Monday, October 26, 2015

Everett's Birth Story

Disclaimer: This story is quite long, but if you are interested feel free to continue.

My child is now almost 15 months old, but I did type this out just after his first birthday. Thank goodness David kept notes of times and the specifics, because the details were just a tiny bit fuzzy.

I had a doctors appointment on Friday July 25, 2014-10 days before my due date of August 5. The doctor told me I was 4cm dilated and 80% effaced. She told me at that point to make an appointment for the next Friday but that she didn't think I would make it that long. 

David and I had his birthday lunch at Longhorn, spent the whole day together and finished packing our hospital bags. I started having contractions that night. They lasted for a few hours and stopped. These were most likely Braxton hicks. Early the next morning it happened again for about 4 hours. The rest of the week went by with no other excitement. 

On July 31st around 3pm I started having contractions again. They didn't get consistent until around 6 or 7 that night.  We waited 2 hours before going to the hospital. We went to Novant Huntersville which was about a 10 minute drive from the house. It was about 9pm when I got checked into room 301. I changed into a gown and they hooked me up to the monitors. After a few hours they said I wasn't progressing and that the contractions had slowed down. David and I walked around for a bit to get things moving. I had several very painful contractions while we did that. 

After we had walked for an hour they checked me and I had not progressed so they decided to send me home. At this point I was worried this was going to continue for another week and would be an excruciating process. 

David and I were starving so we stopped at Wendy's for some food. We got home around 1 am and tried to get some sleep, but my contractions were still going on the entire night. 
I had my doctors appointment the next morning, August 1, at 10 am. We told her about the night previous. She checked me and said that I was 90% effaced and 6cm dilated. She asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes, which I said yes to because I was so ready to meet our little boy. She said she was pretty sure the baby would be born today and called ahead to let the hospital know we would be there today. She told me to make my 6 week follow up appointment because she was so sure I would have him. She told us to go eat lunch and walk around for a bit and that my water would break or my contractions would pick up and get consistent. 

I was so excited and almost felt in a rush thinking I would go into labor at any moment. We went to IHOP and got some food. Then we came home and walked around the block what felt like 100 times. I would get strong contractions but nothing consistent. This went on for several hours. Brad came home and, along with David, gave me a blessing. I felt at peace and was hopeful that things would come together in the Lord's timing. 

My mom suggested we play dominoes as a distraction. We had a light dinner around 630pm and started playing.  During the game I started having regular contractions again. This went on for an hour so we gathered our stuff and went to the hospital. We did try to contact the on call nurse the night before and this night but couldn't get an answer either time. 

We arrived around 9pm again and the nurses were surprised we hadn't come earlier. The put us (my mom, David and I) in room 305. I got changed again and they hooked me up to the machines. The nurse checked me and said she thought I was only 5cm dilated, but that it can be subjective. I stayed hooked to the machines for a bit while they monitored my contractions. After a while she came in and said that my contractions weren't staying consistent so they would have the doctor come and talk to us about our options. 

Dr. Clark came in and gave me the options. She said we could do nothing and go home, she could break my water and see if that picked things up, or she could use pitocin to technically induce me. I felt like the main reason things weren't progressing was mainly because my contractions wouldn't stay consistent. So I chose the pitocin. I was already hooked up to an IV for fluids so they started me on the pitocin drip. I had been having contractions for 32 hours at this point and I was already exhausted. 

I hadn't had anything to eat since 630pm that night except two mini cans of ginger ale, but now I was stuck and couldn't have anything except water. Now I know for next time. 
I kept having to get up and use the bathroom since I was being pumped full of fluids and it was always a pain. I had no back to my gown so I kept flashing my mom and David every time I got up. Then the nurse would have to come back and hook me back up to the machines. The most annoying of which was the blood pressure cuff that took my BP every 15 mins. I had bruises on my arms for almost 2 weeks. 

I managed to drift off and sleep for a few hours as did my mom and David. I felt my contractions get  more intense but it was still manageable. Around 4:15am on August 2, I got up to go to the bathroom and my contractions really picked up. By the time I was coming back to my bed they had gotten much more intense and painful so I asked for an epidural. I knew I wouldn't be able to deal with them past that point. 

It felt like I was waiting forever, but David said it was only about 10 mins before the anesthesiologist came. They raised the bed way up and had me hug a pillow while I bent over as far as possible. I was trying to breathe through the contractions and was able to focus with the help of my awesome nurse. It didn't take long for him to get the epidural in and I felt better within just a couple of minutes. 
I took a little nap for about an hour. Around 6am the nurse checked me and said I was 7cm dilated and 100% effaced. 

