Thursday, February 27, 2014

Garret's Birth Story {08.27.14}

Hey guys! I'm Stormy & I blog over at Life's A Dance. This past August we welcomed our first child, Garrett into the world! Today I'm here to share one of my very favorite stories with you...our birth story! It certainly is a long one but this isn't even all of it! If you'd like to read the full version head over & check it out! {Part One, Part Two, Part Three

My 40 week appointment was on Friday, August 23rd, my due date. I went to this appointment expecting nothing. After weeks and weeks of hoping for progress and having little to none I had given up and was convinced that baby Garrett was never making an appearance. Call me dramatic but it's truly the way I felt. I wasn't surprised one bit when the doctor checked and found I was still 1cm dilated, 60% effaced and little man hadn't dropped at all. We talked about inducing and she suggested I schedule an induction for the following Tuesday, if baby hadn't come by then. I agreed. I honestly didn't want to be induced. It was my goal to go into labor on my own and deliver as naturally as possible. The thought of an induction terrified me, mainly the Pitocin and epidural. I had heard numerous horrible things about Pitocin and wanted no part of that. I knew that majority of the time Pitocin makes contractions far stronger than they'd naturally be, thus increasing the pain level. Meaning increased need for pain medications. Needless to say, I agreed and hoped like mad that I'd go into labor naturally before Tuesday. I left the office determined to try and make things happen...we walked, and walked and walked that weekend. I ate spicy food. I ate pineapple. I took a warm bath. I bounced on a yoga ball. 
Monday rolled around and I had given up. I knew deep down that baby wasn't coming before Tuesday. As disappointed as I was it was a relief to know that I'd be holding my precious baby in my arms the next day. Hubs & I went to my "post due appointment" which was with my doctor, as she'd gotten back from her honeymoon. She checked my progress and found me to be 2cm dilated, 70% effaced and at -2 station. Progress! My heart jumped for joy! My membranes where stripped once again as a last ditch effort for a natural labor start. We chatted about the induction process. The original induction plan was to come in Monday night at 5pm for Cervadil and start Pitocin Tuesday morning at 7am. However, due to the fact that my cervix had gotten to 70% effaced on it's own the doctor felt that I didn't need any medication to help with that. Therefore we made a plan to arrive at the hospital at 6am for a Pitocin start time of 7am. While an induction wasn't exactly how we'd planned to meet our son we left the office knowing that would be our last day as a family of two. 

Tomorrow we would meet our son!

We spent the last night as a family of two at one of our favorite restaurants pigging out on food. Hubs enjoyed a few beers and I stole a sip as well {and learned that even pregnant I hate beer}. We headed home and cuddled on the couch, watching TV before heading to bed. Before we turned out the lights we made sure our hospital bags where packed and that the camera was charged. Our last night together as a family of two was nothing special, but it was perfect and totally us.

