Friday, April 3, 2009

Birth Story

I really want to post this story, not only for everyone to read, but also for me to have to remember all the little details. They're already fading away fast and I don't want to lose the memories! :)

On Saturday, 3/28, I woke up still having contractions. The night before, some stuff had happened (though I'll spare you the gory details!) that had me convinced I'd be going into active labor in the next few days. I hardly slept at all that night out of excitement! The contractions were very irregular and not incredibly painful, so I assumed I'd have all day to wait it out. Greg and I picked up around the house a little bit, ate breakfast, and I ended up able to take a little nap. When I woke up, the contractions were almost stopped, so I decided to go shopping to see if I could jump-start them again, and possibly push myself into active labor.

I drove to Target around 2:00pm, got in the store, and realized that my vision was a little "off." It seemed like I'd been staring at the sun for several minutes and everything had that dark, fuzzy look to it. I walked around and picked up a few things, hoping that it would get better. After about 5 minutes, I realized it wasn't getting better and then remembered that my doctor had told me that if I experienced any blurry vision that I should call or come in, because it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia. I called Labor and Delivery and they wanted me to come in right away. Of course, Greg and I only had one car at the moment (which I was driving), so I had to drive myself home.

We got to Scott and White and they hooked me up to the monitors. My blood pressure was fine and shortly after we arrived, my vision went back to normal. Greg and I relaxed a little, watched an episode of Dirty Jobs on TV, and waited to be discharged. We'd made plans to go to dinner at Chuy's with friends and were hoping we'd be able to make it there in time. The OB on call, Dr. Chapman came in and told us that every time I had a contraction the baby's heart rate dropped. When I wasn't, he was perfectly fine with a heart rate in the 140s, but because of the decels she wasn't comfortable sending us home. They were going to induce me that night! She checked me and I still hadn't made any progress since my last appointment - I was 1-2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. They usually use a medication called Cytotec to dilate the cervix, but once they start that medication, they can't take it away. She wasn' sure how Will's heart would handle the medicine, so instead they were going to use a Foley Bulb to manually dilate my cervix before starting Pitocin to get my contractions started.

Greg decided to go home to get our bags and feed the dogs since they basically had to take me from zero to 60, which would take awhile. A nurse came in and started an IV line in my hand after he left and I asked if I could use the bathroom before they got started. They unhooked me from the monitors and left me alone in the room. When I got back to bed, I plugged the monitors back in. Nothing was registering on them, but I just figured I'd plugged them in wrong. A nurse came in and moved the heart rate monitor around on my stomach and finally got a heart rate to register, but it was in the 60s. She started lowering my bed down, pushed the nurse call button and said, "I need Heather and Dr. Chapman in here NOW!" She rolled me over to my left side and people literally came running into my room. I started crying, realizing that there was a chance I'd never get to meet the little person who had been growing inside me for the last 9 months, who I already loved so much. Heather put an oxygen mask on me and kept telling me to take deep, slow breaths. After what seemed like an eternity, Will's heart rate came back up and stabilized in the 140s. Dr. Chapman said, "Well, he just told us that he's not going to tolerate labor, so we're going to get him out of there quickly and safely." Heather, one of the awesome nurses called Greg and had him turn around and get back to the hospital ASAP. Since Will's heart rate was stable, they were able to wait for Greg to get back to the hospital before doing anything.

Greg got back about the same time that my parents arrived. I had to sign consent forms, get a catheter inserted, and drink an incredibly nasty antacid since I'd already eaten that day. The anesthesiologist and pediatrician all came in to talk to me about what would go on and one I was all prepped, they wheeled me back to the operating room. The operating room was freezing and one of the nurses brought me a warm blanket so I'd stop shivering before they gave me the spinal block. The anesthesiologist had me lean over one of the nurses and he gave me a local anesthetic to numb the area for the block. Heather held the heart rate monitor on my belly and I worried the entire time that his heart rate would drop again since I was sitting up and not on my left side. Thankfully it didn't. The spinal really didn't hurt at all...The local felt like a tiny pinch, but the spinal just felt like lots of pressure. I was really worried about it hurting, but it really was no big deal! Before I'd even sat up completely, my feet were already feeling numb. They had to help pick up my legs and lay me back on the because I already was losing feeling from about chest level down. I really hated the way the spinal made me was very claustrophobic not being able to move your legs at all. It also came up to the bottoms of my lungs and made it feel like I couldn't get a deep breath. Heather started cleaning off my stomach with iodine and it was the strangest sensation ever! I could feel the touch of the sponge with iodine, but I couldn't feel the temperature. The nurses assured me that I really was numb, but I wasn't entirely sure I believed them!

