Tuesday, August 1, 2017

George's Birth Story.

I am not really sure how to start this so I guess we will just start at the beginning.  Fair warning, this is going to be a long one. 

I had a doctors appointment on Thursday (July 20th) and my midwife said I was dilated to a 1 and about 50% effaced and since that wasn't really a change since my last appointment I stuck with my assumption that I wouldn't be having the baby until at least a week later. I was pretty miserable but I was ok with the baby staying in my belly for another week since we had only spent one night in our house at that point and I would have preferred to be a little more settled. 

So I just went about my business and that night I woke up to a few contractions but nothing really too noteworthy. On Friday morning (my due date!) I was having a few more contractions and they were kind of regular but not very intense at all. I really only noticed them if I was sitting still but I decided to track them anyways. 

By late that afternoon I knew we were on our way to a baby being born. I was having decently intense contractions and they were between 6 and 10 minutes apart. At our birth class we learned that you wanted to be having contractions every 5 minutes that last a minute long for at least one hour. Mine weren't quite lasting a minute and I didn't feel like they were intense enough to even consider going to the hospital at this point. 

So I continued to labor throughout the evening and into the night. As it got closer to midnight my contractions got more intense and were about 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute. I really thought I was getting pretty far into labor and I had to be getting more dialated. The contractions felt like they were getting almost unbearable and so off to the hospital we went. 

I knew there was a chance we would get sent home but I was just keeping my fingers crossed that I was far enough dilated to be admitted. But I was so wrong. We got to the hospital and they said I was dilated to a 2. A flipping 2. To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement.  So they told me they could give me some pain medication so I could sleep and to come back when I was having contractions intense enough that if I was in a burning building I would not be able to move. 

Sounds great (insert sarcastic tone).

So they gave me some morphine and we went home. The morphine really helped me sleep but I think in the long run it wasn't good for me. When I woke up the next morning my contractions were less intense and pretty far apart. Like every 15 minutes. It really really slowed my labor down. It felt nice to sleep but I think I regret taking it. 

I labored all day Saturday but I could tell that I wasn't progressing at all. Finally at around 11:30 things started picking up. I told Spencer to go to sleep and I just sat/laid/kneeled on the couch and did everything I could to get through my contractions. Finally at around 1:30 I was being loud enough that I woke Spencer up and I am glad I did because I definitely needed his help at this point. I felt like it was almost time to go to the hospital but I didn't want to get sent home again so we called them to see what they would want us to do. They told me to drink a liter of water and see if I still felt the same. So I drank a bunch of water and got in the shower. When I was in the shower I kept having these contractions that would last way longer than a minute. They were like 3 contractions in one. I would feel the intensity build and then die down but it would never completely stop so I would never get a break. That was kind of freaking me out so off to the hospital we went. 

We got there and when they checked me I was at a 4. They can't admit you until you are a 5 so they gave me the option to walk around for 2 hours to see if they would help things. We walked down a super long hallway at the hospital but I had to stop about every 3 minutes so it was probably the slowest walk of our lives.

We got back to the room and they came to check me and praise the heavens I was at a 5. It was go time! 

I had been in labor for long and was so tired that at this point when they mentioned they could give me some medicine in an IV I jumped at the chance. I had planned on having an unmedicated birth and had really wanted to avoid having an IV but my body was already so tired at this point I knew I needed something.

They got me to my labor and delivery room around 6 in the morning and I was feeling ok. But then the pain medication wore off and I knew I couldn't do it anymore. I kept having these crazy contractions that wouldn't end for about 5 minutes and my body just needed a break. My nurses and midwife were amazing and doing this counterpressure that was really helping but I knew that I would not be able to make it to the pushing stage without getting an epidural. 

I had planned my whole pregnancy on not getting an epidural and whenever I give birth again I think I could do it without one because I feel more prepared now but in the end it ended up being an amazing blessing that I got the epidural when I did. 

I got my epidural and had about 30 minutes of relaxing before things got really crazy. The whole time I was in the labor and delivery room my nurse had me moving around to try and keep the baby's heart rate up. They also gave me oxygen just to make sure that baby was doing well. Well after I got my epidural and could not feel my right leg at all my nurse rushes back into my room and says "baby's heart rate is really low, we need you to get on your hand and knees now!" About 20 more people rushed into my room as I tried to get on my hands and knees with two legs that were basically just dead weight. It was probably the most helpless I have ever felt. They quickly broke my water and connected a internal monitor to the baby. All of these people were doing so many things that I was lucky that I was facing the head of the bed and all I could see was the wall. I just focused on my breathing and let everyone do whatever they needed. Suddenly there was a doctor talking to me and telling me that my baby's heart rate was extremely low and they need to take me into the OR right now. I think she was asking my permission but really she was just telling me that this is what they were doing. I didn't really get a chance to say goodbye to Spencer before they were rushing me off. 