We awoke early the next morning, around 5am or so. We grabbed a quick breakfast and headed to the hospital arriving there around 6:30am. We registered with the hospital and headed up to the Woman & Infants unit on the 4th floor. Speaking the words "I'm here for an induction" nearly brought tears to my eyes. It was real, we where really going to meet our son! The nurse directed us to our labor room, room 425 where I changed into a hospital gown and she hooked me up to the monitors. I had spoke with my doctor the day before about the "game plan" for induction day and she had told us to expect her around 7am that morning so I knew that she would be in shortly. 
My doctor stopped by at 7:05am. She checked me and found that I was 2cm dilated 70% effaced just as I was the day prior. She wrote orders for an IV, Pitocin and pain medications if I needed them. She planned to come back around noon to break my water and check how I was doing. The nurse came in around 7:30am and started my IV. 15 minutes later she brought in the Pitocin and started that through my IV...we where off and running! It didn't take long for the contractions to get very frequent, every 2 to 3 minutes. At that point they weren't painful at all though and some of them I didn't even feel. The nurse was shocked that I was tolerating the process so well and kept offering pain medications, which I kept refusing because I was beyond comfortable! Hubs and I settled in for the long haul. We spent the morning dozing, watching TV and responding to texts and emails from family and friends. Every 15 minutes or so the nurse would come in and turn up the Pitocin level, making the contractions stronger and more frequent each time. 
Around 11:30 the nurse said that she'd turned the Pitocin as high as they could, we'd reached the "max dose". The contractions where still about every 2-3 minutes and while I could feel them, they still weren't causing me any pain. An hour later my doctor came back. She checked me and found that I was dilated to 3cm and 80% effaced. She decided that she would in fact break my water to hopefully speed the process up. Having my water broke was the strangest feeling I've ever experienced. It was a large gush of warm fluid and I was certain that I'd peed on myself even though I knew it was just the doctor breaking my water. From then on every time I'd have a contraction {or cough/laugh} I could feel more and more fluid oozing out. Seriously a nasty feeling! The doctor was certain that having my water broke would make the contractions more painful and help things along. 
The next few hours were mellow. The contractions certainly picked up pain wise but through breathing and relaxation I was able to make it through them. By the time 2pm rolled around I was in some serious pain and the contractions where nearly on top of each other. One would peak and slowly let down and without any break another would start. I began to experience some extreme pain at this point though I tried to breathe and relax through them. Just before 3pm the pain was to a point where I could no longer take it. The nurse had even commented on how close together and intense my contractions where. Though I had been determined to deliver with no medications I knew at this point it just wasn't possible. I asked her for some IV medication as I was still hoping to avoid getting an epidural. She gave me a dose of Stadol through the IV. And let me tell you something about Stadol- worst drug ever! It hit me like a ton of bricks. Funny part was that it didn't ease the pain level at all. I felt every contraction just as I had before. Stadol just made me feel like I was floating...a very painful float. I had trouble putting my thoughts into words. I was slurring my speech. I couldn't keep my eyes open. I wasn't making an ounce of sense when I talked. I tried telling my nurse that the medication didn't/wasn't working but she laughed at me and told me that there was no way I was feeling the pain because I couldn't keep my eyes open. 

My doctor came again at 3:04pm and checked me again. I was still at 3cm and effaced to 70%. I was bummed to hear that I had made little progress in the past three hours with all the pain I'd been experiencing. By the time shift change rolled around for the nurses my contractions had gotten even worse. They where to the point where I couldn't breathe through them and I was crying. I requested an epidural. And within minutes {3:45m} the anesthesiologist was there and I was being prepped. I have to say after being so nervous and afraid of getting an epidural it was way easier than I thought it would be! Honestly the hardest part was sitting still, bent over while having a contraction. The epidural worked almost instantly...sweet relief! I was still able to slightly feel the contractions but they where far more tolerable than just minutes before! I was back to chatting with my husband, resting and watching TV as I had been that morning. I remember looking at the clock...and looking at the clock. I knew first time babies like to take their time making an appearance so while I didn't expect Garrett anytime soon I was hoping that he'd hurry up and come! I was just so excited to hold him! 

Around 4:20pm the monitors started beeping. I looked over to see Garrett's heart rate dropping. It had been running in the 130's to 150's all day and it suddenly was dropping. 117...103...88...70...54. My heart started racing! My nurse ran into the room to check on me. When she saw me lying still in the bed, monitors intact she called for other nurses. "Monitor is working! Hurry! Baby's heart rate is dropping! Get doctor here!" Before I knew it I was being told to flip on my left side, oxygen was flying at my face through a plastic mask and I was surrounded by people yelling and adjusting different things all while staring at the monitor, watching his little heart beat. It was then that I began crying, fearing for my child's life.

My hospital room was quickly filled with nearly every nurse on the floor. I laid there on my side, breathing through the oxygen mask with tears running down my face. I was praying for my child, for his life and well being. My husband stood next to the bed, clutching my hand hoping for the same. Laying on my left side wasn't helping...Garrett's heart rate continued to drop. My doctor entered the room saying "Try the right side, try the right side. And please, turn the Pitocin off!". I flipped to my right side and waited. Waited for my precious baby to recover and for his heart rate to begin to raise. The room was quite, all eyes on the monitor. It felt like time was standing still. After what seemed like an eternity I heard the monitor begin beeping a little quicker, and quicker and quicker. It was working! His heart rate was on the rise! 50...64...92...104...128...134. My doctor advised that I remain on my right side with the oxygen on to keep his heart rate in normal limits. It was decided that the Pitocin would remain off for the time being to keep babe's heart rate up, hoping that the contractions would continue on their own. While I crossed my fingers for a safe, vaginal delivery my doctor called and gathered a team just in case it ended up being an emergency c-section.

