Monday, 15 October 2012

Carlo's Birth Story

It all started on Tuesday Oct 2nd when I went in for an NST and ultrasound. Carlo looked great on the ultrasound but the tech told us that his fluid was low. It measured at 2.5 where normal is 5-25 (watching a baby story, they called 3.7 REALLY low). His cord was good, his movement had always been good and his heart was good. She seemed apologetic to give us that news... of course, I knew he was doing fine but that kinda raised my anxiety and all about everything.

After the ultrasound, we went for our NST. They hooked up 2 monitors to me. One measured his heart rate and one measured my contractions. I also had a button to press whenever he moved. He wasn't moving a ton so the nurse gave me ice water and cheese. It was super boring but interesting to watch the numbers. His heart rate audibly sped up whenever he moved and I started having regular braxton hicks contractions. The number on the machine watching my contractions got higher with the contractions and went back down. It was amusing and I finally knew 100% for sure that they were actually contractions! :) Eventually Carlo moved enough for the nurse to be happy and she came in and talked to us about the fact that I'd be induced.

Later on, my Dr. called me and explained what would happen. There were 2 other people that were in the same situation as me, we were all at the top of the list and I'd be going in for an induction the next morning/afternoon instead of friday/saturday like we'd spoken about (as the routine post date induction time period).

So late that night, I started having contractions that were slightly painful. Being a first time mom, I knew they were more painful than the braxton hicks so I started timing them. Well, we ended up going to the hospital and into labour delivery. They were just early labour contractions. After being monitored, they sent me home with some T3's and sleeping pills and told me to stay in bed at least until 9am. Well, I did and then I got up and played on the computer, waiting for my call.

Around 11:30am, I got the call from the hospital and called my husband to come home from work. I showered and tried to pack everything and eat something light for lunch. We went to the hospital and got there about an hour after they'd called... oops, didn't mean to take that long. When you're facing a 2-3 day (or longer) hospital stay, you can't just leave at the drop of a hat!

So I went in and they checked me into antepartum (where all the pregnant patients not in labour go who are getting induced or being monitored) and did all the paperwork and such and called my Dr. He checked me and my contractions from the night before had caused me to go from 1cm, to 1-2cm... whatever that means... but it was definitely a bit more than the day before when he'd checked me. Cervix was still posterior (meaning the check hurt, yet again lol) so because of that and the dilation, I was a candidate for cervadil and NOT pitocin (YAY!!!). Around 1, my doctor placed the cervadil and then I was stuck in bed for 1.5 hours on the monitors (same as the NST without the button to press for movement).

The interesting thing about placing the cervadil is the difference between the Dr.'s office and the hospital. In the Dr.'s office, he left for me to take my pants and underwear off and gave me a paper sheet. In the hospital, the nurse took my pants off for me with him standing right there... WEIRD! lol

After I finally got off the monitor at like 2:30, we got some lunch in the cafeteria and wandered the hospital. Then we went back to my room and played some cards, cell phone games and such.

My contractions started around 7pm. We wandered the halls and up and down the stairs for a while. Eventually they wanted me back on the monitors. It really sucked. I was still in early labour so it wasn't as bad as it could have been though. We placed some more card games to kill time.

While I was hooked to the monitors, I felt a strong semi-painful pop. I was pretty sure it was my water but the nurses weren't sure so they grabbed some fluid to test. Because of my low fluid levels, there wouldn't have been much coming out anyways.

I think at this point I was in active labour but didn't know it! I don't remember closing my eyes to concentrate with early labour contractions...

Shortly after I was unhooked, around 10:30pm, they decided to give me some drugs to help me get some sleep and sent my husband home. They gave me a shot of morphine with gravol to help me sleep and then when that did nothing, they gave me some more of the sleeping pills they'd given me before. After the longest waiting period of my life, I was still miserable. My contractions were getting stronger and nothing was helping me get any sleep. I was able to ALMOST relax in between contractions, but when they started, it was torture.

Finally I called the nurse back and asked if the drugs would ever work for me. I had at least 2 contractions while she was talking to me so she decided to put me back on the monitors (the most miserable thing ever...) to make sure my contractions weren't too close together. She left me on my own for at least 10 minutes. I wasn't supposed to have more than 5 contractions in those 10 minutes but I had 6. She pulled the cervadil out and checked me. I was 4-5cm, which meant I was in active labour! It was obvious at that time that my water had broken. Because I was GBS+, that meant it was time for my I.V. and antibiotics. The I.V. didn't hurt at all compared to the contractions and I was totally freaking out about getting it beforehand!

It also meant it was time to call my husband and get him back from home! He'd only had about 30 minutes in bed and the poor doggy was super excited to see him :( Poor animal! He arrived shortly after my I.V. had been placed. I was still stuck in bed at the time and miserable. I felt so dizzy from the pain and it was the worst feeling in my entire life. Of course, there was nothing they could do; it was just the way my body was handling the pain. I was ready to cry.

I was begging for an epidural at the time. It was terrible! I think it was made so much worse by the monitors and being forced to lie down. Hopefully next time I'll labour on my own and won't be stuck in bed during active labour!

So finally around midnight they moved me from antepartum to labour delivery. They made me walk. I had like 2 contractions on the way and I didn't even have to walk very far. I also had to drag my I.V. stand with me. That walk was the longest walk ever because the pain from my contractions never really went away after the contraction ended.

In my delivery room, they told me to try use the restroom... yeah, that wasn't gonna happen while I was contracting so often and couldn't relax enough to sit comfortably on the toilet, plus with my husband not leaving my side... STAGE FRIGHT, haha! After that, I had to get into their bed for MORE monitoring... can you say MISERABLE?!

