Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Simon's birth story

January 5, 2014, 8:27pm
7lbs 15oz, 21.5 inches

Simon was due December 29, 2013, but I was hoping he would come in January so that his birthday wasn’t right in the middle of all the holiday craziness! I started having contractions on sat, dec. 28th. But they were so mild and irregular that I wasn’t sure if they were actually considered contractions or just braxton hicks. Luke and I talked about inducing on Jan 2nd, and even had an appointment at the hospital for that evening, but when I went in for my regular doctor appointment that morning (thurs. jan 2nd), I had dilated from a 1.5cm to 3cm in just 3 days. The midwife seemed to think I was going to go into labor any day! so we cancelled our evening induction! I did have stronger more regular contractions that evening (the midwife had stripped my membrane), but they only laster about 3 hours and then went away.

The next few days were so hard! We were so anxious and just trying everything we could to induce labor naturally! I didn’t want to wait too long to have the baby because I had had low amniotic fluid a couple times, and I knew that my placenta had already started calcifying. Also, my mom was 2 weeks late with her first and had had mild contractions just like me, so I knew it was very possible that our baby could be that late as well (and we didn’t feel good about waiting that long for him to be born). We talked and prayed, and finally decided that we would induce on Sunday Jan 5th if he didn’t come on his own by than. That was such a hard decision for me to make! But we really did feel good about it once we decided on it.

Saturday night (Jan. 4th), still no baby. We were all prepared to go to the hospital the next morning, and I was actually able to sleep that night…which was awesome! Sunday morning, Jan. 5th arrived and everything was really mellow as we drove to the hospital , I just felt really nervous about everything! It was about a 45 minute drive, so Luke and I just talked about what was about to happen.

8:00am we checked into the hospital. I had to sign some papers and then they weighed me. I hadn’t eaten much (just some toast that morning) so I when I stepped on the scale I was at 148lbs, which means I gained 15/16 lbs during my pregnancy (but I am usually at 149-150lbs at my prenatal appointments). I went into my room and they had me change into the hospital gown and also take a urine sample.

8:27am My nurse, Gail, came in and hooked me up to the monitors, and began asking me all these questions. That took the longest! But our nurse was super sweet; we really liked her! The monitors were kind of uncomfortable. They have a little round tab that sticks out, and it left an indent in my stomach, and if the baby was pushing right on the monitor it would hurt. I really just didn’t have a lot of fat on my stomach and so there wasn’t much cushioning.

9:30am my IV was put in (This is something that I had been worried about because I heard that it hurt), not as bad as I had expected! The nurse put it into my right arm between my elbow and hand, I was totally expecting it to go into my hand. If I paid attention to it, it was a little uncomfortable, but most the time I would forget it was even there. It really wasn’t a big deal!

9:50am the pitocin was started. They started me out at 2mm/unit on the piton, nice and slow to get things going. I didn’t start feeling contractions for a while though. They brought me some breakfast, and I just mostly nibbled at the food. I wanted to have some food for energy, but not too much where I would throw up. It took a while for my contractions to even out, and they couldn’t give me more pitocin until that was happening.

10:05am my doctor came in to see me. I was dilated 3 cm and 80% effaced (no change since my last appointment on Thursday morning). The doctor broke my water. I was a little nervous about this, but it really didn’t hurt and I felt just a slight “pop” and then a little gush. not all of it came out at once. 

12:10am The nurse upped the pitocin to 5mm/unit. I still really wasn’t feeling the contractions very strongly at all at this point. I could feel my uterus tightening, but it wasn’t anything painful or anything that I had to breathe through. What I did feel was that when I had a contraction, I would often have another little gush of amniotic fluid come out. And that just meant that the baby was moving down lower; which was a great sign! So to kill time, Luke and I had brought our iPad and we were watching “Chuck” on Netflix. It was really mellow at the hospital for those first few hours!

12:54am pitocin up to 6mm/unit.

