Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Huey!

Today is Huey's 8th Birthday. I didn't write his birth story last year as I had just had the surgery so I will do it today :) It's much different than the girls' birth stories and is a great example of how one intervention leads to another and sometimes doctors should just back off and let a mom do what her body is telling her. There's alot about my pregnancy here, because it was my first :) and most well documented, LOL.

I wanted to get pregnant in early fall 1999 (OMG...that was another century ago!) so I would be due as close to the end of the school year as possible (but not in the summer break)--I was working as a substitute teacher so wanted to get as much in as possible, but I didn't want a summer break baby. I got pregnant the very first month, on the Labour Day long weekend while visiting families :) on our way out of the country for our last good road trip holiday. We told everyone right away, before six weeks even. My journal gave me a due date of June 1, the ultrasound said May 27, the doctor's wheel said June 3, and the delivery nurses said he looked a little 'overcooked'. I think if he had been in a better position, he might have been born a little sooner.

The first trimester was pretty good, although when I went for the first visit around 12 weeks, I was a little surprised at my weight gain! It would become a trend that I put on weight in the first trimester, but not much in the second. During week 19, after arriving back home from visiting families for Christmas, I came down with influenza. The onslaught was sudden, quick, and total. I was bedridden for several days, but did manage to get out of bed and powder my face for the big Y2O New Year's (Y2O? Y2K? whatever. It was long ago and the world obviously didn't self-combust). We took a pathetic picture at midnight while awaiting the catastrophic collapse of the modern society. Then I went to bed for another day or so. It took nearly 6 weeks before I felt 'normal' again. I would later learn that fever in the second trimester is associated with developmental issues.

Despite putting on weight early on, I seemed to take forever to look pregnant, and finally put on 'real' maternity pants around week 26. Around 6 weeks later the cashier at Zehrs asked me when I was due. I was pre-occupied with bagging the eggs, and thought she had asked about the 'due date' of the eggs, LOL. She was the first stranger to ask me out of the blue so it took a moment to register that she meant me!

On May 13, Rob's parents came up, and at one point in the afternoon, things shifted and it hurt to sit down. Walking was suddenly slow too and we went for a long walk. I had been having quite a bit of feet and hand swelling, but it wasn't horrible. This back pain continued, but about 13 days before he was born, it got worse. Way worse. I'd feel this horrific pain on either side of center in my back pelvis, like being kicked with steel-toed boots. I realized it coincided with when he was awake. The doctor just said it was probably his head. Well, yeah, but why? My books never mentioned a pain like this! Pain at the front where the pubic bones can separate, but not this back pain. It turns out, as best we can figure, that he had his head sideways and would rock his head back and forth on my pelvic bone--rubbing/banging against the SI joints on either side of the spine/tailbone. Oh, I wish I had known about http://www.spinningbabies.com/ back then. If I had been seeing a midwife, it's possible she would have clued in to what had happened, and recommended ways to lift him back up and rotate his head. But, maybe not.

I had lots of labour signs around May 25, so I think if he had been in position, it might have happened sooner.

On June 2 Rob took the afternoon off and came with me to the doctor's. I wanted to be induced because I was sure I was overdue and was in so much pain. The doctor said no, not due yet, wait another week. We left and went shopping at Zehrs. We decided to get big, thick, juicy steaks for the barbecue. Oh, they were SO good!!! I had heard that high fat meals can send blood vessels into contractions---heart attack---so I thought maybe I could start labour :)

At about 11pm that night, I noticed bleeding and mucous. All that meant was that baby would come in the next TWO weeks. I tried to go to sleep. At 11:50pm I had a contraction that felt different than in the months previous. Ten minutes later, I had another. I got up and walked around. Ten minutes later, another one. The contraction didn't hurt, but the pain in my back was intense, and sporadic and made it hard to tell when I was having a contraction and when I was just having pain. Then the contractions moved to about 8 minutes apart, as best as I could tell. Around 4am I woke Rob up and said "I'm having a baby!" He said "No" and rolled over, LOL. I had a shower which felt good, but it was really hard to time the contractions, which had been at 5 minutes since about 2am. We left for the hospital at 4:30 and had to stop at the bank and Tim Horton's, although I couldn't eat.

At the hospital I had the monitor on for 30 agonizing minutes, and they checked me at 5:50am and said I was JUST beginning to dilate! OMG, I was stunned I wasn't at 4cm already! It wasn't painful (just my back), but later I learned that that's just how I am in labour.

At 9:30, they checked me again and said "Stretchy 5cm". How did I go from nothing to 5cm in 3 1/2 hours? I had been all prepared to want warm things---the jacuzzi, hot water bottles/pads, etc. The only thing I really liked was Rob rolling a frozen water bottle on my lower back as hard as he could. I was up and walking around and apparently doing great.

I spoke with the anesthesiologist about the epidural, and about how I really didn't want one, but the back pain was so bad (and poor Rob's hands were frozen, LOL). He thought I was doing super and didn't need it! He said he'd check back about an hour after they break my water, which they did around noon. Contractions were much stronger, and apparently I got Demerol, according to my notes. I sort of remember that--but why did I agree to Demerol with Megan? I don't remember the anesthesiologist coming back; I think the nurses told him I was doing fine although I didn't think so.

