hclavalley: Sean's Birth Story
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 4:31 PM
"I didn't get to see his face for about 20 minutes, but I could hear those beautiful lungs..."
The long quest for baby
I had been trying to conceive since July 2006 and during that time I had one miscarriage and had worked with a fertility specialist to try and conceive. In the end, I finally became pregnant on my first full injectable cycle, and my third IUI. If getting pregnant wasn't difficult enough, my pregnancy wasn't exactly easy. At 22 weeks I was admitted to the hospital for a massive two centimeter kidney stone. I was sent home a few days later on pain medication for the remainder of my pregnancy, as there was nothing that they could do to remove the stone while I was pregnant. Since I was on the meds I was asked to stop driving and to stop working until after the birth.
Thinking about inducing
After my 38 week OB appointment on Friday, October 3, I had a number of questions about getting induced, as I had been increasingly uncomfortable for several weeks. I had an internal and I was at one centimeter dilated, and ripe for induction. Throughout the previous week, I was getting up every one to one-and-a-half hours -- and that was on two Percocet, and one or two Ambien per night. I was ready to have this baby and it felt wonderful to be able to start discussing induction within the next 10 days (sometime before my October 12 due date). I decided to wait to set an induction date until my next appointment, a week later, so that my little boy could cook a bit longer. Luckily my baby had other plans...
On Saturday, October 4, I woke up feeling extremely emotional and tired, so DH decided we would have a day in with no errands. It was really wonderful to just rest. DH had to pick up a medicine prescription for himself and we decided to get some Chipotle before watching the CU vs. Texas football game. I got something spicy -- half joking with DH that it would send me into labor. Well after we got home and ate, the contractions started. Once I had been having a number of contractions, DH decided to start timing them and quickly realized that they were one-and-a-half to two minutes in length, coming every 12 minutes to start, and moved to every three to eight minutes.
After a couple hours of timing, DH decided that we were probably on our way to Labor & Delivery, so he got the hospital bag list that we wrote weeks earlier and we finally packed the hospital bag. (I had been avoiding packing the bag for a long time, since I thought it would jinx me going into labor.) We then called the OB and let him know about the contractions. He decided that he wanted me to come in immediately for a labor check. Off to the hospital we went. I have to say, something told me that they were just going to send me home, so I wasn't getting my hopes up.
Heading back home
When we arrived at the hospital it was already 10 p.m. and I got checked pretty quickly. I found out that I was only between one and two centimeters dilated and that my contractions were of irregular intensity, but just as frequent as DH and I had been timing. We had the option to stay and walk for an hour, or go home immediately, and we chose to walk. After an hour I was checked again, with no change. The OB sent us home at 1:30 a.m. and told me to go ahead and take my nightly meds of two Percocet, and an Ambien so that I could get some rest. I was told to return if the pain got worse... and boy did it!
Finally, the real thing!
All night long, I woke up every hour to pee and each time I was in excruciating pain, but each time I was able to get a bit of sleep. At 6:30 a.m. I woke up and once again ran to the bathroom in pain -- A LOT of pain. I couldn't fall back to sleep and it was such a constant pain that didn't seem time-able. I woke DH up at 7:30 in tears. The pain was significantly worse by now, and DH threw clothes on both of us and got us in the car. We headed back to Labor & Delivery. I was in such extreme pain that they got me into triage very fast and I was checked almost immediately. I was at three or four centimeters and I was having very regular strong contractions every three to four minutes. I was -1 station and 80% effaced. The nurse was unsure of Sean's position in the womb, so they did a quick ultrasound to make sure that he was head down and found that he was indeed head down, but facing to my right. My IV fluids were started, and the first round of antibiotics was started because I was Group B Strep positive. They admitted us and had us in a room by 9:30 a.m. I was dealing with the shakes during every contraction. The nurse said that this was due to the stress and the anxiety of labor rather than the temperature in the building. Deep breaths were the only way to control them.
