Friday, November 21, 2008

Ben's Birth Story

Continued from my journal
"At 4:00 we called my parents to let them know we were heading to the hospital.
We went to the hospital with my contractions every two minutes but they only lasted about 30 seconds to a minute. They admitted me to the hospital. I was dilated to 4-5. Ben’s heart rate looked great. Lynnette wasn’t on call so another midwife – Donna – was handling our care. She was nice but we didn’t really like her. I just really wanted Lynnette there. We decided to walk around the hospital to hopefully bring on more contractions. At this point my parents had already left and were headed out. We walked around for awhile, but stopped at each lap so I could pee.
Donna came in to check me about 9:30. My contractions weren’t coming any stronger or closer. In fact they seemed to be lessening. I hadn’t dilated anymore and he was still pretty high. Donna said “We will monitor you for another hour and then we will discuss more options. Keep walking around the hospital” She mentioned inducing labor by either breaking my water or pitocin but said we could discuss it later. We walked around a little more and my parents got there. Donna came back and said she just realized that this was our first baby not our second like she had thought. She said that changed some things. She didn’t want to break my water because Ben was still high and that could make a higher risk of his cord coming first. She said, “why don’t we send you home and see how things progress.” She expected to see us back the same night in active labor. She was on call until 7:00am and then Lynnette would be there.
I was partially disappointed to go home because I just wanted to have my baby but I was relieved because I didn’t want Donna to deliver him, I wanted Lynnette to do it. I was also concerned because my parents were only going to stay the one day – my mom had to work the next day and I wanted them to be there. But at this point there wasn’t a lot we could do either way. My mom decided to reschedule all her appointments for Monday so they could stay. I took a nap from noon until 2:00pm. I was exhausted since I hadn’t slept at all the night before. We went to Wal-Mart so they could buy the stuff they needed to stay the extra day. While we were walking around Wal-Mart I had two contractions. (I really wanted someone to ask me when I was due so I could say “Actually I’m in labor right now” but no one did) We then stopped at Subway to buy dinner but still no real progress.
At about 10:00 we all decided to go to bed. I was awakened at 11:00 with contractions again. I didn’t wake up Jim because he was planning on going to work the next day. The contractions continued to get stronger and closer together.
November 21, 2005
So about 12:00 I woke Jim. I wanted to go sit in the tub and needed his help timing contractions. He went in and ran the water in the tub. I got in for awhile. The contractions continued pretty strong and regular. I began to shake during them. I laid in the tub until about 1:30. The warm water felt really good. I kept a warm wet towel on my stomach to keep me warm since my stomach wasn’t covered with the water.
At 1:30 I was done with the tub but needed to rinse off. (I had put some bath beads in the water and my skin felt horribly oily.) I stood in the shower for a little while. Jim needed to get some sleep because we still weren’t sure if this was real labor or not. I decided the recliner would be more comfortable than the bed, so Jim slept on one side of the sectional sofa and I sat in the recliner. I let him go to sleep and I timed the contractions while trying to relax. I tried walking & sitting & nothing was really comfortable.

At 2:30 I was exhausted and just wanted to go to sleep but I couldn’t relax because of the contractions. I went in and woke my mom up so she could do some relaxation techniques on me. My dad woke up also and I asked him to give me a father’s blessing. I don’t remember much of what he said I just remember him saying that he blessed me that the baby would be delivered healthy. I know the blessing gave me peace. My mom worked with me through the contractions until 5:00am. They were coming 5 minutes apart and lasting over a minute each but with her help I was able to sleep in between them. It was amazing because they were just 5 minute naps but they felt like 30 minutes.
At this point we decided to wake Jim and Dad and go to the hospital. My mom was afraid I would go into active labor in the car on the way to the hospital. I was just afraid of getting there too early and not having Lynnette take care of me. We got the hospital and had to be admitted through the ER. It took awhile for them to come and get me. My parents called Jim’s cell phone and asked where we were because they were already upstairs in our room (they went through the OB department and not the ER.) We finally got up to my room and they hooked me up to the monitors.
A little after 7:00 Lynnette walked in and gave me a big hug. I just started crying. I was so happy and relieved to see her. She ripped the blood pressure monitor off me and said “We’re going to get you out of this bed ASAP” She decided to monitor me a little while longer because Ben wasn’t moving much. They gave me some apple juice to see if that would wake him up. They monitored me for a little while longer and then Lynnette helped me to the bathroom. She sat with me in there and helped me through a couple more contractions. She told me that her and her family was out of town this weekend but she kept thinking of us, hoping we hadn’t had him yet. It made me feel really good. I had a couple more contractions after I came out of the bathroom. I had them standing up, holding on to Lynnette. She decided she wanted to check me again so I got back into bed. I was dilated to an 8. I got a shot of Nubain to help with the pain. They put in a heplock to give me the shot. I told them I didn’t want to have an IV because I wanted to be able to get out of bed if I felt the need. I had quite a few more contractions and I began throwing up through some of them.

