Sunday, February 26, 2006

Birth Story: Part I

Where do I begin?

Sunday morning, I woke up for my usual potty break, and noticed something was different. I went back to bed with cramps, and some mild contractions and finished my morning off (*sigh* And I thought I was losing sleep then? Crazy woman, I was). All day long, the contractions kept up, but at no regular rate, and sometimes going away for hours on end. Also? The other "tell, tell sign of labor" kept up, reminding me how nice it was to go 9 months without this stuff. Mom and Dad got very excited, and decided that with the induction scheduled for the end of the week anyways, they'd take a chance and come on up Sunday afternoon, as to not have to drive 5 hours in the smack-dab-middle of the night. We went to bed Sunday night, and I was totally convinced that my body, being retarded as it had been, would just stop.

So, Monday I woke up a little hungry, but feeling crampy again. I got up, fixed myself some cereal, and sat there, realizing that the cramps were contractions. "Okay," I thought, "these are contractions, but they'll probably go away." So I get up from eating, make some coffee for everyone (Forrest, Mom, Dad, and my brother, Justin). Mom comes in, and we start talking...about what, I can't remember, but it was around this time that the contractions started getting my attention. They didn't really hurt, they just made me have to stop a minute... (well, they hurt... I can't say that they didn't, but... it's hard to explain, but yeah, you understand). I decided around 8:45 that I wanted to go into the doctor that day instead of Tuesday to see my progress. So I called the doctor, and they told me that my appointment was actually for that day, not Tuesday, that my "idiot brain" had kicked in. My appointment was at 11, so I got up to go get a shower and clean up. During my shower, I realized that I'd probably better get ready, just in case they sent me to the hospital. Then I promptly laughed at myself for such foolish thinking, and went back to getting ready. I'm so glad I got that shower.... :)

We arrived at the doctors office, and the doctor examined me and pronounced me 3 cm, 75%-80% effaced. She gave us two choices. Either walk around and try to progress on our own. Or she'd admit me to the hospital, break my water, and try to get things going that way. I opted with the first one at first, saying I was pretty hungry and wanted to get some lunch. To which, she gave me this half-smile and said, "Honey, just keep in mind, whatever you eat now, may come up later." And that's all it took. Telling a pregnant lady she couldn't eat. So I decided to head over to the hospital with the promise from my OB that she'd get me past triage by telling them I was leaking fluid (totally wasn't).

We arrived at the hospital, and as promised, we were rushed past triage and straight to our room. And what a room it was. We had the corner room, with a view of the heliport (which only fascinated the other people NOT in labor). Anyways, I was still contracting, but they were still manageable. My doctor came in and broke my water, which was actually pretty painless. She checked me, and I was between 4 and 5 cm. So 1 cm in an hour. Pretty good progress. Then, after my doctor left, the contractions went from being tolerable, to very painful. For the first little while, I was able to breathe through them, holding Forrest's hand. I refused to look at the monitor during the contraction, but after one was over, I looked over, and they were off the chart. They were lasting around 2 minutes, peaking for 45 seconds. And, they were only minutes apart. So by the time I'd gotten over one, and barely caught my breath, the other one had started. They became increasingly excruciating, and so, knowing that it could take a while for the anesthesiologist to come, I went ahead and ordered the epidural. At first, I just looked at Forrest and apologized for not making it further, and he looked at me like I was crazy, and said that with those contractions, he would have taken the medicine before then.

Finally, the anesthesiologist came in with the head nurse. They had Forrest sit down on a stool as not to pass out, and they began getting me ready. The head nurse was on call, and on the phone, all the while, trying to encourage me to stay still. The anesthesiologist was also on the phone trying to handle some other patient, while scrubbing me down. And suddenly, I grew very, very afraid. Both of these people were on the phone, and one of them was about to stick a needle in my SPINE! Thankfully, the nurse managed to get off the phone and talk me through the procedure, and the anesthesiologist got off the phone before sticking my spine. The nurse ended up being very nice, and held my hand while talking me through it. I will have to say, this probably was the most terrifying part of the entire labor... beginning to end. As soon as the epidural was in, I started to feel a bit better. They had to up the medicine though because I was still feeling uncomfortable pressure with pain at the peak of each contraction.

