Wednesday, May 14

Henry's Birth Story

Henry is TWO MONTHS old!  Hard to believe we are a family of 4!  It's still very surreal!  So, while it's still fresh in my mind I thought I'd jot down Henry's birth story so I have it to remember!

Tuesday March 12th:
2:30pm I wrote on Uncle I's facebook page apologizing that he wouldn't get to share his birthday with his newest nephew.

3:00is: Realized that after a bit of sitting was still not feeling Baby Boy move very much.  He moved, but I had to really prod him, so I decided to call the Triage nurse to reassure myself that this was normal due to lack of room, etc.  I mean, he was still moving!  He was a VERY active baby my whole pregnancy and now he was back to normal for my pregnancy with Hagen!  (Hagen didn't move nearly as much my entire pregnancy with him).  The nurse did not tell me what I wanted to hear and instead suggested I head to Labor and Delivery just to be on the safe side.  She said decreased movement is worth a shot to be monitored.  I called The Mr. and told him the news and he wasn't getting out of class until 4:30, so I thought I'd get ready slowly, and let Hagen finish his nap.  I called my mom just to be near her phone in case I was told something.  Called a friend to call off our walk. In the process of getting ready, I got to thinking that I should pack a bag in case of a worst case scenario (which in my mind there was only 2 outcomes, I was being paranoid and I'd come right back home or there was something serious and would have to have an emergency c-section) But I'm always the person to think of the worst and figured it would be nothing and that if I packed my bag it would be nothing to make a fool of me!  So I called a friend to see if she could come over and help me go over a list in my head so I wasn't forgetting anything and help with Hagen.  I got my bags packed and all loaded up and Hagen and I drove to the hospital.

4:30, we met The Mr. in the parking lot and we walked into Labor and Delivery together.  I got checked in and filled out some paperwork, joking with the receptionist that I was probably a paranoid mother and we both agreed it was probably nothing but better safe than sorry!  Keeps them on their feet!  HAHA!!

I got in and got hooked up to the monitors.  The INSTANT the put the monitor on Baby Boy, he kicked a normal kick and started resuming his normal crazy movement!  HAHA!  I felt so embarrassed! I continued apologizing to the nurse for making a big fuss and they were just going to laugh and say, another paranoid new mother... They wanted to keep the monitors on me for 20-30 minutes just to make sure everything really was ok!

During this time, The Mr. and Hagen were kept busy by walking up and down the halls, outside and playing on the elevators!  The nurse came in after a bit and told me they were going to put an IV in.  I thought this was odd and while texting the friend who was supposed to go on a walk with me, told her this and she thought it was normal, even though I wasn't convinced with her comforting words!  From here to the next couple of hours I'm not confident in times as it was kind of very fast paced!!

5:00is: A tech came in and attempted to put an IV in and my vein rolled so she had to start over.  Another tech came in instead and before he started the actual doctor came in and said "we're having a baby!" I was shocked!!  (To say the least)  I just assumed since he was moving again that I was going home and waiting some more for baby.  After some explanation we found out that his heartbeat was decreasing with my contractions.  I had started to get a few contractions while hooked up, but they still weren't hurting so I didn't consider them a contraction.  Just figured they were Braxton hicks contractions!  She felt it was in the very best interest of the baby to induce labor and get him out sooner rather than later.  She started going over all the risks and legal paperwork with me and I was STILL so in shock that this was all happening!  At this point when they're talking about c-section and blood transfusions and other scary stuff, The Mr. walks back into the room with Hagen.  Talk about a scare for him!  He finally got filled in, I put my clothes "on" (over all the monitors it was difficult) and we walked to our delivery room.  I had The Mr. try calling my mom in this time frame to fill her in to see if she could change flights and get there for delivery! (She was NOT able to make it until after Henry was about 14 hours old)

