Friday, June 14, 2013

Week 40: Vander's Birth Story

I figured now I have to end the pregnancy saga by detailing the final day, my labor and delivery.

On Wednesday, May 29th, I had my 39 week appointment in the morning, so I didn't head straight to work in the morning. I was dropping Dylan off at work in the morning and he told me he had a dream that I went into labor. He said to not take it too seriously since he was also shooting a duck-shaped gun in the same dream. I thought that was weird, but didn't think too much of it. Then, when I was waiting for my appointment my sister texted me that she had a dream I went into labor. Now things were getting interesting since that meant two people had dreams about me going into labor.

At my appointment, all my stats and the baby's stats were good. My fundus was measuring over 40 weeks, which meant we had done a lot of growing during the week since I was right on track at 38 the week before. I was 3 cm dilated, so all my walking during the week must have made a difference! My doctor asked if she could do a membrane sweep, and I said go ahead. A membrane sweep generally puts you into labor within 48 hours. It doesn't always work but if your body is ready it does help things along.

When I talked to my mom after my appointment, she also had a dream I went into labor! My mom's family does have some psychic abilities or intuition when it comes to dreams.  With that in mind, plus the two other dreams, and my appointment with the membrane sweep I kind of figured labor was going to start shortly.

I headed into work and told Dylan there was a good chance I wouldn't be there all day. I started having contractions around noon, but didn't really start counting them for duration and consistency until around 1:30. The contractions were getting stronger, longer and closer together, but by no means painful, just more uncomfortable. I finally was able to leave work around 3:30. No one was making me stay, I just wanted to get things into a better stopping point for my coworkers to take over. I quietly snuck out after talking with my boss.

Dylan and I got home around 4:15 and hung out while we waiting for me to really decide if we were in labor. My contractions finally started getting a little painful (I think I said like a 4 on my pain scale) and we decided to head to the hospital.

Somehow despite Dylan saying previously that he was going to go fast on the way there, he was going 30 MPH in a 40 MPH zone for no reason! While slightly frustrating, it was actually kind of nice to get some laughing in together on the way over to the hospital.

We checked in at 5:20 and I was wheeled up to my labor and delivery room. I went through my initial checks and was at 5cm dilated, so things were moving during the day! I also had a bulging amniotic sac, so my water had not broken on its own. My contractions were starting to get more painful during the check in process and when the nurse asked about when we might want the epidural, I said as soon as it was ready, since I had no desire to feel any more contractions. The contractions got to like a 6-7 on my pain scale, so not super awful, but not a walk in the park. I think I had my epidural in around 6:30, so that was pretty speedy! The epidural was not painful at all. I would say it felt like a bee sting or tattoo, just a quick little prick in your back when they put in the numbing shot. It went into effect immediately; I didn't feel another painful contraction. As my contractions did get bigger when I was in active labor, I was able to feel my uterus contract from the outside, but I definitely didn't feel any pain. I know I did up my epidural dose like twice over the course of labor process, since I did start to feel it a little more at times than I wanted to. I could feel my legs for the most part as well, so that was nice to not be totally numb.

Since I had the Group B strep bacteria (again, totally normal to have) I had to get antibiotics for the baby. This ended up getting really delayed for some reason, much to my doctor's extreme annoyance. It put a delay on my whole process since it takes a little bit of time to get it in through IV. That kind of worked out though since they were talking about putting me on pitocin to get me to keep progressing better, but since the penicillin took awhile to arrive and get in my system, I was able to sit more upright and put those contractions to better use. 

Around 10pm they said they were going to come in and break my water shortly. Over an hour later they did come break my water, with a pop and a gush. The baby had a bowel movement in utero, so my doctor informed us there was a chance we wouldn't get to hold him right away and he would need to go get it suctioned out. It would come down to whether or not he arrived crying. If he was crying, his lungs were clear and he could come see mom right away.

After they broke my water, I labored down for a little bit to get the last two centimeters. So I did get some kind of rest. My doctor ended up having another patient going through delivery at the same time, and since it was her third child, they figured her delivery would be faster so they were working with her first. During my wait, I went into the transition phase of labor. I really only know this because I ended up getting really overheated and then throwing up very suddenly (I was able to have a trash can brought to me in time at least). I was totally surprised. I know it happens to people, but I really am not the kind of person that throws up. Apparently my body felt differently. The worst part was that I couldn't eat or really drink water, so it was just ice cubes and popsicles to get rid of the aftertaste.

The whole labor process was so strange, since with the epidural you can't really feel your body working hard, but it still is. My heart rate kept being right at the cusp of 120, which was when this little alarm would go off. We finally turned it off since obviously my body was working hard enough to keep my heart rate up.

After 1am, we were finally getting ready for me to start pushing and my doctor was ready for delivery. I did a practice push with my nurse, and she gave me a couple tips to make my pushes more effective. Then came the real go. Dylan had one leg and my nurse had the other. With the first contraction, I got three good pushes in. Then the baby nurses came in and apparently slowed my labor since we had like 5 minutes until I had another contraction, which was the longest break I had in between contractions for a long while (I only really know that from the screen that shows you your contractions). So the second contraction finally came, I think I got in four pushes and then I ended up getting sick again right after. This was especially awkward since I could tell the baby's head was crowning and he just had to hang out while I was getting sick. By the next contraction though I was ready again and three pushes later he slid right out at 1:52am. It took 10 pushes and around 15-20 minutes.

He had a great set of lungs on him and was wailing the moment he arrived. That was good since that meant I got to hold him right away. They put him right on my chest/stomach and were cleaning him off while I was excitedly talking to him and telling him hello. They finished cleaning him off and gave me a couple little tips to start feeding him.

I was glad I had the epidural since I ended up with a second degree tear and can not imagine what it would have been like to feel them stitching me up.

While they were getting the baby and I all set, Dylan and I were figuring out his name. We settled on Vander Scott. Then we were ready to introduce him to my parents and one of my girlfriends who stayed through the whole process. They met him at around 3am and hung out while Vander got all of his measurements. He was 8 pounds, 3.6 ounces and 20 inches long. Then they sent out the myriad texts and announcements and pictures to friends and family and Facebook.

After they left around 4am and after I started to get more feeling back in my legs, we were wheeled over to our new room in Recovery. We got over there at around 5am and by the time we were all settled in there it was after 6am.

It was definitely a long day, since I had been up since 6:40 on the 29th and wasn't able to rest really until 6am on the 30th. I was so glad he came early, since he was evidently ready!

The nurses and even my doctor kept commenting on how easy going we were the whole time, even when we were in recovery. I am glad that I was right when I said that my body knew what it was doing and the hospital staff knew what they were doing too. Everything went so smoothly and I am so grateful for that. I remember being nervous for when we were going to start pushing, since I was worried it would be so much work. Clearly I am related to both sides of my family, since everyone pretty much has easy deliveries. We are a bunch of baby-makers for sure.

I cannot believe it has been two weeks! My labor seems like so long ago now, so they must be right when they say your mind makes you forget. It seems like we have had Vander in our lives for longer than two weeks.

That finishes my pregnancy and starts the next chapter in our lives: Parenthood!

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