Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Aubrey's Birth Story - Finally!

So now that my baby is almost 6 weeks old, I finally got around to finishing her birth story. I must warn you that it is very long and detailed. I wanted to type all the details so I will remember what labor is like for next time. Must not have been too bad if I'm already thinking about next time. :o)

Aubrey was born on Friday, September 12th, 2008. But things started happening way before then, of course. I had gone to the doctor that Monday, September 8th, and was 2cm dilated and 60% effaced. My doctor told me that if I hadn't had her by the 17th we would induce. I began to mentally prepare for the 17th because I really didn't think I would have her early. They say first babies hardly ever come early, right? Anyway, on Wednesday, September 10th, David and I came home from church and decided we would go on a walk. We ended up waking about 2 miles. I joked that it was going to put me into labor. When we got home, I realized that I was beginning to lose my mucus plug. I got all excited and immediately looked that up in my pregnancy books. They said that could be a sign that labor would start within 24 hours or a couple of weeks! No kidding! I'm 39 weeks pregnant - of course I'll be in labor within a couple of weeks. So anyway, I went to bed thinking nothing was going on.

I slept soundly and wasn't having any contractions. When I woke up Thursday morning, I was still loosing my mucus plug. I also noticed I was having some very mild cramping. Nothing painful, so I really didn't think much of it. I called my mom and told her, and of course she insisted that I was in the early stages of labor. I had a normal, low-key day on Thursday, and didn't really even pay attention to the cramps. They didn't have any pattern whatsoever, so I assumed that even if they were contractions they had to be Braxton Hicks. (I had never had any Braxton Hicks, so I had no clue what they would feel like.) When David got home around 4:30, I mentioned that I had been having some cramps, but that I hadn't timed them so I had no clue if they were developing a pattern or how far apart they were. He said to tell him when I had one and we would time them. At first they were around 20 minutes apart and didn't last very long at all. I thought there was no way that was labor.

We go to karate on Thursday nights, and we leave our house around 5. In the car on the way, my "cramps" (I guess I'll start referring to them as contractions now) were about 10 minutes apart. They were getting closer together faster than I thought they would, but they still weren't painful so I thought this had to be false labor. When we got to karate, my mom was trying to contain her excitement. (I was annoyed because she thought I was in labor and I knew this couldn't be it.) She started timing the contractions for me, and by the end of class they were 5 minutes apart. They were only about 30 seconds long, and still not painful, so I continued to be in denial. I had been told that you call your doctor when your contractions were 5 minutes apart, were 1 minute long, and you couldn't talk through them. Well, mine were 5 minutes apart, but that's it. I could definitely talk through them. As a matter of fact, I had David stop at Wendy's on the way home to get a cheeseburger for me! I couldn't be in labor if I was wanting to eat a cheeseburger!

So after getting home and eating my cheeseburger, I was kind of at a loss for what to do. I mean, what do you do when you think you might possibly be in labor? We kept timing the contractions for about 2 hours, and they would seem to get closer together and then one would be further apart. It was kind of frustrating. We ended up packing our hospital bags. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. After we finished packing, David asked if I wanted to go to bed and try to get some sleep. So we went to bed, but I couldn't go to sleep. By this point the contractions were pretty uncomfortable, but still not unbearable. I definitely couldn't sleep through them though. I kept saying, "I just don't know what to do." David kept telling me to call the doctor, but I didn't want to jump the gun. At about midnight, I decided that we should start timing them again and then decide if it was time to call the doctor. They were 3-4 minutes apart and about 45 seconds long. I thought I would call the doctor and just ask what I should do. So we called at 1:30 and much to my surprise, they told me to go to the hospital. (I don't know why I was surprised? Guess I was still in denial that this was labor!) I kind of freaked out and took a quick shower. AND I put makeup on! I was determined that I would have makeup on when I gave birth.

The weird thing was that as I was taking a shower and getting ready to go to the hospital, and even on the car ride to the hospital, my contractions seemed to really slow down and become less painful. Of course I was telling David the whole way to the hospital that this meant I wasn't really in labor and they were just going to send us right back home, and I was going to feel like the biggest idiot, and so on and so on... I even made him leave our bags in the car when we got there since we were just going to be coming right back out. Haha.

Well, we got to the labor and delivery floor and checked in. We were sent to a room, and I had to change into a lovely, HUGE hospital gown. It was about 3:00 by this time. A nurse came in and checked me and said that I was 3-4 centimeters dilated! I was very surprised and happy. I started thinking that maybe this was the real thing after all. I was hoping it was because the pain was still very bearable, and you can get an epidural at 4 centimeters. I told the nurse that I had been afraid that I would be sent home. She said she would talk to the on-call doctor and ask if they could induce me in the morning if I wasn't progressing since I was 39 weeks and already there and checked in. The doctor said yes, so it was official! We were staying and having a baby one way or another! At this point, David went to the car and got our bags and called our families. He told them not to come until morning, but we just wanted them to know what was going on. Of course my mom said, "I told you so!"

The nurse came back in and started my IV. That wasn't fun. My vein blew in one hand, so she had to go to the other hand. It was ok though. I told her that I uncomfortable, so she gave me some Stadol through my IV to dull the pain. After that David and I were able to get about 2 hours of sleep, which was much needed. After about 2 hours, the medicine started wearing off and I could no longer sleep though the contractions. At about 7:00 am, a doctor came in and said that my doctor wasn't there that day, and she would be delivering my baby. I was a little disappointed that my doctor wasn't there, but the lady who delivered was nice too, so it was ok. She checked me and said that I was 5-6 centimeters. I asked if I could go ahead and get the epidural. She was planning on breaking my water at this point, but since I wanted an epidural, she said she would wait until after to break my water. Apparently Aubrey was very low at this point, and the doctor said if she were to break my water, I would progress too quickly and I wouldn't be completely numb "down there" when it came time to push. I sure didn't want that!

