Monday, February 1, 2010

Jacob's birth story

On Sunday, January 3 2010, I woke up around 5am with contractions that were so mild I did not think they were contractions at all. I went back to sleep and a couple hours later, lost my mucus plug! I was very excited; this meant that they were contractions after all! I had an induction date set for January 8 and I was not expecting anything to happen until then, since I had made no progress at my 39 week doctor's appointment.

The contractions continued throughout the day, getting stronger and closer together. We made sure our bags were packed and did everything we were taught in lamaze class- walked around the block, bounced on the exercise ball, etc. Soon the contractions were only about 2 and 1/2 minutes apart, although they were only 30-45 seconds long. We decided to go ahead and go to the hospital, even though we knew there was a chance they might send us home.

We got to the hospital around 7pm and they put us in a labor room were I was checked by a nurse. She brought me some disappointing news- I was only 1-2 centimeters! No way! These contractions hurt! She said I was having some strong contractions so she'd check me again in an hour, and after that she would call the doctor on call and ask what the doctor would like to do. An hour later I was still only 1-2 centimeters, and about 75% effaced. The nurse told me the doctor was going to come by to see me. Dr. Whitcomb was the doctor on call. She told me that normally I would be sent home, but since my blood pressure was a little high and I was full term, there was nothing to be gained by waiting longer. I would stay at the hospital until I have the baby! She said since I was having strong contractions she would let me labor on my own, and if I hadn't made significant progress we would start pitocin at 4am.

Me in labor

So the painful contractions continued. I didn't want to get the epidural so early on, so the nurse convinced me to try some Stadol. It was wonderful! I could still feel the pain of the contractions, but the Stadol distracted me from it. I felt drunk. A couple doses got me through the rest of the night, even after the pitocin was started at 4am. The nurse was great, and kept bringing me popsicles and ice chips. Around 2am my parents arrived, and when I assured them there would not be a baby for a while they went to my house to sleep. At 6:30am the nurse told me I was 3cm, and I asked for the epidural. She said I should wait until the shift change at 7am since the current anesthesiologist had been on all night, so I put in my order for an epidural right at 7! I didn't sleep at all because of the contractions, and neither did Sean since he was sitting in a chair the whole night.

Promptly at 7, the new nurse came in along with the anesthesiologist and my epidural! The hardest part of the epidural was holding perfectly still while they put it in. They had me sit on the edge of the bed and the nurse was holding my knees and telling me not to move. I had a contraction and it was SO hard not to move. I felt the prick of the needle they used to numb me, and that was all I felt (and it barely hurt). Once the epidural was in- HEAVEN! I think I even slept a little. Around 8am the doctor on call that day, Dr. Lincourt, came in to see me. She told me that we'd try for a vaginal delivery, but to remember that our goal is healthy mommy and healthy baby. I would need to remember this later on... She broke my water, which was the weirdest feeling! Even with the epidural I could feel it gushing out for what seemed like forever. She said there was "light meconium", but not to worry. Around 9am my parents came back and my sister arrived. It was quite packed in our little labor room!

The nurse had told me early on to let her know if I felt a lot of pressure in my lower back. Sure enough I did (I can't remember what time this was), and she checked me and told me baby was sunny-side up :( So she had me roll over on to my side to try and get him to change position. A little bit later, she came back in and told me the baby's heart rate had dropped. She had me try some other positions, and finally gave me an oxygen mask. His heart rate went back up and they took the oxygen away. They also stopped the pitocin, and said they probably would not start it again since it can affect the heart rate and I was having good contractions on my own.A little while later, it happened again. Move positions, more oxygen, his heart rate went back up and they took the oxygen away.

Around noon the doctor came back in and had my family leave the room so she could check me again. This time I was 6-7 cm, but the baby had not moved down
at all, he was still at -2 station. The doctor gave me the news I was dreading- that it would be best for this baby to be born via c-section. He wasn't moving down, and was starting to not tolerate the contractions very well (as evidenced by the decrease in heart rate after some contractions). I was disappointed but at this point I just wanted my baby out, the safest way possible. The doctor said she'd go check on the c-section schedule and be right back. The nurse told us that after the surgery I would be in recovery for an hour and no one would be allowed to see me except for Sean. She said we'd better tell my parents because the Moms usually have a hard time with this! So Sean went out to tell my family everything that was going on.

A few minutes later Dr. Lincourt came back and told us there was someone in the operating room at the moment, and no one after her so I would be next! I was so nervous and excited. My nurse began to prep me for the surgery as Dr. Lincourt assured me she has done many many c-sections! Sean got dressed in his scrubs (I wish I had thought to take a picture!). They topped off my epidural with the stronger stuff. Up until then I had some feeling in my legs and I could feel my toes. At this point I could not feel ANYTHING and it was the strangest feeling. Before I knew it they were wheeling me over to the operating room. They told Sean to wait in the room. When I got there Dr. Dukes was there to do my c-section with Dr. Lincourt. He came over by my head to say hi but I was pretty out of it at that point. I was starting to feel really sick, so they took my temperature and it was 100.5 so a low fever. As they were prepping me I was beginning to think they forgot about Sean! But soon I heard someone say "someone get the husband!" and next thing I knew Sean was by my side. As soon as he got there they began cutting (well that is what they told me, I couldn't feel it of course). They asked Sean if he wanted to look over the sheet and he said "No thank you!". I think that was wise.

I felt a little pressure (not bad at all) and then felt a baby being pulled out of me! At 12:49pm my perfect little boy was born! He cried immediately and I cried when I heard him crying. They took him to the side to clean him up and Sean got to watch. He kept coming back to me to report what Jacob looked like :) He got an 8 on his 1 minute apgars and a 9 on his 5 minute. After they weighed him, measured him, did his footprints, etc. Sean was finally able to bring him over to me so I could see him. He looked perfect and I was sad that he had to go to the nursery so soon. He had some extra tests done since I had a fever but they all turned out fine. 48 hours later, we were discharged from the hospital and our little family was allowed to go home!

My little man, brand new

Jacob with Dr. Lincourt (2 weeks old)

Going home!