Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Birth Story....finally....:)

Thursday, July 10th, 2008...40 weeks...nothing was happening that hadn't happened for the last 3 weeks at least. I was so tired, so uncomfortable, I just holed up in the house. That night I went to bed and decided that I was going to get as much sleep as I could...that tomorrow would be the day that I did all the stuff that would make me go into labour FINALLY. I still didn't sleep much but I woke up on Friday morning thinking that I had had enough!!

I started with shopping after dropping Jonah off at daycare...walking around walmart picking up various last minute items, including the bottle of HP (it actually says A-1 in the story but we don't have that in Canada, just HP and it's basically the same) sauce that was to go in my macaroni and cheese that I was to have for lunch because I'd read about it here. Then it was home to eat the strange lunch...I was willing to try just about anything.

That night we went out with friends for Sushi...I had tried chinese food the night before because I'd heard that it will start labour...it didn't work, so, why not try japanese?? Couldn't hurt!

All night I was having the same contractions I'd been having for days upon days...I was still determined that I was going to get labour started so Jer and I decided to do the "grown-up" (and I'm sure I don't need to explain more than that!)...I had hoped that it would start contractions immediately, but, there I was, tired from a day of trying to get labour started and STILL not in labour. We went to sleep where Jer promptly started snoring and keeping me awake and because he is the best signifigant other anyone could ever have and also because I was a bit moody (ok, downright bitchy and I think he may have been afraid of me a little bit lol), he said he would go sleep on the couch so I could at least get some sleep.

Fast forward to 6am. I was awakened by a contraction. Hmmm...I thought, that was different...that was a little more intense than my previous ones. I went back to sleep...for about 10 minutes, when I was awakened again by a contraction. UGHHHHH...could I PLEASE just GO BACK TO SLEEP if I'm not going to be in labour??????? GRRRRR.....

10 minutes later, another....and then again, and again....and yet again, at which point I thought....huh....wonder if this is really it starting...........these are definitely feeling different than before and I can't sleep through them. So, I laid in bed until about 8am. I finally got tired of trying to sleep through them and Jonah was up so I got up too. I went to the bathroom, with morning eyes, you know the ones, can't see straight, kinda cloudy and fuzzy, and thought....huh, is that blood? Why, yes, that is a little bit there isn't it....huh. Interesting. I think I may just be in labour......................well, then.

So, I puttered around and let Jer know I thought something was going on, called my mom a few times but she was still sleeping. Finally got a hold of her at 10 and told her what was going on and that I was going to bring Jonah to her house. So I packed a bag for him and drove him to my moms. I was still having contractions, they were still tolerable but stronger than my normal Braxton-Hicks though they still weren't regular...they were coming every 10-25 minutes and I would have one every time I stood up if I was sitting for any amount of time.

I left Jonah at my moms and debated on whether I should head back to the Falls or just stay in Welland (where I planned to give birth) and I went with the latter and went to visit my friend Boho-Mom...she blogged about my being in labour after lol. While I was there I borrowed her computer to update the baby's mom, I had sent her an email earlier in the morning to tell her what I thought was going on. I told her I would go up to the hospital to get checked out and then call them to tell them to come right now or that they had a while or to not bother coming at all because I wasn't in labour (and I half expected this because of the other 4 times I thought I might be in labour).

So, off I went, thinking it was all for not because I probably wasn't in labour and that this baby was never coming and I would just have to live life as big as a house, forever. (Yes, I really thought he was never coming!!)

At my appointment earlier in the week, I had an internal exam and my Dr., much to my disappointment, had informed me that there was nothing happening with my cervix. It was closed and I was no closer to labour than I had been two weeks before when he'd examined me. When I got to the hospital, I was hooked up to the monitors and sure enough, I was having contractions...but they were only every 20 minutes or so. The nurse called the Dr. on call and let her know what was going on and she said to give me and internal exam to see if the contractions were doing anything to my cervix....sure enough, I was 3 cm's dilated. I was ELATED that something was FINALLY happening. The Dr. decided she should come and assess me herself so I had to wait for about an hour at the hospital before I knew whether I was staying or going home. During that hour, the nurse came in and talked to me about my "birth plan" (I didn't have one exactly, just some ideas of how I wanted it to go). I told her I wanted to try for VBAC (vaginal birth after ceasarian) at which point she advised me that the Dr. on call is not always comfortable with delivering VBAC and that she would recommend I go home and labour some more on my own without intervention so that I would be further along when they made the decision on how to deliver me. Of course, immediately I started to panic about having another c-section so I said ABSOLUTELY I would go home and labour more.

