Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Porter's Birth Story

We knew we were going to the hospital on April 25.  We were expecting a C-section but my doctor wanted to do a quick ultrasound before we went back to make sure little P hadn't turned.  I was a little nervous about being cut open and also nervous about the recovery.  I didn't know a lot but I assumed that it would be awhile before I would be able to pick up Paxton or drive the boys anywhere.  I wasn't as nervous as I was the night of my induction with Paxton, but I knew I wouldn't be getting much sleep.  We stayed up pretty late watching Mad Men and baking banana bread and waiting for Uncle Josh to come over to spend the night so he could watch Paxton.  Josh came over around 11:00 and my mom came by then too to drop off some ribbon for Porter's letters that hang over his crib.  We didn't go to bed until midnight and I was restless.  It was a long night for me.  

We got up the next morning at was still dark outside.  I was less anxious now that we were moving towards our goal.  I didn't feel like Porter had turned and was fully anticipating the C-section and meeting him by 8:30 that morning.  
Last belly pic-39 weeks
We got to the hospital and I was checked in and in my gown by 6:00.  We thought that the ultrasound would be happening at 7:30 when my doctor got to the hospital and my mom and Teig were planning on being there for that.  Instead, as soon as I laid down on the bed, they wheeled the machine in and rubbed the gel on my stomach.  I was anxious but still expecting his head to be right by my belly button. There were two nurses in the room, the one scanning called the other one over and asked her to confirm what she was seeing...Porter was head down.

We all just looked at each other in stunned silence for a few seconds and then they quickly left to call my doctor.  While they were gone, Jared and I just looked at each other and laughed.  Of course this kid would wait until the last possible second to turn and completely throw off our plans.  I was a little relieved and also a little disappointed because I had been expecting to be finished with everything by 8:30.  The nurses came back and said that my doctor had said that the news had made her day (she really just is amazing) and asked me what I wanted to do.  I hadn't realized that I had a choice and I quickly said I wanted to get started!

A little after 6:00 we were in a labor/delivery room instead of a recovery room.  I was hooked up to an I.V. of fluids.  An hour later, Pitocin was started and the nurse said I could have some orange juice.  I was excited because I was already starving.  I was also starting to get a little nervous about the contractions because with Paxton they had started out right away and were pretty intense.  By 7:25 I was still not feeling much so the nurse turned up the Pitocin.  They didn't start to get uncomfortable for another hour.  At 8:45, my doctor came in and checked me.  I was a 2!  She broke my water and I was surprised at how much fluid there was.  She tried to put an internal monitor in Porter but couldn't.  She said she would wait until I had my epidural because he still hadn't dropped and it would be really uncomfortable for me.

At 9:45, the nurse was getting a little frustrated because she couldn't keep Porter's heart beat on the monitor because he was moving so much.  She asked me if I wanted to go ahead and get on the epidural list even though I wasn't quite a 3 yet. She said she thought it would be about 30 minutes.  I had wanted to wait until I was a 6 to get the epidural, especially since I wasn't in nearly as much pain as last time, but I realized there wasn't really a reason for that and told her yes.

At 11:30 the anesthesiologist came in with his cart.  Jared's second cousin used to be a Labor/Delivery nurse at Mercy, in fact, she was my favorite nurse when Pax was born, and she had called a few days before to find out who the anesthesiologist would be and said this guy (Dr. Duncan) was great.  My epidural with Paxton hadn't hurt at all but the idea of a needle in my spine is creepy to me.  This time the epidural was more uncomfortable and I didn't have the sensation of immediate relief like I did last time.  When I was finally numb, I had the internal monitor placed and I was a 4.  I was excited that I had gotten so far without much discomfort and I was happy it was going so fast.  The nurse predicted we'd be meeting Porter around 3:00.
Contractions are starting to pick up!
 At 12:40 I got checked again and was a 5-6.  I was really hungry at that point and it didn't help that my visitors were taking turns going down to lunch.  I was anxious to get the baby out in time for some dinner.

At 2:00 I was checked again and had made it to a 6-7.  A new internal monitor was placed and I was not that happy about it.  Paxton's head looked pretty rough when he was born because of a nurse that had completely messed up the internal monitors.  The nurse assured me that it was a fluke and that Porter's head would be fine.  By 2:35, I was a solid 7.

I was excited at how fast things were going and knew that once I got to an 8, things would probably happen fast.
Jared was getting anxious!
When the nurse came in at 3:15, I was sure that I would be an 8 and that this baby was coming!  I was still a 7.  That was really disappointing because I had been progressing really well all day.  The nurse had me sit up and turned the bed into some kind of crazy throne looking thing that made me feel super-awkward.

