Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Weston's Birth Story {09.12.13}

This birth story is a special one for me since I was on the receiving end of text messages throughout the whole thing. My best friend, Carolyn, had her baby this past September and I was an anxious spastic mess through the whole thing. It was so special to receive the updates as she made progress, but as you will read, she was in labor for a LONG time. Thankfully little Weston made his grand entrance and was {still is} perfect in every way. 


Weston's birth story. I've been wondering what it would feel like to write this story from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I never thought I'd be telling a story like this one, but it was all worth it. As unperfect as it was, it gave us our healthy little man, and that is what really matters. It's a long story, and I want to make sure to document it all, so get ready for a long blog post. 

Because of Weston's size, we were on a tight "get the baby out" deadline. At our 39 week appointment, our doctor stripped my membranes and said that we were dilated to 1.5. We left hopeful that something would happen, and started operation "walk baby out" by walking almost 5 miles around the Mall of America. I started having stronger Braxton Hicks contractions, but they were never consistent enough to start tracking. The next day (9/4), I lost my mucus plug at work and had lots of crampy feelings. I was so hopeful that labor was on the horizon, but no such luck. We spent Labor Day weekend (recap heretrying to go into labor by walking baby out and enjoying our *hopefully* last weekend without our baby. 

I woke up on Monday (9/9) with really bad back pains, so I decided to work from home. I started having more regular contractions, so I decided to start tracking them, just in case it turned out to be actual labor. By 3:45pm, I was convinced that labor was starting. I called Jake to let him know that my contractions were averaging 10 minutes apart, and that we might actually be meeting our little man soon! He said he was going to get a haircut quickly (he wanted to look cute for newborn pics... adorable!) and then he'd be home. The contractions continued, and at 9pm I took a shower to relax a little, and the hot water seemed to make the contractions less intense.

At 3am on Tuesday (9/10 my due date), I decided to call the nurse line because my contractions weren't getting closer than 7 minutes apart and I wanted to make sure that everything was OK. The nurse was a guy, so that was awkward anyway because he's asking me about rectal pressure and nipple stimulation, but the best part was that he sounded JUST LIKE Droopy, the Looney Tunes dog. I was concentrating so hard on not laughing that he asked if I was having a contraction. He suggested that I try to get some rest and continue tracking the contractions in the morning. I got a little sleep, but not much, and at 6am, I started tracking the contractions again. They were averaging 10 minutes apart, so we decided to go to our 40 week appointment as scheduled. My doctor checked my cervix and said that we were dilated to a 3.5-4. She stripped my membranes again, and said that now I was "pretty much a 5". She mentioned that she thought we'd have our baby in the next 48 hours, so we headed home to try to rest and wait for the contractions to get more intense. We watched TV and tried to stay comfortable, but my back pain was making it difficult. At 2:30pm, we went for a short walk with the dogs to try to get the contractions moving, and that was definitely uncomfortable. When we got back from the walk, we laid down to try to get some rest. I woke up at 4:45pm and called the care line again because the contractions weren't getting closer together, but they were definitely getting stronger. I was convinced that I was "missing" contractions or something and that since I was already dilated to a 5, I was going to end up having the baby at home. This nurse suggested that we go to the hospital and get checked, so we packed up the car and headed to the hospital.
We got to the hospital at around 5pm, and were immediately brought to Triage. The doctor checked my cervix and said that I was dilated to a 4.5 instead of a 5. She wanted us to walk the halls for an hour to see if that would change anything. We wandered the halls and stopped at the hospital cafeteria to eat dinner. We headed back to Triage at 7:15pm to get checked again, and there was no change. She sent us back to the halls for another hour of walking. By this point, Kim and Frank (Jake's parents) had arrived at the hospital, so they wandered the halls with us. My cervix was checked again at 8:30pm, and there was still no change. The doctor sent us home to try to get some rest, and said that she might be seeing us later that night. Of course, my contractions started getting more intense the minute we left the hospital, and the car ride home was horrible. I tried to go to sleep, but the contractions weren't letting me, so I went to the basement to watch TV and track the contractions. By 1:30am on Wednesday (9/11), my contractions were definitely stronger and longer, and were averaging about 4 minutes apart. I called the care line yet again, and they said that we should definitely head back to the hospital. I woke up Jake and we made the uncomfortable drive back to the hospital. It was 2am by the time we were back in Triage, where the doctor (the same one as earlier) checked my cervix again. We were officially a 5, 90% effaced and the contractions were showing active labor. FINALLY!
We were admitted to the hospital and got into our room (room #1608) around 3am. The nurse told us to try to get some rest and that they'd check on us again in the morning. By 5am my contractions had slowed down, so we decided to go walk the halls to try to get them going again. After about an hour, our nurse came and found us and asked that we come back to the room so they could check our contractions again. She mentioned that if there was no change they'd probably be sending us home again, which I was NOT OK with, so I started walking laps and doing lunges in hopes that it would get things started yet again. The doctor came in at 7:30am to check my cervix, and we were at a 5.5, and baby boy had moved to a -1 position. We got to stay! The doctor decided to break my water to try to get the labor progressing, and mentioned that I'd probably be put on Pitocin later in the day. After having had consistent contractions for two days, getting very little sleep and not knowing how much longer labor could last, I decided to get an epidural. My doctor was working at the hospital this day, so she stopped in to check on us. I was so glad to see her and to know that she would most likely be the one delivering our baby. The epidural was in place by 9:30am, and as weird as it felt to have my legs be numb, the pain relief was so amazing. The doctors broke my water at 10am, and then it was time for a nap! SLEEP! It felt SO AMAZING!
Jake and I rested and hung out in the hospital room until around 1:30pm, when the nurse came in to start Pitocin. Jake had packed several of our favorite movies, and we decided that watching Monsters Inc was the perfect choice, so we watched that. After about an hour, the doctors came back in to insert an internal contraction monitor so they could get a more accurate reading. At 4pm, I started feeling slight pressure during the contractions, which the nurse said was normal as labor progressed. The doctors came to check my cervix again at 6:30pm, and I was at a 9.5 with a slight lip left on the left side. Baby was at 0 position, but we were getting closer! My contractions were starting to be rather painful, so the nurse was going to have the anesthesiologist check my epidural levels. The anesthesiologist gave me an epidural boost, but warned me that it might not get rid of all of the pain. At 7pm, baby's heartrate was registering as a little irregular, so the nurse turned off the Pitocin. Our doctor came to check my cervix at 8pm, and she said that I was only a 7.5 - NOT a 9.5 - and that baby was still in a -2 position. She checked on the baby's heart rate and decided that it was safe to turn the Pitocin back on. After about 40 minutes of the Pitocin being back on, my back pain was quite severe and I was able to move my legs and feel the very painful contractions. I was in HORRIBLE pain and laying on my side gripping the bed handle when Jake noticed that there was a cord that was unplugged on my back. He asked the nurse "if that was supposed to be plugged in" and that's when we discovered that my epidural had become unplugged. My hospital bed was absolutely soaked, which meant that the medicine had been pumping into the bed instead of my back for hours. They quickly called the anesthesiologist and by 9:10pm, my epidural was working again. That 45 minutes was one of the most painful things I've ever done, and getting that epidural back was glorious. After all the doctors left, we tried to get some rest until the doctors came back at 10:15pm to check my cervix again. This time, we were 8cm dilated and baby was still stuck at a -2 position. My contractions were still not registering correctly, so they replaced the internal monitor. Then, it was time for more resting and waiting.

