Monday, March 17, 2014

Ethan's Birth Story - Part 1

I feel like the title to this post should really be 'I Have A Feeling...' because I think I made that statement four or five different times as things progressed in ways we weren't expecting during my labor. 

I went to the hospital for the second of my twice weekly Non-Stress Tests on Valentine's Day. My Blood Pressure at the previous NST had been slightly elevated but they hadn't been worried about it. When I got out of bed that morning I said to myself 'I have a feeling my BP is still elevated. Wouldn't it suck if it were and they kept me over night for observation. Nah, they wouldn't do that.' Ha. I should have kept my big mouth shut because a few hours later, my BP was still elevated and they did admit me overnight for observation. Ethan was still doing good, moving well and his heart rate was perfect, so I wasn't really worried. My mom, dad, and sister all kept me company that evening until Todd could get to the hosptial from work. 

Satruday morning I repeated what I now consider my birth 'theme', "I have a feeling I'm going to be induced today." And wouldn't you know it, when my tests came back I had protein in my urine and was diagnosed with preeclampsia.  So, they started me on an oral medication (Cervidil? I can't remember what it was called now...) to start contractions since I wasn't showing any signs of labor. 

I wanted to go as long as I could without pain medication and told my nurse that. She was really supportive of this and said that she wouldn't ask me if I wanted meds unless I asked for them. Todd was really supportive of me attempting a med free too and was encouraging the entire time. Once the contractions started to get more intense, my nurse brought in a birthing ball and showed us how to use it. That thing was amazing and really helped me get through the contractions. If you have the option to use one while in labor, take it!!! 

I labored for about 12 hours (I think...the timing gets a little blurry) without meds and then I hit a wall. Whoever said that kidney stones (which I've had plenty of in my 25 years) are worse than contractions was completley full of sh...well, you know. The contractions were getting really close, less than 2 minutes apart and I was having trouble resting between them. And then a woman came in from the ER downstairs in labor completely screaming bloody murder. The two things combined really freaked me out. If she was in that much pain, how the heck was I going to do it without medication? I let her get inside my head and really kind of lost it. Todd was telling me to breathe (which I responded with 'if you tell me to breathe one more time, I'm going to hurt you) and that I could do it without meds. 

So, I broke down and asked for IV meds. I don't think I could have done more without anything to dull the pain. I don't know how women do natural birth. I got IV Staydol and minutes after getting it, Ethan's heart rate dropped severely. All of a sudden there were 5 or 6 nurses in my room putting oxygen on me and putting me in different positions to try to get him back to where he needed to be. That was the scariest part of labor for me. I felt like my need for rest had put my baby in jepordy and I felt guilty for it. They eventually got his heart rate back up and at that point I was so tired I asked for the epidural. I had wanted to avoid that at all costs but (here it comes again) I had a feeling that I couldn't have done it without the help of the epidural. 

Thankfully, the hospital I delivered at has an on-call anesthesiologist so I only had to wait a few minutes for him to come walking into the room to save me. The epidural was the most magical thing ever. I went from completely unable to rest because of the contractions to being able to sleep and not even feeling them. Fantastic. Best decision ever. Let me tell you. 

After I got the epidural though, my labor slowed. I made it to 10cm but something happened. I'm still not sure what, but my doctor said I wasn't progressing and even though I was at 10cm, I physically couldn't have pushed him out. At that point I had been in labor for quite a while and they were worried about the stress on Ethan. My OB came in and said it was time to move to a c-scetion. After I had gotten the epidural I had had another 'feeling' that things might end in a c-section but hadn't voiced it for fear of it coming true. I didn't want one (I mean, who wants major abdominal surgery?) but I admitted that I was pretty tired and I was worried about Ethan's ability to be okay thourgh a normal delivery. So, I agreed and we went ahead with the section. 

Part 2 will be up tomorrow with the rest of his birth story! 

To entice you to come back tomorrow for the rest of the story and more pictures, here's a picture of Mr. Chunk himself. 

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