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On Wednesday night (the 14th) of April I had woke up about 4 times during the night with a hard contraction. I had noticed in the last 2 days that they were becoming more painful and involving more of my back. They were not consistent at all though. Thursday April 15th I woke up with soaked pants. Throughout the morning I noticed I was "leaking" constantly so I called the clinic and they asked me to come in right away. We finished packing our bags and got Lydia ready to go to my Grandparent's house. We dropped her off and were on our way around 10am. My contractions were becoming a little more consistent, at least time-able on the way to the hospital (1.5 hrs away), I was having a contraction about once every 20 min. When we got to the hospital they got me right into a room and had me change into a gown. Then they did a swab and sent it to lab to make sure it was amniotic fluid. The nurse came back in and told me I "was a keeper". They proceeded to set up my iv and get my antibiotics going for the Group B. By the time I was all set up with the monitors and IV my contractions were becoming more painful and a bit closer together, about 7-8 minutes apart. When they checked me at the time of admission I was still 2cm and 50% effaced, just as I was at my 38 week appointment I had 2 days earlier.
After laboring on my own for about 3 hours the doctor decided they wanted to put my on pitocin to get things going a little quicker. They were worried about me having my water broken since last night and didn't want to risk problems of prolonging labor. They started the pitocin and I labored with the pit for another 3 hours. By the end of the 3 hours I was in excruciating pain, each contraction would get worse and worse and more intense. It was at that point I decided to get the epidural. I was 4cm and 90% effaced at this time. I had 2 contractions while getting the epidural, which was really hard. It took about 30 minutes for it to fully take effect and after that I was so comfortable and relaxed. I wasn't in any pain at all but could still feel and move my legs and feet. After another hour the doctor came and checked me again and I was whopping 8 cm and 90% effaced. I was SO surprised. I had expected her to come in and say I was .5 a cm more. It just didn't seem possible that I could be so comfortable and not in any pain but make SO much progress so fast. Another hour later she checked me again and told me I was complete. She said "HELLO BABY!" when she checked me. I guess his head was right there. They had me do a couple practice pushes. Then I started pushing with each contraction. It took 30 minutes of pushing and Jack Ryan was born. It was 9:32pm. He was 6lb 15oz and 19in.
He cried really hard and they put him on my belly as they wiped him off. Then they took him to go do the routine checks. The noticed his breathing was a little labored so they decided to do an xray where they found some air pockets in his chest cavity. This happens sometimes when the chest is compressed through the birth canal then it expands rapidly after birth, accompanied by a hard cry which can trap air outside of the lungs in the chest cavity. This air then puts pressure on the lungs and doesn't allow for baby to breath quite right. The pediatrician at Spearfish did not feel comfortable keeping him there in case the pockets would not go away or get worse so they called the neonatal department in a nearby bigger city to come get him (30 min away). This was the hardest thing I have ever been through. Not being able to hold or breastfeed my child and being separated from him right after birth. That was the longest worst night of my life having him taken away.
They promptly released me the next morning and DH and I headed right over to see Jack. The neonatal practitioner had called me at 2:30am the night of his birth and said they did another x-ray and noticed that it was already starting to go away. By the end of the 2nd day the air pockets were completely gone. But they wanted to keep him there at least 3 days since they had him on antibiotics that they wanted him to finish. (Although he never had an infection - it was precautionary as they said). Meanwhile I had started pumping since the night they took him to get my milk to come in. I had collected all my colostrum and they would give it to him in a small tube in his mouth the first day. The 2nd day they made him eat at specific times and specific amount of formula. This I did not understand. It seemed like they were feeding him so much that he would throw up afterward. My Grandparents brought DD to us on Saturday and she stayed with us after that until we went home on Monday.
On Sunday they allowed him to leave the nursery and room in a private room with me at the hospital. He should have been free to go in my opinion but they wanted to make sure he would "feed on demand" while breastfeeding. They made me record every time he ate and for how long and if he urinated or pooped. I had to keep all his diapers for weighing and they weighed him that night to make sure he wasn't losing weight. He had gained weight, as well as being taller and his head larger than he was the day prior. The next morning they did his circumcision and a hearing test they do for all babies before release. By 11am we were free to go. Meanwhile DH had been with DD at a hotel. She had never got to meet him until the trip home since they do not allow children in the NICU.
We were so glad to be going home. I am very thrilled that I was able to have a painless and successful VBAC. It was a great experience, and would have been perfect if not for his air pockets. We are so thankful and blessed that it was a very minor thing and everything got better on its own.
We are so blessed to have 2 beautiful children. Our family is now complete with our little Jack. DH & I are so in love with our babies. We couldn't be any more proud.
Jack is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your story. I can't imagine how hard it would be to have your baby taken to another hospital like that. I'm so glad that he did just fine, and that all is well now. Congratulations!
Wendy, Mom to
Kyron, Porter, Donovan, Jocelyn, Angel Baby Bernadette, & Alice