An hour later, around 4:45, the nurse checked me and I was still 5 cm. My parents, brother, and Forrest were all in the room about this time, and we just sat around visiting. We were waiting on Forrest's mom and step-dad to get there, and of course, they were stuck in Northern Virginia traffic on I-95. Finally, around 5:45, my doctor came in and checked me. I was 9 1/2 cm and 100% effaced. I asked again if I understood her correctly, because... 5 cm to 9 1/2 cm is 4 1/2 cm in ONE HOUR! Hoooooollly Crap!! Finally, Forrest's mom and step-dad arrived, and I got to say hey to them before they all left so that I could start pushing. Once I hit 10 cm, the pressure was immense and incredibly uncomfortable. I was having to breathe through the pressure because they still weren't ready for me to push. Once I started pushing, I grew incredibly anxious and nervous, and felt like I was going to be sick. I spent a good 10 minutes gagging and trying to calm down. Once I was calm, we started the serious pushing. I had the most wonderful nurse in the world to help out, and the most wonderful husband on the other side, counting for me. As Forrest counted, he watched, and kept telling me when he could see the head. I knew Shepherd had a headful of hair before he came out, and I knew that I must be doing something right if Forrest could see his head. After an hour pushing, the doctor started getting ready to actually deliver the baby. As I kept pushing, she informed me that it looked as though she'd have to do an episiotomy. And all of the sudden, it was like my body said, "Hell no!" and pushed the baby's head out, before the doctor could do anything. Then, as I breathed through a few more urges to push, the doctor told me to push the rest of the baby out. And at 8:23 pm, Shepherd Forrest was born. Forrest cried, I cried... they placed Shepherd on my chest, and all I could do was weep for joy that my son had arrived safely.

They took Shepherd off to clean him, and Forrest followed. I watched them over at the side of the room, while my doctor informed me I had a 3rd degree laceration, and she'd be stitching me up for a while. Somehow, I don't remember this because I was too busy watching my husband look over my son. No words can express how joyful and happy I felt at that moment. All of the pain, all of the months of waiting, everything... had led up to this, and it was SOOOOOOOOO worth it. God had blessed me with the most precious gift in all the world, a beautiful, healthy, baby boy. And every day, I fall more and more madly in love with him.


VHMPrincess said...

Wow! Great story! I had that same room with my first son - we have LOTS of video of the helicopter taking off and landing (New Year's eve is busy there!)...

3rd degree laceration...that's terrible - how are you doing now?

Kristin said...

Let me tell ya, good decision on keeping an empty stomach. I didn't believe I was really in active labor & still ate breakfast. Not smart.

I'm totally with you on the epidural. It was the most terrifying part of labor, but it sure did help afterward!

What a great birth story though! I hope your recovery is going well & Logan & I look forward to reading about the wonderful adventures with Shepherd!

Erika said...

It went so fast!!

Isabel said...

I loved reading about what a good experience you had. What a beautiful story. And the pictures...what a beautiful little guy.

Avorie said...

Wow, I'm always amazed to hear how different everyone's labors are.

I'm glad you had a good experience!

Rich said...

Damn Damn Damn!! Damn you!! I am so crying here because of this beautifull story!!! I hope to have a beautifull story here in 5 months 17 days 15 hours 3 minutes and 24 seconds. Thank you for sharing!"

Reesh said...

Wow! Sounds like you progressed quite quickly despite all your concerns that you wouldn't - way to go, your body does work after all! He's beautiful - congratulations Corrine and Forrest and welcome to the world little Shepherd!