18 February 2010

James's Birth

So, I found out I was pregnant just 3 months after I turned 21.  I wasn't really expecting it, although I knew it could happen.  Wasn't completely in my plans but to be completely honest I wanted it to happen.  Nothing would have pleased me more than to be pregnant with Michael's child.  I have been head over heels in love with that man since the age of 15.  We both had made stupid mistakes but I never stopped loving him.  I don't think I could love anyone as much as I love him.  So, I found out I was pregnant, and I was a little scared that he wouldn't be happy.....yea, i was wrong, completely.  He, believe it or not was completely happy.  Especially since we were both told it would be hard for us to conceive.  Boy have we proved those Dr.'s wrong right??

So I already had an OB due to health issues (the ones that said it would be hard to conceive with) and so I didn't even think of any other options.  Woman go to OB's and deliver in hospitals right?  No one does anything different right?  So that was the only option I thought I could go with, in fact at that time I thought anyone who delivered a child at home was crazy!  Why would you do that when you could have a baby safely in a hospital.

Now I have no complaints about my prenatal care, I did get a little more time than some with my dr.  I usually didn't have a long wait in the office, the nurse only took my blood pressure and had me pee in a cup, then my Dr would come in and test my urine, ask me how I was doing, check my fundal height and then listen to the baby with the dopplar making sure I got plenty of time to hear the heartbeat.  I think my visits did actually last around 30 or so minutes and I never felt rushed or unimportant.

He also was very good at explaining all my options, which was nice.

So this is me not too long after I found out I was pregnant, 2 months I believe....

With this pregnancy I took my vitamins religiously I didn't take any meds but tylenol and the only stressful thing I did was as close to 40 hours a week as I could.  I wanted to have plenty of money for the new edition to my family.  The pregnancy went very well, morning sickness wasn't too bad, only threw up I think twice, may have been three times, and ended right around 12 weeks.  The only other trouble I had was when I was 35 weeks I started having contractions and ended up on light bedrest.  It was caused by working, being on my feet and not able to drink enough water.  So I dutifully went on bedrest.  I trusted my Dr.

On to the end of the pregnancy.  At 39 weeks I was SO ready to have him, but I honestly wanted to go late.  James was due on July 25th, and I wanted him actually closer to August, because my birthday is July 22nd.  I did NOT want to have this baby on my birthday!!!

He had other ideas....This pic was taken the night before I went into labor, on July 21st.  Because I was close to my due date I was staying with my parents.  My Mom was planning on driving us to the hospital and I had been having contractions for weeks.  My Dr had even said it would probably be soon at my last visit, but my next visit wasn't even until after my due date, and he wasn't interested in talking induction until then anyways, and wouldn't do it until I was after 41 weeks.  I also had no clue how far I was progressed because he didn't believe in doing vaginal exams because they don't really tell you anything.

So, Michael and I were exhausted, I had already been to the hospital three times I believe for false starts and we were exhausted.  I had Michael timing my contractions and we went to bed around 11pm I think it was.  I was still having contractions, but was able to start sleeping through most.  Around 4am I woke up with a contraction and had to pee so I headed to the bathroom.  In the bathroom I peed, and flushed and then felt another gush of liquid.  I thought at first that I had leaked urine, but I held my muscles tight, and when I had a contraction there was another tiny gush of liquid.  I layed down on the floor and again held the muscles tight and waited for a contraction.  It happened again.  So I woke Michael up, who dutifully woke up enough to look at his cell phone, note the time on our piece of paper for contractions and then layed back down to sleep.....I had to insist he wake up because I thought my water had broken and was leaking.  That woke him up.  I then went and woke up my Mom.  It took us about 30 min to get everyone ready and in the car.  This was really mistake number 1.  I should not have gone to the hospital yet, I was hoping for a natural birth so I should have waited, but I was told that if I though my water had broken then I should go to the hospital.....the ride was hellish, my contractions were starting to be more intense than they had been previously and I could feel every bump and every movement of the car.  When we got there we I was wheeled up to the L&D and sent into triage to change and get hooked up to monitors.  The nurse checked and told me my water had *not* broken (but I am not convinced of that and think it was a high tear) but they checked me and said I was 4cm and based on the contractions they were seeing (which were about 5 min apart) that I was definitely in active labor.

