Henry's Birth Story!

Friday, July 31, 2009
I will try my best to remember all the details of Henry’s labor and birth, but it was a whirlwind day to say the least, so it may not be completely accurate!

I believe that I actually began early labor the night before the induction around 9-10pm. My parents, Ryan, and I went to Olive Garden so I could have one last meal before I wasn’t allowed to eat. During dinner I was cramping the entire time, but didn’t think too much of it.

Around 9pm, I started having “real” contractions. They began ranging from 8-10 minutes apart, with nearly all of the pain being in my lower back. I continued to get them consistently throughout the night around 6-7 minutes apart, thus, I really wasn’t able to sleep the night before the big day. They never got closer together than 6 minutes, so we decided I would rest as much as I could, and just go in for the induction as scheduled at 7am the next morning.

I couldn’t take the pain anymore, so I hopped into the tub at about 4:30am which helped A LOT. It really relaxed me and took my mind off of the pain. I made the call into the hospital at 5:30am to make sure the induction was still on, and it was.

Once we arrived, we were immediately taken to a birthing room and within minutes I was in my hospital gown and hooked up to the monitors. The doctor and nurse said it was great that I had already started contracting on my own, and that that would help the whole process.

The doctor came in and broke my water within the first hour—probably around 7:30am to get things moving along. Because I was contracting on my own, they wanted to see where my contractions would take me before they started the pitocin. On my first internal check, I was still the same (3cm and 80%) so they started the pitocin around 8:30am.

My contractions got stronger and longer shortly thereafter. I was breathing through them as absolute best I could, but because I had had that nasty cold, my nose was still stuffed up, and breathing through the contractions got more difficult with each one I had.

The pain continued to be localized mainly in my back, and I toughed out the pain until 10:30 when I requested the epidural. Getting the epidural wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought.(our anetheiologist’s name was Igor—we thought that was pretty cool). Though, it was really difficult to manage through the contractions as he was trying to put it in.

After the epidural was in, it was nearly immediate relief. Within 15 minutes, I had had a long 5-6 minute contraction that Henry did not like at all. Around 11am, his heartrate dipped really low (60-70 beats per minute), and within seconds my nurse was in looking at my monitoring. Another nurse came in and put an oxygen mask over my face. They started talking and more nurses came in. One put something in my IV and the other was doing an internal check. At this point, I was completely freaking out and had no idea what was going on. It was very scary.

After the contraction stopped, Henry’s heart rate went back up to the normal range and the nurse explained what had happened. Because his heart rate was being so touchy, the nurse and doctor decided to put an internal heart rate monitor in me, as well as a more accurate internal contraction monitor. This helped them keep a stable reading of the heart rate. She said that it wasn’t a good thing, but that it wasn’t anything to worry about too much, but that they would continue to monitor it.

At this point, they also turned off the pitocin, as they thought that that was irritating Henry and could have been a reason why his heart rate dropped in conjuction with the long contraction.

In the middle of all the craziness, the first nurse that checked me said I was an easy 4-4.5 cm dilated. About five minutes later, another nurse checked me and I was 5-6 cm dilated within a matter of minutes, so I was progressing fast.

They checked me again around 1pm, and I was still around 6cm dilated, so they decided to turn the pitocin back on just a little. I was getting too numb on my left side, so I had Ryan and the nurse roll me over to my right side. I had another long contraction as I rolled over, and over the next 5 minutes, Henry’s heart rate dropped again. All the nurses came rushing in again and gave me the oxygen, something for my blood pressure, and then moved me back to my left side. They also turned off the pitocin for good after this point. Right after this all happened I was checked again and progressed to 8cm already.

The doctor had been in and out periodically throughout each of these ordeals and kept telling me that we would continue to monitor it, and hope that I would keep progressing without the pitocin. He was hopeful, as I had progressed very quickly to 8cm. He kept saying the phrase “We want to avoid a c-section”, but outlined that it would be something to consider if I stalled on dilation and if Henry continued to not be able to handle the strong pitocin contractions.

The doctor was outside talking to my parents and the nurse when Henry’s heart rate dropped yet again, this time at 3:30pm. Ryan ran out and got the doctor. His heart rate jumped back up, but it was increasingly clear that Henry was going to continue having trouble tolerating the contractions.

