Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Birth Story-Part 3

(note: there are probably still spelling and grammar errors galore. I want this to be perfect, but still need time to read and re-read it. I know I will remember more details as I do so, and will add/change/fix as I do so. I want to post this now, because I don't won't to forget to do it!)

As soon as I was admitted to labor and delivery, I was given a room. I put on the hospital gown and climbed into bed. An intern came in and asked if he could ask me a few questions. My husband and I had been working our way through the seasons of Greys Anatomy on Netflix and all I could think about was that show. The intern was one that you would almost expect to find as one of the characters; He was young, eager, and had no clue what he was doing. If I had to use a character from the show to describe him, he would have totally been a "George". I walked him through my high blood pressure and why they wanted to induce me that day. We finished up with the questions he had for me. Not long after the intern left the room, my husband arrived.

Shortly after my husband joined is, a resident doctor and a nurse entered. I answered more questions, most of which were similar to the ones I had answered for the intern. The resident then went on to talk about how the induction would work. She told me they would give me Cytotec. I quickly told her I would not consent to the using that drug. This drug is often used to ripen a woman's cervix, but is not intended (nor FDA approved) for that purpose. She asked me why and I explained that I wanted to use Cervidil, since that is approved for that specific use. The resident frowned, and said she was going to talk to my doctor and would be right back.

I am sure that this resident was not used to being told no. If this all was out of an episode of "Greys", she would definatly have been a Christina. She came back into the room a few minutes later, pulled up a stool and started to explain why I should use the drug she suggested. Here is how the conversation went:

The Christina-"So the drug you want costs like $800 dollars and the one we suggest you use costs pennies."

Me- "Well, our insurance covers all but ten percent so that isn't an issue..."

The Christina-"We only usually use the (cervidil) for high risk patients because it can be removed if there are any complications.

Me- (thinking...."and why would being able to remove it if there were complications be a bad thing?!"

The Christina- "Also, the drug you use doesn't work."

Me- (thinking...."Then why is it on the market still??") "I want to use the (cervidil) and do not consent to the (cytotec).

The Christina- Huffs and stomps out of the room. (ok so that didn't happen, but I think she wanted to)

I instantly went on-line and researched successful inductions using (cervidil). The first story I pulled up was from a pregnancy forum I frequented. The women told her birth story, mentioning that she was induced using (cervidil) and her body began laboring. She didn't even need Pitocin, which is usually needed after the cervix ripping medicine is finished. Many women say Pitocin causes the most intense contractions that come on so frequently. I decided I wouldn't be needing Pitocin, and that the (cervidil) would be all I needed.

The "Christina" returned a little while later to do a quick check to see my current dilation. I braced myself, worried that she would intentionally make it painful,since I ignored her fantastic reasons for using her drug of choice. She didn't put me through any unnecessary roughness, thank God. She then inserted the (cervidl) and told me her shift was done and the next resident would be in soon to introduce herself. I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that I wouldn't have to deal with her anymore that evening.

The insertion of the (cervidil) marked the beginning of a 12 hour wait, which was the max time frame to keep it in. We said goodbye to my mom for the evening and my husband didn't last long before falling asleep. I played around on my iPad, texted back a friend (and didn't mention the induction at all...I didn't really want anyone knowing, it was just easier that way), and sat there bored out of my mind. A few hours in, contractions really started to kick in. I toyed with the idea of using my Hypnobabies techniques, but honestly didn't feel in the mood to use it. I kept getting up to go to the bathroom, mostly just to have an excuse to walk around. The nurse on duty freaked out ever time I left the bed, stating that the babies heart rate was hard to read. I kept my mouth shut, knowing that the monitor belts lose the heart rate with even the slightest movement; I figured I would pick my battles.

(I was introduced to my resident doctor for the evening. She totally fit the character profile for another "Greys Anatomy" character, Lizzy. She was a sweet and upbeat girl who defiantly had a better bedside manner than the resident I had encountered earlier.)

As the evening turned into early morning, the monitors showed a dip in my sons heartbeat each time I laid in any position, other than my right side. The resident said I had the option of staying on my right side, or we could take out the (cervidil). I wanted to give the (Cervidil) as much time as possible to work, as I was wanting to avoid Pitocin, and opted to stay on my left side.

Having to stay in one position made the contractions less comfortable and I was exhausted. I paged the nurse in to ask what pain management options I had. I was only at about 3 cm and felt like I would move quicker if I could get some sleep. I decided to use (Stadol) because it was a non-narcotic, just took the edge off and didn't last too long. I fell asleep quickly after the drug was put into my IV, but woke up not even an hour later and was in intense pain. Then (Stadol) should have still been providing some relief and I knew if I was in that much pain, I must be in transition. I had Phil page the nurse. I don't remember if she came in, but do remember "Lizzy" coming in. I told her this had to be transition. She told me that she had just checked me about an hour ago, and that it was still too early to be transition. After she left the room, I told my husband that if it wasn't transition, I didn't want to face transition and may want an Epidural. The contractions were painful, but I could deal with the pain; I couldn't imagine dealing with more painful ones so well though.

"Lizzy" returned not long after our conversation and said she wanted to check me to see how far I was dilated. She was surprised to see that I had actually, in fact, in transition. She left to call my OB to tell her that she should make her way to the hospital. I don't remember how long between the time she left the room and when she visited again, but she came by to tell me that her shift was over and the new resident should be in soon. She had her coat on, but had come in to see how I was doing. "Lizzy" checked me (or had someone else check me, I can't remember), because I told her I felt like I had to push.

