Thursday, October 15, 2009

Devin's Birth Story

What a week it has been! It all started on Saturday. October 10th was Cody's birthday and his parents had come into town the night before to stay for the week. The c-section (my fourth) was scheduled for Monday October 12th. I woke up on Saturday feeling terrible, and I was grateful Jane and Allan were in town because it gave me a break. I spent the day finishing up Cody's cake, doing the remaining laundry, and lying down. Jane cooked a really great dinner and we had Lance and Courtnee and crew over for a little birthday celebration that night. Jane made the most incredible chili and scones. I had no idea it would be my last meal.

All evening long my back was hurting me. A little more than normal, but nothing too unusual. Around 8:30 when we were getting kids ready for bed, I was almost in tears because my back hurt so bad. I told Cody I really did not want the baby to be born on his birthday! He laughed and asked me to "hold off" for a few more hours to make it past midnight.

I didn't sleep well all night, and at 4:00 I woke up to go to the bathroom. My mind was racing as I laid back down and then the contractions started. Nothing painful or regular, but annoying enough to not let me sleep. I went out to the couch and turned on some infomercials. I sure wish I'd gotten something to eat during that time! It would have made the next several hours a little easier.

The contractions kept coming and it was about 7:00. I had planned on getting up to be at a couple of church meetings by 9:00 (I know I am insane to have still be willing to go that morning....I mean Ward Council and PPI are so fun). But I decided against it and texted the bishop to let him know I would not be there. I showered and got ready for the day and thought the warm water would relieve the contractions, but it didn't. Then woke Cody up to tell him I needed help with kids. My back was really killing me and I told him I was going to call Mike (my OB).

I paged him and when he called back I told him the situation. He told me to come into L&D to be monitored to see if labor was in fact happening. With this being my 4th c-section, he didn't want to take the chance of a uterine rupture. Cody woke up his parents, we finished packing what we needed, and then Cody gave me a really beautiful priesthood blessing. I was pretty nervous by this point and that sweet prayer calmed my nerves a lot. In the blessing he prayed that the doctors would be guided to know what to do and that the decisions they made would be the right ones. He also prayed that the surgery would go very well and that the baby and I would be fine. I am so grateful for a husband who holds the priesthood and is able to help me find peace when I need it.

So we were off! When we got to L&D the nurse practitioner said they were waiting for me. I was hooked up to the monitor and put on an IV. The contractions were still coming, but they were somewhat irregular and moderate, but they happening nonetheless. The nurse kept in close communication with my OB (who was on his way to his nephew's missionary homecoming). Mike thought that the IV fluid would slow or stop the contractions. But instead they kept coming and got a little stronger. The nurse did a full pelvic exam and when she checked my cervix I about kicked her in the face and screamed. It hurt so much! She said that baby was really low and that his head was sitting right there. No wonder I had been hurting so much! And he had been breech, so maybe what caused all the pain on Saturday was him turning.

After being on the monitor for about four hours, I fell asleep. I was so exhausted and I'm still shocked that I feel asleep! I didn't know I had, but Cody said I was snoring. When I woke up I was thinking "Cool, I guess the contractions stopped so now I can go home and EAT!!" I was so hungry but of course I couldn't eat or drink anything. When I came to, the nurse told me that the contractions were too strong and frequent and that they wanted to go ahead and do the c-section. I could not believe that I had slept through hard contractions! I've heard of women doing that but I thought they were full of it. Nope, I had done the same thing. I guess when you are tired enough you can do anything.

So I got into my gown, was asked a million questions by a million people, filled out some paperwork, made the anesthesiologist swear he would not paralyze or kill me, and headed to the O.R. Cody had gone out to the car to get my bag so he missed all of the pre-op action. I really hate that part. But I must say that the anesthesiologist did an incredible job and I didn't even throw up while I got my spinal. I think that each doctor has their own cocktail of drugs they give you, and this guy hit the nail on the head. It was the least traumatic anesthesia I've ever had. It felt like I was floating in a bubble bath during the whole surgery. And I wasn't really groggy, only very very relaxed.

