November 26, 2016

The Birth Story

We decided not to find out the gender of our baby. People think we're crazy, but it made the pregnancy and birthing experience that much more exciting! One way of thinking about it is like opening your Christmas gift before Christmas morning, re-wrapping it and putting it back under the tree- it's not as exciting when you open it, it is?

My due date was supposed to be Tuesday November 15th, but November 15th came and went. I was scheduled to meet with my doctor on November 16th if the baby hadn't come by then. I went in for my appointment and was dilated to a 1 (getting checked was incredibly painful). The doctor told me that they wouldn't let me go more than a week past my due date. She was going to be working at the hospital that weekend and arranged for me to meet with another doctor on Friday to see how things had progressed and then come up with a game plan.

I met with the other doctor on Friday November 18th and was still only dilated to a 1. The doctors didn't think that my uterus was going to dilate any further on it's own so they decided that it would be best to induce me. Both doctors warned me that they don't like to induce people with their first baby because it increased the likelihood of having a c-section since your forcing your body to do something that it has never done before.

My induction was scheduled for the next day (Saturday November 19th) at 8:00 pm. Late in the afternoon someone called from the hospital to tell me that my induction might have to be rescheduled because the hospital lost power. The hospital was undergoing construction and someone cut through an electrical line. At 7:00 pm I received word that the power was back on and I should come to the hospital at 8:00 pm to start the induction.

Saturday afternoon Andy and I went on a walk to try and induce labor naturally. I ran several times while we were on our "walk". I would run to a car, light post or cross walk. I couldn't go very fast but I managed to run. My running efforts didn't pay off though.

After our run/walk.

I look like a pumpkin - the last belly shot.

Andy and Brother Porter gave me a blessing, we grabbed some Subway and headed to the hospital just before 8:00 pm.

After checking in and getting hooked up to the monitors it was discovered that I was having contractions. The nurses asked if I could feel them and were surprised when I told them "no". They started me on a round of pitocin.

Once the pitocin had run it's course they checked me to see if my uterus had dilated anymore. Nope, nothing had changed. I was still only dilated to a one.

At this point my doctor was working the floor and she came in to discuss my options. She said we could put some tablets inside near the uterus and see if they would cause it to dilate further or  we could put some balloons on either side of the uterus and fill them with saline and see if that would cause it to dilate. My doctor seemed to think the balloon route was the better way to go so that is what we did.

Several hours later the balloons were removed and they checked me again, this time my uterus had dilated to around a 3 or a 4. They decided to break my water at this point. It is a strange feeling to feel warm water gush out of your body. After breaking my water they started me on a second round of pitocin (I recall the water breaking and pitocin starting around 10:00 pm on Sunday night).

Around 3:00 am the contractions were becoming painful. I walked into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror and I did not look good at all, my body was so pale and I was shaking uncontrollably. At this point, Andy and I decided that I needed to have an epidural. The anesthesiologist was on call that night, so I had to wait a little while for him to arrive.  By 4:00 am the epidural was in place. Along with the epidural came a catheter.

A lot of people told me that with an epidural I would have the best sleep of my life, this was not the case. I did not sleep at all. While the epidural helped me feel better in a lot of ways, the catheter did not. Every time I had a contraction I could feel the catheter. To say it was awful was an understatement, it was so incredibly painful and uncomfortable.

At 7:00 am my doctor went off the clock and a new doctor took over.

Some time between 8:00 and 9:00 am I began pushing. The doctor was in and out of the room to see other patients, but my nurse was with me the entire time (so were Andy and Julie). I pushed and I pushed and I pushed.  At one point they had me try turning around backward on the bed, this was a bad idea- it hurt so bad! I cried and said, "I can't do this". I wanted to give up then and there. I lost my mental focus and somehow managed to find it again among all of the pain.

I was a little nervous that the doctor wouldn't be there to deliver the baby because she had been gone for such a long time. I asked the nurse if she had ever delivered a baby before, she hadn't and didn't seem too keen on the idea.

So, I pushed and I pushed and I pushed some more. After pushing for about 4 hours I was exhausted physically and mentally to the point that my pushes were becoming less effective. The doctor gave me three options: 1) I could keep trying to push. 2) They could use the vacuum to help get the baby out (this would mean an episiotomy). 3) I could have a C-section. I decided to have them use the vacuum.

As they were using the vacuum it popped off the baby's head and they had to do it again. By some miracle they were able to get the baby out with the vacuum and the placenta came out on it's own right behind the baby.

I don't remember much after that because I was so tired. It was now Monday November 21st at 12:40 pm and I hadn't slept since Friday night- that was a long time to go without sleep.

About the same time they said, "It's a boy" they placed the little guy on my chest. He came in at 7 lbs 10 oz and was 20 1/4 inches long. I didn't really know what to think, say or do.

Bubba's first photo.

Andy came over and stood next to me in tears. I looked at him and said, "I don't know if I can do this again".
First family photo.

We both thought we were going to have a little girl and we had girls names picked out but we didn't have a name picked out for a little boy. It took us several days to come up with a name for him. Sorry, I'm not going to share it on the blog at this time. We think his name fits him pretty well though.

Andy changing Bubba'a diaper.

Nana with the baby.

My little brothers (Nathan and Russell) flew in. They were so excited to meet their nephew. They both wanted to hold him and hold him.

Auntie Kay (our birthing instructor), Kirsten, Monica, Tony and Melissa, and Laurie all came to visit us. Members in our ward brought us some meals and were constantly checking in on us. I am so grateful for the support of family, friends, and ward members during this wonderful time in our lives!

We're so glad that our baby arrived safely and that he is healthy. That is a huge blessing in and of itself. I am so grateful that I didn't have to have a C-section! I couldn't have asked for a better team (Andy and Julie) to help coach me through labor.