Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Matthew William's Birth Story

We went in for our 41 week appointment on Monday. We had been trying to go into labor for the past week, hoping to avoid pitocin. I had not progressed since the week before and they hooked me up to the NST to check on Baby. While we were hooked up, I had a few very mild contractions and Baby didn't seem very active. (Looking back, it was at this point that I knew that things were not going to work out the way I had expected and that we were headed toward trouble.) The OB was concerned that the placenta was getting too old the keep up with Baby and decided to send us across the street to the hospital for an Oxytocin Challenge Test. (They administer IV pitocin at a higher level than they would start you at if they were inducing to see how the baby would respond to "real labor.") This was at 5:30.

We called my mom to let her know that we were headed to the hospital for testing and we may not be coming home and to ask her to be prepared to take over our hospital bags.

We got through all the admitting and they finally got us all hooked up and started the pitocin at around 6. Baby perked up on the monitors at around 8 and did really well for the OCT. Krys and I talked it over and decided that since Baby was doing so well on the pitocin and that I was handling the contractions easily that we were going to agree to let the OB induce me since we didn't know how Baby would react to the medication later in the week and that it was a possibility that that he would struggle. They took me off the pitocin and placed cervidil at 10 after the contractions had slowed.

Both Krys’ and my parents came to the hospital to see us and make sure that we were ok. The visits were welcome and comforting. Krys’ dad gave me a blessing and after he left, Krys and I tried to get some sleep.

Krys and I got up around 6 the next morning. We had had a hard time sleeping through the night and wanted a chance to walk around and enjoy some time together before things really got busy. At about 8, our moms arrived, my OB came in to check me (still at a two, but more ripe than I had been) and start the pitocin.

Labor went really, really well. All the practice relaxation really paid off.

I finally convinced Krys to go get some lunch with Juli at 2:00, assuring him that I was doing well with my mom and that it was going to be awhile til baby got there.

At 2:15, my OB came in and checked me. After the internal, he stood up and said "Are you ready to talk about some very serious options?” I answered “Not without Krys.” My mom immediately got on the phone with Krys, told him “Get in here NOW” and hung up.

Doctor Johnson told me that if we didn’t do a c-section immediately, the baby would have very serious risks for mental and physical detriments. Meanwhile, my mom was on the phone calling my dad, grandpa, and older brother to come to the hospital to give me a blessing before surgery.

When Krys arrived (about 5 minutes after my mom had called) the anesthesiologist was there going through the preliminary interview. Juli (who had gone through the same thing with her oldest son) leaned over the bed and held me while I sobbed and Krys finished answering their questions.

At 2:35 I was in the OR being prepped. I’m told that Jake and Grandpa arrived about a half minute after I was wheeled in. My mom begged Dr. Johnson to let them give me a blessing before the surgery, but he told her “no.”

They had me sit on the OR table to place the spinal. I leaned over onto Krys and he held me the best he could while I cried. All the time I kept thinking that it wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be happening. It was all going so fast. I just didn’t want to be there. I asked Krys to talk to me and tell me a story and he started to tell me about our Baby’s birthday. It made me more upset, so Krys quickly changed the subject and started to tell me about his Grandpa Johnson’s missions to the Philippines and being on the water in 40 foot squalls.

At 3:18, Matthew William was born. They untangled him from the cord and he gave us a good strong cry. (He never has liked being naked.) Krys looked over the partition and looked down at
me and told me how beautiful our little boy is. I’ll never forget the tone of his voice. They placed Matthew on my belly and had Krys reach over to cut the cord. Matthew peed on me, a lucky sign right after birth.

They then whisked Matthew off to the NICU with Krys. Matthew was in NICU for the first 3 days on oxygen and IV fluids. Krys spent every waking moment with Matthew for the first two days. Every second that he wasn’t with Matthew, Juli was with him. Matthew was never alone in NICU. Matthew had had the cord wrapped around his neck and looped under one shoulder. The reason I wasn't progressing and that Matthew was doing so badly during contractions was that with every contraction, Matthew was unable to descend and the cord was being compressed.

My mom and I had begged the anesthesiologist to let her be in the OR with us. They said no for the procedure, but let come in while I was being repaired. I kept telling her that all I wanted, what I needed were my baby and my husband. My baby and my husband, that was all. They wheeled me back into the Labor and Delivery room for recovery. I kept shaking. I knew from all the reading I had done in preparation that it was normal, but the sensation and my inability to stop made it all the more worse.

My dad had arrived by then and he and Grandpa and Jake gathered around the bed and gave me the blessing I so badly needed. Afterwards, my wonderful nurse, Sheryl talked the NICU nurses to let all of them into NICU to give Matthew a blessing.

When I finally recovered, they wheeled me into NICU on the way to postpartum. It was the first chance that we had to really be together as a family. I looked at Matthew and looked at Krys. We decided on his name there in the NICU.

We have been so blessed. Every time I think of Matty’s birthday, I feeling like crying with gratitude. He’s here at last. Safe and sound. We made it through to the other side. For awhile recovery was so difficult for both of us, but we came out whole. Every day I thank the Good Lord for his mighty blessings.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

No Baby Yet

Ok, so it wasn't labor. We had an appointment with our OB on Monday. There has been no progress since last week. We have an NST (None Stress Test) scheduled for Friday and a regular appointment on Monday. If baby boy hasn't arrived on his own by Monday, the doctor wants to schedule and induction. I really, really want to avoid a chemical induction. (The side-effects of the medication are not risks we'd like to entertain unless there is an actual emergency.)