Around 4:30, I was fully dilated with just a little lip remaining (something else that would happen the other times too; and around the same time of day!). But I didn't feel an urge to push. This had been a concern of mine before---how do you know when to push, and everyone says "You'll know!". I don't think I heard that it was also normal for the body to take a break at this point. The doctor (not my family doctor; this was an older doctor that the nurses didn't really know, and I had never met) decided I should get the epidural and rest for awhile. Then he left for dinner. I wonder if he knew it was going to be a difficult delivery--when he retired there was an article on him in the paper, and before the OBs came, he was the difficult birth doctor. Around this time someone told the families that if there were problems, or if I didn't deliver soon, I would be airlifted to the nearest hospital (45 minutes by car) for a c-section.

As soon as he left, I wanted to push! The nurses wouldn't let me because I was supposed to be getting the epidural. But that doctor had been called into the OR for an emergency and I had to wait. And wait. And wait, and not push. Oh yeah. No pushing. OMG, it was agony. Finally, around 7pm, the anesth. (Dr Cino) came in. He started right away, but because of the contractions, it took him almost 45 minutes to do the 10 minute procedure. Rob had to leave the room because he felt so bad for me. Finally, around 8pm, the lights were dimmed, I plugged in my CD player, and listened to Peter Gabriel's "The Last Temptation of Christ".

At about 9pm, I noticed that the beeping on the heart rate machine had suddenly slowed, and instead of just more than two beeps per second, it was beeping just slightly faster than the second hand on the clock. I looked over and saw 80. I knew that wasn't good. A minute later it happened again, and then the door flew open, the lights were turned on, an oxygen mask was slapped on my face, I think I was rolled over, then the nurse yanked the mask off and put a larger one on, the doctor flew in, Rob was right behind (they had actually been on their way in when the alarms went). It was a big blur of voices and commands. I couldn't feel anything but they wanted me to push. They got the vacuum, but the nurse couldn't seem to co-ordinate with the doctor and he got mad. Rob was getting green. Then I could feel something go upwards inside the birth canal, and then downwards. Cord around the neck was shouted. And baby was out. It was strangely very silent for a moment or two once baby was out. Rob was sitting on the floor by this point I think. The doctor was pretty white too and just sat back on his little stool and didn't say anything for a few minutes.
The baby was immediately taken to the warmer and a nurse said "He sprayed me" and when I looked over, she had a blood splatter from her waist up. There was also a true knot in the cord, and the doctor said it was probably the longest cord he had ever seen, and that probably saved his life.

Over the next two days I got more of the story. After the vacuum, the doctor took a scalpel and gave me a quick and long episiotomy (it took almost 45 minutes after the birth before I was 'cleaned up' for family). He inserted his fingers, stuck them in Huey's ears, and pulled him out. He was born at 9:13pm, 7lb 12oz and 20 1/2" long. The IV was kept in for most of the night, and I was not feeling good.

That was a Saturday night, and we got to go home mid-day on Monday. By the time we left, my feet started swelling up. They got REALLY bad. On Tuesday the public health nurses came for a routine visit and said everything was going great and I probably wouldn't get engorged. We went to Brampton for the afternoon; it was so hot. We were checking out at Costco and everything started to go blurry and I nearly passed out. My mom had stayed for the week, so she cooked liver for dinner (iron). I don't mind it too much if someone else cooks it, LOL.

That night, around 11pm, my breasts turned to rocks. OMG. It hurt. I was leaking everywhere, but Huey wouldn't latch on. The nurses had given me some formula samples and a finger feeding syringe because I didn't want to use bottles. That helped him, but what about me? A shower felt good, but didn't do anything. My breast pump was still in the box because everything had said not to pump before three weeks. So, 1am, I'm wandering around the kitchen sterilizing a breast pump and bottles, while leaving a snail trail of liquid gold on the floor. Finally I could pump and OMG, was there a lot. The cycle of course started again, but not so bad, and at least I could give him breast milk with the finger feeder. It was a long night....that Rob slept through.
That next day (or maybe the next?) another public health nurse came over, and finally, right at the end of her visit, thought maybe a shield would do the trick to get him to latch again. She didn't like using them, but it worked, and had NO affect on my supply the entire five months I used it! He nursed alot, and after a couple weeks, the reflux started. Then other things started showing up......and I'll go into his Sensory Processing Dysfunction journey on another day.
It wasn't the birth I had planned. Much of that was because of having the stranger doctor and no one felt really comfortable with him (including the nurses--who were great with me). If they had just let me push when I wanted to, it might not have turned into such an emergency. However, I might have had to push for three hours--the time I laid there and tried not to push--he did the moving down on his own. So, I guess I got the labour I wanted (but no jacuzzi), but not the delivery I wanted. Oh well, he's here, and he's EIGHT! today!


Brooke said...

Goodness! I'm not sure I would have gone on to have more kids w/ a first pregnancy/labor/delivery like that!!!!
Happy Birthday Huey! He sure is cute :)

Cheryl-lynn said...

the cord was wrapped around my neck to when my mom had me. I think mom was in labour for 36 hrs or some crazy thing. When I came out I was blue and my mom was scared to hold me at first cuz she thought I look like my sister. Who died two mths before her due date. My mom got a virus that ended up killing my sister. And ppl wonder why having a baby scares the crap out of me... it's stories like these.