Friday, December 16, 2011

Tanner's Birth Story

WARNING:  This is going to be extremely long.  I wanted to document as much as I could so I could always remember.  I'll try to make a bunch of paragraphs and add pictures in to make it not so hard to read.  

Tanner's birth story and hospital stay.

We woke up on December 6th to our first snow.  I was hoping it was a sign of good things to come.  I woke up at 3:30am and was looking for any good sign.  I had a gut feeling that this induction wasn't going to go well.  On the drive to the hospital Nick asked me what I wanted to listen to on the radio.  He knew I was really nervous.  Somehow Christmas music wasn't feeling right so I said I wanted to listen to some rock music.  I should have taken the names of the two songs we listened to on the drive there as another sign of a bad sign.  Flyleaf's "I'm so sick", and Sixx AM's "This is gonna hurt".  Sigh.

We got to the hospital at 7:30am and I was hooked up to the monitors, lab work done, consent signed, and IV started all by 8am.  My doctor came in and checked me.  Still not dilated at all.  We discussed Cytotec vs Cervadil and thankfully my doctor agrees with me about not wanting to use Cytotec.  So Cervadil was started at 9am.  I had to be on bedrest for 2 hours and when that time was up I was able to be taken off the monitors and free to walk the halls.  For a while at lunch time my cramping was getting pretty bad.  I was getting my hopes up for going into labor without having to have Pitocin.  But no such luck.

I was hooked back up to the monitor at 7:30pm.  I was having contractions all along, 1.5-2 minutes each, 6.5 minutes apart.  But I wasn't having any bad pain.  My doctor came in at 9pm and I was still not dilated, but effaced just a little. So Pitocin was started at 10pm.

12 hours later when my doctor came back to check me again I was only 60-70% effaced.  He told me he would come back in at lunchtime to break my water. From everything I've ever read I thought doctors waited until you were 4 or 5 cm before they broke your water.  Well when my doctor came back in at 1:15, I was a fingertip dilated and he was still going to try.  My doctor uses the internal fetal monitor to break his patient's water.  Apparently it's a smaller hook and he can go ahead and attach it to the baby to monitor him better.  After two attempts he ended up having to use a hook and he broke my water.  It was the weirdest feeling ever. 

I started feeling pain with the contractions almost immediately, and when the nurse offered to bring in a birthing ball to sit on I gladly accepted.  I don't know how anyone can labor laying down in a bed!  That ball was so much more comfortable. I sat on it for hours. Nick sat behind me and put counter pressure on my lower back when I had contractions. I had pretty bad back labor.

Around 3pm I was 1-2cm dilated.  I was starting to get uncomfortable and nauseous so I asked for the Nubain and some Zofran.  I am so glad I asked the nurse the day before to get the order for Zofran!  The Nubain acted really fast and I felt drunk.  It helped me get a little farther though my labor but at that point I knew I would be asking for an epidural.

The pain got real intense around 4pm.  And It was such a blur from then on.  My contractions were all over the place.  12 minutes apart, 4 minutes apart, 8, 7...I was checked and was 80% effaced and 2-3 cm.  After that my contractions went to 2-3 minutes apart.  I don't really remember asking for the epidural but when the anesthesiologist showed up at 5pm I was so happy!  It was in at 5:20pm and I was able to take a 2 hour nap.  Which was so nice.  When I woke up my Pitocin was at the highest dose (they had been titrating the infusion rate all day).  

At about 9 or 10pm my Pitocin was turned off.  My contractions were on top of each other and not really helping me progress.  They didn't want to stress my uterus out more than it already was.  I was then told I could go in for a C-section at 8am the next morning or wait it out until 1pm (24 hours after my water broke) to have the C-section.  There was a slight chance Tanner could come during the night.  So since my Pitocin was turned off, my epidural was turned down as well.  

 At 12:30am my epidural was turned back up because I was feeling my contractions, even without the Pitocin. I was 4-4.5cm dilated and more effaced.  I was having bad cramping and would not stop shaking.  I realized my body deals with pain by shaking.  It was bad.  I wanted to go ahead and plan for the 8am C-section at this time.  I was so exhausted.  And after some tears they stopped my Pitocin.  I never really slept the rest of the night.

At 4:30am the nurse came in to check my vitals.  I started to have a temperature, 99.4.  It was still low, but they were watching it and went ahead and gave me IV antibiotics and increased my fluids, which actually hurt more than some of my contractions.   I was still only 4-4.5cm dilated.

Thirty minutes later my temperature was 100.3.  And since it was still rising the 1pm C-section was out of the question.  I would be having a C-section at 8am that morning.  I had to have my epidural increased even more because I was having extreme pain.  And even after it was increased the pain didn't go away.