Check out that blood pressure! 149/96! Wow! That's apparently not even as high as it got!

The labour room... that pink tube on the wall... laughing gas! It really helped focus me through contractions...when they finally gave it to me! JERKS! ;)

At this point, everything is super fuzzy. I can't remember a ton, but I'll do my best.

-----(Maybe TMI for some)---- Sometime between finding out that I was in active labour and actually moving to labour delivery, I started getting these weird feelings. I was trying my best to relax my body and not tense up but I felt an uncontrollable tensing... It felt like I had to poop and like my body was TRYING to poop. This happened with EVERY contraction from that point on.

For comparison: early labour contractions (left) and active labour contractions (right)

They never unhooked me from the monitors from that point on... This means I spent most of my active labour tied into a bed in one spot, on my back, fighting through the pain on my own, with no coping techniques outside of breathing (which didn't help much).

This whole part of labour felt like a ton of waiting for me... anesthesiologist, epidural try 1, try 2, epidural to take, Dr... etc.

Finally they called my Dr., who then okay'd the anesthesiologist and they called him. So we waited on him to arrive to do the epidural. While we were waiting, they FINALLY gave me the laughing gas. It was weird. It made me super dizzy but trying to hold the mask on my mouth helped me to focus while I was breathing through the contractions.

They sat me up on the bed with my feet on a bucket and made me sit as still as possible. That was super hard because he was trying to race between my contractions, which were a lot closer than he expected. He was a total dick about it too. I tried my best to vocalize when they were starting and he just commented things like "another one" or "really?". While trying to sit still, I was dealing with that uncontrollable tension. The freezing shot literally felt like a pinch... and again, I'd been really concerned about it. The catheter felt like pressure... no pain. It really was NOTHING compared to labour. He had trouble finding the landmarks on me. The first time he tried, he missed and hit a blood vessel. Apparently blood went everywhere and soaked a couple towels. My hubby was shocked and said there was a LOT of blood. The second time he placed the catheter, he thought he'd done it right but when they put me back down on the bed and tried running medication through it, I felt nothing... and not the painless nothing you're supposed to feel... nothing changed. The epidural did not work!

By that time, the nurse had noticed something about my hips during my contractions and during that tension feeling. She asked me about it. I didn't know I was doing anything with my hips but I mentioned the pooping feeling. She checked me and told me I was at a TEN and I think the baby was already touchable!! This was probably around 1:30am at the earliest. She told me to push as my body wanted to and that's what the feeling was. I was SHOCKED. My body was telling me to push and I didn't even know it. What a miracle!

So they called my Dr. and he rushed in, checked in on me, went "okay, I have time to change" and rushed out. When he came back, they got everything ready for me to push. I can't remember what all they had to do but I remember that I barely had to scoot down the bed at all. I guess that's how close things were.

They took away my laughing gas at this point. I was upset! Once I started pushing, I just naturally started moaning... it's odd to remember. It went really quickly, although it felt like a really long time for me. The waiting period between contractions seemed so much longer than it had when I was just dealing with normal contractions. I guess when you're dreading something, it comes quickly and when you want something to happen, it takes forever! I can't keep track of the timeline of pushing but I remember the burning feeling that came with the ring of fire and his head. It hurt but the worst part was between peaks, trying not to let his head slip back and still feeling that burning feeling.

Once his head was out, his whole body just slid out. I don't think I even had to push his shoulders out at all! I only pushed for SEVEN MINUTES and he was born at 2:04am! It was amazing! It was such a relief to have his body out. He cried almost immediately. He sounded like Donald Duck. Because he came out so fast, he was all mucus-y and garbled sounding. He scored a 6 on his first apgar test and a 9 on his second. I got a nice break while they dried him off and stuck him on my chest.

Super awake, right from the moment he came out! He had white, wrinkly hands and feet and no vernix!

After hubby cut the cord (which apparently was the weirdest thing to cut ever!!) the Dr. poked at my belly and such to get the placenta to release. That was an easy thing to push out compared to the baby. Hubby said it looked so funky! I wish I'd gotten to see it!

And, after that, the fun part... stitches. I didn't feel the numbing except for a poke. He guessed that the epidural was working a tiny bit, but I wasn't hooked up to meds or anything for it to keep dripping through the catheter. I'm guessing it was just similar to the epidural needle and I.V. where that pain just wouldn't compare to all the other pain I'd felt! He told me that I'd torn more internally than externally and I found out later that it was a 2nd degree tear.

I am still totally on a birth high after everything. Aside from the laughing gas, all was natural! I'm so happy with myself and amazed. Birth was a miracle and the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. I can't wait to do it all over again!

Advice from me to you:
  • go with the flow! I went in wanting no epidural (I'm thrilled now that it never worked) but with the pain and being strapped to my bed, I begged for it
  • this pertains to the next two... be open. I went in, wanting nothing to do with seeing what's going on down there, no pictures and DEFINITELY no hubby seeing. yeah, I REALLLLLLY didn't care! I'm so happy to have my pictures, video and hubby's view on things.
  • if you're curious at all about watching or think it would help you push with a purpose, get a mirror. they brought in a mirror, but I don't remember looking at all because I was so focused
  • if you want to remember things, have your husband take pictures! we got a bunch of pictures and some of them are amazing! he also got baby's first cry on video! so amazing!
  • make sure you have someone with you who can remember those details for you and fill you in on all the pieces that end up being fuzzy! so much is fuzzy for me still.

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