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Alonzo is almost a month old and I'm finally getting around to posting his birth story!
It all started with high hopes of a Mother's Day arrival (that was his due date). But Mother's Day came and went, and no baby . The next day I kept getting phone calls and e-mails from people asking "Is he here yet?"... "Are you still pregnant?" - SO annoying! But by the afternoon when I was really getting tired of responding to people saying no, he's not here, I'm still pregnant... I went to the bathroom and WOOOOW, BROTHER - talk about a massive spew of mucus plug. Nasty stuff. BUT... I thought it might be a good sign that labor was around the corner. Well, for the next hour I went to the bathroom 3 times and had to change pads (pantiliners no longer cut it), because I kept having this yellowy-greenish mucusy stuff come out (gross, I know). At that point I decided to call the doc's office in case it might be a slow leak of my water breaking (well actually, first I went on JM and posted about it and most people told me amnio fluid is clear, not green/yellow, so it looked like it was just mucus - bah!). The doctor on call told me it sounded like it was just mucus but to go ahead and come in to L&D anyway. So I gathered our stuff (hospital bag already packed) and DH and we were off to the hospital.
Arriving at L&D I got hooked up to the monitors and then the nurse got ready to do a mucus test (some paper strip thing they rub in the "area" and then depending on the color they can determine if it's mucus or amnio fluid). She sent DH down to registration to take care of the paperwork. Well, the "paper test" revealed that alas, it was just mucus. Oh well... Better safe than sorry. We could go back home and at least know the baby was doing okay and everything else was fine.
Well... before letting me go, the nurse was gonna test my cervix to see if I was dilated any (which was quite likely since I'd lost the plug), and WOOOOWW.... warm water came spewing out of me. The nurse goes "uh, you know what..." and I said "was that my water breaking?" Yup it sure was! YAY!!!
DH came back from registration and I told him "Honey, guess what... we're having a baby!" He was completely perplexed and out of it when I said that - as if it didn't really sink in. It was the funniest thing - he just stood there and said "so... so... uh... what am I supposed to do?"
So then I got hooked up on the IV, and they called for the anesthesiologist to come and tell me about medication options (yes, please - sign me up for an epidural!). They told me they'd give it until 4am and see if my body went into labor on it's own (it was about 10pm at this point), and if not, they'd start pitocin at that time (they had to because there was meconium in the amnio fluid, and the baby had to be born in a reasonable amount of time). They also informed me that the NICU team would be present at the birth due to the meconium b/c they had to suck out the baby's mouth and lungs and make sure he didn't swallow too much of it.
The contractions started pretty quickly after this. I used the breathing techniques that they taught us in childbirth class (but that I never practiced!) and things were going pretty okay. DH and I laid down and turned down the lights and waited (tried to get some sleep but I think we were both to anxious to get any shut-eye). Around midnight the contractions had gotten close to too much to handle for me, so I called for my epi. Getting it in wasn't too bad - actually that acidic stuff they make you drink first was the worst part of it.
Once the epi started working, I was doing good again. DH kept watching the strength and length of my contractions on the monitor and said he was glad for me that I'd gotten the epi b/c they looked mighty strong and painful. I was blissfully feeling nothing.
By 6am I was dilated to almost 10 and it was time to start pushing. Totally different experience than what I'd expected. It was just me, DH and the nurse in the room, and it was a very calm experience (helped by the fact that I wasn't feeling the pain from the contractions - epidurals rock!!). So I started pushing.... and pushing.... and pushing..... and pushing. After an hour they gave me a break and let me labor down for about 30 minutes, hoping the baby would start decending on his own. 7:30am back to pushing. By 8am still not a lot of progress and they called the doctor in. Kept pushing until 8:15 when the doc showed up. It wasn't my OB b/c she doesn't work on Tuesdays so it was the doc on call (which I actually ended up being pretty happy about b/c he was awesome).
At this point I was really frustrated and discouraged. I'd been pushing for almost 2 hours and the baby hadn't moved much. I was tired, exhausted and emotional. Doc then said he was gonna feel and see how far down the baby was and possibly use a vacuum to help him descend. I then busted into tears, probably with a look of fear on my face, because he quickly tried to calm me down saying he wasn't gonna do anything to hurt the baby or me (I have a great fear and aversion towards vacuums and forceps and was determined not to have either put in use during the birth of my baby). Well, he determined that the baby wasn't even far enough down to make the vacuum efficient anyway. He told us his recommendation at this point would be a c-section because we had several things counting against us - (1) I'd been pushing for 2 hours and was exhausted; (2) there was meconium in the fluid and therefore we couldn't wait too long for the baby to be born; (3) my blood pressure was rising; (4) the tilt in my pelvic bone was very narrow and he wasn't sure the baby's head would fit through it; and (5) the baby's heart rate was dropping with the contractions and they didn't wanna risk the baby going into distress.
So... a c-section it was. And I was actually quite happy with that decision.
They got me ready, got DH into scrubs, and rolled me into the OR. Once they opened the door and I saw the sterile environment, big overhead lights, medical equipment and monitors, and the ensemble of medical staff in the room, I had a complete melt-down. I went into a panic and started crying and hyperventilating. I all of a sudden felt very scared and overwhelmed. DH and one of the nurses got me calmed down, though. They put up the blue screen so I couldn't see it and DH sat by my head and talked to me, and before I knew it, I heard the baby. It was the most beautiful sound. The first glimpse of him was the most beautiful sight ever. My son. I busted out in tears again, but this time it was happy tears. Such a magical experience.
DH watched the whole procedure and said he was really impressed with the doctor's efficiency - both the way he calmed me down, how he instructed the staff and interns, and worked quickly to get me sewed back up again in no time. And during it all, I realized that I somehow had much more confidence in this doctor than my own. (so I guess it worked out for the better that my own doc was off work that day).
I spent another 3 days in the hospital after the birth, and the staff was amazing. So overall it was a very positive experience for me. I'd definitely do it all over again. Now we're home and trying to get used to everything. Here are some pictures of my little miracle: