Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Birthday that Almost Wasn't

March 25, 2011

After four hours of sleep, Jonathan and I woke up at 3 a.m. to eat breakfast, get dressed and drive the 30 minutes to the hospital for our scheduled 4 a.m. induction. I was tired but had trouble sleeping the night before because I was so excited and anxious. My parents stayed over at our house so we wouldn't have to wake the kids. They couldn't sleep either. It was like Christmas Eve for adults.

Arriving at the hospital the staff took me straight to my labor and deliver room 234. I got dressed in the hospital gown and signed the consent forms. The nurse then put in my my IV. She had a hard time getting it in the vein. After she got it all taped down she realized it was leaking. She took all the tape off and readjusted it again and then wiped up all the blood that had leaked out.

That was about when I started to feel light headed. I am usually pretty good with blood and shots and that stuff. But that 15 minutes of watching a needle wiggling around under my skin was a bit much for me. She laid me down flat and put a cold cloth on my forehead. Then the lab came to take my blood. Nice timing. Apparently they couldn't wait 5 minutes so they drew my blood and I closed my eyes and tried to get my head back.

I felt better after a few minutes. It was 4:30 by this time we got the Pitocin going and I was feeling good and wondering how long it would be before we would meet out little baby.

I was dilated to 4 from the balloon but the baby was still very high up. (Which was actually not that bad. Just crampy for the first couple of hours but then it was no big deal.)

8 a.m. I have been on Pit and having contractions all this time. They have slowly been increasing my Pit.  My nurse checks me. No change. Bummer. More Pit. More contractions - every 3 minutes - they are tight and uncomfortable and won't allow me to sleep but not really painful. Just tiring. My nurse says maybe the doctor will come by at lunch.

12 noon - My nurse checks me again. No change. Big Bummer. She says she would break my water but the doctors orders won't let her with the baby so high. I am feeling a bit discouraged and say I don't think anything is going to change until my water is broken. She agrees with me. She says she will go call the doctor to see if he can come break my water.

She returns to tell me she talked to my doctor and based on her exam and how high the baby still is that the doctor will not be coming to break my water as he is worried about the cord prolapsing. Bummer. She says he has told her to increase the Pitocin so the contractions will bring the baby down. I am doubtful about the Pit producing any change at this point. I am tired and discouraged.

Around 2ish she checks me again and again no change. No surprise to me this time. I am beginning to think perhaps I have induced too early. This is reminding me of my first labor with Sabrina where I was maxed out on Pit for 12 hours at a fingertip dilation with no change. Nothing happened till the Dr. manually dilated me enough to break my water. Then I was in major pain from the Pit. It was a painful and awful labor. If I had to do it over again I would not have let him break my water. I would have gone home and come back a week later hoping my body would be more ready.

I like my nurse, Sheryl. She has had 5 babies of her own and has over 20 years of nursing experience. I express my concern to her that if the doctor won't break my water because the baby is too high and if the Pit isn't bringing the baby down ... what are my options? C section or go home? Given those choices I choose go home. I am beginning to think that is what this will come down to.  I mentally prepare myself to go home. My nurse tells me as long as my water isn't broken that is an option.

She asks if I want to talk to the Dr. on the phone to discuss that option. I do. She goes to get him on the phone for me. I am tired and discouraged but remembering that first labor I am fully prepared to go home and suffer another week of pregnancy if it means my body will more easily open up and let this baby come into the world. I am even willing to plan birthday parties through my anniversary for the next 18 years.

My parents and Sabrina and Annie have been waiting it out with me since about 9 a.m. I send them all to my inlaws so Jon and I can talk to the Dr. and decide whether to go home or not. I am expecting we will go home.

The nurse returns and says the Dr. will be there in 30 mins. to break my water. I am surprised but figure if he thinks it is safe we will go with it.

3:30 ish the doctor arrives. He has the nurse press down on my belly where the baby's head is to hold his head in place while he breaks my water carefully to make sure a seal is formed between the baby's head and cervix to ensure the cord will not prolapse. This is a rather painful procedure but I understand the need for the caution and I know it will not last long. After a few minutes the water is broken and my Pit has been halved so I won't be dying from contraction pain. I can immediately feel the difference in the contractions and my Dr. says I am at a 4.5 in dilation. I request the epidural.

4:00 - the epidural guy shows up. After a failed first placement, he starts over and gets it in the right place.

4:30 - the epidural starts to work. I become a new woman. For the first time in months I am not in pain and I feel elation. My nurse checks me and tells me the baby has moved down to a 0 station and I am dilated to a 6. This is good. Life is good. My nurse begins getting everything ready for a birth.

6 p.m. My nurse checks me and tells me I am an 8. We call my parents and tell them to have the girls head over as soon as they have had a bite of dinner. They were eating at the time.

6:30 p.m. I respond to a couple of texts and say I am feeling good. I feel a contraction through the epidural ... then another. My nurse comes in. I tell her "either my labor has changed and I am in transition or my epidural isn't working. She says she saw things on the monitor that told her I needed to be checked. She checks me. She tells me she is going to call the doctor. I am ready to go. She tells me to put my legs together.

I call my parents to tell them to come immediately. They are in the parking lot thankfully. They walk in 3 minutes later and are quickly followed by the doctor who sets immediately to getting ready.

6:40 I begin to push with a contraction. I feel the head slide out. Next contraction I push out the body. Relief. Sweet relief. He is born at 6:45 p.m. Just a bit over 3 hours after my water is broken. It ended up being a long day of labor but I feel good about the experience because it was relatively easy pain wise. We have a healthy baby and I feel great. The doctor rushes out to deliver twins who went complete the same time I did. He had 5 inductions that day at 2 different hospitals. Crazy busy day for him.

They weigh the baby. Before I see the weight I think, "oh no. I am way over in my guess of 8 lbs. 3 ozs.  He weighs in at 8 lbs. 2.9 ozs.  He is 20 inches long. He is beautiful and looks like a Harris. Jon finally gives final consent to naming him Harrison McKay (the name the girls and I have been planning on for months.)

My dad and Jon go get Noble and Lauren from grandmas house a couple of minutes away. They arrive and get to hold the baby. They are loving and absolutely thrilled to finally see the baby. Sabrina and Annie were there to see the baby born and loved seeing him come in to the world.

I am thrilled to find out the hospital has a nursery that will take the baby at night between feedings so I can sleep. I am happy beyond expression to not be pregnant and my see my sweet healthy baby. He doesn't even cry when he gets his first shot. He brings a spirit of peace to the room.

What a great day. A day to celebrate. I decide to stay a second night to take advantage of the sleep I get when Harrison is in the nursery. Sunday morning, March 27th, Jon brings the kids over to the hospital at 9 am and we check out. What a wonderful 12th wedding anniversary! A new baby for the family is present enough for us all.

Dressed and ready to go home.

Since we have been home - Lauren has said a couple of things worth noting. She says Harrison brings "too much of the Spirit into our home. It is too peaceful," she says. I tell her there is no such thing as too much of the Spirit but I can see what she means. I feel humbled to be in the presence of such a bearer of peace. I am trying really hard to keep the home peaceful around him even with all the energy of the 4 kids running around.

At dinner tonight we begin to note things for which we are grateful. Lauren's turn comes. She says she is thankful for such a peaceful and wonderful spirit to come into our home. I am touched that she is so sensitive to feel this. I agree with her sensitive comment.