Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Baby, He's FOUR!

Warning, this post is about childbirth. On a good day I tend to share too much, if you are squeamish or a male family member, you may want to step away from the computer now. Read on at your own risk!

A few weeks ago I posted about Jack’s birth . Today, a mere twenty days later, I will do the same for Kamden’s birthday.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have envisioned having birthdays so close together. It goes to show you that even planners like me can’t plan everything. If I could would I change it though?

No way. June is birthday season in our house and it’s magic. We have Christmas, then six months later, birthdays. Couldn’t have planned it better if I had anything to do with it myself!

Today, at 12:55 pm he turns four. It seems like yesterday that he was this cute little cherub.

I know all parent’s say it but I have to do it again….WHERE does the time go?

My pregnancies with both boys were uneventful and easy going as far as growing another human being goes. I was huge, uncomfortable but loved every minute of it. My favourite part about being pregnant was feeling life moving inside of me. There is no feeling like it. I also remember the distinct lack of life inside me after giving birth to each of them…. It’s there one minute and then it’s gone.

But there they are in the flesh, a little tiny human being, squiggling and crying and LIVING.
Each and every one is an amazing miracle.

I am blessed to have experienced it twice. I will be forever grateful to have had the privilege of bringing life into the world.

Jack’s birth wasn’t at all what I planned so with a second chance I was bound and determined the entire pregnancy that I was going birth this baby the old fashioned way. My sister in law had done it, why couldn’t I?

Of course, that all depended on whether or not my body could carry a baby head down. At the first ultrasound around 20 weeks, Kamden was breech. I actually took it as a good sign because at that point Jack was head down. I am a little superstitious that way, sometimes the rules of opposites really work in my favour.

This was no exception. By about 32 weeks, my doctor was certain this baby was head down. I believe her exact words were, “Welcome to vertex presentation!”

Next was the worry about whether or not my body could naturally go in labour. I had never been in labour before because Jack was scheduled. I was sure I was going to go past my due date, almost positive they were going to have to induce and scared to wits that it wouldn’t take and I would end up in the OR again.

I was desperate to join the club of those who have lived through the horrible throws of extreme pain that childbirth entails. I know, what in the world was I thinking?

My due date was June 25, 2004. On June 27, 2004 we went to bed around 11pm. I couldn’t sleep. I had been irritable all day. Kind of PMS like.

11:30 pm I feel a gush of liquid. Sheesh, do I have to pee that bad I thought?
Stood up to go to the bathroom and there was an unmistakable gush. “My water just broke!” I said excitedly to Jay.

We were in full motion in 5.2 seconds. Adrenalin will do that to you, I guess.
Because I was VBAC, we wasted no time in getting to the hospital. A quick call to a friend to come stay with Jack, a call to my parents to get in the car and drive 2.5 hours to get here and we were off.

Also? When your water breaks, there is not just one gush. Oh no, it keeps a coming. By the time we reached the hospital the precautions I had taken to collect it had long since stopped being effective. There’s that that too much info part I warned you about earlier.

We were placed in a room and I was tested to ensure that indeed my membranes had ruptured. I didn’t need a test, I knew they had or else I had sprung some kind of serious leak that would require major surgery to repair.

At this point I was having mild contractions, though until I had reached active labour I. HAD. NO. IDEA. I was sure this was it. We would meet our second child before morning.

By about 4am our attitudes had changed. The contractions were a mere 4 min apart and were mild. I had been up and walking, you know, like they tell you to in order to get labour going.

At this point the on call doctor was going to send me home. I was 1 cm and 50% efface. I had been that for the last two weeks. Yes, I was disappointed but also? Tired.

We decided to try and get some sleep until the new on call doctor came on at 8am. Here’s where the law of opposites works in my favour again.

I lay down and rest. By 5am the contractions are much stronger. I am starting to have to breath through them. This is when I realized I hadn’t seen anything yet.
By 6am I am starting to get wimpy. Remember that I was 1cm dialated only 2 hours before, my only thoughts were, I cannot do this for 10 more hours, I simply can’t.
Great attitude, no?

Into the tub I go. Yeah, that helped immensely. Yes, that was sarcasm in case you missed it.

At 7am they check me. Still 1cm but now fully effaced. That’s great progress my nurse tells me. Clearly she hasn’t yet figured out I am a bit of an overachiever. To me that is NOTHING. And did I mention that the pain, oh the agonizing pain?

At this point I am all about the narcotics. Demerol here I come. If I am going to be in labour for the next four days, I am going to need some help. At this rate it will be July before this baby makes an entrance.

It takes the edge off they tell you. My foot. The edge? As sharp as ever.

At 8am my doctor stopped by on rounds. “How’s it going?” she asked. In my most childlike whine I said, “IT HURTS!” “Don’t be afraid to use the narcotics,” she advised. Um, yeah, like I’ve already done that was my response. “oh. – to nurse – as soon as she’s 4cm get her an epidural” Um again, LIKE. I. HADN’T. THOUGHT. OF. THAT! See I am quite tolerant of pain and stay very rational while in the midst of it.

