Thursday, July 30, 2009

The pedicure that never happened: Cayden's birth story

Hi, all. We're home and tired, but doing well. Just wanted to take a few minutes while baby boy is sleeping to share his birth story...

First of all, Tuesday morning I was still 80 percent effaced and maybe 2 cm dilated at my appointment with Amy. She again said she was "really moving things around" in hopes of jump starting some action.

But I felt no different most of the day, except for some slight cramping I attributed to the internal. Later that mornning I talked to Jess and decided that since all was wrapped up at work, I'd take part of the afternoon off to enjoy a pedi with her. So I planned

...ok, typing with one hand now, as Cayden snacks...

to leave work at 1:30, after a meeting. Got out of work a bit later than planned,

...nevermind, too sleepy to eat...

after saying goodbyes to most of the ladies at the office. Headed to Jess's around 1:50, spent some time chatting with Rose & Granny and watching Max before I peed and we headed out to Hershey Nails.

As I park the car and move to get out, I feel this odd subtle popping feeling in my lower-left abdomen, and as I get out of the car fluid soaks my pants and starts running down my leg. 2:53 p.m. Completely bewildered, I tell Jess the pedi may be off, and waddle into the nail salon to use the bathroom. Yup, I can't stop leaking. So we walk right back out of the salon, where all the employees and clients are now watching us with dropped jaws, and back to the car.

At which point I call Brian, who had just sat down in the barber's chair at the Colonial Park Mall. His response to the news that I think my water just broke? "Hun, it's really hot out, are you sure it's not sweat?" Yeah, I was sure. But we think we have plenty of time, so I tell Brian to finish getting his haircut and then stop home to pick up a few last things. (Of course I had taken the camera & camcorder OUT of the hospital bag Tuesday morning to plug them in at home so they were fully charged for Wednesday morning)

I thought I would just drive home and wait for Brian to meet me there after his hair cut, but Jess wouldn't allow it. Thank god. She jumped in the driver's seat of my car while I grabbed the waterproof absorbant pad from Spike's cat carrier and put it on the passenger's seat. So not like me to have left his cage in the car for two weeks after his appointment, but his pee towel sure saved the seat of the Rav4.

So Jess starts heading towards our house and the hospital (choosing a route a little more direct to the hospital) as I call the doc. Period-like cramps are sudddenly coming every four minutes. Doc says go to the hospital, so that's where we head. Park in the garage, and for the entire eons long walk from the hospital to labor & delivery, I'm still leaking. A lot. At one point I slipped out of my flip flop. Which made me laugh, which made me gush more. Thank God for having decided to wear black pants to work that day. Finally get up to the third floor, and Jess leads the way to check me into L&D. (She's done all of this a few times before; I couldn't have asked for a better take-charge expert in this situation) Get into a room and wait for Brian. 3:25 p.m.

Brian gets a free haircut out of the experience, as Cory & Cameron have been his barbers for over a decade. Apparently the four barbers and the four other clients in the shop were pretty excited, too. Mental note: stop in there some time in the next few weeks to meet the guys and introduce Cayden.

Still two centimeters at the first exam by the Hershey docs, when they confirm my membranes spontaneously ruptured and I was staying until we had a baby, either Tuesday or Wednesday. (I don't remember any of their names or who was a student, resident or attending; there were a slew of them. But interestingly enough, they were all female and all 30 years old or younger. I hope I didn't insult any of them when I commented as such.) But the contractions were coming closer together and were starting to get tough.

Brian shows up, and shortly after Jess left. At some point way more quickly than I thought it would happen, contractions became one minute apart and are WAAAAY tougher than I imagined. Tried standing, squatting, sitting, leaning, breathing and just about everything to cope with them, but each one exhausted and scared me even more. And the wires drove me NUTS! It was nearly impossible to move around and try to find a position that eased the pain a little, because everytime I moved I was yanking on a cord. The blood pressure cuff cord, the cord to the belt monitoring contractions, the cord to the thingie monitoring Cayden's heartbeat and eventually my IV cord.

So I make the best decision I could have, and opt for the epidural. Tried it my way without pain meds, and it didn't work. So bring on the drugs. Problem was, there was an emergency c-section and another delivery going on, and my IV line hadn't even been put in, yet. Eventually I get the IV, get a bag of fluid down, and the anesthesiologists finish up with the other procedures. That was a LOOOOOOONG, HAAAAAAARD wait.

At 5:25 p.m. I've progressed to 5 cm, and at 5:55 p.m. I am unbelievably happy to suddenly be pain free. Turns out the docs gave me a spinal/epi combo, which immediately relieved the ridiculously painful, intense and right-on-top-of-each-other contractions while the epi had a chance to start working. And once the drugs were in, family was welcome back into the room. I did have one spot low on my left side that the pain meds didn't reach, but I was happy to manage that pain instead of what I felt before.

Epi did make the contractions more sporadic, but they didn't delay labor for me. Time seemed to fly by, and suddenly at 7:45 p.m. the doc announced I was fully dilated and at +2 station. She had me get up onto all fours to help raise Cayden's heartbeat a little, and while I was up there, Brian -- dumbfounded at the news of full dilation, since the nurses told us to expect to progress 1 cm per hour -- asked "so what does that mean?" Docs said it means the baby is ready to come out and we're going to start pushing, so Brian texted the crowd in the waiting room.

Did the first series of pushes with the doc at 7:48, then pushed just with the nurse and Brian for three or so times, as Cayden made his way further down. After just a few minutes the nurse called the docs back in and paged the NICU docs. Turns out Cayden passed some meconium (first poop) in utero, so the NICU docs would have to take him right over to the exam table to get the dangerous stuff out of his airways. Once the team is all assembled -- six to eight strong, at this point -- we start pushing again. I couldn't really feel the contractions so much as pressure from his head when a contraction would start, so that's what I used to let me know when to push. I can't remember how many series of pushes we did (each four pushes long, rather than three, since they thought he would move fast and I wasn't too tired to do the extra push), but Brian saw all 8 lbs, 4.6 oz of Cayden squirt out at 8:31 p.m. I didn't feel anything, but I saw and heard him.

He ended up crying as soon as he popped out (what they were hoping he would NOT do, because of the meconium), but the NICU docs only had to do a little suctioning and said he was fine. APGARS were 9 and 9, even with the mec.

Docs then worked on my two minor tears (I had no idea and couldn't feel the two stitches) and started working on getting the placenta out. That was harder than the delivery itself. Took almost 40 minutes and a lot of massaging, tugging and pushing to get that bugger out, but they're confident it all passed.

Finally, I got to hold Cayden and he took right to the boob. Family came in to meet him, and we got the first pics Aunt Nicole was so gracious to post earlier this week.

Grandude Stackhouse grabbed a newspaper as a keepsake, and I took note on my way to my doc's appointment the morning of the 28th that gas was $2.45 a gallon at Rutters. Meant to price a gallon of milk, but completely forgot.

So that's the story of how Cayden William picked his birthday after all, and gave mom an absolutely wonderful 5.5 hour labor and delivery experience.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

First off, a huge congrats! I cannot wait to meet Cayden!

Second off, your last post made me laugh really hard when I read the part about Brian's reaction to your water breaking.

Classic.

Miss you guys and happy Cayden arrival!