Birthing The Boy: Henry’s Birth Story
I’ve been trying to decide how I want to post Henry’s birth story. If I should write it now, or post the version that I wrote after we got home from the hospital. The original version makes me a little uncomfortable because it doesn’t sound like me. But I guess that’s expected because I didn’t feel like me. I would wager that most brand spanking new moms don’t feel much likes themselves 6 days postpartum. So instead of a fun and witty recount of Henry’s big birth day, I’ll give it to you like I wrote it on August 9th, 2009. I am going to tweak the doctor’s names and probably take out the details about all of the things I had to pee in… You’re welcome.
Henry’s Birth Story:
Aside from the whole “bringing home a new human” bit about giving birth, the most surreal thing about this past week is that on Friday, July 31st, Aaron and I left home for our 37-week doctor’s appointment. The next time I walked through my front door was Thursday, August 6th, and we were bringing Henry home. Amazing.
Our appointment was at 8:30 Friday morning for a BPP sonogram and a visit with Dr. L. Our regular doctor, Dr. K, was vacationing in Hawaii for the next 2 weeks, so I had 2 appointments scheduled with another doctor in the practice.
We had the sonogram and Henry was looking good. Fluid levels good, fetal movement good. Yay. We got set up in the room to see the doctor and the nurse took my blood pressure… It was high, just like it had been for the past few weeks. Bedrest was keeping it somewhat in check, but not enough to let me go back home. Dr. L decided to admit me to the hospital and run some tests and do some monitoring and make a decision on weather or not she wanted to deliver over the weekend, or if I could wait until next week or even until my scheduled induction date with Dr. K on August 11th.
That was a little shocking… we were just going in for a regular appointment, and I ended up in a Labor and Delivery room decked out in a hospital gown by 10am. They monitored Henry and checked my blood pressure for the next few hours. Dr. L came by the room and decided to do a 24-hour test to check for protein in my urine to see if I was developing pre-eclampsia or if I was still just having symptoms of Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. The test bought me 24-hours more of being pregnant, so I was fine with that!
At around 7pm they moved me over to the antepartum unit where I spent the next two nights getting monitored. There were higher than normal levels of protein in my urine, but it wasn’t “get her delivered right now bad” so we decided to wait it out and let Henry cook a little longer. On Sunday afternoon I got up to take my shower, and while I was in the bathroom I saw little white spots everywhere. Not a good sign. I finished up my shower and as luck would have it, Dr. L came to check on me right then. I told her about seeing the spots, and she made the decision to induce the next day. My PIH symptoms were starting to turn into Pre-e symptoms, and with that, it would be better for Henry to be on the outside instead of on the inside.
At 5:30, my L&D nurse came and took me over to my delivery room. My 3rd hospital room in as many days! The nurse got me set up on the monitors and got me started on Cervadil to help jump-start labor. Getting my IV line started was the next big adventure. Because of my high blood pressure, my hands and wrists had been swollen for weeks… and this proved to make it rather difficult for them to find a vein to start my IV line in. Two nurses, one bruised up right hand, and about an hour later, I had a painful and annoying IV started in my left hand. Since it was so hard to get started, they went ahead and hooked me up to fluids to make sure they didn’t lose the line.
Cramping and mild contractions started showing up pretty quickly. My contractions were not showing up on the monitors and Henry kept falling off the monitors too. Things were getting rather uncomfortable, and I was trying to get some rest, but the nurse had to keep coming into move the monitor. By 2am or so, I decided to take some pain medicine so I could hopefully sleep a little… No such luck. The pain medicine didn’t really do much for me, and when I was laying on my right side trying to get some rest, the nurse came in and told me I needed oxygen and had to lay on my left side because Henry’s heartbeat was dipping a little bit in the position I was in. Red flag #1. The nurse went ahead and removed the Cervadil, and I was left to lay on my left side uncomfortably until they were going to start pitocin at 6am.
By 6am they were still not able to measure contractions very well on the monitors. They went ahead and got me started on pitocin at 7:30-ish. Around 9:30 Dr. L came in and checked me. I was still only dialated to 1cm and hadn’t really made any progress. She decided to stretch my cervix to 2 cm and break my water to get things going. Once my water was broken, they attached internal monitors to me, which measured Henry and my contractions much more accurately. Between 9:30 and noon, we started noticing that when I’d get into a pretty good labor pattern, Henry’s heartrate would dip, and they’d have to put me back on oxygen and lay off the pitocin a little.
I got an epidural around noon, and everyone started talking about possible c-sections. Obviously the thought of a c-section was scary as hell, but watching the heart rate monitor was also pretty scary. I was not having the labor I thought I would have. I was exhausted and could not talk to anyone. I just laid in the bed with my eyes closed and waited for things to happen. I pretty much knew that I was headed for a c-section by the time I got my epidural.
Dr. L came in a little before 2pm and checked me again. I was only dialated to 3 cm and my cervix was still pretty high. Henry was not tolerating labor very well, and the nurse and Dr. L explained that they thought his heart rate dips were probably in indication that something was not exactly right with my placenta. Dr. L advised a c-section, and I said OK.
It was all very surreal… Dr. L and my nurse immediately started prepping everything for surgery. Aaron had to put on a jumpsuit and mask and shoe covers… They wheeled me to the OR, and told Aaron they’d come get him when I was ready. In the OR they gave me a different medication in my epidural to make me “extra numb” and everyone was getting me ready for surgery. They brought Aaron in, and he sat by my head during the whole thing. I was pretty freaked out, but everything went smoothly. At 3:04pm, Henry was born. He came out kicking the doctor, but wasn’t crying. That was the worst feeling ever! They kept saying he was fine, but he just didn’t cry, and I couldn’t see or hear him, so I just felt so scared. I finally heard a few squeeks and Aaron got to go over and take pictures of him. Everyone kept telling me he was fine. Finally they gave Henry to Aaron and he brought him over so I could see him. He was gorgeous and perfect and tiny! He only weighed 5lb 4.5oz and was 18.5 inches long. He was quiet and content and we just looked at each other while they finished my surgery.
As soon as we got moved over to the recovery room, I got to start trying to nurse Henry for the first time with a lactation consultant. We
didn’t make much progress there, but I got to hold him for the first time and enjoy my little guy for a while. A nursery nurse came in to do Henry’s assessments, and she assured me that he was fine and everything looked good. He barely cried during the whole thing… even when they cut his heel!
The nurse took Henry to the nursery for his bath and my parents got to see him for the first time. While Henry was in the nursery getting all cleaned up, I was moved to my postpartum room. My parents got to come in, and they brought Henry back, and we all got settled in. I got started on the whole recovery process.
Recovering from a c-section has been tough, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I got up and out of bed for the first time about 4 hours after they got me to my room. That first trip to the bathroom was painful, but I managed.
We spent 3 nights in the hospital. Henry stayed with us the first night, and we learned our lesson and took advantage of the nice nursery folks the next two nights for a few hours so mommy and daddy could get a few hours of sleep.
We both got the all-clear to go home on Thursday morning. We packed up, and headed out to start our new lives as parents!
Happy Birthday Henry Grant – August 3, 2009 @ 3:04pm!
So there ya have it, folks! That’s how The Boy arrived! And now let’s commence with the photos, shall we?
Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go nuzzle my face into The Boy’s neck now…
That is all,