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13 December 2011 @ 01:04 pm
Birth Story  
David Andrew
November 8, 2011 12:22pm
Hours of active labor ~ 62
8 lbs. 11 oz., 21 inches

On Saturday November 5 at 11am I had my bloody show. My husband and I were planning on seeing a movie on Sunday, but given this we decided to see it on Saturday instead just in case. I started noticing some painful and irregular contractions during the matinee movie. Around 7pm I started getting slight twinges about 15 minutes apart. Around 9pm these became about 10 min apart. Around 10pm, they were 5 min apart, but not very painful. I got no sleep, and by Sunday morning they were three minutes apart. At Sunday on noon I went into the hospital where they declared that I was 4cm dilated and in active labor, so they started my Penicillin for group b strep and but on the fetal heart rate monitor. The midwife declared that I would be having this baby "before midnight".

However, I did not dilate any more. By 6pm they suggested giving me meds to help me sleep since I'd gotten no sleep the night before. I agreed, but I didn't sleep long. By 5am I was awake from the pain and on the birthing ball. By 11am, I still had not dilated past 4cm. They gave me the option of being induced or going home, so I chose to go home.

By the way, that first hospital stay was hell. The IVs for GBS were exceptionally painful. The midwife later told me that my cervix hadn't dropped, which is why the cervical checks were excruciating as well. They had me on the fetal monitor for 15 minutes of every hour, including waking me up in the night for this. I was so unhappy. I wanted the nightmare of the IVs and monitoring and cervical checks to just be over. I never, ever wanted to go back to the hospital. I couldn't believe how hands-on they were for what had been an entirely uncomplicated pregnancy.

I continued to labor at home, and the pain grew more intense as I did so. Still, the contractions were 3-5 minutes apart, just as they had been since Saturday night, so I really was not sure when to go to the hospital. I was determined not to go in until I was sure I had to, though, because I now associated the hospital with a nightmare of IVs and interventions.

Monday night was tough. My midwife had given me Lunesta to try and help me get through the night. I would sleep in the spaces between contractions but otherwise I was in quite a lot of pain.

My husband left for work in the morning and I perched on my own birthing ball to wait out more contractions. My husband had not been at work an hour before I called him to come get me. At this point the contractions-- still 3-5 minutes apart-- were so intense I was pretty sure I was going to die. I told him I needed to get to the hospital, and at that point the only thought I had was that at the hospital they would be able to give me something for the pain.

It took him an hour to get home-- what an agonizing hour! We loaded ourselves back into the car and I screamed my way all the way to the hospital. We went into the ER and they took us up to L&D where they put us in the room next to the one we had spent a long and hellish 24 hours in just that weekend. They asked me if I felt the urge to push, and I remember answering, "Huh? What? How would I know?" So they checked me and I was 8 centimeters dilated.

At this point I became strangely convinced that with each contraction my right hip bone was going to shatter. I absolutely required that someone push against my right hip with each contraction. The contractions were terrible and I panicked before each one, yelling things like "Another one! I don't want it to happen!". I screamed a lot and yelled out some fun things like "I don't want to do this anymore." "Do I have to do this?" and "Can I go home now? I don't want to be here."

Today, my favorite midwife of the practice was on duty. I was fully dilated within half an hour. My water had not broken, so they kept asking me if they could break my water as I was pushing, and I kept refusing-- AROM wasn't part of my birth plan. Finally after pushing for about half an hour I gave them permission to break my water, which they saw was filled with meconium immediately. They called the neonatalogist in and insisted I push. I really, really didn't want to, but eventually I couldn't help it. Pushing was a lot like throwing up to me-- very unpleasant but not something you can control.

As soon as they broke my water, David came shooting out. He was corking off the water essentially so the force of it breaking pushed him out. I had the natural childbirth I wanted (except for last second AROM) so that's the good news. I did tear during labor and required 50 stitches.

David was born with an APGAR score of 4. He had inhaled quite a lot of meconium and I only got to see him for a second before they had to take him away.

The tube of meconium at the bottom of the picture was what was suctioned from his lungs.

I slept off and on during my stitches, but I was aware that things were going very wrong. I had barely seen the baby before they had taken him away. At this point they also told me they had to transfer him to another hospital's Level IIIc NICU. They offered to discharge me that day so I could see him, but I knew I needed a night of sleep so I stayed in the hospital and was discharged in the morning.

David had a two-week NICU stay. It was extremely unpleasant to watch him in pain, on a respirator, or drugged unconscious. Having a newborn in the NICU was like living in frozen time. I spent most of my time in the NICU and focused all of my energy on pumping milk-- without much success. I'm still having milk supply issues and have a script of Domperidone on its way from Canada. I am so excited for it to arrive!

In addition, they found out when they took his chest X-ray that he'd broken his collarbone being born, so he had some physical therapy in the hospital as well.

David was released from the NICU on November 22, just in time to spend Thanksgiving at home. His breathing has been fine since then. After we took him home he stopped gaining weight well for a little while but he definitely doesn't have that problem any more. This past week he gained over half a pound. Yesterday he was discharged from Home Care with a clean bill of health.

