Sunday, 21 April 2013

A Birth Story...Staring D.W. Grant (and me!)

During my pregnancy, I soon realized that every mother jumps at the chance to share her birth story. Every little, horrible, crazy, graphic detail. Now I can totally understand why! Giving birth, labor, the whole process of it, it is the craziest thing I have ever been through. This story is way to long and detailed to interest anyone but myself but I know that if I don’t take the time to write it down, I will not remember it all so here it is…

On Wednesday, March 20th, I had a doctor’s appointment. He checked me and said that I was only 1 cm dilated and would most definitely be going overdue and he would wait at least a week before thinking about induction. Because I had been measuring pretty big the whole pregnancy (that day he measured me at around 42-43 weeks…) he decided to send me to the hospital for an ultrasound to check on the baby and “see” how big he/she was. When we arrived at the hospital, we realized there had been a mix up because they started hooking me up for a non-stress test. Even though we didn’t need it, I sat through it and was glad to find out that the baby was perfectly fine and happy. The next day, everything worked out so we could get in for the ultrasound. This was by far my favorite one because the ultrasound technician showed us the 4D ultrasound so we got to actually see our baby, and man was he/she FAT! I couldn’t believe how cute and chubby our baby looked, and even though we “saw” our baby I still couldn’t figure out if it was a boy or girl. So the ultrasound technician proceeds with the exam and tells us that our baby weighs 10 lbs. 11 ounces. I just laughed because I didn’t believe him. There was no way that I could deal with that. As soon as we got out of there I called up my doctor freaking out because there was no way we could let this baby continue growing inside of me. After reviewing the results he decided that if I didn’t have the baby by Tuesday the 26th, he would induce me.

Thursday went by, Friday went by and then Saturday (my due date) came and those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions started getting more and more uncomfortable. Sunday, around 1 in the morning, they started getting stronger and stronger until they were downright painful. I spent all night awake in bed trying to breathe through the pain, timing each one. In the morning after walking around my block I decided that even though my contractions weren’t consistent enough for my liking, I was going to the hospital. When we arrived and they checked me, they said I was only 2-3 cm dilated. I wasn’t in labor yet, but I was definitely in pre-labor. I remember thinking “THIS ISN’T LABOR??” Luckily because I was up all night, they gave me a shot of morphine, sent me home and I slept the day away. I woke up that night around 7 pm and by 1 am it started happening again. Only this time it was worse. MUCH worse. This time I waited until the contractions lasted a minute long and were 3 minutes apart (I was NOT going to be sent home again). After getting in the shower (it didn't help) and walking up and down our street, at around 6:30 am, we headed to the hospital. My heart was pounding; Garth and I were both so nervous. They checked me and said I was 4-5 cm dilated. They gave me a gown and sent me to labor and delivery.

"You can come out now!"
Now the rest of this story is based a lot on what Garth told me because by this point I was too much in the zone to even notice people were in the room. I spent all morning labouring with Garth. My go to move every time I felt a contraction coming on was to throw myself into his arms and just have him hold me until it was over. Thanks to an awesome book (HypnoBirthing) that my SIL lent me, I breathed through those nasty contractions like a boss. Apparently, the nurses were so impressed that I wasn’t crying yet because they were coming every minute and a half and lasting about 90 seconds. Despite everything I was feeling excited and they said I was progressing so well that I would probably be having my baby soon!

At around 2 pm, (13 hours straight and counting) I started getting really really exhausted and was struggling through the pain. I couldn’t quite get on top of it and so I decided that if I was going to last, I needed the epidural. Garth had to go sit down on the opposite side of the room and he watched as they stuck a giant needle into my back. I didn’t even feel it at all, the hardest part of that process was trying to sit still as he put it in. After that, labour was just great! I just sat there as I hit 7 cm, then 8, and then 9 cm dilated. They were sure I was going to be pushing by 4 o'clock! The doctor came in and broke my water (weirdest feeling ever) and the gushing was NEVER ENDING. Everytime I moved the nurses would have to come change my bedding. Apparently I had A LOT more amniotic fluid than average, which was part of the reason why my stomach was so huge (which made sense because that was what the guy said at our ultrasound).

