Sunday, February 10, 2013

Carter's Birth Story

Carter’s story begins Friday morning, December 14th.  I woke up at 6:30 in the morning to go to the bathroom.  When I returned to bed I felt like I had “leaked” in the bed as I lay down.  I was so tired I figured I would just go to sleep and worry about it later.  Gross I know, but that’s how my tired pregnant brain was working.  Ty got up at 7:00 and got in the shower.  As I got out of bed a gush of liquid went running down my legs.  At that point I realized my water must have broken.  I went into the bathroom and told Ty my water broke.  He stuck his head out of the shower and looked at me, I still had liquid running down my legs, and agreed.  Then I said, “Well, maybe my water broke.  I don’t know.” and he responded with, “Yeah, maybe.”  

I was unsure of what to do so I asked Ty to call the doctor’s office.  I then called my co-teacher so we could get a substitute set up and I also called my parents.  When Ty got out of the shower he called the doctor’s office.  They said they’d have the doctor on call give him a call back.  He then began to pack our hospital bag which I had been planning to pack that coming weekend.  He was looking at a list of items I had typed up from information I found online.  We realized there were items on the list that we hadn’t had the chance to buy yet.  While Ty packed the bag I got ready for the day, still thinking I might be able to go to school for a half day before going to the hospital.   I wasn’t having any contractions so I was thinking maybe it wasn’t the real deal.  

Harper and Halle were following me around and Harper kept getting in my lap.  She wanted to be right up in my face.  We finished packing and Ty loaded the car.  We were still waiting for the doctor on call to call us back.  We both sat down to eat breakfast and Ty called the doctor’s office again.  It turned out they had written down the call back number wrong and that’s why we didn’t get a call.  The nurse told us we needed to go to the hospital.  There were a few pictures I’d wanted to take and we hadn’t yet, so Ty took a few pictures of my belly and then off we went.
In the car on the way to the hospital I started having contractions.  I pulled up the contraction app I had loaded on my phone to record and time my contractions.  From what I was feeling I thought they were about 5-8 minutes apart.  I was only feeling them for about 15 seconds though, so I thought they may still be Braxton Hicks contractions.  
We got to the hospital around 8:45 and signed in.  The nurse took us back to a labor and delivery room and did a test on the fluids to make sure my water had broken.  She said the tests would be back within an hour.  She asked me about contractions and I told her what I had been feeling.  She said they probably weren’t contractions and then hooked me up to a fetal heart rate monitor and a monitor for my contractions.  When she came back in she said my contractions were actually lasting over a minute each so I must just not be feeling the whole contraction.  She hooked me up to an IV and told me I could walk around for 15-20 minutes at a time and then come back to the room to be hooked back up to the monitors.  When we got back from our walk around the halls the nurse informed us that the test results had come back and my water had in fact broken.  She then checked to see my progress and I was dilated to 4 cm and was 90% effaced.  We found out that Dr. S was leaving town at noon so Dr. N (one of his partners on call) would be delivering our baby.  From there we continued to take walk breaks and return to the room to be hooked up to the monitors.   Ty asked about a birthing ball and the nurse brought me one, so I was able to sit on it and bounce when we were in the room.
Sitting on the birthing ball.
Around 11:30 my mom and dad decided to leave town and head to the hospital.  Our nurses also changed shifts and we got Trisha who ended up being with us all the way up until Carter’s birth.  She told us due to the fact that my water had broken early if I didn’t show significant progress soon the doctor would most likely want to put me on Pitocin.  Since I knew I was going to deliver without an epidural I was really hoping to avoid Pitocin.  She wanted to call the doctor with an update so she re-checked me.  She said I was still about 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced.  She left to call the doctor with an update.  When she came back she told us the doctor had really wanted to start me on Pitocin, but she had been able to talk him out of it.  She said, “I may have told him a little fib and said you guys had a birth plan so we couldn’t do Pitocin.”  I was so grateful!  She said if I didn’t show significant progress soon there would be no getting around the Pitocin.  We continued our walks through the hospital.  
Walking the halls of the hospital.
Around 2:00 Ty’s parents decided to begin the 4 hour drive to us.  We were walking down the skywalk in the hospital and watched my mom and dad pull into the parking lot and met them at the elevators.  They walked back to the room with us.  Dr. N stopped in to see me and talked about why he would put me on Pitocin.  I was really worried about it because I wouldn’t be able to leave the room anymore and walking was really helping me during the contractions.  Trisha had me stay in the room on the monitors for a while and then wanted to check my progress.  I was 4.5-5 cm dilated and 90% effaced.  When she called to tell the doctor about my progress she told him 5 cm so we would have more time before he started me on Pitocin.  The next time she checked my progress I was 6 cm dilated, fully effaced, and softened.  There was no more talk about Pitocin from that point on.  I was so excited!  It was hard to believe I was already half-way there.  
With my parents after we talked to the doctor.
 We stayed in the room for a while on the monitors and watched my contractions “make earthquakes” (as Ty liked to say it) on the monitors.  We were noticing my contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and they were climbing toward the top of the screen.  I was really starting to feel those bad boys!  The nurse came in and told us we could go for a 30-40 minute walk.  I was so relieved to get up and move around.  As we were walking my contractions started getting more intense and closer together.  I stopped a few times during the walk to get on my hands and knees and Ty would rub my lower back.  It sounds strange, but being in that position made the contractions so much easier.  We decided to head back to the room because my contractions were getting so close together.  As we got closer to the room the contractions were within 1-2 minutes and were really intense.  Mom was starting to get nervous that we wouldn’t make it back to the room in time.  
Ty was an amazing support and coach throughout the entire process.
 When we returned to the room I went to the bathroom.  As I was going back into the room I had a really strong contraction and got down on all fours.  Mom explained to the nurse how I liked getting on my hands and knees.  The nurse said she could set up the bed for me to be able to do that (a great benefit of having so many “coaches” in the room with you).  As I was on the floor I felt the sudden urge to push.  I was really having a hard time not pushing.  It was like all my body wanted to do was work all my muscles toward pushing that baby out!  
Sitting on the birthing ball before the nurse broke my bed down.
I told the nurse I had the urge to push and she rushed out of the room to call the doctor.  When she returned to the room she checked my progress.  I was 9 cm dilated.  It was getting down to go time!  She broke down the bed and I was able to get on all fours during my contractions which at this point seemed to be mostly on top of each other.  I was watching them on the monitor and the peaks of the contractions were off the screen.  Mom and dad were reporting to me during the contractions when I was getting on the downward slope by watching the screen.  It was nice to know and gave me something to focus on.  It was getting harder and harder not to push.  I didn’t realize that my body would literally start doing the pushing for me.  I was trying to hold that baby in and not push.  We were waiting on the doctor to arrive so the nurse was having me do really fast breathing which helped take my energy away from pushing.  Mom, dad, Ty, and the nurse were all doing the breathing with me. 

