Saturday, December 01, 2012

Finally Here!

 At long last, Andrew James was born at 4:47 AM Friday, Nov. 30.  He was 9 pounds, 2 ounces, and 22 1/2 inches long.  Observant folk may point out that we already have an "A" name, which violates our naming rules.  Not to worry!  We're calling him Drew!  Bob has been reading God's Smuggler, the biography of Brother Andrew, who has been instrumental in smuggling in so many Bibles to restricted areas of the world for so many years, and he was inspired by the man. 
 Now, for the rest of the birth story . . . I spent forever on hold Thursday afternoon with L&D, but eventually someone told me to come in at 5:30.  Bob and I left at 4:30, and we stopped by the Bethesda McDonalds where I ate a double hamburger plus some fries before we actually went into the hospital.  Of course, not long after I was admitted, they decided to do a blood sugar stick on me . . . whoops!  My numbers were 160, LOL.  Fortunately I confessed up to what I had eaten right before going upstairs, and they decided to wait a little bit and test again.  My numbers were fine then.

They finally actually got the pitocin started around 8:00, so I knew it was going to be a long night.  When the doctor examined me, before they started the pit, I was 4 cm dilated, but still just 50% effaced.  The baby was still moving around a ton, so clearly he wasn't engaged.  The doctor said she wouldn't break my water until he was further down, since she didn't want to risk cord prolapse.  Because the baby was so active, it was hard to keep him on the monitor, but they insisted he be on it, since I was having pit.  So I spent my time trying all these different things and various positions, but I was limited by having to chase the baby around with the monitor thing on my tummy. 

They started the pit at 2 and kept upping it, but I was hardly even feeling the contractions, so I knew they weren't doing a darn thing.  And sure enough, at 10:00 when the doctor checked me, I was still at 4 cm, 50% effaced.  Bob took a nap, and I finished reading a murder mystery, plus a Reader's Digest while changing positions regularly, rocking on the birthing ball, etc.  But the contractions continued to not be painful at all, the baby continued to not move down, and I just got tired!

Eventually they upped the pitocin all the way to 18, where they felt like I was in a good, albeit non-painful, labor pattern.  Eventually the baby moved down enough where the doctor felt he was "well-applied" to my cervix, so she broke my water around 2:00 AM.  I am sure if she had broken my water earlier, things would have happened more quickly.  That is what I remember about Jonathan's labor--he was also high, but the doctor broke my water after just a few hours, so the total labor was not too long.  Anyhow, things became a little more painful after that, but really the contractions weren't too bad until 4:00 or so.  But although the contractions hurt, and I was having these double-peaking contractions that just never seemed to end, I still wasn't feeling much pressure or anything, so I was worried that I still had a long ways to go.  I started thinking that maybe I would get an epidural this time--I was so tired, these contractions were so intense, and I felt like I still had a long ways to go.  I was feeling like I was heading into transition because I was feeling shaky and hot, then cold, but when the doctor examined me at about 4:15, I was only 6 cm dilated . . . and still just 50% effaced.  So then I really started thinking seriously about the epidural.  I've never had one, and I was quite curious as to whether it would really ease these intense, double-peaked contractions.  The only way I was getting through them was intense concentration and relaxation on my part, and intense counter-pressure in the small of my back and against my top hip by Bob (I was on my right side at that point).  I didn't know how much longer Bob would be able to keep up the pressure either!  But then the baby's heartrate started decelerating.  They decided it was because of the massive dose of pit I was getting, which was making my contractions so strong, so they cut the pit off and gave me an oxygen mask.  They also said an epidural would be good for me, so they called the anesthesiologist, but before he got there, they put a fetal heart monitor on the baby's head, so they could better track his heartrate.  So I had several very uncomfortable contractions on my back while they got all that hooked up, and then the wire didn't work, so they had to replace it.  It was a little after 4:30, and the doctor confirmed that I was still just at 6 cm, 50% effaced.  Finally they finished up all the fetal monitor stuff, and I rolled onto my left side . . . where I promptly had another contraction and felt a strong urge to push.

