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Old 11-21-2007, 06:37 PM   #1
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Simons' birth story and first days

There were parts of delivery that seemed kind of surreal. Labor with Simon was very different than my previous labors. With Charlotte, my last delivery, everything was fairly laid back. This was just downright intense.

I'd technically been in prodromal labor for the better part of three weeks. Contractions were frequently only five minutes apart, though not painful. More than anything they just kept me awake. Six days before Simon's birth I'd checked into L & D and spent the night, only to be sent home the following morning. I was about three centimeters dilated, partially effaced and had lost my plug. By Monday, November 11th, I was exhausted and frustrated. The older kids had been sick over the weekend, and on Sunday I started feeling some flu-like symptoms as well. I didn't feel horrible, but I had a lot of additional cramping in my abdomen and was spending more time in the restroom than I'd like.

Monday morning I woke up a little grumpy and crampy. I was still having contractions every three to five minutes, even though I'd been taking terbutaline. Dan, DH, had gone to work, and Jackson (DS) was home from school with mild tummy troubles. By ten am, I was getting more frustrated and wasn't feeling well at all. I called Dan to come home and our neighbor came over to watch the kids. We checked into L & D again around eleven am and got all hooked up. After another hour I was checked and found to be three and a half centimeters.

The contractions continued while I was being monitored and the nurses were really nice. They were just a little concerned since I was still technically about two and half weeks early, but not early enough to stop labor. They notified my CNM, Gretchen, around noon to fill her in and at one o'clock Gretchen came over and agreed to break my water and start pitocin. She came back with a nurse about two and they broke my water. Kind of. She was sure she'd got it, but there was no rush of fluid. It seemed like the baby was just in a spot that prevented it, and they said it would probably start the next time I used the restroom. It never did, but the pitocin definitely started intensifying the contractions.

My goal regarding the birth was to do what I could without pain medications. I'm not anti-epidural, but I was able to go without pain meds for Charlotte's birth, and while I would have loved to do that again, I was going to do whatever I could and that was okay with me.

By three thirty, I'd only progressed to a four and the contractions were definitely starting to hurt. I was a little discouraged to say the least. I'd had some mild back labor with Charlotte, but managed to stay in control and with deep breaths, I'd made it through them. These contractions were completely definitely. My entire lower back hurt really badly and it had started to radiate into my hips as well.

When Gretchen came back at four to check me, nothing had changed and I still hadn't had any fluid release. So they broke my water again. This time it took and we discovered that there was quite a bit of meconium in the fluid. Gretchen and the nurses were surprised, as meconium is rare in earlier births. But it may be the explanation for the early contractions. Once my water was broken, I was offered some pain relief, which I declined. I was hurting pretty badly, but I kept telling myself that I could handle just three more contractions. Just three more.

Two hours later, I wasn't doing well. I had only gotten to a six. The contractions were wracking my body and nothing I was doing helped me handle them well. It was almost like the labors you see on TV where the mom is writhing in pain, grabbing on to the bed rails and screaming. I wasn't quite screaming, but I was sure moaning and each time I got a little closer to losing my cool. I decided to get an epidural. I just couldn't focus, I was starting to panic and Dan was getting really worried.

The anesthesiologist came in with Gretchen and they checked me again to find I was almost an eight. When they told me, I wasn't so sure about getting the epidural now, but the anesthesiologist said that he could give me a small dose or two instead of a continuous dose, so I decided to go ahead. They had me sit up on the bed and hold on to Dan, and just as I did, there was another huge rush of fluid and I immediately felt different. The anesthesiologist went to work, but even with the next contraction, I started feeling my body push and I nearly lost my mind. Even in between contractions my back and hips were feeling horrible and I was almost crying. I ended up getting two doses of the epidural and as soon as they let me lay back down my body was ready and wasn't going to wait any longer. So the nurses and Gretchen rushed to grab gowns, gloves and trays of equipment while they yelled at the respiratory team to come immediately, all the while telling me to wait just a minute more. My legs started to feel heavy and the medication slowly started to take effect. I still wondered if I was right to get the epidural, despite the pain I was feeling.

By the time everyone was ready, I was about ready to start screaming. I wasn't in as much pain, but I clearly wasn't in control either, and I didn't like it at all. My body wanted to go ahead, and the smallest part of my head wasn't ready. It really seemed like a very strange dream and I didn't feel prepared. But nature had to take it's course. The epidural was partially working, but I could still feel the contractions with only a fraction of the discomfort. The baby's monitored revealed that his stats were dropping, so I was given an oxygen mask. My legs were lifted up into stirrups and I was told to start pushing with the next contraction. With Dan on one side and a nurse on the other, I pushed. I was expecting to feel the pressure I remembered from previous deliveries, but it didn't come yet. On the third contraction, the pressure came on with a vengeance and the moment it did, his head was out and I was forcefully told to stop pushing. It felt horrible. With the pressure and the feel of skin tearing, I started sobbing to just get him out. This was the moment that the epidural paid off. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to stop pushing. But the cord was wrapped around his neck and they desperately needed to cut it and suction the meconium out of his mouth and lungs before he could start breathing. They needed those moments to help him out.

