Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Birth Stories #1 and #2

Sooo, we're edging on up on baby-getting time, and I keep rehashing and rehashing my last pregnancy and delivery and trying to anticipate what this next adventure will be like. I was telling Dax's nurse today how I don't think I'll ever be ready for Ty to come, only because I'll always feel like he needs just one more day to marinate... One more day to grow stronger lungs, and a stronger heart, and a tougher noggin. In theory I know he's ready now, but I'm not. I guess no one ever is.

So, of course, if I have a few little contractions back to back, I freak out a little. When I went into labor before it was nowhere near "textbook," so I have nothing "normal" to compare this to... Last time, my cervix was open and there was a baby coming out of it before I had a contraction that hurt, and the day I had Daxton I didn't have any contractions to speak of... So, let's just say I'm not sure what to expect this time around...

So, as I said, I've been thinking a lot about last time and wanted to share a little about it... Get down Birth Stories #1 and #2 before #3 comes along and I don't have time to type, think, or bathe :)

(BTW-these are the details as we remember them... Some of this is a little blurred together!)

So you can read my first blog entry and get the gist of Aubrie's and Dax's births, but there are parts of their births that stand out more than others, and that's what I want to share today...

Like, to start with, my plan of how I was going to deliver... Sheet over the knees, Shep at my head, doctor and nurse to deliver, very private and sanitary.

Shyeah, right.

When we got to the first hospital, a doctor, several nurses, and two paramedics took turns checking out the situation. We get to hospital number two, and we go through a few more nurses and a doctor or two... And then Aubrie wiggled and danced and bounced her way down a bit in her tiny sac of fluid and hung out for a while with her feet and legs hanging out for the world to see... And, by the time she was born, I felt like most of the world had seen... Hell, I didn't care... The number of people who looked at my hoo-haa was not my primary concern... And it's not everyday you have a tiny little miracle hanging out of your vagina.

When my water broke the family rushed out, and the cavalry rushed in... I swear there were at least 15 people in there, and then there was poor Shep who, as you remember, was supposed to be holding my hand and seeing only a sheet (per my preference and his own)... And he's now pulling my right knee to my head and is right there in the middle of the warzone... Oh well, he's a hunter... If you can gut a deer you can watch a birth, right?

Fast-forward... We lose Aubrie and do our best to cope with that and do everything possible to keep Dax in place...

(As a side note, the day we lost Aubrie, my dad and mom were just outside my hometown when my dad had a grand mal seizure and ended up hospitalized in an ICU 5 hours away from Nashville. Dad was paranoid and delusional and the doctors couldn't figure out what exactly had happened... So as worried as I was about him, I have to admit my phone calls with my mom were my comic relief those first few days... She'd call and tell me stories about him cutting himself out of his restraints and running through the hospital in his gown with his behind hanging out so he could get away before the "body snatchers" got there... Or about him digging through the linen carts to find the preacher... If you know my dad you'd have to laugh, too. Thankfully he was okay, and able to come home after a week and was back to "normal"... Thankfully minus the body snatchers or the kidnapped preachers. )

Meanwhile Shep and I continued our own hospital stay with lots of meds and strict upside-down bedrest.

For those of you who aren't well-educated in bedrest, let me explain. Bedrest can range from "pre-baby vacation, or faux bedrest," which is what I now consider myself to be on, to strict upside-down bedrest, which is what I was on then. (Currently I have to lie on the couch on my side as much as possible, but I can be up and about and around... No biggie. Like I said, vacation.)

After Aubrie was born, I was placed on my side on an inverted plane with my feet higher than my head. 24 hours a day. I peed in a bag and, when I couldn't not poop anymore... Well, you do what you have to do to keep your baby alive, even when it's mortifying. (FYI, if you're ever in a similar position, Ambien works wonders! It'll make you *almost* drunk enough to not care!)

I got bedbaths from some wonderful ladies who made it easy to relax, but I couldn't have my hair washed because turning and leaning my head back made my nauseous, compliments of lying upside down and the max dose of mag sulfate...

Oh, the mag :) Wonderful stuff. Makes you feel like crap, but it will keep a baby in there. It makes you really hot, so I had the thermostat as low as it would go and a fan on me at all times, and I was still hot. My visitors had to wear jackets.

I had the most wonderful staff taking care of me, and friends, family, and even strangers came out of the woodwork. The phone calls and goody baskets and flowers and cards and prayers... Well, I've resigned that I'll never finish all the thank you cards, but I will never, ever stop being thankful. The generosity and love that were shown was absolutely amazing!

After a week I was able to lie flat, and even incline my head a little to eat. They had to add on a few more drugs to stop contractions, and I was on three antibiotics if I remember correctly because my CRP (sign of inflammation) kept flying all over the place. But, it was mostly smooth sailing after that:)

Oh, until I went into labor again and had Dax.

So, about that. I spent that Thursday in labor all day, but then the contractions stopped and I felt awesome. The best I had felt since I had been in the hospital. Dax was in there to stay, and we were in it for the long haul, and he was going to be a 10-lb baby and everything would be fine. Then I had an ultrasound and they discovered he was head-down, coming out, and we were having a baby right then. So much for mother's intuition.

