I started writing this the day after I had him and just finished today so sorry if it's not written very well. It's hard to write about a time when it's so easy to forget everything that has happened at specific times (water breaking, epidural, pushing, etc.). It's like I needed to write about everything while it was happening so this post may seem a little scattered. :]
Well he is here. Levi Anton Price came yesterday (10-13-12) at 1:54pm weighing in at 6 lbs 15oz and 20 inches long. It was quite the process getting him here. Right now my parents are here (my mom is holding Levi) and Jarom went to go get some sleep and shower at their house so I thought this was the perfect time to write the wonderful birth story.
Well this all started at a regular OB check up and stress test Friday (10-12) at 8am. As I wrote in my last blog post I had been dealing with some really intense itching which is a sign of liver problems. They had done a blood test over a week ago to see what my some of my liver levels were. When I came in for my appt. on Friday I talked to the OB to see what my numbers had been and they couldn’t find them. I went back to the lab to have another blood draw that they were going to process ASAP to see what they were. I went upstairs, had the blood draw, came back down and they had found the numbers from the previous week. I’m not sure exactly what liver number they were looking at but the normal level is 16, mine was 238! This indicated that I liver cholestasis. They still ran the second test and the liver number was the same. The OB said they wanted Jarom and I to head over to labor and delivery to be checked for pre-ecclampsia. If I was showing positive for pre-ecclampsia then they would induce me that day, if not they said they would give us up to 48 hours to get our things together and come back.
We went in and I wasn’t showing any signs of pre-ecclampsia but they still wanted to admit me. Liver chloestasis isn’t to bad for mom and when baby is pre-term they will use antibiotics to treat it but, once the mom is 37 weeks they induce her because babies who go full term are more likely to be still born. Since I would be 37 weeks the next day (Saturday the 13) they just wanted to get him out. Part of me wanted to get our things together but I was pretty nervous and I couldn’t help but think that by the time they started the inducing process the next day, I could already have a baby if I let them induce me right away. So we went in.
When I went in I was 1.5 cm dilated and 40% effaced. They started off giving me Misoprostal (a pill they place next to the cervix to help it ripen.) They gave me 3 doses and amazingly enough my water broke around 4am (at this point I was at 2cm dilated and 50% effaced)!!! I couldn’t believe it and I was so happy. Usually the Misoprostal just gets the cervix ready for pitocin but my body went into labor. The nurses were very surprised. It was such a blessing!
Then came the next big question, epidural or natural. I had studied up some on going natural and really wanted too so I thought I’d just go as long as I could. I’m sad to say I didn’t make it very far. Even before I started labor there were 2 reasons why I thought I might not go natural. The first was that I really hadn’t done a lot of research on it and going natural is not really something I think you can just jump into. I feel like that would be trying to run a marathon without training (not likely to happen.) The second set back would be if the contractions were making me really nauseated (I don’t handle that very well.) The contractions weren’t too bad at first (no nausea) but, like normal contractions, progressively started getting worse and were shooting all around (from stomach to back.) I had only had about 4 hours of sleep the night before and maybe an hour of sleep that night on and off before my water broke. This made me incredibly tired and as the contractions became worse I started crying (well sobbing really) because of pain and lack of sleep. This helped nothing as every time a contraction hit I would break down sobbing, couldn’t breath, and was shaking uncontrollably from the stress that my body was going through. I couldn't relax! My contractions were about 2 min apart (if I was lucky) and were lasting for over a minute. Many times though I would have 3 or 4 contractions back to back with no break. I had heard when you go natural that usually when you hit that moment where you don’t feel you can go on any further is when you need to push.Well about 15min before the pain became unbearable they had come in and checked me and I had only been at 5cm and 50% effaced. I almost wanted them to check me again to see if I had made some miraculous jump to an 8 or so. Probably not and I couldn't fathom what 10cm would feel like when I could barely handle 5cm so I decided to get the epidural. Another reason why I wanted to get the epidural also had to do with them checking me. I hated that! I had a hard enough time trying to relax with them up there pushing a creating so much pressure and then adding contractions on top of that was horrible.
Getting the epidural was a lot of fun going in while I was sobbing, shaking uncontrollably, and not being able to breathe. As soon as a contractions would hit the 2 anistheologists and nurse would yell “don’t move, don’t move, you can do this!” Luckily (if that’s the right word) I have had practice holding still even during intense pain so I was able to not move and it went in well. Also the thought of having something go wrong around your spine is a pretty good motivator to not move one muscle. The only thing I felt was the lidocane shots and some pressure (but these were nothing compared to the contractions I was feeling.) I was pretty much equally numb on both sides and I could also still feel and move my legs and feel the lower contractions. By now it was around 6am and I was beyond exhausted. My mom, dad, and Rhonda were in the waiting room and my mom and Rhonda came back for a little bit to see how I was doing. Around 7am the nurse came in, checked me, and I was 9cm dilated and 100% effaced. The epidural had completely calmed me down and I had been able to relax enough that my body went straight to a 10. Well I actually was at 10cm. The nurse said 9cm so they could chart it as 9cm so I could get a couple hours of sleep before I started pushing (I love her!)
