So I'm not sure if I've written out everything that happened during my birth. And it was far from what I was hoping for. There were a few positive experiences, but far more negative unfortunately. The morning of November 2nd, I went to brunch like I do every Wednesday with a few other Army wives here. My contractions were worse than usual (I had been having contractions daily since 23 weeks, when my several bouts of preterm labor began) so I had called my doctor afterwards to see if she wanted me to go get checked or not. She said to head over to the hospital. My husband was in a class taking a test, and said to wait until 2 (it was about 12) and he would come home and bring me. So I decided to go grocery shopping. Had to stop constantly from the contractions being uncomfortable. After I got home, I put only the frozen and refrigerated foods away then needed to lay down. Shortly after that, my water broke. Luckily I had already packed my bags into the car "just in case" and my husband was already on his way home to bring me.
I was only 36 weeks pregnant, but this is much farther than me or my doctor thought I would make it. I had to have labor stopped several times from 23+ weeks and was on and off bed rest throughout the whole second half of my pregnancy. So on my way to the hospital I call my doula, and she says she will be leaving shortly to head to the hospital. On the way there (it's about a 45 minute ride, we made it in 30) the contractions start getting worse. Not bad at all yet, but just that I know this is the real thing.
Labor & Delivery
When I get to the Birth Center, I head into the same outpatient room they always put me in. Hook me up to the machine to monitor contractions and do two different tests to check if my water really had broken. The quick test came up positive, and the more reliable test came back negative, which confused everyone. They transfer me to one of the birthing rooms, and have me lay down with the table tilted backwards (um, headrush anyone?), for about 10 minutes. A doctor who is not mine (mine was in Oklahoma City, heading back my way) comes and checks to see where the water is coming from, and confirms my water has indeed broken. I was about 3 1/2 centimeters when I got to the hospital at 3pm.
After that I don't really know any of the timing. I progressed pretty well, the standard 1 cm an hour. I didn't plan on getting an epidural or being in the bed much. At first that is what happened. The doula suggested I roll my hips on the birth ball which helped, then I decided to go into the tub when my contractions started getting worse. This helped quite a bit for about an hour. Around this time, my doctor got back from the city and came to check on me, meet my doula, etc. Eventually I get too uncomfortable to sit in the tub any longer, and once I get out is when the contractions started getting really bad. After crying and pretty much screaming in pain for quite awhile I finally got the epidural.
My doula said if my water hadn't broken so early, and had he been positioned correctly, she doesn't think I would've needed the epidural at all. But at that point I needed a break. I didn't get it until I was 7 or 8 cm, and by the time they started getting it in the contractions were already backing off. At 11pm, I was 9 1/2 cm dilated and stayed that way until 3am when I started pushing. During that time, my husband slept on the couch, I tried to sleep a little and my doula rested. When it was time to push, I called my husbands phone (from right next to him, he flails when he gets woken up lol) and pushed for five hours.
This is where it all started to go down hill. Every time I would have a contraction, his heart rate would drop. Even before I started pushing this was happened. My doula has my flip over so I was on my knees with my arms over the back of the bed (no easy task with the entire bottom half of your body numb) which did help get the pressure off of whatever was causing the heart rate to drop for awhile. After pushing for quite awhile, my doctor said she was going to need to try to use the vacuum because it was not safe to let him stay in any longer. Luckily, I had another contraction just then, and got him out after she had already given me my last chance.
She had to give me an episiotomy at that point, which I hadn't wanted, but I was willing to try anything at that point to avoid a c-section. She later told me that the vacuum wouldn't have worked due to his positioning, so I would've ended up with an emergency c-section literally minutes later if I hadn't gotten him out right then. He was face up which was why he was stuck for so long and his heart rate was dropping due to his head being compressed on my pubic bone.
At some point before I started pushing I was given an oxygen mask to wear once his heart rate started dropping in hopes of bringing it back up. I also at some point developed a fever and was given continuous antibiotics after that.
After Boston was born, my husband cut the umbilical cord and they placed him on me. The only thing I said at that point was, "he's so blue," before they took him away from me to get oxygen and be taken to the nursery. My original plan was to have nothing done for the first hour besides his umbilical cord to be cut to allow for bonding, etc. Well, obviously that's now how it goes when your baby is born blue. They put him on the warming table to clean him off and gave him some oxygen while my doctor stitched me up. I felt ALL of it, since my epidural stopped working the last two hours of pushing. Didn't realize I wasn't suppose to feel the stitches until my doula mentioned to the doctor that I could feel it. She gave me numbing shot and that was that.
I didn't get to see Boston for 4 hours after I gave birth. He also had developed a fever and they needed to test for infection. If he had developed an infection, we would have been flowed to Oklahoma City to the NICU because of him being premature and the hospital I was at was a Birth Center and did not have a NICU. Luckily, that did not occur. His APGAR scores were terrible. First one was a 3, and the second one was a 6... an improvement but definitely not great. He was hardly moving when he was born and didn't make any noise. His head was EXTREMELY elongated from being compressed for so long. Luckily that subsided by the next morning.
I got a little bit of sleep while he was in the nursery getting antibiotics and having tests done. Once they were about to bring him back in, the nurse helped me get out of bed and into the bathroom to clean up, then they brought him back. He has an IV in his foot, and on his wrist was an oxygen monitor. He couldn't wear any clothes because of all the wires so he had nothing on but a blanket for the two days we were in the hospital. He was hard to hold with all the wires, and if the oxygen monitor got moved off his wrist a horrible beeping would alert the nurses.
He would not latch at all. The lactation consultant brought me a nipple shield which helped a little, but I could tell he wasn't really getting anything so I asked for formula (which I also hadn't planned to do).
The next two days went by fairly smoothly. They took him occasionally to do tests, but for the most part he stayed with me. We had to stay extra time because the infection tests that were done on his blood took 48 hours to process. We got to leave on the 5th in the afternoon, my 23rd birthday.
Positives: my doula, my husband actually being helpful, the Birth Center, my doctor, the nurses, vaginal birth
Negatives: basically everything else, everyone that helped me was great, but the birth itself was the exact opposite of what I had hoped for (besides avoiding the c-section)
One thing that was surprising, was that he was 6lbs 12.2oz. He was born almost a month early and I was expecting them to tell me he was 5lbs!! I was pretty shocked that he was full sized, he would've been HUGE had I gone to term. He was 19 1/2 inches. He did not end up latching until he was 7 weeks old. At 5 weeks a lactation consultant found a slight tongue tie which I had fixed the very next day. Now he is 4 months and breastfeeds like a pro! It's crazy how healthy he is after the ordeal we went through getting him here.
Wow, long post.