Friday, October 16, 2009

Labor and delivery

It's been a week now since Liam was born and I'm starting to forget how hard the labor and delivery experience was so I better write this down now before Bill convinces me to get pregnant again.


2pm my belly contracts almost constantly while we are at the movies watching "Couples Retreat" with my pregnant friend Bridgette who is due 1 week after me

4pm I ask Bill to make a quick dinner just in case I am truly in labor, the contractions are coming regularly and I am experiencing back pain

6pm I take a hot bath and after getting out I think I might have peed myself

7pm uhhhh am I peeing myself or is my water breaking? We call the midwife on call and she advises us to come in to the hospital so she can examine me. I am Group B strep positive and if my water has broken they have to start antibiotics right away

8pm Bill and I run around the house panicking and doing chores. I think he even cleaned the toilets I have no idea what we were doing...

10 pm check in at emergency and I refuse to sit in case my water breaks even more on the chair... or if I pee on the chair

11pm mid wife and nurse try to determine if my water has broken and via examine BAM the water breaks in earnest. Thank goodness it wasn't pee, I would have been so embarrassed. Game on!

12 am they hook me up to a fetal heart rate monitor that shows contractions about 4 minutes apart and the baby's heart rate which looks great!

1 am they tell me to go to sleep and give me an Ambien. My contractions are not close enough to worry about me yet

2-6 am Bill puts a mattress on the floor and I lay in the nice bed but don't sleep. I'm too nervous and the contractions keep me awake. Plus the nurses monitor you every hour.

7 am contractions are feeling more intense but they are not getting closer together. They examine me and I am dilated to one (out of ten). The watch is ticking because they don't want me to stay in this state too long now that my water has broken.

9 am I can talk through contractions--I would give the pain about a 4 out of 10. But things stay the same all morning. Bill and I walk the halls to assist with labor.

12 pm they insert an IV and start Picotin, a drug that induces labor. They start me at a 2 and increases slowly up to 20 over the next 7 hours. Picotin is known to cause the pain from contractions to be more intense.

3 pm I think of the IV as a pain delivery mechanism. The pain increases to a 6 out of 10 as the afternoon wears on. A contraction feels like a deep muscle inside of you is clenching. I have to focus on breathing and try not to think about the next contraction that is coming.

6 pm contractions are not getting closer together. They attempt to insert a device up my cervix to measure the contractions inside but they cannot get the device in after 20 minutes of wrangling. I break out into a cold sweat from the pain. The midwife manages to stretch my cervix with her hand to a 3 but I am in intense pain now.

7 pm the pain sky rockets and I can no longer think straight. They examine me and determine that the baby's head is in the wrong position and that he has a hemotoma on his head from where his head has been banging into my cervix. They want me to sit on the toilet to try to weight the baby so he rotates (I was in bed prior to this). The pain is so intense that I cannot sit on the toilet, I cannot stand, I cannot lay on the bed, basically, I can no longer function.

I request on epidural because there is no end in sight to the labor since I am not progressing and I can no longer keep up with the pain. When you get an epidural you also get a catheter so I no longer have to get up to pee. Sweet!

I lose track of time after this... but the epidural is the BEST thing that has ever happened to me, at least that is how I felt at that moment. The pain vanished and I was finally able to relax.

They were able to insert the device into my cervix to monitor the contractions. They determine that my hips have not opened up and the babies head is still in a bad position for vaginal delivery.

I relax in bed and watch the monitor. I am dilated to a six now but the contractions are not progressing.


12 am the midwife brings up the possibility of a c section. My body temperature has risen close to 100 and the baby's heart rate is starting to slow. They treat the fever but there is nothing to do for the baby except get him out.

1 am I clearly state that a c section is fine with me, that the health of the baby is the most important thing and that I am not disappointed to have a c section.

1:30 am they prep me for a c section and I try not to get nervous.

2 am they wheel me into OR and put up a drape so I cannot see the procedure. All I can see is the anesthesiologist (who I love!) and my mom and Bill.

2:20 am the procedure is supposed to take 15 minutes but it is taking longer. The Dr. exclaims that I have tight muscles (I would be flattered but now is not the time).

2:30 am They can't get the baby out. They have to give me a blood transfusion due to blood loss. I can tell things are not going well so I try not to listen to what is going on. His head is wedged into my pelvis and they have to suction the baby out.

2:49 am William "Liam" Kerr Fleck Jr. is born. I see them walking the baby across the room and all I can think is WOW! That baby is huge.

Additional procedures are done on me and the baby is taken to the nursery. Bill and my mom go with him. I try to keep it together but I was pretty scared. The anesthesiologist stays with me and keeps me calm while they suction and vacuum and do all sorts of horrible sounding things to me. Eventually I am sewn up and returned to my room where I wait for Liam. I get to breast feed him when he arrives and sweet relief... my baby is alive and breathing and we are officially a family.

Baby Liam in bed with mommy who is completely done but dreaming of being a lovely future.

I have no regrets about anything that happened. A vaginal delivery was not meant to be given Liam's position. I have zero guilt about asking for an epidural, it saved me from several hours of painful hell. This was the most intense experience of my life, a day I will not forget, and hopefully not one to repeated in this way. But little of that matters now that we have Liam!


UG said...

WOW! I had no idea it was so crazy. I am overwhelmed by your story. Liam is beautiful. I hope I get to meet him soon!

Congratulations. You are now and will always be a great mom.

D said...

"I think of the IV as a pain delivery mechanism." LOL (I laughed out loud a few times actually).

Good work! I would like an epidural right now and would happily take it so DAMN RIGHTS you have zero guilt!!!

MM said...

WOW! I am so glad you are all happy and healthy. That sounds like quite an ordeal.

Amanda Whitmire said...

As always, I am inspired by your strength and your ability to take life as it comes. What a wild ride of a delivery. Yowza! So glad that you are recovering and that Liam has joined us. Can't wait to see you all!!

NoPoGirl said...

Congratulations! You did an awesome job. Epidurals sound like the devil's work pre-labor, but during labor? Hell yeah, those things are THE BOMB. My mom had 4 kids without benefit of one epidural and when she watched me relaxing with my family, watching movies, and napping during labor with the benefit of an epidural, she said she felt completely cheated. You are an awesome mom already. Nice work.

Trish said...

Congratulations. Liam is a beautiful little boy. Thanks so much for writing out your labor & delivery story!! I swam with CBATs a few times last Jan/Feb before becoming pregnant myself. Due to a difficult pregnancy and miscarriage risk, I wasn't able to go back and swim with everyone. I'm in my 40th week now (which is amazing since they didn't think i would make it to term) and have spent the weekend walking around trying to trigger labor (the weather yesterday was perfect for this)!!! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I hope I'll get a chance to meet you (and Liam) in the new year. :) trish