Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Nathaniel's Birth Story - FYI TMI

37 Weeks - My last bump picture!
The one thing that annoyed me during my entire pregnancy is when I asked questions like "How will I know if my water breaks?  How will I know if I'm in labor?  How will I know if I'm having contractions?" everyone told me, "Oh, you'll know."  And unfortunately, I did not know.

Let me start at the beginning.  So my step-daughter's birthday was on Feb 5th.  We spent the afternoon after school at the Maine Jump.  Emma ate cotton candy, popsicles, candy and jumped around like a maniac.  I, on the other hand, kicked back and read my book.  I felt fine, other than the minor cramps I had been having for over a week at that point.  Cramps that reminded me of my period.

I went to bed that night with some minor back aches, but nothing different or more intense than the rest of the pregnancy.

The next morning, I got up to help get Em ready for school.  At about 7:30am, I was talking to my husband in the kitchen when I felt some icky.  I went to the bathroom and sure enough, I had lost my mucus plug.  I had lost my mucus plug previously, back at 33 weeks, but the plug does grow back, so I didn't think all that much of it.  Previously when I lost my mucus plug, it was just heavier discharge with some old blood coloration.  This time, however, it was like a glob of snot.  I figured labor could happen today or two weeks from now.  I was 37 1/2 weeks so I didn't put much thought into it.  I put on a pad just in case more started to come out.  And more did come out.  Every five to ten minutes, I'd feel something come out.  A little bit of liquid or something wet.  I had always heard that your water breaking (or membranes breaking) was either a gush of water or a slow trickle.  So again, didn't think much of the fact that stuff was coming out.  So I called my OB and let them know.  They asked me if I wanted to come in early, but since I had an appointment for my 38 week checkup at 3pm, I figured I'd wait.

So, I kissed my husband and daughter goodbye and sat down to plan out my day.  I had a large bowl of oatmeal (two packs) which was super delicious.  It was suppose to snow later that day, so I figured I needed to get things done early.  I needed to get gas, pick up Ni No Kuni at Bull Moose, return Ni No Kuni to Best Buy (I had one on order at Bull Moose that was taking forever to come in...), and grab some groceries at Wal-Mart.  On my way, I called my mom to tell her about the mucus plug and then called my step-mum.  As I wandered around, doing my errands, we chattered.  I wasn't feeling that off, other than some minor cramps and the gross feeling down there.  I was still losing what I thought was more of my mucus plug every so often.  Again, one of those glamourous parts of pregnancy that no one told you about.

I started to get a little more suspicious as I noticed my pad getting wetter.  It wasn't a slow trickle (I imagined a faucet being left on a tiny bit) or a gush though.  And I didn't want to "jump the gun".  So many women jump the gun, thinking their water broke, only to get sent home.  Maybe it was incontinence?  My step-mum, however, was telling me to stop shopping and go home!  So I hung up with Cyndie and headed home.  At this point, I had an inkling that maybe, just maybe, that something was up.  Maybe it was my water?  But so many women jump to the conclusion that their water broke and instead it's just pee.  I gave my Mom a call and she agreed with Cyndie.  That maybe it was almost baby time.  So I called my husband and told him that I was trying to "not jump the gun" but maybe we should start cementing our plans on where Emma should stay if I did go into labor.  So Nate called his sister, and I went home.

After getting home, I noticed my pad was pretty wet.  I asked my cousin who had a baby Nov 2011 about it, and she suggested that maybe it was definitely time to just check in with the doctor.  I gave them a call and was encouraged to head in for an 11:15am appointment vs my 3pm appointment.  It had begun to snow so I took it slow.  Of course the OB office is right down the road so no biggie.

So I got in there, got poked and prodded by a med student, before the actual LPN came in to check me out.  They listened to the baby, who's heartbeat was fine, and then they checked inside.  The LPN, Jen, who is not my favorite LPN at the office, made a face and said "Oh yeah... your membrane's are ruptured" in which I responded "So, you mean we are doing this thing?"  She said "Yeah, we are doing this thing."  And then I started freaking out.  She also told me that I was actually only about 60% effaced (which is weird since the last two visits said I was way more effaced than that) and 1cm dilated.

My doctor, Dr. Smith, came in an reassured me that things were going to be fine, and we were going to have the baby.  He told me to go straight to labor and delivery.  Still no "contractions" no "gush of water or steady trickle" but my water was broken so I headed to the ER.  I contacted Holly who started to plan to fly into town from PA.  I tried to call my husband, but he was with a client, so I told Deb that my water had broken and that he needed to call me.  I called my Mom and Step-mum and started to cry.  I was nervous but not really scared.

I got to the hospital around 1pm.  Holly had called to tell me she'd be here around 6pm.  My husband called to tell me he was leaving right away.  I checked in at registration who sent me up to Labor and Delivery, yet I still was not having contractions (or at least noticeable ones).

They got me into a room, I met my nurse who got me into a gurney, and then they started my IV.  It took two tries to do my IV.  The first time, the nurse blew a vein and my left wrist puffed up like crazy as the IV fluid was pumped directly into the tissue.  She got it the second time, and told me she was going to start the pictocin that the doctor ordered.