My mom and Rhonda left and I did sleep for a little bit (I maybe got an hour and a half.)
They came back in and I was having some good contractions every 2 min so we got ready to push. This started around 9:30am. Everything was going great for a while until my body only started contracting every 5min. I was making progress when I pushed but by the time the next contraction rolled around I had pretty much lost whatever progress I had made. Plus he was stuck under my pelvic bone and just couldn’t make it through (I guess I’m pretty small). This was going on for about 3 hours until a doctor came in and telling me that it was time to start thinking of different options.
The first was the vacuum where they put a suction type cup on the babies head and help suck him out while I’m pushing. The second was a c-section which would have been very difficult with how far he had already made it (I mean when I was pushing I could see the top of his head in a mirror.) I was NOT going to have a c-section. I had come too far, not to mention it would have been horrible with my CF as I need to cough and stay active. I asked if they could run some pitocin for a while to see if they couldn’t get my contractions closer together. I started feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Luckily the OB came in and was a lot calmer about everything. He said they usually don’t go over 3 hours but every woman is different and I could take some more time as there was no stress on the baby. That helped me relax and I really liked him (he wasn’t as intense as the previous lady doctor who had come in.)
I pushed for another hour and a half with pitocin but there was no significant progress (even with the doctors hand up inside me trying to help him out.)
We decided to move forward with the vacuum. Once they set everything up Little Levi was out in about 3 min. As they were setting things up one of the nurses looked at me and said “Now you still need to push as hard as you can. I’m just going to be guiding him out with the vacuum but you still need to do all the work.” Alright I was fine with that. Then I got this part of the story from Jarom afterward…
Apparently “guiding him out” meant pulling as hard as she could, straining every muscle in her body. I started pushing and after a while (maybe 20 sec. I’m guessing) the vacuum popped off his head and she stumbled backward. Everyone kind of freaked out but did so in a way that they kept pushing me more, loudly saying, “You’re doing a great job,” “almost there,” “keep pushing.” The nurse jumped back and quickly suctioned the vacuum back onto his head and kept pulling (my poor baby!)
I just kept pushing and pushing (even though I wasn’t contracting at all) and he finally made it. Because he was vaccumed out they couldn’t give him right to me because of complications he could have (blood pooling in the head, broken collar bone, etc.) and they passed him off to the pediatricians. I asked the doctors if anything was broken and they said no (YAY!). They took him, did a short examination, and then laid him on my chest but I was in a horrible position and it was really awkward holding him. Plus I’ve never felt like more of a little kid in my life. Here they were laying this beautiful baby boy on my chest and I felt like a baby myself.
I held him for a little bit but I guess I was a little zoned out. I hope I don’t sound like a bad mom but all I could focus on was getting cleaned up and in a position where I could really enjoy holding him and looking at him so I passed him off to Jarom (everything was pretty surreal at this point. It still is I guess :]).
I tore pretty badly (stage 3). So I tore up the vaginal canal and then almost back to my rectum (at least that’s how I understood it. Stage 4 is the worst tearing all the way to the rectum.) I also received some lovely hemorrhoids. Amazingly I wasn’t that swollen. The nurses were very surprised at how well I looked after 4 hours and 30min of pushing.
After they sowed me/cleaned me up I felt much better and really held Levi. I hope no one calls CPS on me for saying this but maybe it will help someone else who felt the same way. :] I really didn’t have much attachment to Levi when he first came. It was still very surreal when he came and he just didn’t feel like my baby. I mean I could barely wrap my head around the fact that I had just had a baby. I think part of it hitting for women is being in the hospital and having so much done to them. Maybe because I’ve been in the hospital so much and had so many procedures that could have been part of the reason it wasn’t hitting. I don’t know why. I had never felt super attached when I was pregnant either. I mean if I had a miscarriage I would have been devastated and I obviously would have felt the same if something had gone wrong in delivering him but it just took a while before I started getting the protective/ mama bear feelings. They’ve definitely come full force since I’ve had him. Don’t mess with my baby bear. :]
I guess I felt a little guilty at first because I had talked to so many women that said as soon as the doctor laid their baby on their chest it was magic. They didn’t even realize what was going on around them. I just didn’t have that when they put him on my chest. Like I said I just needed Jarom to take him until I felt better and like I could hold him.
He is the most amazing little man. He is just so special. Everything that he has gone through since he has been here he’s taken in stride. No matter the procedure (recovery after birth, bath, blood test, glucose tests, circumcision, breast feeding, sleeping, etc.) the nurses have been amazed at how well he has handled everything. He is so strong and has already made me a stronger person. I love him so much!
Holding daddy's finger
A little pre-pushing kiss
Here he is
Holding daddy's finger
First time I got to hold Levi... happy and in shock that they're placing MY baby on my chest. Unreal...
If you're wondering what sweet relief looks like... the next two pictures are it. My "I don't have to be rushed into an emergency c-section/ my baby is here" face of relief.
Trying to hold back the tears so I didn't start sobbing again plus... I love Jarom's face.
Passed him off to dad.
Showing Levi to cautious grandpa. :]
Grandma with grand-baby #3.
Getting to hold my baby after I've been sown/cleaned up. SO much better. :]