Wednesday, June 23, 2010

5 Years Ago Today-A Birth Story Revisited

Well truth be told it actually all started 5 years ago yesterday. It was June 22, 2005 and I was getting ready to go to my 37 week doctor checkup. I had not been feeling well at all, I was extremely swollen and in general just not feeling right. Carl had not been coming with me to appointments since he was working but for some reason I asked him to please come to this one. We waited our turn in the waiting room and finally it was our turn. My normal nurse was gone and we had someone else for the day. She weighed me and again I had gained a lot of weight for one week thanks to my lovely water retention, then we arrived in the exam room and she took my blood pressure, Wow that is high blood pressure, I believe at that point it was something like 180/100 or something like that. She did it again and again it was high. She said she would have the Dr. come and talk to me. I knew that probably wasn't good. Dr Lines came in and said we need to see if your blood pressure comes down because if not we are going to need to get you delivered, you are very swollen, have high blood pressure and are showing signs of preeclampsia, at that point she checked me and discovered I was only 1 cm and 50% effaced, not good to try and deliver a baby at that point so she had me lay on my left side for several minutes and they came in and took my bp again. Still high. Dr. Lines said they would be taking me to the hospital now. They would monitor for awhile and see if my bp would come down at all but if not they were going to induce.

I cried, I remember the odd feeling of being so excited to meet my baby before I went into the Dr.'s office that day and then the feeling of fear and dread at the thought of being induced. I didn't want to be induced, I didn't want an IV, I didn't want any pain meds. My goal going into child birth was to do drug free, as natural as possible. I am by no means an all natural, organic type of girl but this was something I felt strongly was best for me and the baby. The lovely accounting lady got a wheel chair and came back to the room to get me. I was so glad Carl had come with me. I was scared, I didn't have any of my stuff with, after all this was only my 37 week check up. They wheeled me up to the 4th floor and then the ob floor nurses took over.

They had me change into a hospital gown and got me hooked up to the blood pressure monitor, at this point it almost seemed a formality, everyone was pretty sure my blood pressure was not going to go down. I don't remember how long they monitored me, I do remember Carl leaving to go get our stuff and that being the longest amount of time ever, I just wanted him to get back. At some point they decided they were in fact going to induce but since I was only at 1 I was going to have to have cervidil to try and get things started. I remember them inserting it and immediately starting to have small contractions and lots and lots of cramping. I had to keep it in for at least 12 hours. It was a long 12 hours. I tried to rest but I was just uncomfortable enough that I really couldn't. I think it was around midnight that night when Dr. Lines came in and checked me and decided to go ahead and break my water. They told us in child birth class that having your water broken for you did not hurt, they lied. That was a very odd sensation and I was not prepared for what happens after the water breaks.

My blood pressure continued to be high so I couldn't get up and out of bed for very long. Around 2 or 3 am they weren't happy with my strength of contractions so they decided to start an IV and give me pitocin. I have hard veins anyway and add all the swelling and I was one tough IV start. The nurse poked me several times and finally she thought she had it, I kept telling her it hurt but she insisted that it was only because of it's location(on the side of my wrist) I probably should have insisted that it hurt more then just being in an odd place but I trusted the nurse that indeed my IV was in a vein. I went through the rest of the night continuing to have contractions but nothing super horrible yet, my IV hurt worse then the contractions. At the shift change in the morning the next nurse came in to check my IV and I flinched when she touched me. She asked me if that hurt, I told her yes, she did some checking and discovered it was not in a vein, hence the horrible burning sensation I had been experiencing for the last 5 or so hours. The pitocin and fluids were just going under my skin and not in my vein. She immediately took it out and tried to start a new one. I lost count after the 4 or 5th attempt. She brought in the anesthesiologist. He tried and tried and tried and tried, they would give me a numbing shot before each attempt and I actually think those hurt more then the IV attempt itself. After quite awhile of trying my Dr. came to check on me and they decided I needed a central line put in. She had to go out of town for a conference and felt bad for leaving me and I felt bad that she was leaving. She said another Dr. would be checking on me throughout the day. At that point they took me down to the operating room area to do a central line. The nurse who came with me said she had been working birthways for over 30 years and had never seen a maternity patient have to get a central line(awesome, love to make records like that)

While down stairs the nurses there attempted to get an IV started in my hands and wrists as well but they couldn't do it either so they went ahead with the central line. They give you a numbing shot under your collar bone first and then insert the tube. It was awful, I haven't experienced a sting like that ever. They got it in and then have to do a chest x-ray to make sure they didn't puncture your lung since they are apparently close together. All checked out fine and I was taken back up to my room on the 4th floor. Then the pitocin was re-started and the hard and fast contractions began.

