Friday, May 03, 2013

Peter's Birth Story

This little boy was brought into the world with laughter on the night of the pink full moon.  There was no laughter during labor, but laughing started it off.  On Wednesday night, the 24th, I went to bed early feeling extra tired, but decided to check facebook before bed.  Of course that got me reading and I ended up reading an article with hilarious autocorrect mistakes that people made on their phones.  I can't find the link now, but suffice it to say, I laughed so hard that I had to finish reading it in the bathroom.  I thought I had compromised my bladder laughing.  Seriously.  When I got up later that night at 2am, I felt a little gush, but since it wasn't a big gush I thought it was my bladder.  Turns out I was wrong.

I woke up on the morning of the 25th and realized pretty quickly that I was in labor.  A very random, disorganized labor that would last all day, on an off.  Matt worked from home and took us all for a walk that morning, where I realized that my water had REALLY broken since I didn't make it down the block without soaking my pants.

A kind friend, Jaime, took the kids for the afternoon around 3:30pm and that is when my body decided to get down to business.  It felt like I could finally concentrate on what was happening.  Our doula, Lauren, came over and within just a few hours, my contractions got very close together and we both thought I had transitioned.  I had all the signs.  Close, long, and intense contractions, vomiting, hot and cold flashes.  I had hoped to stay home long enough that when I got to the hospital, I would be almost ready to push.  God had other plans though. 

8:30pm We took a very not fun trip to the hospital with Lauren in the back seat with a bowl in her lap and me hanging over the back of the passenger seat and Matt holding me up while driving.  Every bump and turn brought another contraction.  We got there and though my contractions were a minute or less apart, I was only 4-5 cm.  I wanted to cuss everyone in that room out.  I thought for sure I was nearly ready to push.  I had done 29 hours with Judah before I wanted some kind of relief from labor, but it had only really been 4 hours of regular labor and I was losing it.  The contractions were stronger and more intense than I had ever felt with the other children.

9:30pm I asked for nitrous oxide, which they warned me would not really take the pain away, but just make me not care.  This was a very accurate description.  Essentially I felt like I was stoned out of my head and the contractions still hurt like hell, but I just didn't give a crap.  Matt had to hold me up while on my birthing ball so I didn't fall over.  I heard Matt and Lauren comment about how 'high' I was and I wanted to laugh, but couldn't really concentrate on laughing while having a contraction and trying to huff that gas.  It wasn't really working.  I finally asked for an epidural and though at the time I felt like I was chickening out of "real labor", it was really all I could do.  My blood pressure was on the rise and I felt like I could not continue with the crazy contractions.

10:30pm I get half of an epidural, which just worked on the left side.  There are some drawbacks to birthing at a teaching hospital.  But they fixed it eventually and both sides went numb.

11pm I felt better, but the baby started having late decelerations, which were worrisome for the medical professionals watching him.  They give me oxygen and his heart rate improves for awhile.

After that, the rest of the birth is a blur, but sometime after midnight, Peter's heart rate became more and more worrisome and they took me to the O.R., just in case.  I progressed all the way to 9cm and the midwife is trying to help me still do it naturally, but Peter's heart rate was getting slower and slower with every passing minutes and the Docs made the call.  Another C-section.  They turned up the meds and my arms and part of my lungs went numb.  It was rough.  I felt like I couldn't breathe and was so woozy and doped.  I remember hearing Peter's first cries when he came out at 12:54am.  I remember the nurse saying that he peed on the doctor.  I remember they said his cord had gone ahead of him in the birth canal and he was pinching it off with each contraction, thus the decelerations.  I remember his little crumpled, red, sweet face next to mine, and him not happy about being out in the cold world.  He went away with Matt to be cleaned up and I doze in and out of a panicked, scary sleep where I felt like my lungs weren't working, gagging because I can't swallow all the way, even though they kept telling me I was at 100% oxygen saturation.  They got me put back together and wheeled me to recovery, where I got to hold and nurse Peter for the first time, with help because I couldn't sit up or feel my hands.

But he was strong, and healthy and we both recovered quickly and well.  There were things to mourn about this birth. I am not able to fully nurse this baby either, even though I am making more milk than ever before, and for a very short time I felt bad that I had to have another C-Section and that I felt like I was not strong enough to labor all the way through, but you know what?  I don't feel that way now.  There is so much more to rejoice for.

My labor signs got ahead of where I was in terms of dilation, but in hind sight, I believe that was God's way of keeping Peter safe.  He knew my water had broken early that morning and that the cord was ahead of him.  He knew that Peter might be in trouble if I spent too much time at home, stubbornly waiting to get far enough along so I could just push when I got there, so I wouldn't have to be monitored (because I hate that part!).  I'm grateful for how things turned out.  I am grateful for our beautiful, healthy son.  And there are small blessings to having a C-section.  Like not having post partum incontinence, for example!  It's nice to not pee my pants. Just sayin'!  So here he is.  Our littlest guy.  Peter Israel.
(Photo overload to come! *Mama and Papa, just let it load for awhile. :) )
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