Shep had gone to work that day, so I called him and told him to hit the road... The nurse had me call him 2x before he got there to see how much longer which I'm sure made his trip less stressful :)

I was okay, and Dax was not in distress, so waiting was okay. Apparently the doctor went to grab a bite to eat since he knew he had a few minutes. Meanwhile, the NICU had been called and told to high-tail it downstairs for a 23-weeker, and said they knew they were in for a strange delivery when they got to the "stat" 23-weeker and the OB had gone to get a sandwich.

So Shep gets there, and as soon as he arrives everyone runs in, and, by "everyone," I think I may mean that literally. We had the delivery team and the NICU team, and I'm pretty sure every other available staff from the hospital. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but Shep and I seriously remember the back wall, i.e., the direction my vagina was pointed, as being three-deep with spectators. We started charging admission to pay for our deductible. (Never saw a dime of it, though!)

And Shep resumed his post as the holder of my right leg with a front-row seat... Poor guy!

And then my water broke. Or exploded. Luckily there was a doctor and a nurse there to keep it from splattering all over the wall and making a really big mess. (Whoops!) Amniotic fluid is supposed to be good for the skin, right?

So I start pushing. No contractions, I just push. And push. And push. Very different from Aubrie, who, after 18 hours of labor, almost fell into the doctor's hands with just a few pushes... With Dax I keep pushing and pushing and it seems like nothing is happening... And then the doctor tells us he sees the head. Yay! Progress! I push some more, and then Shep and I see what appears to be every head in the cheering section cock to the side and a look of confusion come over everyone's faces... And the OB looks at the nurse and shrugs and says, "I don't know what he's doing."


Oh, and meanwhile, I had several OB professionals telling me when to push and when to breathe. Shep also felt the need to chime in, and apparently I felt he was not knowledgeable enough to tell me when to do anything and told him as much. He remained very quiet the rest of the delivery... And to this day swears he will not utter the word "push" when I delivery Ty.

At any rate, out comes the knife and the doc starts cutting, and I'm a little confused as to why I would need an episiotomy with a 1-lb baby, but, hey, it was not the time for asking questions. After the cut I'm able to push more effectively and Dax comes out fairly quickly after that, if I remember correctly... The NICU folks get him intubated and gone, and the doctor and nurse explain to me that what had originally appeared to be the head was actually a shoulder, then an armpit, and Dax was actually eventually born folded up like a taco, butt-first, and flipped into the doctor's hands for his dismount. Apparently that's not the normal way for babies to be born, but I think it's a pretty fitting way for Dax to make his entrance.

After his birth it was discovered my uterus was filled with blood clots, and that was likely the cause for my bloodwork to always show signs of inflammation, and that had been the reason I was unable to get a cerclage to close my cervix. The nurse tries to massage out the blood clots, but the doctor ends up yanking the giblets out of the turkey the old-fashioned way, if you get my drift. (If you ever get a chance to experience that, pass on it. And if your husband ever gets a chance to watch it happen, pass on that, too!) Finally they sew me up, and we wait for time to pass for us to go up and see our little monkey in the NICU...

As we're waiting, Shep climbs into the bed with me and he hugs me and looks me in the eye and says...

Are you ready for this?

"I'm ready to try again."

I swear, if the doctor had left the scalpel near the bed, Shep would not be around to explain that comment. Luckily, it wasn't, and he is, and I now understand what he was saying and we can laugh about it. For future reference, however, if there are any men reading this blog, and you're ever in similar circumstances, DON'T EVER, EVER SAY THAT!

So those are the moments I remember the most from births 1 and 2... The good, the bad, and the ugly.

And that's why I have absolutely no idea what to expect with this big fat monster baby.

And I can't wait to see what's in store with Birth Story #3. Except that I CAN wait! At least one more day...


ski said...

Oh Molly....SO many memories! The one that brings back the MOST fear, MAG!! Oh I just DO NOT wish that on my worst enemy. Though, you're right, if it works, bring it on. I slept with a glove full of ice on my IV site!!

I also remember the fear of having the next baby. Knowing how BAD it all can be and not knowing what to expect when its going "normal." I wish you all the best luck. Try your best to relax and enjoy every second of your remaining weeks of pregnancy. May your labor and delivery be as pleasant as possible.

Jennifer said...

I can't wait to hear the birth story for Ty. I'm happy I got to hear about your twins. I wondered what the story was. And I am pissed that I wasn't given the option to hold onto Brady for a longer period of time. I got ZERO options. I'm so glad you were able to hang on another week. It was the difference between life and death.

Here's to 10 more weeks!

Tiff-E said...

Molly, your birth stories brought back memories of my own. My twin, Luke, that I lost had his head and his water sac bulging out when they first checked me and found out I was already 4cm. I went from 4cm to 8cm in under 45 minutes and delivered both of them quite quickly at 23weeks,4days.I'm so happy for you that this pregnancy is going good!!! My husband and I are trying to conceive again and your story helps keep me positive about another pregnancy. Love reading your witty blogs!