Adam's Birth Story
I woke up early in the morning on Thursday, May 1st (sometime between 2-3 am) having contractions. I got up and had a drink of water, went to the bathroom and walked around the house a bit. I tried to go back to sleep but it was difficult. I had a bath and that helped soothe my pain. By about 5 am the contractions had become less intense and I was able to go back to sleep.
That morning, I had my 39 week appointment at 9 am. I was 39 weeks and 5 days. My internal exam showed that I am about 3 cm dilated and about ½ cm effaced but baby is very high. A non stress test showed irregular contractions, mostly mild so they sent me home. I was informed to come back when my contractions got stronger (even if they are up to 15 mins apart), my water breaks, I have any discharge or pain around my incision. If nothing happens today/tonight, I am to come back in the morning and they will admit me and break my water and monitor me. Everything else at this appointment looked good, weight gain is down a little again, so since I’ve seen the dietician, I have managed to maintain my weight for the last month or so of this pregnancy.
Back at home, while having lunch and talking on the phone with my mom, I felt like my water may have broke. Turned out to be just mucous plug (more sticky than wet) and when I phoned the hospital because it is discharge but they are not concerned as it can happen days to weeks before labor begins. Later in the afternoon, my contractions started to pick up again but I was still able to lie down and take a 2 hour nap while Brad watched Ryan.
Brad’s mom planned on coming out after dinner (around 7ish) and Brad and I thought we just might need to head out to the hospital then. But suddenly my contractions stopped again. I thought about going to my monthly Babies First meeting but something made me want to stay home and spend time with Ryan and make sure that I had everything in my hospital bag.
Brad’s mom and I took Ryan out for a walk in the neighborhood and while we were walking back up our street towards the house, my contractions not only started to pick back up but at about 8:15 my water broke also. We called the hospital and got everything ready to go in. Ryan cried as we were leaving because he knew Brad and I were going in the car and he wasn’t. It was heartbreaking to know my last memories of my son as an only child were of him crying like that.
We arrived at the maternity floor of the hospital at about 9 pm. They hooked me up to the monitors and took a swab but it was inconclusive as to if my water broke or not. My contractions were about 5 minutes apart with varied intensities. The most intense contractions were about 12-15 minutes apart. The nurse said I was still only 2-3 cms dilated and she calls my doctor. My doctor arrived at about 10 pm. He was not sure my water had fully ruptured but my contractions were now about 3-5 mins apart with the most intense being about 7-9 mins apart. My doctor did an internal exam again and baby was still high, with no change in dilation or effacement despite the progress of my contractions.
My doctor said then said the words I had been dreading for weeks, months even; it was time to consider a repeat c-section that could be more controlled rather than wait and have to possibly face an emergency c-section and any associated risks. I cried at the loss of my vbac dream but I was surprisingly at peace with the idea of a controlled c-section. I almost knew it was what needed to be done. I was happy that I had been given the opportunity to go into labor on my own and knew that baby was ready to be born and not being taken from me on someone else’s schedule.
The lab tech arrived then to do some blood work, and not surprisingly, he managed to bruise my arm. I almost always bruise with blood work or iv’s. My doctor told me a little secret; he also is not keen on getting needles but he likes to give them although he doesn’t get to do it often. So he stayed and started my iv himself since I was his “special patient”. This “special patient” became a bit a long running joke between us over the next couple of days. Amazingly, the iv never bruised although I still have a mark on my hand from where he stuck me. Once my iv was in, my doctor said he was going to treat me to a shot, similar to a tequila shot. This sounded very bizarre to a very pregnant lady but it turns out he was pretty true to his word. I was given a drink just over a one ounce shot size that was the foulest thing I have ever had to drink and it had a super salty aftertaste. I think it was to help keep me from vomiting once I had my spinal since I had been eating and drinking all day and evening.
I still had my glasses on as I was pushed into the OR. What a difference that made in my experiences. I also don’t remember them putting my hair back in one of those little hats but I also had my hair braided this time where as I didn’t with Ryan. I asked one of the nurses to take my glasses but told her that I would want them once the baby was out so I could see him. Even before the birth, when we talked about and I thought about a planned c-section, I worried on how/if I would be able to handle getting the spinal without any other medications already in me. With Ryan, by the time I went into the OR, I had had a shot of fentenol and laughing gas, lots of laughing gas. But I was also having contractions one on top of each other with severe back pain and this time, that was not the case.
