Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Story of David's Birth

For those who are interested...

I was very curious to compare my 2 birthing experiences. Many people, including my doctor, assured me that 2nd labors almost always go more quickly and that I was very unlikely to have days and days of early contractions with no progress like last time. So I think I was pretty optimistic that this experience would be, overall, easier. Now that it's over, I don't think I can say that. Every delivery is different, and this one had different challenges than last time. So here's a timeline of David's arrival into the world:

Tuesday, 11:30am:

I had my last doctor's appointment, was 3 cm dilated, and asked the doc if he could help move things along a little bit by stripping my membranes (this seemed to work last time). He did, and we scheduled an induction for the following Monday just in case.

Tuesday, late afternoon:

I began having contractions, small to medium in size, about 15-20 minutes apart. Luckily I was able to sleep Tuesday night with just a few interruptions.

Wednesday morning - late afternoon:

I continued to have contractions 15-20 minutes apart, and started to panic that this was going to continue until Monday when they induced me. Mentally, I made a plan to go to the OB clinic on Friday and insist on being induced if I didn't go into labor on my own before then.

Wednesday, 5:00pm:

Brian came home from work and we went on a long walk (as long as we could all tolerate). We went out to dinner and walked around the stores for an hour, all in an attempt to make the contractions progress.

Wednesday, 8:30pm - 11:00pm:

My contractions began to come about 9-10 minutes apart consistently and were getting much harder. I was cautiously optimistic that perhaps tonight would be the night. We called my Dad to come and stay at the house overnight in case we went in to the hospital.

Wednesday, 11:30pm:

I called the doctor on call and asked him at what point I should come in. He said to wait until they were 5-6 minutes apart and stronger. I felt like I would never get that close, and felt discouraged.

Thursday, 12:00am:

Brian made me come to bed, and I protested, "I don't want to go to bed, I want to go to the hospital and have this baby." So Brian got in bed and I sat and read a book.


In this half hour period, the contractions went very quickly from 10 minutes apart to 4 minutes apart, and they were very strong. Because this happened so quickly, we panicked and jumped up to get dressed and grab last minute items, rushing to the hospital. I'm embarrassed to say this now, when you note the time of the birth.


We arrived at the hospital and got put in triage. I was 4cm, and they said that since my water hadn't broken, they would monitor me for an hour to see if I progressed.


I was 5cm, with contractions consistently 4 minutes apart, so they said I could stay. I celebrated with a happy dance. They asked if I wanted an epidural, and I said, "yes, please."


They come in to administer the epidural. (I don't know why things take so long in hospitals, but they really do. It didn't seem like 2 hours, actually.) As a side note, my epidural last time was perfect: I hardly felt a thing while they put it in, it was quick, and then I felt almost instant, significant relief. So this time, the nurse anesthiestist asked me the usual questions and set up to put it in. But right from the start, it was weird, I could feel it, it really hurt, and it was taking forever. Then I felt a sharp twinge across one side of my back, and grabbed onto Brian as I felt the blood rush from my head. Once I said I was feeling faint, he took all the needles out, took my blood pressure, and found that it was 65/20 something. They laid me down.


A blur of panic (mine). They shoved a number of drugs into my IV in an attempt to get my blood pressure back to normal, but I was hanging out in the 90/50 range. They explained that this wasn't dangerously low, but just uncomfortable. At one point I attempted to sit up again, but immediately felt like I would pass out again. Because the baby was not responding negatively at all to my low blood pressure, the NA said he could attempt to put the epidural in with me laying down. But he kept using words like, "not ideal" and "difficult to do." But he felt that this would be our only shot if I still wanted one, so we decided to try.


Epidural attempt #2. Inserted laying down. Within a few minutes, it became apparent that it had not been inserted correctly, because I was not having any pain relief.


The NA called in Dr. Big Britches to help out. This guy seemed completely confident in his ability to insert the epidural again laying down. He did, and it was just like I remembered last time: I hardly felt a thing, it was really quick, and it started working within minutes. Ahhh...sweet relief. The doc responded, "I knew it would work this time." I'm telling you: Dr. Big. Britches. They checked my progress and I had dilated to a whopping 7cm in the 3 hours it took to get the epidural right.

6:00am - 7:00am:

Felt like hell. The contractions were gone but my blood pressure was still low and my body was reacting to all the drugs they had pumped into me during the whole fiasco. I started to wonder if they edidural was worth it.


Finally everything evened out and I was feeling much better. I decided the epidural was worth it after all. I was able to sleep for a bit, which felt heavenly.


Still blasted 7cm. Because of the whole blood pressure thing, I wasn't able to sit up at all after the epidural. This really slowed things down. They broke my water to see if that would move things along.


It didn't move things along. So they started pitocin.


The contractions were so strong that I was still breathing through them, even with the pain relief. They fooled around with the levels to help me out. I had progressed to a 9.


The epidural wore off just as I hit completion and felt ready to push. They had called the doctor, who said he would be there in 20 minutes. They wanted me to wait. I was in a kind of pain that I had never experience before, I literally thought I was going to split in 2. The nurse literally ran to get the NA to come and top off my epidural before I "lost it." Once again, sweet relief, not a moment too soon.


The doctor arrived. He's the same doc that I saw in the office on Tuesday, and I really liked him. He was so so great. And poetically, his name is David.


After just 20 minutes of pushing (which felt like 5), David was born. I felt such relief and couldn't wait to see him. I was shocked at his hair. As he came out, the doctor yelled, "Oh my WORD. He's HUGE. I bet he weighs 8.14, maybe 9.2." I looked at him like he was crazy. David looked so tiny. How could he be huge? But sure enough, he topped the scales at 9 lbs, 3.7 oz. I was glad I didn't know that going in, because I likely would've psyched myself out.


A blur of discussion amoung the medical staff about whether David could stay in the room with me and try to breastfeed or if they needed to take him upstairs immediately due to his labored breathing. They ended up deciding to take him, and Brian left to go with them. I was pretty disappointed that I didn't get that first hour to bond with him. But they kept assuring me that he would be fine. Luckily, he was.


Up in postpartum, I was finally able to be with my son. Brian and I agreed that we got all choked up when he latched on right away, because it was such a relief to be able to feed him easily. He was so beautiful, and this time, rather than feeling more overwhelmed and anxious than anything, I was really able to enjoy him. Babies are pretty incredible.

Be back soon with more pics and an update from home...


Mommy Daisy said...

That was a beautiful birth story. And such a lovely outcome!

I think you did fantastic. You had such long labors with both children. I don't know how you did it. I was induced and I never had a contraction before that.

Pam said...

Wow, what a story. I'm glad you're writing this down as you forget it don't you as time passes.
The whole epidural thing sounded like a nightmare. I felt faint just reading it!

Giselle said...

Man, it makes me tired just to read about your labor. So LONG.

Can't wait to see more pictures!

Weed said...

Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds sooooo difficult, but SO worth it!! Makes me scared to have another epidural, though....mine was awesome and I didn't feel a thing, but now I know they can't all be like that.

Erin said...

I love a good birth story. Awesome. Isn't it funny how labor seems like it lasts FOREVER, and then a few days later it seems like it went by SO FAST? Or, at least, it seemed that way for me.

I'm so glad to hear it's already different from with Baby Katy. Soak up all that babyness with David. It feels good to actually enjoy some of it, doesn't it? I am really really happy for you.

Jen said...

Thanks for sharing...I always loved to read people's birth stories. Sorry that your's was so long, but glad everyone is healthy!