I keep wanting to write this down, not only to share with friends and family but to have it to remember forever, though I doubt I will ever forget, I mean this is the birth story of my first born (not to be confused with my first child, he is my second ;P) but I don’t want to miss any details of it. I want to put a warning out there, this entry will definitely be TMI and very long. I mean is detailed information about giving life to my son, I love to talk and I’m a nurse so I am trained not to blush or feel shamed when others share information with me so I will likely do the same. Again birth story will probably contain too much information, not intended for those who are weak stomach ;).
Is 11 am on November 7, 2012 and my contractions are mild and 10 minutes apart. I’m not stressed or worried I have been having on and off contractions for weeks, and had been to labor and delivery at the hospital on two other occasions. Last time I was there in preterm labor at only 32 weeks, they were able to stop the labor with just two days of constant IV fluids, so my first reaction was to drink more water, dehydration could be causing them. In addition, I wasn’t concern because he was full term, that morning I was 38 weeks pregnant, and with my history of preterm labor and miscarriages, it wasn’t an easy task and I had to take many precautions. My own doctor had only given me hope to last 36 weeks so I was elated everyday I got closer to my due date, now only 2 weeks away. Still so much left to do before those 2 weeks came so I was busy cleaning and organizing about, in addition to expecting a baby; my fiancée, 7 year old daughter and me had just moved to our new home 3 months prior and we still had boxes that needed unpacking, which were hard to finish with a pregnancy and additional precautions. Through out the early afternoon as I continued my doing as much as possible I start noticing that my contractions are not only not going away but actually getting stronger. I pause and time them and now they are only 7 minutes apart. The time I went to the hospital 5 weeks earlier, I was having contractions 4 minutes apart for 2 hrs which is why I went to L&D since then, I have had them but not this strength and any closer than 10 minutes. It is hard to express in words the emotions that go through your head when you think, ‘This may be it.’ There is an excitement, a nervousness, joy, scared, and doubt (I don’t want to go and be disappointed to get sent back home), and more joy and some fear, and more excitement. Yeah, I guess that covers it maybe. I tell Kenny that I think this may be true labor and I don't think he believes me, for one it would be my 3rd time going to labor & delivery floor plus I guess I’m too calm unlike the previous visit plus I had decided yesterday that I was going to have the baby today.
Okay, side note from the birth story to the day before. After I voted on Tuesday I told plenty of people that since I had done my civil duty that now I was ready to have the baby. Many got a chuckle out of it but I was serious, I was waiting on him to be 37 weeks to be consider full term and then decided that I wanted to vote since I couldn’t use and absentee ballot for pregnancy. Then I told Kenny my additional reasons. Our daughter Tiffany had off 2 days from school that week, Thursday and Friday, which meant I could go to the hospital, drop her off at a friends or relatives and not have to worry about her missing school. We would then be released from the hospital after two days (because in my mind I had also planned on having a vaginal delivery) and we would have the weekend to get use to having the new baby prior to her going back to school on Monday. I believed this scenario so much that when my mother called me on Tuesday to check on me and asked if I could have the baby on Saturday, because it was her birthday, that I told her no, I couldn’t because he would be born tomorrow ;).
Kenny knew about my perfect plan to have KJ on Wednesday so when I told him that I think today was it, he gave me a nod and asked what I wanted for dinner, which at this point was nothing. I start gathering our overnight bags and pack up a few days worth of clothes for Tiffany. At this time Kenny decides that he is going to get a pizza for dinner and leaves the house as my contractions are getting stronger and my patience is wearing thin. When he arrives back with pizza and wings he and Tiff get comfortable in front of the television to eat their meal. Now my contractions are 5 minutes apart and to top it off is snowing outside. I turn off the television at announce that they need to finish eating ASAP because we are going to the hospital. I call Tiff’s godparents to inform them that we will be dropping her off for a few days because we will be having a baby tonight. Finally we are in the car by 5:45, my contractions have been 5 minutes apart for an hour and we are 30 minutes from the hospital. During the drive there I thought the snow storm slowed us down as he hit every bump in the road but when he dropped me off at Labor & Delivery it was only 6:15 pm. I was placed in a triage room and shortly afterwards I had to urinate. I came out and as the triage nurse asked questions I had to urinate again, and again, every 5 minutes or so I had to go. I did the same when the register person came in. After my forth time in the rest room the triage nurse informs me that from what I told her and all my times up to pee she doesn’t think is true labor just a bladder infection. She gives me a specimen cup which I gladly filled for her seconds later. Kenny had decided that since it wasn’t labor he would go to the local pharmacy to get refills of his medications and he would be back shortly. I placed my specimen cup on the sink and waited for the nurse to come to test it, however I heard another pregnant woman cursing and moaning in labor and being placed in the other triage room. Around 7:15 pm I heard the triage nurse give report to her relief during shift change.
Nurse: “Patient in room 2 has been in active labor for 6 hrs and we are just waiting for the doctor to check her to get her a room. Patient in room 1 (me) has a UTI, urine specimen in room needs to be tested for doctor to know what meds.”
I looked at the specimen cup still sitting on the sink and wish I could test it to know what meds to get because this UTI is becoming increasingly painful. I continue having to go every few minutes and amount of urine is less and less. The triage comes in to take my vitals and tells me the doctor is on his way to check me. She leaves with my urine still sitting on the sink, this is becoming annoying now. At 8 pm on my way back to the hallway bathroom I pass by my nurse and I ask for pain meds for increase “cramping” since I’m now convinced that my contractions are actually an untreated bladder infection. She informs me that the doctor has to check me first as he walks by us and tells me to finish the bathroom and he will check the other room first. I’m slightly annoyed but I don’t want to pee on him and agree. I go to the restroom and there is nothing left to pee, however now I feel like it may be a bowel movement. I don’t try because I don’t want to aggravate anything until the doctor checks. At 8:25 pm, the doctor comes in. I tell him again that I need something for the pain.
