Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Liam's Birth Story - Part 1

Today our son, Liam, will be 1 week old and we are just now able to get around to writing his birth story.  My husband helped me write this post as I am still caring for little Liam and in some discomfort.  Plus, he remembers parts that I don't.

Last Tuesday at my 40 week appointment, (I was 39 weeks 6 days pregnant) I went in to my doctors office for my weekly checkup. That morning I had energy, was feeling great and even ran some errands. At the doctors I got my blood pressure checked and was then told to undress for my exam. Just as I was undressing, I felt like I had peed myself and saw the floor was wet. I cleaned it up and then thought, wait did my water just break??? The doctor walks in and I say "Well either I just peed on your floor or my water broke." She got really excited and confirmed it was my water but that I was not contracting. She told me to wait 3 hours and then head to the hospital.

I called Steve and he left work. The next 3 hours were spent cleaning the house (you wouldn't know it now). We got to the hospital, got checked in and was hooked up to monitors. I was not contracting so at 7:30 PM they suggested that I walk the halls. I'm smiling in the photo below as I don't feel any contractions... yet.

We walked for hours until a room was ready for me for delivery. Our hospital had a three room system for delivery.  Triage, THE Delivery and then Post Pardon.  By 10:30 PM, I was setup in the Delivery room.

By 11:00 PM, I was still not feeling any contractions, the doctor on call put me on pitosin to jump start them. As time passed, we both got tired.  Steve slept on the pull out bed and I tried to catch some sleep whenever I could.

Throughout the night, our little Liam kept kicking my rib.  Maybe it was his kicking, or perhaps just time; at 2:30 AM, my second pocket of water broke.  Up until this point, I did not feel much pain, aside from nausea.  Now it came with vengeance and contractions began to speed up a little with pain.  I was tired, nauseous, having great pain and by 3:38 AM, the anesthesiologist was in my room with an epidural.  Steve left the room as a precaution for fear of fainting, but said he could hear me out in the hall yelling. It hurt so much, the anethesiologist said that my back was too muscular for a direct placement of the needle.  Instead, she had to insert through the side of the spine.  When the anesthesiologist was done, Steve came back in and I tried to sleep. Then the nausea picked up. I threw up so bad and, not to be gross but my vomit projected a couple feet onto Steve and all over the nurse. I thought it wouldn't stop.  When a break eventually occurred, the nurse went to change and I was checked by the resident.  At 4:46 AM, I was at 4.5 cm.

Between now and 9:00 AM, at some point, the anesthesiologist turned down the dose for the epidural to allow me to "feel the contractions better", yey....  This I do not particuarly remember, but Steve mentioned to me that by reducing the dose, aside from "feeling" it more, the medicication was able to last throughout the delivery, running dry at the moment of our Liam's birth.

With the epidural taking effect and my nausea relaxing a bit after the prior episode, I was able to rest.  Steve and I slept a couple of hours with the nurse checking in on me every 15 minutes.  Just before 7:00 AM, I was at 7 cm.  By 8:30 AM, I was fully dialated at 10 cm (+1).  Oh the nausea!

The resident wanted us to hold off on pushing for the time being.  The head was not visible and I was so tired.  She suggested that we wait for our baby to "labor down".  I panicked, fearing that when the time came, that I've forgoten how or what to push!  Our one day class a couple of months ago seemed so far away, I just didn't remember how.  The nurse (whom the doctor called "Bubbles") gave me instruction and at 9:20 AM, I began pushing with nurse "Bubbles" holding one leg and Steve holding the other.  We tried pushing on my back for an hour, then on my side and finally with a squat bar (this felt the best). The resident came by periodically to check my progress, which by 11:30 AM, slowed.  I was so sick and so tired that I just wanted him out. I began to loose direction, and he hadn't moved past my pubic bone. The doctor decided to use a vacuum and prepped the room for Liam. 

Steve began to get excited.  The room, which was occupied for 21 hours by just the two, maybe three, of us, was now in full force.  The doctor, resident, "Bubbles" the nurse, an intern and two other nurses had the room ready in minutes.  Stainless steel equipment was pulled out of the faux wood cabinets, with an assortment of shiny medical utensils wrapped in sterile bags.  The doctor came in with his intern following.  He carried a large blue bag and seeing the look on my face as he placed it below my pelvis said, "This is incase I drop him...", and smiled.  Dr. Joker kept making little quips now and then, I didn't really find it funny, but then again, I wasn't in the right frame of mind. 

The resident was in position, readying the vacuum.  At this stage, I am at +2.  The vacuum was placed onto his head and together we pushed/pulled on Liam.  It was a Tug of War... the resident was intent on doing her best.  Either she realised her strength may not of been enough, or in desperation, she readjusted the vacuum on Liam's head after it kept poping off.  She then placed a foot on the frame of the bed, grabbed the line from the vaccum and pulled like she was fishing the biggest catch out of the ocean.... the vacuum popped off again.  The resident was slapped by the utensil being flung onto her.  They re-attached the vacuum, tried again... with everyone started shouting "PUSH, GEMMA, PUSH!"  I pushed for what felt like an eternity.  Then his head came out!

The doctor and resident began cleaning out his mouth, but we weren't done yet.  Two more pushes and his shoulders came through.  The shoulders were the last to deliver and the most painful. But then I hear something to the effect of, "Gemma! Look down! Look at your son!" Nurse "Bubbles" then said, "Dad, Dad, DAD!" to Steve who was just staring with teary eyes at me and our son.  She got his attention and added, "...get your camera."

The following are the photos he took immediately afterwards:

Even now, writing this, I tear up. It was the best feeling to hold him. I was in love. We did skin to skin right away and I just held him and talked to him while they stitched me up. The doctor and resident needed to conduct an episiotomy, making a 3rd degree cut to give him enough room.

William Ferencz was born on his due date of June 27th at 12:49pm. He was 22 inches long weighing an impressive 8 lbs. 7 oz. with a full head of beautiful silky black hair.

Steve was able to capture an audio of Liam's birth.  Here is a 9 minute clip from the recording (this is best played on a computer, not a mobile device, i.e. cell phone):

Recovery has been tough so far.  We were in the hospital until Friday, June 29, 2012.  Breastfeeding has been a challenge but we are working on it.  I will write another post on Liam's first week.