Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bo's Birth Story

***Fair Warning - This is long and may contain some details you think fall in the too much information category. Also, forgive me if you find any typos...just overlook them.***

Real quick, 1 1/2 weeks past my EDD (estimated due date), I was about 2 centimers dilated and pretty close to completely effaced. I'd been having random, sporadic contractions, and of course, tons of Braxton Hicks. The only time the contractions (ctx) were consistent was a couple hours a few weeks ago and they were 20 minutes apart.

Now on to the actual birth day story.

Saturday morning, Bob and I headed to see my doctor. The plan was to have a NST (non-stress test), meet with the doctor to discuss how long he would let me go and to see what he could to bring about labor before having to be medically induced.

Everything looked great on the NST. When we went to talk to my doctor, he listened to my concerns about being medically induced and asked that I appreciate where he was coming from too. As a practice, they don't really like to let people go past 42 weeks. His main point being that the risk to the baby due to deterioration to the placenta, which may be low, is unneccesary. We both agreed and decided if I didn't go into labor before Tuesday, I'd come in Tuesday morning to get things started. My doc's first suggestion was to break my water, see if that put me into labor and if it didn't, he'd start me on pitocin. I told him I'd rather do it the other way around - start pitocin, which can be turned off, and let my water break on it's own. I'm pretty sure he said something like, "ok, Greta, what's the deal with the water breaking." I explained my reasons, which are, once your water is broken, contractions typically get much more intense and once it breaks, you can't get it back. He agreed to hold off on the water breaking and start with pitocin.

Before the exam, I told him I did not want to be induced (medically) so I wanted him to do whatever he could to put me into labor before Tuesday. (This is the same doctor who got labor started for me with Sam by stripping my membranes). I thought, surely, I'm almost 2 weeks overdue, there's a full moon the next night, this is my 3rd kid and he was successful before, surely my doc can make it happen. He kept apologizing because the exam was, well let's just say it was less than comfortable. I told him not to apologize because I asked him to do what he could and I definitely would choose the pain discomfort of having him strip my membranes over being induced and being in the hospital for Thanksgiving, oh and missing a little musical that Sam had at school Tuesday morning! (By the way, I got to go and it was hilariously cute!)

We left the doctor's appointment around 11 and headed home hopeful.

I decided to try to take a nap when we got home in case something did happen. I never actually fell asleep. Around 12, I started feeling pretty crampy. With hesistant excitement, I laid there hoping and waiting for contractions. (Yes, at this point, I was hoping for contractions.) 12:10 the first contraction came and I had fairly light contractions every 8-15 minutes, lasting 45 seconds to a minute and a half, for about an hour. Around 1, they started picking up to where they were about 7 minutes apart and lasting 30-45 seconds. They were uncomfortable but definitely not painful or lasting very long. I talked to my doula, Rachel, who suggested I go for a walk outside to see if they would intensify or speed up. They did. From about 2 - 4, ctx were about every 3 minutes but still only lasting about 45-60 seconds.

Before I did that, the boys showed up, with my parents who had been watching them the night before and were planning on bringing them home. They ran around the house, pulled out some toys, tried to jump and climb on me (you can imagine how unpleasant that was) and then headed back out to my parents' house so Bob and I could concentrate on the task at hand - laboring at home! It seems I may have been a bit rude, telling my mom I didn't want the boys to take naps at our house and that I just wanted them (my parents) to get them (the boys) out of the house. Also, I think Bob voiced a bit of concern at this point about having the baby in the car to my Mom.

While they were all rounding stuff up, I headed outside to walk up and down the street. I was stopping for contractions but still wasn't in a ton of pain. I'd say I could walk through them but it was much more comfortable to stop and just breathe through I did. Bob came out after a few minutes and talked to me, basically asking when I thought we should go to the hospital. That seems funny now because after we talked later, we both realized we were thinking we wouldn't have a baby before midnight or so. Wrong.