Not long after that the nurses changed shifts. We were waiting for my water to break on its own. At some point the nurse did an exam and I lost my mucus plug. Gross. 
Around 10 am Dr. Clark said I was 8-9cm dilated. She wanted to break my water and then said it would be about 2 more hours and I would be able to start pushing. 

I tried to rest a bit but didn't really succeed. I was having back labor and the epidural boost that I could control wasn't doing a whole lot. The anesthesiologist did give me a boost that helped for a little bit, but not enough. 
Then I had a very strong urge to push. I called the nurse and they got me set to start pushing. I just had to push for 10 seconds at a time and then rest. My mom had left at this point, but David was holding one of my legs while I was on my side pushing. I just focused on trying to be productive with my pushes. After a while I asked how long I had been pushing and the nurse told me it had been 2 hours. I couldn't believe it was that long! It felt like it had only been 30 minutes or so. She said she would go get the doctor to see how I was doing. 

Dr. Clark said my technique and pushing were great but that his head was too big for my pelvis and that he was having a lot of swelling in his head. She said I could try to keep pushing but that he would have a very hard time being delivered vaginally. I was slightly disappointed but I knew in my heart that she would probably suggest a cesarean at this point. 

She said we could get set up for the c section and she would try to use the vacuum on the lowest setting just once to help ease him out and that if that didn't work we would proceed with the c section. At first I wanted to try that, but David and I wanted to talk about it. 
I told him that I was super exhausted and just wanted to meet our baby. He called his dad to see what he recommend and Pap (David's dad) said that if Everett's head was already swollen the vacuum would make that worse. 

We decided to just do the c section instead. I was still in a lot of pain and had the urge to push which was making it very hard to focus, but I just kept breathing and squeezing David's hand. They prepped the OR and had me sign the paperwork for the c section. They got David ready as well and began giving me the complete numbing drugs. I kept having this shooting pain down most of the right side of the bottom half of my body since I had been in labor. The drugs for the surgery mostly got rid of it, but they had to give me an injection right into that spot because I could feel more than just the pressure of them cutting. 

After a few times of that the anesthesiologist came me ketamine which made me practically pass out. I lost all sense of time and my vision went all dizzy. I could still wiggle my toes which seemed  really strange, but I wasn't feeling any pain. It was about 4pm at this point. They tugged and pulled for a while then all of a sudden out he came squawking like a pterodactyl. They had David cut the cord so he got the pleasure of seeing me cut open on the operating table but he got to cut the cord. I immediately started bawling my eyes out I was so crazy happy. I could barely see him because I was so delirious from the drugs and looked in the wrong direction the first time David called to me. He was so incredibly beautiful and I was so overjoyed. 

They took him to get cleaned up while they stitched me up. They backed off the ketamine and I immediately started to feel better. I could move my arms so once they stitched me up they took me straight to where Everett and David were waiting. It had been an hour at this point and David was holding him and looking so sweet with our little boy. 

He told me that Everett had smiled at him! I was super jealous since newborns don't really do that, but I was so glad David got that time with him. The nurses then came to take me to the recover room. They let me hold Everett while they wheeled me there and even latched him on to begin nursing. He was so good at it right from the get go.

I just couldn't stop staring  at him and crying. I got to wear super cool massaging boots to prevent blood clots. I couldn't leave the bed yet, so David held him and our family came and saw him. 
Kimberly and Chris happened to be in Charlotte that night and got to see Everett. That's when Kim told us she was pregnant again. I was so crazy overjoyed  for them. Things were quite a blur after that. We tried to get some sleep. Everett kept nursing almost every hour so David didn't get much sleep since he had to give him to me. 

Everett slept on me most of the time we were at the hospital because that's where he preferred to be.  He didn't like being on his back. The nurses were constantly coming in taking vitals from Everett and I. Not much sleeping went on. I got up as soon as I could and was very weak. It was quite an adjustment. I walked around as much as I could and focused on keeping my pain manageable. 
Merrie and Jennley came to visit and brought me cookies! I took a shower and felt human again. This was over the course of several days but they all blurred together. Everett failed his hearing test two different times but they just scheduled to have to done 10 days later.  They said it's pretty normal with c section babies. 

Check out day took a crazy long time since they had to give me the okay and the doctor took forever. 

We went home on August 5th, Everett's due date, and spent the next several weeks in sleep deprivation land. We were so in love we didn't care. 

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