Friday, June 3, 2011

The Birth of Our Son

Saturday, May 28th started out calm and peaceful in our house. Taylor was beginning to think he was fighting a sinus infection, so he ran to Care Now that morning to plead for some medicine so that he wouldn't have to wear a mask in the delivery room whenever Carter arrived. He came home and was getting settled back in when at 10:30 my water broke. So, we put our "last minute packing plan" into motion and were out the door in half an hour. My contractions had not started yet, so the 45 minute drive that Taylor had been really worried about was quite calm as both of us made phone calls to all kinds of people passing on our news.

By 11:45 I was in a room beginning the process of getting admitted and hooked up to everything. They gave me until 1:00 to get into a good contraction pattern before putting me on pitocin. It didn't happen. Onto pitocin I went. By 2:30 I was ready for an epidural. That was the best decision I made all day. :) To make a long story short the next 8 hours were a combination of trying to find a the perfect pitocin level to keep me on that didn't send Carter into distress. We went through 3 episodes with his heart rate dropping too low which resulted in much work and effort from me and my nurses to get him back where he needed to be. Each time that happened they ended up stopping my labor with a medication and then would have to restart with pitocin. Consequently, by 10:00 that night I was only 5 cm dilated. I have to stop and say at this point that this whole 8 hour experience was not traumatic on me at all. My nurses were incredible. They were so calm every time this happened even though they were extremely focused and efficient in working to keep Carter safe. Taylor was so helpful and encouraging, and because I had the epidural I wasn't in any pain through any of it. I was able to focus on the nurses instructions and collaborate with them to help Carter without having to breath through painful contractions. Sometime after 10, the doctor (not mine, it was the on-call doc) came in to discuss with us our options. She was willing to be patient and wait it out a little longer, but we all agreed it was time to go get him. While having this discussion Carter's heart rate was back at normal, so we didn't have to rush into emergency surgery. They prepped me and Taylor and took us on in.

My memory of the C-section is a little fuzzy, but as far as me it went like clockwork. When they got Carter out, they discovered the cord was around his neck and he was sunny-side up. Both of these things would have been for a very difficult delivery with the chances for an even more difficult recovery than a C-section. We were very thankful we made the decision to go ahead and go get him. When Carter came out he was blue. They quickly showed him to me over the curtain then moved him across the room to work on him. It wasn't going well. He wasn't breathing and the nurses kept saying his heart wasn't very good. I don't know how many minutes it was, but to Taylor it was forever. I was still pretty out of it to register to much fear. I do remember noticing he wasn't crying. After a few minutes, Carter finally pinked up and started breathing, but he never cried. Because of this and his very low initial Apgar score, they decided to send him to the NICU. They put him on my chest for about 1 minute to look at him, then rushed him out of there. Taylor stayed with me at that point cause I was beginning to not feel very good. They were able to get some medicine into me to help with that, but I was feeling pretty gross and anxious for a little while.
After about 20 minutes or so Taylor asked a nurse if someone could check on Carter. They called and let him know that he was great and being moved to the newborn nursery. So, in the end he was only in NICU for 20-30 minutes!

They brought Carter to me in recovery to nurse, and from what I remember we had a pretty good go of it at first. :) By 3:00 I was my room. We brought our families in briefly to see him. By 4:00 we had done another feeding and sent him to the nursery for a little bit so Taylor and I could sleep for a few hours.

The Lord blessed us so much. Carter never had another issue after such a rough start. It caused no issues with nursing or with my milk coming in. He was perfectly healthy. They told us that he was just stunned from the labor and C-section. I don't have any memories of being panicked because of all of the medicine and the surgery, but Taylor was extremely terrified for a little while. He did an amazing job of communicating calmness to me.

Though the day was very long and scary at moments, we both agree that we don't look back at his birth as traumatic. It was a blessing and a very memorable day. Our experience at the hospital was so incredibly special. We look back on that time as the perfect way to start our family!!!


Jennifer said...

Your story sounds SOOO similar to mine with Bennett, minus the NICU. I'm so glad to hear that you are all safe and recovering well. Enjoy that beautiful baby - can't wait to hug and kiss him! Congratulations, little mama!