Friday, April 19, 2013

Surprise! Special Delivery!

Oh, sweet baby Dash. So eager to join the world, but not quite ready. His story is quite different than his sister's, but first, a daily update.

He's doing really well today. I was greeted early this morning by great news: bilirubin levels down considerably, oxygen pressure (the measure of breathing support he needs) fell from a 5 to a 4 (at a 3 or below we can try nursing! This makes me SO happy) and his respirations (the primary "problem" spot for Dash) went from consistently clocking in around 90 breaths per minute to 50, which is right where they should be. We came back this afternoon, and found that his IV is out! Even better news. This means he's receiving all his feeds from me, via his feeding tube. It's great to see him without a clunky, uncomfortable IV, and according to his nurse, he passed out as soon as it was out - so comfortable. Can't blame him. :)

Now for his birth story. Or maybe just the first 18 hours of it.

I'm pretty sure I had what might be considered as an "irritable uterus." Yes, that's a true term. I felt Braxton Hicks contractions regularly from the very beginning of my second trimester, and by last Saturday, not only were they regular, but getting pretty painful. Some of them I found myself even breathing through. Just under two weeks before he was born, I had an unexpected trip to the midwives office, because I was having so many. She checked me out, and I wasn't dilated at all, and performed what's called a Fetal Fibronectin Test, which tests if you will be going into labor within the next two weeks. A negative result is 98-99% accurate, and my test came back negative. I didn't think about it again, but apparently I'm in the 2%. The following week, I had another midwife appointment, and again - despite an increase in uterine activity, no progress. Great.
last belly pic, 35 weeks
On Saturday the 13th, I was in a ton of pain. Pressure was almost keeping me from walking and the contractions were stopping me in my tracks. But - they weren't picking up in frequency or intensity, so I thought nothing of it. Spent most of the day on the couch, but also went for a nice long drive through a very random hail storm. (For what it's worth, I'm a huge believer in barometric pressure changes bringing on labor. It's happened to me twice now). That night we went to bed at 11 or so, and around 1:30 I woke up to use the bathroom. When I came back to bed, I curled up, rolled over and GUSH!

For a split second I thought maybe it wasn't my water. But the gushing continued and I hustled to the bathroom to check it out. Clear fluid, obviously amniotic in nature. (Funny story: my water broke in the exact same way and in the exact same place as it did with Eleanor!). Came back to the bedroom, turned out the lights and completely freaked out Peter by telling him my water broke. My heart was pounding through my chest. There is literally nothing like the shock and excitement of knowing that you're about to have a baby. We rushed around like chicken with our heads cut off, throwing things into bags and calling my mom to come watch Ellie. Eventually I realized I should call the midwife, who assured me that if the water was clear, I was fine to stay home until labor started (at this point, I wasn't having any more contractions at all. In fact, they had slowed to probably their lowest level in months). While some people definitely prefer this method, I think we were so amped up, and had no idea what to do with ourselves, so we decided to head to the hospital again.

(side note: we went in through the Emergency Room entrance because they were the only doors unlocked. The security guard took one look at me and let me pass. Score!)

After getting admitted, Peter and I tried to get some rest. Going back to sleep after this kind of adrenaline rush is nearly impossible, and I completely failed. One of my biggest concerns about going into labor was making sure my sister would arrive in time. We expected a quick delivery, and she lives three hours away. I started calling her at 2:15 in the morning or so, and continued calling her every hour on the hour. I sent text after text, and still nothing. Finally at 6:30, she answered her phone and immediately jumped on the road, assuming she might not make it. I waited a little longer to call my best friend Kelli who would be photographing (and supporting too!), as her 30th birthday was the day before and she was at a nearby casino/hotel celebrating/gambling/drinking etc.

In the meantime, I laid as flat as possible, willing my body to not go into labor yet, and willing the contractions to not start. I got my wish. Nothing happened, and by the time both my sister and Kelli arrived, I was no closer to being in labor than when the day started. Everyone's assumption was that once labor started, it would go fast.

When the girls finally arrived, we tried everything we could think of - walking, lunges, squats, bouncing on the ball, walking up and down hills (outside around the hospital!), pumping (to stimulate the oxytocin), etc. My midwife checked me at 9am, and I was 2cm dilated, 70% effaced and the baby was high, at -2 station. While I had contractions throughout the day, I could tell that nothing was really happening (although, I assumed I was dilating slowly). By 6pm, my mom and aunt (who had joined us after finding backup care for Ellie) went home to put Ellie to bed and Kelli went home to put her kids to bed. By 7pm, the first midwife's shift was over and the second began.


taking bets. We revised our bets several times

lunges! I've been told several times since then that "oh you were the girls who were lunging down the halls!" Apparently, this is unusual...

Just out for a stroll...

Relaxing. :)
My birth plan was to avoid artificial augmentation or induction at all costs. I hated the idea of being attached to any sort of IV and pitocin (aka, artificial oxytocin) scares the heck out of me for multiple reasons. Needless to say, when the second midwife came in at checked me, I had made zero progress and she carefully (to respect my wishes) but firmly (to communicate the need) said it was time to move forward with pitocin. I knew this was coming, but it totally broke my heart. Her concerns were very valid: at 35 weeks, our baby could have a hard enough time as it was transitioning from womb to air. If we were to introduce any sort of infection (and the risks of infection go up as the time goes on after a rupture of membranes), the baby's safety would be further compromised. Further, we'd tried pretty much everything, and had made zero progress in the 19 hours since rupture. After much deliberation (in hindsight, I think she just gave us the time so I could get adjusted to the idea), we agreed, at around 8:30 (with everyone who'd gone home to put babies to bed) an IV was inserted and a very low dose of pitocin was started. We assumed it would go fast at this point.


So - like labor, which I assumed would go fast, I also assumed this blog post would go fast. :) Haha. It's taken me all day to write this out (thanks, having two babies in two places!) so I'll finish tomorrow. I hate birth stories which are To Be Continued, but.... oh well. Cutting myself some slack, here!

1 comment:

  1. It was such an honor and pleasure to be there! You were (and are) amazing!