Carter Robert's birth story
At 2:00pm on Wednesday, December 10th, I arrived at L&D to have a cervix ripening done (they were applying some gel, not cervidol, but something like that, started with a p). Anyway, the nurse was doing all the intake work, and noted that I had high blood pressure, which was new, as my bp had been REALLY good the whole pregnancy. She had me change positions, and bp was still elevated. She continued with the intake work and applied the cervix ripener. I was supposed to be there for an hour while the cervix ripener took effect. After about 20 minutes, the nurse came back in and checked my bp again, it was still elevated. She left, and another 20 minutes later she came back in and told me I was being admitted and that I would be induced that night! I was shocked! I was both happy and worried. Worried that my bp was up, and worried because I was just starting with a cold, and I wasn’t looking forward to giving birth and caring for a newborn while sick. I called DH, and he arrived around 6:00pm. (He had a lot of necessary errands to run, so I just watched TV). While I was in the triage room, I had some contractions.
I stayed in the triage room until just before 8:00pm, when I was transferred to a L&D room. At 8:00pm, pitocin was administered. The contractions picked up a little, but they still weren’t very painful.
At 10:30pm, the on-call doctor came in and broke my water. I think I was only 3cm dilated at the time. I came into the hospital 2cm, so the cervix ripener and pitocin were only having a mild reaction. Shortly after my water was broke, the contrax became more painful, and started coming closer together. Luckily, we anticipated this, and the anesthesiologist was already on his way!
At 11:00pm, I was given an epidural. Ahhh what a relief!
Throughout the night, I continued to have contrax, but with the epi, I couldn’t feel a thing! DH slept most of the night, but I just couldn’t get comfortable with all the tubes and monitors, so I just rested.
At 2:00am, I was told my dr was coming in for another delivery and she would check on me.
At 3:00am, my dr arrived, and I was 6 or 7cm. I was given strict instructions to have the baby by 7:00am because my dr had surgery at another hospital at 7:30am.
At 6:00am, I think I was 9cm or just barely 10cm, so they decided to have me do some test pushes. The baby didn’t really move down, but he had some serious decelerations. I was moved every which way, oxygen was administered, the baby was stabilized, and I think I did some more pushing then, the baby moved a little bit down the birth canal, but not much.
For the next nearly two hours, the doctor had me push for a while, and then rest for a while as they tried to get the baby delivered ASAP. During this time, they determined Carter was face up. On top of that, we already knew he had the cord wrapped around his neck from the u/s. The dr left for a little while, and DH & I were sure she was going to come back to tell us that I’d have to have a c-section, because he wasn’t descending, the hr kept dropping while I pushed, and he was sunny-side up.
She came back in around 7:25am (which by the way, was minutes before she was scheduled to be in surgery in a hospital 20 minutes away). She had me push again, and this time, he moved down quite a bit. So, she had me push more. She then told me we’d have to do an episiotomy to get him out. As soon as the episiotomy was performed, he crowned. A few more pushes later, and Carter Robert was born with his cord wrapped around his neck 3 times, sunny-side up at 7:49am. While the pushing was really hard work, I was so happy that my doctor kept working with me to give me a vaginal delivery. She knew I was opposed to a c-section, and because of my previous abdominal surgeries, she knew that a surgery for me would require getting through a lot of scar tissue.
Carter was a bit blue on birth, but pinked right up! His apgars were 7/9. While my dr was certain he would be huge because of all the trouble he had descending, he was a tiny 6lbs ½ oz, and a long 20.5 inches. His hands and feet are HUGE so I think he has daddy’s tall genes. His eyes are blue right now, but I am interested to see what color they turn out to be. I never thought I would have a blue-eyed baby. Mine are sooo brown, and DH are hazel.
All in all, I was very happy with Carter’s birth. It could have been a lot worse, I am just happy he came out healthy and okay, despite the cord issue.
Sylvia Joleigh's Birth Story
Sunday December 14, 2008, I began having contractions around 3 a.m. that were spaced around 5 minutes apart. I tried to go back to sleep to no avail, so I got up and got in the bathtub hoping to ease the discomfort. Nothing seemed to work, so I got back in bed and just waited it out. Later that evening DH and I decided to go to L&D and see if there was any progress. The Wednesday prior at my 38 week appointment, I was dilated to maybe a “fingertip” according to my doctor. After they examined me in L&D I was about 1-2 cms. They sent me home to wait for my contractions to get more painful or closer together.