Jay was my strength. Without him there by my side, I would have given up. He held my hand through every single one of the excruciatingly painful contractions. You know it’s going to hurt like hell, everyone tells you this, but you have no idea until you actually experience it yourself.

They weren’t even going to check me again until 10am unless I couldn’t stand the pain anymore.

At 9am, Jay had to use the facilities. He left. One and half contractions later I was buzzing the nurse. Um, about that pain, I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE.
She checked me. I was 8 – 9 cm. In two hours I go from 1cm to 8 – 9?

You might expect jubilation on my part. Oh no, nothing like that.

More whining cause I am so cool that way.

But the epidural, I NEED the epidural. See again with the high pain tolerance and rational reaction.

That nurse? She is my hero. I got an epidural. There were C-sections up the wazoo that morning and only one anesthesiologist. Somehow she got him in there and for that I will be eternally grateful.

I know, at this point why do I need an epidural you might be wondering. He’s minutes from making his appearance.

See that’s where you’d be wrong. The dude? Not coming out for almost four more hours.

Since I wasn’t quite fully dilated, I was advised to rest once the epidural took effect. It was bliss. I was groggy from the Gravol that had accompanied the Demerol a couple hours ago so resting was easy. I was also told that if I felt like pushing to go ahead. I don’t remember if I did or not.

By 11am I was pushing with every contraction. The nurse was very encouraging telling me I was doing a great job. I can’t tell you how much you need to hear that at this point. I pushed on my back, and then alternated sides.

He was stuck.

I was starting to worry though with all the pushing I didn’t have too much time to. Just my luck, I would get this far and still end up on the OR. At least I got to try though.

12:15 the doctor came and they decided he wasn’t quite face down and was not getting around the corner. As the doctor walked out I said I was willing to push as long as it took so long as baby was stable. By this point they had put the monitor into his scalp and he was doing A-1.

“Oh you will do this,” she said, “you just might need a bit of help.”

If I hadn’t been in the middle of pushing a baby out I just might have done a happy dance right then and there.

It took three pushes with the vacuum and she didn’t allow him to recede back in between which, let me tell you, epidural or not, is not pleasant. He crowned on the second and I am not proud to say that I uttered the very words I mocked others saying when I watched the baby story….”GET IT OUT!” Do the words Burning Ring of Fire mean anything to you?

Then he came out with vengeance and I had third degree tears to prove it.

They put him on my chest and I couldn’t believe how beautiful he was. And also? How much he didn’t look like his brother.

It was the most amazing experience of my life.

Happy birthday sweet Kamden! Our family would not be the same without you.



Angella said...

Your story sounds like my story with Graham! He would not turn his head either.

I love to read others' birth stories. They are a miracle in action.

Love you!

Shari said...

Great post. My second child was breech, that is, butt-first. C-section had to be done because her heartbeat was slowing down.

Happy 4th birthday, Jack.

Kellan said...

That's a great birth story, Kami and I really enjoyed reading it! That picture is adorable! Happy Birthday to your sweet boy!

Take care - Kellan

mamatucci said...

I love hearing or reading other peoples birth stories.I may have to copy you some day. I have 2 January babies,six days later and they would have been exactly 9 years apart.
Happy Birthday big guy.

Hannah said...

I love reading birth stories too! Seems most people do (according to the comments you already have).
You're a trooper, babe! You went through a LOT to birth your precious boy, but I know you feel that's a small price to pay (once you've forgotten the pain).
You rock!

Elaine A. said...

Oh Happy Birhtday to Sir Jack! Hope he had a great one!

It's funny that you mentioned how much he didn't look like his brother. Same thing with my boys! HA!

What a sweet picture...

Misty said...

I heart birth stories.

LaskiGal said...

Happy Birthday SWEET Kamden!!!

Me too!!! Got my epidural at 9! And, thank the good Lord! It was two hours later when J made his entry. I'll be doing my birth story in August. I'm just not ready . . . I'll never be ready to let my little guy grow up . . . nope. Never.

Stacie said...

awe, happy birthday to your baby!

Ed (zoesdad) said...

Great story and Happy Birthday!

What is it with OB nurses having to check the fluid to make sure it's amniotic? My wife is an ER docotr and I was an ER nurse--I think we know what we're talking about when we say the fluid broke!

They still checked.

BeachMama said...

Great Birth Story. Thanks for sharing it with us. And Happy Birthday!!

Natalie said...

ouch! I can totally relate! Those third degree tears make going to the bathroom like giving birth all over again for like 6 weeks!

what a great idea to tell your birth story on their birthdays... I might just have to do that!

LVGurl said...

(Sorry I'm late on the draw here!)


Elaine A. said...

Hey Lady! Where you at? I left a little something for you at my place. : )