Sending prayers for healing for Nate and for comfort and peace for the family. He is adorable!
Thanks everyone for your T&P's. I'll update more later, but I will tell you that I had as far from a natural childbirth can get. I spent from Thursday morning until Monday at 4:48 in labor, waiting to let the steroid shots work. I finally got to go home Wednesday night and Nate came home Thursday afternoon. We have tons of consults and other appointments and I promise after I have chance to recover I'll post tons of videos, pics and the long story. I'm still feeling like I got hit by a semi truck. Oh, and I was right. I was close to 35 weeks. Nate is doing so well and I know it's God.
Ryan and Rachael
Parents to Chase, Abby, Hunter, Rachel, Caleb, Hannah & Nate
~Remembering sweet baby Oliver, born to Heaven October 20, 2009, & keeping Carole in our prayers~
Ok, time to start this birth story.
My dearest Nate:
It's already an amazing story of how you got here. After we had Hannah, we didn't want any more kids. Back in January of 2009, I was reading the story of Nathanael in the Bible. I knew this story well because your daddy always wanted a little boy and he just knew somehow he wanted to name his son Nathanael. As I was reading this story that night, God asked me if He gave us another child, would I be willing to accept this gift? I told Him 'ok, I guess.' It wasn't but a couple of months later that I found out I was pregnant. I knew something was off with me that day, as I was very cranky which isn't usually my nature. It was March 14, 2009 and the first person who knew was your Aunt Meme because I was on the phone with her.
My first reaction was complete panic. And then worry over how I was going to tell your daddy. As it turns out, God was already working on him. He was just thinking about what it would be like for us to have another child. He just didn't expect me to tell him so quickly that you were coming. Nonetheless, he was excited, and he hugged me and assured me that it would be ok.
All went well until I took an AFP test around 18 weeks. The cutoff was 2.5, and my levels came back at 2.56. After 4 weeks of worrying and praying, the doctors finally ruled out spinabifida. They noted then that you had a hemivertibrae (1/2 vertebrae) missing in the lumbar region of your spine, but none of them felt it was anything major to worry about and they would do an x-ray on your spine after you were born.
Around 28 weeks I began experiencing braxton hicks. Nothing too major, but annoying. Just after 32 weeks I began the biweekly NST's. Your 2nd NST was on October 8th. They noted that morning I was contracting, but they weren't much different than anything I felt before, so I declined to have my cervix checked. Your dad went to work at 2pm that day, and it was soon after I noticed that my contractions felt very different. So we waited for him to get off work that night and then dropped your brothers and sisters off at the babysitters and made it to the hospital at 11:30.
We went up 3 flights of stairs only to discover that the entryway to the walkway to the labor and delivery unit was locked. I made it up the stairs with zero contractions but had 3 on the way back down the stairs. So we loaded back up in the car and drove around to the other side of the parking garage and took the elevator to the walkway. About that time, our doula, Grammy Carol, called and said she was on her way. It was a loooong walk to labor and delivery. Too bad the hospital didn't have valet parking by the front doors past 9 p.m....or that they couldn't post a sign on the stairwell doors posting the hours either.
We arrived on the 4th floor and started signing forms. Not much later, they hooked me up to the monitors and I was contracting every 2-3 minutes. By this time, I had to start focusing on working through the contractions, and of course, the OB on call picked right in the middle of a contraction to check how far along we were. I was at a 3, 70% effaced, and -2 station. After another long wait, the docs decided that you were coming, so I would be getting procardia to slow down/stop labor and two doses of steroids for your lungs that we had to give 48 hours to work. Thankfully, we had an awesome nurse who got my IV in the first time and made the first steroid shot painless. We were then moved to the high risk labor and delivery suite.
It was a quiet 48 hours there. The same nurse came and gave me the second steroid dose around 4 a.m. on Saturday morning. I was still contracting, even with the procardia, but you were doing well with every single contraction. Around 7 a.m. a doc came in with the good old (and I mean OLD) ultrasound machine. She estimated you were around 7 lb, 10 oz. I laughed heartily at her because there was no way you went from 5.5 lbs two weeks prior to that much in weight. Even the NICU team that came in later to talk to me about your birth agreed that you weren't that big. Later on that Saturday they decided to move me to an antenatal room on the same floor and would stop the procardia at Midnight on Sunday and would plan to take the cerclage out on Sunday. It was a good thing for me that the procardia stopped because I was really having some negative effects from it. I was beginning to feel very dizzy and felt like there was a lead weight on my chest.
Sunday morning came and your daddy and I decided to bunker down and watch the church service on the internet. We had everything set up, and just about the time praise and worship was done, I noticed a huge amount of water on the room floor. I was like, "woah, I know my water didn't break!" and then we discovered the shower was overflowing out the bathroom door with sewer water. I don't know why but I couldn't help but laugh hysterically! A team of nurses helped us move down the hall to another room. And then the laptop broke somewhere in the move. Soon after, the docs came to take me back to labor and delivery so I could have my cerclage removed.
Usually this is a pretty quick, albeit a bit uncomfortable, procedure. After about 30 minutes, they decided to give me a double dose of stadol to help me deal with the pain. Part of the stitch had embedded itself in my cervix and they couldn't remove it. The stadol made me very sleepy but it didn't stop the pain, and so, they had to take me to the OR and give me a spinal. After about 10 minutes they were done and I was back in Labor & Delivery, now at 4 cm, 70% effaced, and -2 station. The doc told me that what they had done would likely put me into active labor. As soon as the spinal wore off, I was moved back to my antenatal room. I was feeling contractions again, but they felt more period-like cervical cramps, and so, I decided to go to sleep. That was around 11 p.m. Sunday night.
