Sunday, June 24, 2012

Levi's Birth Story- Part 2

If you missed Part 1- go check it out here.  When I left off, I had just been check at 8:00 PM and was ready to push.  The doctor came in and decided that I would labor him down for another hour and then begin pushing.

At this time, a new nurse was in and she was generally nothing to write home about- mostly impersonal but got the job done.  At 9:00 PM, I started pushing with the help of the nurse and another nurse who we had requested.  My husband and I had discussed the experience we wanted, and it was important for us to have hubby right along me rather than up front and in the action.  The nurse who came in also worked as a doula and she had such a calming presence. At this point my contractions were coming very spaced out and I was getting a lot of breaks in between pushing.  Each push I would get coached by both nurses and this went on for an hour until 10:00 PM without much progress.  I know I was trying really hard but the little guy was not having it.

They gave me some oxygen to breathe into in between contractions since the baby's heart rate kept speeding up and we decided to let me rest again and then try again an hour later at 11:00 PM.  At 11:00 PM I did some more pushing for 35 minutes with the nurses again and the doctor showed up.  It took her about 2 minutes to realize that the little guy had somehow turned sunny side up...not the way he was supposed to be facing for an easy delivery.  I had been feeling mostly back labor and later realized this was the cause.

We were given the option to either rest some more and see if I could push him out- which was highly unlikely given his position and the distress that labor was starting to cause.  The other option was to use a vacuum to assist in the delivery.  While I thought I would be a wreck, we asked to speak alone to make a decision and calmly reviewed the options together- we wanted a safe baby and we did not want a c-section.  The next safest thing was to proceed with the vacuum.

Once we made our decision, it seemed like an army of people flooded the room, including the pediatrician and NICU staff.   The vacuum delivery involved some risks to the little guy and they wanted to be prepared.  The doctor also suited up in a ridiculous amount of tarps, gloves, booties, and goggles...yep, googles.

At this point, things started to become a blur, but I knew we had to get the baby out right away.  I asked how many contractions I got to get this thing done and the doctor told me they give up to 4 contractions before the give up.  My contractions were still running about 10 minutes apart at this time, so the anticipation for the first one was crazy.  My epidural had been turned down so that I could feel the urge to push and I started feeling everything- and everything is no joke.

Once they had everything set up, we waited for my first contraction.  The doctor told me I would do 90% of the work and she would assist with the other 10%.  Between the pain and the fear, I completely zoned out and once I had the first contraction, I pushed like hell.  The first contraction got the head out! I was starting to feel a little more optimistic, but also about to pass out because now I had to wait the 5 minutes until I could push again.  I had more oxygen and was trying to remain calm and save my energy.

On the next contraction, I was instructed to once again push with everything I had.  I had no recollection of the actual pushing or what was going on around me, but I tried again, and as I was leaning forward, I saw this tiny little baby in the hands of the doctor, already whimpering and starting to cry.  I later asked my husband what happened and he told me I growled like a lion and got the baby out.  I still maintain I was a lady through the process, but I honestly couldn't remember those moments.

The baby was instantly brought over to the warmer to get checked and had great apgar scored of 8 and 9.  Hubby ran over to take pictures and I looked over to the side as our perfectly healthy little baby was squirming and kicking, just like he kicked me.  His vacuum delivery gave him a little horn, but he was otherwise unharmed.

We got to hold him fairly quickly and it was a completely surreal feeling.  We just stared at him and  couldn't believe he was ours.

And that's how we became a family ;)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Adjusting to Life

Thank you guys for all the kind words! Hubby and I have been working together to take care of Levi and Chino and we really started enjoying ourselves. I'll be sad when he has to go back to work next week since I won't get to hang with my best friend every day. 

For now, I wanted to share a glimpse of life these days:

Mama and my two boys ;)

I cooked for a lunch guest on Thursday:

Happy to be back in my kitchen:

I'll be back with the rest of the birth story and my new fitness goals soon!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Levi's Birth Story- Part 1

Even before I was pregnant, I liked reading about birth stories.  I thought it was pretty interesting to hear how little people came into this world and because each birth is so different, it was good to get a wide perspective of how things can go and the various factors that play into each birth.  If you are one of my (male) family members or are generally squeamish, you can skip this post. I don't go into too many details, but I do give measurements, so you have been warned in advance.