1:20am pitocin up to 7 mm/unit. About this time I was starting to feel the contractions stronger. Again, nothing I couldn’t handle, but I was glad to be a little uncomfortable at least because it felt like things had been moving so slow!

1:47pm I decided to get into the bath tub. They had a jacuzzi tub, so luke and I both put on our swimsuits and got in. The jets were pretty weak, but I did like the water! My cordless monitors kept dying while I was in the tub and my nurse kept having to come in and recharge them. We were in the tub for probably about 45 minutes. My contractions were getting much stronger while I was in the tub and I started having to pause and breathe through each one. We were getting out of the tub when my doctor came in to check me.

2:40pm my doctor checked my cervix and I was 5cm dilated and 90%effaced. The doctor and nurse seemed to think that was great progress, so I was excited! But my contractions were quickly becoming more intense, so I decided it was time for the epidural.
When the anesthesiologist came in, I was a little disappointed/worried because it was the one I had heard bad things about. I started panicking as well because the contractions were now getting VERY strong and close together! My whole body started shaking uncontrollably. Possibly partly due to my nerves. The nurse said I could be going into transition, I guess some people shake during transition. I started thinking that if this epidural didn’t work that I might just die! I wasn’t really getting much of a break during the contractions and I wanted them to stop so badly! They were sooo painful! but they hadn’t been that bad up until this point in time! It was crazy to me how quickly they went from bearable to unbearable!

3:10pm Luke watched as the anesthesiologist administered the epidural. my nurse stood in front of me and helped steady me. I tried to be as still as possible, and just prayed that the epidural would work! the anesthesiologist first numbed my back with these little bee sting like shots, and then placed the needle. she ended up poking 2 holes. I couldn’t tell what she was doing really, but i tried to be patient!
Once she was done she said we would know in the next few minutes if it had worked. I felt a warmth on my back, and as my contractions came they slowly started getting shorter. I would brace myself when I felt it coming, and then realized it only last a few seconds! Soon they were gone all together!! I was sooooo incredibly relieved and thankful for modern medicine. It was soooo worth it! However my shaking didn’t stop. 

3:30pm my blood pressure was dropping. The doctor and anesthesiologist came in, the doctor checked me and I was at 6/7cm dilated and going into transition, which is part of the reason my blood pressure could have been dropping (I also have low blood pressure normally). But the anesthesiologist also gave be a little medicine in my IV, and that seemed to do the trick. I was glad because any complication was making me nervous at this point. But I was more concerned about the baby and his heart rate, hoping that he would react well to the epidural, but he seemed to be perfectly fine!
I also got a catheter, and they are so nice to have! no more having to get up and go to the bathroom with all my cords and IV on wheels! 
My blood pressure did drop once again, and I was again given some medicine in my IV, and then my epidural dosage was dropped.

5:41pm I was dilated to 8cm! And our friends Dave and Catherine had arrived to take some pictures for us. But I had also come down with a fever and was not feeling well. I was given some tylenol but it didn’t seem to help that much. And I was still shaking uncontrollably. 

6:23pm I was dilated to 9cm! I still wasn’t feeling well, and I was getting really tired as well. I just laid in bed with my eyes closed, trying to feel better and hoped that I would maybe fall asleep until it was time to push. I may have dosed off for a little while, but I was really not feeling well. I remember being worried I would throw up, and asked Luke to bring this pink bucket over just in case I needed it. Thankfully I never did!