The Dr. came in and assessed me and told me I could go home if I wanted to but that if anything changed, bleeding, water breaking, ect. that I needed to come right back in so they could monitor me and make sure my uterus would be ok during labour. I agreed and went on my way.

I called the baby's mom to tell her where we were at and she said that they were going to head to the Falls. They would just meet me at my house if I wasn't ready to go back to the hospital. So, I got back in the van and started to head home...on the way there, my contractions picked up to every 5-7 minutes. Half way home I even contemplated just turning right back around!

I got home at about 4 and I decided to lay down and get some rest because I knew I had a long day/night ahead of me. Jer was cleaning up because he didn't want the baby's parents to see our house a mess (lol!)...by 5:00 I was telling him not to bother because they wouldn't be making it to the house...he asked me when I wanted to go back to the hospital....I replied with a NOW! I couldn't rest through the contractions and they had started to make me a bit nauseous so I knew something was going on.

So I got back to the hospital and they checked me out and I was 6 cm's now, "stretchy to 8 cm's" according to the nurse. YAY! ALMOST THERE! That was at 5:30. I immediately asked for the epidural even though the contractions were still tolerable because I didn't want to wait until it was too late and I knew that after 8 cm's it's usually too late. The other nurse said she thought it might be too late already and that the Dr. on call didn't usually like having the labouring mom use and epidural during VBAC because it could mask the pain of uterine rupture....ugh...great.

SHIFT CHANGE!! MY FAVOURITE NURSE, YAY!!!!! She checked me again, said I was only 6 still and said she'd get me an epidural.....like I said, favourite nurse! So, I laboured for a while longer and then at about 7:30 ish (time kinda meshed a bit during the whole thing), I had just decided to get up and go pee when my nurse came rushing into the bathroom and said, "Hurry up, the anesthesiologist is here and he's only doing one epidural right now because he's needed in the OR and there are 3 women wanting them, so come now!!!!" Her justification was that she was "just going by who asked first" and I had asked at like 5:30 lol....I love her :D

After the epidural was in I didn't have to breathe through the contractions anymore so I kinda drifted in and out of "sleep" (it wasn't really sleep, I could hear everything that was going on around me but I just needed to be "in myself" so it was more trance like than anything). I remember hearing Jer go out for coffee and I remember hearing everyone go get pizza....they chit chatted and watched me and listened to the baby's heart beat on the monitor. Sometime around 8:30 or 9 the Dr. came in and checked me again and said I was fully dilated but that the baby's head was still pretty high up and that it was probably a good idea to start some pitocin to get the baby to come down more because my contractions had slowed some as a result of having the epidural.

I continued with my trance-like state and the nurse hooked me up to the pitocin. I'm not sure how much later because like I said, time became non-existent to me but eventually I started to feel a lot of pressure. I didn't feel like I needed to push but I could definitely feel the baby moving down. I started to moan during each contraction...it wasn't really painful but the pressure was so intense I needed to do something to get through it. I didn't open my eyes the whole time.

Finally, I started to get that urge to push...my water still hadn't broken and according to the nurse "IT'S GONNA EXPLODE EVERYWHERE!!!", lol, they kept covering me with a sheet everytime I had a contraction because they were afraid they would get sprayed each time...it never did break on it's own though lol...the Dr. finally broke it and that brought Niko down that last little bit to the point where I couldn't control the pushing anymore.