With the Pitocin off, oxygen mask on, and laying on my right side Garrett's heart rate remained fine. My doctor returned around 5:55pm for another check. She found that I was 5cm dilated and 80% effaced. The bad news was that without the Pitocin my contractions had stopped...completely. I was a bit bummed that in the last nearly three hours I had only dilated a mere 2cm. The doctor reassured me that first babies liked to take their time arriving and while she hoped for my sake that he'd arrive that day there was a chance he wouldn't arrive until the next day. 

With babe's heart rate stable my nurse restarted the Pitocin. The thought of going through the contractions getting progressively stronger {again} with no pain medication after such a long day made me incredibly thankful for the epidural! I finally began to relax and was able to rest again with every stable and alright. Hubs and I settled in for the night as it seemed baby wasn't coming anytime soon. We posted a little status on Facebook letting the world know that they could put their feet up and relax as baby was taking his time making an entrance and likely wouldn't come anytime soon. 

I snoozed until about 8pm when I started to feel an insane amount of pressure. I pressed my call light to let my nurse know. She said that she'd let the doctor know but that they had another delivery going on so it might be a little while. I remember saying to her "I've never had a baby before, so I'm not sure but I don't think I have a little while." She must have trusted my instinct because my doctor came right in. She came in reiterating that she had another patient in labor, about to deliver, that wasn't doing so well. She agreed to check my progress but said that they'd likely let me "labor down" until she could finish up the other delivery {about an hour}. I let her know that was fine but that I was fairly certain there would be a baby waiting for her when she returned in an hour. She laughed a bit until she went to check me and found that Garrett's head was right there...just waiting to come out into the world. All chaos broke loose then. A nurse came into the room letting my doctor know that her other patient was not doing well at all and needed to be brought to the OR immediately due to bleeding issues. My poor doctor took one look at me and said "Let's get this baby out!" She told the nurse to bring the other patient to the OR and start prepping her-she would be there shortly. 

At 8:12pm I began pushing. My nurse held my left leg. My husband held the right. Through the whole pregnancy my husband said he didn't want to be anywhere near the action on the big day. He agreed to stand by my side and hold my hand but didn't want to see any of the gory happenings...and the poor guy ended up right the front row seat. With each contraction I pushed. 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10...deep breath...and push...1...2...3...4...5...6... My nurse and doctor were SO great about coaching me along and I really focused on what they where saying. Taking their advice to make sure my pushes where accurate and effective. 

It didn't seem like more than a few minutes when I head my doctor say "That's it Stormy. One huge push-get his head out!" And with that, at 8:35pm after 23 minutes of pushing, I heard the most precious sound in the world-my baby boy's first cry. Tears welled up in my eyes and I opened them to find the most handsome little boy in the hands of my doctor. {She had intended for the push to get just his head out but his whole self came right out drenching her and my nurse in birth fluids. Oops.} She placed him on my chest. And there-warm skin to warm skin lay my son. A beautiful, precious, amazing creation. He was adorable. He was wonderful. And he was perfectly ours. Tears ran from my eyes. What an incredible experience birth is! My baby boy was here! Lying on me-safe and healthy. We could not be more blessed.


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Bridget said...

And I'm crying...why do these birth stories do this to me!?!?! Gosh...this also makes me want to get preggo stat so I can experience this incredible miracle all over again!

Cathy Vargas said...

I LOVE THE PICTURES! got a little memory when I was still pregnant and when my little Sofia was newly born. Very great idea and amazing photos :)

Catherine Vargas
Vintage Girls

Katie said...

I'm obsessed with these. FOR REAL.

Nicole@mamashiptips said...


MIL: said...

You have a wonderful blog!!! So helpful and beautiful with the other stories... for all mom & dads to read!

Also, just loved and adore the post about Kenley! A lil bias but she's my favorite! She is becoming very smart and cute as anything. Thanks so I can see updates. AND thanks for Dr. C.! You and your hubby are truly great people.


Stephanie Ann said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that was crying by the end of this post. A mom's instinct at its finest!