Afterwards they put a drape up that was incredibly close to my face. Everyone was moving around and they started monitoring my blood pressure intermittently. I guess my pulse shot up because the anesthesiologist said, "Are you alright?" I told him I was just a little nervous. He put an oxygen mask on me to help get my heart rate down some. After he put the oxygen mask on me, I started feeling very claustrophobic. I couldn't breathe very well, I couldn't move my arms because they were strapped down to the table, and I had this blue drape about an inch in front of my face. The anesthesiologist could tell I was getting a little panicked and he came back over to talk to me and took off the mask. At 7:25, Greg came in and held my hand and brushed my hair away from my face. It calmed me down so much just knowing he was right there. I kept my eyes closed most of the time and focused on taking really deep breaths. They started cutting right when he got in there, but like they said, I couldn't feel a thing! I could feel them tugging on me and there was lots and lots of pushing as they tried to get his big head out of a tiny incision on my stomach. At 7:36, they pulled him out and wisked him off to the warmer to make sure everything was alright. I was disappointed that I hadn't gotten to see him right after he was born, but it was so relieving to hear him crying. I didn't know this while they were doing the c-section, but afterwards Greg said that his heart rate had dropped really low again while they were cutting into me and I think they were probably worried about him when they got him out. We're still not sure what was causing his heart rate to drop. The cord wasn't wrapped around his neck or anything, but it was draped by his shoulder. Dr. Chapman said it was possible that each contraction put pressure on it and cut off his blood supply, but we really won't ever know.

Greg went over to the warmer to take pictures of him when he was just a few seconds old. I could hear him crying and I remember feeling so relieved that he was alright. Greg came and sat back down by me and told me how gorgeous and perfect he was. Once they got him cleaned off, they brought him over to Greg to hold. He scored 9 and 9 on his Apgars and screamed his head off until he got all wrapped up. I remember touching his cheek for the first time and loving how soft he and warm he felt. I think the first thing I said to Greg when I saw him (a nurse brought him over after they checked him out) was, "Oh, he has my chin!" He inherited my cleft chin and it's pretty adorable on him! Greg held him while I was getting stitched up. They moved me from the operating table back to my bed, handed him to me, and wheeled me back into my room. The whole thing really only took about 30 minutes, but it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life!

I remember thinking during the c-section that if I had to go through this again, I was never having kids again. But looking back on it, it really wasn't that bad. The worst, scariest part was not knowing if everything was going to be alright or not. I was so worried about Will and so scared that he wasn't going to make it. I can't thank God enough that he gave me that little warning sign of blurry vision which tipped me off to head into the hospital. I can't even bear to think about what would have happened if I hadn't gone in. Luckily, I did, and now we have our perfect little blessing from God in our arms :)

Here are a few more pictures of our little boy.

Heather explaining something and helping to calm me down. The nurses at Scott and White were SO fantastic!

Getting ready to have our little boy! :)

Just seconds old.

Back in our room yawning while I get checked out.

His precious little feet!

Greg and I in awe with our little boy :)

Our first family photo!

Our amazing night nurse, Tina, giving Will his first bath.

Will's first bath. As you can see, he was not a fan of it!

Hanging out in the warmer all clean from his bath.

Sleeping on Mommy's chest. Snuggling with him like this is one of my favorite things ever!


  1. Libby, I so enjoyed reading this. It nearly made me cry because I could really feel your terror at thinking he may not be ok. I am so glad everything turned out alright!