Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Birth Story

So I've been meaning to write this post but just hadn't gotten to it! ;) Hank is napping & I'm feeling pretty good, so I figured I'd take some time to sit down & write this! Warning, it'll probably be a long post! (This actually took me two days to write haha)

So on the morning of Thursday May 16, I had my normal weekly doctors appointment. Even though Casey had only slept a few hours (because he works til midnight), he went to the appointment with me. They took my blood pressure and it was a little elevated and they also noticed some protein in my urine, so the PA called one of the doctors and they made the call to medically induce me that evening because of these factors and the fact that my due date was the following day. They told me to go home and rest and I'd likely need to go to the hospital (Women's & Children's) that evening. We rode home and stopped at Purina then the college because I had to grab a few things in my office. As we pulled into the college, they called us and told us that labor & delivery was expecting us. We were shocked thinking we had all day to get some stuff done around the house, but that wasn't the case. We came home and packed up the Durango and headed up there. We of course had to stop at McDonald's for lunch on the way up! :-)

We checked in and had to wait a few to get a room, but once we were in the room, they had me change into the lovely gown so we could get things moving. One of the doctors checked me and I had no dilation and my cervix was high, so they opted to use a drug called Cervidil to ripen my cervix. This drug needs to stay on my cervix for 12 hours, then after the 12 hours are up, they usually start a drug called Pitocin. At 3 pm, the doctor placed the cervidil on my cervix, then I had to lay still for 2 hours. They also pointed out that I was having contractions, but I just thought they were Braxton Hicks, so they were just the annoying feeling I'd been feeling for days haha. At 5 pm, we called the cafeteria for dinner. That was an amazing dinner! After dinner we just hung out and tried to get some rest knowing that it'd be a long day tomorrow! We watched the season finale of The Office and I was getting really uncomfortable! I was having really strong period type cramping and my lower back was killing me! So I asked the nurse if I could have something for the pain. She said she would check with the attending doctor. In the meantime, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom really bad! So I sat up, and all of a sudden felt a GUSH, I thought, I either just peed myself or my water just broke. Well it turns out my water broke. I was pretty excited that my water broke on its own! And since my water had broken, I was allowed to have an epidural. They did not check me for dilation because my water had broken (I'm wondering now if I was dilated at this point).

So since Children's is a teaching hospital, there are tons of resident doctors there. The anesthesia resident came in the room to get my history and brought in the stuff for the epidural. The attending anesthesiologist accompanied him. He got me all prepped and my nurse was amazing, holding my hand and helping me relax. So he placed the epidural and all of a sudden I felt a tingling go down my right leg, well that was no good, it meant that the epidural was in the wrong place and they had hit a nerve (which I still have tingling from!). I should add that it took him a long time to get it placed. So they had to remove it and do the whole process all over again. This time the attending doctor did the epidural and it was much easier and faster and I didn't have any weird feelings this time. They started up the epidural and I was feeling much better! I think it was about 10 pm or so by now. So I decided I was going to try to get some sleep.

I tossed and turned and started getting very uncomfortable. I was having a ton of pressure and was watching the monitor and could see that the contractions were strong and close together. At 3 am, a resident came in to pull the cervidil. She noticed that it was no longer attached to my cervix and was actually laying on the bed, so who knows how long that had been out! It's possible it fell out when they placed the catheter but who knows! And she asks me, "is this your first baby?" and I answered "yes" and she replied that I was 9.5 cm dilated, I couldn't believe it! She said no wonder I was feeling so much pressure, I had been in active labor, laboring on my own, no wonder I couldn't get comfortable. I woke Casey up to tell him that things would happen a lot sooner that we had expected! She said she would come back to check on me in 30 minutes. I was still at 9.5 cm, so she decided to check again in another 30 minutes or so. I was so relaxed during the first 9.5 cm not knowing I was in labor, so that was likely why it was moving along so fast. I was so happy to find out that I had begun labor on my own and wouldn't need pitocin. I wonder if my body would've gone into labor on it's own anyways that night! It was nice to know that my body was doing something on it's own!