Unfortunately, the hours passed and my progress halted. After continually being checked (worst feeling ever), the doctor told me that there was one ridge of my cervix that still needed to thin out before I could start pushing. By this point, not only was my epidural wearing off and I was starting to feel everything again, I was feeling the craziest urge to push. It felt like the baby was trying so hard to get out. I would say “I feel like pushing!” and the nurses would say “DON’T PUSH!” “It’s not me, it’s the baby!”

Finally, the Doctor came in and told me that even though I was fully dilated everywhere else, there was one little ridge on my cervix that refused to thin.  Trying to find a way around it, they let me push once and the baby’s head went passed it, but after the second push it wouldn’t budge (which was what he predicted). Because of this little ridge he said that he didn’t feel right about letting me push this baby out. He told me that not only could it hurt the baby, it could potentially wreck my cervix and affect my future pregnancies. He said that we would have to deliver by C-section. As soon as he left the room I started to bawl my eyes out. I was so crushed. I felt so cheated, I went through the whole process right to the end, and now I wasn’t even allowed to push. I knew that this was the way it had to be for the safety of both my baby and I, but I was still very sad.

They prepped Garth and I for surgery (I remember thinking Garth looked like a sexy doctor in his scrubs), they took me in the room and laid me on the table. This is pretty gross but garth said it was the craziest thing he had ever seen when they laid me on that table. Because my water had already been broken, my stomach was no longer round but lumpy and it kept contracting. He said I looked like a raw chicken that was being prepared to be slaughtered. My epidural was worn off, I was too incoherent to focus on anything but the pain. They gave me more pain medication and then proceeded to cut into me. The problem was I could feel everything. I told them I could feel it, so they gave me more meds and then proceeded again. The pain was so excruciating, I yelled at them to stop. For some reason I was like a horse that refused to be tranquilized. They gave me even more and then cut into me, I could feel it but it was just pressure, no pain. All of the sudden I felt the most painful and horrible ripping sensation, I don't know if I was just crying or screaming, but they decided that I needed to be put under to get the baby out. Before all of that mess, I remember Garth asking me what I think the gender is; we both said that we thought it was going to be a boy.

Because they were putting me under,they made Garth leave and wait out in the hallway. The next thing I know I am waking up in the recovery room and nurses tell me that at 9:14 pm I had a beautiful 10 lb. 4 oz. baby boy. I can’t even begin to explain how badly I needed to see my baby, I felt so empty now that he wasn’t with me. I was sad that I missed it. Missed his entry into the world, missed Garth meeting him, missed the whole experience you look forward to for the whole 9 months, if not your whole life.  How would I know which baby was mine when I didn’t even see him born? They could give me any (big) baby in that hospital and tell me it was mine and I would have no idea.They told me he was with his dad and that they would bring him to me as soon as I got out of recovery…in an HOUR! Even though it almost killed me to wait, I was comforted in knowing that my little boy was getting some special quality time with his daddy.

Grant only minutes old
After an hour of uncontrollable shaking, they finally took me to my room and I just lied there and waited. Every time I heard a baby cry in the distance I wondered if it was mine, and every time I heard footsteps in the hall I wondered if they were going to walk into my room and bring him to me. Finally at around 11 pm, Garth showed up, and I sat up and tried to catch a glimpse of my perfectly bundled baby boy. Garth picked him up, brought him over to me and put him in my arms. As soon as I held him, saw his perfect face and stared into his big open eyes, the most amazing sense of relief and recognition warmed over me. I felt like I already knew him, I knew without a doubt that this was my baby, (It also helped that he was a spitting image of his daddy).  I will never fully be able to describe the feeling to anyone but it was almost like I recognized his face, even though I had never seen it before. I know that it was truly an answer to my prayer. To someone else (someone less melodramatic than me) this could have been no big deal at all, but my Heavenly Father knows me personally and he knew that I needed that feeling so badly.  I had been with him all this time and the love I immediately felt for this little baby was too strong for my emotionally exhausted brain to even fathom. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life that I couldn’t possibly begin to describe. We spent our first night as a family of 3 in the hospital that night but we didn’t sleep. I just sat up and stared at my baby, and he stared right back! It was so hard to put him down and actually get some sleep.