First, they froze my back a little, so it was not as bad as I had anticipated. There was a lot of time before Brad was allowed in. I don’t remember that from last time but Brad did, and he said that the first time, the long seeming wait worried him. With Ryan it felt like my arms where strapped in but everyone assured me they were not. I did notice this time that there are in fact arm straps but they didn’t use them. They did however, strap in my legs.
It was bizarre to watch them soak my belly with the yellow-orange antiseptic before they put up the big blue curtain. I remember feeling a little bit of pressure again as they cut into me and I could sort of feel the clamps they used. It was like a pull, pull, pull, rest, pull, pull, pull, rest. When Ryan was born, Brad said that the one thing about the c-section that he would never forget was the smell of burning flesh as they cut into me. He is right, it is a smell that will stay with you for life.
Brad said that this time, it seemed like they pushed and pulled on me a lot more than he remembered from last time. It seemed strange to him and I think it worried him a little. At 11:19, they took Adam out head first, and once his feet were out, he started to cry and didn’t seem to stop until they took him away to the nursery. He was 7 lbs and 3 ozs, and measured 22 inches. The doctor that was there for Adam said that he did great, so I assume that means his Apgar scored were in the normal range. They never told us the scores with Ryan either.
Before Brad went to the nursery with Adam, like he had with Ryan, I asked for my glasses so I could see my new son. It was great for me to be more alert this time and to have my glasses and be able to actually see my son once he was born. It didn’t seem to take too long before they had finished stitching me up and cleaning me up. Although I was tired, they kept talking to me through out the whole thing.
During the end of my surgery (cleaning up) they took the blue curtain back down and I got to watch them clean the yellow-orange antiseptic off. My doctor joked that if I was not clean enough, it wasn’t his fault as this was not normally his job but he was doing this because I was his “special patient”. I watched as the other doctor picked up what looked like a large, white chicken thigh. I was startled to realize that it was my white thigh he was holding as they cleaned up what had dipped down my sides and under me during surgery.
By midnight I was wheeled into recovery, where I stayed for one hour. I tried to stay awake to see if Brad and Adam would come see me in recovery like when Ryan was born but they never did. I drifted off for a little bit around 12:30. They woke me up as they wheeled me out of recovery and through the dark hallways of the ward to my room. They had just gotten me situated and were about to leave and go get Brad and Adam from the nursery but Brad was already waiting at the door with Adam.
Adam took to breastfeeding like a little champ and nursed right away and for a good while that night. Brad left shortly after I was taken to my room since it was already after 1 am. Adam and I stayed in the hospital for 3 days. My recovery this time was/is much easier in many respects. I felt and looked much more like myself even that first day. By 4 pm the next day I was already up out of bed and walking so they took out my catheter. The second day was even better and after he visited with me, my doctor changed my pain medication notations on my chart. I probably over did it as I got up, washed my face, brushed my teeth and hair and changed into my own pajamas. When I called and asked for something for the pain the nurse let me know that my choices were either extra strength Tylenol or a shot of morphine- nothing in between. I took the shot of morphine. I didn’t think the Tylenol would help.
On my third and last day, I expected my doctor to arrive early in the morning to check me before I was discharged. However, he had been on call the night before, so it was mid afternoon before he came by to check on me and sign my discharge papers. I was all packed up, washed up, dressed and ready to go. With Ryan, I had dissolvable stitches on all incisions. My outer scar with Ryan healed very nicely, much nicer than I thought it would. However, in the operating room my doctor discovered that I had more scar tissue inside than he would have thought given how well I had healed outside. It made him very glad that I had agreed to the controlled c-section when I had, since more scar tissue could be an indicator of higher risk for scar rupture during a vbac. The amount of scar tissue also made it so that this time I needed to have staples to close my outer incision. Before I was discharged, my doctor took a swab of my incision to test for infection and he removed half of my staples. The swab grew two different bacteria so I am now on antibiotics for infection again, and I had the rest of my staples removed last Friday.
Here are a couple of other pictures of Ryan, Adam, Brad and I.
Adam in the hospital the day after he was born:
Coming home from the hospital:
Ryan holding his little brother:
A special gift from some special friends:
Don't know how I haven't managed to kill the plant yet though. I do not have a green thumb at all. But it is such a beautiful plant that I am trying really hard to keep it alive!
You would think someone was surprised we had another boy...this balloon bouquet was so big!