"Ummm, I don't know why, but I'm pushing!!" I cried out, so the doctor rushed over to examine me again, and what do you know--I was complete!  I pushed for about 5 minutes, and Drew was born at 4:47!  I could tell he was big, as in over 9 pounds, but I could also tell he was nowhere as big as Micah, LOL.  I had to push about 15 minutes to get Micah out!  It is still not easy to push out a 9 pound baby though.  Hard work, even if not a long time of pushing 

So all of a sudden it was over, which was stunning to me.  I know people like my friend Christine dilate really quickly, but that has never been my experience in the slightest, and this labor was just so slow that I never in a million years expected such a speedy end!  I thought it would all drag on for hours more!  I was so relieved though.  I was really running out of energy, motivation, and everything. 

The bad thing was that the long labor, plus all the pitocin, combined to make my uterus not clamp up very effectively, which was something I worried about, since that had happened with Grace as well.  If you have had a baby, you probably know all about fundal massage, which is very uncomfortable.  Well, this time I had not one, not two, but 3 doctors reach their entires hands inside me and scoop out clots and junk from my uterus--an internal uterine sweep--and each of the 3 did it at least twice--all while pressing down on the fundus from the outside as well.  Let me tell you, THAT was so painful.  By the time the 2nd doctor had done it once, I actually had to have some fentanyl in my IV to take the edge off.  I don't know if it really helped though--just made me a bit woozy.  Oh my goodness, it was painful!  I also was the lucky recipient of cytotec rectal suppositories, plus a shot in the thigh of methergen, all to help my uterus clamp up better.  All that took until about 7:00, and it really wiped me out.  My uterus and pelvis are still sorer than usual from all the manipulation.  It was rough! 

Finally we were able to go to our room, and I was able to eat breakfast.  Then we dozed around all morning until my parents brought all the kids to visit at lunch.  They were all so excited to meet their new baby brother!  Micah was carried in by Luke, and as soon as he saw me, he burst into tears and clung to Luke!  LOL, my face was all puffy from all the IV stuff, plus I don't think he really expected to find me in this strange place, so he was quite suspicious of this imposter!  He eventually got over it and got on the bed to snuggle with me.  He was also very fascinated by this new baby!

Drew and I are both doing fine.  He's gotten the hang of nursing, and my milk is coming in.  We got to come home this afternoon, much to the delight of Drew's siblings, who all clamor to hold him at every opportunity.  I'm hoping Drew will cooperate and let me get a little bit of sleep tonight, but I am not holding my breath, LOL.  If there has been one thing true about Drew so far, it is that he has not been cooperative with my plans!  But I am still so tired.  Luke and Caleb were our only other night births.  It seems so much harder to recover from night births, after a full, busy day, than day births (esp. when you aren't in labor the night before).  Tomorrow Bob and I have to make the trek back to Bethesa to get Drew weighed, since he went home before 48 hours.  They would have let us come back Monday, but then traffic and parking are worse, so Sunday is actually a better day! 

I'm so thankful my parents are here to help with all the other kids and their running around.  Today they got Jonathan to basketball practice and Luke to a basketball scrimmage, and tomorrow they are taking all the kids to church, then getting Nathan to a scrimmage and Caleb to a practice!

So that's the story--different from all the others!  I'm off to nurse again, and then hopefully go to bed to get some rest!


Beverly said...

What a unique and precious story! I am so happy for you that it all ended well and much more quickly than you anticipated. I remember the extreme exhaustion with Lucan--but of course that was just a very difficult delivery with him being sunny side up. And I, having had epidurals before, decided I was NOT going to make it without one that time, LOL! I'm impressed you did all that blogging when you must have been so dead tired! Congratulations again!

Tonya said...

I had the "manual extraction" happen to me after #4. It was HORRIBLE. I felt like I had given birth and then been raped. First by the midwife, then they transferred me to the hospital and had the doctor try. They gave me a narcotic for that as well and it didn't help at all. I screamed bloody murder. Worst post-birth experience ever! I also ended up with retained placental fragments despite all their "work" and my milk didn't come in until they came out on day 5 or 6. It was horrid!

I typically do dilate very quickly once I dilate. I'll be nothing for a long time and then boom, done. I find those labors are way more intense.

Glad he's here! He is very very cute!!