Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Birth Story

While it's still fresh on my mind, I want to record what happened on the day Miles was born so that we have it for later when the details will have escaped me.  Read on if you want to know how everything went.  In a nutshell, the birth was not as planned but still wonderful. 


Although he was originally due on March 11th, Mr. Miles apparently enjoyed his accommodations and decided to stay put for another week until I was scheduled to be induced on the morning of March 18th.  We were originally going to have him the day before, but too many people elected to have St. Patrick's Day babies and the hospital was full.

Nick and I left our house a little before 7am, and it was so strange to think that we'd come home as parents and trusted to care for a baby.  We arrived at the hospital at 7:30, and rode up to the Labor & Delivery floor with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and his wife.  She was far more dressed up for the occasion than I was, but Tony looked like he was about to go take a nap in his warmup suit and armload of pillows.  Nick didn't recognize them, but when we arrived at the desk they were whisked away while we had to sign some forms.  That was the last that Nick and I saw of them, but apparently their son was born across the hall a few hours before Miles.  

Once we got settled in the labor room, I put on a stylish gown and met the nurse who'd be attending me that day.  She began to set up my IV for pitocin, but it immediately began to go poorly since I have terrible veins in my arms.  She ended up calling another nurse, and eventually the nurse anesthetist who wrapped my arm in hot towels in hopes of getting blood vessels to expand so they could get a tube in.  90 minutes later on the 8TH TRY (the last 4 without lidocaine), and 4 blown out arm veins, I got my IV.  By this time, my doctor had come and gone, and she wouldn't be back until noon to break my water, so we got the drugs going and sat around waiting for something to happen.

 It hurts when your veins burst

The next few hours consisted of me reading magazines and watching TV while Nick sat in an uncomfortable recliner and my parents came in and out to visit.  Definitely not like you see in movies.  The nurse showed me that I must have a really high pain tolerance, because the contractions were getting strong and close together but I was only mildly uncomfortable.  This was shocking to me, since I want to pass out when I stub my toe or cut my hand.

After lunch, my doctor returned and found that my body wasn't making any progress so she broke my water (OMG painful!) and increased the dosage on the pitocin.  The next few hours were more uncomfortable than the morning, but I found that I could bear the pain if I breathed through it and focused on the Arrested Development episodes we were watching on Nick's computer.  I didn't like the idea of being unable to walk to the bathroom, and never felt truly miserable, so I declined the epidural for the time being.

In the late afternoon, the nurse announced that I was still not making much progress towards 10cm and that Miles had yet to drop down as far as he needed to go for things to get moving.  I realized that we were probably going to be there a lot longer, so I decided to go ahead and get the good drugs in hopes that it would speed things along.  The epidural wasn't fun to receive, but it certainly wasn't painful and I was silly for waiting.  The next few hours were spent laying on my side talking to my family, in no pain whatsoever.

Late in the evening, the nurses found that I still had not made any progress and had been at 4cm (out of 10) since early afternoon and my doctor planned to return at 9pm, but it looked like a c-section was likely because Miles' heart rate had been fluctuating all day and they thought he may be in a poor position.  My doctor confirmed their suspicions, and I began freaking out because I had not really mentally prepared for the possibility of a cesarean birth.  I think I asked for an explanation of what would happen from 3 different people, all of whom patiently explained it to me, and I was quickly prepped for the 25 minute surgery and wheeled to the operating room.

I got additional medicine through the epidural port in my back, and went completely numb from the waist down.  I could feel pressure if someone touched me, but no pain from being pinched or poked - it was such an odd feeling!  I am the sort of patient who asks ninety "is this normal?" questions, and proceeded to do that up until the big moment when my doctor announced that they were about to remove the baby.

Those thirty seconds felt really long, and all I wanted was to hear a cry and see my little boy.  Then I heard him (he sounded sort of like a little goat) and the nurse held him up over the draping so I could see him for a second before he went to the little baby station/warmer about 5 feet to my left.  There he was wiped down, and his nurse was busy sucking fluid from his nose and mouth for a few minutes while Nick looked on and I watched from the operating table until my neck muscles started to hurt.  At this time, the doctors let me know that Miles had been face out, and turned toward my right hip bone in the womb, so there was little chance that traditional labor would have been successful.  My day of contractions only succeeded in pushing his head into a space where it wasn't going to fit and he had a pretty epic cone head when they pulled him out.

Once an abnormally large amount of amniotic fluid was suctioned from his belly, my little guy was wrapped up and brought over to me so I could touch him with my hand that was not all tingly and give him a kiss while he laid on my chest for a few minutes.  Best moment ever.

While the doctors finished putting me back together and discussed their favorite places to ski, Nick and Miles went back to our labor room and waited for me to get wheeled back.  About 20 minutes later, I joined them and got to hold my baby and just stare at him, and he stared back at us.  Then it was fun to see my parents get to hold him and fall in love, as well.

Around 12:30, we were brought upstairs to our postpartum room, and got settled in for what would be a few days of recovery.  The nurses had me up and walking to the bathroom on my own late the next morning, and Miles and I began our struggle with breastfeeding and received visits from my mom, my sister, and my cousin Jaclyn.  I was in a good bit of pain until we found the right mix of medicine that wouldn't make me throw up a bunch of water on my child (this happened - it wasn't fun)  Our second night was pretty awful and screamy, and we didn't get much rest, but that is apparently very normal and things got better as the week went on.

On Thursday, we had a visit with my friend Leah and her son John (he is 40 days older than Miles) and had what seemed like 50 visits from various nurses and hospital staff needing signatures and verifications for eleventy billion things.  It was really hard to get rest!  Miles also ended up needing a procedure to suction even more amniotic fluid from his belly, since it was making him spit up all the milk he was getting and we were already having a hard time keeping him awake long enough to take in enough.  However, I was feeling much better and our little guy started doing well that evening when I began pumping milk for him to drink from a syringe while we worked on our latching and positioning skills (tough to do with a c-section incision).

On Friday morning, we were cleared to go home, and set out for Irving and the next chapter of our lives!

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