He's a pretty fussy baby, needing to be held all the time and eating small meals frequently. He tends to clusterfeed from 5pm-5am. It has been NUTS with him eating all the time. Yesterday he weighed in at 10lbs 3oz.

In the NICU:

Just got home:

This past Sunday:
Current Location: St. Paul, MN
Current Mood: enthralledenthralled
astrogeek01astrogeek01 on December 13th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
And he is beautiful and healthy and hooray for gaining weight. in the end that's what's important, right :) now if only he could flip his schedule for you!
Bloody Jack Flintrhye on December 17th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
Right now he sleeps well from 3:30am-2:30pm (of course he gets up a few times to eat but outside of this time he doesn't sleep much). I'm not sure it would be any better reversed, though. he needs to process a bit.
Kelly: celebs+ dianna b&w cup smileteagues_veil on December 13th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
He's actually a cute baby! That sounds terrible but I never thing newborns are cute! LOL. I'm glad he's doing so much better and everything is going well.
Bloody Jack Flintrhye on December 17th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks XD He is cuter IRL.
One man's junk is another man's treasure.subluxate on December 13th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, he's precious. That second "just got home" picture has the best expression, too!

Those two weeks still sound nightmarish. I can't believe the way some of the NICU staff treated you, and not being allowed to hold your own baby must have been hell. But he's home and healthy, and I imagine that feels wonderful.
Bloody Jack Flintrhye on December 17th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
It feels wonderful when I'm not desperate for a minute of sleep XD
lexispicelexispice on December 13th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
He's beautiful!
Bloody Jack Flintrhye on December 17th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Toujours Pur:  R.A.B. died a virgin.  [ﻧﻴکو ل]nicccc on December 13th, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
His face in that second just-got-home pic is priceless. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but congratulations x.
Dharma Initiative Ranch Dressingmoonstrucky on December 13th, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
Congratulations again on your both and your amazing baby boy :)
elena_62elena_62 on December 13th, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
Hi, what a happy surprise! I confess I had missed the whole pregnancy and now I read ''Birth Story'' and I expected a story. But a real story with this subject is even better. Congratulations!
It was a struggle for both, but then you look happy in the pic taken at home.

Best Wishes!

Jillianananasparachute on December 13th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your story! David is a beautiful boy.
Interesting that your prescription has to come from Canada (where I am..) I wonder why?
Julieragnarok_08 on December 13th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
Congratulations to you both and your beautiful baby :D

He's so cute *^^*
lovewithstands: Cory & shawnlovewithstands on December 13th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
Aww =D He's adorable.

chosenfire28: Star Trek - Kirk aka Pine Smilechosenfire28 on December 13th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
OMG he is absolutely adorable! The 2nd to last picture had me grinning. It sounds like things were hard but glad to see they've gotten better, you have a beautiful baby there :D
mirax on December 13th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
Wow Jess, you really went through a lot. I'm so happy Davey's doing fine now and that he seems to be a good eater! and you did a great job getting through the NICU part dear, you really did. He's so beautiful, and adorable! Keep posting pictures whenever you can!
night_owl_9: Emma Watson IInight_owl_9 on December 13th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
He is so precious! ♥ Congratulations, dear!
minya; soft kisses & beautiful melodies ~ ☆ ☆ ♉ ♊: [vk] - doc hollidayladyminya on December 14th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
He's a beautiful, beautiful boy, Jess. <3 :')
gandolforf on December 14th, 2011 09:14 am (UTC)
Awwww! Wow, what an experience D: I'm so glad he and you are both home <3
testa_duratesta_dura on December 14th, 2011 11:19 am (UTC)
He is beautiful - and so are you. :-) That last picture of you holding him is one of my all time favorites.


humorbothumorbot on December 14th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
Thanks for typing this up, Jessica. Even being at the hospital later and hearing the story as some of it unfolded, I feel like I didn't get the full picture until now.

He looks so different in that last picture. He looks like he's made it out of that "raw" phase they have at the beginning where they look a bit more like aliens than humans. Looking forward to seeing you guys again. Just have to convince Crystal to go when I don't have to work. :)
jennydcfjennydcf on December 14th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
He's adorable! So glad to hear that everything is going better--though it would be nice if he clusterfed during the day. The pictures are great.
Fairyscarletladyy on December 14th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Oh he's ever so lovely and cute and adorable! Congrats! :):):)

I'm ever so sorry about the pain, though ♥
rabenkoeniginrabenkoenigin on December 14th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
Ngl, I teared up reading this <3 You are amazing and you will make a fantastic mom :) And David is gorgeous! How are the animals getting along with a new family member in the household?
Danikoyaaniisqatsi on December 14th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
He is so adorable! I love the photo of you hugging him, you're like "MINE FOREVER". :D And also the last one, throwing his hands in the air all "AWWW YEAH I'M THE BABY!" :3
Samvivaciousmuse on December 14th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
Aw, he's absolutely adorable. :) I'm so glad he's home and you're all doing well.
Namei_beam on December 16th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC)
You are amazingly strong with a high tolerance for pain.

I would have killed jason if he went to work, leaving me alone in labor.

I'm so glad he's healthy now. And he'll start sleeping longer "soon".