Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Birth Story For Baby #4

NOTE: I am posting this here and not at my address, because my domain name expired, and I need to talk to customer service to get it back up.  Until then, I'm just gonna post here.  I can import these later.

So, as many of you already know, baby boy A decided to hang out in the breech position, particularly in the footling breech position.  This is a dangerous breech position, because in addition to the feet being down in the pelvis, you run the risk of the umbilical cord going down there, too.  The cord could get lodged in the birth canal during labor and potentially lead to still birth or birth defects like cerebral palsy.

That being said, I did not want to go into labor with the baby in the footling breech position.  So when my doctor gave me the option of trying to have the baby manually turned, I jumped at that.  I had done my research, and I knew that trying to turn the baby (or ECV - external cephalic version) was the only chance I'd have at a vaginal delivery.  I also knew that there is a good chance that the procedure would not work and I'd end up with a c-section, anyway.  So, the plan was to go ahead with a scheduled ECV, and then if successful, I would stay for an induction.  (This would ensure that the baby would not turn back to breech before I went into labor.)  If it wasn't successful, then I would have a c-section right there so that we wouldn't risk going into labor on my own with a breech baby.

So, the big day comes.  I was told to be at the hospital at 4:30 a.m.  Kyle and I got down there, and the front desk couldn't find us in the computer.  They had no record of our scheduled procedure.  They called L & D upstairs, and they had to search through all the paperwork from probably the last several days.  It took a while, but L & D found it and sent it down to the registration desk.  We were a little worried for a while there, to say the least.

We got the go ahead to head to Labor and Delivery.  I was already a tad nervous.  The doctor had already told me that the hospital informed him that they had no room for inductions.  So, I knew that I could potentially get up there, turn the baby, and be sent home with the possibility of the baby flipping back before birth.

I had my support team coming a little later, and that was my friend who is studying to be a midwife and my mother-in-law.  I agreed to have my friend in there along with Kyle to observe the ECV.

So, I get in there and they set me up with a room, monitor the baby, and start me with an I.V.  Oh yeah, I'm feelin' pretty hospitalized already.  The nurse who got all my information was very cheerful and nice.  Kyle's mom and my friend arrived, and it seemed like the time was flying by.  My procedure was going to start between 7 and 7:30, but it seems like the wait in between felt really short.  When it was time to go back to the E.R., my nerves were beginning to shoot through the roof.  This is where time was weird and things were weird, too.

They took me back there for the epidural while Kyle and my friend were prepped and told they had to wait in the hall until after I got the epidural.  I had cleared their presence with both of the doctors beforehand.  So, I have no idea what happened when I got in there, but they didn't get to come in.

Anyway, getting back to the epidural.  This was the worst epidural experience that I have had yet.  I've had it twice before without any complications.  This time was different, though.  I think that I had to get stuck at least 4 or 5 times before they found the right spot.  I have no idea why.  It seemed to take much longer than I remember from before, too.  I know that in the past, I was in active labor when I had it done.  So, I actually had to hold still in the midst of severe contractions to get it done.  The fact that I was more focused on those contractions than the epidural during those times may be the reason the epidural was easier to deal with.  But, I'm not sure.  I don't think they had to stick me so many times before.  Anyway, it was a long ordeal.

After that, they instructed me on how to position myself on the table and asked me questions to see if the epidural was working properly.  I was super-duper nervous at that point.  I was shaking, and I know it was more from nerves than the epidural, because the shakes started first.  The scene in there was intense.  Lots of nurses running around.  The nurse that had brought me in there was new to the labor and delivery department.  She had been a nurse for 3 years, but this was her very first day in L & D.  I could see that she was flustered, and the other nurses were looking like she needed to get it together.  This may have been the reason that Kyle and my friend were not brought back in for the ECV.  I mentioned something to one of the other nurses about "when my husband comes in..." and that was supposed to be a hint to remind them.  But, it didn't work.  Before I knew it, the doctors were in there, and the whole thing was starting.  Meanwhile, Kyle and my friend were still waiting in the hall and wondering what was taking so long.

I was stuck inside, a ball full of nerves, and I figured it must have been too late at that point to get them in there.  So, what happened?  I still don't know.  It is very possible that the doctors didn't want them in there, but I didn't get that sentiment from them when I spoke to them both just the day before.  My other guess is that the new nurse was really flustered and completely forgot about them, and none of the other nurses probably knew they were supposed to be brought in.  Well, in short, I was disappointed and so were they.

Other than that, the ECV went alright.  My nerves didn't let up the whole time.  I felt a lot of pressure, but the epidural worked well.  There wasn't much actual pain.  That's a good thing, because the procedure itself is very painful.  I could tell by the vibe that the doctors were trying their best to get the baby to turn.  They managed to get the feet dislodged from the pelvis, which gave me a little hope.  But, when it came to moving the head, it wasn't happening.  They tried to turn it in both directions, but nothing.  They tried several times, and it wasn't working.  I remember hearing them say "let's give it one last try," and I was just hoping and praying that this would be it.  I was hoping this last ditch effort would work, and we could start the induction... it didn't.

I knew that I was about to have a c-section.  I was mentally prepared for that news, though.  So, I was disappointed, but accepting.  I know that towards the end I got a little teary-eyed.  It was just an overwhelming experience.

It seemed like from there it was the blink of an eye, and we were ready to do a c-section.  My friend and Kyle were brought in for that, and it all happened very fast.  My memory is a blur.  The doctor told me that I would feel less pain than I had from the ECV, and he was right.  I barely even felt anything when they had cut me open.  I wasn't even sure they had until they told me that the baby was almost out.  I remember my friend held my hand, and I looked up and cried when they told me he out out, and he was beautiful.  It was strangely more emotional than my previous births, which I don't think I cried for those at all.  The next part is blurry again.  I know they took some pictures of the baby, but I don't even remember seeing the baby before they took him to the nursery.  I asked Kyle later, and he said that he did indeed show me the baby.  Kyle and my friend had to leave when they sewed me up.  Then, I was in there for a short time until I went to the recovery room where I was going to have to stay for observation for a while before going to a room and seeing any family.

I made sure I let them know that I would be nursing the baby, and I needed to try as soon as possible.  So, I reminded the nurse again a few minutes after I got into the recovery room.  She called the nursery, and they were already on their way with my newborn son.  Well, this is my happy ending.  They brought me my baby, and he was wonderful.  (I am so gonna cry now thinking about it.)  The lactation consultant helped me get him started nursing, and he did great.  There is so much more to tell about the hospital and the challenges of the next few days and even weeks, but I'll save that for another time.

I am just overjoyed (here come the tears again) that even though I didn't have everything the way I wanted, I have a perfect, healthy baby, and I'm healthy, too.  I thank God for blessing me and my family, for keeping us safe and healthy, and for prayers answered.