My adventures in pregnancy, motherhood and beyond

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Grayson's Birth Story

Whoo! Finally getting around to writing Grayson's birth story. And it only took 3 months.

We went to bed Saturday night around 11pm after running errands all day. We were pretty beat since we'd been up late Friday night for our friends' wedding and then didn't even sleep in Saturday, opting to get stuff done instead. And good we did. James got into bed, and I laid down, but just couldn't get comfortable. I had been sick Thursday and still felt icky, plus I was really nauseous and I was having (what I thought were) Braxton-Hicks contractions. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to sleep yet, so I decided to get up and walk, get some water, then surf the web a bit.

I ended up on the bump, and they had a contraction timer. Since they had been getting a bit stronger, and seemed more frequent, I decided to time them for fun. After a few, I realized they were nowhere near regular, though they were getting stronger, and were only 3 minutes apart at most. I figured I was probably in labour, but didn't think much about it since our class had said we would probably labour at home 8-9 hours before heading to the hospital. HAH. As soon as I realized I was in labour (and had decided I wouldn't wake up James til I needed to), I all of a sudden felt like I had peed myself a little. It was surprising and disconcerting, and I hadn't had any incontinence the entire pregnancy. It was my water breaking! Like everyone says, it's nothing like the movies at all. This was around 12:45 am, and I went and woke up James, saying "I think my water broke...what should I do?" Since we'd had the false alarm before, I didn't want to end up in the hospital again if it wasn't the real thing. James did a very comical jump out of bed, wide awake immediately. He told me to call the doctor...we waited for about 45 minutes for a return call, with my contractions getting stronger and stronger. It was at the point where James was going to take me in with or without the doctor's recommendation when the doctor called back and told me I needed to go in to the hospital.

We headed to the ER, since the main hospital entrance was closed (this was around 1:20 am), and by this time my contractions were intense, though no more regular than before. I was in qite a bit of pain, but still able to walk. However, when James turned into the wrong entrance and we had to turn around and drive further, I was not a very happy camper. I got wheeled up to labour and delivery and they checked me in which seemed to taken an eternity. By the time they put us in a room, I was screaming myself hoarse with each contraction. They checked me and said I was only 2 cm dilated and that if the amniotic fluid test came back negative or I hadn't dilated to 3 cm within an hour, they'd have to send me home. I guess I gave the nurse a death stare because she hurriedly added that they'd give me painkillers. I'm sure everyone else on the floor was thrilled I was there because I was making no effort to be quiet. My nurse went to lunch right after that, and aonther came in to readjust the fetal heartrate monitor. By this point my legs were quaking (not just shaking, but quaking) between contractions. She said that was caused by the hormone that causes you to dilate. She stared at me for a few seconds and said, "I'm going to check you again because you look like you're in a lot of pain, and if you're progressing we can go ahead and get the epidural blood and paperwork started." It had only been about half an hour, but I had already reached 3.5 cm and was given the official you're in labour paperwork. We called my parents and I can just remember looking at James saying "We're not ready! We haven't vacuumed or organized the bookshelves yet! We aren't ready yet!" His response? "Well, I don't think this is going to stop at this point."

Thank God for the epidural. By the time they came in half an hour after that, I was at 5 cm and still screaming. The anesthesiologist was great, and I barely even felt the needle. I freaked out for a while after getting the epidural since the contractions still hurt, but after about 30 minutes, I finally had some relief. They tried (three times) to attach an internal fetal heartrate monitor to the baby's head, but after it fell off the third time they gave up. I also had an internal contraction monitor, and we could watch all of it on a screen next to my bed. James was thinking about going to walk the dogs since he figured we'd be there a while, but that idea went out the window when they came in to check me again about an hour and a half later and I was already at 8 cm. The nurse had just walked out of the room, when she came rushing back in with another nurse. There'd been some spike or drop in the fetal heartrate that they wanted to check. The second nurse checked me again, while my nurse said "She was just at 8 cm." The nurse looked over at her and said to me "You're fully dilated [10 cm]. Was this the girl you were going to send home?" All in all, I went from 2 to 10 cm in 5 hours, much to the shock of my nurses, who said that was very rare for a first time mom. At least that explains the intensity of the contractions.

"Wallaby" still hadn't dropped, so I was instructed to sleep and see if he'd drop any more before starting to push. I don't know how long I slept, but even though he hadn't dropped much more they decided to have me push. I pushed for an hour. It was coached pushing since I had an epidural--the nurse would monitor the contractions and tell me when to push. I would push 3 times to a count of ten during each contraction. After an hour I was told to rest/sleep again. I'm guessing I rested for about an hour or more before I pushed again. They had turned down my epidural by half and given me pitocin since my contractions were weakening. They said they wanted me to feel the urge to push (which I never did until he had already crowned, when I wasn't supposed to push). So I spent another hour pushing and was completely exhausted by the end of that hour. They had set up a mirror since they said it helped to focus the pushing, but I wasn't too pleased with that. At this point the nurse thought I might be a candidate for the vacuum extraction. She said she'd go get the doctor, but that when he came in, I had to push as hard as I could. He came in, I pushed and he agreed, though he warned me I only had one contraction (three pushes) to use the vacuum assist since it can't be used indefinitely. I was pretty sure the other option was a c-section and was getting a little scared, but was determined that this would work. And it did! With the doctor using the vacuum assist, I delivered the baby. Little Grayson Henry had arrived at 1:51 pm on Sunday, October 14!

Everything after that is a bit of a blur. I know he was toweled off and placed on m chest very quickly. James cut the cord, they gave him his vitamin K shot and eye drops, weighed and measured him and got him back on my chest for skin to skin time very quickly. While they were measuring the baby, the doctor was taking care of me. If I hadn't been so tired I think I might have punched him when he pushed on my stomach to deliver the placenta. That was probably the most painful part. He kept massaging to help the uterus start to contract back down to size and make sure all the placenta was delivered. I had a second degree tear (not bad) so he stitched me up and I was good to go. By this point, Grayson was back on my chest. He was 7 lb, 12 oz, measuring 20.5". He was an absolutely beautiful baby (though a little squished at first) and so tiny and perfect.

We spent all Sunday and Monday in the hospital before being sent home on Tuesday. My doctor came by on Monday and told me that my bloodwork had indicated that I was moving toward preeclampsia, so they probably would have induced me at my appointment Monday night. But, as he said, "Nature knows best." He had his first bath in the hospital, with James helping and Lynn was an absolute blessing, walking the dogs, bringing James breakfast, bringing us both some lunch and being so helpful. My parents arrived late Monday night and were amazing--they stayed for two weeks and took a lot of the night duty so we could sleep. It turns out Grayson couldn't (still can't) nurse, so I was pumping (pump saga finally worked out WHILE I was in labour thanks to James). But that's another post altogether. Well, it took me over 3 months, but here's his birth story! It's a bit long, but so is labour :)

Birth plan: Epidural-->Sleep-->Push-->Baby

Grayson Henry Lawrence.
Born Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm
7 lbs, 12 oz. 20.5 in long.

With the stuffed animal that was originally his aunt's, then his dad's
We even have a photo of this animal with his dad in his bassinet :)

Proud daddy
Tired, but happy, mommy

Daddy and a finely swaddled Grayson

Skin to skin time, and I can't get over his perfect, tiny fingers

Our go-home checklist

1 comment:

  1. You were lucky to have the epidural. I had both kids within 3 to 5 hours it was already too late for anything because the contractions were to close. No fun at all I'm telling you...
    But it's worth it.
    Love, Miriam