Thursday, 26 September 2013

Welcome my little heart!

I would like to welcome our beautiful son to the world!  Born September 19th at 11:41 pm.  

William Atticus!
William Atticus.  7lbs 1oz, 19" long

At my 38 week appointment my Obstetrician checked me and I was 3-4cm dilated.  She was quite surprised and declared that I wouldn't make it to my due date.  She did a membrane sweep (separates your bag of waters from the cervix, which can kick-start labour) and she excitedly said that she hoped he would make an appearance that day.  Dan and I went out shopping hoping that contractions would start.  I was quite uncomfortable for most of that day and the following day.  It's hard to describe how I felt.  Achy, crampy and I had an intermittent sore back.  

The next evening I decided to sit on my yoga ball to see if that would kick start contractions.  I had again intermittent lower back pain, but it went away when I got up.  Little did I know that the back pain was contractions!  I thought I was just uncomfortable and maybe his head was hitting a nerve in my hips and back.  Eventually the contractions went away and the week continued on as normal, sometimes in the middle of the night I'd have a sore back but nothing alarming and nothing that made me think I was in labour.

On September 18th I went into the hospital around 10pm because I hadn't felt him move in a few hours.  I was monitored until close to midnight.  My obstetrician was around so she came over to talk to the nurse and I.  Her and the nurse joked that I would be in the next night to deliver since I had an appointment with her the next morning.  The nurse said, "Just wait until I'm on shift though!" 

On September 19th I had my 39 week appointment at 9:45 am.  My Obstetrician talked to me about setting up an appointment the following week for an ultrasound.  I've been having weekly ultrasounds to make sure my amniotic fluid stayed within a normal range.  She went into the hall and asked her assistant to book me an appointment.  When she returned she checked me she said, "You're 5-6cm!  You're in labour!"  She then ran to the door and shouted at her assistant to cancel the appointment since I was in labour.  She excitedly told me to get ready to head to the hospital.  She called the L&D floor while I was there and told them to expect me right away.  I was GBS+ so she wanted me in right away to have antibiotics started before my water broke on it's own since my waters where bulging.  She told Dan to drive carefully and to head in right away.  On our way out she said, "You're going to have a baby today!"

We went home and got our bags ready.  Dan was rushing around and obviously very excited and very nervous.  He was talking really fast and trying to shove things into bags and asking me a million questions.  All I could do was sit at the kitchen table and slowly go through my purse.  "What do I need?" I thought, "I needed my health care card, my credit card for parking.  Money for snacks so Dan could eat.  Should I bring a book?  Oh look, there's my lip chap and it's the good kind!"  I had to ask Dan to slow down because the last thing I needed was to panic.  Soon we where in the car and on our way to the hospital.

I was admitted in registration.  They asked the strangest questions, like if I wanted a pastor to visit and what religion I was.  I had to ask her to repeat several questions, partly because they where odd questions and partly because I was so distracted! Soon we headed upstairs to L&D and we passed through the OB Triage room.  A room where I spent a lot of time this pregnancy.  I had two NST's a week for most of the pregnancy after 24 weeks.  Some of the nurses knew me by name when I came in.  I could hook myself up to the monitors and I knew what all the buttons did.  But this time I went right through the room and out the other side where the deliveries happened.  They took me to room 6, which would be the room I stayed in until the baby arrived.  By noon I had a saline lock placed in my hand and an IV of antibiotics started and Dan went to get us lunch.

All afternoon we spent lounging around the room.  We either read, played on our phones or visited with my mom and sister.  I was checked throughout the day by my obstetrician the first time, around 5pm I was a "solid 6 cm". We decided to start labour with Syntocin (Oxytocin) instead of breaking my waters.  My doctor wanted to see how the baby fared during contractions since I've had such a difficult pregnancy.  So we started that going while I ate supper.  For supper I got to eat a fabulous supper of herbed chicken and strawberry shortcake! I was quite surprised by how good the hospital food was.

Eventually I sent my mom and sister to my place since I figured nothing would happen until either the wee hours of the  morning or later the next day, that was around 9pm.  I had received 3 doses of antibiotics and was at quite a high dose of Oxytocin and was still experiencing only mild back pain but nothing else.

At 10pm I was on the maximum dose of Oxytocin and  my Obstetrician checked me and I was 7 cm, but she decided to hold off on breaking my water.  There where three other women about to deliver and the nurses where all running around.  In the next half an hour we heard lots of screaming of women and babies crying.  Believe it or not it didn't scare me at all.  I was totally in denial that the baby was coming soon.  In fact I was reassured by how short the women's screaming lasted.  I thought, "that doesn't sound too bad."  I have no idea why I thought screaming didn't sound so bad.  Like I said, total denial.