7:59pm My doctor came in and checked me. I was dilated to 10cm and she told me I was ready to start pushing. I felt so calm, partly because I was tired, but I still wasn’t feeling well. I expected the nurses to put my legs in those pull out stirrups and then place a clothe over my bottom half, but instead my doctor sat on my bed and had me hold my legs to my chest and had me basically lying flat on my back. Pushing wasn’t as exhausting as I thought it would be! The doctor told me to push like I was pooping, and at first I felt so weird doing that because I thought I might actually poop (but I didn’t)! Because they had lowered my epidural dosage I could now feel when I was having a contraction; it wasn’t painful but I could just tell, so I was able to know when to push. I never did have that overwhelming desire to push, but I just felt like I knew when it was time.
I couldn’t believe that it was finally time to meet our baby! Luke was able to watch, and I remember when he said he could see the baby’s head! He seemed pretty excited and surprised! The doctor guided my hand so that I could feel him coming. His head felt so soft! When He was crowning I was able to look down and see the top of his head! I couldn’t believe it! At this point though I could also feel it! and it hurt!!! I was not expecting to feel pain during pushing, and I really didn’t…until he was coming out! Those last few pushes I was giving it everything I had! I wanted this baby out!

8:27pm I watched as the doctor pulled the rest of his body out, and placed him directly onto my chest; blood, goop and everything! We just laid there, skin to skin! there was instant relief from the pain, and just a rush of a whole bunch of emotions! He was bluish and purplish but healthy! His cries were so funny, even if he wasn’t much of a crier. The nurse was wiping him down while he was on me. The doctor said, “that’s a big baby for you!” Everyone had expected me to have a small baby, but he was 7 lbs 15 oz!

Neither Luke or I cried like we thought we might, but it was definitely a very emotional moment! We cried later when we were alone. We were just glad to have our baby! Luke took some pictures to send to our families who were eagerly waiting to hear! and for a while I just got to hold our little baby boy. Luke and I looked at each other and decided he was a Simon. Seeing Luke hold baby Simon was what made me cry later. I just felt so much love and gratitude to have the two of them in my life!

The doctor stitched me up down below where I had torn; I felt a few of the stitches. I tried breast feeding during that first hour, but he wasn’t getting it right away. I was also so exhausted! After a couple hours the nurses came back in to give Simon a bath and to take his measurements. He was 7 lbs 15 oz, and 21.5 inches long!

They had taken out my catheter before I had started pushing, so I was now ready to use the restroom! They asked me if I also wanted to jump in the shower to rinse off, or if I would rather have them just wipe me down. I felt like I would be able to shower so I decided to do that. So the nurses helped me walk to the bathroom, and basically did everything for me. I was totally naked, which is so odd! But at that point everyone has already seen everything. But I still felt a little weird being completely nude, so I asked if Luke could help me shower instead.

Seeing my body after birth was a little bit of a shocker for me. my stomach had gone done quite a bit! But it was the part down under that was shocking to me…I was so swollen down there and just felt so exhausted and weak that I just started crying in the shower. I started feeling super light headed, and got out of the shower. I started seeing black spots and knew what was coming… 
“Luke, I am going to pass out,” and I immediately put my arms around his neck and held onto him. The next thing I remembered was Luke saying “Kari fainted!” and I responded “No i didn’t!” He then says, “Kari, you are completely limp in my arms.” I realized he was right, I was completely limp. I guess I had passed out for a few seconds and luke had been calling the nurses. The nurses came into the bathroom and had me smell this super strong thing! It burned my nose! and then they helped me over to the bed.
The next few hours were miserable. They got me going on the IV again, put on an oxygen mask, gave me juice (I hadn’t eaten pretty much all day) and put warm blankets over me because I was shaking uncontrollably again. I tried to eat a cracker, but could barely lift it to my lips. I had no energy. I have never felt so incredibly exhausted in my life! I also still felt feverish. So even though I hadn’t been feeling the contractions, my body had still felt them!
Luckily the next day I was doing much better! I still had to have the nurses help me to the bathroom, and I still felt really weak, but they had me on medicine, so that was good!

Having Simon that first day at the hospital was so fun! We just kept holding him and looking at him and couldn’t believe how cute he was! We couldn’t believe he was ours! We face timed family a lot that day so that they could get a little piece of our joy! I love our little family!