The doctor came back in to talk to us, and said that we would begin preparations for a c-section so that there wouldn’t be a rush to get things ready in case it turned into an emergency. They brought the anethesiologist back up to give me more meds and to prepare to get me ready for a c-section, and gave me the catheter. There are some other details in here, but they are a bit fuzzy. By 4pm, the doctor said he just wasn’t comfortable with how Henry was tolerating the contractions, and decided that a c-section was the safest option for Henry and me.

We began asking every question we could think of, and I couldn’t even tell you what we had asked. At this point, I was scared to death, shaking, nervous, anxious, terrifed….pretty much every single feeling you can feel. I just wanted Henry to be ok. Within the next half hour, every person that was going to be in the room for the section came into the birthing room introducing themselves, telling me what their role was, and asking me my name and birthday and other medical history questions.

They brought Ryan’s scrubs in, and told us that I would be wheeled into the operating room within 30 minutes. I got kisses and “I love you” from Ryan and each of the grandparents, and I was on my way to be rolled into the operating room around 4:30pm. Ryan had to wait until I was on the table and completely prepped before he could come in.

The room was bright with many lights. I was rolled onto the table (feeling like complete dead weight on my lower half, it was very weird). They upped the pain meds into my epidural, positioned me on the table, and strapped my arms down. They put up the blue curtain (which was nearly right over my face and made me feel even MORE claustrophobic than I already was). This was definitely not the birth experience I thought I would have, and at this point I was shaking uncontrollably and couldn’t really believe what was happening. They continued to prep me for the surgery, and we were finally ready to go around 5:15pm. My biggest fear at this point would be what it would feel like and if I would feel anything. I kept asking them to pinch and poke me to make sure the meds were doing their job. After they and I were satisfied that the meds had taken over, Ryan was brought in around 5:25pm.

They were able to unstrap my left arm so that I could hold Ryan’s hand, and within probably seconds of Ryan getting into the room, I was cut open. The sensations certainly didn’t hurt, but it was unbelievable. I was so terrified, and Ryan kept reassuring me that I was doing a fantastic job. With every pull, push, and tug, I wanted to hear Henry cry. It was literally the most emotional point of my entire life. Henry made his entrance into the world at 5:36pm, just about 10 minutes after they had cut me open. There is no way to even describe how I felt or the emotions I was feeling at this point. I felt relief, and couldn’t control my tears. It was unreal. It turned out that Henry was completely tangled in his cord. It was around his legs, around his neck, and basically just a big mess, and likely the reason that he couldn’t tolerate the contractions.

They held him up for Ryan and I to see, and then he was whisked over to the warming table to be checked and cleaned off. Ryan went and took the first pictures of Henry’s life. Ryan also cut the cord at this time, even though up until this point he wasn’t sure he could do it! After he was all cleaned and wrapped up, they brought him over to me so I could get a better look. The nurse took our first family picture, and then Henry, Ryan, and the nurse were off to the nursery to get him further assessed, weighed, and measured.

That was likely one of the worst moments of my life. I had touched his beautiful face, but I obviously couldn’t hold him. It was a very difficult moment. They told me it would be about 40 minutes to get me all stitched back up. At this point, I was so overcome with emotions, I began to get incredibly naseous. I was on my back, my arms were strapped down, and couldn’t breathe because of my cold, and felt like there was no place for me to throw up if I needed to. Each person in the room continued to ask how I was doing, and gave me med after med in my IV. Other than a few meds for my nasueaa, I couldn’t tell you anything about what they were giving me. I think I asked if they were almost done about every 2 minutes. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I was also incredibly thirsty and wanted nothing more than a giant glass of ice, but couldn’t have anything until I was in my room.

I continued to shake and feel nausea, and wanted to jump off the table. When they told me it would be about 5 more minutes until they were finished, I finally began to be able to settle my body down. The doctors finished, congratulated me, and left. The nurses that were left took out my epidural and rolled me back onto the bed. I was totally loopy and felt out of this world as they wheeled me into my room. I continued to shake uncontrollably (which would end up last through the night, btu was normal). I was in my room at 6:30pm, nearly an hour after Henry was born. I finally got to hold him at this point. We nursed for the first time, and finally let the grandparents in around 7:30pm.