Our doctor came in around 1am on Thursday (9/12) to check my cervix, and found that I was 7-8cm dilated and that it was swelling a little on one side. My contractions were STILL not registering, so they tried changing the internal contractions monitor yet again. The doctors were thinking that instead of the monitors not working, my contractions may not be regular enough to track. When they checked my cervix again at 2:20am and there was still no change, Jake and I decided it was time to seriously consider a c-section. I was exhausted, starting to get feeling in my legs again and we were just ready to meet our baby. The doctors had just brought in another woman for a c-section, so they let us know it would be an hour or two before it was our turn, but that they'd start prepping us.
Jake put on his hospital scrubs, while I was busy puking from the pre-surgery meds. At around 4am, I started having severe back pain and could feel my contractions... again. Our nurse said she'd let the anesthesiologist know, and that they'd fix it once I was in the OR. I was wheeled into the OR at 4:15am, and Jake was told that he'd be able to join us in just a couple of minutes. 35 minutes later, and Jake was still left alone in the hospital room with no idea what was happening with me and the baby. Poor guy! While he was nervously waiting, I  in severe pain in the OR. I was strapped down to the operating table, feeling every contraction and having horrible back labor pains. They tried upping my epidural, and after 20 minutes, it did nothing, so the anesthesiologist decided to do a spinal tap instead. While removing the epidural, he saw that it had moved and wasn't inserted in my back correctly, and that is why it wore off again. He inserted the spinal tap and I had pretty much immediate relief. Finally, at 5am, Jake was brought into the OR, and our baby was on his way!
19 minutes later, at 5:19am, Weston Jacob Roe came into this world with one loud cry. He weighed 8lb 14oz, was 21.25 inches long, and had a 37.5cm head. Hearing that cry brought tears of joy to my eyes, and made the last four days so worth it. 
Jake left my side to take pictures of Weston while they sewed me back up. Thankfully, between him and the nurses, there are lots of pictures (I won't post them all, but I'm so grateful to have them!). Jake cut the umbilical cord and then headed to the nursery to wait until I was done with surgery.
About an hour later, I was brought into a recovery room where I finally got to hold my little man! We tried breastfeeding, and did some skin to skin time. Holding Weston was so surreal and made me so happy... I can't even put into words how it felt. My dad and Jake's mom had stopped by the hospital to check on us, so they got to see their grandson for the first time as well. 
Shortly after, we were finally in our hospital room, and Jake got to hold Weston and do skin to skin time with his son. 
The days following Weston's birth were filled with nurses, breastfeeding, visitors and becoming a family. It was such an awesome experience, but we were definitely ready to head home as soon as they let us!

Our happy little family of three... on our way home from the hospital! 

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P!nky said...

Awwwww, he is so cute! What a great story to read.

I love the "have a baby plan" too cute!

Carolyn said...

I love this so much! Reading this brings me back! :) Thanks for letting me share my story!

~Dawn~ said...

Such a beautiful birth story!!
Carolyn, you are SUPER WOMAN!

Weston is absolutely perfect in every fun reading this!!

Erin LFF said...

Ugh, I just love Carolyn! And your adorable friendship! What a trooper she was!! :)

Caroline said...

Oh my goodness! This is so wonderful. I am so happy for you!

~Dawn~ said...

You're so cute and candid! I don't know how you managed to smile through some of that.. but I love that you were able to document it.
You were so brave - I can only imagine. Weston was your grand prize after such an experience.

ajs {of MN} said...

he is such a cute little dude!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your story Caroyln. Beautifully written and Weston will have it for all time. Beats trying to remember when he is 29! xo m

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