Monday, June 15, 2009

Diary of a Delivery, Day One

I know it has been three weeks since Tallen was born, but I am finally able to put him down for a few minutes and catch up on emails and write about his birth. Below is an excerpt from my journal with give the details of the day he was born... Check back over the next few days to see how we spent the next two days in the hospital.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

5:00 AM – I can’t sleep and I am tired of lying awake in bed so I head downstairs and find something to eat. I turn on the TV but nothing keeps my interest. I am scheduled to be induced in two days, but I am having second thoughts (and some anxiety) about inducing. During this pregnancy, I have felt that it is important to let labor begin naturally. The baby (and my body) will tell me when it is time to go into labor and I still have another week until my due date. My main objection about induction is the medical intervention, so I turn on my laptop and search for information about the side effects and risks of inducing labor with Pitocin. I remember how it made me feel when I had Sophia and I don’t want to feel that way again. Although he will probably be disappointed, I decide to tell Trey that I have changed my mind about my scheduled induction on Tuesday.

4:00 PM – Trey, Sophia and I arrive at Tim and Kara’s house for a Memorial Day cookout. Several friends are there too and Sophia is excited that she gets to play with Court and Jackson. Soon after we arrive, I think I feel a contraction so I glance at the clock - it reads 4:16 PM. (I tell my friends that we almost went to the hospital on Friday night because I was having contractions and they were pretty strong. However they went away after about an hour and I fell asleep). Over the next hour I feel several more contractions – although I am not sure if that is really what they are because I did not have any contractions with Sophia.

5:16 PM – Another strong pain, which I believe is a contraction now. I find a pen and paper and start to keep track of when I feel them. The girls are sitting in the kitchen eating dinner while the guys have been gathered around the grill or in the living room watching TV. Knowing this could be my last chance to eat for awhile; I finish my plate of food and eat Sophia’s leftover dessert. Around 6:00 PM, I tell Trey that I have been having contractions for almost two hours. He is surprised and asks if I am sure (a valid question due to the fact that I still am not sure if this is what if feels like to be in labor). The girls convince me that it is probably time for us to head to the hospital. I want to go home and get my bag and the cameras in case this is the real deal. Kara offers to watch Sophia until Trey’s parents can come pick her up.

7:30 PM – We are officially checked into the hospital. It is a slow night; I am the only patient in labor and delivery. I am dilated to 5 cm and having contractions every 6-8 minutes. The nurse puts in my IV (I have to look away – I really hate needles) and tells me that I can have an epidural whenever I am ready. It is my intention to go as long as possible without IV meds – including Pitocin. My contractions are stronger but I am able to breathe through them. I make several phone calls to my mom, my sister, and my grandmother to let them know the baby is on his way. Trey and I make bets about if the baby whether the baby will be born before midnight (I say yes, he thinks no).

8:30 PM – I have reached the point where my contractions are painful so I call the nurse and ask them to page the anesthesiologist. Trey is having a hard time watching me in pain, but he sits beside me the entire time and talks me through it. By 9:00 PM the epidural is in and the medicine begins to take the edge off the pain. The nurse is shocked when she checks me and I am dilated to 9 cm already. She pages the doctor on call to go ahead and come to the hospital, because it seems like the baby will be here soon. Dr K (who is on call for my regular doctor) visits me around 9:30 PM. Unfortunately she has to deliver some bad news – my high blood pressure has been a concern since we checked into the hospital and my blood work has confirmed that I have pre-eclampsia. There medical risks include seizures which could affect me and the baby, but the good news is that the treatment for this condition is delivery of the baby and that will happen soon. However, the doctor orders IV meds for 24 hours after delivery and warns me that I will feel pretty crappy while I am on the medicine. This shock of this news slows down my contractions for the next hour. The baby’s heart rate is also a concern - it drops several times so the nurses give me oxygen and move me from side to side to find a more comfortable position for the baby.

11:00 PM – Due to my contractions slowing down, the nurse tell me that the doctor has ordered Pitocin. I am upset but know that we need to get the baby out soon. Trey tells his dad that things have slowed down, so he can go home and get some rest. We are not sure how much longer it will take for the contractions to speed up again. About 10 minutes later, my nurse checks me again (gives me the second shocked look of the night) and runs out of the room to get the doctor. Dr. K arrives and it is time to have a baby… I am happy that the epidural has taken away any pain and with just a few pushes our baby boy is here!

11:19 PM – Tallen is here! The doctor has called in a PICU nurse as a precaution during delivery but Tallen looks great when he is delivered and the doctor lets me hold him right away. She places him on my chest and tears start to stream down my face.

I am laughing, crying and overjoyed to finally hold my baby boy. I am surprised at how clean and pink he looks compared to Sophia. I check to see if he is indeed a boy (I never trust those sonograms). He also has some healthy lungs because he is Screaming!

I am relieved that he is ok and the delivery went so quick. He is tiny – 6 lbs and 4 oz (we would not find out his length until after he went to the nursery).
I am able to nurse him and hold him close that first hour before he goes to the nursery for more tests. His only problem is low blood sugar, so the nurses ask if they can supplement with some formula. I have no choice but to say yes.

Trey texts me from the nursery to tell me that Tallen is 21 inches long! I am tired and the nurse has started the IV meds so I try to get some sleep.

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