Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wesley's Birth

I guess I would have to start off the story of Wesley's birth at the beginning, when I found out I was pregnant. In the past, I have always had an early ultrasound due to various reasons to tell me when my due date was. Those are usually the most accurate. With this one, I happened to know the date of my last period, but since my cycle is longer than normal and since I always go past my due date, I wanted to get an early ultrasound to find out what the due date actually was. The result of that was moving my due date from Mar. 2nd to Mar. 8th. I know people thought I was crazy for wanting a later due date, but psychologically speaking, I needed the later date. Oh, I still went crazy in the last few weeks, but I wasn't expecting him until after the 8th.

Fast forward to Mar. 9th. I went in to my appointment where the midwife asked if I wanted to have my membranes stripped. YES, anything to get this labor going! Evidently, this is a pretty great way for many women to go into labor. She even called the midwife on call at the hospital to make sure they'd have room for me that day. Ha! I got excited for a little bit, but to no avail. That didn't work for me at all.

Two days later, on Wednesday, I got a stomach bug and felt horrible all day. This was also the day that my neighbor down the street was having her baby, a week before her due date. I always hate it when that happens. But that day, because I was feeling so sick, I couldn't even imagine trying to have a baby in that state. I went to bed and felt much better the next day, even though I was still pregnant.

I had another appointment on Thursday. As I was pushing the button for the elevator, I felt a little trickle (which I now know was my water breaking). But it was the tiniest trickle, so I just chalked it up to the baby pressing against my bladder and me peeing a little. Hey, these things happen. Luckily this was the first day I decided to slap on a panty liner for whatever reason before I left. I went though my whole NST (which I'd been getting weekly) and appointment like normal. At this point I had progressed to 3 1/2 cm and about 70% effaced, which was good progress in my mind. But, I was still only 4 days past my due date. My other babies were 4 days, 8 days, 9 days (induced) and 10 days past my due date. I thought I still could have a ways to go.

After my appointment, I stopped at Wal-Mart for some last minute necessary items, like razor refills, eye make-up remover and a king sized Twix. It was while I was debating over which eye brow pencil to buy when I felt the water dribbling out quite a bit. It wasn't a gush, which was good, but it was definitely more than a little pee, I was pretty sure of that. But my water had never broken before on its own so it was an unusual phenomenon. Since I was in the toiletries section anyway, I thought it would be a good time to grab some pads, make a quick decision about the make up and get going to the checkout and then the bathroom.

The funny thing about my water breaking at Wal-Mart is what happened the Saturday before. I was returning something when the clerk asked when my due date was. I told her it was tomorrow and then she said, "What are you doing here? I'm always afraid you pregnant women are going to have your water break at my check stand or in one of the aisles of the store when you come in here." I told her that would be great because it would mean I'd actually be going into labor. Of course, I never assumed my water would actually break on its own... but that's exactly what happened just days later, in one of the aisles at Wal-Mart. Funny.

I called the midwife on call and told her that I might sound like a total airhead seeing as this was my sixth child, but that I kind of thought my water may have broken. She said that labor usually starts pretty soon after that happens and to give her a call in a few hours to let her know of any progress. But no regular contractions ever began. She called me back later and we discussed our options. Since there is a risk of infection when you go too long with your water broken, we knew something would have to happen pretty soon. She didn't want me to have to come in at midnight to start labor because I'd probably be too tired at that time, so she told me to come in whenever I could that afternoon. I also didn't really like the midwife on call for the next day, but I loved this midwife (she was the same one that delivered Hallie). I told her it would be great to have the baby on the 12th, if possible, since I didn't want Friday the 13th. I thought I would get there at 5 and be able to have the baby before midnight, since my last induction only took 4 hours from beginning to end.

That's not exactly what happened though. By the time I got all settled in the room, it was 5:45. They had to ask me all sorts of questions and stuff, and then they finally checked to see if indeed my water had broken. They have a piece of paper they can stick in it to tell whether it is or isn't amniotic fluid. But, of course, by the time I got to the hospital, it had completely stopped dribbling out and so it showed no amniotic fluid. Nice. I felt really stupid at this point. But, I knew it was happening before. I am not that crazy. I realized that every time I sat down, it stopped, but when I walked around, it would start coming out again. That's when they had me walk around and do some squats, and that's when it finally started leaking out again. Phew. I could not have imagined getting sent home after all that. So at this point, they knew they had to induce with pitocin since I still wasn't having contractions. But, since I was a VBAC patient, the midwife had to get the induction approved by the attending doctor. That took a long time as well. By the time they finally started me on the pitocin, it was almost 8:00. The pressure was on to have the baby before midnight.

I began having contractions every two minutes, but they were definitely contractions that I could talk through. My midwife, Claudia, was really fun to talk to the whole time. She, and HGTV, helped pass the time quickly. Even though the contractions were consistent, I was only progressing 1/2-1 cm per hour. I definitely think they needed to pump up the pitocin faster than they did (it was on a 4 for a long time, and then 8 for a long while), but again, because of the whole VBAC thing, they didn't want to give me more. I do think it's kind of dumb to think that my uterus could have ruptured after I'd already done 4 VBAC's before, including an induction, but protocol dictates sometimes.