After my parents got the kids out of the house, Bob settled in to watch Top Gun and I timed contractions, talked with Rachel and tried to get comfortable. Rachel headed our way after telling me I was hard to read. Since I was having ctx pretty close together but they weren't lasting very long, she wanted to see me and get a feel for what stage of labor I was in.

She made it to our house around 4:45, after getting stuck in the median on the highway! I guess in all the excitement, she passed our exit and thought she needed to turn around. (There is a way to get to our house via the next exit, which would've been much more helpful information for her to have prior to the median crossing). She ended up being pulled out by some good ol' boys. Thank you, Alabama.

At this point, I was feeling really tired and sleepy, having some real strong ctx and thinking it was a shame that I wasn't headed to the hospital for an epidural. Shortly after she got to the house and much to Bob's relief, she suggested we go on to the hospital. I was on board with that since we knew my hospital would let me walk the halls if I wanted and labor out of the bed. Basically, whatever we would do at home, we would be allowed to do at the hospital too. So, why wait? After all, Bob didn't want to have that baby in the car.

We stopped by Chick-fil-a around 5:15. Bob ate a sandwich, Rachel got a sandwich and I ate one nugget. I did continue drinking lots of water in hopes that I could avoid IV fluids. I was actually surprised the nurses didn't freak out this time once we got to the hospital and I was still drinking. Maybe they just didn't really have time to crack down.

Once we got to the hospital, around 6, I didn't want to talk to anyone while I was having contractions but they were definitely manageable. When we got to the nurses' station, my nurse asked if I wanted a wheelchair to wheel me the next 25 yds. to my room. Uh, no.

We got situated in the room. I got suited up in a gown and hoisted myself up onto the bed. The nurse checked me and had this smile on her face that I thought meant for sure, I was 7 cm....nope, 5. This lady was very excited about me being a 5. 5 cm. isn't bad, it's great, it's halfway there, I just wasn't quite as excited as her because I knew I was at 3 cm. about 6 hours earlier.

Anyway, she put the fetal monitor on me and we immediately heard an obvious decel in Bo's hearbeat. I think that caused a bit of concern for us all so I rolled over on my side and stayed in bed for a while so the nurse could check my strip to make sure he was tolerating ctx well.

<--- He was doing just fine.

<---I labored on my side in the bed until we were satisfied that Bo was doing alright.

At some point during this time, the nurse who was there for the delivery, Barbie, came in. (We were there during shift change at 7, so we really had one nurse for labor, one for delivery - all within 2 hours. With the first two, I had the same nurse so this was kinda weird). Anyway, Barbie got the facts, this was my third kid and that I was a 5 when we got there. She left the room and came back in with the warmer. I thought, "ha, we do not need THAT yet...but I wish we did!" Apparently she knew things were going to move quickly.

Rachel and I had been talking about going to walk the halls so I decided to go to the restroom first. As I got out of bed, my water broke. There were shouts of joy. No seriously, everyone in the room seemed to have some excited cheery comment to make about it. This was about 7:05 p.m. I headed on to the bathroom and had a few ctx while I was in there. I came back and sat on the bed. We were about to head out when the first nurse, Susan, said she wanted to check me again. She did and had that smile on her face again. "You're a 9/100%/-1...well I'll say 8 to give myself some room," she said. (Whatever that meant...).

So we decided not to head out to walk the halls and instead the nurses brought in a squat bar. I used that for a few contractions while discussing how I wanted to push...sitting, using the squat bar, etc. Knowing what I know now, I'm glad I wasn't trying to use the squat bar. Anyway, I wasn't a huge fan of it. My arms were going to sleep while I hung on it during ctx. I think if the bed had been higher, that might have taken care of the problem but either way, I didn't use it very long. Plus, I looked like Sponge Bob.

