Connor’s Birth Story

I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t also post Connor’s birth story here, since this blog is about all my little Knights. I wrote this post two years ago, now, in a different blog. So again, I will copy and paste over to here, with a little bit of tweaking along the way…

Written October 26, 2010

It occurred to me that I’ve never actually taken the time to sit down and write my son’s birth story. And while the events still play out in my head like it was yesterday, I know someday the memories will fade, and I would like to be able to look back on that day. So I’m going to write it down now, in as much detail as possible. I warn you, this will be long, and maybe a little graphic, but not too much I hope!

Connor James was born June 18, 2010 but the story really begins on June 17. That day I had an ultrasound scheduled. I had to have ultrasounds every week to check my amniotic fluid levels, after I had been diagnosed with oligohydramnios, or too little amniotic fluid to keep my baby safely cushioned. I had been hospitalized a month before and had IV fluids pumped into me, but each week my fluid levels dropped slightly, and I knew time was almost out. I remember having lunch with my friend and her baby boy before my appointment (they came to my house, I was stuck on bed rest), and I told her I had a feeling my time had come. I was 38 weeks pregnant that day.

I was right. My fluid level had dropped to a 3.8; anything below 5 is considered dangerous. Since I was (thankfully) full term, it was definitely time to get this baby out. The scariest thing though, is that Connor must have been napping during the ultrasound because he wasn’t moving or doing his practice breathing. He failed all the tests, and my doctor said he might have to get the baby out quickly, which meant the chance of an emergency c-section. By that time, I was fully freaked out, and praying that however my baby came out of me, he would do so safely.

Alan and I headed over to the hospital, and he got me admitted while I went straight to Labor and Delivery and got hooked up on machines. Thank goodness Connor had woken from his nap by then, and passed the next round of tests! No more threat of a c-section, at least not yet. We could try doing things the old fashioned way. Since I was not dilated at all, the nurses had to start giving me medication to induce my labor. The first round was a pill to make me dilate. Then, if that didn’t trigger labor on its own, we would start Pitocin, a synthetic form of the hormone that causes the body to go into labor. Either way, I was in for a long labor. It was only about 4pm at this time.

The rest of the night was pretty boring. Alan and I tried to update people on my progress through phone calls and Facebook. I started having contractions, but they were so weak I could not feel them. Some time in the middle of the night, they started the Pitocin. In the mean time, I was hooked up to a million fetal monitors, and was not allowed to move, or else the monitors would lose my baby’s heartbeat. So I had a very uncomfortable night of trying to sleep sitting up in a delivery bed.

Throughout the night the contractions got stronger, and I started to feel them. At first it wasn’t so bad, just some pressure. Then at 6am, my water broke… I actually thought I had peed myself! I was so mortified, and thankful to learn what had actually happened. After my water broke, things got intense, and fast. Suddenly my contractions were horrendous, and they were non-stop. I would have five back to back, get about 30 seconds to rest, and then the next five would come. I was in hell. I remember holding Alan’s hand, trying to catch my breath, and saying, “I can’t do this.” His witty response of course was, “you don’t have a choice.”

At 7am the nurse shifts changed, and the nurse who would later help deliver my baby came on, Tracy. I felt so bad, she came in and introduced herself, and I was in the throes of contractions and a mess. Tracy was amazing, she really helped to make the whole experience incredible for us.

Because my contractions were back to back, they were not what you would call productive contractions, so they decided to ease back the Pitocin, but by that point I wasn’t getting any relief. At one point Tracy offered me something for the pain, but it barely dulled the pain and made me so dizzy I felt like I was severely drunk. I couldn’t open my eyes because the room would spin and at one point it even made me vomit. I was so glad when it started to wear off, even though the pain was still so great.

In order to help speed things along, my OB decided to use something called a Foley catheter. I won’t get into details, google it if you’re curious. It was painful but it worked. I was finally dilated enough to get an epidural and some much-needed relief. It was now about 10am, I had been through 4 hours of intense hell since my water broke. Once the epidural was in, it started working right away, thank goodness! I could finally relax. It even had a little button I could press to deliver more drugs if it started to wear off.

With the epidural working and my mind and body finally relaxing, I fell asleep. I took a very nice, and much needed, nap for a couple of hours. When I woke up, some time between noon and 1pm, Tracy came to check me and I was 10 cm. It was time! When she checked me, she could already feel my son’s head, who was very low in the birth canal. She asked Alan if he wanted to see. I should mention that beforehand, my husband was adamant about not watching the birth, he wanted nothing to do with it. But when Tracy asked, not only did he say yes, but he grabbed the flashlight off his belt loop to get a better look! He could see my son’s head, covered in dark hair. It was crazy to realize how close he was at that point to the outside world.

So now it was time to get the doctor and get ready. Suddenly all this equipment was brought into the room, and all these people. We had quite a crowd of doctor, nurses, baby nurses, technicians, etc. Once everything was set up, it was time to push. I don’t actually know how long I pushed for, but it wasn’t very long, maybe 30 or 40 minutes. My doctor was absolutely amazing through the entire process. He was so supportive and kept the mood light (I was still on the epidural and feeling no pain, I was smiling the whole time!). I had my husband on one side of me, telling me when to push, and Tracy on the other side, with my doctor ready to catch.

Connor James was born at 1:23 pm, at 6 pounds and 12 ounces, 18.5 inches long. My doctor wiped him down and placed him on my chest, and I still remember the first time I saw his beautiful face. It was so surreal. My son was here!

Connor newborn photo2Connor came out screaming, not crying, screaming. I remember thinking two things. One, good he’s crying that means he’s breathing. But two, he seems to be crying an awful lot, something isn’t right. I was correct. My poor baby had swallowed a ton of amniotic fluid on the way out, and the nurses had to pump his tiny tummy. Afterwards they had to take him to the nursery for observation, so I only got to hold him for a few brief moments before he was carted away for several hours. Luckily, Alan was able to stay right by his side through the entire thing, so I knew he was safe and in good hands.

So fast forward to my husband wheeling my son’s bassinet back into the room, several hours later. I remember feeling relief and satisfaction that it was all over, and joy to finally get to look at Connor and hold him in my arms. And exhaustion. We didn’t do much else that night, just hung out in the hospital enjoying our beautiful new boy. And we’ve done that ever since, enjoyed the miracle we get to hold every single day. Connor newborn photo

 

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