I had one contraction that was really strong and I just had to stand up.  Ty was on one side of the bed and my IV cart was on the other.  I popped up and stood on the bed.  As I was standing I asked if it was okay if I stood.  The look on the nurse’s face said it was not okay, but she just said whatever it takes to not push.  So I was standing on the bed with the nurse holding one hand and Ty holding the other.  Mom and dad looked at each other and realized we were getting close to baby’s arrival, so they asked Ty if they should go out to the waiting room.  Dad said me standing on the bed was shocking and funny at the same time.  I’m sure the nurse hadn’t experienced that before! 

Mom and dad left the room a little after 5:50 and figured Carter would be born within 20 minutes.  They were shocked when they heard his arrival time!  They spent the next few minutes in the waiting room with Ty's parents who arrived in record time just moments before Carter was born and my brother, Thomas, who arrived shortly after.

The nurse called in a couple other doctors just in case Dr. N didn’t make it in time.  She checked in with him and he was at the corner, but stuck in traffic.  He told the nurse that if I had to push, go ahead and let me push and not make me wait any more.  At this point I was desperate to push.  The doctor they had called in for Dr. N was getting ready.  The nurse told me that on the next contraction I could push.

The next contraction came and I started to push right as Dr. N walked in and got ready.  The other doctor stepped back and Dr. N got in position.  I pushed and felt Carter’s head start to emerge.  I pushed again and then felt Carter’s head come the rest of the way out.  Dr. N looked at the nurse next to him and said “I love delivering runner’s babies.”  I couldn’t believe how quickly everything was going.  Once I got to 6 cm I felt like everything went by in fast forward.  Dr. N told me to push again, but not as hard.  I felt like I didn’t push as hard but Carter went flying out and Dr. N said, “Boy, you got pushy!”   It made me think of a joke my dad would make!  Ty cut Carter’s umbilical cord and they pulled open my gown and put Carter directly onto my chest.  It was so amazing sitting there holding him.  I didn’t want them to take him away!  It was surreal feeling his skin against my skin.  He was born at 5:58, weighed in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 19 and a half inches long.

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