On Saturday, January 21, I woke up to contractions. They were not intense, but consistant and getting more as the day went on. By 11pm I was timing them less than 3 minutes apart and pretty intense (little did I know how much more intense they would get) so we headed to the birth center. When we arrived at the birth center Sandra, my midwife, took our vitals and she got a heartbeat for Ethan in the 90's (for those who are unsure of what it should be, 120 is low, and normal is 140-170) and so Sandra was terrified and we literally were on the way to the hospital within 2 minutes. The hospital was about a mile away and she had me on my hands and knees trying to change the heart rate. When we got to the hospital we never seen another heart beat that low, or anywhere out of normal. A consistant 150-160 bpm. However the nurse on duty said she was not completely satisfied with how he was responding to contractions. She wanted his heart beat to accelerate by 15 bpm for 15 seconds and Ethans was only doing 10 bpm for 10 seconds. Therefore she did not want to release me, but "I was not a prisioner" so I could leave, but I would have to sign an AMA (Against Medical Advice) and then insurance would probably not pay for the visit. So needless to say, Charles and I definitely felt like we were a "prisoner" and that made me super grumpy. However after my level headed husband and I talked about it more we realized that staying was not neccessarily the worst decision. We had set an appointment for induction on Monday anyhow and it was already Sunday morning. (Our ultrasound the week prior showed that my amoitic fluid was borderline dangerous for Ethan, so we had decided that if labor had not started on its own by Monday that we would go ahead with the induction (by then we would have been 42w1d anyhow).
|About 330am, before being admitted in.|
During our contemplation Sandra got a call from another patient of hers who was 36 weeks pregnant and her water had broke, so Sandra had to rush off to help her. Her partner midwife, was on call if/when we needed her to come in and be with us. So now it was just Charles and I (the only person I needed or wanted was right there holding my hand, LITERALLY the entire time).
|1030am, I am trying to keep a smile, but you can see how exhausted I am.|
|Much worse picture of me, but better shows my status.|
This is when I mentally and physically broke down. It had been 26 hours of being awake, constant contractions and over 12 hours since I had last eaten, and the contractions were literally 1.5 minutes apart and soooo intense. I was just spent. I needed a break and there was not a break to be seen. When the nurse left the room after that check, I turned to Charles and broke down crying, and telling him I needed the epidural. He knew how much I was against it, so he encouraged me to keep it up and telling me how awesome I was doing and that I could do it. I balled my eyes out and told him that at the VERY BEST I had 5+ hours left of this and I just couldn't do that without a break. I just needed to rest, and I knew that the epidural could allow a rest. I begged and begged. Once he realized that I was sure about my decision and knew I would not regret it, we told the nurse.
This was approximately noon and the nurse said that it would take about 30 minutes to get the guy in there to give it to me. Well that 30 minutes turned to an hour, and the contractions were still not giving me any break. I was crying, I was in pain, I just couldn't handle it. Finally he showed up and gave me the epidural, but it took him (and I promise you I am not exagerating at all here) 6 times to get the needle in the "right" spot on me. And if you have had an epidural before, you know they are painful, and you have to stay very still, ALL WHILE GOING THROUGH CONTRACTIONS. VERY intense contractions by this point. Finally he said that he got it in and I should be experiencing relief within minutes. And I was. Finally....I could breathe, I could handle a contraction without crying. But then within minutes, the pain returned, but only on one spot on my hip and right in the middle of my butt. And at first it was managable but still there, then just minutes later, they got to the point of crying again, and they said that I couldn't have anymore of the epidural then I had, but I was still feeling everything.
So the guy called his boss in to check it out, and they decided to poke me AGAIN to try to get the epidural in the right spot. So I get stuck a seventh time, and an eight time (not kidding). But finally it worked, and finally (its 1:30-2:00 by now) I get relief, I could rest. God answered my prayer. I felt like I could handle anything now that I could take a break from the constant pain.
At 3pm the nurse checked me again....still 6 cm. I had been at 6 cm now for 4 hours and not progressing. So the doctor came in and explained to me that I was nearly at my max dosage of pitocin (38 cc) and not progressing at all. She said, she knew I did not want a c-section and it was completely my choice, but from the looks of things it looked like we could continue like this for days with no progress. Ethan had JUST started showing slight signs of distress from the contractions, so it was just up to us. Charles looked at me, and said, "I think we need to do it hun" and I agreed. So we told the doctor that we could go ahead and do the c-section.
|Minutes prior to the surgery|
|Dad scrubbed up, and ready to go|
Now I got wheeled off for the surgery, and honestly, I was scared. I had never had surgery before and did not know what to expect but knew I was not mentally prepared for it. The entire time to the room, in the room, and during surgery I was praying over those hands being laid on me and in me. I know that to some a c-section is normal but its major surgery, and there could be complications, and I could have died from it. I was so scared. Finally they brought Charles in and he sat right there by my head, and prayed for me/with me. The surgery itself was very odd to me, I felt so much, but I know that in reality I felt barely anything.
The next thing I knew the doctor said "Dad, would you like to see your son" and Charles stood up and looked over the curtain, and I just heard Ethan crying. They let Charles go over and do whatever they do over there, and hear I was laying on a operating table balling my eyes out because all I can do is hear the nurses say that he was "a big boy", Ethan crying his little heart out, and Daddy saying that Ethan was "grumpy". My little boy was over there and I couldn't see him or hold him or comfort him or anything. I just wanted to see him. Or have Charles tell me something. Anything, but I was stuck.
Within minutes though, Charles brought him over and showed him to me, and I cried even harder. There he was, my little boy, the little boy that Charles and I had prayed over for months and months, that I wanted my entire life, he was RIGHT THERE. Charles said "the nurses say they think hes about 10 lbs" and we both were in just tears over this miracle that was in his arms. I doubt either of us expected that much love, and emotion that quickly. It was amazing.
|Me meeting my precious son for the first time|
|Our first family picture|
Ethan Michael Henry was born on January 22 at 4:34pm. He was 21.5 inches long and officially weighed 8lb 13oz (the nurses were a bit off). And at that moment, our lives were complete.
Charles then went off with Ethan while they finished putting me back together and then I waited for him to bring the little guy back into my room, for the longest 45 minutes of my life.
|Me feeding my boy for the first time|
Now, this is not the birth story I wanted, nor planned. In fact it was my "worse case senario" but I see that God planned it this way. He was right there the entire time and played everything the way I needed it so that I would not have regrets or anger about this exeperience. He gave me the right nurses and doctors to listen to me, and allow me to control the pace and not feel pushed or rushed into any decision. It was not my way, but it was God's way, and I would not have it anyother way. Not to mention that the end goal had always been Ethan, and guess who is right here next to me....a beautiful healthy Ethan.
Lastly when going through pictures, I found this treasure. Dad videoed this for me, and I didnt know until now. It literally made me cry.