wonderfully made: davis' birth story

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

davis' birth story

Edit: I wrote this while in the hospital, but it is SO long and I wanted to read through it and add photos so I didn't end up posting it then. But, I'm posting it now! Read it if you've got a few hours to spare. ;)

So I'm going to attempt to type this all out while still in the hospital, but we'll see how that goes! I figured if I do it now, it is still fresh on my mind. Plus, who knows when I'll have the peace and quiet (and not want to spend it sleeping) once I'm home with TWO kids? dmariebuchanan@gmail.com Image Map

My pregnancy with Davis was pretty similar to my pregnancy with Beau. I started feeling effects of being pregnant like cramping, change in appetite, etc. around 5 weeks. From there I felt fatigue and nausea (but no throwing up!) right until 12 weeks and then it subsided. The Braxton Hicks contractions and indigestion started earlier with Davis, somewhere in the 20-30 week range. With Beau, I started having the consistent, painful contractions associated with irritable uterus at about 34 weeks but with Davis, I had some before 30 weeks. At 30 weeks, after pushing through some uncomfortable regular contractions from 10am-5pm, I finally made the call to my OB and was told to go up to L&D for monitoring. It was like a repeat of what I went through with Beau at 36 weeks so I was calm and assumed they would just monitor me, give me a shot of terbutaline, and send me home. 

Instead, I got stuck with the hospitalist doctor (not my fave) and was his personal guinea pig for the next 5 hours. He used every test to determine if I was in pre-term labor, only to end up giving me the shot of terbutaline after enduring those semi-painful (like period cramps) contractions every 2 minutes for those 5 hours. I was pretty annoyed and spent the next several days with a sore abdomen because of the workout I had been through. After that hospital stay, I was put on Procardia, a blood pressure medicine used to keep contractions at bay for long lengths of time. I was on that until 35 weeks, when it was decided the risk of labor was lower and I came off of it. However, I would still have some breakthrough contractions while on the medicine and would have to spend the remainder of the day resting in order for them to die down.

SO, that's the back story. Everyone around me (that had been there while I was pregnant with Beau) figured it was just the same old thing and that, like most of my family, this baby would go past 40 weeks and the early contractions would have no effect on the pregnancy. I thought the same thing, but for some reason around 35 weeks, when asked, I would say that while I had zero expectations of this baby coming before his due date, I had a weird mother's intuition that he might be early. However, I was cautious when saying that because I know how horrible it is to expect your baby early and to have to keep waiting, and waiting...and waiting!

Fast forward through more contractions here and there (every 3 or 4 days I'd have a small spell), moving 45 minutes across town, painting 5 rooms in our house and working almost non-stop to get the house set up. Suddenly I'm 36 weeks! (I'm going to start being a little more specific here because I just want to remember the facts!) I was checked and told that baby is still high but I'm 1cm dilated. Of course, no reason to think labor is coming soon. I was surprised though because I remember it taking longer with Beau to start dilating. My checkups were on Wednesdays at that point and the next Sunday night I had some relatively strong contractions that started at 8 minutes apart and eventually got to about 2.5 minutes apart (the norm for me). They were about 45 seconds - 1 minute long, which was longer than they were at 30 weeks, which made me think they might be productive. Sure enough, at my 37 (technically 37w3d) week appointment that next Wednesday, I was now 3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I was a little surprised because I didn't get to 3cm until 39 weeks (I think) with Beau. I also knew that within a week's time, those contractions were actually doing something. I continued to have that intuition that things would be different than with Beau...

He started feeling lower and lower and, as with Beau, my pelvic/pubic bone pain was almost unbearable in those last few days. I halfway expected my water to break every time I stood up. I would have a couple tightenings/contractions every day but nothing consistent. I also felt like I was feeling more actual BH contractions (rather than the 'real' contractions I've always had) because they weren't painful, but were just tightening in my abdomen. I would also feel them start to come on first by feeling a constricting feeling in my throat. It was a little odd, but finally I knew the difference between what I had normally and what a typical Braxton Hicks contraction was! 

Mark, Beau, and I tried a burger place close to our new house on Friday night (the 14th) and I tossed and turned during my sleep with contractions that were waking me up. I was a little fuzzy on the details because apparently I was sleeping deeply and wasn't sure if it was a dream or if I was actually having contractions during my sleep. It turns out they were contractions, the first that ever woke me up like that. 

On Saturday morning, July 15th, I had an early appointment with a new pediatrician to 'interview' her to see if we wanted to use her as our new doctor in the area. I had interviewed several others and was not happy with them so I was relieved to hit it off with her and made the decision that day that she was 'the one'. I got my hair trimmed and then came home for a while. Beau and I then went to my sister's house to hang out for a few hours while Mark ran some errands to Home Depot and did normal Saturday things. We went home about 2:30 and I took a nap until 5:30. I had a really bizarre, strong dream and woke up and told Mark about it. I noticed then that I was having some contractions and I waited through a few before I decided to take my phone out and start timing them. They were coming every 3.5 minutes and lasting 50 seconds. 