Sure enough, I had fully dilated since she had been in my room last. I know she reappeared in her scrubs, obviously ready to help deliver a baby. I was told that my OB was on her way. I had a nurse standing next to me, holding the monitor on to keep it in place to continue reading my sons vitals. At this point, I was LOUD. With each contraction, I moaned a low pitched, rumbling sound. My husband later described it as the sound a Ferrari makes. I am sure I scared the crap out of every mom in hearing distance; there is no way they could have not heard my moans and I imagine they thought I was in immense pain. The funny thing is, I wasn't in any pain. The contractions felt like a lot of pressure, but I felt no pain after my body was through the transition stage. I was so surprise that I wasn't in any pain at this point and apologizing to the nurse beside me, that it didn't hurt at all, but that I felt like it would hurt if I tried to hold the sound in.

With every contraction, I felt "pushy" and my body bared down involuntarily each time. I told the nurse that I felt like I couldn't stop myself from pushing. I remember someone telling me not o push, and that the doctor was almost there. At this point, the activity in the room was energetic and fast paced. Nurses ran to and for through the room, preparing everything for my delivery. When my doctor finally arrived, she was in workout style clothing, obviously having jumped into her car right away after recieving the residents call. She cleaned up, threw on scrubs and everyone took their places, ready for the big event. The resident broke my water since it hadn't broken own it's own, even though I was fully dilated.

My doctor and "Lizzy" were at the end of the bed. I was asked to scoot down to the stirrups so I could push. I asked my OB if I could push while laying on my side; I was comfortable in that position, and knew it was a more ideal one than the standard delivery position. She agreed to it without any hesitation.

When I went to push for the first time, I started to do my loud moan again. My OB told me to hold the sound in to help focus that energy down to push my son out. Each time I was told to push, a nurse standing to the right of me would count to ten. There were a few occasions where I would want to stop at the count of 8, but would push through the extra few counts. Most of the time though, I felt like I wasn't done pushing when the nursed reached 10. I remember raising my left hand, signling a circular motion to say that I was going to keep going. I was so proud of my husband at this point (he was great throughout the entire delivery, he read my signals so well the entire time!) because he realized what I was gesturing and told them that I wasn't done pushing yet. I had learned about mom-directed pushing during my Hypnobabies class and was going to trust my body when it told me what to do. At one point, "Lizzy" was prepared to perform an episiotomy. My OB told her I wouldn't need one, since I was able to control my pushes. Not having an epidural and directing my own pushes most of the time, helped me avoid an episiotomy or any serious tear. I was really fortunate that my son was small, and pushing him out didn't hurt at all.

I didn't have to push more than 5 times before I felt the pressure instantly vanish. My son was born. My husband kissed me hard on the mouth and with tears in his eyes, he told me that he loved me. The doctor handed my husband the scissors so he could clip the cord, and then my baby was whisked away. I told the doctor that I had wanted skin to skin. She told me there was a concern with mismatched blood types, since I was OB positive and they wanted to check him out. She promised they would hand him right back to me.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I loved all of my OBs. All of the doctors in the practice are great, especially the one that delivered my son. She just naturally did a lot of the stuff we wanted to do. Along with making sure I avoided an episiotomy, she also told the resident that she liked to allow the moms to birth the placenta. This is something I wanted to do, as opposed to how some doctors push HARD on the stomach to force it out, which is apparently very painful. We sat for a minute and the placenta popped out on its own. I can't even remember exactly what it looked like, but I recall being in awe of it. It is what kept my son alive inside of me and was beautiful in a weird kind of way.

Once the placenta was out, the resident and OB set up to stich up the one small tear that I did have. As soon as they were ready to get started, the nurses were ready to hand my son to me told hold. I was about to take him when I paused and asked them to give them to my husband to hold first. I wanted to enjoy my first time holding him, and not be concerned with getting stitched up. My OB told me that they could numb the area, but she found that the adrenaline usually keeps moms from feeling any pain with the stitches. I told her I didn't need to be numbed and was happy to find out that I indeed did not feel any pain as they put in the stitches. As the resident stitched me up, I glanced over at my husband as he held our son for the first time. I was grateful yet again for something that was said during my Hypnobabies class. Our instructor had suggested that dad get skin to skin contact time with the baby too and told us how important that time is for daddy and baby bonding. If I had never been told that, I probably would have taken my son into my arms right away, without giving any thought about my husband holding him. I love giving him that chance to be the first one to hold him, and as I looked over at him from across the room, I don't think I had ever seen him happier.

This is when things seemed to blur together a bit more. I remember holding my son, skin to skin, and trying to see if he would latch on. I remember loving him instantly. I was on such an adrenaline high, that I really don't recall every moment or feeling during this time. I remember my husband seeing a missed call from my mom and he called her to tell her that her first grandson was here. Although she was staying at our house, which was about 30 minutes away, she seemed to appear in the room with us within just a few minutes. I loved seeing the look of excitement and love on her face as she held him for the first time.

As she and my husband took turns holding the baby, a nurse came in to help me to the bathroom to get cleaned up a bit so I could be moved to the maternity floor. It was so awesome to be able to get up right away and walk. I was sore, but it didn't feel any worse than my body would after a long workout. After I was finished in the bathroom, we had a few minutes to gather up our things and admire the baby. When the escort and a nurse showed up, I sat down in the wheelchair and my son was placed into the hospital bassinet. We where wheeled to the maternity section and our life with our first baby began.

I will post soon about the rest of our hospital stay, which was also a great experience. I will finish this post by saying that I would have loved to see the look on resident "Christina's" face when she learned that not only did the (cervidil) work to ripen my cervix, but it also spurred my labor and I avoided the use of Pitocin. My doctor had also been surprised that (cervidil) had worked so well. I like to think that maybe I paved the way a bit for the next mom who says she does not consent to (cytotec) because they had some proof that it works just fine.

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