Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

When I got pregnant I immediately got down to business planning my birth. I read books, talked with friends and did a ton of research on the web. And I had it all worked out. I was amazed at my body from the very beginning. How it just went about creating my baby and doing everything it needed to make sure that my baby was well protected and cared for. I decided pretty early on that I wanted a natural childbirth. Natural as in no drugs. I wanted to take it as far as I could without using any intervention and hoped I could go all the way. I had my midwife and discussed many different options with her and birthing positions and everything. I wrote it all out, got my birthing ball and my playlist for the birth. I was ready. And then I went into labor.
 February 9th (my due date) I was woken up by contractions.  But I wasn't really buying it because just three days before on Saturday I had had contractions ALL day and nothing happened.  So I only told my hubby and we just went about our day.  I had been leaking a little fluid since Saturday but let's be honest here (sorry if it's TMI guys), when you a pregnant you tend to "leak" a lot.  So I had been leaking a bit but didn't really think anything of it.  Hubby and I decided to head to Ikea to walk around.  What I did notice that the leaking was a little pinkish.  Oddly enough a girlfriend of mine had texted me the day before and told me that she never had a big gush of water but a little leaking and it was pink.  Even odder was that when we got to Ikea she just happened to call and I told her what was going on.  She got very excited and asked if we were on our way to Labor & Delivery.  I said, "No, do you think I should call?"  She said I better so I hung up and called L & D.  After talking to them they decided they wanted us to head on in.  We took our sweet time though.  I knew that once we got there if they kept us it would be awhile before we got to go back outside!

We got to L&D at around 1:30 after dilly-dallying around.  My midwife came in to check me and they were really concerned once they found out that I had been leaking since Saturday.  She went to check me and HELLO gush.  There is all was.  My water had broke and it was baby time!  I was SO excited.  I had all my stuff and my plan in place and I knew it was going to be an amazing experience.  They moved us into our labor room and got us set up with our nurse.  She started monitoring the baby and me and trying to get me admitted.  The problem was that she kept losing the heartbeat.  She would move the monitor and it would stay for awhile but she would lose it or it would go really high or low.  She kept pulling other nurses and my midwife in to see if they could figure out what was going on.  My midwife finally decided that in order to truly monitor Jackson they needed to insert an internal monitor.  That was a pain I was NOT prepared for.  HOLY.  COW.  So they got that inserted and it worked briefly.  But they still kept losing it.  By this time they were getting really concerned and we were starting to get concerned as well.  My midwife came in and told me that she and the on call OB had consulted and at this point they needed to reinsert the internal monitor and they wanted to put some sterile fluids into my uterus to make sure that they baby was okay.  And in order to do this they suggested I get an epidural because it was very painful.  I'm only 2 centimeters dilated at this point.  My contracts are about 20 minutes apart and they hurt but I can breathe through them. 

This is not what I planned.  This is not what I wanted.  What I wanted was a beautiful, trouble free earth mother experience.  I wanted it to be smooth sailing.  But the doctor and midwife assure it is the best thing to do and they need to do it quickly because they need to get a handle on the situation.  Here's a little insight into me.  I hate pain.  HATE it.  But what I hate MORE is the anticipation of pain.  The idea of it or the idea of what I think it will be.  So getting the epidural was a bit traumatic for me.  More because I was scared than anything.  BUT then they decided that they needed to get the internal monitor on again BEFORE the epidural.  So I got to deal with that twice.  Fun stuff. 

Finally we get the epidural, the heart monitor is going but they are still concerned about his heart rate.  At 6:30 p.m. the midwife and doctor come in and tell me they need to do a c-section and they need to do it now.  They are concerned because they can't seem to get the heartbeat stabilized and they don't want to take any chances.  I lost it at this point.  Completely and totally.  I was crying and scared.  Hubby was trying to calm me down but I was so upset.  On one hand, yes do anything you have to do to make sure my little man is okay, but on the other hand I did not want a c-section.  I didn't want surgery at all.  But the doctor's were insisting so I agreed.  They told me as soon as the changed shifts they would take me into surgery because the next shift was coming on then.  Basically they would brief the doctors coming on and they would be with me asap because I was a priority patient. 

