It occurred to me while I was contemplating what to make my first “official” blog post about, that I have never
written typed out Shayne’s birth story. As most, if not all of you know, Shayne is our first child who is now 3 years old! boy does time fly.. I guess I never really thought about formally typing up his birth story simply because when he was first born, I didn’t feel like I birthed him. He was born via cesarean section which was very hard for me to come to terms with. Also, with me having a cesarean, I figured most people would know how that works. But as I have become a mother to now two kids and have changed my views on birth, I feel it is important that mom’s should share their birth stories. Especially if you are a mom struggling with the outcome of your baby’s entrance into the world, it can be very helpful to go over the details. Although nothing can be changed now with how our first child was born, I have been able to learn and change how the rest of my children will be born. I am a true believer in, you know better, you do better. With that being said, it is April, which is Cesarean Awareness Month, I figured I will finally share his birth story.
flashback to late May 2010
Kyle and I head to my OB to talk about the first steps in fertility. It has been over 9 months of us trying to have a baby without any luck of conceiving. We are bombarded with information on where to start. We decide we will begin with blood work for myself, check hormone levels and all that jazz. Next step is to the lab then wait a couple days until my doctor calls. Hopefully it will be an easy fix.
Two days later, I am at work and see a message on my cell phone from my doctor. I listen to the message and am told to call back when I get a chance. Luckily, we were slow that day which doesn’t always happen working at a veterinary hospital, so I am able to step outside and call my doctor back. She says she has good news and utters the words “you are already pregnant, about 5 weeks along!” As you can guess, I was very shocked but extremely excited! She goes on to tell me that since it is early and with my issues with getting pregnant, they will want me to go to the lab every 48 hours for a week to make sure my hcg levels are increasing like they should. She gives me her congratulations and we end our conversation. I could not believe it. I went back into work, with tears of joy. The other tech asks me what’s wrong. I tell her the news as I had to tell someone and she congratulates me with a huge hug and tells me I can go home for the day to celebrate.
The next thing I do is call Kyle and tell him. Good thing he works earlier hours and would be home shortly. As soon as he gets home, it all became so real and we were out of our minds. Being so excited we decide to tell our families and close friends the news. We are too excited to think maybe it’s a bit early to be telling everyone. This was a long time coming, for us, and we just felt we had to tell everyone!
Over the following week, I go to the lab every two days and everything is progressing normally so they decide I no longer need to have my blood drawn. We set up an ultrasound appointment for 7 weeks away when I will be 12 weeks. Little did I know, I would be seeing them much sooner.
A couple days later, I am 6 weeks along, I notice a decent amount of bleeding when I go to the bathroom. Obviously, this freaks me out and I am in panic mode. I start crying, thinking the worse but compose myself to call my doctor. They tell me to come in to have an ultrasound to see what’s going on. Kyle meets me at the doctor. They get me in right away for an ultrasound and the tech advises me since I am still very early in my pregnancy they will have to do an internal ultrasound. I agree to it. She takes some measurements and points out the sac with our baby in it. She is also able to measure the tiniest heartbeat! I am told to get dressed and the doctor will meet with us in a bit. When the doctor comes in, they tell me that it is early to tell but since they were able to see the heartbeat on the ultrasound that is a good sign. I am told some woman have bleeding throughout pregnancy, some in the beginning so they can’t be sure if I will miscarry or be fine. It is hard news to take but I try to stay positive knowing we got to see our baby’s heart flickering away on the ultrasound.
Eventually, the bleeding stops after a week or so and I had another ultrasound to recheck everything. This time the baby was easier to see, same with the flickering heartbeat! They tell me everything looks as it should and I am sent home with a recheck at 12 weeks. For the next 5 weeks, I am struck with the worse morning all day sickness. I can barely keep anything down, including water, at times. I wake up sick, go to work sick, go to bed sick.
My 12 week appointment finally comes. We have our ultrasound and are surprised to see that our baby actually looks like a little person already floating and flipping about. We get to see our baby even sucking it’s thumb and hear the most beautiful sound, the heartbeat, for the first time. The ultrasound tech tells me the baby is about the size of my pinky finger, I am amazed that a baby that tiny is already so full of life. I have lost 12 pounds which worries the doctor a bit so she prescribes me a prescription anti nausea medication as she wants me to start gaining weight instead of losing it. This medicine was wonderful! It dissolves, tastes like cherry and helps me feel a bit normal. Luckily, within a couple weeks, my nausea subsides and I am able to start enjoying my pregnancy, welcoming the first little butterfly flutters from within my belly.
