Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Peanut's Birth Story

On Thursday, November 18, I awoke at 5:15 am to a loud pop. I had a feeling I knew what it was, but couldn’t believe it. In my semi-awake state I had a dialogue in my head “Did my water just break? I don’t feel anything. But I definitely heard something that woke me up. Maybe I just dreamed it. Maybe I had really loud gas.” I went to the bathroom and felt no leaking, but did feel slippery when I wiped and noticed some pink spotting on the toilet paper. So I grabbed a towel and went back to bed. A few minutes later I got up to go to the bathroom again and began to leak fluid.

I called hubby, who was 4 hours away at a class for the week. We debated on what to do, so I said I’d call the doctor and call him back. I spoke to the on-call doctor who told me to go to the hospital. I called hubby back and we decided he should make the drive home. His partner, who was at the class with him, called his wife and asked her to drive me to the hospital. I woke up my mom, who coincidentally stayed overnight with me so I wouldn’t be alone, and told her what was going on. I decided to take a shower, since I wasn’t sure if it was a false alarm, and started having contractions while in the shower – this was only 20 minutes or so after the water broke. I got dressed, threw together a bag of stuff to take with me, and we were off to the hospital.

I never did time the contractions, but they were 5-10 minutes apart from the start. By the time we got to the hospital, they were getting uncomfortable and I was beginning to feel nauseated. Once in triage, the nurse checked my fluid – it was definitely amniotic. Next she checked my cervix – I was already 4-5 cm dilated – and this was only about 3 hours after my water broke. No going back now. I began vomiting, so she gave me something for my stomach and moved me into a delivery room. Mom was there the whole time.

Hubby made it to the hospital by about 9:30…a record 2 ½ drive. The contractions were very painful, I was vomiting again, and opted for the epidural. I felt wonderful once it took effect. The anesthesiologist also gave me something strong for the vomitting which made me sleepy, so I dozed on and off. I could feel pressure with each contraction, but no pain. By 11:00 I was fully dilated and effaced…but I couldn’t feel enough to effectively push. The anesthesiologist reduced the medicine and finally turned it off, but I didn’t feel enough to push until about 1 pm. I had a hard time pushing effectively since I still wasn’t feeling a lot of pain. The baby also had his head turned at an odd angle, so they had my roll onto my hands and knees to push for a while. Hubby had to lift me onto my knees because my legs were so weak from the epidural. He had to help me back onto my back once the baby had turned into a good position.

I pushed and pushed. Hubby and I pulled on a knotted sheet as I pushed. He kept encouraging me. The OB kept telling me I wasn’t pushing hard enough and that a vacuum extractor was not an option with such a fragile baby. I knew I was getting close to needing a C-section and was determined not to have one, but I was losing strength. She kept stretching my vaginal opening and telling me there was plenty of room and that I needed to push harder. Finally she cut and episiotomy, and as I was just about out of strength (I couldn’t hold the sheet any more), the little guy popped out. Almost immediately he started crying. It was the most beautiful sound ever.

The neonatal staff took him and worked on him in the room. He scored a 9 on the APGAR! He did so well that they let both hubby and me hold him and take pictures before taking him to the NICU.

Later that evening, we visited him in the NICU. He was so beautiful. Within 3 days, he was off the feeding tube (eating from a bottle and trying to nurse but unable to latch on) and was off the IV. Hubby and I visited once or twice a day, and I was pumping breastmilk like crazy for him. He only stayed 9 days in the NICU, mostly because of jaundice and the inability to regulate his body temperature. We roomed-in with him on Thanksgiving night and hoped to take him home Friday. He temperature was 1/10th of a degree too low, but he came home the following day.

He’s been home for 2 weeks now and we still can’t believe it. We’re so thankful he’s healthy and pray he stays that way. He’s the best Christmas present ever.

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