Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wesley's Birth Story

I guess I should go ahead and write this before I forget everything.  I don't really know where to start.  

Maybe from the beginning.  The very beginning.  I knew when we conceived Wesley.  But since I was still nursing Tanner, my cycles were a bit crazy.  Based on my last menstrual period (the due date my doctor went by) my due date was January 28th.  But I knew it was about 10-14 days later.  I had two early ultrasounds and they both agreed with my doctor.  Which made arguing my due date pretty difficult.  I kept hoping since my cycles were weird, that maybe my doctor was right.  I so wanted that VBAC. And since my doctor won't deliver VBACs past 41 weeks, I had a feeling it would end not the way I hoped for.  

I suppose I can fast forward to a week before my "due date".  I lost my mucous plug and began having prodromal labor.  Non painful contractions all day every single day.  I was slowly dilating.  My body was working!  But just not as fast as my doctor was wanting.  But seeing as I thought I wasn't due for a few more weeks, it all made sense.  I was walking everyday, sitting on my birthing ball, relaxing, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, eating dates, the whole nine yards.  Every natural induction technique you can think of, I did it.  (No castor oil, though).  My repeat c-section was scheduled for 7am on Tuesday morning.

Monday came.  I called my doctor hoping I would be able to postpone my section until Thursday or Friday.  I just needed a little more time.  So he had me come in to be checked.  Everything was still perfect.  Blood pressure was low, no protein in my urine...But I was still only 1cm dilated.  He did a pretty intense membrane sweep to hopefully get things started that day/night before the c-section the next morning.  While he was doing that I had a little scare.  He couldn't find Wesley's head!  A few nights before that he had been moving like crazy.  I just figured he was maybe getting into a better position for birth.  Not once did it cross my mind that he may have flipped breech!  So we went to have a quick ultrasound.  This was pretty neat, because my mom and Tanner got to see!  Wesley wasn't breech, he was just floating really high.  But since I hadn't "progressed" since my appointment the week prior, the c-section was still scheduled for the next morning.  I went home a little bummed but still a bit hopeful.  I got one more big walk in and was having some contractions and slight cramping the whole time!  

That night was pretty miserable.  A big snow storm was working it's way into Oklahoma.  My doula was driving north to stay with family so she could be there for us.  It would be about a 20 minute drive vs over an hour (that's without snow).  We wanted to get to the hospital extra early so we wouldn't have to drive in the snow.  We needed to be there at 5am.  The snow was predicted to come in at 4am.  So, we left the house at 3:15.  It was snowing.  (It snowed the day we drove to the hospital to have Tanner, too).  I was having contractions every 4,6,9 minutes.  I was sort of hoping I could talk them into starting a slow induction since I was contracting and We would be there extra early.  The nurse checked me, and I was still 1cm. 

Last ever bump picture. I can't believe how swollen I was!

At that point I had to change my way of thinking.  I knew my VBAC wasn't going to happen. The anesthesiologist was on her way to talk to me.   I needed to to drop the one thing that had been on my mind constantly for 9 months.  I needed to start thinking about how I could make this c-section family oriented and a healing thing.  My doula read some scriptures to me and I tried to keep them in my mind.  

So, so swollen.

I got hooked up to monitors, got my IV, got fluids, meds, antibiotics, and my blood drawn.  All in what seemed like 10 minutes.  I was thinking it was still around 5:30 when they said it was almost time to go back.  It was 6:45.  I was so scared.  

Walking to the OR was such a strange feeling.  I've done it plenty of times before as a nurse, but this time I was on the other side.  So white. So cold.  So sterile.  I was very thankful for the wonderful nurse who was there with me.  They all knew I was a nurse and that I worked at that hospital.  It must have been in my file, because I didn't tell them.  They talk to me differently than I think they would if I wasn't a nurse.  Maybe that's a good thing?