In the room I had a quick ultrasound to make sure baby's head was down, and then was checked.  I was only 1.5 cm dilated (though she was nice and said I'll give you the .5... the intern said I was only 1cm, and I was sad because a week before at my doctor appointment I was 2cm, so I think the doctor felt bad and gave me the .5 for my mental state!  HAHA!  She then talked with me about all of my options with induction.  She asked me what I was thinking.  I was upfront and honest and told her I really don't want to be induced, but will do what needs to be done to keep the baby safe. She said she would always tell me what she was going to do, why she felt like she needed to do it and ask my permission first. If I ever told her no, she said she'd find another way. That alone comforted me to know I was in control as the mother of my child. So we got started! Lots of questions, especially with being asked multiple questions about students being in the room (it is a teaching hospital and you can opt in our out but I felt I would be a good candidate for students since I knew they need to learn and I am a patient person... From there on out I was always checked by a student first, then the doctor. The doctor actually delivered Henry, but to be honest I didn't really even notice extra people in the room because they made the environment perfect for what I needed to be in the moment with my body, my baby and The Mr's. support), the anesthesiologist came in to ask what I wanted. I told him I would not be needing his services because I didn't like using them with Hagen since my left leg stayed numb for so long after delivery AND it didn't really work. He was wonderful and told me he wanted to do whatever he needed to support me during labor and delivery and if that meant I didn't see him again, that was wonderful.
They asked all sorts of questions about where they wanted him right after birth (my chest of course, with skin to skin contact), breastfeeding RIGHT away, that I wanted The Mr. to cut the chord, etc. I was all hooked back up and off we went. They started my antibiotics and then they inserted the ball thing! They showed it to me first and I didn't think it would be so bad!  HA! They put it in and filled it up and off we went. So did The Mr. and Hagen. It was almost 8pm at this point and Hagen hadn't eaten yet, and it was about his bedtime. So The Mr. took Hagen out to eat, brought him back to the house where my godmother's were waiting to take care of him, got him ready for bed and then came back to the hospital. In the meantime, they checked me 2 hours after inserting the boulbous thing and I was 4cm dilated. They checked me just shy of 2 hours later again and I was already at 6cm. The Mr. came back right as they were taking it out, and boy... that was NOT fun! The nurse was incredible, she kept coming in and giving me words of affirmation and telling me that she was impressed I was getting through the bulbous thing without medication. She
knew I'd be able to deliver without meds because she could tell I was a strong woman. Even if she made up these words, it was fantastic to hear! The room stayed dim and quiet and I just got through every contraction, knowing that the stronger they got, the closer I was to meeting my baby! At this point they started the Pitocin. I did NOT believe before that Pitocin could make contractions worse! I thought it was all in people's heads and I assumed they just said they were worse because they were painful, but I figured it was just because they hadn't had a contraction without it so were just wimps! Well don't ask me how it works because I still don't understand it, but believe me... pitocin contractions ARE WORSE!!! Wowzer! They are more intense and never ending. You don't get a break between them! They continued coming in and uping the dose. I think they thought they weren't working, so they kept giving me more.  2 hours later, I know WHY they were. My contraction monitor wasn't picking up my contractions so they really didn't think they were moving along! They put an internal monitor in, which I have to say was one of the more
uncomfortable parts of the labor! HAHA! They were wonderful and brought me a nursing ball in if I needed it (I never used it, the internal monitor was really uncomfortable) and they worked with me and all my monitors to be able to pee lots (I was drinking so much water) and stand/move through my contractions. The Mr. was INCREDIBLE. I used him to sway through the contractions, and during them he held me up and offered words of affirmation. I would have moments of complete body shakes, like I was freezing, that I couldn't control. My contractions were so intense and one right after the other that I just stood clutching The Mr. for a long time! They came in to check me because I asked if having to fart was part of feeling like I have to poop because I got super gassy!  I was only 9cm, so they told me I was close but a little longer (potentially at least an hour). 3 contractions later, which was MAYBE 2 minutes, I had to push. I told whoever was in the room that I needed to push. I started bleeding. They told me I probably hadn't changed, but they'd get the doctor in to check just in case. So I'm climbing onto the table and my body is telling me that it was time to get him out. She checked me and I was still only 9 cm, so told me not to push!  HAHA! That was the WORST part all night. Not pushing, and actively trying to keep your body from pushing when it wants to push HURTS! The doctor told me to stop pushing and I said "then tell me how to stop, 'cause I can't!" She told me if I pushed I was going to tear everything, and she said she had to manually finish opening me. OY VEY! Not pushing, but manually dilated that last CM... YOWZA! Thankfully it really only lasted a few minutes, but talk about extreme discomfort! She told me I could finally push, so the next contraction (about 3 seconds later) I pushed. I felt his head come out, I continued to push and felt his shoulders. During my push, with all the breath I had I spurted, "%#@^, it really DOES burn!" and into the world came Henry Clifford! ONE push! While the Mr. was cutting the chord, I kept asking, is he really a boy, is he really a boy? Does he have a penis?
Finally someone said, yes he's a boy! HAHA! They put him to my chest and I just held him and cried and saying, "I did it" I did it". I got to hold him for the longest time while I delivered the placenta and they sewed me up. They took him away to be weighed, measured and cleaned up. Although the epidural with Hagen didn't really work, I didn't feel the afterbirth stuff. Man, that was incredibly awful! I was shaking uncontrollably, they were pushing on my belly, they were sewing me up and that stuff might have been worse than the delivery, in my opinion! I finally got Henry back in my arms, and I nursed him right away! He got it almost immediately! (I knew what I was doing this time too, so I think that helped a lot). Slowly people trickled out and it was just us and the nurse again. I finally asked what time it was, and was told he was born at 1:56 AM. When they told me his weight, I couldn't believe it! I was SURE he was going to be bigger than Hagen and he wasn't! 7lbs. 12 oz. 20.5 inches long. What an incredible birth it was. I felt so empowered. I labored without any medication while being manually induced,
which is a pretty proud thing for me. I continued saying over and over, "I did it. We did it. I did it". I felt like the whole experience gave me confidence as a mother. Henry and I worked together to get him into this world. He slowed his movements to get me to the hospital because I might have been stubborn and not gone in. He was ready to join our family and he told me, and I had the strength to bring him into it. Of course, that strength was given by God and he used the nurse, who was beyond amazing about empowering me and giving me the time and space to be in touch with my body throughout the process. He also used The Mr. who not only physically, but emotionally supported me throughout the night. He even used Hagen, who previously was so excited to meet his baby brother that is gave me strength. He also had to to home, which allowed me so peace and quiet all to myself where I was able to come to terms with the fact that I was having a baby that night!
I got all cleaned up and I got to walk on my own 2 feet, while pushing Henry in his bassinet, to my recovery room. I loved the staff there as everyone I passed said something along the lines of "you JUST had a baby? You look incredible" I'm sure they say it to EVERY woman who comes it. I don't care. Every woman deserves to hear that! It felt so good! I felt so good! I am the mom of 2 boys and damn, it feels good!

 From start to finish, it was under 9 hours. I was making plans to go on hikes, and choir practice, and the zoo. But there were other plans. Plans to bring Henry into our family! 2 months later, I still can't believe I am so lucky! Hagen is such a good big brother. Henry is such a smily, easy going baby. (Except today, he got his shots and poor guy has a fever and is obviously not feeling awesome). Although not a lot is perfect in our lives, having these 2 boys feels pretty darn perfect!