At one point I had a contraction and I thought that I had wet my pants. I whispered to Jim to get me some washcloths because I thought I had. He got me a bunch from the closet and I put them under me. Then during the next contraction I felt it again. (It was actually somewhat of a relief. It felt good in a weird sort of way) Lynnette was out of the room during this time. When she came back in I told her that I thought I had wet my pants. She laughed a little and said “Well, let’s check. I bet it was your water breaking.” Turns out it was my water that had broken. I was fully dilated but I had a little rim of cervix still left covering his head. She told me to start pushing to see if we could move the cervix.

I believe I started really pushing at about 11:00am. I don’t really think I had much choice in this. My body started pushing. Some point during the pushing stage I accidentally knocked the heplock out. It didn’t really matter because I wasn’t receiving any more pain medication. I had only had the one shot. Pushing was really hard work. They put a bar over the bed called a “squat bar.” Lynnette tied a sheet to the bar and when it came time to push I put one foot on either side of the bar and pulled on the sheet. The bar was attached to either side of the bed and it went over the top. I pushed like that for the better part of 2 and a half hours.

Lynnette could feel is head and there were times that they could even see his head but he wasn’t coming down. Lynnette knew I was exhausted and dehydrated so she ordered an IV. I asked my dad to give me another blessing. Lynnette said that she wanted me to have an epidural so I could rest some and if I hadn’t made progress within the hour she would recommend a c-section. I knew that if Lynnette recommended a c-section then that was what I needed. She knew my stance on c-sections and I trusted her judgment completely. If anyone else would have recommended it I would have questioned them or asked for a second opinion but I knew Lynnette wouldn’t just order one if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
The anesthesiologist came in and put in the epidural. I had to sit totally still but I kept having contractions through it and couldn’t quite stay still. After he was finished and left I could still feel the contraction. The pain lessened a little bit but not very much. Lynnette said I shouldn’t be feeling as much pain as I was so they called the anesthesiologist back. He had to take out the first epidural and put in a new one. I had contractions through that one too but it worked. The pain was pretty much gone. I could still feel a little pressure but not the pain like before. After another half hour of letting my body do some pushing Lynnette said that a c-section was our best option. She said she knew something just wasn’t right. He should have come down more during the contractions and something was preventing that. We agreed that a c-section was the best way to go. Jim decided that it would be best if he didn’t go in. He knew he wouldn’t be able to handle the sounds, smells, and sights of the c-section. We agreed that my mom would go in with me. Jim and my dad would be in the “viewing room.”

While I was laying on the bed waiting for them to bring me in for surgery I started to cry. My mom and Lynnette asked why I was crying. I told them it wasn’t because of the c-section even though I was disappointed about that. I was crying because my pregnancy was over and I wasn’t ready to not be pregnant anymore. I loved being pregnant so much but I didn’t realize that I had gotten that attached to it.
They wheeled me in to the surgery room and got me all prepped. I was strapped to the table and a sheet was placed in front of me so I couldn’t see what was happening. They began the procedure but they didn’t tell me much. My mom was standing by my head looking over the sheet so she could see what was happening. I kept asking “Is he out yet? Is he out yet?” My mom kept saying “No he’s still cutting”
Finally after what seemed like forever – I heard the sweetest little cry. They brought him over to me and let me kiss him. Then they took him to the nursery while they cleaned and sewed me back up. During the surgery the anesthesiologist saw my dad’s camera (my mom brought it in so Lynnette could take pictures of the surgery). He said, “wow that’s a great camera! That’s a $2000 camera.” It turns out that was the camera that he wanted to buy. He said “Hey Lynnette – I’ll give you $100 for the camera. Heck I’ll give you $1000 for the camera and I’ll still be ahead.” It was really funny.
They took me back to my recovery room and my dad showed me the video he had taken. My mom told me that Ben’s hands and feet were blue when he was born. She also said his face was blue and he wasn’t breathing when he was born which was why it took so long for me to hear him cry. He had been out the whole time I was asking but my mom was so afraid we had lost him that she wouldn’t say anything until she knew. She said he had a huge bruise that covered the entire top of his head from being in the birth canal for 3 hours.
Lynnette came in and said that he had been posterior (His face was facing up not down) and the cord was wrapped around his neck and shoulder. Both of those reasons were why he wouldn’t come down and it was probably good that we didn’t force it.
They finally brought him into me and laid him on my chest. He started nursing right away. He was such a perfect little baby. I can’t say I fell in love with him the minute I saw him because I loved him long before that. I loved him before I saw him on the ultrasound. I loved him before I felt him move. I loved him before I got the positive pregnancy test. I loved him before Dr. Acacio transferred the embryos into my body. I loved him before I saw his embryo picture. I can’t think of a time I didn’t love him even though I didn’t know who he was. My life was never more complete than the day they placed Benjamin Edward into my arms.


Cocoroo said...

I remember that day so well. We are glad that you live so close to us and that we can be part of Ben's (and the twins) lives.
Love, Mom

Allison said...

Wow, Ben gave you a really hard time with that birth!!

I can't believe your husband didn't go inside for the surgery. My hubby wasn't at my c-section with the twins, because he was out of state at the time. I still give him a hard time about missing it!

Costa Rica Baby! said...

I miss my little nursery buddy!

Anonymous said...

That was a neat story and tribute to Ben! We love you both so much, as well as the three others!