Devin's Birth Story By Sandi Print
Birth Stories - C-Section Birth Stories
Monday, 24 November 2008 10:53
I Know Why They Call It Labor Of Love

Wednesday I woke up at 6:00 AM, got completely dressed and announced to my husband I was "done". My pregnancy has gone on long enough. I decided I was finished. Hubby just smiled and said the usual, "You're almost there honey." With that I marched outside determined to walk this baby out if I had to. So I walked around the carport area for about 20 minutes and came inside exhausted. Okay, maybe I won't walk the baby out.

The day continued with me having the "normal" contractions like I had been having for a week about five minutes apart. Nothing less, nothing more. At 2:30 Mark was washing the car and I was sleeping sound on a blanket outside, just enjoying the weather. I woke up startled. I had been so relaxed I made a wet my pants. How embarrassing! I marched right inside to get cleaned up. I got cleaned up again, and again. I finally had Mark call Labor and Delivery because I kept piddling just a small bit. (I had gone to be checked earlier that Monday for the same reason, but nothing was happening.)

The kind lady suggested I come in to be checked. So after a nice shower and fixing my hair, I went in. I arrived at the hospital at 3:35 to be examined. To our surprise my water had broken and I was admitted into the hospital. I was quite nervous, yet excited. I couldn�t wait to tell my Mom and Dad. Finally all that morning sickness was going to pay off! In a few hours I am going to be a Mommy!

One of the things I was told by my doctor, several mothers and from my labor class is to make a "Birthing Plan". This plan has my ideas and wishes for my labor. I put the basic things down. I wanted to give birth as natural as possible, no drugs, walk around as much as possible to speed up labor, and be able to hold my baby as soon as possible. Just your basic, "let's make this as natural and as easy as possible". The doctors and nurses can refer back to this plan if they have any questions about my wishes during labor. It just gives them an idea of what I would like, yet lets them know I am open to ideas and want to work with them if an unplanned situation does arise.

So they took me into my room, I got my sexy hospital nightie on and they informed me that because my water broke, and the baby had not moved into position, I had to stay in bed. I could only walk to pee. I was quite disappointed, but understood. If I was to walk around the umbilical cord could slip between the baby and the opening, cutting off his oxygen. Okay. So there I laid. It could be worse I would say aloud and think. This would be the first time in thousands I would repeat this during my labor.

They also had to hook me up to an IV. Which was another thing I was not thrilled about, but understood. An IV is not exactly a drug, right? I also had to have monitors on my belly to keep track of the contractions and the baby's heartbeat. I was not expecting the monitors to be on full time, but since I am not allowed to walk around, what difference did it really make? Okay. So the monitors stayed on.

After several hours of erratic contractions and the baby not moving down, the doctor had to move things along. At 7:00 the nurse was instructed to hook me up to pitocin. Pitocin is a drug which speeds contractions along. Making them harder, closer together and more consistent. I was not exactly thrilled about the pitocin either, but took it happily, it could be worse right? It is important that the baby is born within eighteen hours after my water being broke so infections do not start in. Mom and Mark continued to stay by my side and comfort me.

At 8:00 the nurses have come in to move the monitors around for the billionth time. The baby kept moving around and it was to hard to keep track of him. What a squirmy little guy. The nurses also were concerned because the pitocin, although it was making my contractions increase and grow, was affecting the baby. Every time I would have a contraction, the baby's heart beat would go down. So they hooked me up to an oxygen mask. I was still in control, but getting a little scared over the oxygen thing. I kept thinking and saying, "It could be worse."

About 8:30 Mom arrived at the hospital. I broke into a small stream of tears but continued to be my happy, "this could be worse", self. I was feeling quite content and happy that my labor was progressing. Things were going slower then I realized but I thought it was still good news.

Later in the evening, my doctor informed me they would need to put an internal monitor in me. Internal??? Ouch! An internal monitor is placed in the baby's head so they can monitor him more closely. The pitocin was still giving baby a hard time. But hey, I continued to think, "I'm going to be a Mommy in a few hours and it could be worse." They made several attempts at putting this monitor in and failed because I was only dilated to less then 1 centimeter. I still had not had any pain medication, so they decided to wait a little longer before putting the monitor in.

What only seemed like 10 minutes later, I'm sure it was much longer though, the doctor came in to make the second attempt at placing the monitor in the baby's head. After several very painful attempts, they got the monitor to stay. I just kept in mind that it still could be much worse.