An hour later my room is filled with doctors, nurses, midwives, and anesthesiologists.  They make everyone leave but me and hubby.  And then the new doctor drops a bombshell.  He doesn't think I need a c-section after all.  In fact he isn't recommending it.  He said he took a look at Jackson's heartbeat and he just seems to have a low baseline but seems to be in no kind of distress.  I couldn't believe.  I literally felt myself lighten right up.  They had discussed it and they wanted to give me pitocin because they wanted to get my contractions regulated and going stronger but they saw no reason to rush into surgery at this point.  I was so happy.  I felt so much better.  So much better in fact I slept the night away.  I woke up for a few minutes here and there but I really slept.  In fact when they came in at 6:30 a.m. and told me I was dilated to 8 went right back to sleep until 10 minutes before I started pushing! 

At 9 a.m. they came in and checked me at I was at a plus 3.  They told me they could see his head and I was ready to start pushing!  Thirty minutes later I started pushing and thirty minutes after that he was born!  I don't think I will ever forget that moment.  That moment when I first saw his little face.  He was so beautiful and chubby and screaming his little lungs out.  I was crying and I couldn't take my eyes off of him.  All the sudden though I realized that something was right.  The midwife who had delivered Jackson was barking a lot of what seemed to be urgent orders and told me to stop pushing and be still.  Apparently after I gave birth I busted a blood vessel.  And lost a lot of blood.  At least that's what I'm told.  I couldn't see anything and was concentrating on Jackson but from what I understand it was pretty scary.  I ended up having quite a few stitches after it was all said and done.  That was pleasant.  And we ended up staying in the hospital for three days because first they were worried about us both because we got a fever right after birth, then my iron was really low, then they were worried about his jaundice (in fact they ALMOST kept him.  Yet another hysterical moment for me.).  So we stayed in the hospital just to the point were we were ready to do just about anything to get out of there.

I have to say though we experienced the best care at Kaiser.  I was shocked really.  Every nurse, every doctor was kind and concerned and nurturing.  They were never impatient with my barrage of questions.  They never grew irritated by my tears.  They were so kind.  We were so happy with everyone we encountered.

Jackson's birthday obviously didn't go at all as I planned but it was just as it should be.  I remember when I was in labor every time I woke up I would say a prayer.  I remember between each push just being very calm and still and concentrating on what I was doing.  Even though it was nothing like I thought it would be it was a very spiritual experience for me.  And despite all the drama we endured I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Because to change a single thing would mean that I would lose out on kissing this little face every day.


Girly Muse said...

So glad you didn't have to have a c-section!!! Sorry it didn't go the way you planned...babies don't seem to cooperate in that regard, whatsoever!!!

He's such a dolly. What a darling baby. Wish I could kiss those cheeks.

Love you! Enjoy every second.

bekah said...

Good job momma! You had a lot of ups and downs there, but you did it! And your boy is just perfect! Those cheeks of his are so kissable!

Michelle, Queen of Everything said...

I remember when I wrote Ty's birth story last year and you said you couldn't wait to have your own have it! You're a mom now, with all the highs and lows that come with it.

I know it's a roller coaster, these first few weeks. Things do settle down, but that amazing love will never go away. I'm so proud of you and happy for you and Bill.

Tosha said...

Thank you for your story. I love reading birth stories and couldn't wait to read Jacksons.
You should feel so proud. I hate that you had to go through the scary moments. I am so glad you didn't have a c-section. When you are up to it I would love to skype with you and somewhat feel like I am seeing him in person:) CONGRATS to you and Bill.

Love you

Tosha said...

for crying out loud. I forgot to mention how ADORABLE he is!!!!! I want to snuggle with him.
Before I mentioned you should be proud, well what I was really thinking you should be so proud pushing a 9 pounder out. WOW. AMAZING. Good job.