Saturday, January 19, 2013

Everett's Story: Delivery

So after being unexpectedly admitted to the hospital, they started trying to induce labor. I guess it isn't standard practice any more to use Pitocin to start labor (although I was having some contractions, they weren't strong or frequent enough to be considered active labor). So, instead I got the H bomb of pills. It was called Cytotec, and this guy says don't use it.

I look a LOT my big bro -- guess we only have one mold, lol
Oh Nellie. The dose I received was just a quarter of a regular size pill. Unlike Pitocin, which can be raised or lowered based on the progress of your labor, this pill goes for the gusto and doesn't let up. I was given the pill around 1:00 p.m. Within a short amount of time, my contractions were coming a minute apart. They weren't terribly painful from the get go (I just was visualizing pleasant things from our trip to Hawaii to get through this stage), but they were consistently one minute apart. They got longer, 2-3 minutes each, and more intense around 6:00 p.m.-- still one minute apart.

Future NBA star? 22 inches in length!
We were watching TV around that time. All of the sudden, 6 nurses and 3 doctors come rushing in. Somebody turned up the sound on the fetal monitor. Where I had come to know Everett's little skippy heartbeat, I know heard a sickeningly slow glub glub sound. 2 nurses held the bed (later, I found out, to whisk me away for the aptly named "slash and splat" procedure if needed, which they used to get babies in distress out in less than 10 minutes), others turned me this way and that, and the doctors stood around the bed giving instructions for oxygen and where to place the fetal monitor. My Ob was there -- the man who had always kindly chuckled away my concerns -- with a look of genuine concern and worry. I was really scared.

Hank meets his little bro. He picked out the little toy to give to him.
They got me in the right position for little E, and his heart rate picked right back up to normal. "Decel" happens normally with contractions, but shouldn't have happened as dramatically as it did. Most likely there was cord compression, which could be alleviated with me finding the right position. He went into decel several more times that night -- usually after I got up to go to the bathroom. The original time, my nurse herself was in the bathroom -- hence the Code Blue response. After that, the new nurse on duty was there in seconds flat, and helped to find the right position. I tried not to go to the bathroom, but it was just so darn uncomfortable not to, and the walking did help me think about something else besides the contractions (why or why hospitals do you insist women labor in a bed?) We consulted an available Ob some time during the night about just going ahead and getting a C-section. He was a jovial guy like my doctor, and let us know that Everett was in good shape since his heartbeat came back so quickly. He extolled the benefits of vaginal birth, and it was then that we learned about the infamous slash and splat (aka "crash" C-Section -- general anesthesia administered, and VERTICAL incision). Sure I couldn't just do an emergency one and avoid all that?

Brothers :)
As a side note, I had a less than fulfilling birth experience with Hank in part due to the staff (mostly due to my control freak attitude). Once I received my epidural with him, for example, I didn't see the nurse for 7 hours. When she came in that morning, I was dilated and ready to go and probably had been for some time -- but couldn't feel anything on my own because they had apparently maxed my epidural. Our insurance company typically uses midwives to catch the babies. The midwife attending Hank's birth wasn't at all like I expected in terms of being a coach. She hardly said anything at all except a few threats about getting a c-section if it took any longer to get him out. Meanwhile, I couldn't feel a thing because the epidural had killed my contractions, so really needed somebody to help out -- put pressure where I should be pushing, tell me when to push based on the contraction monitor, etc. There was also a nurse in training, and her job was to find Hank's heartbeat with a stethoscope after I pushed. She had a hard time doing so every time (finding where he was -- not that there were any problems), so she frantically moved the stethoscope around, freaking me out all the while.

I didn't know babies could just be awake without crying. 
Totally different experience this time around. Which reminds me -- I still need to send the hospital staff a thank you for their wonderful care. My first nurse was just what I needed when I was first getting settled. She would ask me questions, and offer stories from births she had attended -- very chatty. After the Code Blue, which she was visibly upset about, the second nurse came on duty. Very friendly as well, but down to business. I hoped that my doctor would be free to help with the delivery when the time came, and he was. So was the majority of the L&D staff, but I'll get to that.

