Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Birth Story

This is a personal account of my labor & delivery story for my son. It's long and detailed so I can preserve it for him and for myself! 

After struggling in the second trimester to keep Danny in, once it was okay for him to come he was just too darn comfortable! Looks like all those prayers for him to stay put really worked! I had been in pre-labor for days, and prodromal labor for weeks. To say I was frustrated would be a drastic understatement. We had two really close calls, one of them reduced me to complete tears because I truly thought we'd be leaving the hospital with a baby. I really wanted to go into labor on my own and I knew that window was closing, being sent home from the hospital was a reality check for the labor I wanted. 

Three days later, I checked in for my scheduled induction (not allowed to go overdue because of medical reasons) at 6am. My induction time had changed from 6pm to 6am because I had a favorable cervix at my last doctors appointment. Well, we checked in...and my doctors office hadn't switched my induction time in the appointments. They had it notated in my chart, but didn't actually change it. So we were told we would have to go home and wait until a bed opened up because they had just had an influx of women in labor that night. I started crying. We had finally got to that point, I was even hooked up to the monitors and almost done with all the questions when they came in and told me I'd have to leave. Luckily, I had an awesome charge nurse. She said the woman who was supposed to be in the room I was in was late. She was going to give her till 6:30 to come in, after that she was late and I could take her room. It was 6:28 when she told me that. Those two minutes were TORTURE. I have never been happier for my own punctuality. THIS IS WHY YOU SHOW UP ON TIME TO THINGS PEOPLE!!!! The lady didn't show up, I got her room and hooked up to the IV's. 

YAY! We get to stay! 
The doctors came in and checked me @ 7:30am, Danny was head down but I hadn't made any cervical progress since my appointment. At this point, they didn't want to give me an epidural because the risk of me bleeding in the epidural space (which could cause paralysis) made the anesthesiologist uncomfortable. They said they'd talk about it during rounds and come back in to talk to me about it.

At 8am they started pitocin and had it increasing every 30 minutes until my contractions became 2-3 minutes apart. I am very lucky (?) because my body responded VERY well to the pitocin. Which meant the contractions were regular and causing cervical change at a fairly average rate. By 10am the contractions were regular at 2.5 minutes apart and really starting to hurt. What really sucked about those few hours is all of my labor was back labor. All of it. It wasn't too bad at 10am but I had no idea what it would become...

11am--Dilated to 3, pitocin upped.
12pm --Dilated to 4, 75% effaced

The epidural team came in to talk to me about the risks, and that they felt comfortable now placing an epidural because I would be getting the nova 7 shot (for Factor VII) right after birth, which is when they pull the epidural. That made them more comfortable because the greater risk isn't placing it, it's removing it. With the Factor VII in my body by the time they removed it, it made my risks more normal for the removal of an epidural. My dad had just gotten there, he is a PA and I was able to talk to him and get more reassurance that I would be ok. 

Me & my dad
I was begging for an epidural at this point. The contractions were wrapping around my right hip (which had previously been fractured and boy could I feel it!!!) and going into my back. The ones in my abdomen hurt, but holy crap, the back ones...that pain was indescribable. Imagine someone grabbing on to your spine and trying to fling you about by it.

At 12:45pm my epidural was placed. They took their time doing it and did a few test epidurals to make sure it was placed right. They really took their time and were cautious, I really appreciated the level of care. 

Once the epidural was placed I waited for it to take over. I could still feel the contractions in my abdomen. Thankfully it wasn't in my back or in my hip so I was just grateful for that. 

Daniel was truly my rock in this. I am not being kind or cliche when I say I could NOT have gotten through this labor without him, I truly couldn't have. He helped me breathe, he held my hands, he rubbed my arms, my back, my feet, my belly, anything I needed him to. He really worked on visualization and affirmations. At first I thought the affirmations were crap- but guys, IT WORKED. I strongly recommend them for labor. Daniel was truly the perfect birth partner and it really just brought us closer. Man, I love my husband. 

I had an amazing nurse too who never made me feel less than supported. Danielle was her name and I thought that was kind of awesome; Danielle helping to bring Daniel into the world :) 

4pm--Danny dropped a lot. He was at -1 station, 80% effaced & still 4cms. 

4:40pm-- The epidural had completely wore off at this point. The pain was unreal and I started to feel sick. My blood pressure started to rise and I started getting dizzy. They came in and gave me a BIG shot of the epidural. That brought me back to the same state of feeling them in my belly but not in my back or hip. That became the focal point of the epidural. We accepted it wasn't going to work the way it was supposed to, but if we could keep it out of my back and hip we were all ok. 