Mistake number 2 happened then.  I allowed them to hook me up to the monitors and continued to stay on the monitors.  The nurse would run in if we unhooked them for me to move around, for me to go to the bathroom....I was progressing well, what did I need to get up for?  I was also hooked up to an IV because I had tested positive for strep B.  Had to stay in the bed for that......

My labor was pretty textbook.  I could tell the different stages, I knew when I went from active labor to transition, and I did well going into my own little world while laboring.  I didn't make much noise while in labor though, other than telling Michael to stop laying his arm on my stomach while I was having contractions.  He was constantly falling asleep and putting his full weight on me.  The nurse came in, I don't know exactly when, and offered me drugs, narcotics, but she waited until I was IN a contraction to ask me, after she checked me and I was 6cm.   I, in the middle of all the pain, agreed.  STUPID!!  nubain did not help me at all and in fact inhibited me from breathing and concentrating the way I had been.  I had been doing well with the contractions but after the nubain I was then falling asleep in between contractions and then being woken up by severe pain from the intense part of the contractions.  Not only that, but the nurse gave it to me during transition, long after she should have stopped (in her belief that it would be much longer till I needed to push).

However it wasn't too much later that I needed to push, and when I told the nurse so I was told not to (why do they DO that?  Tell a woman not to push when her body tells her to)???  I tried hard to listen to her, but the urge to push was so hard that I couldn't not push.  I kept saying "i need to push, I need to push I need to push" in my effort NOT to push, and I should have been thinking why are they telling me to go against what my body is trying to do?  It knows what to do!  Eventually it became to hard, and I started pushing, but by that time the nurse had gotten everyone in and ready and told me the Dr would be there soon.  It took 20 minutes to push him out and they laid him on me for just a second before they whisked him away to give him a shot because I'd had pain meds, and to put the antibiotics in his eyes and all the other things they do to those poor crying babies who should just be left alone with their mothers.  They also clamped the cord immediately (which I'm now against) and I delivered the placenta and got my episiotomy sewn up.  I had one because my hymen was still intact and James just wouldn't come out.

Not long after I was stitched up the nurses whisked James out of the room and away from me.  Michael tried to go with them but they wouldn't let him.  They also would not tell him anything because we were not married and I was in too much pain to walk and still so tired.  They told me they were just taking him to the nursery to check on things and that he would be back as soon as I got out of the shower.  I loved that first shower, it was very refreshing.  Once it was over though I was expecting my child.  Hours started passing and I was starting to worry, they still wouldn't tell Michael anything and around 5 hours later the LC came in and asked me to pump. I did and my milk started coming in then.  I'm sure before this time though they probably gave James formula but I don't have conformation on this.  I didn't get to really see my son or spend time with him until 8 hours after his birth.  I was devastated, they finally told Michael that James had stopped breathing, and then that his test came up positive for strep b.  He was kept in the NICU and I had to go there to nurse him that first day.  They wouldn't bring him in to me.  I went every 2 hours to nurse him, tried to over feed him because the nurses said I wasn't nursing long enough (he would only eat for 20 min and only on one breast) and he'd choke on all the milk I produced!

When the neonatologist came in that evening he informed me that James had stopped breathing because I'd had pain meds, and I was crushed.  I felt like I had caused my son's problems by being selfish and weak.  The next day however they started bringing James to me to nurse in my room and then he had to go back to the NICU, he was slightly jaundiced also so they were watching that.  I signed the consent for the hep b shot because I blindly believed vaccines were good also and despite not wanting him to have a paci in his first days didn't fight the nurses giving him one in the NICU because I didn't want him to disturb the other babies.

He stayed in there for 3 days, because of his blood test, and I was released at 2 days but was allowed to stay the 3 days, when we found out on that third day that his first test had been contaminated and he did not in fact have strep b, and past that first moment not breathing had been fine and we were released to go home.

Now most people will tell you, that at least I got a healthy baby and that's all that matter right? And yes, that is important and to be honest at first I thought my birth went alright, because I at least gave birth vaginally, and that had been important to me, but now that I look back I can't believe I allowed all that happened to happen.  I wish I could go back and change it all.  If I could go back I would change it, I would have looked up a midwife and had my baby at home.  I would have qualified as I was completely low risk, and while I did do a lot of research back then I would have done more, if I'd known better, there are so many things I would change if i could go back knowing what I know now.

But, I did at least know that the next birth I wanted to be different....although it didn't go the way I wanted either.

James was  born on July 22, 2004 at 12:26pm weighing 7lbs 5oz and 20" long.

He is now 5 1/2 years old :)