Thursday, November 4, 2010

Elliot's Birth Story

Elliot is napping, so I suppose I should blog!

I should warn you, if you don't care to know things about labor & delivery, don't read below. I won't go into too much detail, but either way, read at your own risk! Oh & considering how long it is, I'll be impressed if anyone reads it at all. :-)

So Saturday the 16th, we went to the pumpkin patch in Medina (like I had told you we would) to try to walk Elliot out. It didn't work, but we had fun. That night we went to bed around 10 (which is late for us!) & I woke up just after midnight & felt like I had to go to the bathroom (which wasn't unusual), but as I got up I felt like something was different... then my water broke. (I had NO DOUBT my water broke, either!) After yelling at Josh & "dealing" with the situation, if you will, I called the on-call midwife to tell her. Due to certain factors, she advised us to go ahead & head to the hospital instead of waiting until morning. So we got showered & packed up & headed out. We got to the hospital around 2 am.

I should go ahead & say, we had taken Bradley classes & were desiring to have a birth with no intervention. I planned to have no IVs (I hate needles), no meds, just a natural birth. We had great midwives that completely supported this, & were at a hospital that has more natural births than most in San Antonio. So now that you know that, we continue.

I hadn't been contracting this whole time. Once we got to the hospital & they drew blood (ugh), got us all registered, & got me on the monitor, we saw I was having small contractions every 5-7 minutes. But since they weren't strong, we decided to sleep while we could. Josh fell asleep fairly quickly & got maybe 3 hours of sleep, & I eventually fell asleep & got maybe 1.5 hours. When we woke up, I wasn't contracting noticeably at all, so Josh ran out to get us breakfast. That morning we walked, bounced on the birth ball, rocked in a chair, etc. to try to get contractions going. Nothing worked. Around noon, our midwife told us we had two options: we could continue to wait & hope that contractions started, but we needed to have labor started in another 12 hours (due to risk of infection), or we could induce sooner. She has seen many natural births & felt that I probably wasn't going to start contracting on my own any time soon. Josh & I talked... this was really frustrating, to think of inducing when we wanted no interventions & had been told that induction most often leads to an epidural as well because of the intensity & quick progression of labor. But we felt inducing soon would be better than waiting until we had been up for basically a day before starting labor, so after 2 pm (& after eating lunch & walking some more), we started Pitocin.

When we started Pitocin, I was checked & was at 1.5 cm dilated, & 70% effaced. I was really discouraged that I had barely dilated at this point. Contractions started to hurt about an hour later. By 7 pm, I was hurting really badly. Our midwife came in & stayed for the rest of my labor, helping me through contractions & rubbing my lower back. I wanted to be checked again to see how I was progressing; because it hurt so bad, I wanted to know where I was in the whole process. I was at 3 cm. THREE! In almost 5 hours, I had only dilated 1.5 more centimeters. Somehow I made it another hour, & the pain was worse, so I demanded to get checked again, saying if I wasn't progressing much still, I wanted pain meds. I couldn't imagine the pain getting worse, or dealing with it for several more hours. I remember saying, "I just don't care anymore!" But at the same time, I knew that the things I was saying had to mean I was in transition (as we had learned in our classes). I was at 6 cm at this point - I had dilated 3 cm in one hour. Josh was so encouraging & was an awesome labor coach. He knew the goal we had set & tried to remind me why we were doing this.

(By this time, I was definitely out of it. Sometimes I knew what I was saying & sometimes I didn't. I honestly wondered at times if this was actually happening - was this a dream? Was I saying those words, or was that someone else? I think that I had to separate myself from what was happening in order to handle it.)

The next 2 hours were a blur to me (for the reasons I just mentioned). I was exhausted at this point & was actually falling asleep in the 60 seconds between contractions. Around 10 pm, it was time to push. So it had taken me almost 5 hours to dilate from 1.5 to 3 cm, then 3 hours to dilate from 3 to 10 cm.

I'll spare you the details of pushing, but I pushed for 2.5 hours - this was the hardest workout of my life!! Basically, Elliot's head didn't really mold into that lovely cone head that so many babies have, so his perfectly round 35 cm head didn't exactly fly out (in fact, I heard a nurse in the room saying, "Man, he just doesn't want to come out!" Awesome.) Oh, speaking of, there is a problem with that math - 35 cm head, & full dilation is 10 cm - not cool! Anyways, for this reason recovery has been a little hard on me, as you can imagine!

I was so out of it when he was born - they put him on me & I remember thinking, "...he's purple." It took some time for me to come back mentally, plus my eyes had been shut for a few hours, I was told (that whole separating myself thing, I guess). It was 24 hours from water breaking to delivery - Elliot was born at 12:32 am on Monday morning the 18th (his due date!), at a whopping 9 lbs 5 oz, 20.25 inches long. I was so tired. We got moved up to our post-partum room & slept for maybe a couple hours before morning.

When the nurse took me to the bathroom for the first time after delivery, I kind of passed out in the bathroom & Josh thought I was dying. Oops. My heart rate was so high it wasn't showing up on the machine, then it dropped to 164(!), so I got poked with MORE needles for an IV to be pumped with fluids, had to be put on oxygen, etc. Oh boy. I severely needed rest & food! We didn't really sleep until that night though... a good 44ish hours after water breaking.

SO, labor & delivery was not really what we had expected. Things happened that we didn't have control over. But we had an awesome midwife, great nurses, were in a wonderful hospital, & I had the best labor coach, best friend, best supporter ever. So though it's not something I care to do again (Pitocin-driven contractions & hours of pushing), we are pleased with the way things turned out, & we have the cutest little guy ever as a result. He was worth it!

I have a couple other blogs I want to write, so hopefully those will come soon. :-)