Saturday, July 14, 2012

Patrick Junior's Grand Entrance

I know a lot of people like to read other people's birth stories. Or maybe I'm the only one. If you don't like birth stories, then go ahead and skip this post! Ok, on with the story.

I had been getting weekly membrane sweeps since 38 weeks. We all thought I'd be having a big baby, so I was hoping for sooner rather than later. Fast forward to February 2. I was 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I had been sick for a week, and also had been in prodromal (or false) labor for a week. Slightly uncomfortable contractions every 7-10 minutes. For a WEEK. With no progress. I was GBS+ this time, so the goal was to get to the hospital with enough time to get some antibiotics. This made it tough to know when to go in, and we had 2 false alarms where we decided to go ahead and drop Abigail off with our friends and go to the hospital. But each time I was only 4cm dilated, which meant that I wasn't progressing even though my contractions would get to be 1-3 minutes apart.

Ok so I backed up a little after I fast forwarded. So February 2nd rolls around, and my contractions are starting to get closer and stronger again. I am really feeling like this is it, so around 5ish we leave for the hospital. We brought Abigail with us this time, so we didn't bother our friends for a third time in case it was another false alarm! Sure enough, I am still 4cm dilated. We ask if we can just go ahead and break my water since they had already offered that to us the second time we went in, and it seemed like that was the only thing keeping him from dilating my cervix all the way. They said they couldn't do it at that time because they were not staffed enough for an "elective induction." So we decided to go home. Again. My midwife offered me some morphine to help with the contraction pain so I could get some sleep since the pain appeared to be futile (as in, not doing any work to open my cervix.) While pretty uncomfortable, the contractions weren't unbearable at the time, so I turned down the morphine. I also didn't like the idea of taking something like that when I didn't really need it since, you know, I'm growing a person in my belly and sharing my blood with him.

On the way home, my contractions started getting a little stronger, and I was so annoyed that I was having all these contractions and no progress! I got home and bounced around a while on my exercise ball while watching Grey's Anatomy, but decided I was tired and needed these contractions to stop so I could get some sleep. I took a warm bath in hopes that relaxing would get them to stop, or at least be less strong. I always think baths are a good idea, until I get in my tub and remember how stupid it is because the water turns luke warm after like 5 minutes. Not cool. Anyway, I start not loving my bath, and I feel like my contractions might have let up a bit, so I get out and get in bed.

As soon as I laid down I got the longest, most intense contraction ever (for this labor, anyway...). Then another one. I would classify these as "fairly excruciating" because I actually had to "breathe" through them, or make noise or anything else to cope. I get out of bed and call the L&D to see if they can call in the prescription for Morphine for me. No dice, turns out Morphine is a shot, not pills. Duh, Amy. I am in so much pain I can barely talk so while the girl on the phone was talking to me, I just blurted out "I'm just going to come in" and hung up. I was a little hesitant to go out of our room and tell Patrick we needed to go BACK to the hospital after just coming from there, but I was really hurting so I figured something had to be going on. My contractions were coming one on top of the other, so I just barely managed to load myself into the car while Patrick got Abigail out of bed and buckled in her carseat. Patrick asked me to call our friends who were watching Abigail and let them know we were coming. I said no way, Jose...So he had to call them as we were leaving.

We pulled up at their house after like 15 or 20 minutes. I am just writhing in the front seat of the car. (Ever tried going through transition in the front seat of a car? Not fun) Patrick ran Abigail, still buckled in her carseat (!) to our friend's front porch. Lindsey met him out there and grabbed her overnight bag and we were back on the road.

After another 15 or 20 minutes, we pull up at the Emergency Room. Now, let me take a minute to explain the procedure for when you're in labor with my hospital. You are supposed to enter through the ER. You fill out some paperwork at the first window, then someone takes you back into a hallway and you fill out some more paperwork in a little room, then wait for someone from L&D to come down and get you. L&D is on the 14th floor. (It's really the 13th, but there is no "13" on the elevator buttons) So this is why I came in through the ER. Back to the story...

