June 15, 2011

Samuel's Birth Story

I’ll warn you right now – if you’re about to give birth don’t read this. Still reading? Ok, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

5:00 Up and in the shower. So, so, so excited to not only meet my boy – but to finally be pain free from the unbearable hip pain. We’re soon on our way!

6:50 Let the games begin! The cervix-softening pill is inserted against my cervix. I’m 3 cm dilated and 85% effaced. Doc is full of optimism and guesses I’ll be holding Samuel by early afternoon. Since I am group b strep positive, I am on the IV every 4 hours for antibiotics throughout the day.

9:15 Water is broken. No turning back now. Cervix is nearly totally effaced, still 3 cm. I spend lots of time walking. Contractions begin immediately. I walk the perimeter of the hospital a few times and labor in the tub.

12:45 Checked by the nurse. 5 cm. Contractions are strong and I feel discouraged they aren’t progressing me faster. I’m a little impatient, but in good spirits and still in a good mood.

2:40 Checked again – 6.5 cm. Why isn’t this going faster?? Lots of laboring in the tub, the contractions are very intense and close. I’m having about 50% back labor. Ugh.

4:00 The pain is unbearable. I’m only 7.5 cm and have been working through contractions for nearly 7 hours. I need a break. I take a shot of phentonal in my IV. It makes me loopy and the contractions slightly easier for about 30, maybe 45 minutes. Then it’s back to laboring through the back labor. Lots of crying during this time.

(Times after this point are estimates)

5:30 Still 7.5. No changes. More pain. I have another dose of phentonal somewhere in here. It’s hard to know what happened when at this point because I’m screaming with pain. Back labor is the worst. “I don’t want to do this anymore,” (phrase heard in my room about 300 times after this point).

6:00 My cervix is 100% dilated on one side… still 8.5 on the other. I am defeated. I want to quit. I ask for an epidural. I’ve been in hard labor for about 4 hours with my cervix stalling. I can’t handle the pain anymore. I want an epidural, I can’t imagine dealing with this any longer.

6:30 I am told all of the anesthesiologists are in surgery. They cannot come. I cannot have an epidural. I must keep going. There is no change to my cervix. Nor is there an end in sight.

7:00 The doctor asks me to push, he is going to try to push the part of my cervix that won’t dilate while I push to get Samuel out. I have no energy. I’ve been laboring for 10 hours. I want to give up. Somewhere in me I think to start praying. So I did. And God gave me the strength I asked for.

I don’t even know where it came from (other than from God), but a beast arose in me and I pushed like my life depended on it. I think I may have believed that. I beg for an episiotomy to get him out faster. I remember screaming at this point, both at my wonderful doctor and my dear nurse.

When I finally can start to feel the baby move I’m told no more pushing. His shoulder is caught on my pubic bone – pretty much as his head is crowing – the most painful part. It takes a minute for the doctor to free the shoulder. I have to just wait, but I am given my episiotomy. A few more pushes – 2 or 3 and I can see him. His beautiful face is free, seconds later, he is placed on my chest (7:25 pm), and my labor is over after 10.5 of the hardest hours of my life. Samuel is 6 lbs, 9 oz, 20 inches long. 

Oh wait, no, it’s not over. As I’m being stitched up and deliver the placenta – which came out in one piece – my doctor becomes concerned about my blood loss. Having a history of hemorrhaging, he calls for blood-clotting drugs in my IV. In my extreme pain, I tore the IV from my arm. I took a shot in my leg instead. It finally clotted enough to not be a concern.

Once I am finally stitched up, my bleeding slowed, I am able to try to nurse my little boy. It’s rough-going, but with the help of a nipple shield we are soon nursing. It’s a good feeling.

The entire day was pretty rough and certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. I wanted to give up 100 times but I somehow didn’t. I’m praising God for that now. Samuel is perfect and beautiful and I felt like I’ve waited my whole life just to hold him. I’m in love. 

I found out the next day from my doc that the reason I wasn't dilating like I should have was because Samuel's head was tilted a bit, so it was only pushing on half my cervix. But who can blame this precious face?


Adina P said...

Oh Cas! Don't you feel like the strongest woman ever!?!?!? I know my hubby is amazed at what we can do =)

Praise God for strength and a healthy baby boy! I'm so happy for you and Todd and Millie. Look forward to more pictures and reports. Also thrilled that you were able to get started in breastfeeding. Wish you the best in that area =)


Jenn said...

Cas you are amazing!! Praise God Samuel is healthy, strong, and BORN! Wish I could hold him. Wish I could hug you. Miss you terribly. Praying for you constantly.

Genevieve said...

congrats on the beautiful little boy! (and thank you for pointing out the bracelet- i didn't post other pics because of that and this one just slipped by!) hope you're feeling well and getting a little bit of sleep! :)

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