Ender Nathan 09.02.14
February 8, 2015
Everything went down Labor Day weekend. I had been having braxton hicks contractions (or what I assumed were braxton hicks. Hello naive new mom over here) for weeks but on that Labor Day Monday they seemed different. I was experiencing more pain along with the contractions and they lasted for quite a bit longer. I, being my mother's daughter thought nothing of it and went out shopping with my mom and sister for the day. You can't keep me from a good deal even at 9+ months pregnant and in active labor. Watch out clearance racks everywhere ;).
The morning quickly became the afternoon and we were back at my mom's house making homemade salsa for our barbecue that evening. The contractions were still coming but nothing intense and nothing worth timing. I did however start to feel nauseous which I do remember my cousin telling me was a sign of active labor. My again, naive self of course chimed in and chalked it up to eating too many chips and salsa at lunch.
We decided to head home at around 8 PM that evening and I resorted to feeling exhausted and over heated on the sofa. A typical evening for the pregnant me. At about 8:15 though things took a turn. My contractions became noticeably more intense and painful. I decided to download the app that times your contractions. At that point my contractions were coming every 5 minutes and lasting anywhere from a minute to a minute and a half. I thought ok this could be it. I told Nate how I was feeling and I started texting my mom asking her thoughts. She told me to get in the bath and if I was in true labor the bath would let me know.
I climbed in the bath and my contractions were still coming but they were not as frequent as they were before. They were coming at anywhere from 5 minutes to 7 minutes apart with a 1-1.5 minute duration. The bath pretty much had the opposite effect on me. I decided since this bath isn't doing anything to get out and get into bed. Then the contractions started up again. Dang they were painful! I had Nate call my mom to see what she thought and we all decided to call the hospital to see if they wanted me to come in and get checked. Their instructions were not much help. They told me to come in when I could barely talk through a contraction, or if my contractions were less than 5 minutes apart consistently, or if my water broke. Thanks a lot nurses.
I thought well if the bath helps to calm things down a bit then I am going to climb back in since I was miserable. I climbed back in and tried to relax. Ha, trying to relax while having contractions that is a joke in it's self. My contractions did however slow back down again from every 5 minutes to every 7 minutes. While I was in the bath this time Nate and I both looked at each other and thought this could be it, but if it's not lets make sure we have a bag packed (yeah just goes to show how prepared I was at almost 39 weeks. I still didn't have a bag packed)!
As soon as I could make it to the car we grabbed our disheveled bags, hopped in, and raced to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital to find there is no valet in the middle of the night. Um, hello hospital? What about the pregnant ladies in active labor??!! We parked the car and Nate asked me if I wanted him to get a wheelchair. I had a burst of energy and said heck no lets get in there. My thought process was the sooner I got in there, the sooner I would get that beautiful thing called an epidural and all this pain would go away.
We made it to the check-in where they wanted me to fill out paperwork...IN (again). ACTIVE.LABOR! After scribbling what sort of resembled my name on the dotted line they took me in to the examination room where I changed into my gown and laid down on that cold table/bed. My contractions had become farther apart but much more intense in pain by this time. The nurse came in to examine me to see how far along I was. Then she said something that I didn't even think was possible. She said "um-so there is something in your birth canal blocking your cervix...it feels like a hand??!!" WHAT?? A HAND?? She called for the experienced mid-wife to come check me. She checked me and determined that it wasn't a hand but it was a FOOT! They paged the doctor on call to come and do an ultrasound to see what position the baby was in.
The doctor came in and performed the ultrasound to find that our baby was breach. which was a shock for Nate and I since my doctor had assured me every visit the past several weeks that he was head down (head...butt...same diff right)? The doctor walked out of the room while the nurse told me they had to rush me into surgery for an emergency c-section. Looking back everyone was so calm, which in turn made me feel so calm. I am so grateful for that since I would learn later after delivery just how severe my case was (and side note that I was dilated to a 10 before Ender arrived)!
The doctor rushed back in with yet again more paperwork. Listen all I want is the drugs were the thoughts going through my head. I signed the paperwork and the nurse rushed to get my IV in so we could hurry into surgery. By this time Nate had been updated our families. They were in shock at how things had taken such an urgent turn. Nate was sent to a different room to change into his scrubs and they started wheeling me into the surgery room. By this point I was in excruciating pain. The nurses and the doctors kept saying just a little bit longer and we will get you your epidural.
We finally made it into the surgery room and they were all ready for us. The anesthesiologist had me roll onto my side and uttered the stupidest thing I have ever hear, "umm k I am going to need to to hold very very still right now," AGAIN with the: I was in active labor! I was dying! Hold still? That was the last thing I thought I would be able to do. He missed the first time and told me if he was unable to get the epidural in this second time they would have to put me under. Looking back I feel so horrible at how I treated all the doctors and nurses. I was screaming in pain and just told them, "hurry please hurry." Lucky for me he popped that sucker in on the second try and I felt instant relief. After I was completely numb all I could do was apologize for my horrible behavior, when looking back was not that bad. I was so glad they were understanding and on my team. I will say this though to whoever invented the epidural I could just kiss you. It's a beautiful thing.
Due to the position Ender was in I had to have another incision made vertically since his head was wedged underneath my ribs. (Just to clarify the vertical incision was just up my uterus and not through to my skin, thank heavens). There was so much tugging and pulling. Nate looked over the drape and said he was afraid they were going to pop off his head they were tugging so hard ;). Several minutes later our sweet little boy was born at 2:55 AM. Nate just looked down at me with tears in his eyes and said "he has your eyes". Wow my eyes?!
The nurse grew very worried when he didn't come out crying. I guess that can happen with c-sections since the baby isn't pushed through the birth canal which helps relieve that fluid that may be in their mouths and throats. She suctioned him out and we heard a faint little cry, which was relieving. They were still nervous so they brought him over for me to finally see him. It was so amazing and he was beautiful. Even though I was only able to see half of his face and was slightly drugged he was the cutest thing I had ever seen. After they let me have my moment they took him to the NICU to see if they could get him to cry a little more to get that fluid out while I got sewed back up.
I had to wait another couple of hours before I could really hold Ender. Longest two hours of my life! Nate however did come back to my room and showed me all the pictures he had taken of him and told me all about him. We just smiled and happy cried. I couldn't wait to hold him! Our families decided they couldn't wait and came down in the middle of the night to meet their new family member. It felt so good to have my mom there, it was just what I need. The doctor that helped perform my surgery, the same one that performed the ultrasound on me came in to check on me. I just kept on thanking her. Thanking her for taking care of me and of my baby and for knowing just what to do and how urgent my situation was. She gave me the biggest hug. She was just so sweet.
After what seemed like forever the nurse told me it was time! It was time to get wheeled into my room from my post-op room and meet my baby! They wheeled me in first and then brought Ender in. All I could do was stare at him. He felt and smelt so good. It was an out of body surreal experience. This little boy was just inside me and now he is here looking up at me from my arms. He was just beautiful.
It's funny looking back on all of this. My whole pregnancy I was so worried about giving birth. You hear so many horror stories from other moms while you're pregnant you just expect the worst. For me though, when I was there in the moment I just felt an overwhelming sense of peace. I know that my Father in Heaven was looking out for me, he had his comforting arms around me the entire time.