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Kristen's Pregnancy Journal

Week 40
~ Birth Story!

Carsten Edward
June 28, 2012 10:49 am
6 lbs 11 oz; 21 inches long

Before I start this birth story, I would like to direct everyone's attention to the little introductory blurb beside our picture at the top of the page. You notice that I had put my due date at June 28, before I had ever even been to the doctor?? Point for me!!

So, I woke up about 5 am, Wednesday, June 27, having minor contractions. They weren't painful, and they weren't at all close together. I didn't even think about timing them. I was, however, excited to finally have something going on that I could feel! I was really hoping that I would deliver on the 27 because that's also my "adopted" daughter's birthday. She would have been over the moon had Carsten shown up before midnight. That didn't happen, obviously, but we gave it a good try!

I had several things to do on Wednesday, and since I figured I had time, I went ahead with my plans. I had a pedicure appointment that morning, then plans to meet one of my close friends for lunch. I dropped my kids off at my dad's, got my toes done and had lunch, then went and sat on the deck by my dad's pool the rest of the afternoon and watched my kids swim. My contractions were getting a bit closer together, but no stronger. My husband met me there after he got off work. We hung out til about 4:30 or so and then headed home.

The evening was more of the same, except that we finally started timing contractions. They were coming every 5-8 minutes apart. I was a bit unsure what to do at this point. My doctor said head to the hospital when they were coming 5 minutes apart. The problem was that with G, I was never in a steady pattern. They were never consistently the same amount of time apart. I finally called the on-call doctor about 9 pm. I explained my history and what was going on. She advised me to wait a couple hours to see if they got closer together or more painful. At this point they still weren't hurting at all.

By 10:30 they were every 2-4 minutes apart, though still not painful. We decided we'd rather be safe than sorry, so I called my mom to come stay with the boys. We headed to the hospital about 11 our time, and got there, uneventually, at midnight, which was one their time. I had pre-registered, so check in was pretty quick. Since it was 1 am their time, we had to go in through ER entrance. The helpful lady who checked me in walked us to labor and delivery. Who knows how long we would have wandered around if we'd had to find it ourselves!

The nurse took me straight to a good sized delivery room. I put on the beautiful hospital gown, and another nurse, who was fantastic, came to check me. I was 3 cm dilated, but I had a contraction while she was checking me, and I was at a 4 during contractions. The bag of waters was also bulging, and so there was never the possibility of sending me home. Since I was basically a four, even though the contractions still weren't painful, she went ahead and called the anesthesiologist. He had to come in, so she wanted to make sure we had plenty of time. He was there in about 45 minutes or so, and he was excellent! It's much easier to be still when your contractions aren't painful! I was a little nervous about getting it, but it was a breeze. It was also very complete, unlike my epidural with my first one. I still felt everything in my right side with that one. I was so numb this time I could barely move my legs!

Not long after my epidural, however, the baby's heart rate starting to take a dive. It was staying between 100-110. 100 is considered low, and it was dipping down under 100 during some contractions. I was 5 cm dilated at this point, and my nurse stayed glued to the monitor for over an hour, leaving me only long enough to call the on-call doctor to let her know what was going on. Everything else about his heart rate (variables and something else I can't remember) looked good, so they just kept a really close watch on him. In another half hour or so, his heart rate was back up in the 140s-150s, and everything was fine after that. In retrospect, I can only assume that the epidural might have affected him until he got used to it. It didn't occur to me at the time, but I have to wonder why it didn't occur to the nurse or the doctor. Maybe the fact that it didn't occur to them means it wasn't a factor, but it seems awfully coincindental to me! At any rate, I was pretty worried there for a while and was very relieved when his heart rate came back up.

I stalled out at 5 cm, and my contractions were back to being irregular, so they started some pitocin. I think this was around 7 am or so. My nurse got off at 7:30, and I was pretty bummed that she wasn't going to be there for my delivery. I really liked her. I got two nurses for the day shift because one, while not new to OB, was new to the hospital, so she had a mentor nurse. The mentor nurse turned out to have worked at my home hospital, and once we got to talking and started making connections, I remembered her. They were both fabulous as well. They checked me about 10 am, and I was dilated 9 cm. She told me to let her know when I started feeling pressure. About 10:30, I was, so she checked me again. I was 10 cm and the baby was at a zero station. Five minutes later, the other nurse check me just to be sure, and he was already at +1. They set me up to push, and after one set of pushes they called my doctor (who I had yet to see!) I pushed through another contraction before he got there. He walked in and after commenting that I looked pretty calm (to this point I still wasn't in any pain), immediately started talking about his dogs with the nurse, which cracked me up. I ignored them and pushed through a third contraction. The first push on the fourth contraction popped his head out, and one more quick push delivered the rest of him. The entire pushing process took me 10 minutes or so, and I think my doctor was there for about 5 of it! Apparently I'm a champion pusher. My nurses were impressed, but I was just ready to be done with it!

My labor, from the time I got to the hopsital to the time I started pushing, was about 9 1/2 hours, which is really long for me. It turns out he came through the birth canal a little sideways and was looking to the side when I delivered him. My doctor said had he been straight and face down like he was supposed to be, my labor would have been just as quick as the other two. That made me feel better. I was a bit down on myself because this one took so long! I was blaming my age. Lol. I had a second degree tear, which he stitched up without numbing me first. I was very nervous at first and told him I was going to kick him in the head if I felt it!!! My epidural was that good, however. Not only did I never have a painful contraction and didn't feel any pain during delivery, I also didn't feel him stitch me up. This was easily the longest labor but also easily the easiest delivery. I really can't complain about any of it, save the heart rate issue.

They were pretty full up and waiting for my room, so they moved me to my post delivery room pretty quickly. I had feeling back in my legs by then, so my nurse walked me down. My mom and kids, who had been there since 4 am, got to be in the delivery room once I was stitched up, and so they were already with me at this point. Neither of my sisters who wanted to be there made it for my delivery, which was kind of sad, but I was also good with it just being Ken. I did have a roomful of medical people, however. My doctor, a resident, two nurses, and a nursing student. With my first I would have thrown a fit. At this point, however, it didn't bother me. My hospital stay was boring. The nurses in this department weren't nearly as good as the delivery nurses, but I really didn't need them much. They kept me supplied with ice water and the occasional motrin. My niece was the PCA one day, which was fun.

We've been home for 2 1/2 weeks now, and Carsten is my easiest baby yet. He fusses occasionally when he's hungry, but that's it. He latched on immediately in the hospital, and nursing has been a breeze. He sleeps from 3-5 hours at a time at night, and I'm great with that! My other two nursed every hour and a half to two hours, so this is heaven! My older two adore him and are always willing to help if I need it. They love to hold him, and both are very good with him. This has also been my quickest recovery, and my husband was constantly telling me to slow down and to quit trying to do so much. Family and friends kept us supplied with meals the first week, which was great. Ken went back to work last night, which he hated to do. I think he's enjoyed being home these two weeks as much as I've liked having him around.

I didn't know our family wasn't complete until this little guy showed up. Now we are perfect. Even though he wasn't planned, I wouldn't change it for anything. Thanks for following me on this journey! I have enjoyed writing it! And a big thank you to Maribeth for letting me.

~ Kristen

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