Saturday, July 14, 2012

Barrett Ander: The Birth Story

At 39 weeks and two days, 3 centimeters dilated and 80 percent effaced, Amy stripped my membratnes on Monday, July 9.  While moving things around didn't inspire any contractions in the following days, my mucous plug did evacuate over the next few days.

A busy week at work kept me preoccupied, and I was glad for the opportunity to remain challenged and active.  Not to say that there weren't daily inquiries into when my last day would be or when the boy would arrive, but the work kept me largely distracted from wondering when labor would start.

But strangely enough, all my pre-scheduled meetings concluded on Thursday, and by the end of that day, my desk was clean and my inbox was mostly put to rest.

Thursday evening was like any other that week, except that I did go to bed a bit early, anticipating perhaps getting up a early to shower before work. Friday I had a 40-week appointment scheduled for 1:15 p.m., when Amy would strip my membranes again and schedule induction for the next week, just in case.

Early Friday morning, I woke at 2:30 to pee, like most nights, and returned to bed.  But shortly after 3 I returned to the bathroom, feeling a little "slippery" and thinking something might be up, since I had just gone.  So I sat on the potty and tried to pee again, when I felt that subtle popping sensation for the second time in three years, this time somewhere in the center of my abdomen.  Still not quite convinced it was time to wake Brian, I went downstairs to call Spike inside (he was out and woudn't come in for Brian before bed), give him a pill and fill the cat's water dishes.  And filling the water dishes I dripped on the floor and figured it was time to get moving.

So I woke Brian, and he called his parents to come over and wait until Cayden woke up.  Period-like contractions started around 3:35, and they were about six minutes apart to start.  We left around 4, and contractions were increasing in pain and four minutes apart by the time we got to the hospital.  We got checked in and told the nurse and doctor that things moved relatively quickly last time, and that I'd take an epidural as soon as available. 

I was four centimeters upon first exam, around 4:40, but the pressure was much more intense this time than it was with Cayden.  I didn't feel like I had to push right away, but the pressure was really uncomfortable (felt like I had to poop) and the doc was surprised that Barrett was at 0 station at first exam.

By 5:20 I was 6 centimeters and the nurses were trying the third needle stick for an IV to try to get a bag of fluids started.  But thankfully the antesthesiologist showed up shortly thereafter and they got started long before the bag of fluids was down.  The pain was really intense by then, as was the fear of the unknown, so the docs gave me a spinal/epidural at 5:45.  The spinal started taking the edge off the pain immediately, but unlike last time, I could still feel each contraction, just without full intensity of the sharp pain.

Baby's heart rate and my blood pressure kept dropping, so I ended up on my side, with an oxygen mask, getting a dose of blood pressure medicine every now and then.

At 6:08 I was 9 centimeters and the doc had me give one push to see how things might go.  But he could feel one lip of my cervix that needed to stretch a little bit, so he told me to sit tight for a few minutes.  I pushed the epidural button one time.

At 6:29 they proclaimed I was at 10 centimeters and ready to push, so we all got into position.  Just two docs, one nurse and Brian this time.  With the first contraction I pushed his head right down, and took the break between contractions to feel the top of his head.  With the next contraction, I felt stretching and his head squeeze through, and next thing I knew he was on my chest! 

Barrett Ander was born at 6:37 a.m., and he was immediately confirmed as a boy.  He was a bit smaller than expected at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and 20.5 inches, but his APGARS were 8 and 9, and he was proclaimed healthy.

The quick delivery meant he got gunk stuck in his lungs and airways, so he spent the first hour of his life crying, snorting, coughing and sneezing.  He did latch on within the first hour, but he wasn't too keen on nursing right away.  So once we calmed him down, I hopped out of bed and headed to the shower to rinse my lower-half before heading to our post-partum room.

Apparently we got to labor and delivery smack-dab in the middle of an early-morning rush, so moms-to-be were backing up and we were eager to get settled into our recovery room.

By about 8:30 a.m. we were in Room 3266 (the room Kate Gosselin had, we learned), and eagerly awaiting visitors including new big brother Cayden.

Barrett Ander shares his July 13 birthday with Julius Caesar.

And on the date of his birth, gas was $3.25 a gallon, a regular U.S. Postal stamp was 45 cents and a gallon of milk was $3.40.

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