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Alexander's birth story


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  #1  
January 8th, 2012, 02:17 PM
Chellie's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 438
(copy/pasted from my Facebook)

A little after midnight on Thursday, 12/22, I hauled my enormously pregnant self to bed and rolled around trying to get comfortable. Andy had to be up at 5:30am for work so I tried not to disturb him. In the days leading up to that night I was more & more uncomfortable; I lumbered rather than walked, I flopped into chairs and bed, nothing I did was graceful. I'd only gained about 20lbs during the entire pregnancy but it felt like 200lbs. I felt like a land yacht.
I settled into a somewhat tolerable position in bed and watched a show about the San Andreas fault on the tablet computer. When that show ended I loaded up an episode about the Challenger Deep, and a few minutes in I realized something was amiss. Several thoughts raced through my head - what was that? I'm not sweating, am I? Did I wet myself?? - and then I lept to my feet (about the most graceful thing I'd done in weeks!) and ran to the bathroom.

After a few minutes confirming what I suspected ('no, that isn't pee pouring out of my nether regions'), I headed back to the bedroom to wake Andy & tell him the news. It was 1:06am.
I shook his shoulder gently, quietly said his name, until he mumbled a "huh?"
"Honey, my water broke. We've got to go to the hospital tonight. Time to have this baby."
His eyes flew wide open and he made the funniest noise, a semi-choked "GAHHH!!!!!" I told him to try & relax in bed for a little bit while I called my doctor, my mom, & my sister.

I called my doctor's answering service; she was on call that night so I was able to speak with her right away. She confirmed that we should head on in to the hospital immediately (even though I wasn't having regular contractions) and she called ahead to get the check-in process underway.
Then I called my mom - she didn't answer the phone. Dang it. I called again. No answer, so I left a message and called my sister. My sister is a night owl so I was a bit surprised when she didn't answer either! I had just enough time to start to panic before my sister called me back a few minutes later. I told her what was up and that Mom hadn't answered my phone calls. Once she was done squealing & jumping around, she told me to go ahead to the hospital, that she'd go over to Mom's house to physically wake her up and that they'd meet us at the hospital later.

Rather than relax, Andy had gotten up and made a pot of coffee. We drank some while we chucked cell phones/Kindles/ chargers into my hospital bag. It was gonna be a long night; I hadn't slept a wink and Andy had only managed a couple hours, and who knows how long the whole process would take.

We made it to the hospital without any interesting stories (Andy drove normally and I wasn't in any sort of pain to howl dramatically - blah!) and went to the empty emergency room where I happily announced that I was in labor. They were expecting me, and promptly made me sit in a wheelchair even though I assured them I could walk just fine. Nope, wheelchair, and Andy had to push me through the hospital and up to Labor & Delivery. I felt silly.

There was a triage room waiting for me where a nice nurse strapped monitors on my belly and took note of what sort of birth I wanted (epidural the hell out of me, don't lop anything off the baby's penis, and delay cord clamping). She informed me that they don't "officially" delay cord clamping at the hospital, but I could see if the doctor was willing to go along with it. Then she strapped on a bright red DRUG ALLERGY bracelet to my wrist - I'm allergic to lidocaine (a local anesthetic) in a major way. Remember this point.

At some point while I was in triage my sister arrived. She'd gone over to Mom's house and woke her up, but told her to try and nap a little bit and that we'd call her once we had a better idea of when Alexander would arrive.
During this time they had been monitoring my contractions which were weak and irregular. Since my water had broken we were sort of fighting the clock - there's a greater risk of infecton, so they want to deliver within 24 hours. The nurse gave me the option of starting Pitocin (a labor-inducing drug) immediately to get the ball rolling, or we could wait a few hours to see what happened. I elected to wait, so they transferred me to my delivery room with the plan to start Pitocin at 6am if needed.

Mom couldn't sleep so she met us in the delivery room at something like 4am. I had Christmas music playing while we watched my contractions get a little stronger, but still not strong enough.
At 6am they started the Pitocin, and shortly thereafter the anesthesiologist came in to talk with me about my epidural. This is where things started to unravel a little.

The anesthesiologist was looking at my chart and frowning. He asked me about my lidocaine allergy and, after some discussion, he said things were a little more complicated now and that he needed to bring my case to the Chief of the Anesthesiology department. They use lidocaine (or a drug similar enough to it) to numb the back before inserting an epidural so they needed to put their heads together to figure out how to handle my allergy. When he left I was still chipper, as he said he was certain there were other options for me.

A couple hours passed and my contractions were getting much stronger and, while painful, not nearly painful enough to need any pain management. I labored in a rocking chair for a while, and when that got too uncomfortable I headed back to bed. Then the pain really started. I closed my eyes & breathed through the contractions until 10am, when I buzzed the nurse and said I was ready for my epidural.