5:30pm-- As Daniel and my dad went out to get some food from the cafeteria, my water broke. I didn't really feel it because my thighs were numb, but I heard it! It was pretty fun to call in the nurse and tell her my water broke. The water was clear which was a great sign! 

by 5:45pm-- My epidural completely wore off again. The pain was ridiculous, even more so than an hour earlier. 

6pm-- They lowered the pitocin. My body was taking over and doing it all on it's own! Boy was that a relief. Because no epidural, back labor and pitocin? Yeah, I was close to dying (or at least I was in my mind.)

Did I say how valuable Daniel was?!?

6:30pm-- They stopped the pitocin completely. 
7pm-- 5cm 100% 0 station. 

We called my mother in law (who was taking care of Gracie) and told her to get on over to the hospital. 

An internal monitor was placed to make sure I was progressing the way I should. The contractions showed one thing, but the cervical change wasn't matching up. I figured that would happen, because the same thing happened with Gracie. (This is the last note I took, so I don't have exact times anymore.) 

My contractions were getting unreal. I started puking and getting ridiculously dizzy. But they were spacing out, so they had to turn the pitocin back on. I was in SO much pain. The anesthesiologists had been doing sensory tests on me the whole time, and I wasn't numb where I was supposed to be (obviously) and no matter what they did, nothing was working. They said that normally they'd just redo the epidural. But because of my bleeding disorder they weren't comfortable doing two epidurals, especially because I wouldn't have the Nova 7 safety net if they re-did it. I was basically in limbo. 

Finally, they had a short-term solution. They took my epidural out by 2cms, gave me a shot of lidocaine and a buffer of the epidural. It worked enough to keep me from puking and took the majority of the contractions out of my hip and my back. I still had a hot spot on my lower left side and a weird circle in my back. We were all just hoping I would deliver before it wore off again. 

Once the pain went mostly away, my body was able to relax, my blood pressure went back to normal. Danny was fine the ENTIRE time. Just kick-kick-kickin' around in there, heartbeat as strong as ever. Boy howdy was I grateful for that. 

At 9pm-- 9cm, 100% and +1. They moved me and had me sit off the edge of the bed with my legs hanging down to encourage Danny to drop the rest of the way.

At 10pm-- 10cm 100% +2. I was ready to have a baby ya'll. 

They got the room ready, went and got the doctors, and had me push a few times. Well, I am an excellent pusher. He was crowning and I had to stop so they could go get my actual delivery doctor. 

Once she got in there it was about 10:20-30pm. 

I was really pushing to get him born before the 21st. So much awesomeness was happening on the 20th. Spring Equinox, Solar Eclipse, and some other things. Plus, now he is a birthday twin with my uncle :) 

I started pushing and he was almost out. But then I got ridiculously sick and started puking. Without me really pushing at all, just the pressure from me puking, Danny made his entrance into the world at 10:41pm. That's right, I puked my son out. That'll be a fun story to tell him when he gets older. ;) 

They put Danny on my belly and it was love at first site. 

Our first picture together :)
He was so cute! But he was a little blue so that freaked me out a bit. Especially because he just didn't want to cry. He was breathing fine but just didn't want to cry. After some rubbing from his Daddy, Danny started crying and pinked right up! (But because of the blue color he had when he was born, he got an 8-9 on the APGAR) He was sunny-side up so he came out a bit swollen and a few small bruises on his face that are completely gone now. He also has a tiny tiny stork bite on the back of his neck. But it's covered by his hair so you don't even notice it. We didn't until his pediatrician pointed it out. 

Holding my finger <3 
My mother in law was in the room with us and she got to cut the cord. Such an awesome experience to have her in there and I am glad I made the decision to ask her if she wanted to be there. 


 8lbs even, 20 inches long. Perfect. 

I couldn't wait for Gracie to meet him! She was so tired by the time he was born that she was a little...disinterested. But by the next day...

She was in love. She calls him "baby". He is officially in all of her thoughts and sentences. She makes sure to tell him goodnight, or goodbye. She always wants to hold him and give him kisses. I am glad she likes him. There is a bit of resistance just because she doesn't quite understand that she needs to be very careful and soft around him. But I know she will get it. 

I love my little family. We are so completed by this adorable little boy who looks more and more like his daddy as the days go by. (He owes me $5 and has already eaten a fair amount of crow in admitting that Danny does indeed look quite a bit like him--just as I said!)

I love this little boy with my whole soul, heart and mind. It was instant, just like everyone said it would be. I can't help but keep saying "My son, my son my son!" It's so surreal to me. 

He is perfect. Simply perfect. 


  1. What a crazy long day. Glad he got here healthy and while you did puke him out, at least you are healthy too!

  2. Back labor is awful! I had that with my first. So glad everything went well though. What a sweet little guy.

  3. I'm so very happy for you guys! He sure is a cutie! I'm glad everything worked out.


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