Sunday, July 31, 2011
Here's the crazy story of how Gavin Alexander entered this world. I woke up Thursday the 28th by Jackson walking in our bedroom a little after 8:00 a.m. I realized that I had had a few "real" contractions throughout the night. I assumed it was no big deal. They were strong enough to wake me up, but not strong enough for me to think twice about them, or time them or anything. Eric got up then too and got in the shower. I told him that I had a few real contractions in my sleep, but that they were really irregular and to go to work anyway. By the time he got out of the shower around 8:30 I had experienced maybe 2 or 3 more "real" contractions and asked him to not leave for work until after I took my shower. I started timing them with a free contraction timer iphone app I downloaded and asked him to push the start button for me when I had contractions while I was showering. During that time my contractions were ranging anywhere from 10 seconds to over a minute and were anywhere from 1 minute to 7 or 8 minutes apart. Some of them hurt really bad, some hardly at all. I still wasn't convinced I was actually in labor yet though. By the time I got out of the shower, dressed and ready, it was 9:15 and I had a feeling that I should at least get Jackson to our neighbor's house. I sent him next door at 9:30 with the idea that I would see how it goes at home for a while. By 9:35, I was yelling at Eric that we should go to the hospital right away. I knew I was in labor. I wasn't timing my contractions anymore, because my "free trial" was over on my "free" app. (stupid Apple!) But they were coming every couple minutes were very intense! He called our doctor's office (who was still out of town) and told them I was in labor and to call the backup OB. They were really casual about it, and said that they'd call back after they called the backup OB. We live about 15 minutes from the hospital and, of course, they randomly had a lane closed for construction on our way. It took probably 20 minutes to actually get there. I walked into the hospital (was offered a wheel chair, but sitting down made it hurt much worse) and went straight to labor and delivery. They asked if I had called ahead. "No." They asked if my doctor had called ahead. "No." "But I'm for sure in labor and went fast last time". I was impressed with how quickly they moved me along. I didn't have to go to triage first, like last time, they took me straight to a room and had me change into a gown. By this time I was screaming and crying in pain and just wanted an epidural. (And was making that abundantly clear!) They promised me they would get me one, but needed to check me and the baby first. They tried to strap a fetal monitor on me, but it hurt so bad to have the band pressing on my stomach, I'm not sure if they ever got it on right. They never even tried to get the contraction monitor one on. She checked me and I was 100% effaced, baby was at 0 station and I was dilated to 7 cm. I completely freaked, because I knew how fast I was going, and was scared I wouldn't get the epidural. There were now several nurses in the room and they got an IV started on me and immediately called the anesthesiologist. He was there within a couple minutes and started the procedure. I was about 2 minutes into the procedure, sitting up on the edge of the bed and I suddenly felt the baby coming out. Yes, COMING OUT! There was SO much pressure and pain I was screaming and crying. They laid me back down to check me, even though the anesthesiologist wasn't finished, and I was 10 cm and ready to push. The anesthesiologist had gone as far as to give me the initial shot in my back and put the catheter in, but hadn't actually hooked the epidural medicine in yet. They called a doctor in the room while they prepped the table for pushing. By the next contraction, the doctor was there and I started to push, feeling EVERYTHING! It was an overwhelming urge to push, but I was also very scared to push, because it hurt so much more. I was screaming that I could still feel everything and the doctor finally told me "You are going to feel everything, JUST PUSH!" So I did. And on the next contraction at 10:26, I pushed long enough and hard enough to push him out. I had been in the hospital less than 45 minutes. I didn't even have a hospital bracelet on or anything.
After delivering the baby, the doctor gave me a local anesthetic to stitch me up. About 15 minutes after that, the initial numbing shot kicked in and I went mostly numb. I laid in the bed, numb, for about an hour or two, waiting for the medicine to wear off. It was at that point that I wished I wouldn't have insisted on the epidural. I felt everything anyway AND went through the process of an epidural too. I had lots of nurses come and go in my room during that numb hour. They finally checked me in, and I made several phone calls and texts. (And Facebook status updates...I mean, I wasn't actually doing anything at that point!) All of the nurses and doctors were so shocked at how fast everything went and kept telling me what a good job I did. I didn't feel like I did that great of a job. I mean, I was screaming and crying the whole time. But the baby was born and everyone was okay, so I suppose it was a success. One nurse commented that if I ever get pregnant again, my husband better know how to do a home birth. I kind of laughed, but she kept her straight face and said "no, I'm serious". Oh. In hindsight, I don't know how I could have gone in any earlier. I went in as soon as I was sure I was in labor. I'm also really glad I didn't send Eric to work that day and that he slept late that morning. I would have had to call 911 otherwise and Eric would have missed the birth completely. I also would have skipped the epidural, had I known. (I betcha I'll still get a bill for it though)
Our stay at the hospital went great. Gavin finally got his name about 24 hours after he was born, after MUCH discussion all day Thursday. I breastfed the first day at the hospital, and it was as painful as it was with Jackson. I met with a lactation consultant on Friday, and she advised that I actually stop trying to get him to breastfeed, and just focus on pumping. (A second consultant also agreed on Saturday) As she put it, it's an issue with my skin tissue, NOT the baby's latch or anything having to do with the baby. The problem is not fixable, so the only way to really deal with it is to manage how I'm damaging the tissue and try to go as easy on it as possible. With pumping I can control the speed and suction and try to minimize the damage. So far I've been pumping for three days and haven't gotten a single drop, even though my milk is coming in. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to start actually producing tomorrow. I've been giving Gavin formula the whole time though, and am okay if that's all he ever has. He's a great eater! I'll be sure to update about Gavin and our nursing/feeding adventure as things unfold.
I'm so grateful that he is here and we are all healthy. Jackson is adjusting pretty well too, although he has been extra whiny and needy since we've been home, but that's to be expected. It's an adjustment for all of us!