I hopped up onto the table and they began talking me through the spinal.  I had a contraction right before.  I tried to remember the way it felt.  I knew it would be the last one I ever felt.  Thinking about that now hurts a little bit.  Bittersweet, I suppose.  The spinal hurt just a little bit.  I'm pretty sure the part that hurt the most was the local anesthetic they used to numb the area first.  And soon my feet started feeling warm.  The warm sensation slowly started moving up my legs and to my belly.  They helped me lay down and started doing the prep work.  And then I heard my doctor's voice.  Usually you would want your doctor's voice to be comforting.  But the bitter feeling I had for him after Tanner was born was back.  And much worse.  (It would get a lot worse the next night, but I'll get to that).  But things were moving so fast, and I wanted to concentrate on what was going on around me.  With Tanner's c-section I was so sick that I don't remember it.  I wanted to be able to hear them talking, and I wanted to hear Wesley's cry.  They gave me oxygen, and I started feeling tugging and pulling.  I started shaking.  Which is normal.  They tried to tell me not to fight it.  That there was nothing I could do to get it to stop until the anesthesia wore off.  

The next thing that happened was so comforting.  I saw Nick's eyes.  He was there holding my hand and talking to me.  My doula was there, too!  Usually they won't let more than one person back in the OR, because it's a "small room".  But my sweet husband kindly reminded them that there were 6 nursing students in the OR when I had my first c-section.  He didn't back down.  I'm so thankful!  My doula took pictures for us.  

I heard my doctor say, "chubby cheeks! Look at that hair! LOTS of hair!".  Nick immediately tried to stand up to see.  The anesthesiologist got mad at him and told him to sit down.  Which made him mad.  He was able to watch with Tanner, but we had a different anesthesiologist. I'm sure she just didn't want him to pass out or something.   And before I knew it my doctor had Wesley in his hands.  They opened the little window and I got to see my boy!  My eyes immediately filled with tears.  And the weight of this pregnancy and the constant stress/worry for that VBAC I wanted was gone.  My boy was here!  I got to hear his little voice!  

Getting ready to see my baby for the first time
While they were cleaning him up and weighing him my doctor was telling me how my uterus looked great.  He wouldn't worry if I wanted to get pregnant again.  (I don't, by the way) The nurse and Nick brought Wesley to me and to got to touch his precious face.  He was born at 7:21am.  Weighing 7 lbs 9.75 oz.  That's pretty much the exact same weight Tanner was (7 lb 9.8 oz). He was 19.5 inches long. They took him to the nursery, and said they would bring him back to me in recovery in a few minutes.  

Listening to my baby!

The part I would find out about the next night is about the test they did on him in the OR.  I guess it's called the Doobawitz.  Or something that sounds like that.  They do a bunch of different tests to determine how far along he actually was.  My doctor thinks 41 weeks.  The test showed he was 39 weeks.  Just like I thought.  I'm trying really hard not to think about that extra time I may have been able to have.  And that maybe I could have had a VBAC.  I'm really trying not to dwell on this like I did with Tanner's birth.  

I felt great when I was in recovery.  I could already move my toes almost immediately.  The double doors opened up and there was Nick holding Wesley, walking back to me.  I was so happy to see them.  I wanted so badly to be able to have that skin to skin time and to try to start nursing right away.  But just like with everything else that happened, that didn't quite go the way I was hoping.  Wesley wouldn't latch.  I'll save all that drama for my next blog post.  

I made sure to take it fairly easy.  I didn't want my incision to open up like it did the first time around.  And so far, so good.  Although I could have sworn it would rip open once I got back to my room.  Apparently my body does not like the medicine in the spinal.  I threw up every 20 minutes for a couple hours.  And throwing up with a freshly opened abdomen sucks big time. With some Zofran, Phenergan, sprite and time, the nausea got better.  My mom was able to drive Tanner to the hospital that night to meet Wesley.  The snow was pretty bad, but thankfully the road to get to the hospital is one of the town's main roads, and it was continuously being plowed.  I didn't get to see them the next day because the temperatures were in the negatives and the roads were iced over.  That was really hard, but Tanner had a lot of fun with his Memaw!  And we also had a little extra time to try to get Wesley to latch.  Which still didn't happen.  

I was discharged the next morning, but since Wesley wasn't allowed to be discharged yet, we got to stay in our room.  I never needed to use anything other than Motrin.  No narcotics.  I have to say having a c-section without having a 47 hour labor before is much easier to recover from.  It still hurts, don't get me wrong! But it's definitely more tolerable.  

If I think about everything besides our nursing struggles, I can honestly say I'm happy.  I still would have loved for the outcome to be different.  But It was a healing birth.  And the only baby blues I've had are related to breastfeeding.  And as of right now (3 weeks in) things are much better!  

My family is complete.  And I am happy!  Welcome to the world, sweet Wesley!  

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