Thursday, September 19, 2013

Laboring Through the Night

Continued from Owen's Birth Story: Part II

Once I was admitted around 8PM on Friday, September 13th, AJ looked at the clock and made a comment how Owen had 4 hours to wait until he could be born, ya know, so he was a Friday the 13th baby.  I was fine either way since I now knew the labor was real and could relax and wait on the wonderful moment when Aidan would choose his debut.

My throat was parched, so I munched on ice chips, talked with my dad and AJ, and breathed through my contractions. Apparently my contractions slowed to 6 minutes apart, but as long as the contractions continued along with dilation, then everything was good. Shortly after midnight, the nurse was going to check me, but she needed me to lay back, and when I did the fetal monitor stopped working.  The monitor's alarm kept beeping as the nurse tried to reposition the monitor.  The head nurse came in to find out what was going on.  She decided she would check me - she must not have read the board to see that I wasn't on any pain meds.  She was not gentle when she checked me, and her check hurt worse than any of the contractions!  Ya know, when my doc checks me, it is quite the uncomfortable feeling because my doc is a man, therefore his hand are bigger.  I was prepared for my doctor's check...I was not prepared for the head nurse's check - glad it was the first and last time she checked me!  Anyway, she stated I was a strong 5 cm, but she emphasized I was between a 5 and 6.  Thus, I had dilated at least one centimeter since being admitted.  This could be a long labor - 1 cm every 4 hours meant 20 hours left! But I knew the contractions would eventually pick up.

I was breathing and relaxing through each contraction - I was imagining my happy place and focusing on the contraction.  I felt I was managing well, and while there was pain, as long as I was breathing and able to relax my mind, I was fine.  However, Around 1:15 AM, I began to feel the pain of the contractions in my quads.  I knew the feeling - I had it with Aidan, and I knew the pain would move down and cause tense Charley horses in my calves.  Since the anesthesiologist was on call and at least 25 minutes away, I told the nurse I thought we should get him here. As the time passed, I suddenly had the urge to go...go #2.  Since I was sitting up, I thought maybe it's a just a feeling as a result from the contractions.  So as I was second guessing what my body wanted to do, I kept thinking, what if I go while pushing? With that lingering thought, I asked the nurse to help me get out of the bed so I could go to the bathroom.  While in the bathroom, I had several contractions, and I thought I was in the safe zone when I stood up. Nope. Thank goodness for the toilet being behind me because the contraction and sciatic pain hit me hard and my legs gave out.  I fell backwards.  As soon as the contraction passed, I hurried up to wash my hands and return to the hospital bed so I didn't fall and hurt myself or Owen.

Around 2 AM, the epidural was in place and the pain quickly faded away.  At this point I was 7 cm and my membranes were bulging according to the nurse. I asked AJ to brush my hair and pull it back because I figured I would get sweaty and would want my hair of my neck.  After AJ helped me, I took the opportunity to take a nap while I could - I slept until 3:30  amI thought the feeling was coming back in my toes...then sure enough I felt the Charley horses in my calves and soon the pain returned all over.  The nurse notified the anesthesiologist so he could redose the epidural.  Again, he was on call so he had to come from his house to administer the dose.  I received the second dose around 4 AM, and I was nearly 10 cm dilated.  I tried to sleep, but I was in and out.  Around 5AM, I was told that  Owen was at station 0 and there only a little remaining cervix, so again, near 10 cm dilated.

At 6AM, the epidural appeared to be wearing off, however, the doctor had arrived, and the nurse thought he would be delivering Owen soon.  If Owen was being delivered soon, the epidural could not be redosed.  However, another woman had come in shortly before the doctor arrived and appeared to be crowning so the doctor had to attend to her first.  The nurse attempted to get the doctor to break my water before making the other delivery, however, there wasn't time.  So once this information was known, probably around 6:30, the anesthesiologist was called.  However, during that time between 6am and re administering the epidural around 7 am, I experienced the worse pain imaginable.

OA on right, OP on left
You see, when the nurse checked Owen at shortly before 6am, she thought he might be OP.  OP is occiput posterior.  This meant that Owen's back was against my back, and you need the baby to present anterior.  According to Spinning Babies, "A posterior presentation aims the top of the head into the pelvis, like an oblong, rather than the circle of the crown."

