I am so excited to have Kate here today to share the details of her son, Trace's birth. I followed along through Kate's entire pregnancy and remember being so excited when I saw the first photo of baby Trace posted on Facebook. Everyone please welcome the beautiful, Kate.
It was a Monday afternoon and I met my parents for lunch. While enjoying our chips and salsa, I happened to mention that I was feeling cramping in my stomach. Cramping that felt like period cramping... and I hadn't felt that since last September! I knew this was the beginnings of the labor process, but didn't know how long it would take for things to progress.
After lunch my mom and I got ourselves a pedicure. The women doing mine rubbed a pressure point in my foot for a very long time, saying that it helps to induce labor and that I should have my baby in the next day or so.
That night a friend came over for a little girl talk. I was increasingly feeling cramping, but overall fine.
I woke up the next morning not feeling like myself. Just in case we needed to head to the hospital, Bryan worked from home that day while I took it easy.
That afternoon my parents came over to our house. My dad took Cali to her yearly vet check-up. Bryan and I headed to my ob. She told us that I was 1-2 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. My ob told us that his head was very low... to go home, grab our bags and head to the hospital.
Once at the hospital we were sent to triage -- I was checked in at 5:15pm, put on my hospital gown, got hooked up to monitors and was checked by the on-call ob from my practice. At 8:30pm they had me walk the halls for an hour. By 8:50pm my back labor pain was so strong that I felt like I was dying. After being monitored for 5 hours in triage, we were sent home. I felt defeated. I was in excrutiating pain, but wasn't progressing. The ob wanted me to labor at home and come back when my contractions were even more intense and more close together.
We got home at 10:45pm Tuesday night. It took everything in me just to crawl into our downstairs guest bedroom bed and fall asleep. I didn't change clothes or wash my face... I brushed my teeth and attempted to get some sleep through all of my pain. Every hour I would wake up to an extremely painful contraction, I'd moan and groan and then it'd pass. I had several contractions in between, but for some reason once/hour I had a horribly painful one. Bryan slept on the family room couch and was right there if I needed him.
I woke up at around 5:00am and decided that I couldn't go back to sleep. I threw up quite a bit. We sat on the couch and Bryan helped me get through my contractions until he finally said that we had to go to the hospital. He didn't want me to wait any longer. Bry helped me into the car and off we went.
We were leaving home just the 2 of us, knowing that the next time we came home, we'd be a family of 3!
We got back to the hospital at 6:45am. As we pulled into the parking garage, I threw up. Once in the Women's Center, the nurse who helped us in triage the night before was still on. She welcomed us back and checked me. I had progressed quite a bit and was officially admitted. June 26th would be the day our son was born...
I feel like so much happened from 6:45am until I had Trace at 4:43pm that same day, but mostly I was transferred to my labor and delivery room and spent the afternoon there. Thankfully my ob, Dr. Crosland, was on call, so I had her to deliver Trace. I had been throwing up all morning and after seeing the pain I was in she quickly ordered me an epidural at 10:00am... it's the most life changing drug in the history of drugs. I was so calm once I had the epidural. I wasn't in pain, but I could slightly feel my contractions, of which were terribly irregular. My parents and Bryan's parents had arrived and had come to see us in my room. I was 9cm dilated at 1:30pm, but my contractions were all over the place so Dr. Crosland decided to start me on pitocin and an internal monitor (which is never a good sign) and told me I'd be pushing soon.
At 2:00pm Dr. Crosland told me that I would start pushing at 2:15pm. I pushed for 1 hour. It was one of the longest hours of my life. I tried so hard, but Trace just wasn't budging. She used the suction to no avail. After quite a while Dr. Crosland said that Trace was face up and that, based on his erratic heart rate, she thought the umbilical cord was around his neck. She told me that I "had 2 options, both of which you're not going to like - forceps or c-section." She quickly took the forceps option away from me, so before I knew it my room was swarmed with nurses and hospital staff. They were prepping for c-section.
Through my tears, I remember being wheeled out of my labor and delivery room, through the halls and into the operating room. Bryan was told to put on scrubs while they prepped me for surgery.
I. Was. Balling! I was terribly afraid. Afraid that something was wrong with my baby and afraid of this surgery. I hadn't planned on a c-section and never thought I'd need one. This was the first surgery I'd ever had. Bryan stayed strong for me -- he faked his strength so well, as I knew he was just as afraid as I was.
Before they cut me they put an instrument on my belly and asked if I could feel it. I should have been 100% numb, but I felt it. They increased the medication in my iv and before I knew it I was in surgery. I never stopped crying. I was sobbing uncontrollably. They couldn't get Trace out. He was stuck! Stuck in my pelvic bone. While my l&d nurse pushed my stomach Dr. Crosland pulled the baby. I then heard Dr. Crosland ask a nurse to get the resident ob asap... she needed his help. He quickly came in and before I knew it I had my l&d nurse pushing while Dr. Crosland and the resident ob pulling Trace out. They finally got him unwedged and pulled out.
Trace was born at 4:34pm on Wednesday, June 26th.
Immediately after birth they placed Trace on a ventilator. After 1 minute and 15 seconds he took his first spontaneous breath. This was the longest 1 min and 15 secs of Bryan's and my life! I remember laying on the table, looking up at the nurse who was by my head and asking her "Is he okay?" She said "they'll let us know when they can." I started to cry even harder. That was not the answer I had expected. Bryan and I were terrified! But then we heard that cry. That loud cry at 1 min and 15 secs. Trace was okay. Bryan and I looked at each other, both in tears. We had been so scared, but our baby was okay.
It turns out that Trace was face up, but did not have the cord around his neck. He weighed 6lbs 7oz and was 21 inches long. I'm not sure how my tiny baby wedged himself in my pelvic bone so good -- he didn't want to come out vaginally or through a c-section. But he was here and we were thrilled!
I finally got to see him. I honestly don't even remember when. I think Bryan had him in his arms.
After they stitched and stapled me, they wheeled me into a recovery room where I stayed for about 1 hour. This is where you bond and/or breastfeed for the first time, and this is where I held Trace for the first time!
Once in my recovery room, the room I'd be in for the next couple of days, our parents came in to say hello. This overwhelmed Bryan and I tremendously. We had just been put through hell and back and just wanted to relax... and here come our happy, overly excited parents... dying to meet their grandson. I freaked out. Bryan said he freaked out to, but I beat him to the punches. My room was full and I needed some people to leave. My mom was so worried about Trace and I, so my mom and dad stayed with us for a bit longer.
The next couple of days were spent getting to know Trace, having visitors and learning about our new role as parents. Trace slept in room with us, which was fantastic!
I could have stayed in the hospital until Sunday, but I was ready to leave. After Trace's Friday evening circumcision we headed home. Home to our new life as a family....
And what did I do the second I got home? I dove into a big hunk of salami, of which I had been craving for 40 long weeks :)
And this is where I would normally say "the end," but we all know that this is just the beginning...
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