Now, I wanted a drug free natural birth, so hearing that my doctor had ordered pictocin through me off.  My husband had just arrived (2:30pm) and I questioned the nurse about why I needed the pictocin.  Because my water had been broken since 7:30am and I wasn't having contractions.  I had not progressed past 1cm dilated either.  I told her I still wanted to wait on the pictocin.

At 3:30pm, my doctor arrived and we discussed the pictocin.  He informed me that once the membranes break, you have about 24 hours to give birth before things start to get risky.  Bacteria starts to cause problems and at 24 hours, if you haven't given birth, the doctor would call for a C-section.  At this point my membranes had been broken for nearly 8 hours, so I agreed to the pictocin to speed things up.  The doctor did recommend that I get an epidural because the pictocin brings the contractions on hard and fast which is painful.  I told him I really didn't want an epidural.  He told me that that was fine, but it was better to get it before I was in a ton of pain.

He also wanted to put a sensor onto Nathaniel's head, so they could monitor my contractions better, but Nathaniel would have none of that.  They tried 3 times, and then just put some strange cord up through my cervix (which hurt like hell) to monitor the contractions better.

Things went ok after that.  Pictocin was started and I started to have contractions.  Nothing major at first, because the pictocin was still on low.  I was crampy like I was having my period, but other than that, I didn't have any major issues.  I read my book while my husband played games.  After an hour, they came in an turned up the pictocin.  By 6pm, my contractions were 10 seconds apart, and I was really feeling it.  Again, the doctor suggested the epidural as I was only 2 cm dilated.  I agreed, thinking it was better to get the epidural so we could turn the pictocin up more than having to have a C-section.  I was really scared though.  I really don't like the thought of anything being put in my back.  Also one thing to note, during my birthing class, they told me that getting an epidural before you are 5 cms could cause labor to stall which could lead to a C-section.  My doctor said this is old information and getting an epidural doesn't cause labor to stall.  Just something to think about.

Holly arrived during my epidural.  I will say this.  It wasn't as bad as I thought.  It really didn't hurt that much and most of the discomfort that I felt was because I was so freaked out by the epidural.  However, there was a med student assisting and she was super annoying.  She kept asking all these questions which was making me even more nervous.  I suggest saying no to a med student while you get a needle jammed into your back.

After that, well everything was a breeze.  Holly came in and showed Nate (my husband) and I pictures of her wedding that we attended in October.  They came out beautifully.  The epidural was amazing.  I didn't feel any of the contractions, and had fun just sitting and watching my contractions map out on the computer screen.  We chit chatted and waited for me to get more dilated.

Which took forever.

At 10pm, I was finally 5 cm dilated.  1cm to 5cms takes the longest amount of time.  Once at 5cms, I was considered in active labor (vs pre-labor).  It was late, and we wanted to conserve our strength for pushing, so we all decided to go to bed.  I ended up waking up around Midnight in a lot of pain.  It was all on my right side though.  The nurse came in and checked and I was 9cm dilated.  She turned up my epidural which sorta helped but it was still pretty painful.  At this point I was in what they call Transition (which is basically going from active labor to "time to push" mode).

At 1am, I was 10cm dilated and it was time to push.  This part was pretty much cake.  With the epidural in, I didn't feel any pain but I did feel a sensation to push.  Like I needed to.  It felt kinda like a pressure.  I HIGHLY suggest, if you have the stomach for it, to watch while you push at first.  During a contraction, I would feel the need to push three or more times.  But if I pushed really hard, then relaxed, his head moved back inside me.  When I watched with the mirror, I could see the progress I was making.  So I would push, hold it, then push again.  Obviously, the first push was the easiest while the third push was really hard and I didn't have much energy.  I'd then have a minute or so to relax before the next contraction.

The nurse called my doctor who arrived around 1:30am.  At that point, we put up the mirror (I didn't need to see the rest)!  He saw that I was going to tear so he gave me an episiotomy (which I did not feel).  Then we pushed some more.   Once the head was out, he just wiggled him right out of me and I didn't need to push anymore.  It was actually super funny because I said to him "Are you pulling it out of me?!".

Nathaniel was born at 1:49am on February 7th, 6 lbs 7.8 ozs, 20 inches, 14 inches head circumference, and covered in cream cheese vernix.  I watched the doctor pull him up out of me and nestle him into my arms.  It was amazing.  My husband was wonderful and supporting and having Holly there was truly a blessing.

The doctor was wrong!  I glared at him when he guessed that Nathaniel would weigh 7lbs 12 oz.

Chubby baby face with vernix!



Holly and Nathaniel!



Snuggles!

Kangaroo time.  He's under my gurney against my bare chest.

Time for rest for Mommy and Baby!
Big sister and baby brother


She just adores him.

Eyes open!


Our happy little family!


Grampy and Nat.

Nanny and Nat.

Grammy and Nat.

Eyes open!

And I adore her.

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