Sunday, October 12, 2008

Birth Story: The Short Version

Because I continue to struggle to find a way to post (Harry has reflux, so he spends quite a lot of time being held, as he spits up almost instantly when laid down flat -- and often does so when held as well), rather than post nothing, I'm going to be okay with short posts. So here's the short version of his birth story (okay, the medium version), with a longer version to come later if possible.


So Staples has the Easy Button. Harry's birth involved something more like an Opposite Button. If I had written out my dream birth story in advance, pushing that button would have resulted in something rather like what happened. I wanted and prepared for a natural, drug-free birth. P and I practiced relaxation techniques, I did pelvic tilts and sat tailor style when possible and on the ball when not. We felt pretty good going into it.

But Harry wasn't into it. After 14 hours of excruciating back labor, with contractions coming two at a time (back-to-back) with a one minute break between pairs, I had only dilated to 3 cm. I had thrown up in the shower. I was trying to relax but was really struggling with the pain. And I hadn't slept well the night before, so I was tired going into it. It was 2am and I was concerned that if I ever did manage to get to the point of pushing, I'd be too tired to be able to do so effectively. I caved and took the epidural and felt like a failure. It was a low-dose epi, so I could still feel the contractions, but they weren't nearly so painful. I talked with P for an hour or so, then slept for a couple of hours. I got checked gain around 6am and had still only progressed to 5-6 cm or so, mainly because he still hadn't dropped at all and therefore wasn't putting much pressure on the cervix.

When 7am rolled around, the night nurse announced that the shifts would be changing soon, bringing a new nurse and a new doctor. Somehow I knew the answer before I even asked who the new doctor would be -- 365 days later (would have been the one year anniversary but for the Leap Year), the doctor who performed the D&E was going to be delivering our child. The nurse confirmed it but also noted that he told her that he remembered and wanted us to know how glad he was to be given the chance to share in this far happier moment with us. I cried anyway.

Over the next several hours, he and the nurse did everything within their power to avoid a c-section, all the while trying to prepare me for what was ultimately inevitable. They broke my water to try to coax him down. They administered pitocin to see if it would change the nature of the contractions, though they were certainly long enough, strong enough, and sufficiently close together. He and I were both handling labor fine, so we just kept waiting and hoping, but, even though I kept dilating for a while, he never got past a +3 station. At noon, I agreed to the c-section. The doc continued to hold out and delivered two other babies while we waited and hoped, but at 1:30, they wheeled me into the OR.

I'd never had real surgery before (just wisdom tooth extraction and a D&E), so I was terrified. P and the anesthesiologist were near my head and kept me sane. At 1:51, the anesthesiologist told P to stand up and look. A couple minutes later, the OB told him to make the announcement -- "it's a boy!" A few seconds later, I heard him crying. And he kept on crying. He had his eyes and lungs wide open from the get-go :) See? (Photo taken seconds after P trimmed the cord)

And P and I were in awe, so full of love and adoration. Our son.

(Bathtime, 17 days old)


mo*reezy said...

He is the gorgeous result of a very very hard year (and very hard labor! geez!). You have every reason to celebrate! He is so handsome! I hope the reflux gets better. Poor thing, and poor mom!

More pictures, please!

Melissa said...

I'm so happy to finally read your birth story! I've been checking your blog daily with anticipation, but I definitely understand how busy you are with a newborn.

I'm so sorry you didn't get the birth experience you were hoping for. I'm realizing more and more that no one really does. But the good news is that everything went well and you have a BEAUTIFUL baby boy to show for it all.

I hope your recovery has been easy. Wishing you all the best!

sushilover said...

You certainly lasted longer than I would! As the others said, so sorry you didn't get your original birth plan but you did get a most adorable little boy out of the whole experience, and isn't that so worth anything. Congrats!

Jen said...

He is just gorgeous! I'm sorry that you got the opposite that you wanted, but I am delighted that everything turned out beautifully at the end. :)

Geohde said...

Congratulations :)



Maria (MKC101103) said...

He is just so adorable!!!! You and P must be so proud :)

Amanda said...

He is so beautiful!!! Congratulations!

Kimberly said...

He's GORGEOUS! Sorry you had such a hard labor and birth... Speedy recovery to ya!

Nicky said...

I still haven't met anyone whose labor went according to plan (mine certainly didn't, despite having almost no plan to speak of). Glad things worked out, and that it matters so very little now that you're happily spending time with your baby!

Future Mommy said...

What a cute, cute baby!! Welcome, little one!!!