Wednesday, February 8, 2012

CJ's Birth Story Part 2

This is a continuation of CJ's Birth Story Part 1 from yesterday. (Same thing I said applies, if you don't want to read about child birth...stop reading!)

We both got up the morning that was to be CJ's birth day, January 10, 2010 at around 9:30am. The Cervidil was removed and I was about the same: 80% effaced and 1 cm dilated. I took a shower, and was allowed to eat a big breakfast: oatmeal, eggs, blueberry muffin, fruit and apple juice. Thankfully I was allowed to have apple juice and orange juice throughout the entire labor process, which was nicer than the "ice chips" that you always hear about.

I knew going into it that induction was already NOT on the birth plan, but I was bound and determined to still try to do things as naturally as possible. I told the nurses NOT to ask me if I wanted an epidural, and that I would let them know. The Pitocin was started at 12 noon. It was started at a low dose and gradually increased every 30 minutes. We watched a few movies (flipping around the TV): Eight Below, Ratatouille, and We Were Soldiers.

At around 3pm I started feeling the contractions, and having pain. We did laps around the labor floor (it is a circular layout) and used the birthing ball. JT was a SUPER support person and massaged my back, and helped me any way he could. The labor started getting REALLY painful, especially in my back. The nurses thought that the back of baby's head was pushing against my back during the contractions making so painful (back labor).

Around 4:30pm the contractions started getting REALLY intense. I remember sitting on the birthing ball in the dark, with JT putting pressure on my back, listening to my "Labor" playlist on the iHome and I just couldn't take it.

At 6:30pm I requested the epidural. At first I felt like a "failure" because I couldn't handle the pain, and almost everything on our birth plan wasn't going according to plan...But at 7pm when the epidural arrived and I wasn't in as much pain, I felt VERY relieved. They checked me before placing the epidural and I was at 6cm.

I was able to rest and possibly even nap? (can't remember) for a little bit. I think the epidural helped my body to "relax" tremendously because when they checked me again at 8:50pm I was fully dilated and at +2 station. This is where things really started going downhill...

We were just about to send another update email to our families that "everything was good and we were going to start pushing soon" when CJ's heart rate started dropping. They had me lay on my left side to try to help him. His heart rate still wasn't what they wanted to see. SO scary. They placed a sensor on his head to get a more accurate heart rate.

Thankfully things calmed down a bit. After laying on my left and monitoring him internally they were happy with his heart rate and probably around 10:30pm said we could start pushing. By now, some of the numbness of the epidural had worn off so I was able to "help" with the pushing because I could feel the "urge" and when I was having a contraction. The nurse had me do a few "practice pushes", but I think I did pretty well because she told me not to push any more and that we needed to wait for the doctor.

**This is where things get hazy, and surreal (JT stopped taking his notes about the labor and things got crazy) so I retell it to the best of our recollections. **

When the doctor arrived (a VERY cute male Resident, not pertinent to the story, but a memory nonetheless) we started pushing again. A few good rounds and we were getting close. I guess CJ was getting stuck because they told me they needed to do an episiotomy. (Thank God for my epidural #1) So they did that, and I did another round of pushing. But then CJ's heart rate dropped again. They told me that I needed to get him out on this next push or else they were going to have to use the vacuum. So I pushed as hard as I possibly could, and CJ was born at 11:17pm. He was placed on my chest immediately (one thing that actually DID happen from my birth plan) and he was so beautiful.

I could tell there was something going on "down there", especially when the Attending Dr. was called in, but I was too busy admiring my new son to pay too much attention. When they took him to the bassinet on the other side of the room to clean him up, weigh him, etc. rather than letting him stay with me for the hour I had wanted/trying to nurse, I knew something was up. CJ weighed 9lb, 5oz and was 22.5 inches long. (Thank God for my epidural #2).

They said that when CJ was came out, I tore A LOT on top of the episiotomy. (Thank God for my epidural #3). They needed to get the bleeding to stop, and couldn't get me sewn back up in the delivery room because they were having a hard time seeing how far "up" (inside) the tear went. I needed to be taken to the Operating Room.

Scariest moment of my life. Probably JT's too? but I can't speak for him. Here, my dreams of becoming a Mama FINALLY just came true, and instead of being able to enjoy it, and enjoy this beautiful blessing, I am thinking I am going to die. While they were getting me situated to be wheeled away, I made JT take a few pictures of CJ. I asked him to take one of CJ with me "just in case" but he just couldn't do it. I imagine he didn't want to make the moment any more real? The look of fear on his face is one I'll never forget. I remember them taking me away...JT standing there in shock holding his newborn son and wondering about about the fate of his wife...

They took me to the OR, and I can't say enough good things about my doctors that night/early morning, that I credit with saving my life. The attending OB from my delivery room was came with me and was absolutely wonderful. She explained that she couldn't tell how far up I ripped (because of all the bleeding), but if I ripped too high they were going to need to cut me open similarly to a C-section to repair it from inside. I remember asking her "Am I going to die?" and her confidence and comforting manner as she said "No" was amazing. She was joined by another surgeon in the OR, and the two of them worked together surveying my "situation" and sewing me back up. They were longtime friends so to see how comfortable they were to work together also put me at ease. I had an anesthesiologist who sat right next to me and talked to me the whole time. She had the most LOVELY British accent, and again, made my experience more "pleasant" by her kindness. Thank God for my epidural #4 because otherwise they would have had to put me completely under. Here I was all by myself in the hospital OR, bleeding and each of those women made me feel "calm".

I ended up with a third degree cervical tear. I, thankfully, did not need a blood transfusion, but it was really close. When I returned to my room around 3am, CJ was sleeping in his bassinet and JT has never looked so relieved. I was disappointed because JT told me that CJ was "rooting" (looking to nurse) shortly after I left, and I hated that I missed that chance and those first few hours of his life! :(

Around 3-3:30am JT was FINALLY able call our friends and family and fill them in. (He wanted to wait until he could tell them Lacy & baby are both doing well, rather than waking them up in the middle of the night and worrying people that live far away while I was in the OR). I was FINALLY able to eat something while he was doing that. They wanted me to eat as much as I could since I lost so much blood.

By the time we both fell asleep from exhaustion it was probably around 4:30 or 5am. I remember my "alarm" kept going off because my pulse would dip so low and a nurse would have to keep coming in to check on me and to shut it off. I was LIVID when at 6am a nurse WOKE ME UP to ask me what kind of birth control I wanted. I was like are you KIDDING ME?! I had to do infertility treatment to even have CJ, and THAT is the LAST thing on my mind right now after last night. Grrr.

Anyhow. Thanks for reading (those of you that made it through!). It was cathartic for me to write. Now just praying that we have a different experience with the birth of Baby Girl! I doubt I'll have much of a birth "plan" this go around...or at least realize that probably nothing will go according to "plan"...but I do PLAN on getting an epidural! ;)


Sue said...

What a great story....I did not know the whole story and I sure hope your delivery this time will be a WHOLE lot better. They say??? the second time around is better. Although theraputic it will be a neat story for CT to read when it is time for your first grandchild's delivery. LOL

Kendra said...

I'm so glad you wrote this out Lacy.

What a scary experience. I can relate in many ways. I HATED missing those first hours with my babies too. I really struggled with bitterness over it and I let it drive me to push myself WAY too hard in those early days to "make up" for the time I had missed.

I am praying Baby Girl's delivery is much smoother, and YES for epidurals!!!