An hour later my temperature was 104.1.  My antibiotics were still running.  I was so thirsty, all I wanted was ice.  But I was also very, very nauseous.  I was given some more Zofran, but it did nothing.  I began vomiting, and I still had the intense pain.  I was completely miserable.  My epidural didn't feel like it was working at all.

From 7 to 7:45am I was prepped for the C-section.  I could barely keep my eyes open.  Things were beginning to get really foggy.

I was taken back to the OR at 7:45am.  Shaking uncontrollably.  It seemed like the prep for the c-section was taking forever.  It was very hazy to me.  Nick was called back at 8:00am.  I don't remember much.  I remember his hand on mine and the anestheologist talking about taking pictures.  My Dr was talking about random things.  I also remember feeling everything with the surgery, just with no pain.  At some times there may have been some very uncomfortable feelings but not quite pain. 

After 47 hours of labor Tanner was born at 8:06am on December 8th.  I saw his face through the little window in the blue drape.  I heard his cry and told Nick that I was pretty sure he could go see him.  He did.  I don’t remember much more after that.  Nick showed me pictures of me posing with him, and one of Tanner and me, but I don’t remember taking them.  I also think Nick kissed me before he left but I’m not sure at all.  I suppose that’s because my temp was 105 something at that point.  I was taken back to recovery but the only thing I can remember from that is not being able to breathe comfortably.  I felt like my tongue was blocking my airway and someone was sitting on my chest.  Not to mention the extremely dry mouth.  All I wanted was my baby and ice.  Oh how I wanted ice. 

I remember trying to keep my eyes open and focus on what the nurses were talking about.  It seemed like an eternity.  But really it was only about 30 minutes.  And the weirdest thing happened.  It seemed like in an instant my fever broke and I was awake.  It literally was within a minute or two.  Recovery was going well and I was wheeled out to the nursery window at about 45 minutes after the C-section.  I immediately fell in love with the sight of Nick with Tanner.  I remember thinking how handsome Tanner was.  He had a bad cone head because he was stuck in my pelvis, but it was adorable. 

I was so upset to find out that Tanner had a temp when he was born too, 104.7, I believe.  I was so worried about having to wait the normal 45 minutes after a normal C-section to start breastfeeding, and here I was told I would have to wait 6 HOURS before I could see my baby.  He had to have IV fluids and antibiotics in the nursery to keep away any infection that may happen.  There was meconium in the fluid during the C-section, but none when my Dr. broke my water the day before.  

Nick and my mom took pictures and video of Tanner in the Nursery so I could see my baby.  After lunch Nick told me he was going to go check on Tanner and when he left our room I started crying.  I was sad I couldn't go too.  But a couple of minutes later Nick came back into the room with the biggest smile!  Apparently Tanner's IV wasn't working and they had to call another nurse to come in to get a new one started so he wasn't chained to an IV and monitor.  Behind Nick was a nursing student pushing the bassinet with my baby in it!  I had maybe 10-15 minutes with him in my room.  I wasn't going to be able to see him until 4pm so I was just ecstatic!  I cried.

Now, since this has gotten so long I will go ahead and just sum up the rest of our stay.  The pediatrician said Tanner could stay in the hospital for up to 5 days, depending on the tests that were sent out.  And he had to stay in the nursery while he was on antibiotics.  So I would go into the nursery every 3 hours around the clock to try to nurse and love on my little guy.  It was draining, and I hurt pretty bad from the surgery.  I just hated leaving him each time.  

I was discharged on Saturday but since Tanner was still admitted I was able to keep my room.  During our morning visit to the nursery Tanner's IV started messing up.  The pediatrician said his cultures came back fine and he had 48 of the 72 hours of antibiotics he needed and he believed he was okay.  They unhooked him and we were able to bring him to our room for good.  I was like Christmas!  I can't imagine the moms who have their babies in the NICU for months.  My heart breaks for them!

On Sunday the pediatrician said everything looked good and Tanner would be able to come home with us!  The only problem we had was since it took is so long to try nursing Tanner had trouble learning how to suck and latch.  We are still working on it and slowly making progress.

I am so happy!

(I do have to say my heart explodes every time I see Nick with his son.  I don't know what it is.  I love them so much I could burst!)


  1. Thanks for sharing, you are one tough mama!!

  2. No one ever said it was smooth sailing, that's for sure! That is an amazingly crazy, beautiful baby story :) When my first son was born we had infection issues with him, for different reasons, and he, too, was in the hospital from Saturday to Wednesday. I remember my heart breaking because, although he wasn't born via c-section, he was taken directly from the room to the NICU because they could already tell he wasn't okay, and I didn't see him from early on a Sunday morning until around 7 pm that night. In my case, they just 'snuck him down' to my room for a short visit, much like what yours sounded like, and it was so wonderful! I can definitely relate to your story! He is such a cutie , though, and I am excited for you at the news of your second baby :)