ravenelf87: Bodi James' Early Birth
Thursday, December 16, 2010 11:27 AM
"I held Rick's hand, but didn't seem to need to squeeze it, as I hear so many women do during childbirth. He says I didn't even make any faces, and I didn't have to yell out."
Hoping for a later date
I was two days shy of reaching 33 weeks into my pregnancy. My due date was October 29, which I was really dreading, considering there were countless birthdays plus a wedding anniversary all in the same month. I was really hoping our son would be born within the first days of November instead, because my father and my father-in-law were both born in that month. The date was September 8, 2010. I went to bed feeling some pain in my lower abdomen, something any not-pregnant woman would describe as a stomachache, but, as we all know, not everything's in the same spot when you're expecting as it was before. The next morning, September 9, I had a regular prenatal appointment at around 10 a.m. and was looking forward to an update on how our little guy was doing. When the doctor checked all my vitals, she said that she was really worried about my blood pressure, the numbers of which I can't remember anymore. She checked the swelling in my ankles and decided I needed to go to the hospital, to triage. After conversing with a few colleagues, she said to head over, told my husband he should be the one to drive instead of me. We left the doctor's office at around 11.
Going on a hunch
When I got all checked in to the triage unit, by noon, one of the doctors on my case said I needed to give them a urine sample (as if I hadn't done enough of those beforehand during this pregnancy) to test for protein. While that was being tested, he got a hunch to go ahead and do a pelvic exam, just in case. It's a good thing he did, because I was already 4 cm dilated. Turns out those pains I had been experiencing the night before were actually contractions, but my pain tolerance must've obscured that fact at the time. The test on my urine came back with protein deposits, and I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. Now, I had read the baby bible, What to Expect When You're Expecting, like any good mother, but I hadn't come across this term yet. I just wasn't that far along, since I was reading each section as I reached that stage in my pregnancy. But from the sound of it, I could tell I was in for a bumpy ride. They said they were going to put me on a magnesium drip, and give me a steroid shot to help baby's lungs develop quickly, but didn't expect me to deliver for another couple of days. After an order was made to put me on pitocin and more last-minute information was crammed into my skull, they did another pelvic exam and I was now already 6 cm dilated.
Wittier than usual?
Needless to say they cancelled the pitocin, and the next thing I knew, there was an ultrasound machine at my bedside and they were measuring how much fluid I had and how big baby would be when he arrived. The estimate on his weight was somewhere around 3 1/2 lbs. I think it was around this time that the contractions finally reached breaking point, because I hadn't realized that I was breathing heavily and moaning to the point that even I thought I sounded like I was in pain. The nurse asked me, quite calmly, if I wanted to get an epidural. I looked over to my mother-in-law, thought about it and said, "Maybe?" The nurse sort of gave me this look and said, "Yeah, I think you do." It took no more than ten minutes before the man was down there and the medicine was flowing. During the wait for the epidural to start working, my husband had called my mom, and between contractions, all I can really remember her saying is, "That's SO cute!" over and over, which simply struck me as odd. I remember telling her that "cute" wasn't exactly the word I would've chosen. I could tell when the epidural kicked in, because my witty remarks were a little quicker than usual. I had the nurses laughing as they drew blood for this test and that test, telling them if anything accidentally didn't work the way it was supposed to (as is usally the case in my presence), to just blame it on me, stating, "Everybody always does."
The last stretch
Active labor started not long after, and simply couldn't have been timed more perfectly. As my husband was getting back from the gift shop with a stuffed animal and disposable camera (I hadn't even begun to THINK about packing my hospital bags at this point in my pregnancy, so our camera was still at home) and the nurse did one final exam, the little man's head had begun to crown. Doctor scrubbed up, everyone scrambled to get everything ready, and the stirrups were pulled out for the last stretch of our unexpected marathon. The nurse told me to feel free to bear down on my husband's hand, and to cry out if at all necessary. But when it came time to push for ten seconds, all I felt the need to do was simply that, push. I held Rick's hand, but didn't seem to need to squeeze it, as I hear so many women do during childbirth. He says I didn't even make any faces, and I didn't have to yell out. After the three ten-second pushes, they told me that I was ready to push at will. After no more than five minutes, our little guy was safely in the arms of the fabulous doctor, and I truly felt like it was meant to happen just the way it did. There had been no real need to worry about his lungs, because he came out screaming, like you used to see in old movies. I remember looking over through all the shoulders and heads to where he was being cleaned up and seeing a peek of blonde hair.
Welcome Bodi James!
Within minutes of life, he not only managed to pee on a nurse, but he also received a 10 on both Apgar tests, and when they put him in my arms, all I could seem to say was, "He's perfect." The doctor's had to rush him to the NICU, since he was nearly 8 weeks early, and such a low birth weight. I learned that he was only 4lbs 9oz and 17 inches long. Someone to the other side of me asked me what his name was. Without hesitation, I told them his name was Bodi James. It's a combination of my father-in-law's middle name and my father's middle name, since my husband and I share the fact that our fathers were very big parts of our lives.
He had to stay in the NICU for almost 3 weeks, but he was home 2 days before my birthday, which was simply perfect. Today he weighs 9lbs 2.25oz and is 20 1/2 inches long. He looks just like his daddy, and you can tell that he loves both of his parents completely. He has a cousin who is 43 days older than him and I can just see them playing together in a matter of months. I will always remember most of the details of Bodi's birth, simply because things happened so strangely and so quickly. I will never forget that he got to know my mother right away, because she drove all the way from her home near the Gulf of Mexico to central Illinois two days after he was born. She went with me twice a day for the three days she was in town to see Bodi and for me to deliver the breastmilk he desperately needed to grow stronger. I'm so glad he's in our lives, and that he has family all over that are already enamored with him, even the ones who've never met him. He gave us a bumpy arrival, but I can't complain, because now I have two loves of my life.
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Filed under: birth stories, NICU, with drugs, epidural, birth story, pre-eclampsia, premature birth, preterm labor, vaginal birth, medicated, premature, prematur, vaginal