At 1:00 a.m. I woke up and noticed my bed was completely soaked. I called the nurse and the test they do was immediately positive for amniotic fluid. I called your daddy and the doula to get to the hospital, because the contractions were coming every 3 minutes now, and they felt entirely different. My pain went from a 2 to a 20 on a scale of 1-10! Instead of starting at the top of my uterus, radiating down and around to the back, they only hurt in the lower part of my uterus and in my back at the same time. The contractions weren't even showing up on the monitor! The on call OB came in to check me and wouldn't do anything but a speculum check. I was still at 4 cm. She said they were going to keep me in antenatal until I was 34 weeks and let me labor b/c I still wasn't in active labor. About then, your dad and I both got mad. In no uncertain terms (read: screaming at the doc until he was red in the face), your dad forced them to get a different doctor. I was in tears by then. My doula was there talking me through every contraction and she knew by then I was worn out and couldn't take much more. I remember her telling me I was the strongest person she knew, and that I could do this.
The new doc moved us back over to the high risk labor & delivery suite 6. They didn't understand why my contractions were that painful and not showing up on the monitor. I spent about 4 hours laboring through the worst contractions I've ever experienced. Even my contractions on pitocin didn't hurt this much! I was jumping through the contractions and holding my stomach. I was standing up through contractions, squeezing your dad's shirt, chest, and arms, in a labor dance of sorts. I was screaming in the bathroom and hitting the wall. The doula and your daddy got me settled back into a rocking chair. It was about then I finally passed out from the pain. A nurse gave me morphine to help me through more contractions until the anesthesiologist could arrive. That gave me enough strength to merely sleep in between contractions and scream "God help me!" and "Jesus" through the contractions. (It was in a modicum of reverent prayer, not of cursing. All I could think is to say the name of Jesus because I knew without Him I wasn't going to make it through this.) Around 7 a.m. the new on call OB came in and did a check. I was at 5cm, 80% effaced, and -2 station. And then the anesthesiologist finally arrived and the OB said something about if I wasn't actually in labor and I got the epidural now, I wouldn't be able to get an epidural when active labor hit. About 5 contractions later, peace. I can't even begin to describe how relieved I was to be done with all the pain. And then the nurse finally got the bright idea to put an internal contraction monitor in. And lo, and behold, I was actually having contractions!
Basically, the rest of labor was quiet. I was in a state of being asleep but awake enough that I would talk to anyone who came in the room. I recall that our small group leader showed up and prayed with us. And then my best friend Melanie showed up. But your poor daddy was so worn out and so shaken by what I'd just been through, he passed out.
I dilated quickly to 8 cm. And then things stalled out due to the swelling around my cervix from the cerclage removal. So they gave me a light dose of pitocin, and the nurse brought in a birth ball so I could lean over it to get you down the rest of the way.
It wasn't a few minutes later that I felt your head right there and called he docs and NICU team in. I literally had to wait for the NICU team arrive and the doc was telling me not to push b/c you were going to be born if I did. They arrived finally, although I felt your head coming down with every contraction despite my efforts not to push. A few small controlled pushes and you were out, screaming and hollering for the world to hear. All the docs were amazed-for a 33 weeker, you got apgars of 9 & 9! You weighed 6lb, 3 oz and were 18 inches long and arrived at 4:48 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12, 2009!
And then...they brought you over to meet me for the first time, and you just looked at me and I at you in silent wonder...
They took you off to the NICU so I could recover. About 5 hours later we went to see you for a good length of time. You needed no help and all you were hooked up to was the heart, oxygen sat, and respiration monitors for 3 days.
I think they were mainly watching you for jaundice, because 3 days after your birth, you came home. The xray of your spine showed that you were missing 2 half vertebrae and 2 ribs. So we have an appointment with Orthopedics on Nov. 9th for a followup. The pediatrician wasn't too concerned about your Bell's Palsey affecting the muscle on the right side of your mouth. And we're still waiting to hear back from the genetic team on those tests. But I'll tell you what bud, you have an entire church family praying their hearts out for a creative miracle in your spine and ribs. So your daddy decided your life scripture is now James 1:17:
You are a good and perfect gift, Nater Tater. We are so blessed by the gift of life that God gave us. Plus, your daddy finally got a son. I just look at you and know God's love for all of us. I know that God will be glorified in your healing and in your life. And the four LONG days of labor with you truly was a labor of love.Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (NIV)
We love you much! ~Mom & Dad (October 25, 2009)
Last edited by ShiningLight; 10-25-2009 at 05:27 PM.
Looking forward to hearing the whole story!
What a beautifully written story. I'm sorry you didn't get the uncomplicated birth you hoped for, but you were well taken care of. Nate is precious. Congratulations again! Please KUP on the results of your appointment with orthopedics.
What a wonderful story hun! I also love the way it's writen to him, how special and sweet for when he's older Your a trooper, I can't imagaine 4 days of labor YIKES! What a perfect little man, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
A beautiful story for a beautiful boy. Congratulations!
Due on 12/10/09
It's a BOY!!!