Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thompson's Birth Story

It’s only taken me 3 weeks to get my act together, but I finally set aside some time to write Thompson’s birth story.  These first three weeks with him have been nothing short of amazing, but we have been busy busy busy.

In the days leading up to Thompson’s birthday I was growing more and more impatient.  At about 37 weeks, I was ready to have this baby, so every day past my due date was excruciating.   I had a really good pregnancy, and really enjoyed being pregnant for the first 8 months, but at the end I just got so impatient to meet our little guy.  For the last three weeks I was doing anything and everything to induce labor.   And still, nada. 

The evening of May 30th, at 40 weeks and 3 days, I started feeling some contractions that felt different than the Braxton Hicks contractions I’d been having.  Each contraction lasted about a minute and they were spaced five minutes apart.   They were intense, but not necessarily painful.  I sent T to bed around 8 PM that night just in case this was the real deal, and waited up for a few hours to see how they progressed.  Very little progress happened within the next couple of hours, so I went to bed knowing that if I truly did start active labor in the middle of the night, I’d wake up. 

Around 3 AM I woke up with much more painful contractions.   Well, at that point what I though was painful.  They were hard to talk through and hard to breathe through.  I waited until 5 AM to wake T, wished him a happy 30th birthday, and told him that I was in labor.  We showered, got dressed, and left the house at 6 AM stopping at Bojangles on the way to get some food in my belly.  I had been warned that once I was admitted I wouldn’t be able to eat, so I made it a priority to get some food before we got there.

Once we were at the hospital we went to triage where they checked my dilation progress.  I was convinced I must have been at least 4 cm by the discomfort I was in, but I turned out being a whopping .5 cm.   Are you kidding me?!? I was so disappointed, but we then talked about options with the doctor.  Typically, at a .5, they’d send you home, but since I was already 4 days past my due date they gave me the option of admitting me and inducing labor.  I was a little apprehensive about being induced, I really wanted to go into labor naturally, but something seemed so serendipitous about having our baby on T’s birthday.  That would mean they would share a name and a birthday. 

To help speed things along, they gave me my first dose of Cytotec in hopes to induce labor.  Apparently the pill can be taken up 6 times to bring on labor, but after one pill my water had broken, and I was writhing in pain begging for relief.  They gave me a dose of morphine, which ended up doing nothing.  The doctor checked me again and I had only progressed to 1 cm within the last couple of hours.  I remember screaming out “one?!?” to him in the most exasperated voice.   By this point my contractions had escalated to probably a 9 on the pain scale.  Either I’m a huge wimp, or that Cytotec sent my body into complete labor overdrive.   With each contraction I was screaming, burying my head in the pillow, and grabbing the sides of the hospital bed with all of my strength.  I'm sure it was quite a dramatic sight to see. The next time the doctor came in to check on me I heard him utter the most beautiful word I’d heard that day, “epidural”.  Even though I was only 1 cm, I would be able go to ahead and get an epidural, so one was ordered.  An hour later I was spinal tapped and singing sweet relief as the pain just suddenly went away.  I really don’t know how women have natural births, they are truly superhuman.

After that the rest of my labor went so smoothly.  Several hours later, at around 8 PM I had progressed to 7-8 cm just on that one dose of Cytotec, but wasn’t making any more progress.  I had also developed a low grade fever, and they noticed some dips in the baby’s heartbeat.  Because of these two factors, they figured I had developed chorioamnionitis, an infection in the amniotic sac.  Because of this, they wanted the baby to be born sooner than later, so we discussed our options.  I was given Pitocin to help progress to the full 10 cm, but also advised that there was a strong possibility that I’d need a C-Section. 

Thankfully an hour or so later after three doses of Pitocin and sitting with my legs wedged on a yoga ball shaped like a peanut, I was 10 cm and ready to push.  I was really nervous about the whole pushing part, I was scared the process would take hours and hours and terrified that my epidural wouldn’t block out all of my pain.  We started playing Sam Cooke radio on Pandora in hopes that it would calm my nerves.  It was amazing how having background music totally lightened the mood.  In between contractions we were singing along to the songs.  After 30 minutes of pushing, baby Thompson entered this world at 10:51 PM on his Daddy’s birthday, as  “This Magic Moment” by the Drifters was playing.  That song will now forever be so special to me.  He was immediately placed on my chest,  and T and I just couldn’t take our eyes off of him.  He was perfect in every way, and from that moment our hearts were stolen by this little guy.   

We are so in love with our son, I just stare at him in awe that I gave birth to him and that he lived inside of me for 10 months.  It’s just the craziest thing to think about.   He’s been a great newborn, too.  The first two nights were definitely tough, as Thompson was adjusting to life on the outside, and T I were trying to figure out what the heck we were doing.  But, it seems that it gets easier for all of us as each week goes by. 

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