Friday, May 2, 2008

Elijah's Birth Story - May 02, 2007

My other birth story for those interested
Tuesday, June 14th, 2005, I had my not-quite-39 week OB appt at 9:50am. I sat in the waiting room on a VERY uncomfortable chair for 30+ minutes, and I started to swell from lack of movement. When the nurse took my blood pressure, she looked at me and said, "Do you have a headache". I answered "No, how high is my blood pressure?” It was 140/90, which is WAY above my baseline BP. She had me lay down on my left side until the doctor could come in. Dr. Harder came into the room about 5 minutes later and re-took my blood pressure. It was back down to almost normal. He checked my cervix, which was EXTREMELY posterior, and announced it was soft but barely dilated (maybe 1 cm). He became very serious, which is unlike him, and said that I would be on bed rest until labor could be induced. He left the room to schedule the induction with the hospital. I thought I would probably be induced the following day, or even the day after that. He came back and said the hospital had a spot now, so I needed to go now. "NOW?" I asked completely taken aback. "Yes, go now". I told him I would be going home first because I needed to make some phone calls, but I'd be there in about an hour.
I called my mom so she could come watch Hannah; she said she would meet us at the hospital. I called Pete even though he was home with Hannah and I'd see him in about 2 minutes. Pete cancelled his class while I got my bag together (it had been packed for a while, but I still had to add some last minute items). I called my doula and told her I was being induced immediately and that my birth plan would go out the window. Pete, Hannah, and myself arrived at the hospital around 11am. Around 11:30 I was started on Pitocin. Every nurse that walked in asked "you DON'T want an epidural, right?" I told them that I hadn't planned on being induced and I would probably want an epidural at some point. My main nurse was very nice and apologized that basically nothing on my birth plan was going to happen. I told her that I understood that, and it was okay. My mom arrived around noon to get Hannah, take her back to our house, and feed her lunch. A little bit later my doula arrived. I was having regular contractions before the pitocin, but I wasn't feeling them. The pitocin caused my contractions to become very close together and a bit stronger. The level of pitocin was increased 2 times, and then the nurse came back and said the baby wasn't tolerating the pitocin and turned it off for a while. Apparently the contrations were so close together (about every minute), that Eli's heart rate was dropping too low. After an hour or two off of pitocin they turned it back on and Eli tolerated it much better. My cervix was checked in the late afternoon, and I'd only progress to 2-3 cm. Not much progress considering all the contractions. My doctor was called and he said he would be by after dinner and possibly break my water. My nurse checked my cervix at 8:30pm, and said it was still about 3cm, but it was so hard to reach she couldn't be sure. I told her that if Dr. Harder broke my water I would probably ask for an epidural after that. She said she didn't think he would be able to break my water at this point. Dr. Harder arrived around 9pm, and had me do a lot of relaxing while he checked my cervix. He suddenly announced, "Yes, we can do this", and the nurse handed him the torture device that would break my water. It was an extremely uncomfortable experience!! The amniotic fluid was clear, and my contractions became significantly more intense and continuous. There was no time between each contraction. I immediately asked for an epidural to be ordered, and was given the good news that the anesthesiologist was on the floor giving an epidural to another patient at that very moment. Dr. Kerr came in a few minutes later to start the epidural. He was not the most personable doctor I've ever met, but I hoped he could do the job. I explained that during my previous labor the anesthesiologist had been unable to give me an epidural because my epidural space was too small, and I ended up with a spinal block. He listened to my story, and started the procedure. It took a lot longer than I remembered, but after all the medicine was administered I was feeling a lot of relief. For about 30 minutes, I was still able to feel pain on my right side. But laying on my right side helped the medicine get to all the right places. I could move my feet, but I wasn't feeling any pain. My doula and I chatted until 11pm, when I told her that I wanted to try to get some sleep since it didn't look like Eli would be arriving anytime soon. She turned off the lights, and we all tried to get some rest. About 5 minutes later, a nurse I'd never seen before barged into the room, turned on the lights and announced the baby's heart rate had dropped off the monitor. I wasn't concerned because Eli had been moving around all day, and it was a real chore to get his heart rate to stay on the monitor. She checked my cervix and said, "I don't feel anything". I explained that my cervix was very posterior and the only person who had really been able to feel it was Dr. Harder. She went and got my regular nurse who also checked me. She said, "um, the reason you didn't feel anything is because she's complete. It's time to push the baby out." She went to call Dr. Harder, but he called her first. She informed him that it was time for him to get to the hospital. I didn't push until he arrived 10 minutes later. He took one look and said, "Let's push this baby out on this contraction". I told him that he'd have to tell me when that contraction was because I couldn't feel them. He told me when to push. I pushed about 3 times per contraction. Eli's head came out on the second contraction, and he was completely out after the third contraction. I was pretty impressed!!
Pete remembered that I wanted to cut the cord, so I got to do that. That was pretty neat!
While I did hold him for a minute after birth, I had to wait an HOUR to hold and nurse him. I could see him across the room the whole time... the L&D unit was really busy and there weren't enough nurses. The nurse who cleaned Eli up seemed to be in no hurry to get done with the baby part of her job... she cleaned up the room first! That was probably the worst thing that happened all day.
Even though I had the epidural, Eli was extremely alert for several hours after being born. My doula said she'd never seen a more alert baby. He latched on great as well, so it looks like I have another champion nurser on my hands (thank goodness!)
My epidural didn't get turned off for almost an hour after Eli was born, and an hour after that I was able to walk to my new room. I couldn't pee for another couple of hours, but I could walk :)
Elijah David was born on Tuesday, June 14th (Flag Day), 2005 @ 11:34pm. He was 6 pounds, 15.5 ounces and was 20 inches long