Over the next half an hour the back pain picked up.  I could still talk and joke through it, but while it hurt I needed to concentrate.  It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either.  They where about 3 minutes apart and 30 seconds long.  It was the first time that we where able to actually time them since there was a definite start and end to the discomfort.  Dan would push on my lower back and that helped a little bit.  Mostly his touch was a great comfort.  The nurses wanted the contractions to be a minute long and two minutes apart though so I figured I had quite a long ways to go before things picked up.

At around 10:30-10:40 pm my Obstetrician came in to break my waters and to put a monitor on the baby's head.  When she checked me my water broke all on it's own.  I remember the nurse saying, "Did you break her water already?"  And the doctor said, "Nope!"  Dan said she used the hook anyways just to make sure it was totally broken.  Then they placed the internal monitor.  While they where doing that I was hit with my first big contraction.  It was much more intense than the other ones I was having.  I had to arch my back and breathe really hard to get through it.  Once It was done I told a nurse I had to get up off of the bed NOW.  So she got me a birthing ball to sit on to open up my hips and to move baby's head down.

Sitting on the ball was not a relief at all like I thought.  My hips started cramping up with each contraction and I immediately felt sick to my stomach.  Dan was trying desperately to take notes (I had him writing down when everything happened so we wouldn't forget).  I ended up yelling at him!  After each contraction I could feel baby's either head or hands moving around, it was the weirdest sensation.  I was worried that he was okay and that he wasn't too squished!  

Each contraction ended up being exponentially worse than the one before.  After about 15 minutes of painful contractions I was already in transition.  I had no idea how to deal with the contractions since they started so quickly and built up so quickly.  I ended up standing up for about 3 of them and screaming/shrieking through each one.  All of my labour ideas and coping exercises where out the door.  All of them where meant for when you had time to get used to the contractions.  These started hitting one right after the other and I remember thinking that I was going crazy.  I wanted to throw up and I was frantic to get back onto the bed to let my hips rest.  On the way to the bed I begged for pain relief.  I never thought I would, I thought I could tough it out but no way, I felt like someone was slowly peeling open my back and hips and using a saw to slowly pull out my bones.  They wheeled in gas for me to use at that point and I used it for about 2-3 contractions while I was standing but my breaths where too short and I didn't notice a difference.  Dan later said that it had a Darth Vader effect and all it did was muffle my screams.

I told the nurse that I felt the need to push.  It felt like she took forever to cross the room to the bed.  She said, "lets adjust the bed and then we will check you."  Before she finished adjusting the bed I threw myself on and I had a push contraction immediately.  She reached over to check me, then immediately ran to the nurse call button to call my doctor in.  Baby was on his way!  This was about 30-45 minutes after breaking my water.  They took the gas away from me then, they said the baby needed air.  I don't remember what I said, but I know I said a lot of not nice things to the nurse and tried to grab the mask away from her.

Right away my doctor arrived and the room was filled with nurses.(One of the nurses was the one from the night before who said I needed to wait until her next shift, apparently I did!)  I pushed for probably 15 minutes.  Right before he was born I heard Dan whisper, "Is that his head?"  and the doctor nodded and grinned at him.  That was enough to get me through, he was born two contractions later!

The first thing I thought of after he was born was, "Thank God, the pain is over now."  Then, "He's real?!"  Even up to that point I think I was in denial about having a real-live baby!  They had Dan cut the cord and they had to untangle the monitor from his head and then I got to hold him for an hour afterwards.  

For the whole hour afterwards I was wracked with intense shaking, which was scary.  I also was groaning and it was frustrating because it felt like I should be able to just stop shaking and making noises but they wouldn't go away.  I needed help holding William because I thought I was going to drop him!

William Atticus was born roughly one hour after my water was broken at 11:41pm and I laboured for around and hour and a half.  None of the contractions showed up on monitors unfortunately.  It was all back labour.

Taken about one hour afterwards

We had a rough start trying to breastfeed, and when people say that the first few days are rough they're not kidding.  I had only a handful of hours of sleep in the first 3 days.  I was so lucky to have so many excellent nurses taking care of us as well as my Mom and Dan who both stayed with me in the hospital.  We stayed an extra day and left Sunday the 23rd.

First car ride!

Today he is one week old and I still can't believe I'm a mom!  Maybe I'll never get used to saying, "My son".  He's a delight, when he opens his eyes he just quietly looks around and takes in the world.  He also knows my voice and will calm down from a crying fit if I sing to him.  I feel like super woman and I hope that works for while yet!

This pregnancy was hard, over 13 ultrasounds and around 25 NST's.  Extra trips to specialists in another city and now here he is.  He's real, he's alive and he's perfect.  I think I had convinced myself to not believe he was real since it was so scary.  He didn't kick much (at all really) during the pregnancy so I could go all day feeling just big, but not pregnant.  

I'm not sure when I'll get back to my regular posting.  Dan is home with me for another three weeks, then I'm on my own with this little guy which is pretty daunting.  I also have my MRI (finally!!) next week.  

Love you all, and thank you for being patient.