Henry is here!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Henry arrived into the world at 5:36pm on July 28th! He was 8lbs and 5 oz. He was born via c-section...he was not tolerating the longer and stronger contractions I was having and his heart rate would drop. His heart rate dropped one too many times and the doctor wasn't comfortable with me progressing any further labor wise, so we needed to do the c-section. It turned out the cord was wrapped around his neck, his legs, and just all twisted all up in general. Mom, dad and baby are doing great....more details on the whole experience will come later. Here's a few pictures...and a link to a few more on my facebook page.


The Stretchmark Fairy doesn't want me to wear a swimming suit anytime soon...

Monday, July 27, 2009
She's really been too generous with me lately. I didn't get my first stretch mark until I was 34 weeks. At that point, it was just one tiny one, just on the underside of my belly where I couldn't quite see it.

As the weeks went on, I continued to get more, but wasn't quite worried about it because they weren't too dark and sort of blended in with all of my veins since my skin is so light.

Well, the past few days the underside of my belly has been itching like crazy, non-stop. I've been using lotion constantly to help combat the itching, but it was almost unbearable sometimes. So, regrettably, I decided to grab a mirror and take a look at what was itching me so bad on the underside of my belly.

What I saw nearly made me fall over, shriek, cry, etc....I pretty much have what looks like a road map all over my belly, surrounding my belly button. The stretch marks on the underside of my belly are a very dark red...and there are a lot of them. Better yet, they don't look as much like a road map as they do a photo of a hurricane...you know, like this one below, with my belly button being the eye of the storm.

Needless to say, I don't think I'll be wearing a swimming suit anytime soon. But it's all worth it in the end for Henry, even if I think the Stretchmark Fairy gave me way more than my fair share of stretch marks.

In other news, Henry will be here tomorrow assuming my induction doesn't fail...which the doctors don't think it will as I have a "good start". I think I just need that little extra push. Too bad that little extra push comes in the form of a drug called Pitocin which apparently can cause even more unbearable contractions. Awesome. I am planning on getting the epidural, but was hoping to manage through the pain as long as possible without it, so we'll see how that goes seeing that the contractions will likely be very strong from what I've read.

We have to be at the hospital at 7am, and they said I would get put into my room right away and started on the pitocin. Let's hope for a speedy labor and delivery. We'll have the laptop with us, so you should hopefully see pictures of Henry tomorrow! Unreal!

Dear Henry,

Friday, July 24, 2009
Please stop being so stubborn. I should have seen this coming, seeing that both myself and your daddy are very stubborn, but enough is enough. I would like you to come on your own before Tuesday. Please consider my request. You'll certainly be spoiled your whole life no matter what, so hopefully you can do this one thing for me.

Your very impatient mommy.

Happy Due Date!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I am 40 weeks today. There was a big part of me that thought (or more like hoped) that I would have my baby by now, despite everything I had read that indicated many first time moms go late. Well, unless my water suddenly breaks, I don't think Henry will make his entrance "on time" today. Although, the 40 weeks is just an estimate, so I'm just trying to enjoy these last few days and not get hung up on it anymore.

I developed a cold overnight on Sunday, which I think is partly why I've stopped worrying and obsessing so much over every pain and twinge, thinking it could be labor. My nose is stuffed up, my throat hurts and is all gross. We went to the doctor yesterday (still 3cm and 80% by the way) and he told me to take a basic antihistamine. It hasn't done a damn thing yet. I've also had headaches on and off which Tylenol has been able to take care of, but as far as the throat and nose goes, I feel just as bad as I did Sunday night. Who develops a cold right before the birth of their child anyway? Me...things like this always seem to happen to me.

I won't be posting a picture until around lunch time. Since I'm officially on my maternity leave, I don't have much motivation to be showered and dressed before Ryan leaves for work....especially with this disgusting cold.

We received some more information on our induction yesterday as well (which it seems we will make it to with every day that passes). I'm scheduled for 7am, and will start the pitocin shortly thereafter which they run through an IV to jump start my contractions and then go from there. He says my cervix is ready for this, so hopefully it'll go smoothly. I've read about way too many cases of failed inductions that wind up as c-sections, so I'm still hoping each and every day that Henry decides he's ready before Tuesday.

