Many of y'all have asked to hear about Nate's birth story. Here it is, so you are warned! Sorry it took so long...but it is done (only took me about a month to write)! I probably forgot a few details, and Ry probably has a totally different perspective on it all!
Nate was due on June 19, but didn't arrive until July 2. We were going on almost daily check-ups that last week. On Monday, June 30 I was admitted to the hospital due to high blood pressure. The nurse asked if we wanted to be induced that night. My doc's wife's birthday was that day, so we decided to wait (since he would not be on call). We were there a few hours, and everything turned out okay, so we were released.
I got a call from my doc on July 1, since my enzyme levels were high (but still in the normal range), and he wanted to check me again. We went to the office, and my blood pressure was still high. Again to the hospital and the nurse was convinced I would be admitted. My enzyme levels stayed the same, so it was our decision to stay or head home. I asked the nurse if I could get some food (it was 1 pm by then and I had only a small breakfast) and she said no. That was the decision - we left and had a big lunch!
On Wednesday, July 2 we arrived at the hospital around 5:45 am to be induced. Since I had been there the past 2 days, we found out where the nice birthing room was (room 2) and requested it. It had great windows - with trees outside. You felt that you were in a treehouse. Luckily it was open and we got it! They started with the IV, and about 7:30 am my doc arrived and we started the pitocin. The contractions started - about every 2-3 minutes. My friend Sharon had given me the idea to offer each contraction for a specific intention. It was a great way to offer up the pain and pray for our friends and family. At this point I was still at 2 cm and 75% effaced. I also had a blood pressure cuff on that went off every 15 minutes.
A little later my doc came in and discussed breaking my water. We really didn't want to go that route, but since I hadn't dilated any more, he was concerned. He also wanted to use an internal monitor to see if the pitocin was causing strong enough contractions. We put him off, but by 11:30 am we gave in and he broke the bag of waters. At that point, my contractions immediately intensified. I couldn't focus any more on prayer intentions, and was even cursing Eve for bringing women painful labor with the fall of man! I couldn't seem to relax at all for my body to work.
About 1 pm I think I was checked at was up to 3 cm. The contractions were soo difficult. It was a very hard decision, but we decided for me to get an epidural. With taking the Bradley classes, and wanting to do things natural, it was a very hard for us to make. At that point, I felt I was not allowing my body to relax and dilate. I was worried I wouldn't have the energy left for pushing. I had the epidural at 1:30 pm and it worked immediately. I was like a different person. I could feel some pressure, and my legs were numb, tingly and cold, but I was finally able to relax. I did feel quite awkward, because now I had the IV, epidural, blood pressure cuff, internal fetal monitor and catheter. There were tubes coming out all over me. At one point I even had an oxygen mask too!
My mom, brother and sister were waiting at my house with my in-law's. I told Ry to call them and invite them to come. They came down, and Justin and Danielle joined them. It was good we had the big room now. It was great to have them around, and help distract me and chat. They had fun watching the monitor to see how often and how strong my contractions were.
About 4 pm my doc came in again. I think by now I was up to 4 cm, but still not progressing as I should (you should be dilating 1 cm an hour). Also I had been in labor for 8 1/2 hours. He discussed the possibility of a c-section. We wanted to wait.
He came back around 6, and I wasn't progressing. Talked about a c-section again. Neither I or the baby was in distress. He was just concerned about being on the pitocin so long. Decided to wait a couple more hours.
By 8 pm we had to make a decision. I really didn't want a c-section. Seems like all the women I knew (mom, grandma, aunt, cousin) went natural. I felt that I was cheating my labor, cheating my birth experience. But, my doc really thought it was important - that the pitocin may stop working after awhile, and it wouldn't help me post-birth. At this point I thought, I had don't everything so "non-Bradley" what was one more thing. I didn't realize until later how scared Ry was. He was soo afraid something would happen to me.
The family went to stay in the waiting room. They tell me they played dominos to distract themselves and Terri was praying the rosary.
At 8:30 pm I was wheeled into the operating room. There were 3 sets of support staff and nurses there - one for me, one for the baby, and one to assist the doc. They were all surprised that we didn't know the gender. Almost everyone thought the baby was a girl. Ry was able to come in, and sat next to me. We couldn't see what was going on. One of the nurses was taking photos for us, which was nice.
After some strange sensations and tugging, our child emerged from my stomach - at 9:17 pm. Ry saw the gender, but I could not. They then told him, "tell her". He said it was a boy. Everyone asked what his name was. Before seeing him I blurted, "Nathan James". Ry went when they cleaned him up, and then they brought him to me. I only saw him for a few moments, and then he and Ry were off to the nursery. He was able to carry him down the hall and the family was able to meet Nate right away.
Once Ry left, I started hyperventilating. I've been told that after you have a c-section, they actually have to remove your uterus from your body to stitch it up. I was not feeling well at all, and actually threw up. My doc then said, "Relax Alexis!". I stopped and the next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room.
Ry and my mom came first. They kept telling me how beautiful Nathan was. But his temperature was low, so he had to stay in the nursery until it rose. Jim and Terri then came, then Stephen and Tessa, and lastly Justin and Danielle. Finally Ry returned and they brought him in. It was now over an hour since he was delivered. He went to my chest and tried to nurse. Within a few moments we were then moved to our post-partum room. The fam came in for a few moments and then left us alone to be a family.
My experience was nothing than I expected or planned for. I never would have thought I would get an epidural, or even a c-section. I had to keep reminding myself that my doc had my and Nate's best interests at heart. And that is all that mattered.
Ry probably has a little different experience...probably need to get him to write his down too!
Here are a few pics from that great day - July 2, 2008!
in labor and delivery, after the epidural
the waiting room
Welcome to the world, Nathan James Dobson
Nate getting cleaned up
Mom anxiously awaiting to meet her son
Meeting Mom for the first time
the family, just moments after Nate was delivered
Our complete family