So I got into the OR and things really slowed down. It was like everyone was moving casually all the sudden. I wanted to scream at them to move faster if they really needed to get my baby out but I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't do anything. Then the same doctor (Dr. Watson) came back and said that baby's heart rate had stabilized and they were going to track it for 20 minutes to see if the c-section really was necessary. After about 15 minutes she said that baby's heart rate was doing well and if I wanted to go back and labor more then I could do that but they were going to monitor the heart rate in the OR for about 5 more minutes. Spencer had come into the OR at this point and we had to make a decision. I really didn't want to make the choice to get a c-section but I was really nervous about laboring more and something happening because I was only at a 7.  Fortunately for me, after that 5 minutes Dr. Watson came back and said baby's heart rate was  dropping again so we needed to do the c-section. I was disappointed because I had other plans for my birth but I knew this is what needed to happen so I agreed. 

They numbed me up and started the surgery. It is a crazy feeling because I couldn't feel any pain but I could definitely feel hands moving around inside of me. After a couple minutes I could feel them pulling the baby out and they told Spencer he could look at tell me if it was a boy or a girl. Hearing Spencer said "Its a boy!" was such a relief to me. Knowing that my little baby was out and was safe was such a great feeling. After about a minute I heard him crying and it really hit me that my baby was really over there. Since he was having the poor heart rate and they discovered there was a lot of meconium in the amniotic fluid and his cord was around his neck twice I couldn't see him right away. But hearing that cry was just enough reassurance to me that he was ok even though I couldn't see him.

After a little while the baby was stable enough to move him to be evaluated so I got to see him as they were leaving. They held his little face up to mine and seeing him was so amazing. But honestly my only thought was "he has a cone head, I thought if I had a c-section he wouldn't have a cone head". So much for a rush of motherly love. Spencer went with the baby and I just laid there staring at the ceiling waiting for them to stitch me up. 

I kept telling the anesthesiologist that I was having trouble breathing because I couldn't feel my lungs and she had to keep reassuring me that she was monitoring me and I was breathing just fine. I think she thought I was crazy because I really kept telling her that I couldn't breathe and she just had to keep reassuring me. After what felt like forever I was done and they were able to take me back to my room. I was covered in blankets and I am sure I looked a total and complete mess. I had to wait about 2 hours so I could be a little more recovered before I could see my baby. It was a long two hours but I knowing that Spencer was with him made me feel a tiny bit better.

Finally getting to meet my baby was heaven. The number one thing I wanted from my birth was immediate skin to skin time. Since that didn't happen it was like pure torture waiting to get to see him. Spencer kept sending me pictures and the nurses and doctors kept telling me he was so cute but not being able to see or hold your baby is definitely not something I would want anyone to have to go through. Luckily I was on a bunch of drugs so I think that helped but it was still horrible. 

But once I got to hold him and see his sweet little face I was beyond happy. He was perfect.

 Thank the heavens for the sweet nurse Mary that was able to bring him to my room because after that first time I saw him he had to go back to the nursery and stay there so I couldn't see him until I was able to stand up which wasn't until hours later. There were so many people that were so good to us this day and I am so grateful for them all. 

The two biggest blessings of this whole thing are that I got an epidural so I didn't have to be knocked out due to the somewhat emergent nature of the c-section and the midwife that was on call that day. I had an appointment with this particular midwife (Jocelyn Yale) sometime in March and I literally thought during that appointment that I hoped she would be the one to deliver my baby. Now technically she didn't deliver my baby but she was by my side the whole time during they surgery. she kept stroking my arms and wiping away my tears. She was such a calming presence and knowing that she was on my side was a huge comfort. I am just so grateful that she was there especially since Spencer had to leave to be with the baby. She made a very scary experience much less scary and I am beyond grateful that she was on call that day. 

So there you have the birth story of our little Georgie. It was the complete opposite of what I wanted but it was what George needed to get into the world safely. We spent a few more days in the hospital getting George strong enough to go home and I will write about that and I will share a little bit more about some of my emotions but for now we are just so happy that we have our little baby even if he is keeping us up all night. 


  1. Thank you for sharing! I'm so glad that you are both okay and that you included the part about thinking he had a cone head! I needed a laugh! I can't wait to meet him!!

  2. I am in tears! I am so relieved you are both healthy. Can't wait to meet him.