Monday December 15, 2008, I was in a lot more pain throughout the early morning. I did not get any sleep and decided to see if my OB would see me in his office so we would not have to drive all the way to L&D again. When I got there he said I was still maybe 1-2. I was almost in tears at points because the contractions were so intense, but no closer together. I had a prenatal massage scheduled for that morning that I almost cancelled but decided to go in the hopes it would relax me a little. That was the best thing EVER! During the massage and afterwards, my contractions completely eased off. I could feel the tightening, but no pain during them for several hours.
Later that afternoon when I got home, I started to get the chills and took a bath because it was really cold outside. Then it occurred to me that I might have a fever. I took my temp and got 101.9 and we were off to L&D again. After the exam the doctor said I was around 2.5 dilated, and baby looked great on the monitors. They then sent me home and told me to take Tylenol.
Tuesday December 16, 2008, I woke up early morning again with a ton of contractions around 3 to 4 minutes apart but still the same intensity. BUT I had horrible chills. I felt like I was rocking the bed. I decided to get up and take a bath to try to warm up and I took some Tylenol, phenergan, and tried to drink some water. After my bath I got really nauseated and threw up. I decided to take my temperature again and got 103.5! Off to L&D again!
This time as soon as they hooked me up to the monitors, I knew something was wrong. My LO’s heart rate was around the 200s. The doctor seemed really concerned and immediately admitted me. During the exam I had not made any progress. They put me on fluids, and continually monitored the baby. Later that evening my fever broke (I sweated through all the linens… gross!) and the baby’s heart rate dropped to a better level. They said if my fever stayed down they would talk about inducing on Wednesday. They also did an amnio to make sure the baby’s fluid was not infected, and then they flu-tested me and took all kinds of blood. The rest of the night was pretty uneventful, and the next day is where all the fun began.
Wednesday December 17, 2008, at 8:30 am they entered the pill to ripen my cervix some more since I had not had any progress but was having regular contractions. At 1:00 pm they started the pitocin. The contractions got a little more intense, but nothing unbearable. At 2:30 pm I was 100% effaced so the doctor decided to break my water. I immediately went to about 4 cms and the pain was tremendous, especially to my right side and around the right side of my back. At 3:00 pm they allowed me to get the epidural. It gave me some relief but never took effect on my right side or right side of my back. The next few hours were pretty much a blur of pain and DH telling me to breath. They gave me several doses of the epidural but it never took full effect on my right, although my legs were completely gone. Around 12 am I started throwing up because of the pain and was losing my mind because I had not made any further progress. The doctor decided to do a C/S due to “failure to progress”. I was ready for anything; I just wanted to be out of pain.
They finally took me to the back and gave me so much epidural medicine that the anesthesiologist had to call and get a second opinion. They kept asking me in between contractions if I could feel them pinching my belly and I could. The epidural only took effect from my hips down. So they decided I would have to go completely under. I was so upset because DH could not be there, but I felt like I was going to die if they didn’t do something soon. I went out like a light.
Sylvia Joleigh was born at 3:18 am on Thursday December 18, 2008. She was 8 lbs. and 19 inches long. I wasn’t really able to enjoy her at first because I felt so weak and I had the shakes so bad. They were uncontrollable. DH was wonderful though. I knew he was really worried about me, but he took great care of her during that time period. We were sent to postpartum and I thought everything was going well until the nurse noticed that my baby girl was grunting constantly. I thought it was just normal baby stuff, but they took her temp and it was low. Her blood sugar was also extremely low (around 35). And that’s when they made the call to put her in NICU.
I think that maybe she ended up with the same infection I had. They did so many tests (on her and me) and they all came back negative. No flu, no cold, no nothing. But they decided to keep her and run a full course of antibiotics. It was heartbreaking to me to see her with an IV in her head and oxygen on. I have never cried so much in my life. I couldn’t stand having to leave her every day.
Finally on Sunday December 21st they released me from the hospital and we stayed in a hotel across the road until they released Sylvia on Tuesday December 23rd. The best Christmas present ever! She is breastfeeding like a champ and doesn’t seem to have any problems. And in between that time DH’s command denied a Red Cross request for an emergency leave extension (he is home for mid-tour from Iraq until the 26th, but that’s in a whole other post).
So it was a very long, painful, and emotional, process but totally worth it when I look into my little girl’s eyes, or watch her while she sleeps. Thanks for reading!