The nurses continued to up the pitocin to keep things moving forward and then slowing down the medicine, and sometimes shutting it off completely. The baby was not handling the pitocin well at all.

A while later the doctor informed me they would need to put another monitor in to keep track of my contractions because they kept loosing them on the monitor. Another thing in me? Okay, so far I have all those extra "frills" I was so against having. But that is okay, things could be worse.

My labor continued slowly, even slower then I realized. The contractions which kept me up all night continued at a slow pace. Mom and Mark took turns staying with me and having me breathe extra deep breaths with each contraction giving the baby more oxygen. The most painful contractions are the ones Mom made me laugh during. She kept saying breathe in when I was out and out when I was in. It was funny. They definitely helped me keep my spirits. I still had not received any pain medication, thinking it could not be much longer now.

At 8:00 on Thursday morning the nurses were instructed to give me some antibiotics, because it had been over 18 hours since my water had broken. The doctors must be careful so an infection doesn't start. It could be worse.

A few hours went by and the doctor came in to check my progress. I was dilated to 4 centimeters and still had a long way to go. The pitocin being shut off then on then off then on did not help my case any either.

I remember looking at the clock at 10:45 and getting scared because I knew I only had a few more hours left until they would take the baby by cesarean. I cried a little and had Mom and Mark take the clock off of the wall so I wouldn't think about the "count down" as I called it. Only a few hours left.

Several hours later the doctor came in and examined me again. He determined the baby's head was down and I was now dilated to 7 centimeters. I think it was about 12:30 PM. The contractions were getting tougher to manage and I could see the redness in my Mother�s and Mark�s eyes from crying. I assured them it could always be worse, I'm almost done, and things are going okay. I could see the doubt and fear in their eyes.

After some more contractions and no progression, we all three talked it over and against my "ideal" way of labor we all decided I needed to take something or I would be sitting there with the same type of contractions for hours. I remember looking out in the hall and seeing my doctor looking at my chart shaking his head. I knew he also agreed things have gone on too long to continue.

At about 1:15 the anesthesiologist came in and gave me some type of spinal drug to take the edge off. I became quite dizzy but relaxed. Mom and Mark, who also asked for pain medication, became more relaxed also. I could still feel the pressure of each contraction, so sleep was still impossible. The pain was gone though.

My third exam near 1:45 showed I was dilated to 9 centimeters and ready to start pushing. They new the baby was small enough so it would be okay. I grew quite excited. I was finally there. After all the things they had to do to me, which I was totally against yet took like a trooper, was now paying off. I was finally going to have my baby. After a few pushes and me keeping my giggling personality going the nurses moved me to the birthing room. The birthing room is where you can give birth, have family with you and room more comfortably in a larger room.

Now it was after 2:00 PM I continued to, what the doctors later called the best pushing they had ever seen. I pushed and joked and pushed and grew more excited, once and a while looking and joking, "Where's the baby already?" Grandma and Dad showed up for the event a little later. I was still pushing. I sat there totally unaware that I had been pushing for four hours, just telling everyone I was going to be a Mommy soon and all of the earlier things make this moment worth it. I just wanted to have this baby. But the baby was not moving down at all. I just kept pushing with all my might.

One time when I was pushing, everyone was so preoccupied with the monitor going up for my contractions and down on baby's heart rate, I joked and told the crowd that the least they could do is help me count to ten during the pushing! The doctors continued to worry and work on the position of the baby. They believed he was lodged face down.

Time stood still for me. Even through all 30+ exams and shift changes, and different doctors trying to turn the baby, I continued to smile and be excited about the birth of my baby. The exams where sometimes painful and lengthy, I asked several times if they could just grab the baby wile they where there for me. I also kept my spirits by asking who will be the next to pick my brain. It could be worse I thought.

Then my worst fear came true. The baby was stuck, or "failure to descend" in medical terms. In whatever terms they used they informed me I would have to have a cesarean after all.

I remember some of what was said to me by the doctors. I mostly left and went into my own little world of thought. Trying not to think about everything I had gone through already wishing for the "closest to natural childbirth experience as possible". Now look at me. I was getting ready to let them take my baby.

Through the medication, grogginess, and fact that I hadn't had sleep for over 28 hours I can remember the doctors having me sign some forms. Mom later told me the only part anyone could tell was part of my signature was the heart I have always made over the "i" in Sandi.

