Mar 2, 2016

Connor James: A Birth Story

We had planned to induce on Wednesday, March 2. I had pain in my rib cage and back that was getting more constant and more extreme with every day. So when my doctor checked me at my 38 week appointment, said I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced and favorable for inducement. I took it.

To me on the Friday before it felt like forever away. I was extremely emotional as I talked to Rob and he reassured me over and over that Connor would be here soon. By the end of of my vent session I felt better and planned to count the days until his arrival the second day of March.

That night I slept so-so. I got up quite a bit to go to the bathroom which wasn't unusual. At just after 5 am I woke up with hip pain. I had to go to the bathroom again and thought the hip pain was from the cat laying on me. But as I was getting back in bed I realized I was having a contraction that pushed pain down my thighs. I laid there breathing through wondering if I would have another one. Up to this point I had had a few here and there but nothing more severe than a little bit of pressure making me slightly uncomfortable.

But sure enough another one came. I opened my contraction app and started timing. After I had a couple between 3-4 minutes apart I decided to wake Rob. He jumped out of bed and immediately started dressing. I told him he should shower because I had just started timing and they like them to be consistent for an hour. He showered and my contractions continued, growing in strength. I jumped in the shower with contractions still causing pain in my thighs, hips and pelvis then called my parents and the on-call doctor.

We were going to try and wait for them so we didn't have to wake Addison but the contractions were growing stronger and getting closer. We decided we were just going to meet them at the hospital. Addison of course was not down with the idea of getting out of bed so early and my parents ended up beating us there. We went directly up to labor and delivery where they were expecting us. We were led into triage and I was monitored.

I was definitely having strong contractions and I was already 5-6 cm dilated. I had noticed that I was a little wet but the nurse could feel that my water was still in tact but we guessed it might be a high leak. We were then taken down to our labor and delivery room. We went over some things and the contractions continue to grow in strength as we wait for my epidural. It felt like it took forever and I was definitely pleased when the anesthesiologist arrived. My contractions were close and I was in a lot of pain.

However as soon as it was put in I got a really bad headache and no relief from the next contraction. Things were adjusted slightly and I was propped up on my right side and finally I got a bit of a relief. It was then that I noticed my hand was a little numb, but relief was finally slowly coming. I was given fentanyl because I was progressing faster than the meds could work. Pretty soon just about two hours after we arrived, I stopped feeling contractions and started feeling pressure. They checked me and I was fully dilated and ready to go. Quickly the nurse went to call my doctor and had her get there quickly. I was told there was another doctor outside on standby but to try not to push with each contraction.

I breathed through each contraction and resisted pushing despite intense pressure. I also started noticing that I was really sleepy. I just want to fall asleep. I thought it was just a combination of the rush of hormones and the fact that I pretty much labored to fully dilated without any meds. My doctor arrived and I joked with her that I needed to cancel my appointment on Monday. They had me do a practice push, counting back from ten but stopped me quickly at eight. Rob told me he could see his head. Connor was ready to come into the world.

Everything was ready so when my next contraction came I pushed twice and out he came. He had wigged so much the cord was wrapped twice around his neck but it was flipped off and he started to cry. Connor James came into the world at 9:31 am weighing 7 pounds 9 ounces, 20.25 inches long





And here's where things get fuzzy for me. He was put on my chest and I talked to him while they wiped him off. The nurse asked if I wanted him cleaned and weighed right then and I said yes feeling very sleepy again. Rob kept with Connor taking pictures and doing the job I always give him of staying with the baby. Meanwhile I fought off sleep while I was cleaned up and taken care of. I answered questions and drifted in and out. 

I woke again to some skin on skin time with Connor. It was just Rob, Connor and I in the room for some alone time. We noticed he started rooting so we decided to latch him and see how he does breastfeeding. It was then that I noticed both my arms were numb and I struggled to move him. But we got him shifted and he latched on. I was given water which I took happily and finally had the chance to get a drink. I took a drink and tried to swallow but realized I couldn't. I tried over and over and then started struggling to breathe. I started spitting the water back out frantically trying to get a breath. Rob was confused, thinking I was just throwing up again which I had done during labor. But I motioned for the door and he ran for help. 

I was able to get enough water out to finally get some air in but I couldn't seem to get a deep breath. Nor could I keep my eyes open. When Rob got back I told him to take Connor because I couldn't feel my arms. I remember telling my doctor I couldn't get a deep breath  and my arms were numb. And I remember feeling like my speech was labored. I spoke slow and struggled to put sentences together. 

Things get really hazy at that point. I woke at one point, still not opening my eyes, with an oxygen mask on. I was asked an occasional question and tried to answer the best I could. Even though I struggled I was told I made sense but I talked slow and soft, almost like my tongue was swollen. I was poked at one point as they tried to figure out what I could feel. I was able to open my eyes long enough to see my doctor sitting on a stool watching my stats. Rob often came up to me and poked me. He later told me he wanted to see what I could feel. I was able to look at him each time. I remember repeatedly asking about Connor since I didn't remember much of what happened to him after the water swallowing incident. I was told he was eating away when they took off me. Rob told me he was fine and doing good. I noticed at one point Rob pacing the room carrying Connor. 

Slowly I started feeling better. I was able to actually open my eyes. I didn't feel like I was struggling to speak. And I was regaining feeling slowly down my body. The oxygen mask was left on since my levels kept dropping but I was definitely feeling better. Several people told me that they could tell and difference just in how alert I was. I couldn't even open my eyes up to that point. 

I was able to talk to Rob about my parents and Addison who were still in the hospital. We decided we wanted to wait until I was off the oxygen mask before having Addison come back because we didn't want her seeing mama like that. Rob went out and told my parents what had happened. They went to lunch and would come back after they ate. 

By that point I was alert enough that we took me off the oxygen to see how my levels were doing and a couple doctors including my own came in to talk to us about what happened. They had been trying to figure it out and look at the worst case for each things they could think of. Stroke was mentioned, along with a blood clot. But I didn't present with any of the normal presentations of either. I was given the option of a CT scan on my head but they felt that it would be normal. I told them at this point no unless I started having problems again. The other thing they considered was that my epidural was too high and relaxed my diaphragm so much I wasn't getting enough oxygen. 

By this point I could feel almost all of me again and was definitely feeling better. My epidural was taken out and checked to see if that could indicate anything but it didn't. But it was still the top reason for what we think happened  

Finally I was completely off the oxygen although when I talked a bit my levels tended to drop. But I would continue to be monitored in my labor room for an additional couple hours - way past the normal extra two hours you get in the room after birth. But my parents and Addison were able to visit. All the while Connor slept and was the perfect little boy. I barely remember even holding him or even what he looked like. 

After a good visit and my two awesome kids meeting each other and another couple hours, we were finally able to be moved at 4 pm to the Mother Baby Unit. I was finally given the okay to eat after sticking with just jello and soft foods to make sure I didn't have any more problems with my swallowing. My health was given the all clear.


The remainder of our stay in the hospital was uneventful and easy. Connor ate well and let us get some decent sleep. He was a pretty easy going kid. I felt a hundred times better and even close to human, especially after a shower. 

Overall his birth was fast. I progressed quickly and he was out in two pushes. He was an easy kid and apparently another sleeper. My memory is still pretty foggy of all that happened. Rob fills in some of the blanks for me and then I can remember some of the little things again. But mostly it's all touch and go on what I remember. Luckily everything turned out fine and we are all doing good again. 





And even more important is that our beautiful, long-waited-for little boy is finally here. 

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