Dan cut the cord, they finally told me to give one last push and he was here! They laid him on my belly, and the strange dream continued. It still didn't quite seem real. I stroked his hands and his head as he started to cry and I started shaking horribly. The nurses wiped him off and took him to the isolette to finish suctioning out his lungs. A few minutes later I pushed again to delivery the placenta. Upon examination they found that the cord and placenta were stained with meconium, indicating that it had been there for quite a while. Gretchen said that she was really glad they'd gone ahead with the delivery today as things could have been much, much worse had we waited longer. I was cleaned up and got a few stitches for a very small tear.

Once Simon was clean, measured and bundled up, they handed him over to Dan. He was born at 6:29 PM, weighing 7 lbs, 13 oz, 21 inches long and had a 14.25 inch, perfectly round head - yeowch! I guess I'd had a surge of adrenaline of something because I could not stop shaking violently. They told Dan to set Simon on my chest rather than let me support him with my arms. It was probably wise as I was still a bit confused and very uncoordinated. And that's when it became real. The minute I saw his sweet little puffy face and smelled that incredible newborn smell, my brain shifted gears and everything was all right. The nurses and doctors left the three of us alone for a little while and we marveled at our newest addition.

Simon looks like all of his siblings at once. He especially has a strong resemblance to Jackson as a baby. He has big feet, so big that they didn't fit in the footprint boxes on his hospital forms. His fingers are long and slender and stretch out longer than his hands and he doesn't keep them balled up into fists like most babies. They're usually stretched out or clasped together. Simon quickly settled down and fell asleep. He didn't have any interest in nursing yet, but I didn't mind at all. I just enjoyed how well he snuggled right into my body.

A nurse came to take Simon to the nursery while another brought me some apple juice and transferred me to a recovery room. Since my legs were numb, I was essentially rolled off one bed and onto another, which was strange! I hadn't laid on my stomach for so long, and I was still shaking so badly that I had a hard time even moving my upper body. The nursery called to tell Dan that they were about to bathe the baby, and then my stomach started to churn. Maybe it was the epidural, or the adrenaline or the fact that I hadn't eaten for so long, but the apple juice came back up. I wasn't in any pain, but my stomach was not happy at all. Dan stayed for a few more minutes to make sure I was okay and then left to go video tape Simon's first bath.

The nursery kept him for a little while to warm him up and about an hour after his bath, we got a phone call. There was a little bit of deja vu when they said Simon had turned a little 'dusky', but he was okay and they were going to keep him for observation for a little while until our pediatrician was able to come and check him out. The same thing had happened with Charlotte. I told the nursery that I absolutely did NOT want him to have a bottle if he started acting hungry and that we would be there shortly to try to nurse him. They were great. He had a monitor strapped to his foot to check his oxygen saturation, and just a few minutes after I picked him up, his vitals stabilized. They said that having me there with him was the best thing for him. He latched right on immediately, and nursed for nearly an hour before I had to go lie down. I agreed to keep him in the nursery as long as they brought him to me for nursing since I wouldn't have been able to sleep at all if I was constantly worried about his breathing. I slept fairly well in between feeding Simon and he was fine after that first episode and he was able to come stay with me the next morning.

Dan had to leave to go home that morning since my mom had to go teach school. He got the kids ready to come and visit and they were so excited. Evie popped her head in the room and said, "Where is he? Where's our little brother?" She was enthralled to say the least. She and Charlie loved stroking his head and giving him kisses. Jackson kept his distance, but watched carefully. Later on my brothers stopped by, then my mom, grandma, sister-in-law and sister throughout the day. Our kids are so lucky to have so many people nearby that love them!

On Wednesday Simon and I were discharged and we got home a little before noon. I was really feeling pretty good. I had slept longer than I had in months, and even my body wasn't hurting too badly, just feeling a little tired. While it was nice to be fed and cared for at the hospital, it was so nice to be home. Evie and Charlie are especially interested in the care and feeding of Simon. They were fascinated by every little diaper change and feeding. Charlotte is obsessed with Simon's pacifier and Evie is eagerly awaiting the falling off of the cord stump. They have the potential to be great helpers. Sometimes a little too great!


Micki - Mom to Jackson, Evie, Charlotte, Simon, missing our Lily Dawn (9.4.09) and having a little girl July 2010
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:51 AM   #2
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Re: Simons' birth story and first days

Congratulations on a healthy baby!
Busy Mamma to Farrah-2/15/93, Andrew-5/13/97,Tyler-4/29/02,Spencer-9/22/05, & Owynn Patrick-5/19/2008
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Old 11-22-2007, 09:39 AM   #3
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Re: Simons' birth story and first days

WOW. Doesn't sound fun at all. I am glad you and the baby are all right though. Congrats!
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
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Re: Simons' birth story and first days

Congratulations!! He sounds perfect
*** Daniela - Proud Fiance to Donnie ***
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: Simons' birth story and first days

What a wonderfully detailed birth story! I haven't read too many birth stories of someone who was willing to go natural but open to an epidural, and who had some experience with natural birth. I'm glad that you made a a good decision for you.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:54 AM   #6
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Re: Simons' birth story and first days

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing!
Cristina- Mama to a bunch of super kids!
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:39 PM   #7
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Re: Simons' birth story and first days

Congratulations!! Thank you for such an honest and descriptive birth story!
Wife to Aaron, Mama to Ayla (2/2006), Colton (1/2008) and Allana (7/2013)
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:46 PM   #8
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Re: Simons' birth story and first days

Congratulations! His birth sounds very similar to my newest addition on the 17th!
Joshua 24:15
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