Getting some relief
By 10:15 a.m. the nurse gave me a dose of Staedol while waiting for the anesthesiologist to get out of a c-section, so that I could have the epidural started. Staedol felt wonderful and allowed me to relax more easily through the pain of the contractions, which were coming every two minutes or so. The Staedol felt like a warm blanket being placed over my whole body. By 10:30 a.m. I was checked again, just before receiving the epidural and was a solid four centimeters dilated. At 11 a.m. the anesthesiologist came in to administer the epidural. It took him about 15-20 minutes to get it in properly and then another 15 minutes for the pain to subside. My DH actually got to help hold me in place during the procedure, which was a real surprise because he hates blood and needles.
At 11:40 a.m. I was checked again and I was still four centimeters dilated. The decision was made to break my water. I was told to rest at this point and that it could be a little while before I was fully dilated. I think it hit me right about this point that I was actually going to have my baby that day, and they weren't going to just send me home like a crazy person. I remember a little sign on the wall saying "10/5 Happy Birthday Sean," it was really very surreal, and I remember asking my nurse if she thought that Sean was really going to come before midnight. She was pretty sure he would be here before the end of her shift at 8 p.m. Once I got over the shock of that realization, I decided to take a nap.
At 12:45 p.m. the nurse came in to monitor my contractions, as it turned out the contractions were coming every minute at that point. The nurse told me that if I were on Pitocin they would probably have turned it down because of how frequent the contractions were coming. Around 1:15 pm, after checking me and finding no additional progress, the doctor was unsure of the quality of the contractions that I was having. He decided to insert a pressure monitor catheter to get a better idea of the quality of the contractions. This results in a "geyser" which was my second water break. By 1:45 pm the doctor determined that the quality of the contractions was not as good as he hoped with as many as I was having, so he ordered a "whiff of Pit" which was the smallest dose of Pitocin that could be administered. The nurse, to make sure that the contractions were improving, monitored me very closely. The Pitocin made the contractions much stronger but it needed to be turned up just one more notch in order to get the contractions to be perfect.
Ready to push!
At 3:00 p.m. the doctor came to check me again. I was fully dilated, at +1 station, and fully effaced. I had gone from just over four cm to fully dilated in just over an hour. Sean was still slightly turned to my right, so doctor told me to rest on my right side and that we would start pushing in about 30 minutes whether or not he had returned by that point. By 3:30 p.m. the nurse explained to DH and I the procedure for pushing. I took only one practice push. The nurse then told me to just relax, and she would be back very soon to do some real pushing.
At exactly 3:40 p.m. the real pushing started. Even with the epidural, I could feel the pressure with each contraction, so I was able to tell everyone when I needed to push, which was about every two minutes (thee pushes of 10 seconds each per contraction). The nurse quickly called the doctor as well as the rest of the delivery team. After only 17 minutes, and about 9 contractions, at exactly 3:57pm, Sean was born.
Sean was born so fast that I received a second degree tear, and it took a while to stitch me back up. I didn't get to see his face for about 20 minutes, but I could hear those beautiful lungs. This was music to my ears since the concern with me being on pain medication for so long is respiratory distress in the newborn.
Right after the birth, Sean was whisked across the room to be checked out by the NICU team for respiratory distress. Within about 5 minutes, the NICU team had given Sean 9-9 on his Apgar scores, and told us that he was in perfect health. DH told me that the first thing Sean did as the NICU team was checking him out was to pee ALL over the place, it made my husband crack up, and the NICU team frantically look for a diaper. Sean measured in at 7lbs 15.4 oz, and 19 inches long.
Trying to heal
Both Sean and I were released from the hospital less than 48 hours after the birth. I am healing very well from the birth. About three weeks after Sean was born, I underwent my first round of lithotripsy to break up the stone into small enough pieces to pass. This first procedure went well, but due to the size of the stone I was given a 50% chance of needing to repeat the procedure. I won't find out till this week if a repeat is in my near future.
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