One of the best parts is they left my arms free and un-tethered. I had discussed this with Mike earlier and he made sure they didn't tie me down. I guess with a fourth baby I knew what I could and could not touch during surgery. I was really good to not break the rules! I was flabbergasted at how smooth the operation went. While I was in pre-op, they talked to me about the risks specifically attached to a fourth c-section. They said I should be prepared for a long surgery to clean out all the scar tissue. That's what I was expecting, but Mike commented several times during the surgery that there was hardly anything in there! Not much scar tissue to speak of. I could not believe it!

There was a giant tug and a pull and I think an elephant sat on my chest because I couldn't breathe and I almost started to panic. Immediately after I heard "Get ready to meet your baby boy" I heard him SCREAM!! I have never heard one of our babies scream so loud and so early. Especially with c-section babies it often takes several seconds to clear their lungs enough to make them scream. But this guy screamed his head off from the second he was pulled out! It was 2:15 p.m. when he entered this world. And then he peed everywhere three times before they had even wiped him off.

I was elated. And I was so happy to have been as coherent as I was because I was aware of what was going on around me. But still I was very relaxed as they brought him over to me. Having my arms free was such a blessing. This was the first time I"d gotten to hold my baby so close after delivery. I was able to cuddle with him forever, and the best part is that Mike arranged it so the baby could stay in the O.R. with me during the rest of surgery. That is almost unheard of! It was an incredible bonding experience. The only time he was taken from my sight was when he was measured and weighed on the other side of the room. 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 20 inches long. Not quite as big as we'd thought he would be, but his size was absolutely perfect.

I was stitched up in no time, and again they were amazed at how little scar tissue I had inside. That was nothing short of a miracle. What that means is if Cody and I do decide to have another baby, I am completely in the clear to do so. What a blessing. I do NOT want something like scar tissue determining our family size!

Back in recovery, the baby stayed with me the entire time. After I stopped shaking violently (like I always do) I was able to really hold him. And better yet, the sweet nurse in there urged me to do skin to skin. This is something that has never been offered to me. When I felt his soft and warm body against my chest, I about cried. I have never had an experience like that before and it was truly amazing. Whoever says that holding a fresh baby so closely doesn't contribute to bonding...they are so wrong. It was as if something chemical took place in my brain as I held him like that. He stayed tucked inside my gown for the whole time I was in recovery. I even nursed him like that and you'd think he'd done that before! The vampire latched on right away and went to town. From that second on nursing was never a problem. I am so grateful that all my babies have been such good nursers. I really feel for mothers who have a hard time with it, I really do.

The baby peed on me twice while he was naked on my chest. And I couldn't have cared less! His body was perfect and everything was functioning as it should. His violent bladder was a testament of that.

The rest of the day seemed like a dream. Of course it became terribly painful once the spinal wore off, but I was so happy and as a result the pain was bearable. Even with the pitocin in my IV and the after birth contractions excruciating, I had my sweet baby to hold and nothing else mattered. The nurse even bathed the baby right in my room next to my bed. In the past this has always been done in the nursery while I was in recovery. I felt like this go around the nursing staff could not have gotten things more right. Again, such an amazing experience.

We made it through the first 24 hours which are always the hardest. With the exception of some busted capillaries in my breasts on Wednesday that caused me to produce a lot of blood with my milk (and a heck of a lot of pain), there have been no bumps in the road. I am so grateful to the Lord for allowing me such a wonderful experience. This has been a very trying few months for me and my family, and I feel that He took mercy on me by allowing me such a beautiful thing. God truly is great!


Margo said...

What an amazing birth story. Glad that everything went well for both you and the baby. I can't wait to come and see him.

Jylaire said...

I'm so glad you had a great experience this time around! I just love reading birth stories! He's so cute!

Brad and Erin said...

He's such a cute little boy. It sounds like you had a wonderful experience, I hope all continues to go well.

Joey and Nettifer said...

What an amazing birth story! Love reading birthy stories!
Glad everything went well he is beautiful!

Brock and Jennie said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you! Let me know when your in-laws are gone so I can bring you dinner! Love you, glad all is well!

Heather Jones said...

Congrats you guys he is darling.Loved reading your story, Glad everything went so well for you guys. I bet Ethan is +loving having a brother.

Julie said...

Congratulations on the birth of your son. I am so happy all went so well.

He really is perfect. All worth it :)


Miles and Bex said...

Congrats!! Glad things went so well for you and you had a good experience!

Bellie said...

What a beautiful birth story, so glad it went well. Devin is so CUTE, congratulations mama!

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