I've dislocated both shoulders multiple times, I've broken several bones, I've experienced some pretty intense pain in my life (especially during those wrestling years!) and I'd managed for nearly 20 years to do so without anything stronger than Advil... yet here I was asking for pain management.
Those contractions really hurt.
When the anesthesiologist came in, he had the Chief dude with him. They broke it down for me: I could be allergic to the lidocaine itself, or I could be allergic to a preservative used in the drug - no one knew for sure without further testing that we didn't have time for. There were no drug options that were safe in both cases: in other words, if they guessed I was allergic to the drug and they gave me something else, but I was actually allergic to the preservative, the allergy would kick in (and vice versa) and, well... my heart would stop.
They didn't want my heart to stop in the middle of labor and, frankly, neither did I.
Guess I'm doing this without drugs. It was about 10:30am, and my sister had to leave for a little while to go to work.

As an aside, I had planned through the entire pregnancy to have a medicated birth. I didn't take any classes or watch any videos or do ANY sort of preparation for a natural, unmedicated birth. I didn't know what the heck I was doing.

So there I was around 11am or so (everything becomes a blur around this time), Christmas music merilly playing in the background, and the contractions hurt.like.hades.
I'm no longer stoic; I don't sit there breathing deeply, eyes closed, to handle the pain. Nope. I start wailing with each one. Andy & Mom are largely helpless. The nurse helps me to labor on a yoga ball which makes the pain a little more manageable, but soon I graduate from wailing to howling.
In my haze I asked for my sister at some point - my mom texted her, she ran full-tilt out of the restaurant, through a busy dining room, to race back to the hospital.
My contractions remained fairly irregular, but were strong enough that the nurse called for my doctor to come in even though I wasn't fully dilated yet. On paper it seemed like I had a ways to go, but I later overheard the nurse saying she had a gut feeling and that she followed it.

I really don't remember much at all aside from the waves of pain until a very clear memory of the nurse & my OB encouraging me to breathe through this contraction, not to bear down. I was lying on my left side with a cold washcloth on my forehead. Screw breathing through the contraction... "He's coming!" I yelled/wailed/somehow informed the medical professionals in attendance. They rolled me over and, sure enough... it was *really* time to have that baby right then. Not only had I dilated from 8cm to 10cm in something like 10 minutes, but he was crowning.

After the pain of the contractions, the actual birthing part was pretty easy. It only took about 5 pushes with my very skilled OB helping guide Alexander out so I didn't tear at all.
Before I knew it he was screaming & laying on my tummy, and I did manage to gasp out to delay the cord clamping which my OB was happy to oblige. It was 1:12pm; I had been in labor for 12 hours & 6 minutes from start to finish.
I was in shock. I kept asking insightful questions such as "Did I really just do that?" and, in my shining moment, pointing to Alexander as Andy leaned over us crying (him crying, not me) and saying "Look what we made, honey!!!" (hurrrr)

All the while, Christmas music was still playing. LOL

Oh yeah, Andy cried. I asked him if he was crying and he insisted he wasn't while he was wiping his eyes. He still denies that he was crying, but I know better.

After a few minutes my OB said Alexander's cord had stopped pulsing and was I ready to move on to the next step. I was, Andy cut the cord, and they took him away for just a few minutes to measure & weigh him. He checked out healthy, I checked out healthy and not needing any stitches, and we were wheeled off into the sunset to our lovely hospital room for the next two days. Alexander stayed in the room with us the entire time save for a 15 minute checkup in the nursery with his pediatrician.

We got to go home Christmas Eve afternoon, just in time to enjoy the holidays!
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  #2  
January 8th, 2012, 02:38 PM
justjaQ's Avatar Platinum Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sterling Heights, MI
Posts: 19,640
congratulations on your little boy!!
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msjaQ- 28, pantheist AP detroit mama to:
timothy michael, august 31, 2003, 12:02pm, 8 lb. 4 oz., 21"- 38 wks.
melissa may, april 7, 2006, 1:31pm, 7 lb. 10.5 oz., 19.5"- 36.5 wks
nicholas michael, january 31, 2010, 5:12pm, 5 lb. 11 oz., 18.25"- 37.1 wks
damon michael, january 21, 2012, 1:31am, 6 lb. 14 oz., 20", 38 wks
rainbow baby left me at 6-1/2 weeks on 09.08.12~ never forgotten, sweet child


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  #3  
January 9th, 2012, 12:17 PM
hoping and waiting's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Posts: 2,860
Wow! Great birth story! Thanks for sharing and congratulations!!
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  #4  
January 9th, 2012, 10:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,191
Well written! Thanks for sharing and congrats on your little boy!!!
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  #5  
January 10th, 2012, 08:58 AM
~*~Tracy~*~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Alberta
Posts: 5,272
Congrats again!! Great story
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  #6  
January 10th, 2012, 11:18 AM
Blue-Jay's Avatar Jenny
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,229
That is a great story! I hope that's just how my labor and delivery goes (I planned natural and drug-free, lol). on your little boy.
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  #7  
January 20th, 2012, 01:03 AM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 20,687
Intense!great job though!!!!
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