Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birth Story!

Ok, this is a long one! Make sure you're committed to some heavy reading before you start. :)

On Saturday, Sept. 17th, Alex and I had a great day! We went down to the south side and went to Adrian's Orchard to get some apples and get me a caramel apple (which I devoured, it was great.) We returned some stuff to Buy Buy Baby, and test drove a Traverse, just for fun. (Knowing we'll need a bigger car, but who knows when that will happen!) We had dinner with Alex's parents, but I was starting to feel pretty tired and wasn't able to eat much. When we got home, I pretty much went right to bed. At 2:30 am, I was feeling bad and couldn't get back to sleep. I couldn't get comfortable laying down anymore, so Alex told me to go out to the couch. After a few minutes, he felt bad and came out to see me, and then had me start timing the pain I felt. It was about five minutes apart and lasting for 30 to 60 seconds. So we figured...I must be in labor!

Now, we were not at all ready for this! I was just 35 weeks, and had been feeling good so far. I figured it might be false labor, or that they might try to stop it once we went to the hospital. The house was a huge mess, and we didn't have a hospital bag packed, or anything! So Alex would rub my back and help me through contractions, then while I rested in between, he was cleaning dishes, doing laundry and trying to get our bags packed! It didn't seem real, that the babies were really coming. I tried to help him pack, and we got as much stuff straightened up as we could, and around 6 am, we headed to the hospital. It was all very undramatic, as I was not in that much pain yet, and the hospital is probably 5 minutes away. So no wild and crazy car ride or screaming or anything! :)

When we got to St. Vincents, they sent us to triage, where I was checked out and they did an ultrasound to check on the babies' positions (even though I told them that they'd both been head down for a while.) They gave me a shot to help with the pain, and after that I think I was out for a while. We called my mom to let her know where I was, and Alex left to get some breakfast for him. When I woke up, mom was there and Alex was back, and the doctors decided they weren't going to stop my labor, and sent me upstairs to my room. They pretty much gave me the epidural right away, and after that there wasn't much I could do. It was a pretty weird feeling, to not be able to feel or move the lower half of your body, but great to not have the pain from the contractions. I had been nervous to get the epidural shot, but it really wasn't a big deal. Mom and Alex hung out with me, and I tried to sleep and relax. It was hard to relax, since nurses kept coming to check my blood pressure, or put something in my IV. (I had to have antibiotics, which burned going in the IV, since I never made it to my 36 week appointment.) We had the TV on, but I wished I had brought more to do! It was a long 8 hours that I was just hanging out in the bed, trying to stay comfortable (it's weird not to be able to turn yourself over.) But like I said, I hadn't packed a bag or thought about being bored during labor, and I honestly thought they'd probably send me back home!

I didn't exactly have a birth plan or anything, since I knew I'd have to deliver in the operating room no matter what. I didn't really want to have too many interventions, but hey, they did them all anyway! I had to have pitocin to help speed the labor, and they had to break my water with both boys (since they had their own sacks.) But in general, things all went pretty well. The boys were never in distress; I had to wear three monitors the whole time. I felt pretty sick, and all I wanted was to drink water. Ice chips weren't doing it for me. I wish I had snuck in some snacks, but they probably would have made me sick (like the water did when I drank that!) It was hard not to focus on how hungry I was, since I'd barely eaten dinner the night before. But it was finally time to head to the operating room, around 8 Sunday night. Mom snapped one more picture of us as a couple before we left!

We headed into the operating room, and it still felt pretty surreal, that the babies were coming tonight. I'll spare you most of the details, but it was definitely hard. Alex snapped a picture of all the doctors in the room, which was pretty funny. The babies each had a nurse and people from the NICU just in case, and there were several doctors, nurses and residents there for me, so it was quite a crowd! I pushed for what felt like forever, it was probably about an hour. They had to let the epidural wear off a bit, so the whole crowd of people left for a while. I remember I was mainly feeling a ton of pain in my right hip, and I kept wanting Alex to massage it as the pain meds wore off. I was thinking other types of pain should be on my mind, but all that was bothering me was my hip! The nurse figured baby A was pressing on a nerve, so now I can tell him he was a pain in my hip! The doctor finally suggested using the suction to help get baby A out, and I was all for it! (I had already asked for a c-section at this point, feeling that I was over this whole thing, and the nurse told me no. :)

So with the suction and a few more pushes, baby A entered the world at 10:05 pm, September 18th. It was pretty amazing to watch Alex's face and then see my first baby! Apparently, he came out with his eyes open and looking around, which the doctors and nurses (and his dad) thought was pretty cool! One of the doctors suggested we name him "Scout" since he was wide-eyed and checking everyone out (since we hadn't decided on names yet.) They took him to the warmer and did all the "stuff" to him, no one really said much to me, so I don't know what all they did. He weighed 5 pounds, 6 ounces, and had a healthy cry. He didn't need help with breathing or anything. I know when I first saw him, I thought he looked like his dad! :) (Especially with that frowny, serious face!) They showed him to me after they cleaned him up, but then took him to the nursery. I'm still sad they didn't let me hold him on my chest or try to breastfeed him, since I don't think he needed much help. Someone from the nursery asked if they could give him formula, and I said yes. I don't think I was really given an option, since they didn't offer to let me breastfeed him.

The doctors let me rest for a while before starting again with baby B. They used the suction again, and at 10:34, baby B entered the world, weighing in at 5 pounds, 5 ounces. He was also healthy and didn't need any help with breathing. Everyone was saying how great they looked and how big they were, especially for 35 weeks. After they swaddled him up, I did get to hold him for a few minutes while they finished everything up. So at least I have a picture with one of my babies!
And that was it! They whisked both boys up to the Continuing Care Nursery, which is a step lower than a NICU. I went back to my room to recover, and then we eventually moved to our room where we spent the night. It was a little depressing to not have the babies with me, or to be able to hold or breastfeed them the first night. I know we were both exhausted (and I was SO thirsty), and just happy to have two healthy boys. I think I drank like 3 cups of lemonade when I was finally allowed, and it was the most amazing thing ever! So in the end, I know there are a few things I would have done differently, or will for next time, but we all made it through safe and healthy.

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