At about 4:30 am, the doctor came back in and said we would begin pushing. At this point it was just Casey, me, the nurse and the resident doctor in the room, and it was nice and dark and as relaxing as it could be. I pushed for awhile and my contractions were spreading out, which was nice to let me relax a little in between pushing, but at the same time I just wanted things to move along! After about 30 minutes of pushing, they called in the delivery team and the lights came on, and a "million" people came into the room and it was "go time!" It was nice having so many people because each person had their own job and position. Casey was up by my face with the portable fan, thank god we brought that! I pushed for what felt like ages! I was getting so out of breath and was hyperventilating, it was definitely the hardest workout I'd ever done in my entire life!! I even blew a blood vessel in my eye, thankfully it was small and not that noticeable! As the pushing went on, Hank was down in the birth canal but I was having a hard time getting him out. The attending doctor at this point informed me that they'd need to perform an episiotomy and possibly use a vacuum to get Hank out. I think this kicked my butt into over drive knowing I had to get him out fast because I really didn't want the vacuum to be used. Finally Hank was out!

Henry Alan Astry (Hank) was born at 5:44 am on May 17, 2013, my due date! I had even joked the week before that Hank wanted to be unique and actually come out on his due date. He was immediately put on my bare chest so we could have immediate skin to skin contact. I just talked to him and cried, I didn't even care what was going on "down there" at that point! We delayed clamping the umbilical cord until it had stopped pulsing, then Casey was able to cut the cord. He stayed on me for awhile until they took him off to weigh him and stuff. He weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces and measured 20 inches long. While he was being measured and such, they had informed me that I had a 3rd degree tear and they were stitching me up. Even with the anesthesia, that hurt like hell! But Hank makes everything worth it! :-) As soon as they were done weighing him and such, we breastfed for the first time and he latched right on. It was amazing seeing him just know what to do! After he was born, we handed out "Oh Henry" candy bars to the L&D staff and they loved it!

That morning as they were testing Hank's glucose levels, they discovered that his blood sugar was borderline low, so the poor guy had to have his heal pricked every 3 hours :-( His levels were always borderline or normal, thankfully they were never too low. But if his levels were below what they wanted, he had to have good levels for 24 hours before he didn't have to be tested anymore. The hospital was having a baby boom today, so it also took us until that evening to get into our room up on the Mother/Baby floor. It was so nice getting out of the delivery room and into that room which was much more comfortable and homey. We had lots of visitors while we were there, which was also really nice! Hank roomed in with us but before I could feed him each time, he had to have his sugar tested to see where it was at. We tried to do an early discharge on Saturday evening, but that didn't work out because they discovered he had a lower sugar that morning, so they had to continue the 24 hour testing until 7 am on Sunday. We were getting a little stir crazy and ready to go home, but better to be safe than sorry! Thankfully his levels continued to be good so we could go home on Sunday morning. It was wonderful getting out of there and able to get home and get settled!

I have to say that Children's is an amazing hospital and I am so happy that I chose to give birth there. I badly wanted to go into labor on my own, but instead needed a medical induction and it still was amazing. Everyone treated us so wonderfully. We had amazing nurses in both labor & delivery and on the Mother/baby floor. The doctors and residents were all awesome and made us feel like we belonged. They were willing to do anything for us. The food was also beyond amazing, which everyone knows will make me happy! Haha!

A little update on us...Hank is doing really well! He had a weight check at 1 week old and he weighed 7 lbs, 15 oz, so he's already above his birth weight, which makes me happy knowing that I'm providing him with enough food. Breast feeding is definitely one of the toughest things I've ever done, but it's wonderful knowing that I can provide him everything he needs, so I'm hoping it'll work for us for awhile! Hank's umbilical cord came off at 1 week old, I was so surprised at how fast it came off! Hank has a lot of personality and is becoming more and more aware of his surroundings. The animals are all doing really well with him as well! We are using the cloth diapers all day and only using disposables at night. Now that his cord is off and his circumcision is healed, the diapers are very easy to use and he always has a cute butt! Haha! Hank also likes to pee when I change him, so we have to be very careful! He's even pooped on me while changing him! Oh the things that change real quick when you have a child! It's still very surreal having him here, I can't believe he's mine! This little thing that I worked so hard for for so long is finally here! It's just wild! He makes me smile and makes me so happy! We are so in love with him!