As I mentioned earlier, I was at 41 weeks and Levi was quite comfy in his waterbed.  I felt freaking fantastic until the day I delivered.  I must have made a deal with the pregnancy gods because I honestly had very little discomfort, almost no swelling, and was walking at least 2-3 miles daily up until the day I  delivered.  I know this sounds smug, but I had heard how uncomfortable pregnancy was and I was thankful to have had such an amazing experience.  I better not tempt fate and do this again ;)

Despite my comfort, my doctors decided that I needed to be induced because it looked like he would stay in his home until it was time for college graduation, and I begrudgingly agreed.  I did not have a set birth plan- I just wanted a healthy baby and a healthy mama.  However, I had really hoped to go into labor on my own and try to keep interventions to a minimum- well that wasn't in my plans.  I was honestly upset for a couple of days, but we weighed the risks and benefits, and on Sunday, June 3 we went to the hospital at 7:30 AM to begin the induction.

When we got to the hospital, we met with my doctor and discussed the options and plan for the day.  I have to say that my doctor was amazing.  She was one of the rotating doctors in my practice and I really liked her straight forward and professional attitude.  Earlier in the week we talked about breaking my water first since I had progressed quite a bit, but when I got to the hospital, the doctor did an initial exam and I was only at 2.5 cm and 65% effaced.

Our first nurse was a cranky pants and tried to play messenger with the doctor, but we asked to speak to her personally and I was glad we did.  Breaking my water this early would bring a risk of infection and start me on the clock, so we opted for the pitocin.  I got my first of many IV bags first and then the pit drip started at 10:00 AM.  The hubby and I pretty much hung out and watched TV and played on our phones for the first few hours.  I could see that I was contracting and starting to feel them, but it was not much more intense than menstrual cramps.  I got up after an hour or so and started bouncing on my yoga ball, walking around the room (dragging my IV pole), and trying to get moving to help things along.

I got checked again at 4:00 PM and was at 3 cm and 100% effaced and the doctor decided it was time to break my water.  OMG- this was so nasty.  I had no idea how much 'water' there would be and this was probably the least comfortable part of labor.  I had a new nurse, who was really attentive and awesome.  She kept checking on me and readjusting my monitor since I was moving all around the room and the little guy's heartbeat would fade from the doppler.  At this point, things were starting to get uncomfortable, but breaking the water was what really got the action started.

I found that sitting on my ball, leaning against a chair with my head on the back of it applying pressure to my forehead, or swaying my hips was most helpful.  I wasn't ready for the epidural yet and was breathing through the contractions.  My husband was the only person in the room as we had agreed upon, and he was with me every step of the way trying to find more comfortable positions.  As is always the case, I was a bit stubborn and had a hard time listening, but I was in my own world, breathing through the contractions.  Each time the nurse would come in, she would turn up the pitocin to continue to advance things.  My contractions were coming right on top of each other for a while and they had to come in and turn down the pitocin a couple of times but kept going.

At about 6:00 or so, my mom came in to see me.  I'm generally a calm person, but for whatever reason, having different people in the room put me on edge.  I had a really hard time breathing and concentrating and I had to try and bring myself back into my zone.  I'm not sure if it was the pitocin, or how fast I was progressing, but the pain was starting to get intense.  In addition, I was having predominately back labor, something that I was not prepared for.  I stayed drug-free(ya know, minus the pitocin and IV) until 7:00 and then when my husband came back into the room, I decided I was ready for the epidural.  We had talked about doing an epi IF I was doing pitocin and I had no idea how much longer this would last.  I had heard of how people got too exhausted to even push and I knew I needed some energy to get through the evening, especially if I was only at 3 cm at this point.

The anesthesiologist who came in looked about 17 years old, but I swear he had a halo over his head and did a great job with the epidural.  I was told to tell him to stop when I was contracting, but I was concentrating so hard that I just breathed through the contractions and didn't flinch.  The epidural was not at all painful, just a small sting from the initial local anesthetic. I had full movement in my right leg and a little less in my left leg. I got the epi at 7:00 and was feeling extreme pressure in my lower back and well...behind- I felt like the back labor stuff was not going to go away.  When the doctor came in to check me at 8:00 I was 100% complete and ready to push!

To be continued...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy First Father's Day to my amazing husband.

He has become the diapering and swaddling champion over a short period of time.

He makes sure our older son is well taken care of.

He is someone to look up to.

Happy Father's day and dirty thirty to my amazing hubby!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

He's Here!

The last time I posted, I was hanging out at home watching paint dry- also known as waiting for our little boy to get here.  I was already past 41 weeks and it was time to get him out- I was growing a toddler after all!

I'll go into more details in another post, but on Monday, June 4 at 12:24 PM we welcomed baby Levi Solomon into our hearts.  He was 7b lbs 14 oz and 20 inches long.  After all the waiting and worrying, the little feet that kicked me all that time and the hiccups that kept me entertained at work came with this little face.

We are all getting adjusted to our new lives together and learning as we go along.  I have already learned what an amazing husband, caretaker, and most of all father, my husband can be and we are completely in love with our little man.  

I'll be back later with our story, but for now this is what life looks like.  We aren't getting much sleep and it's hard, but this is better than any dream.