Owen apparently decided that when the epidural wore off and shortly before birth that he would turn to present to anterior to make delivery easier.  However, he made labor excruciating painful.  The only way to offset the pain of Owen hitting my back and trying to turn was to have AJ put all the force behind his fist and press into my lower back.  In the mean time, I was trying to breath and relax through the contractions, which was not made easy by the sciatic nerve being pressed on simultaneously.  Previously, I was breathing, closing my eyes, and focusing on happy thoughts to manage the contractions.  This pain wasn't subdued by efforts - no, I had to grab the side of the hospital bed, breath loudly, and then shouting and grunting.  Yup, I was one of those screaming women because there was no other way I could manage.  I had to let the pain escape through my mouth.  At this point, the contractions were coming two minutes apart and lasting one minute to a one and half minutes.  I thought the contractions would never stop. 

The nurse kept taking my temperature, my heart rate, and blood pressure.  She became concerned when I was 99 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and started applying cold, wet cloths to my body.  I admit I would have felt better if she had stripped my hospital gown off and poured buckets of ice chips all over me.  I swear I asked for this, but maybe it was a mental thought while the only noise that came out with another scream.  I was pouring sweat, screaming, and every time I heard footsteps, asking if it was Butch.  Butch was the anesthesiologist.  Then I heard he's here. Relief I thought...nope, he was the doctor.  He came in to check on me.  He was even bold enough to grab my hand and tell me that I was doing a good job.  Doesn't he know I will squeeze his hand and possibly break it at this point?!

I'm not sure if the doctor broke my water or whether it broke on it's own.  There's a lot that probably happened in the hour it took to receive another dose of the epidural, but most of it's a blur.  All I remember is clinging to the bed rail, screaming, and redirecting AJ's fists in my back.  I also thought that there's no way I will have the energy to push if I have to continue to fight off this pain.

Finally!At 7 am Butch showed up, and I know I was in a lot of pain, beyond a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, hah!  But when I saw Butch I smiled, I probably laughed a little.  Butch was wearing an orange shirt under his scrubs, which made me like him even more.  The epidural set in, and I finally stopped feeling the pain.  I could feel pressure in the pelvic area, but not pain.  The nurse believes this pressure was from Owen having turned to the anterior position, and when she checked me, she said I was definitely at 10 cm.  However, the doctor elected to let me rest, especially since it was a shift change.  I clung to the side of the bed rail for the next 45 minutes, while the nurses applied cold cloths to me and fed me ice.  I dozed periodically, and finally, I was woken at 7:45 am.  The nurse who checked me said Owen had dropped even farther and could easily see and feel Owen's head.  She said it was time to push, but before she asked the doctor to come in, she asked me to give one easy push.  She confirmed that Owen was ready, then began setting up the bed for delivery.

The doctor came in and we were set to deliver.  The nurse and AJ lifted my leg into place; AJ stated that he could see Owen's head already.  So I took a deep breath and pushed, then another deep breath and pushed. Owen's head was out, and the doctor remarked that Owen had really broad shoulders. Greaaaat.  I took another breath and sortof pushed, and Owen made his debut at 8 am on the dot!  Owen decided that once his shoulders were out that he would do a flip.  The doctor had to push his chair back to react and actually catch Owen.  Aerobatic Owen, way to make your debut.  I immediately saw some chunky knees, then the nurse put Owen on my chest as AJ asked to cut the cord.  AJ and I both said we thought Owen was bigger than Aidan weight wise.

AJ brushed my hair before taking pictures
Soon the nurses took Owen to clean him up and weigh him.  The nurse confirmed our suspicions as Owen weighed in at 9 lbs 1 ounce!  The nurse gave Owen back to me as another nurse help deliver my placenta.  Then the doctor sewed up my tear, only 2nd degree this time.  My bleeding subsided quickly, and the stitches were quickly in place.  I was able to enjoy Owen and finally able to drink some water! Owen latched and nursed well.

Owen was officially 9 lb 1 oz, 21.5" and head was 13.5".  As soon as the nurse could I requested a menu because I was hungry!  But this time, I avoided the eggs and cheese in hopes of avoiding a gassy and upset baby.  Thus, I ordered french toast and sausage links, and they were delicious...

Glad to finally meet Owen
Aidan wanted to hold Owen

Here's Aidan's Birth story just for comparison.  There are many similarities, however, the end of labor and pushing differ greatly along with the immediate recovery.

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