Things get a little fuzzy here but I'm pretty sure I sat on the bed and leaned on the birth ball for a while. They all kept asking me if I felt like I needed to push. I didn't really. Around 7:30 I did tell them I thought I could push. So I started bearing down a little with contractions and finally started feeling like I needed to push. I should mention that my awesome doctor had been called in and was hanging out in the room for 10 or 15 minutes before I even started pushing. (From what I’ve seen, the doctor usually shows up as the baby is juuuust about to come out). He was on call that weekend but had a deal with another doc to take over for him at night. He told me during my appt. that if I came back in that evening to tell the nurses to call him in and he'd come. So I did, they did and he did.

We ditched the ball and I got in a more conducive position for pushing. I was still sitting up a bit but reclined and I was holding my knees back to push. Nice picture, right?

As best Bob and I can remember, we think I pushed for about 10 minutes. And can I tell you those 10 minutes sucked? Excuse the language. It's a tad less colorful than what was heard in my room though. Grey's delivery was easy compared to this. Heck, he was 2 lbs. lighter! With him, I pushed, it didn't hurt too bad, his head came on out and the rest of him followed quickly. With Bo, I pushed and it hurt like crazy, cuh-ra-zy. I felt his head come out, noticed quite a bit of tension in the room and got a little worried that the rest of him didn't just come on out too. I think I remember some strong encouragement to keep on pushing which is abnormal since a baby's head is the biggest part of their body. I remember my thinking changing from, "oh my gosh this hurts, get the baby out!", to "something isn't right, get the baby out before he dies." Bob could see my doctor pulling on Bo's head, which is also abnormal. I think that was his first clue that everything wasn't going as smoothly as it should. At this point, there was screaming, and as Bob likes to say, gnashing of teeth. And a cuss word or two.

This is a hideous picture but Bob took it, wanting to document the pain and how exhausted he thought I looked. Job well done babe, job well done. Oh well. Did I mention it hurt like cuh-ra-zy? (Let me also say this is not the best position for pushing. I was more reclined than I would’ve liked to be. However, with Bo’s shoulder being stuck, they kept having me lie back further so my doc could maneuver him out.)

Come to find out, there were a few things going on here. One, the cord was wrapped around Bo's neck about a time and a half, two, and here's what was so painful, his shoulder was stuck. After talking to my doctor, he said it was shoulder dystocia (I won't link to it, but feel free to do a google image search if you're curious as to what exactly was happening) but he was able to get Bo's shoulder free by reaching in and turning him. Gulp. After reading some about it, sounds like things could've gone real bad had my doc not been able to free that shoulder. We are extremely grateful that he was.

Once we finally got Bo out, they put him right up on my chest. You always like to hear a baby cry right after they come out. Bo didn't. He was pretty stinkin' blue when they laid him on me. The doctor was suctioning him like crazy and the rest of us were just kind of holding our breath waiting for the cry. When he finally did cry, there was a collective sigh of relief and a few, "there ya go, buddy" comments. I felt extremely relieved. Relieved to have him out and be done pushing and super relieved to see him start pinking up.

After snuggling him for a little while, they weighed him. We all took guesses as to how much he weighed and I think we were all shocked because when they weighed him, he was 9 lbs. 13 oz.

9 pounds and 13 ounces. As in 3 ounces shy of 10 pounds!

The insane bruising on his face is due to “trauma from birth”. Doesn’t that make you sad? He also had these little blood things in his eyes called subconjunctival hemorrhage. They are starting to clear up but can be attributed to the same, trauma.

Let me mention here that the Wednesday before, I had a NST and an ultrasound where they estimated his weight at 8 lbs. 14 oz. At that point, I just reminded myself, those estimates are never correct and he probably weighed more around 8 lbs. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

And then I ate Rachel's Chick-fil-a sandwich and drank a Mr. Pibb. I guess that part of this is beginning to become a bit of a tradition. I'm still glad I decided to go natural again this time. Had I known what was going to happen ahead of time and gotten a little taste of the pain, I probably would've chosen otherwise. I guess sometimes it's a good thing not to know what's coming.

