February 25, 2012
Joel's Birth Story
I am really going to try and stay up on the blog posts so that our friends and family from out of town can be as much a part of our little ones life and those who live just down the street. I am sure that there will be times when I don't succeed at this goal but know that I have every intention of at least trying :)
Here is Joel's birth story:: Thursday evening was spent watching Thursday night comedy, eating triscuits and staying up too late, something I would later regret. We went to bed around midnight. I woke up at about 1:40 to use the restroom, a normal occurrence during my pregnancy. Once I got back in to bed I noticed that I was having some cramp like feelings. I went to sleep but woke again at 2:40am. It took me awhile to wake my sleeping husband and get him to start helping me time what I was certain were my very first contractions. At around 3 I called my mom to ask her what she thought, she said that I should just try and go back to sleep. It was clear after 2ominutes of trying to fall back asleep that I was in fact having real contractions and wasn't going to be able to sleep the rest of the night. I called my doctors office and they suggested I wait 1 to 2 more hours before coming in to the hospital.
In the meantime we continued to time the contractions, which were consistently 5 to 7 minutes apart. Unfortunately they didn't seem to be getting any closer together or stronger. I took a hot shower, ate some toast and laid in bed trying to will my body to go to sleep for even a few minutes. I had no such luck and at 5am we set off to St. Elizabeth Hospital, a six minute drive from our house.
They checked us in to triage for monitoring. I was nervous, excited and anxious all at once. The bed was extremely uncomfortable and not the ideal position to be "laboring" in. Our nurse Lisa was great at talking with me and keeping my mind occupied during contractions. It felt like we were there for an eternity because we had nothing to do but listen to our babies heartbeat and watch the clock tick as we waited to see if I had progressed at all. At 8:30 they checked me and I was dialated to 1 cm. They gave me the option of staying or going home. I hate options like this when it comes to my health, I am not a doctor, please tell me what to do don't make me decide. Our nurse told me that if I was her daughter she would tell me to go home where I can relax, get something to eat and be in my own environment. We decided that that was probably best for me since we hadn't gotten but 2 hours of sleep and it seemed like we would have a long day ahead of us.
After a quick phone call to my parents who were already on there way and a stop at Big Apple Bagels for a bagel with cream cheese I parked myself on the couch to wait it out. Laying down quickly became unbearable and I resorted to kneeling on the floor with my head on the couch and a heating pad on my back. Phil brought me sips of water and forced me to eat my bagel. Which was good because it would turn out to be the only thing I ate for more than 36 hours!
My parents arrived and helped Phil rub my back, warm my heating pad and provide support and love. At 11:30 Phil decided that it was time to head back in to the hospital. My pain was getting worse and I was nervous that things would progress quickly and we'd be stuck at home. They checked us back in and Lisa our nurse was quick to help me get comfortable in a triage room. Once they checked me and saw that I had dilated a little more they admitted us to a room. Little did we know that room D4 at St. Elizabeth's Women Center would be our home for the next 4 days. Lisa allowed me to be hooked up to the machines minimally because she knew that I wanted to be able to get up and move around during my labor. I was able to walk the halls a bit, eat some ice chips, and drink water while rocking back and forth with my head on a pillow near the bed. My contractions continued to come with force but at 3:30 when they checked me I still hadn't progressed past 3 cm. We decided to try some IV pain medication in hopes that it would let me get some rest in preparation for labor. Once the IV was in and the medicine started flowing I felt a bit better but still wasn't able to sleep. At 8pm the doctor came in to check me and discuss our options. He recommended that I get an epidural because of how exhausted I was and how little I had progressed. They wanted to give me pitocin to help speed things along so an epidural was the best way to get rest while that happened.
Our anesthesiologist was really nice and from Rochester Michigan. It is a small world but he noticed Phil's sweatshirt that said, Rochester College, and he said I grew up in a town called Rochester, in Michigan. He did his residency at the hospital I was born at and worked with the doctor that delivered my sister and is still a good friend of my parents. So very random! The Epidural procedure to this day is the strangest thing I have ever experienced in my life, not painful, just strange, but oh so WONDERFUL! It was weird to have my body numbed and be confined to a bed but it was absolutely glorious to be able to sleep through contractions. Phil and I both got 3 hours of sleep and I went from 3cm to 7cm shortly after they started the pitocin and broke my water.
After 2 hours of hard labor (pushing) our beautiful baby boy was born. The clock read 1:44am. The doctor was off delivering another baby just 11 minutes before Joel entered this world so he just barely made it in to the room to deliver Joel. Once he was born they whisked him off to the corner of the room to get him cleaned up. I was able watch the whole thing on a TV which was really neat. He looks just like his daddy but he has his momma's nose and lips.
We spent the next 3 days in the hospital adjusting to life as a family of three and enjoying visits from friends and family who were anxious to meet Joel. We are blessed!