That pushing urge is something I can't describe...it's animal, instinct, involuntary, intense. PAINFUL. Even with the epidural, I felt every inch of that baby's head coming out of me and OMG did it hurt. But, when it was finally out, the rest of him slipped from me like he was covered in butter...it was 12:09 am, Sunday July 13th, 2008.

10lbs 1oz someone said.....about 5 minutes later I looked over and said, "How much did you say he weighed??????" I couldn't believe it. He was huge!! And I had done it! Naturally even! I was amazed with what my body was capable of. I was so releived that it still worked after a c-section. And then, the nurses looked a little worried, and panicky, and rushy. I was bleeding...a lot. They couldn't get it to stop...they were massaging my uterus like it was raw pizza dough. The Dr. on call, let's call her Dr. Notgentalatallandactuallykindofabitch, decided she would stick her hand directly up my hoo-haw, right to her elbow I swear, to get the bits of placenta out. Catastrophe averted.

Until about 20 minutes later when I started to feel nauseous again. I looked at my nurse and she said, "You........look like shit." At that point, she came over...my blood pressure dropped to something ridiculous like 89/44 and she moved me to a different position and pushed on my uterus once again and blood poured everywhere...so much so that it was dripping through the birthing bed and spattering on the floor. My nurse was yelling for the other nurse to get Dr. Notgentalatallandactuallykindofabitch, every once in a while asking me if I was still with her because my eyes were closed (I was in my trance-like thing I had been doing all night...it was the only way I could avoid having a panic attack)...she rushed in and proceeded to again stick her hand in up to her elbow to get whatever she thought was in there, out. I felt like a carved pumpkin. You know, when you carve a pumpkin at halloween and scoop the seeds out with your hand? Ya. It was NOT pleasant, however I realize now it was neccessary (though I STILL will argue that she could have been more gentle about it). Finally, the emergency was over and I felt MUCH better, however I was weak and tired.

All in all, this whole surrogate journey went exactly how I'd wanted it to. Aside from the Postpartum Hemmorage, the birth had gone exactly as I'd wanted it to...I was able to do it naturally with minor interventions and Niko's Mom, Dad and Grandma were all able to be there to witness it.

Jer was at my side the whole time. He was my rock, my support. I can never thank him enough for being there during all of it. Our relationship changed forever during this, we realized how much we really love each other, and it's far more than either of us thought.

Unfortunately, the one thing that changed during this birth is that I am now a retired surrogate. I had hoped to birth Niko's sibling sometime next year but because of everything that happened, I've decided not to. Jer and I would like to have our own children in the (very) near future. So, because I'm at risk of hemmoraging again and could possibly lose my uterus because of it (rare and worst case scenario but still possible), I'm hanging up my surro hat. I'm sad...I'm actually grieveing about it...I cry because of it. I've so enjoyed helping bring three children into the world and seeing how happy their parents are. I'm grateful that I was able to do it.

Now, onto the next chapter of my life....whatever that may be.

5 comments:

This Guy said...

I'll post a better comment when I get to read it all.. Give me a couple weeks...

Ps. Next time I will write your birthstory for you... Here's how it will go..

Before birth = Niko in Uterus
During birth = Niko in Vagina
After birth = Niko not in Uterus anymore.

Ruth said...

Thanks for sharing your story! Sorry to hear about the hemmoraging at the end. That sounded scary!!! Glad you're okay. Sorry you need to hang up your "surro hat" but how exciting that you are going to have another baby of your own!!! :-)

Patty said...

I am glad everything turned out ok, and that you can have a family of your own someday.

Bohemian Single Mom said...

This was really, really beautiful to read. (and some of it scary & gross), but you wrote a wonderful & candid account of your whole birthing experience.

Although you're sad that you're not going to go through any more surrogate pregnancies, you will always have the special honour of being a surrogate mom.
You have brought 3 healthy, beautiful babies into this world and have blessed their parents in a way that only you and they can fully comprehend.

Your uterus is precious. I think it's a smart decision to keep in mind that you & Jer want kids too.

You're amazing!

Sarah said...

Congrats for the birth of your surro baby, I loved reading it and I thought it was written well. Great Job. Time to focus on you and your family.