So much has happened since I last posted. We bought a home! Our moms came out to visit (at the same time, and they finally met for the first time!), and we had our 5th child – Alan Christopher Mizzell. This is his birth story.
Alan was supposed to come on February 8th. Even though I wasn’t due until March 4th, my doctor wanted to induce me early because of the complications that can come with delivery and having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. He was leaving town on vacation on the 9th and wouldn’t be back until the 22nd. All of my kids, except Anastasia, were born prior to 38 weeks, and he wasn’t sure I’d make it until the 22nd, when I’d be 38 weeks 3 days. However, to induce in Nebraska prior to 39 weeks, you have to have an amnio that confirms lung maturity.
To prepare for the delivery, we had our moms come out and visit. They had never met each other before, and we thought this would be a great time to finally meet! The plan was for Chris’s mom to care for Anthony and David during delivery (we’d take Charlie and Anastasia with us), and for my mom to be in the delivery room since she’s never seen me give birth before. I began having a lot of bloody show around the 5th of February, and my husband and mom were both convinced I wasn’t even going to make it to my induction.
On the 8th, we all went to my MFM doctor for my amnio. Oh my goodness, that was painful! My MFM rocked it out, and it went very quickly, but as soon as the needle was inserted in my uterus I slightly shifted and ended up contracting around the needle. It burned after that. Afterwards, they have to monitor you for an hour to make sure you aren’t going into labor and that the baby isn’t in distress. Alan was not happy. His heart rate was in the 200’s and stayed there for about half an hour before it finally came down and stayed down. The results came back that his lungs were not mature. We found out at my OB appointment that afternoon that his numbers were only 19, and they need 40’s to 50’s to be considered mature. He was REALLY not ready. I was upset, but I didn’t want him to come if he wasn’t ready.
I felt really bad for Chris’s mom. She had wanted to come out at the end of February, but I convinced her to come out earlier so she could meet my mom.
My doctor told me we should try another amnio on the 21st, with an induction on the 22nd. I told him I didn’t think I’d make it, and I really didn’t want another amnio. He told me I might make it, and that I could think on it and make the decision at my next appointment on Monday. Since he was out of town, I was to have my appointment with the PA.
That week, I talked to Chris a lot about it. I was having spells of contractions every 5-7 minutes, but they weren’t intense, and after a few hours they’d peter out. I never had this happen with any other pregnancy, and it was really wearing me down. Chris had the car packed and ready for the hospital, and he drilled the kids with what they needed to do if we had to jump into the car in the middle of the night. My EDS was getting really bad, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to walk. By my appointment, I had made my decision. If he didn’t come on his own before then, we’d induce on the 22nd.
The PA seemed surprised by my decision. She said there wasn’t any instructions in my file about the induction, but she’d call my doctor on vacation and confirm. I felt bad that his vacation was getting disrupted, but they assured me that he was okay with it. I had contracted all night prior to my appointment, and my cervix was now 2 cm and 60%.
On the 21st, he still hadn’t come, so off to the MFM we went. The second amnio was just as painful, and this time it was performed low down so my waistband and my seat belt kept irritating the site. Alan reacted a lot better this time, and his heart rate never became elevated. The whole office was giving me good luck charms and doing good luck rituals to try to encourage my results to come back as mature. They worked! His lungs were mature! We got the results after only 30 minutes – probably because the kids were behaving so awfully.
That night, again, I began having contractions. I joked that Alan was going to make me go through the horrible amnio and then come on his own anyway. He didn’t.
Originally, I was supposed to arrive at the hospital at 7 am, but my doctor had to perform surgery at another hospital at that time, and he was afraid I’d deliver before he got back. So instead he wanted us to show up at 9:30, and they’d start pitocin at 11. This worked better for us, because we have to get the kids to school around 7:30. My friend Debra was kind enough to agree to pick the kids up from school that afternoon, as I wasn’t sure how long I’d be in labor.
After we took the kids to school, we went to grab breakfast. I wanted IHOP, but there wasn’t time, so we went to the donut place instead. I hate donuts, but it was quick and easy. I made the biggest mistake and had orange juice, which made me have the most horrendous acid reflux.
We got to the hospital shortly after 9 so we could register, and then we were escorted to labor and delivery. I got my IV in and answered all the nurses questions. She didn’t seem to believe that I had as short of labors as I claimed, and she was surprised that we were supposed to start the epidural prior the pitocin. On the monitor, I was contracting pretty regularly, and she asked if I could feel them. I told her I could, but they weren’t bad, and it had been happening off and on for the past week. At 11, she started the pitocin, even though I hadn’t gotten my epidural yet. I told her that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that, and she assured me I’d have the epidural prior to the pitocin kicking in. Almost immediately, my contractions became more uncomfortable, but 15 minutes later the anesthesiologist arrived. He came accompanied by the nurse anesthetist, who was still learning to administer epidurals. I HATE being someone’s guinea pig, but I didn’t argue. She pushed the tube to the left about 5 times before she finally got it where it needed to be. I knew my epidural was going to be a lot stronger on that side, and it was.
My left leg was dead to the world, my right leg was a little numb, but I wasn’t in pain. I didn’t realize how much pain I was in until I had my epidural. It was like heaven. I think every EDS patient should get an epidural occasionally just for the mental relief! At 11:30, and then again at 12, she turned my pitocin up. At 1, my OB showed up and checked me. I was dilated to a 3 and about 80% effaced. I told him I was surprised it was taking so long, and he informed me that was because I wasn’t in labor yet. He broke my water and told me he’d suit up and stay nearby. At 2:30, my nurse came in and checked me – I was 4 cm and 80%. She told me I was officially in labor. Around 3, I began feeling pain around my amnio site every time I had a contraction. It hurt pretty badly, and the nurse gave me a push button for my epidural. She didn’t check me; I don’t think she really believed how fast my labors were. She told me she’d check me at 3:30. About 15 minutes later, my contractions became unbearable in that spot. The monitor suddenly shot up and said my contractions were registering at a 150+ and staying there. Chris decided now was the time to change Charlie’s diaper, strap him on his back (yes, we had Charlie and David with us!), and put cartoons on for David.
I wasn’t crying, but I was moaning and tears were streaming down my face. I rolled onto my side to try to alleviate the pain some, and in doing so the monitor slipped off Alan’s heart rate and lost him. The nurse came back in, and I told her I was in a lot of pain and that the push button wasn’t working. She checked me, looked startled, and told me she was getting the doctor. The next thing I know, the doctor and a bunch of nurses are running into the room and prepping me for delivery. Alan was already crowning! Chris managed to get Charlie strapped on and raced over to the bed. Doctor Schropp was already prepped, like he said he would be, and he told me to push once. I pushed, and Alan was born at 3:33 pm, weighing 6 lbs 10.5 oz, 20 inches long. I couldn’t believe how much he weighed! He is our biggest baby yet! I think he would have been born on his own if they hadn’t come in to the room. The pain was most likely caused by the amnio the day before.
I had a pretty bad episiotomy, like normal, and it’s been a bit of a painful recovery.
Alan is 5 days old and doing well. He’s nursing like a champ, he’s already peed on me three times, and all the kids adore him. Charlie isn’t fond of sharing his nursies, but he’s getting better. I’ll have to do another post later with pictures, my little Alansaurus is calling 🙂