I was wheeled away to have my surgery at about 6:20. All of the people rushing around and the bright lights not only scared me but overwhelmed me with fear. I kept drifting in and out. Mark was aloud in the room with me sometime about 6:35. I felt all sorts of tugging on my stomach and pulling here and there. I begged for more medication. The epididural had not taken yet.

I tried to keep my spirits and remain in control. I asked questions about everything, from "What color is the baby going to be?", to "Can I get that bikini wax now since I won�t feel it?" I did however leave the room with a slight pubic shave. Did they totally misunderstand or what? The doctors worked quickly but came to a near stand still when trying to get the baby out. I remember hearing the doctors discussing where to move the muscles, where to cut and talking their way through the surgery.

Finally they were taking the baby out. But I, the most incredible pusher, had made the baby even more stuck. He wasn't coming or going. They had a nurse push from one side, as the doctors pulled from the other. The baby came lose and was born at 6:49 PM. I waited to hear crying, but I heard nothing. I asked if the baby was okay, but nobody would answer. I asked over and over where the baby was, if it was a boy or a girl, and why there was no crying. I sat there what seemed like forever waiting to hear a cry.

Finally, two small whimpers then a loud short cry filled the room. The baby was okay now. Mark told me it was a boy. Later Mark told me Devin was born not breathing. But now he was okay. I sighed with relief and I remember hearing Mark cry, "It's a baby boy. We have a baby boy."

I felt a strange peace after Mark spoke. A type of peace I hadn't felt in over nine months. I let myself drift away. I was a Mommy and soon I would meet my baby. Maybe in the morning I would be able to meet him. I was far to groggy to care about anything other then the fact that Devin finally was born.

The doctors proceeded to work on me pulling out the placenta. I felt such a horrible burning. I wailed and begged for more drugs to take the pain away. They had grown to believe me without questioning. I guess 24 hours of non medicated labor makes an incredible impression. Mark okayed and they gave me a drug which was known for making people hallucinate and off I went. I have a picture of Devin next to me showing me we had met in the delivery room.

This drug made me sing, I thought I was dead and spoke to God, I went on a roller coaster, and I rearranged the hospital and BX parking lot (they don't have enough close places to park, you see). I was off everywhere and could not keep my mind in the delivery room. I was so frightened and confused. Sometime during my whirl wind high Mark had left with the baby to give him his first bath and check up. I was alone and growing more and more delirious.

Finally during one of my flights down back to the delivery room I gathered the strength to ask for my Mother. The nurses said, "No, I couldn't see her until after the surgery was over." I cried out for my Mom. Over and over saying, "Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom..." They wouldn't let me see her. I finally took control and promised the nurse I would shut up if they went and got my Mother. Strangely enough about five minutes later Mom appeared.

I felt so safe. I asked her to put her cheek on my cheek. I knew if my mother held my hand and I could feel her face on mine, I wasn't dead after all and I would be okay. Mom touched me and I drifted off singing with her, "Do your ears hang low." Then finishing with, "Does your butt hang low." It was funny to remember afterwards.

The last and final drug they gave me, I remember the doctor saying, "Will make her forget all of this." As you can tell, I didn't...

Devin and I met again at about 10:30 in the birthing room. He weighed an even 7 pounds and was 19 inches long. I rested him along side of me and just looked at him. I was still seeing double (I joked that I had twins) and I was incredibly sleepy. I touched his face, hands and toes. All I could think was, "I'm a Mommy, and it could have been worse."

I recently visited my doctor. He was smiling with amazement. He told me he uses my labor as an example of the "worst labor ever". He also says he refers to me as the "lady who wanted nothing during her labor and got everything." He is quite proud of my strength and cheerfulness dispite what I went through. I amazed everyone that night with my jokes, smiles, positive attitude, ability to roll with the punches and then some. I do confess I would not have made it through the "Labor from Hell" without the worlds greatest and most loving coaches. Thank you Mom and Mark. I would have never been able to bring Devin into this world without you.

Several days have past and I am learning to accept that a cesarean delivery is just the same as "real birth". I tear up sometimes then bring myself back thinking about how lucky I am. I try to keep in mind, not to many years ago I would have surely lost Devin due to "failure to descend" and they once could not deliver babies by cesarean. I am so lucky to have such a beautiful healthy baby who loves me because I did what was needed to bring him into the world. And for that fact alone, I feel like the luckiest Mommy in the world!

Currently my little angel is crawling, cruising, and trying to stand on his own! He's such a ham, and still...the 21 pound light of my life!