Monday, August 27, 2012
Si's birth story, part two
Read part one of our birth story here.
At 7am on Friday morning, I had endured 19 hours of natural labor. We had been using some parts of the Bradley Method to help me relax my body to get through contractions and I was honestly surprised at how helpful it was. The contractions had been incredibly painful for about 4 hours and I had already gone through a serious self-doubt stage at around 3am. were certain that the cervical check at 7am was going to reveal that I was at least 7 or 8 cm dilated.
I was 3 cm dilated.
3 stinkin' centimeters.
I knew I had hit my limit and just couldn't continue without some pain medication, so I decided that it was time to ask for an epidural. Going into my labor, my goal was simply to see how far my body could take me without drugs. I was totally open to an epidural if I felt like I really needed it-- and at this point, I was happy to get those drugs.
I received the epidural at 8:20am and breathed a sigh of relief when the warm numbness spread through my legs. I could still feel the pressure of the contractions, but the pain was taken away. At this point, Chris and I both attempted to get some shut-eye. We were physically and emotionally exhausted from the night.
At 11am, I was checked again and told that I had only dilated to 4cm. Because of my slow progression, we were advised to start Pitocin, which we felt comfortable with at this point, since we'd given my body plenty of time to do its own thing.
Around 2:30 that afternoon, I began to feel my epidural wear off. First it felt like more pressure, and slowly I started to feel painful contractions. I was given a "top-off" which also wore off quickly.
At this point, I might as well tell you about our awful day shift nurse. Debra was cold and unresponsive to my questions and concerns and is probably the reason I unwillingly spent a tortuous hour without any pain meds at this point.
When she finally got the hint that the epidural was not working and I was in serious pain, I was given yet another "top-off" which wore off within an hour. More pain and pressure.
She decided to check me again and estimated that I was at 7cm. The doctor came in, did his own check and he said, "Not 7, but actually 6." More disappointing news.
My heart dropped. I wasn't progressing nearly as fast as I wanted and was feeling absolutely done.
Around this time, my mom walked into the hospital room. I burst into tears when I saw her and she did the same. I needed my mama. Chris was thankful to see her too-- he was utterly worn out from doing such a great job coaching me through the night and day.
I was told that my epidural had slipped and wasn't working properly (duh!), so they gave me a second one. Yep, they had to re-do the whole procedure and I had to sit still through several awful contractions as they did it.
With a second epidural in, I was checked again and our doc delivered the most disheartening news yet.
I had gone backwards from 6cm dilated to 5.
My doctor gently relayed the news that it was time for a C-section. My body was not doing the job to get my baby out and my water had broken almost 30 hours before.
I bawled. After 19 hours of natural labor, puking horribly through the night, an acid wretched throat from the vomit, two separate epidurals and pitocin-- this was how my labor was going to end?
I had never had any sort of surgical procedure, so along with all the emotions I felt after going through all of that, I was also scared of being cut open. But it was inevitable. I was comforted by the fact that I'd soon see my precious baby boy.
The doctor graciously said that both Chris and my mom could go in with me for the C-section.
They wheeled me off as my mom and Chris got dressed in scrubs and less than 20 minutes later, Silas Kai arrived.
I first glimpsed my Silas as he was lifted over the curtain and taken to the corner of the room to be cleaned, weighed and measured. I craned my neck to get a glimpse of him and saw his little feet kicking away and heard his beautiful cries.
We couldn't believe it when we were told he weighed in at 9lbs 4oz. He had a head full of wispy, dark hair and his right ear was folded over a bit. He had my looks and Chris' feet. He was perfect in every way.
We're absolutely in love with this baby boy and in the end, I love thinking back on our day and a half spent in that hospital as we waited for his arrival.
I'm proud of the hard work I did. It was so difficult and so worth it. I'm grateful that we were able to just roll with the events that came at us and I got to encounter almost every labor scenario.
I'm proud of Chris and the tough job he had of being by my side for almost every moment.
I'm grateful that my mom was able to help me through the last few hours of my labor and be there for her 11th grandchild's birth.
Most of all, I'm thankful for the beautiful, healthy son resting in my lap right now and the many blessings we've experienced through him already.
God is good.