Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Labor of Love – A Birth Story

On May 20th, I went in for my weekly/ routine prenatal visit and as if history were repeating itself, like with Sebastian, I had elevated blood pressure (sign of preeclampsia) and was sent to do lab work and home with the “pee jug.” Sebastian thought it was pretty cool that  1. I had to pee in a jug and 2. it went in our fridge.

My Dr. said she’d call if my labs were abnormal and that if I had any blurred vision to come into labor and delivery ASAP. I was also to collect a 24 hour sample of urine starting Sunday morning and return it Monday to the hospital. Overall,  I felt pretty good (as in no additional things to add to my laundry list of ailments) throughout the weekend. I was even able to get some maternity photos done. So glad I did because little did I know that in only a few days, I would no longer have my little Benj inside my belly.

stephanies-maternity-photos-4_28223579772_o.jpg

stephanies-maternity-photos-8_28045358620_o.jpg

 

stephanies-maternity-photos-6_28045359040_o

via

I love this photo so much! I couldn’t get either Sebastian or Oscar to agree to taking photos with me. They came with, but wore baseball caps so they for sure wouldn’t be photographed. Sebastian even has a red popsicle stain on his cheek! For me though, even though Bash is wearing a t shirt and cap, the photo captures a special moment and signifies the only two loves that are certain and forever for me. The one growing in my belly and the other one looking up at me. My boys. My forever loves.

On  May 23rd, I woke up feeling pretty awful which was quite normal for me. I wasn’t sleeping and was just uncomfortable. I had an ultrasound at 4 that day and so Oscar went to work and was going to meet me at the hospital that afternoon. My parents came by around noon to pick up Sebastian and at that point, I was feeling pretty bad. I of course couldn’t get a hold of Oscar, but finally I was able to talk with him and have him come home. I figured I’d walk up to my Dr.’s office before my ultrasound and see if they could at least check my blood pressure. We decided to take our hospital bag just in case, but honestly wasn’t prepared to have a baby. My Dr. was on vacation so I saw another from the same office. My blood pressure was still elevated. He sent me to my ultrasound and then advised me to go to labor and delivery and he would come by to discuss the results.

Bottom line was that the combination of the elevated blood pressure and the low fluid amount surrounding the baby (results from the ultrasound) was enough to have him induce. Yikes! The checked me in and got me settled in my room.

Because I was only 1 cm dilated the first step of the induction was to “ripen my cervix.” Holy crap this was probably the most uncomfortable part of labor…kidding…but no really, it sucked. They place a tiny white pill as close to the cervix as possible. And as if being infertile wasn’t enough, my tilted pelvis really complicated getting the little pill up in there. By 7 O’Clock, and just in time for The Bachelor, I had an IV and the first dose of “cervix ripening” magic. I couldn’t watch tv, I couldn’t read. I couldn’t do anything really. I was just to dang nervous and scared. The first time around, I had no idea what to expect and this time around I knew…I knew what was coming. That night consisted of 3 more doses of that ungodly “cervix ripening” crap. The Dr. came by in the morning and was “disappointed” I was still 1-2 cm. They were going to start the pitocin and had to give me a bag of fluid first. That IV from the previous night, the one the nurse got on the first shot, was too good to be true…no bueno. I am not lying when I say they poked and blew every vein in both arms.

Finally they got the pitocin going and hopefully progress. My water broke on it’s own sometime after and at that point I asked for the epidural. I was worried the anesthesiologist wouldn’t get to the hospital soon enough. The epidural wasn’t as easy as the one I had with Sebastian. Again I was poked at least 4 times that I can remember. On one of the pokes, a shooting pain ran down my left leg and scared me half to death. Like the IV starting, finally after all the poking, I had pain meds! At some point the Dr. came in to check me and I was only 3-4cm and the baby’s heart rate was dropping so he decided to stop the pitocin since it wasn’t helping any and said they may have to put some monitoring devices up close to the baby to get a more accurate reading of his heart rate. At that point, I really didn’t care what they did. My exams were no longer uncomfortable as the epidural was doing its job. So well, that I couldn’t feel or move my left leg. And I never felt the feared “Ring of Fire” like I did with Sebastian.

Some time after, I started feeling quite a bit of pain on my right side only. When I called the nurse in to ask, she thought it may be that I was lying to much to one side and the epidural was only working on one side. She had me lay on my back and said that should help. No such luck. Finally after breathing through some of that for at least an hour, my nurse came in and decided to check me. I was finally fully dilated! They called the Dr. and he came in, checked me, had me push through a contraction and told us he’d be back in an hour. I was freaking out because Sebastian came quick and an hour seemed like a very long time to not have a Dr.

For half hour, I breathed through every contraction, still having that really immense pain on the right side only. I was shaking uncontrollably from either anxiety the epidural or both. My mama was the Best coach and helped me relax. Finally I couldn’t take it any longer and I had Oscar call the nurse. She called the Dr. who then took an eternity to get back. He told me he would only suit up if I impressed him with my push and I apparently did just that. He suited up and 2 contractions and pushes later, I fell in love for the second time in my life. With a head full of hair and the cutest button nose, my Benjamin was placed on my chest and even though he was there and I could see and feel him, I just couldn’t believe he was mine.

DSC_0750

 

DSC_0762

Big Brother Sebastian was screaming with excitement as he heard Benjamin crying in the phone grandma held minutes after he was born. He was excited and happy that his brother was really here! Him and grandpa were at the hospital 15 minutes later.

DSC_0763

Dad was pretty excited too!

DSC_0822

Looking back, I can still remember the night I told Oscar I wanted to quit. I had just taken several pregnancy tests, all of which were negative. Such a trying time. I sat on the edge of the bed and sobbed and was so angry at how unfair life was. Unfair that everyone else was pregnant except me despite all we had done. And even though I had a child, it didn’t make it any easier. Oscar, my partner, always supporting and encouraging me every step of the way. Deep down I knew I wouldn’t quit unless a Dr. told me I had to, but it was good to hear him support my madness at that point.

The tiniest seed of hope that you can muster, although minuscule, in my mind is by far greater than any fear. Fear of failing, fear of losing, fear of never holding your own baby.

Someone couldn’t tell me the outcome or where my end and beginning was. No one could show me the future. But now that I see, I know. For Benjamin, I would have never in a million years quit trying. My struggle led me straight to him and for that I am honored and blessed.

 

thumb_AA4A8884-32_1024

Benjamin Oliver
May 24th, 2016
2:48 PM, 6lb., 6oz., 19 inches long

 

thumb_AA4A9010-Edit-14_1024

My sweetest devotion……..

 

thumb_AA4A8983-Edit-24_1024

via

2F427B58159A85211D43DCCC049DC31111