Tami and Lorenzo

January 7, 2011 at 1:18 am Leave a comment

I was due on the 26th of December, and after two convincing mornings of practice labor on the 22nd and 23rd, I was convinced that my baby would arrive within a couple of days of my due date. The 26th came and went with no signs of baby. I finally reached the point of extreme discomfort during this time: I was too big to sit, lay or stand for long periods of time. I started maternity leave from work and did a lot of nothing during the day. I’d go for walks, read, knit, and work on puzzles. After a week, I was bored out of my mind.

Finally, 10 days after my due date, on Thursday, January 6th, I woke in the morning, went pee, and noticed there was extra fluid. My waters had ruptured and the fluid was heavy with meconium. I had an appointment that morning with the midwives already, but I called them at 8:00 AM to tell them I thought there was meconium in my fluid. They asked me to come in as soon as I could to be checked. I told my husband, Art, that I wasn’t going to be coming home that day, I would be admitted. We both showered, packed our bags (yes, we’re last minute like that), and called my mom and our doula to let them know what was happening and to be on call.

At 9:00 AM we arrived at the hospital, and a quick inspection from our midwife confirmed that I was leaking and it was heavy with meconium. She walked us down to maternity and I was admitted. Because my labor still had not started, they started me on pitocin. I labored for four hours: sitting, standing, walking the halls. I overheard my nurse call our midwife and say, “she’s walking the halls and doesn’t look like she’s in labor at all.” Our midwife arrived, told me I was dilated to two centimeters, and suggested that she try to break my other water bag (I didn’t know there were two), to see if that would speed up my labor. I agreed. After a few uncomfortable minutes, she broke it and I leaked some more.

My labor became more intense within ten minutes or so. Pitocin is weird: I would have a really jagged contraction, then what felt like a second contraction right after. It was during this time that the nurse decided that my natural labor had kicked in and cut the pitocin. After about twenty minutes or so the contractions, while intense, lost their jagged edge. At this point I lost track of time. I know I labored for many hours while moving around the room, and that my favorite place to be was on the toilet. As my labor advanced I remember moving from the bed to the bathroom and laboring in the shower, leaning on my husband for support, and on the toilet, rocking back in forth. I was accomplishing what I wanted: I was laboring naturally without medication.

It was on the toilet that I had the realization that I should probably be checked, thinking I might be getting close. It was now about 12:30 AM on January 7th. Our midwife came in, checked me and told me that I could start pushing. I had totally missed transition; it never felt different to me. I started pushing while standing, squatting, on my hands and knees, and finally with a squatting bar on the bed. Our midwife was in and out for the first hour or so, monitoring me. It was intense. After an hour and a half, she was in my room with the nurse, my doula, my mom and my husband. She started coaching me to lower my tone while moaning during a contraction, and where to push during a contraction. She coached me to push four times (most people only push three times) during each contraction. My husband, mom and doula propped me up during each contraction so I could bear down more.

After three hours of pushing, with no medication at all, I was exhausted and asking for it to be over. I could tell that something wasn’t right: I could feel the baby’s head come down then move back up when I pushed. It still hadn’t crowned. Our midwife suggested that they start the pitocin again to see if it would help, and she also thought it would be a good idea to call the OB on call. The pitocin was started, albeit briefly, and it was excruciating to push with it after laboring without it. The OB showed up soon after the pitocin was started, at about 4:00 AM, took a look and said, “Nope, this ain’t happening.” My baby wasn’t even low enough to use the forceps or vacuum.

At this point, we decided that it was time for me to have a c-section. I agreed readily, and as they prepped me quickly to move me, I was still pushing with each contraction. The truly fortunate thing is through all of this my baby did not show any signs of stress.

The surgical team was great. They were quick, efficient, and the anesthesiologist was wonderful. Our midwife, my mom and doula accompanied me to surgery, and Art waited outside (he gets queasy with blood, as do I). At 4:44 AM they announced “it’s a boy!” and I cried. They took him to the warming table as his color was not great, and our midwife took lots of pictures for me. Unfortunately I didn’t really get to see him for long, he was sent to the NICU, and my husband accompanied him. He was 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and 22 inches long. My husband came back to my room and we decided on a name for our baby: Lorenzo Russell. He came back from NICU after an hour so I could nurse him.

Things get blurry for me at this point (probably because of the meds). I remember them saying that the placenta smelled bad. My OB came by later to tell me that the placenta potentially had an infection so she cleaned me out really well, but that I needed to go on antibiotics just in case. I started antibiotics on the Saturday the 7th, and I lasted on the first antibiotic for two doses before I couldn’t take it anymore, I was reacting to it. They put me on a second antibiotic when I left the hospital on the Sunday the 8th. I lasted on it for three days, until Wednesday, before my reaction to it was so bad that I was completely dehydrated. On Thursday I saw my OB and started the third antibiotic. By Saturday night (eight days post partum), I had hives in my throat to the extent that my throat was closing (anaphylactic reaction). I started taking Benadryl; fortunately it worked. I started the fourth antibiotic on Monday, and continued taking it until the following Monday
(three weeks post partum).

I have to say that laboring un-medicated for twenty hours, while not easy, was doable. The reactions to the medications that I took post partum were the toughest part of my birth story. But it was so worth it, I wouldn’t trade Lorenzo for anything!

Entry filed under: Birth, Cesarean. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Elizabeth and Crosby Welcome!

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