survived” but at the same time I was like “I don’t want to feel this”. My nurse already knew I wasn’t opposed to the idea, but I feel like she insisted that I get it. The first few times she mentioned it, I knew I wasn’t at my breaking point. I was really striving to make it to at least 5cm before getting the epidural if that was what I wanted to do. However, after walking the halls, I knew I had made up my mind to go ahead and get the epidural once I was a little further in the game.

At some point, the doctor came back in to check me. 3-4cm dilated, so not much of a change. He said I could get the epidural now, but he thought it would be better to wait until I was closer to 5cm. I agreed. Then the contractions got worse so I told my nurse to go ahead and page anesthesia.

It took maybe 10 minutes or so for them to come in, somewhere around 10PM. I wasn’t nervous about getting the epidural. I remembered the process of the spinal block when I had my csection with Pickle. Plus by this point I had been poked so many times, what was one more? They had my mom leave the room because anyone who stayed had to suit up. Chris decided to stay.

First was the lidocaine; it was like a pinch and a burn, no big deal really. Then in went the epidural needle and I yelled “Ow!” The anesthesiologist was like, “what?!” I told him that it hurt. Then he kept going and I kept telling him it felt really weird. I kept thinking “is this normal?” I didn’t know as I have never had one before so I just kept rolling with it. Then I started to feel nauseated. I told them I felt like I was going to vomit. My nurse had been taking my blood pressure and monitoring the baby the whole time and she noticed my blood pressure went down. The anesthesiologist had to stop what he was doing and they hurried to get me to lay flat on my left side. I was still feeling sick and my blood pressure kept going down. They gave me a dose of medication to get my blood pressure back up. I was finally stable enough to try the epidural again.

They finally got it placed, without all the weird feelings I felt the first time. I laid back down. It wasn’t long before I was tingly on my legs. Then I started get really shaky, nearly seizing, followed by being nauseous again. Apparently my blood pressure was dropping again. It fact it was as low as like 58 over 40 at one point. You could see the panic on my nurse’s face. I laid there pretty helpless wondering if this was my time to go. It is crazy what the mind does. I could see my husband’s worry as he checked the monitor every time my blood pressure cuff went off. I just laid there shaking.

They turned the epidural off and gave me medication at least 2 more times to try and get me to stablize. It took about 2 hours from the time the anesthesiologist came in until I was finally stable again.

Around maybe 1AM or so, they decided to put me on antibiotics because my temperature had elevated a little bit. But since my contractions seemed to not be showing much progress they decided to give me pitocin to get them back up so we could deliver sooner rather than later given all the facts of everything going on with me and the baby. They started the pitocin on the lowest setting [2] and then said they would up it about every half hour or so.

I was able to have the epidural booster on, but not the on going epidural itself. I started slowly feeling contractions again, but my butt, low back, and lady parts were very much numb. I had tried to lay there and go to sleep. My husband, my mom, and my step dad were all there trying to sleep as well. The nurse upped the pitocin to 4. The shaking had finally gone away pretty much fully and I was able to just relax. My step dad and I talked for awhile and then I finally started to doze off. Immediately after falling asleep my nurse came in and whispered to me, “I need to reposition you”. I replied, “what is wrong? Is it me or the baby?” She had told me he had a little heart decel so I needed to turn onto my side again.

5 minutes later my doctor came in and said he was going to check me. It was 3AM.

The dr checked me and made a funny face and said “so you’re about to have a baby. You are complete.” I was in shock. I didn’t feel any pressure like they kept saying I would. Apparently when you’re about to deliver, it is common for the baby to show some small decels and that was what warranted the doctor to check me. The doctor said he would be back in about 20 minutes and we would be ready to push. When he came back in they got everything set up. At 315am the nurse took out my catheter. The doctor told me “now I know you’re going to be a professional, but let’s do a practice push”. I pushed (and didn’t have a clue if I was actually pushing) and he is like, “yeah he is right here, call the physician in!” (He is a resident doctor so he had to have a physician oversee the delivery). We waited a few minutes and he said “ok actually let’s just go ahead and have this baby”. I gave 2 pushes and there he was.

Little man was born at 321AM

They immediately put him on me and we got him to cry a little, but you could hear he was struggling some. Chris got to cut the cord and then next thing I know they took the baby out of the room (Chris followed him). I didn’t get to see the baby again before they took him to the NICU, but Chris was sending me pictures.

After everything and everyone left I was all alone. I was so lost as to what to do because it seemed so bizzare not to be next to or holding the baby that just came out of me.

Luckily I was able to order a sandwich and some snacks because I was so hungry. It took about 2 hours before I was able to get up and be wheeled over to the NICU.

I had expected him to be hooked up to a bunch of machines, so I wasn’t shocked when I saw him with all the cords, IV in his hand, and CPAP machine on his face.

I am just grateful that despite everything he and I are doing well.

I did get discharged from the hospital that next evening. I had a really hard time leaving, but I know he will be coming home soon and I can go and see him whenever I want to.

Welcome to the world little man.

-Jenn

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