So, a short time later the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural. Everyone had been talking about how wonderful the anesthesiologist on call was, and how great it was for me that he was the one on call that day. I wasn't really worried about the epidural at all. I wanted the pain to be be gone, and I figured a little prick in my back was no big deal. And I was right. The epidural didn't hurt at all. No biggie. The anesthesiologist was in and out really fast too, and I figured it was smooth sailing from there on out. Wrong! Almost immediately, I noticed that one of my hands was starting to go numb. I mentioned this to the nurse and she said it was from the blood pressure cuff. Sometimes the epidural can cause your blood pressure to drop, so they have to monitor it continually for a while after you get an epidural. Well, this made sense until my other hand started to go numb too. When I told the nurse this, she went and got an alcohol pad and rubbed it on my arm. She asked if it felt cold. I told her no - I couldn't feel it at all. I also started to feel like I couldn't breath, and this caused me to get a little panicked. She rubbed the alcohol on my chest and I couldn't feel that at all either. She looked very concerned and immediately turned the epidural off. She told me that as long as I could talk, I was breathing. I just couldn't feel myself breathing. She gave me oxygen anyway. The anesthesiologist came back in and explained that what must have happened was that my spinal sack was nicked with the needle, but fluid didn't come out so he didn't realize that it had been nicked. Because the epidural medicine got into my spinal sack, the medicine went all over my body and I ended up with a spinal instead of an epidural. This is what c-section patients have. The nurse said I was literally numb enough to have a c-section - I wouldn't have felt a thing. Let me just say that being that numb is a scary feeling.

So after that drama, we had to wait a little while to let some of the numbness wear off. There was no way I could push at all being that numb. After a little while, I got feeling back in my arms and my chest, but my legs were still dead weights. I progressed very quickly after getting the epidural and by about 9:00 I was fully dilated. The nurse told me that there was still no way that I would be able to push hard enough to get the baby out. Since Aubrey was so low, she said they would be able to get her out with the vacuum. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of sucking my baby out with a vacuum, but I've heard it sounds way worse than it actually is. At that point, I was just ready to see her! So the doctor came in and told me to push as best I could. I wasn't able to push much at all because I couldn't get a deep breath because my chest was still somewhat numb. I was only able to hold my breath for a count of 4 or 5 instead of 10. But I was able to push enough for them to say we might not need the vacuum after all. They called in several more nurses, and got the room all set up, and that's when I knew the time had finally come! I was about to see my baby for the first time!

I had a nurse climb up on the bed and sit above my head. She pushed down on my stomach from the top. I also had a nurse on either side of me pushing on my stomach from the sides. I pushed as much as I could and out popped Aubrey's head! It took no time at all! It was bizarre because they all said, "The head is out!" but I couldn't feel a thing. They gave one more push and out she came at 9:58!! The doctor laid her on my chest, and it was the most amazing feeling in the world. I can't even describe how wonderful it is to see your baby for the first time. She was absolutely beautiful, and I loved her completely.

I found out later that I ended up with an episotomy and a third degree tear. Thankfully, I didn't feel any of it. I thought the recovery would be terrible, but it wasn't at all. I only took a prescription pain reliever once or twice. I was very blessed with a wonderful birth experience and an easy recovery. Ironically, the epidural was the worst part. That was really a freak thing though, so I think I will give the epidural another chance. ;o)

If you made it through this whole story, thank you for reading! You should leave me a comment so I will know you persevered till the end! :o)

10 comments:

rachel989 said...

i cried. no kidding. i miss yall!

Ashley said...

Even though I heard the whole thing from you personally, I read it again!

1. I am adament about wearing makeup. No other option.

2. I am PRAYING my contractions are like yours.

3. I think numbing sounds awesome.

4. I can't wait to see Evy :o)

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I read till the end! It made me teary =D Thanks for sharing it with us!
Aunt Sarah T.

Joy and Chris said...

Wow, that was great! I loved reading the whole thing! I hope my labor & delivery go that easily :/

KTElltt said...

YAY! I love that little thing. She is a doll. And you are a great mom -- just typing out this story so completely shows that...

Tommy, Suzanne, and Mary Peyton said...

i read the whole thing. and i had a c-section, so i COMPLETELY understand the way it feels to be numb the way you were describing....

and, yes, the feeling of seeing your baby for the first time is amazing....

The Williams Family said...

I read the whole thing and I must say that I also was unsure of labor even on Joel! It is so much easier to see it in others. I'm glad that I was right at karate that Thursday night and that we didn't have to wait any longer to meet Aubrey!!

Christy said...

I have been checking in through Ashley's blog..

Congratulations!! I am so glad you had a good experience and a healthy baby! I am WAY impressed that you went to karate!!!

Rebecca said...

I made it through the story! I'm a pretty queasy person, so I wasn't sure if I could make it past the epidural part-that sounds scary. Thank you for sharing this!

Mrs. Langhans said...

I am so glad you found my blog! Your birth story sounds awesome! Aren't little girls the best! Your sweet baby is gorgeous! Sewing is so much fun and so easy! I have taught myself, but I bet a class would be really fun too! Can't wait to hear more about your sweet baby!