In other news, Henry's great grandma Carol is coming to stay for the week. She has the week off, and needs things to do, so I told her she could come and clean the house for me. She has a bit of an obsession with cleaning, so that will be nice. :) Although, I've actually been quite good about keeping things clean, so it is a relatively short list of things that actually NEED to be done around the house. But, I'm sure she'll find something. So if something does happen this week, at least grandma will be here and we won't have to worry about Mocha at all. We were going to have her go to a neighbor's house when we ended up going to the hospital, but she
a.) is afraid of new people
b.) when she gets away from you, she thinks it's a game and it's really hard to get her back and she once got all the way to the other cul-de-sac behind us (but Ryan tells everyone that she doesn't run away)
c.) she's in the middle of another phase of not wanting to eat. we've changed her food 5 times since we got her a year ago, and we are just at a loss of what to do. speaking of which, it's nearing 10am and she hasn't touched the food that was given to her at 6:30am. being in a new strange house probably wouldn't help her eat either.

so, I'm glad grandma will be here and I won't have to worry about her running away or not eating at a stranger's house. however, here's to hoping she doesn't run away from grandma.

i don't think i have any other updates on the pregnancy. let's hope that THIS picture is the last.

No, this is not a labor post.

Sunday, July 19, 2009
I've continued to have my contractions since last Thursday. Yesterday they started to be about 10 minutes apart, and then while at Home Depot around 1pm, they seemed to be getting closer together. Finally around 2pm we decided to start timing them. Sure enough, they were consistently 3-5 minutes apart, but were still not painful yet. So, we wait an hour, call the hospital, and they tell us to wait it out another hour. They continued to be consistent, so we called the hospital again, and they finally told us to come in.

I continued to have the contractions while I was on the monitor, but the nurse claimed I was barely 3cm, and then after an hour of walking and another 1/2 hour of waiting, she checked me again, and I was still "barely 3cm". I hate how the measurement fluctuates so much from person to person, seeing that my doctor said I was easily 3 cm last Tuesday. Thus, we were sent home...me in tears, frustrated that I clearly don't know what labor is.

And today, I still continue to have them, back around 10 minutes apart...so again, this isn't it.

I just want my baby.

Week 39...please let this be the last picture Henry!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

We had more great progress at our appointment today! I am now 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. I really, really want to be hopeful that it could be any day now, but there's just no way to tell or predict even with "good numbers" like that. Hopefully we'll have a baby very soon!

If I don't go on my own, we set up an induction for exactly 41 weeks on July 28th. I really want to go on my own, as I've read some good and pretty horrible things about inductions and would rather not go that route...so here's crossing our fingers that Henry decides he's ready on his own soon!

I'm still getting those contractions often, so obviously they are doing something! I'd like to call back the nurse I talked to the other night from labor and delivery whose words were "If they aren't painful, they probably aren't doing a darn thing for you." Really?? I went from 2cm to 3cm in 4 days.

I sure hope my next post is an "I'm in labor post."


Saturday, July 11, 2009
The contractions have really slowed down.

Taking the advice of many to get things moving along we walked...a lot. We took two 30 minute walks yesterday, I walked around the house for 30 minutes, walked up and down the stairs yesterday and today, took a 30 minute walk this morning, and walked around Target and Home Depot. All this walking gave me nothing but a very, very sore lower back and butt. And I continue to have intense pelvic pressure, especially when I go from sitting to standing.

I know Henry will come when he's ready, but we are so ready for him to be here that it's really hard to not be disappointed that this might not be it yet.

Wishing for the pain?

I'm still having the contractions. Late afternoon/early evening they were accompanied by more back cramping, and I got excited that the real deal might be on the way, but that has died out. I'm STILL getting the contractions though...mostly around 7-10 minutes apart yet, and still just major tightening. At one point yesterday, the tightening didn't seem to really go down, so it got hard to time them. The last time I called the hospital, they said this could go on for days, as my body is trying to figure out what it wants to do. Awesome. They said that in order to come in, they have to be 5 minutes apart, or painful enough where I cannot walk or talk through them. At this point, I'm hoping for the pain. I want this to be it!

Early Labor?!

Friday, July 10, 2009
So I had contractions last night starting at 6:55pm that came about every 7-9 minutes for about 2.5 hours until I went to bed. They weren't painful at all---just my belly getting really, really tight and uncomfortable. I woke up with them throughout the night, and have continued to have them this morning, but they aren't getting closer together, and they still aren't getting more intense. However, this is the most I've ever had, so hopefully this is early labor?! We'll see! I plan on walking, walking, walking today to help Henry along.


Thursday, July 9, 2009
I'm at 2cm, 50% effaced (thinned out) and Henry's head is at -1 station (refer back to diagram). I'm sufficiently satisfied with that progress. Hopefully we'll have this baby soon, but who knows!