The nurses kept asking me my pain level and I finally told them I was trying not to have pain meds so please stop asking. I just breathed deep over and over again. We had made an playlist for the ipod of songs that I liked(I think I heard them each 1000 times) I had Carl press on my back. My blood pressure was getting higher so they made me lay on my left side, this dropped my blood pressure so quickly it gave me super hot flashes and made me throw up. They had a large fan on me and Carl kept giving me super cold wash cloths but I was still burning up. This repeated itself several times. I breathed through the contractions as they kept continuing to turn up the pitocin level as my progress still was not going very well.

Sometime in the afternoon a nurse came in to check on me and flush my central line. The nurses up there were not super familiar with central lines and when she flushed mine out almost immediately I felt a cold sensation and it was hard to breathe. I told her I was having a hard time breathing and they had me move from the rocking chair I was sitting in back to the bed on my left side. They got me an oxygen mask and all I could think was it wouldn't be so bad to die, I would be more than happy to go meet Jesus. Not being able to breathe was scary, I remember nurses coming in and out scrambling to check on monitors, them bringing an x-ray machine in to check my lungs again as maybe the line had slipped and it had now punctured my lung. I remember just holding Carl's hand and looking at him and feeling so helpless. Eventually the oxygen helped me breathe again and the central line had not punctured my lung, just something happened when she flushed it, maybe too quick, too much who knows all I knew was that the pain of the contractions was still intense but at least I could breathe. I was a little anxious when they flushed it from then on.

By 6 that evening I was still in focused breathing mode trying to will myself to stay strong and not get pain meds, to think about being able to hold my baby soon. I don't think I said 3 words to Carl in the past 10 hours or so, I couldn't just had to breathe. The contractions were hard(they told me transition strength with the amount of pitocin I was given) coming every minute or so and lasting over a minute each. My parents had come to the hospital after work that day I'm sure hoping to get to see their 1st grandchild by the time they arrived. It had been over 30 hours by the time they got there but no baby yet. My mom came in and cried when she saw me, I told her she couldn't do that I couldn't cry. By around 10:30 that night there was a new Dr. on call and she came in to check me. At this point it had been around 36 hours since I started with all this labor stuff, almost 24 hours since my water had been broken. She checked me, I was at a 4. I was at 4 centimeters after 36 long hours. She told me at this point my water had been broken for almost 24 and I was going to start risking infection if we waited too much longer plus my blood pressure was extremely high, over 200/120 or some horrendous number like that( I can't remember the exact number) She said we probably needed to do a c-section. I told her I didn't want to disappoint anyone. She nicely but firmly told me that I had been in labor for 36 hours with no sleep, no pain meds and no food I was not disappointing anyone.

I agreed to the c-section and they started prepping me right away. I will spare you the very humbling details of c-section prep but I will say still dealing with contractions while getting prepped is far worse then just getting prepped without them. They wheeled me back to the OR and the dr. put my spinal in. The instant relief was wonderful. I couldn't feel anything and it felt glorious. Carl came in after that and I started babbling like a crazy woman. I had not talked to him for a long time and I was nervous, not a good combo. I remember them telling me they were starting and feeling some pressure and pretty soon the anesthesiologist told Carl he should stand up and watch they were going to take the baby out.

A mere 15 minutes or so after they started I heard the sweetest sound to a mother's ears. A sweet newborn babies cries. No one really said anything. We didn't know if the baby was boy or girl and I was dying to know. Finally I looked up at a teary Carl and said "What is it?" He joyfully announced it was a boy! They let me look at him quickly and then took him off to the nursery to be checked. I told Carl to go with him(he is the absolute best labor coach a girl could ask for by the way). They gave me something in my IV because I told them I was feeling a little nauseous. I immediately fell asleep.

I woke up when Carl was bringing the baby in to see me. I remember not being able to see his face very well because the blanket was in the way. We had two boys names picked out and I told Carl I didn't care which he picked, I liked both. Gabriel Quintin was strong and healthy weighing in at 7 lbs. 15 oz. and 21 inches long born June 23rd, 2005 at 11:08 pm. He had a perfect head and very little hair and in my opinion was the most beautiful newborn I had ever seen. I had to be sewn up and then taken to recovery where I shook like crazy. When I finally got back to my room I was finally able to hold my precious baby boy and none of that 36 hours mattered anymore.

God had blessed us with a beautiful baby and now 5 years later we are continually thankful for our now 5 year old boy who brings us so much laughter, smiles, and even tears and teaches us so much. Happy 5th Birthday Gabe. We love you more then you will ever know(well at least until you have a baby of your own:)


Kiki said...

That totally made me cry! I can't believe you went through that much pain and awfullness! You're a strong woman!

Caitlin said...

Wow, Hollie, strong lady! (And cute blog template.:)