Doctor: “Yes, bladder infections can be very painful, lets examine you and I’ll start something for you.“ At the words bladder infection I look back at my specimen cup which still mocks me. I hope he doesn’t need results prior to giving me meds. He dons on his gloves and does a vaginal check. He then states that I can't get pain meds because I'm fully effaced, dilated 10 cm, budging and -2, and I need to be placed in a labor room because I’m about to have this baby. At the sound of this information my pain level goes from 5 to 10 and request something, anything for pain. Doctor: “If we give you something this late it won’t take into affect and hurt the baby. Is okay the baby is coming soon.”
The triage nurse is in shock and apologizes and informs me that she understood that I had an UTI. I look at the specimen cup and wonder why the hell haven‘t I received my BSN RN already, I was taught not to ASSUME my first day in LPN school. Kenny comes in as they are taking me from the triage room to labor, delivery and recovery room. He is in shock by the all the changes in an hour time. I get to room and the doctor turns me over to a team of nurses, one for me and one for the baby and a nurse midwife. The nurse midwife does another vaginal check and as she reaches my water breaks, lots of warm fluids all over the place and the nurses step into action change all my chuck pads and start getting everything ready. All the sudden I feel an urge to push, (is funny because I seen TLC’s Baby Story and always wonder what an urge to push means). For me it felt like tons of pressure pressing down on my vagina, almost like when you have to poop, but in my case a small watermelon. I was told I had to wait to set me up and I practiced my breathing techniques from childbirth class to help me. I get my blood drawn and IV started, they take out the warmer and start getting everything else ready as Kenny calls my mom to tell her to get to the hospital as soon as she can because the baby is coming now and then we start the pushing.
Oh goodness, I could write chapters and chapters on pushing but I will try very hard to keep it to one paragraph. For me half of my labor I thought I was dehydrate and the other half I thought I had an UTI so the hardest part of all was the pushing, more specific, the pushing with no pain medication for 2 1/2 hrs!!! That is 150 minutes of the most strenuous, painful exercise of your life. I started pushing on my back and after 20 minutes the nurse midwife suggested I turn to the right, 20 minutes later turn to the left, we even tried sitting on the toilet for 10 minutes however I watched too many episodes of ‘I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant’ where newborns fall in the toilet to concentrate on pushing while on the toilet. I was back on the bed when my mom arrived with my aunt to cheer me on, and now I had 3 victims of my rage. I had already yelled at Kenny to help and hold my leg up as I pushed and got very annoyed when I would switch side and he wasn’t over at the other side to help hold my leg again. My mom got my first backlash when she asked where was the doctor; if I was in a rational state of mind I would of explained, calmly, that unless the baby or I are in any sort of distress the midwife would delivery the baby and please don’t mention that so she doesn’t think we think she is incompetent and isn’t offend, however what I actually said (aka yelled) was, “Mom can you please shut up!” My aunt was shortly after when she tried to rub on me and I push her off. My mom again when she got a wet washcloth and tried to wipe off my sweat and I grabbed it wiped it off myself threw it. I started to feel discourage by the second hour and began to cry.
Me: “Every time I push I fell him come down and then I stop pushing and he comes back up, I can’t do it.” Midwife: “Honey, you need to stop crying because crying will pull the baby back up, and he is almost here.” Me: “Okay, but can I get an epidural please.” Midwife: “No, you are almost there.” After a few more pushes he passed crowning and a very excited nurse asked me if I wanted to feel his hair. Me: “No, I want you to get him out!”
It was my last outburst, all the sudden I felt the burning, painful sensation and she informed me I had to have an episiotomy :( but I didn’t care when within seconds she takes him out and puts him on my abdomen. I started to cry overwhelmed with joy, I made a human! I rubbed his belly as they suctioned his airways and Kenny cut the cord, I was in disbelief, this is my baby, my perfect little boy with all his fingers and toes. They then placed him on the warmer and had two nurses tend to him as the midwife continued with me and I realized that this is where post partum depression starts. Here is why….
As soon as they placed baby KJ on the warmer on the other side of the room, my fiancée, my mom and my aunt; all whom have been paying me the most care, giving me ice chips, rubbing my back, wiping my face, telling me how well I am doing; leave my side and go over with their camera phones and cameras and start taking pictures of the baby as I hear play by play of the footprints, and weight and all the small milestones I’m missing. During this time, I’m in pain, the nurse midwife is helping me deliver the placenta which is done by her, whom prior to this minute had very gentle hands, pushed against my abdomen with all her strength. I whine in pain and my three cheerleaders pay me no mind. After the placenta comes out, my midwife tells me she is going to check for blood clots (extra TMI ), this procedure requires her to place her hand back into my uterus and does a scoop motion, mind you still no pain med and gives me my stitches and I start to cry and still no one pays me any mind. They place me in my permanent room and take KJ along with daddy to get his first bath, get some blood work done, and his first injections. My mom and aunt leave and Kenny is gone with baby KJ for over 2 hrs as I still alone in the room waiting anxiously for there return. Yep, this is where post partum depression starts. Yet for me it is still the best day of my life, especially 2 hrs later when the nurse, Kenny and KJ return.
Nurse: “Is your number 65040” Me: “I don’t know, but that’s my baby.” Nurse: “Is on your wrist band.” Me: “65040, okay please hand me my son.” She places him in my arms and it was all so worth it! Nurse: “Okay, lets try breastfeeding.” And that is a whole another story…..