Meeting Grant for the very first time
The next days in the hospital were absolutely horrible. I have nightmares about having another baby because I don't want to go back there. The only saving grace was that I had a private room to myself. Not only were my hormones going crazy, but recovering from a surgery while learning how to be a new mom was so hard. For some reason my skin was so dry and itchy all the time and I had to practically beg the nurses to let me have a shower. They finally took my catheter out and I was able to start moving around, even though it hurt so much to move at all. 

There was a resident doctor there who was shadowing my doctor and was around for the whole process. He didn't know what he was doing or talking about and it was obvious he wasn't a doctor yet. He would come and check me and then when he left the nurses would check me and tell me something completely different. Anyway, so one morning I woke up by myself in my room and just like every other morning he came in to check on me and check out my stomach etc. this morning he pressed down on my stomach and then gasped "Oh No! The stitches on your uterus have come undone! We are going to have to take you back into surgery, cut you open and fix it. You are going to be in the hospital for another 3 days!" No Joke. He left quickly leaving me there with the nurse as I started bawling my eyes out because by that point, I had been through hell and the thought of going back in that operating room freaked me out. Plus it had already been so long and I was dying to go home. Garth came back in with Grant and was so confused what was going on. Maybe 20 minutes later, the resident doctor came back with the Head surgeon to see what was wrong. If I had any sense of shame at all I would have been embarrassed because that was the second time he had seen me and I was just as distraught as the first time he met me. Anyway, he pressed down on my stomach and felt the big lump (that I had already asked the nurses about, who said it was normal) and turned to the resident doctor and said "Okay so what is wrong?" 
"Well feel that lump."
"Ya I felt it. So what's wrong? What do I have to do to convince you that it's fine?" You could tell he was so mad at this guy for questioning his abilities. He had obviously been doing this for years. He turned to me and said " This is the most beautiful incision!" light heartedly and I immediately relaxed and knew that everything was fine after all. The resident doctor came back a couple hours later. (I feel like he times his visits to show up when I am alone.) He apologized for worrying me and THEN went on to tell me that I can't have a lot of kids because there are only so many c-sections a woman can have. SERIOUSLY? You are NOT my doctor! Garth was sooo mad. I learned that next time I am in labor and a resident doctor comes up and nicely asks you if he can sit in on your labor, you tell him to turn around and GET OUT. (I'm kidding... I think).

Those hospital days weren't all bad.  One of my favorite memories was the next night after he was born, I just got out of the shower and I had found out they pricked Grant's foot while I was gone and he was crying. I held him close and he started to calm down. I looked at him and it finally all HIT me. I didn't cry when I held him the first time, I was way to deliriously happy, but that night I CRIED and just kept saying " I am just soo happy!" to my mom and Garth. It took 24 hours but the tears came, and they hit me hard!

There were also a lot of happy moments as Grant was visited by so many family members and friends who fell in love with him right away! 

New Grandparents!

Our First Family Pictures
After being in the hospital for 3 days, they came in and told me I needed to switch to a shared room. I basically told them that the only way I was leaving this room was if they were letting me go home. After pretty much bullying them into calling my doctor, he gave me the clear and we finally got to take our precious baby boy home!

Recovering from my C-section has been challenging, and I still have a ways to go, but I would do it again in a heartbeat for my little guy. Even though the whole birth process didn't turn out as I expected, I feel so blessed that I have a healthy baby boy. I love him more than anything in the whole world!

1 comment:

  1. What an eventful story, even if it wasn't what you were expecting, it turned out beautifully!