At 22 weeks, we have our gender ultrasound. We are told we are having a boy, who was not shy to show off his parts to the tech. I cry tears of joy and feel even more bonded to him now that I know my baby is a boy. After the appointment we go to Target to buy our first boy outfit, then off to the grandparent’s homes to make the announcement to them.
The rest of my pregnancy is very textbook. No complications. Nothing out of the ordinary. I feel great.
By 37 weeks I am plagued with terrible migraine headaches. The doctors worry about preeclampsia considering the headaches and my blood pressure becoming slightly elevated. However, I have no swelling and no protein in my urine. I am prescribed caffeine pills to try and give me some relief from the headaches and I am on weekly visits being my final weeks of pregnancy, so I will continue to be monitored closely.
At my 39 week appointment headaches are gone and my blood pressure is normal. My cervix is checked with no progression or changes. We talk about what type of birth I would like. I know I want to try and go natural with no epidural but that is about all I knew. The doctor seems okay with everything and we don’t really discuss it further. They do begin to mention induction or csection but being my first they are giving me some more time.
At my 40 week appointment, the doctor checks me again and I still have no changes besides being barely 1 centimeter dilated. I am discouraged. She begins telling me that they don’t want me to go much longer and telling me how the placenta starts to deteriorate after 40 weeks. She also mentions that my pelvis feels small and that feeling the baby, he may be a bit big. She says her main concern is keeping both mom and baby healthy and safe. She mentions we can induce to get things going but warns me I may end up with a cesarean since the baby seems big. She says we can have the weekend and induce Tuesday which would be the next day she is on call. I liked her best out of the 6 doctors at the practice, so we agree to induce.
The morning of my induction arrives. I have not had any signs of labor but I am too excited knowing I will be meeting my baby boy that day. We arrive at the hospital at 6am! I am given a lovely hospital gown, put in bed, given an IV, hooked up to monitors and pitocin is started. I am relaxed and ready to go with the flow. Of course this is how birth happens. I’ve seen it so many times in movies and tv shows. I figure I will relax, have contractions and my baby will be here in a few hours.
Fast forward 6 hours. Contractions are intense! They feel like a wave of pain that start low in my stomach and back and rise up in my whole belly intensifying then falling back down. The doctor decides it will be best to break my water to see if it helps things progress. I lay back in bed, she inserts the instrument to rupture the waters and right away I have the most painful contraction. I immediately start crying think there is no way I am going to do this. I am told I am about 3 centimeters. That is so discouraging. I ask if I can get out of bed and walk around the halls of the labor ward. The nurses look at me like I have 5 heads. They hesitate saying that they will have to unhook me from the monitor and I will have to drag my iv pole with me. I tell them that I don’t care and I just need to get up and move to try to get this baby out.
I slowly make laps around the labor floor. The many nurses and doctors smile at me and wave each time I go past them sitting at their stations. I feel like I am finally somewhat in control, stopping and squatting with the intense rushes that come over me. I eventually come back to my room to be checked again. I am at 4 centimeters. They encourage me to rest in the bed for a bit. I agree as I am worn out and tired.
I have been in labor for 12 hours. The contractions keep coming steadily and intense. My doctor comes in and sits next to me on my bed. She says that I have been so strong but maybe I would consider an epidural to help me relax. I feel defeated and it takes no more coaxing and I am signing the consent form for an epidural. About 7 minutes later, the anesthesiologist arrives and introduces himself. The epidural was nothing compared to the contractions I was going through as he was getting it in. Immediately I feel relief and am able to smile and laugh again.
After a couple minutes, once the epidural was in full effect, I started feeling uncontrollably itchy all over. The nurse says it’s a reaction to the epidural so they give me Benedryl via my IV to counteract the reaction. I am finally comfortable again. I have no idea I am having contractions.
A few more hours go by. I have been in induced labor for 16 hours. I am at 7 centimeters but have been for the last two hours. The doctor gives me the talk. She says the baby’s head is too big and he is not coming down enough to fully dilate me. She thinks a cesarean would be in our best interest. I start crying. How can this be happening to me? Why is my body failing me? Before his birth, I had never broken a bone or needed stitches. I was the mom to be who skipped the chapter in the baby books about csection. Yet I was about to undergo major abdominal surgery to birth my baby. I agreed to a cesarean and right away they start prepping me. Kyle is given disposable scrubs to put on over his clothes. I am given a hair net. They explain to me that I will be wheeled in, it will be very bright, they will move me from my bed to the operating table then they will have Kyle come in and sit next to me. We give kisses to our parents and say our “see you laters” to everyone.