For the next few hours, I rotated between the "magic birth position" as the nurse called it and sitting on my special throne.  She told me I was an 8-9 around 6:15 and sat me back up.  Her shift ended at 7:00 and I was anxiously awaiting the urge to push.  It didn't come.  She left at 7:00 and the new nurse stopped by and said she would be right back.  She stopped in once around 7:30 and gave me more fluids but still didn't check me or tell me to change positions.  I was still very anxiously awaiting the urge to push and was starting to get worried that it hadn't happened.  Finally at 8:15 she came in and checked me.  She said I was a 6 and I lost it.  I had been sure that I was going to have Porter in my arms by 8;30 that morning.  Then I was sure it would be by 4:00.  Paxton had been born at 7:19 so I just knew I would deliver by then.  Now not only was I way behind every expectation I had for myself, I was going backwards!  The only birth story I had heard where the mother progressed backwards had ended in a c-section.  Now I had been waiting all day and I was still going to end up with a c-section.  I could not get a hold of myself.  Fortunately both of our families had left the room while I was getting checked so they weren't there to see my breakdown.  The nurse tried her best to reassure me and put me in a crazy position on my stomach.  Jared was amazing at helping me calm down and feeding me ice chips and telling me everything I needed to hear.  Literally 15 minutes later, she came in and as she came in, I started feeling the urge to push...and it was intense.  I told her what I was feeling and she said she would call the anesthesiologist and have him give me more medicine.  She assumed I was starting to feel contractions.  I asked her to check me and she was hesitant...probably because she thought there was only a tiny chance that I had made any progress and she didn't want to disappoint me again.  I told her I was almost positive that I was feeling pressure so she checked me.  I could see her expression change to shock as she checked me and I can remember her exact words and tone as she said, "Girl, you're a 10!" and left to call my doctor.

She came back a few minutes later and said she would start sending in the scrub techs to get things set up.  I was feeling intense pressure with every contraction, but I knew that this was it and I didn't want my birth pictures to look like a hot mess.  So I was in this crazy position on my stomach, trying not to push with every ounce of self-control, trying to put my makeup on in a dark hospital room.  And Jared never even laughed at me.  He just quietly handed me each thing I needed and reassured me that I didn't have mascara all over my face.  Another nurse took over and asked me to do a few trial pushes.  I did and all of a sudden Porter was ready to be caught.  She left to call my doctor again and to try to find those scrub techs.  Well, it turned out that triplets were being born by emergency c-section at that time and there were no available scrub techs.  Apparently they are important in the process (although I still am not positive what they do besides set up the tray for the doctor) so we were waiting.  The nurse came back and Porter had moved up a little so she had me push him back down.  I could feel that he was so close and all I wanted to do was push him out.  I asked her if she could just deliver the baby...she just laughed so we waited for my doctor.  At 10:15 she walked in and had to set up her own tools while the nurse got the bed and the room ready.  Three pushes later, Porter was born. It was really cool because my epidural was amazing and I never felt any pain at all, but as I was pushing, I could feel him move down and I could feel him as he was born.  I felt the head and then the shoulders but without the pain.  It was perfect.  I heard him cry and all of those crazy feelings washed over me immediately.  I had been worried that I wouldn't feel the same about Porter as I did about Paxton, but hearing the cries did it.  They put him on my chest and I cried just like I did with Paxton.  It was exactly as magical.
Seconds after birth
Paxton had only been able to be on my chest for a few seconds because he wasn't breathing right, but Porter was perfect so they left him there.  I just got to hold him and study him while everything else happened.  I kept asking the baby nurse if they wanted to take him, and she kept smiling and telling me I was fine.  It was everything I had imagined and I was so excited that his first few minutes were with me.  It was definitely the biggest thing I wished was different after Paxton's birth so I enjoyed every second of our time together.  I kept staring at him in awe that he was ours and then looking at Jared and laughing.  We were both so excited and overwhelmed. I asked if he was a boy and as I asked I realized I could just look for myself.  He was. Finally, my curiosity about how much he weighed overwhelmed me. They took him to the scale and started calling out crazy numbers...35...22...which I'm assuming was some of his measurements in centimeters or some other unit of measurement.  Finally they were ready to announce the weight.  When they said 7 pounds and 15 ounces it didn't register with me at first.  I had been so sure that he would be at least middle eights!  I couldn't believe I had a 7 pound baby!  They were laughing at me because I couldn't believe how tiny he was and they were saying he wasn't really tiny at all!

The nurse brought him back to me all bundled up.  I told Jared that he looked exactly like Paxton.  I really couldn't believe how hard and fast the love had hit me.  Jared held Porter for a few minutes while everyone was finishing up.

 I think I learned a lot from this birth that I didn't necessarily take from the last one.  I think on the surface going in I knew that all birth stories were different, and I was never really one to come to the hospital with a birth plan, but I still had expectations.  I still wanted things a certain way.  And now I know that it doesn't matter.  It wouldn't have mattered if I had had a c-section that morning and met Porter at 8:15 am or if my labor had progressed as quickly as I wanted to and I would have met him during the first episode of Friends, or if I would have had to have a c-section after laboring all day and hadn't met him until 9:00 am the next morning when my 24 hours were up.  What matters is that he was safe.  As soon as I heard that cry, he was my son.  All the kicks and rolls and hiccups that I felt for nine months had a sweet face and tiny toes and fingers that were real and that I could hold.  We have our second son now and his entrance was everything I wanted it to be regardless of the circumstances.  I love my little seven pounder with every cell in my body and that has nothing to do with how he came out.  It's just because he's ours.

1 comment:

  1. I love this story - so sweet! It sounds like you handled everything really well! i think I would have had a meltdown too if they told me I was going backwards!