After about 30 minutes of that, without letting up, I mentally started preparing for the night. There were a lot of things that had to fall into place for our pending hospital stay, so I had to plan ahead when the time was right. I had tested positive for Group B Strep at my last appointment which meant I would have to have IV antibiotics at least 4 hours before delivery. Also, I was still planning to deliver at our hospital in Plano since we had just recently moved and I was still seeing my previous OB. The hospital is about 45 minutes from our house. On top of that, we would have to get Beau to a family member and make arrangements for several hours, even if we ended up being sent home without a baby. Of course, I wanted to do all of those things before I was in excruciating pain (especially the long drive) so I waited an hour after the contractions started to get the ball rolling. I could tell that the pain meant I was progressing, so even if it wasn't real labor, I knew things were happening and just wanted to err on the side of caution. 

My sister came and picked up Beau about 6:30 and made several comments about how I didn't seem like I was in much pain. At that point, I don't think anyone actually thought I was in labor. We called the on-call doctor and let them know we were coming in. We ended up arriving at L&D at 8pm to a mostly empty wing and got settled into our room. My hospital doesn't use a triage area so we just go straight to labor and delivery and they determine whether you are staying or not from there. My contractions sped up to every 2 minutes and I was checked and at 4cm dilated, 70% effaced. The threshold for active labor was recently changed from 4cm to 6cm so I wasn't automatically admitted. During the hour of paperwork, though, my contractions started becoming more painful. I knew it was the real thing by then because I became really annoyed with pretty much anyone, but mostly with our lousy nurse (more on that later). Finally, since I had the Group B Strep issue, they decided I would stay and, unless my contractions petered out, have the baby the next day. Eeks!

From there, I was started on an IV and antibiotics. I got checked around 10:30 and was 5cm dilated and opted to get the epidural at 11:30, before things got too painful. Everything with the epidural went fine, as with Beau, and I felt some relief. I hit the 'bolus' button about 45 minutes later because I still felt a little pain. Around that time, the nurse was messing with the IV cart (as she did a lot, to my annoyance) and I think she sped up the drip on my antibiotics. About 30 minutes after that, my scalp was suddenly VERY itchy. The CRNA walked in shortly after that so I told him what the deal was and he and my nurse both just kind of stood there and said 'huh'. We speculated about what it was from, discussed doing a dose of benadryl (but decided not to) and just let the itching wear off. It was odd, but I was just glad it went away after 30 minutes. After that, Mark and I were able to turn the lights down and (attempt) to get some sleep from about 1 until 6 in the morning. More people started coming in around 6am and I started to feel the light cramping in my abdomen again with each contraction. I told the nurse but she didn't want me to push the button on the epidural since she thought that could have caused the itching (it didn't). She wasn't really helpful at all, and I endured the increasing pain for the next hour with no relief. During that time, the on call OB came in to check me and broke my water. I was at a 6 at that point. 

After that, the pain started to pick up without the cushion of my water, and I continued letting everyone know that I was feeling pain. Again, no help from the nurse. Finally, at the shift change, the new nurse came in and the first thing she asked was if I was comfortable. I said no. She jumped on it and said that it wasn't acceptable and that since I had the epidural, I needed to be comfortable. She was an angel! Suddenly, the contractions got REALLY painful. It was as if my epidural completely wore off. I was having to breathe and moan and brace myself for each one, which were coming every 2 minutes. The nurse was great and fast moving and within the hour had a new anesthesiologist rushed into the room to place a new epidural. He worked fast but I finally knew what it felt like to have to sit still for the epidural during painful contractions. It wasn't something I want to ever experience again! He ended up doing a combined epidural/spinal since I was 8 cm at that point, in transition, and needed fast relief. Within two contractions, the pain was so much better. I was still feeling it around my right hip, but it was manageable. Without even meaning to, I dozed off on my side for about 30 minutes, waking up slightly with the contractions but mostly just recovering from my short stint at natural labor (how do you natural mamas endure that?!). The numbness completely took over, I felt nothing (finally) and my nurse woke me up, told me the baby's heart rate was dipping a bit during contractions, and checked me at 8:40am. She said "you're complete, and at plus 4! It's time to have this baby!" I said "plus 4? Doesn't that mean he's, like, here???" Hahaha. Apparently plus 5 is crowning! It was so different because with Beau, I could feel the sensation/need to push well before he descended down the birth canal, which resulted in such a long time of pushing (2.5 hours). It was nice not to feel that need with this baby and let my body do most of the work. 

So the chaos and lights started happening and within a couple minutes, the doctor was in the room, scrubbed up and ready to go. I could feel NOTHING from the waist down but still knew where to push and a short 8 minutes and four contractions later, I heard sweet cries from my newborn baby! There was no pain and he was finally here! He came out and immediately started crying. Then they cleaned him off and laid him on me, where he calmed down and we snuggled for a while. I could tell he was smaller than Beau and we were so curious so they took him to be weighed and he was 7lbs, 6.8oz. A little guy! Two pounds less than Beau. Two weeks earlier, too! He was 20.5" long and had a 14.5" circumference head. 

Overall, things have gone well so far! We are getting discharged today and then time at home will start. Davis is eating well but has a tongue tie, so we will decide in the next few days what that means for us. He latches well about 50% of the time but seems to be keeping his weight up and having good diapers (if such a thing exists) so it doesn't seem to be affecting him too much. 

So that concludes the longest birth story ever! I guess he sort of deserves it after getting almost zero coverage on the blog before his birth. We love him so much and are so thankful that his birth was relatively uneventful! 

*all photos taken at one week old 

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