Getting back to the unrelenting contractions, my body couldn't catch a break!! The nurse tried to increase my fluids in an attempt to slow them down, but it didn't work. Around midnight I was pretty much done with the whole thing. With Hank, he was "sunny side up," which caused excruciating pain on my spine. I ended up getting an epidural for that pain outside of the contraction pain. This time around the contraction pain was waaaaay more intense. When asked, I said the pain was around a 9. My water hadn't even broken yet. With Hank, I was cruising Target when it broke, and had him 16 hours after that. If I had more than 16 hours to go at the pain level I was at, there was no way I would make it!! I was only dilated to 3 cm. I asked for an epidural around 1:00 in the morning. Here's where there is a bit of a time warp. I know there was another woman receiving an epidural at that time, but pretty sure it isn't a 2 hour deal. The anesthesiologist didn't come, and I was at my max. My visualization methods a this stage -- a horse race, a cheetah running, or a giant wave crashing -- weren't working any more. My water broke at 3:00 a.m. Keep in mind, I'm thinking I have 8-16 hours to go from this point based on my experience with Hank. BT told me to make it through 10 more contractions -- that it couldn't take longer than that to get the epidural. Btw, the fluid had meconium in it. Of course.

Now you know things will never be the same, right?
So 3:00 my water breaks. 3:45 or so they are setting up for the epidural. I see the little doughnut shaped thingy they have you put your face into at the end of the bed. All of the sudden I felt an intense pressure. I yelped and said that the pain had somehow just gotten worse. It was 3:53. The nurse asked if I felt pressure, and I said yes. She checked and said I was ready to push. The anesthesiologist cleared out, and an army came in. My doctor was there -- thank goodness, as well as two more nurses to attend the birth and more waiting with the pediatrician to tend to Everett, who undoubtedly was going to need extra care because of the cord issues and possibly sugar crash for the diabetes (no issues related to that for either of us). There were three hospital staff total in the room when Hank was born. This time the room was packed.

First days at home
With Hank it took 3 hours for me to push him out -- partly because of him being sunny side up, partly because I couldn't feel my contractions, and partly because I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I pushed Everett out in 10 minutes. Dr. W said the exact right things and held where I was supposed to push, and this time it all made sense. So, in just over an hour's time, I dilated 7 centimeters and pushed out the baby -- without the epidural. Pretty amazing. I tore a little, of course, but the worst thing was that I was hemorrhaging from placental abruption -- probably because of that darned pill. This would be bad enough on its own, but remember the HELLP thing? Having a low platelet count is no bueno for bleeding. Dr. W calmly held the damaged area for 10 minutes or so, chatting with me the whole time.

Mr. Blue Eyes
Meanwhile, BT was overseeing Everett on the other side of the room. He indeed did have the cord wrapped around his neck two times, and was in decel the whole time I was pushing. They had called for some guy named Anthony to bring the vacuum, but Anthony, like the anesthesiologist, didn't get there in time either. Everett came out quite discolored, and took longer than my heart could take to hear his first cry. Soon afterwards we were finally united. We made it relatively unscathed despite the dangerous conditions. Dr. W called him a miracle baby -- mostly because the HELLP condition can go un-diagnosed until it is too late. He also said I got the prize that night for fastest to progress labor, lol.

I now understand how people fall in love with having a baby around :)
We stayed extra time at the hospital because of me. Luckily during my stay there, my blood pressure started to come down, and even my liver tests showed a slight improvement. It was one heck of a birth experience. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you!

1 comment:

Heidi@TheMerryMagpieVintage said...

7 centimeters and pushing in an hour? I think I clenched just reading that. LOL I was given Cytotec with my first so I had no idea if my experience was normal or not, but it most definitely started the contractions! (I was 2 wks overdue with basically no dilation)

I'm so glad that you had such wonderful medical staff who took good care of you & baby E!