We park illegally right in front of the entrance. I couldn't even move and had to wait for my contraction to end before I could get out of the car. I finally managed to climb out of my seemingly enormous, gargantuan, Mt. Everest-sized vehicle (really just an Expedition) and waddle my way into the first window at the ER. I tell the girl I am about to have a baby. I am very clearly in extreme pain. She says OK let me just ask you a few questions, and I say no that's ok I need to go up to L&D, we can do the paperwork later. Then she says "hehe, I'm afraid that's not how it works :-)" (smiley face added to indicate her silly, cheery tone while saying this to a laboring woman who is in so much pain that she has dropped to her hands and knees in a nasty inner city ER) My poor husband answered all her questions for me while someone else came out with a wheelchair to wheel me into the next paperwork prison. The wheelchair felt terrible so I walked/crawled/hitched a ride on Patrick to make my way down the hall to fill out more papers.

Once we get to that room, I hit the floor again. This time I feel some stuff going on down there, and I yell out "I'M PUSHING!" Someone runs at me with a wheelchair, and I try to sit down, but I could feel the baby's HEAD so I jumped right back up and freaked out. Patrick was right in front of me and when I jumped up, I flung my arms around his neck and pretty much started climbing him like a tree. I felt like I was trying to climb away from the baby's head. I'm not sure what I thought that would accomplish, but it just happened.

Next, they brought me a gurney since the wheelchair was a no-go. Someone asked me if I wanted to go up to L&D, or if I had time to make it up there, or something like that. I said NO! So they wheeled my gurney into some room and pulled the curtain shut after like a hundred people came in the room. I was group B strep positive this time around, which means you need to have antibiotics during labor, preferably for four hours prior to giving birth. I told the nurses this so they would know that I hadn't been able to get the medicine, and they put the heplock in my hand anyway to start administering it. Turns out having a baby is a great way to distract from the pain of getting a needle stuck in your hand, because I didn't feel a thing. I was too busy using every ounce of strength I could muster to fight through the pain of a contraction and lift my butt off the gurney so they could remove my sweatpants.

Two pushes later, Patrick Jr's head was out. (That's right, I was about 2 minutes from having a baby in my pants.) His head was out and my water STILL had not broken! My midwife later told me that my "bag of waters" was one of the strongest she's ever seen. It finally broke when I pushed again to get the rest of his body out. It exploded everywhere, and was really gross. And he pooped right as the water exploded, so there was just this huge mess of baby funk everywhere. But anyway, he was out and it was such a relief to not be pregnant! They handed him to me, and I hiked up my {Patrick's} sweatshirt to feed him a little while all the people were running around cleaning and doing whatever else they needed to do.

Everyone was like "He's SO big!" and "Oh he has red hair!" They did his apgars and he got a 9 and a 10! It is really rare to get a 10, even for full term healthy babies, my little man is such a champ at life! After all that, they wheeled us up to the maternity floor where you stay after you've had your baby. I got all stitched up, and they weighed Little Patrick and confirmed that he was indeed a huge baby. 9lb 11.5oz and 21inches long. Then they got all concerned about him being "macrosomic" (which just means "big" or larger than 4000grams to be exact. I don't know how many pounds that is, feel free to do the math if you're curious) and started throwing around words like "diabetes." I was not diabetic during my pregnancy, so I wasn't very worried about it. They did a blood test to make sure he didn't have high blood sugar, and it turned out his blood sugar was actually too low. So then they are like, "we will have to test his sugar every 4 hours for a while to make sure it stabilizes, and if it doesn't, he will have to have some formula." I just continued to feed him whenever he wanted to eat, and his blood sugar continued to be completely normal for every test after that first one.

We ended up having to stay in the hospital until Saturday afternoon (I gave birth Thursday night) due to his blood sugar and GBS+ issues. But he was perfectly healthy. My giant perfectly healthy baby boy! Patrick had gone to pick up Abigail from our friends' house on Friday and hung out with her at home for a while before bringing her to meet her Bubba. It was love at first sight for her, and she has loved her Bubba ever since! We think he's pretty cool, too.


  1. It makes me sad reading this, knowing I'll never go through this again. Giving birth was, without a doubt, the highlight of my life. I'm glad I at least get to live it again through you.

  2. Just in case anyone who doesn't know me reads this and thinks the above comment is rude, it's just my baby daddy. He was there, and it WAS pretty gross. No harm, no foul.