To sum it all up:
41 weeks and 4 days pregnant
About 8 hours of labor
2 hours at the hospital
No meds
Bo came about 50 minutes after my water broke

Family of five. Whoa.

Got any questions? Anything I can clarify? I tried to give a good balance of information without it being too graphic.

We're all doing great. Sam is awesome with Bo. He's so sweet and gentle and he's seems genuinely excited to have him here. Grey is also excited and extremely curious. He says "be-be" about 45 times a day and really likes to come over and lift up my nursing cover while I'm feeding Bo, point at him and say, of course, "be-be".

Bob is a stinking rockstar. He has been incredibly helpful, sensitive, encouraging, and supportive...basically doing the work of two very efficient parents over the past week and a half. My mom rocks too. She is this quiet force that just scurries around the house, cleaning, cooking, containing the boys and encouraging me. The rest of our families have been awesome...helping out in any way they can and sharing in our excitement. I appreciate you all very, very much!

I feel great too...basically back to normal. Bo is easy. He eats well, sleeps well and just goes with the flow. I'm a tad apprehensive about when I'll be left alone with all three of the kids but it has to happen at some point, so I'll do what I gotta do.


Camille said...

Oh Greta, what a story. I am familiar with shoulder dystocia and God was definitely looking after you and your baby on that day. What a blessing that the "little" guy is healthy and happy!

P.S. - Love the Chick Fil A and Mr. Pibb tradition!

Julie said...

YOU are the rockstar! I beat you by an ounce with Benjamin, but I was not nearly as brave. :)

Let us know when you need a meal or ANYTHING. Blessings to a wonderful growing family!

Anonymous said...

Greta, I am so thankful that your doctor knew what to do and that Bo is OK. Can hardly wait to get down to AL to see all of you. Don't you worry about being left with the 3 are one of the best moms I know of and I think you are going to do well. You will probably have days of frustration, but they will all be worth it in time. I love you all, MM

Kristin Owen said...

You really are my hero. You were so awesome at birthing that big ole boy. I am amazed at how calm and cool you seemed to have a newborn and 2 boys running around. Super mom for sure! And it's so great that Bob is as great as he is. Yay for awesome husbands. I have one too. :-) Great birth story!

Lindsay said...

Great birth story! You ROCK!

Alicia said...

What a story!! You definitely are a super mom!

jessica said...

You really are my hero. Thanks for sharing the story!

Melissa Richie said...

I'm pretty sure my heart stopped when I read this. I am so glad that everything turned out okay and that you have such a great doctor. It's things like shoulder dystocia and cord prolapse that make me very thankful for doctors and hospitals.

Can I just say that even your pushing picture (when it hurt like crazy...i believe you!) you still look amazing and honestly, like you're faking it. Obviously you weren't faking it, duh :) but good grief, you look great. I don't even think I see a glistening of sweat.

I'm so happy for you and thankful for that little boy and that you're feeling great.

I'll email you soon. I want to bring you meal!

megan and nick said...

WOW, what an amazing story! You should be so proud of yourself!

I've always wanted to have a natural birth, but don't have the guts to go for it. I'm scared I'll chicken out at the last minute! However, your birth stories have inspired me. If I ever have another baby, I'm definitely looking into it. (Please hold me to it if I do get pregnant...I need to be held accountable!)

Bek* said...

wow. that story just never gets not crazy. also, i'm a nerd and looked it up. less than 1% of births have a shoulder dystocia, so...whoa.

thestantons said...

I love it! that made me cry a little. the mental picture of your family and the craziness of your house is so awesome to me. i'm proud of you. i know that wasn't easy, but oh so worth it.
i cant wait to meet him!!!!
love you guys.

Ann Marie said...

WOW you are a rockstar momma! :)
And, with the exception of that one you mentioned, look cute in all your pics! :)
Congrats again!!