Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My much belated birth story

Things have been a little crazy lately since baby Jack has been born, but I finally posted his birth story.

In the afternoon of Saturday, July 10th I was having contractions between 7-10 minutes apart. I was leery of getting too excited about them after going into the hospital the week before and being told that I was having “false labor”. As the evening progressed they were getting closer together and I was getting much more uncomfortable. Tim was working until 11pm and I was determined to not make him come home early unless I was for sure going to have the baby that night. Around 10:45 my contractions were between 4-5 minutes apart. I decided to call my parents to come over to spend the night with Carter because I was pretty sure it was the real thing this time around. I called Tim at 11:01 and he got home as fast as he could.
We made it to the hospital a little after midnight and got settled into our room. It happened to be the same room that we stayed in when Carter was born. They got me hooked up to the monitors and saw that my contractions were between 3-4 minutes apart. The nurse then did an internal. I was only 1cm dilated and 70%. I was extremely disappointed that I had made pretty much no progress in a week. They decided to have us stay to see if I progressed any further. When they checked me two hours later, I had progressed to 2cm, enough to let us stay to continue being monitored. I was given something to help me get some sleep. They checked me again at the 6am shift change. I had made no progress. I was still having contractions every 3-4 minutes. The nurse was not sure what my doctor would decide to do. She mentioned that I could possibly be sent home. Exhausted and frustrated, I asked what would happen if I changed my mind about trying for a VBAC. She said she wasn’t sure and would ask my doctor.
At 9am, they gave me the option of starting pitocin. At that point anything that would make the baby come quicker was a welcome thought. Because I really hadn’t slept more than a few hours in the last week, they offered a pain meds so I’d be able to get some rest before I was ready to push. I slowly started to make some progress, and spent most of the day napping. During one of the internal checks, my daytime nurse, who was not at all gentle, accidentally broke my water. At 3pm I decided that I would most definitely be getting an epidural because the pain was getting unbearable. Around 8pm, my labor and delivery nurse decided I was ready to push. Things were going well, but very slowly. After the 2nd hour, they were becoming more concerned about how the contractions were affecting the baby’s heart rate. The potential need for a c/s or use of the vacuum was brought up. At this point the on-call doctor for my clinic switched (the other doctor had been on-call for the whole weekend and got called into do a c/s.) She was willing to let me go for a little while longer as long as conditions didn’t change. At 11pm, after three hours of pushing, my body had pretty much stopped reacting to the pitocin and my contractions started to lose strength and slow down. As much as I didn’t want to use the vacuum, my choices were pretty much being narrowed down to that or a c/s (which I really didn’t want after this much work!) Around 11:45pm, the doctor prepped everything for the vacuum and had extra nurses on hand in case we needed them for the baby. After two more pushes with the vacuum, Jackson Curtis was born at 11:55pm. He weight 7lbs 10oz and was 22 inches long.
Overall things are going well for our family. Jack is a sweet and mellow baby and big brother Carter loves him so much. The adjustment to having two kids really has gone fairly smoothly for us so far. The real test will be when Tim goes back to work next week.
The first few days of recovery were just as bad as or worse than my c/s recovery. Now, over a week later, I feel almost back to normal, which has made the VBAC experience completely worth it. There was no way I could have done it without the encouragement of my nurses and the doctor who ended up delivering Jack.