Al...most...there! Week 38!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Here's the giant belly. It's been really heavy lately, and even more so heavy when I lay on my left side, which is weird because the left side is "better" in terms of oxygen and blood flow for me and Henry. I hope Henry isn't embarking on a journey to being larger than 8 pounds, which is what my belly feels like most of the time, but who knows.

I continue to have the practice contractions off and on a lot, but obviously nothing close to timeable yet. But the last doctor did say that they do make the uterus work and help the cervix, so hopefully all the tightening will mean progress this Thursday at our next doctor's appointment.

So the brand new birthing suites are amazing. They are literally like hotels. They pretty much went to every effort to make it as comfortable and peaceful as possible for the birthing mother. However, they unfortunately failed to put in Sleep Number Beds for the dads, and instead put in fold out couches that Ryan considers to be a bit uncomfortable. Ryan has decided to bring an air bed to put on top of the fold out couch to be more comfortable. At a neighborhood party this weekend, while talking with another woman who just had a baby a few months ago, Ryan begins to go on and on about how amazing the rooms were, but that the couches were SO UNCOMFORTABLE. At about the same time, both myself and our neighbor provide him with a bit of sarcastic sympathy and sighs. How dare they not give the good comfortable bed for the dad? He's the one pushing the baby out, right? Ryan did immediately realize how he had sounded, and then apologized :)

My maternity leave is officially starting soon, whether Henry is here or not. My last day at camp will be July 17th. That's just 8 days of work left!

The milk in our fridge also expires one day before the due date. This baby is coming soon.

I need a separate fridge with a lock.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

So it took me until I was nearly 8 months pregnant to realize that the delicious drinks on the left in their non-diet form were caffeine free. Though I am aware that other pop is available in a non-caffeinated fashion, I hate all other regular pop, and of course I couldn't have the Diet AND caffeine free version of something like Diet Coke because I can't have the aspartame that's in anything diet.

Thus, I've been addicted to the above two drinks for the last month...more so the A & W Root Beer because it's absolutely delicious and goes well with my other love, ice cream.

The last time we went grocery shopping, these beverages happened to be on sale, so we bought one Sierra Mist, one A & W Root Beer, and one Diet Cherry Pepsi for Ryan. He really likes that cherry stuff.

Obviously, I can't have Ryan's pop because it's diet, though even if I could, I wouldn't drink it because I absolutely despise anything cherry....ANYTHING. Cherries, cherry medicine, cherry cough drops, cherry pop, cherry pie, etc. etc. etc. I HATE cherries.

Now, I am willing to share, especially with my husband. But imagine my surprise when I look in the fridge and see both my A & W Root Beer and Sierra Mist supply dwindling faster than it should while looking to the adjacent box of Diet Cherry Pepsi and seeing a plentiful amount...hmm.

After seeing him take a Sierra Mist, I had a few words for him somewhere along the lines of "you have your Diet Cherry Pepsi which I can't have and wouldn't drink anyway--drink that". I take my own Sierra Mist and we head upstairs to finish some cleaning. I had him put my pop down next to his while I was sorting through some stuff. About 20 minutes later, I approach both cans of Sierra Mist, asking him which was mine while subsequently picking up both cans to reveal that they were BOTH EMPTY. Not only did he take the Sierra Mist to begin with, but he couldn't keep which one was his straight and drank my more than half full can as well as his own.

I think I will have to hide my drinks from now on.

I still love him.

No change.

Thursday, July 2, 2009
We learned we have had no change in dilation or effacement at our appointment today. Of course it's all subjective, and I went from one female doctor to a male doctor this week, so who knows. But this is how I feel about no change:
I know I'm not quite to the point of being able to whine too much yet, but really Henry, it's about time. Also, the picture came from a random google image search of "baby crying", I do not know this child. I'm ready for mine to be here so I can take many photos of him, though.

Cherries and Beer

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

No, this wasn't my craving. I haven't had very many "weird" cravings this entire pregnancy...unless you consider my absolute need for KFC one night back in the second month "weird", which I would, seeing that I hadn't eaten KFC in over 5 years, but needed it, desperately, just that once. Who was craving, and then subsequently ate cherries while drinking a beer? Ryan. Apparently he's the one with weird pregnancy cravings now. Ick.
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