Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sammy's Birth Story

It has been 9 and a half months since Sam came into the world--a perfect time as any to document Sammy's birth story.  So, here goes!
(WARNING:  This story is really long.  I didn't try to shorten it, because, well, I want to remember it!)

Friday:  Here I am on December 30th--my due date (Friday, 40 weeks.)  Notice something?  That's right, I'm not at the hospital...I'm at home, in my gym shorts, taking pictures, NOT in labor.  Fast forward to Monday at my 'baby doctor' appointment where I am still showing very few signs of labor.  My very kind doctor tells me if I don't go into labor before Wednesday, then he will induce me Wednesday night.  I am happy to finally have a definite time to get this baby out.

Wednesday night:  I still had not had anything close to labor pains.  And once I finally did realize what a contraction felt like, I knew I had only had a few in the past week--like maybe three.  Lee J & I eat some dinner, (what will turn out to be the only solid food I have until Saturday!) calmly pack our bag into the car and head to the hospital to be admitted and induced.  I check in and get settled into my room.  The nurse checks me to see if I'm dilated and notices my blood pressure is a little high.  My doctor comes in about 9:00pm and separates the membrane that connects the amniotic sac to the wall of the uterus (strips the membranes) in hopes to begin labor.  And the only thing that happens is my blood pressure continues to be a little high and labor does not begin.  I am started on a slow Pitocin drip--a small amount.  And oh yeah, my contractions are now present, but pathetically tiny.

Thursday morning:  My doctor revisits me in the morning and breaks my water.  Because my blood pressure remains high, they decide to put me on a magnesium drip.  Had I known the ramifications of that, I would have begged and pleaded they not use it.  "Mag" (Magnesium) is a soft muscle relaxer and from this point until delivery, I had to have a catheter.  YUCK!
So just to be clear.  At this point, I am now in a hospital gown with a central line IV in my arm pumping me with "Pit" and "Mag."  I have two monitors on my gigantic belly monitoring the fetal heart beat and the contractions.  I also have a blood pressure cuff on my arm automatically taking my BP every 30 minutes and a catheter taped down my leg.  I pretty much look like Frankenstein(ish).
 My birth plan is not going as planned, but we're just rollin' with it.  By now my contractions are moderate but the Mag and Pit are doing a decent job cancelling each other out and nothing much is changing.  The nurse increases the Pit and it actually starts making the contractions become smaller, rather than larger.  My body is just really not wanting to have this baby yet!!!

Thursday evening:  The push and pull of the Mag and Pit have finally made some progress on the contractions and my blood pressure is being managed well, too.  However, the pain is increasing more and more.  Due to all the aforementioned things attached to me, I am not able to do much of anything to work through the pain on my own.  I request an epidural.
The downside of being at a teaching hospital is I allowed a student to administer my epidural.  She didn't get it on the first try--and I swear I heard the needle scraping on my vertebrae.  It was slightly horrible, but once it was in place, life was good.
Thursday night: The night was long, but I was able to get more sleep than I did Wednesday night because I had gotten use to my environment.  The hard part was the continuous BP monitoring and now, I had the added bonus of med students doing "Mag" tests every few hours.  However, sometime during the middle of my foggy, hazy night, I began writhing in pain from back labor.  My favorite person in the hospital, the anesthesiologist, came to relieve the pain I was having in my back.  I don't remember what it felt like, but I remember it felt awful.  I was moaning and groaning and I think I was scaring Lee J a little bit.  It was not fun.

Friday morning:  This day was just a continuation of waiting and trying to get dilated to the full 10 cm.  Each time they increased my Pitocin drip my contractions would become erratic.  I would have crazy-big contractions close together and then they would spread out and get smaller.  I really had the nurses stumped!  During this time, I wanted to give my family something excited to think about since they had been waiting patiently in the lobby for the large majority of this time.  We announced the name of our baby which we had previously kept private: Samuel James--they were thrilled to have a name to begin praying over as we all eagerly awaited our son's arrival.

Friday afternoon:  By this point things were starting to get exciting.  My doctor had come to check on me a few times and I am dilating more and more.  At about 4:30 I am told it is time to push.  I have been easing up on the epidural a little and can feel the contractions pretty well.  I push and push.  And at one point I remember telling the nurse that I am done and that I don't want to do it anymore.  I am mostly serious.  But, alas, I continue to push.  This is largely in part because the nurse agrees to get me a Popsicle as soon as he comes out.  All I have eaten since Wednesday evening is ice chips and a Popsicle sounds like fine dining to me!

Friday evening:  During the pushing my nurse says she can see his hair!  And she lets Lee J touch his little folded ear!  (She offers me a mirror and I politely decline!)  A few more pushes and an hour and a half later and Sammy J breathes his first breath at 5:56pm!  I get to hold him for a little bit and then they take him to clean him off, weigh him, stamp his feet, take his blood, poke him, and prod him.  They have to monitor him a little bit closer because of me being on the magnesium drip.  Thankfully, everything checks out just fine!  Eight pounds, five ounces, twenty one and a half inches long.  Perfect.  Thank you, Jesus.  Our family is one larger.

I'm considering writing my next post on what happens next--that is if I can get permission from my husband to tell his side of the story!
Here it is!


  1. I like this story. :) Glad you wrote it all down!

  2. My favorite part is the popsicle. :) Other than Sam being born... that's my real favorite. :)