At some point, it was clear that I would not have the baby on the 12th. My midwife even left from 11:00-11:40 to help with a C-section because I wasn't that close (I was maybe 5 cm at this point). I could still talk through all the contractions, but I was getting tired. I think it was around 1:00 that they decided to pump up the pitocin past 10. But in order to do this, they had to put an internal monitor next to the uterus to make sure things weren't too strong. Once they pumped it up to 18, that's when things really started getting hard. I rolled over to my side as I entered transition. Here's my philosophy about labor (for me anyway). Nothing is ever hard until transition, and transition only lasts for half an hour. I figure I can handle 30 minutes of pain, and then it's over.

I looked at the clock just after transition started and it was 10 minutes to 2:00. I told myself that I could do 30 minutes. The problem was that it lasted way more than 30 minutes. It just kept going and going and going. I kept expecting each contraction to be the last one, but then it wasn't. I had never experienced transition this bad before. I had never wanted an epidural more.

The midwife began pushing on my knees while Jared pushed on my lower back during the height of the contractions. This was actually sweet relief, kind of. The real relief didn't come until 3:00 after an hour and 15 minutes of transition. I'm convinced that this baby just wanted to be born on an odd hour as well as an odd month, day and year. He had to wait until 3:00. I was so relieved to have pushing contractions instead of transition ones. I pushed 3 or 4 times and he was born at 3:05 am. Jared got to catch the baby for the first time, and he said it was really awesome to do that.

As I was pushing, the midwife realized that the amniotic sac was still stretched over the baby's head. Evidently, the sac had broken up higher and it had to be broken again at the bottom. Kind of weird.

So, despite my weird obsession with even numbers and the fact that all of our other kids have been born on even months, days and years (with one month as an exception), sweet Wesley Owen Daniels was born on March 13, 2015 at 3:05 am... all odds. I guess he's our little oddball. But, I'm pretty sure he has turned Friday the 13th into something lucky.

I think because transition was so long, Wesley's whole head was bruised when he came out. They had to put a little sign on his basinet that said, "I'm bruised" so that the nurses wouldn't think was purple because he had stopped breathing. He was 8 lbs. 12 oz. and 18 1/2 in. long, our second biggest baby. I immediately noticed his chunky thighs and biceps. So cute and squishy. He had some trouble breathing at the beginning so they called one of the nurses up to do some suction. After snuggling with me, he did a lot better. He has a quiet little cry and loves to be held. He seems like such a calm and content baby.

Apparently, there were a lot of babies born in the days before me so there were no rooms for us downstairs. They moved me into a labor and delivery room that night that was hardly ever used. The clock was out of batteries, the computer didn't work, the TV didn't work and the phone didn't work (so no ordering food). Plus, the bed was super uncomfortable. Luckily, they gave me a big foam mattress to put on top. Oh, after I delivered I was starving, but wouldn't you know it... there was no food left for me either. I ate some little graham cracker packets but was still so hungry. They found some cereal and pudding, which I also scarfed down. Right after that they found a real meal, but I wasn't hungry anymore. Since he was born in the middle of the night, I only slept for maybe an hour and a half. So that was the first night.

They had some people leaving the next day so I was able to move down to a regular maternity room. We had our kids visit that afternoon (they had just lifted the restrictions for kids 14 and under the day before--yay!) Everyone just loved little Wes!

Because of the visits, we didn't get any sleep that day either. After dinner, I started feeling kind of sick to my stomach. I kept burping up my salmon dinner and it was so gross. I tried to sleep as much as I could, but feeling sick just kept waking me up. I finally realized that I needed to get whatever was making me sick out of me. I really, really hate throwing up so I prayed for it to come out the other way if possible. Right then, I felt my intestines start gurgling... and I spent the rest of the night and a good part of the next day in the bathroom. I felt so awful! Usually being in the hospital is so great because you can order as much food as you want, but all I could eat was toast, applesauce and Sprite. I let Jared order whatever he wanted instead of me. I just wanted to get home. We broke out of there on Saturday afternoon.

The dumb thing about it was that Wesley slept almost all night and I got no sleep. Then he was up almost every hour the next night when I had hardly had any sleep in a few days. I guess it was nice that I didn't have to deal with feeding him and being really sick at the same time. 

Because Wesley was bruised, they told us he would probably be at a greater risk for Jaundice. We took him into the hospital the next day to get his blood drawn and measure his bilirubin. They told us that he would either need to be under the lights or get some real milk in him. Since my milk hadn't come in yet, we fed him some formula to try to get some liquids in him. We had to go in the next day, and the day after and two days after that to repeat the blood draws. Luckily, he was always on the border of needing lights but never actually required them. And finally on Thursday, we verified that his bilirubin levels were going down and not up. No more hospital visits... (at least for two days. But that is another post).

So it definitely wasn't my easiest birth, or recovery for that matter. But we are all so glad little Wesley is here and love him so much!

I was so tired, but nothing beats newborn snuggles!

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