Right before I am wheeled into the OR, I start having a panic attack. I have never had one before and I never had one after that. I tell the nurses that I feel like I am going to die and I can’t breathe. They tell me that everything will be fine and my baby will be here very soon. As soon as I am wheeled into the OR, I see bright lights, white and stainless steel everywhere. I look up at the ceiling and keep my eyes shut. It is the only way to calm myself down. I am slid onto the operating table, my arms pulled out and tied down. The next thing I hear is Kyle’s voice saying he is here next to me.
The anesthesiologist introduces himself and stands at my head. He explains how the epidural will be increased so I won’t feel anything except some pulling. He pokes something into my side and asks if I can feel it. I totally can and tell him. A minute later he asks again and I have no idea if he touched me or not. I’m assuming that meant I was good to go.
The doctor comes in and asks if I am ready to meet my baby. I say yes, still laying there with my eyes tightly shut. I have no idea that I am cut open until I smell burning flesh due to the use of a cautery. I only knew this from working at my job as a vet tech. The smell was very familiar to me when we used them during abdominal surgeries or spays to cauterize veins.
Next thing I know, the doctor is saying that our baby will be here any second. I feel some pulling and tugging then “it’s a boy!” I smile and cry but don’t hear any crying from my baby. I open my eyes for a minute to look at Kyle and ask if the baby is okay because I don’t hear crying. The doctor says “how big is he!? You have to tell me how big he is!” Finally our baby boy starts crying. I immediately feel like I can relax. The nurse tells Kyle to come over and take pictures and meet his son. I try looking but can only hear my baby crying. They announce he is 7 lbs 9 oz which I am surprised to hear he isn’t big at all.
Finally a nurse brings him by my head. I get one glimpse of him and try kissing him. She has to put his face closer to me so I can actually kiss him. I say hello to him and he opens his eyes. They then say that they need to get him cleaned up and in the nursery and he is whisked away. Kyle goes with them while I get sewn up.
I am rolled out of the OR to recovery. I am wondering when I will see my baby and am told I need to stay in recovery for an hour before I can go to postpartum and see my baby. This breaks my heart. I lay there alone while a nurse rolls my bed into a small room with a curtain for a door. All of sudden I start shaking uncontrollably. My first thought was I was having a seizure. It was almost like I had really intense shivers that I couldn’t control. Right as I am having these asking what is wrong, Kyle walks up. The nurse says it is normal and just from the epidural and it will calm down soon, which it does.
I feel no pain except for this void in my heart because I cannot see my baby. Kyle tells me he is beautiful and that he didn’t hold him yet because he wanted me to be the first to hold him, besides the nurses.
Two nurses walk into my
room area and say they need to check my vitals and clean me up. This included them taking warm wet towels and wiping every bit of my lady parts, stomach and legs. Seriously, there is nothing glamorous about giving birth and you will have no shame left once you do it.
Finally, I am wheeled to my postpartum room where my baby boy is waiting for me. The nurse hands him to me and I immediately want to nurse him. If I didn’t get the birth I wanted, I was going to do everything in my power to breastfeed him. He latched on perfectly, but was a bit tired so didn’t fully nurse. Once I was ready, our parents returned to the room and everyone got to hold him and take pictures. It was past midnight by now and everyone was tired so they didn’t stay long.
We were finally alone, just the three of us. Kyle, myself and Shayne.
Shayne was born on January 25, 2011 at 10:53pm. He weighs 7 lbs 9 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. He is healthy and perfect.
Today, as I reflect on his birth, I still feel some regret. I wish I educated and prepared myself better and knew my options. His birth was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. I was labeled failure to progress by the doctor which to me just meant my body failed me. I didn’t think I would ever get a natural birth, nor did I even think I would want to try to have one. I was in love with this beautiful little boy but not the way he was brought into this world. I knew I had a long road ahead of me if I was going to make changes. His birth changed the way I viewed birth, motherhood and life. In a way, the birth of Shayne is where my journey of how I would live the rest of my life began and why I have a reason for this blog.
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