Sunday, June 26, 2011

Liam's Birth Story

Since Liam was completely content in my belly and stayed in past his due date, the doctor offered me an induction date for 1 week later. I was told that I would receive a call from Labor and Delivery between 4 in the morning and midnight, depending on when and if they had a bed available for me. So on Wednesday night I had my bags packed and everything ready to go (well, I actually had everything ready to go about 3 weeks earlier since I thought that was when he would be arriving), and at about 4:05 Thursday morning I received my call. I was asked to be at the hospital around 5, and told to eat a light breakfast and shower. I gathered everything up, put it in the car, had a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch, and handed Kash over to Grandma Glover so we could be on our way.

When we arrived and got checked in, they took us to our room. My first nurse came in to introduce herself and get me hooked up to the machines, and my pitocin was started at 6:30. I was checked to see how far dilated I was, and I was already at 3 cm, so we were off to a good start. Not much later, I met the nurse who would be with me the rest of the day, and the doctor who would be delivering me (whom I was told was the doctor all of the nurses prefer to use themselves). By 9 am, my contractions were finally starting to become regular, and they were slowly beginning to cause me some pain. At 10 o'clock I was checked again, and had only moved to 4 cm dilated. So at 10:20, the doctor came in and offered to break my water to speed things up. I was all for getting this over with, I was already hungry and was really hoping to get Liam out by lunch time, so I agreed, and my bag of waters was ruptured. By this time my contractions were every 1.5 to 3 minutes apart, the doctor said I was handling them very well and he estimated I should have my baby by about 2pm.

Not long after my water broke I started to really feel some pain from the contractions, so I put in my request for the anesthesiologist to give me an epidural. I was told that the best anesthesiologist was working that day, which I was thrilled about, and I got my epidural at 11:15am. At 11:30 I was 5 cm dilated and fully effaced, but I was also getting pretty itchy from the epidural, so they offered me some benedryl, which must have been some damn good benedryl because it made feel completely drunk for the next few hours. So I decided to just relax and try to take a nap until my labor progressed some more. By this time my contractions were coming every 1 to 2.5 minutes. At 12:30 I woke up from my "nap" and was feeling some pressure, when the nurse came in to check on me she did a pelvic exam and found that I was 10 cm dilated! So at 1pm, it was time to push! Everything up until now had progressed really well, and actually pretty quickly, so I was feeling good about everything; but unfortunately, that would soon change...

I started pushing at 1:15 and continued to do so for about a half an hour. The nurse said Liam was not moving down, and basically all that pushing had made me no progress. So she suggested I lay on my side for the next half hour to see if he would move down on his own at all. So at 2:25 the nurse came back in and I started another half hour of pushing. Still though, there was really no progress. He had moved down a little while I was laying on my side, but my second round of pushing did no good. The nurse tried to feel around his head to see how he was positioned and why he wasn't coming down, but she couldn't quite figure out what the issue was (we later realized the confusion was due to the fact that his head was already shaped like a banana from being stuck in my pelvis). So this time the nurse had me take another half hour break sitting up, hoping maybe this position would bring him down some more. I was even doing hip circles trying to maneuver him down. And by this time I was starting to feel some pain, I was having to breath through contractions like I had no pain meds and it was getting pretty uncomfortable.

At 4:00 the nurse came back and we started our 3rd round of pushing. By this time he was a bit lower, so the pushing was starting to get more painful, but he was still barely budging with each push I gave. When the doctor came in at about 4:30, he noticed I was really swollen, and that the fluid coming out of my uterus was getting pretty warm, which means an infection is starting. This is obviously not safe for the baby, or me, so he started giving me the rundown on a c-section and told me about all the risks involved. He said that if the baby didn't make any progress very soon, we'd have to go in for surgery. He said he could tell that I was pushing really hard, and that I was actually a really good pusher, so it was clear that I was doing everything I could to get him out. But apparently Liam's head was asynclitic, which means it wasn't lined up with the birth canal. He was trying to come down tilted and crooked.

As much as I didn't want a c-section (I have always wanted to avoid one just because of the added recovery time and risks), by this time I was actually hoping the doctor would just make the decision to take me into the operating room. I was feeling a lot of pain, and I finally commented out loud that I didn't remember feeling this uncomfortable having Kash, and that's when the doctor said "oh, well that's because your epidural's been turned off". What!? When the hell did that happen and who thought it'd be a good idea!? No one told me this was part of the plan, and apparently it had been turned off at about 1:30 in hopes that my being able to feel the contractions would get me to push better and get Liam down. Well it would have been nice if someone let me in on that plan of action! No freakin' wonder I was in so much pain! By this time, every time another contraction came I remember saying, or rather whining, "I don't want to push anymore". The doctor offered to try using the vacuum to assist in getting the baby out, as one last resort before performing a c-section. I agreed, and the doctor left the room. By the time he came back (with no vacuum by the way) Liam had apparently moved his way down far enough that the doctor thought we could just push him out now. So it began. The most excruciating pain I have ever felt was endured during the next 5 minutes or so. I was screaming and cursing, and I just remember thinking with each push that "this has got to be the biggest part of his head". But for the first 4 pushes, I was wrong. I think it took about six to get him out. And although I was so relieved when his head came out, I quickly realized that his shoulders were next, and bigger than his head. This whole pushing a baby out of your vagina thing is completely inhumane. No one should ever have to do it. Your options should be c-section, or vaginal birth with pain meds, only. After a few more pushes his shoulders were out and I was just so glad it was over. Liam Kyre Glover was born on June 23rd at 5:01pm, weighing in at 9 pounds 6 oz, 20 inches long. Up until the time his head came out, all the doctors and nurses I had seen estimated that Liam would be about as big as Kash was when he was born, which was 7 lbs 12 oz. No one thought that his size was playing a factor in the reason why I couldn't get him out. When his head finally did come out, I remember hearing the doctor say, "oh, this baby might be a little bigger than we thought".

So after he was born the doctor stitched me up, which took what seemed like forever, I was in need of numerous stitches. And while that was happening the nurses evaluated Liam and decided that they didn't like how heavy he was breathing. Along with the fact that he had a slight fever, they agreed to take him to the NICU for observation. So after they let me hold for a quick minute, they wheeled him away. Once I got cleaned up and moved to my recovery room, I just kept waiting for them to bring my baby to me, they said they'd have him for a few hours and it was already 8pm. So my nurse finally took me to go see him, and although I had already held him, it was really the first time I got to look at him. There was so much going on when I held him that I couldn't really pay attention. He was so cute! He had just been given a bath and was wide awake waiting for me. The nurse said that as soon as a lab tech came to take his blood they would be bringing him to my room. So I went back to my room to wait. And wait. And finally at 9:45 they brought him in. I was able to breastfeed him for the first time, which he took to amazingly easily, and I could finally enjoy him. It was a ridiculously long day, and even more ridiculously painful, but like everyone always says, it was worth it.

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