Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jeremiah's Birth Story - The End!

If you missed parts 1 or 2, click here and here. :) Warning - they are long!

So at 7 o'clock, my nurse Debbie left and was replaced by another nurse. Initially she really lacked Debbie's warm bedside manner (she was my nurse for 3 nights though, and overall she was great. Just not as warm and nurturing type like Debbie).  She had the doctor check me again.  Still no further progress. I was frustrated and emotional.  Around 8 o'clock, she came in and felt my stomach for a contraction.  She then said "These contractions aren't doing anything.  They aren't nearly strong enough to move the baby down as high as he is." She left the room, and I called John over and burst into tears as he hugged me.  I was really discouraged by then.

Around 9, my parents left for the night and John fell asleep. I finally got some sleep as well, though not as much due to the contractions. At 10:30, the doctor and nurse came in. It was time to discuss options.  He said we had 2 options - the first was to stop the Pitocin for a night and do another round of Cervadil and start Pitocin again the next morning.  The second option was a C-section. He said occasionally a second round of Cervadil and Pitocin will work, but at the same time, it usually doesn't.  He also said they'd have to monitor me closely for infection due to the water breaking.

I couldn't decide. I felt like I had been mentally preparing for a C-section but then when it came time to choose a major operation over continuing to try, I couldn't actually do it.  So I asked them to leave the room (nicely!).  I wanted to talk it over with John.  So they did, and John and I were leaning toward a C-section but still hadn't decided. I called my mom and told her what the doctor said. She agreed with how I was leaning, which was toward the C-section.  But it still wasn't set in stone.  The doctor came back in while we were talking and I asked him "What would you recommend? I know you said it's totally my choice, but if you had to make a recommendation, what would it be?" He said "The C-section." He explained that I would still be able to do a VBAC one day when I was pregnant again (at that time, I honestly wasn't as concerned with delivery of future children as just getting Jeremiah here safely!).  So we made the decision to go ahead with the C-section. This was roughly 10:45.  I was told it would be a little while before they were ready to do it. I also joked with the doctor "You've done this before, right?" He laughed and assured me he had done it "once or twice."  He really has done it hundreds of times, so that was a joke.

John went back to sleeping. I remember being a little annoyed. :)  I couldn't sleep and was pretty nervous about the surgery but he was able to sleep and snoring away (not that I blame him; it had been a very long day!).  It felt like forever that I laid there waiting.  Still worrying about my little one. Worried about surgery. And really thirsty since I was restricted from fluids at that point (you know how as soon as you're told you can't do something, it's all you can think about?) Around 12, the nurse came back in to check on me and explained the hold up was another patient who was in active labor that they thought might need an emergency C-section. Since the same doctor was delivering both babies, we had to wait for her to have her baby. Since mine wasn't an emergency, he needed to be available for that situation. 

Around 12:30, she had her baby and all of the sudden everything picked up.  It went from waiting to a rush of activity.  First the anesthesiologist came in.  He talked about any surgeries I had in the past (none, other than oral surgery like wisdom teeth out), explained the spinal block, and asked if I had any questions. I do remember telling him about my last experience with anesthesia, which was my colonoscopy. I explained that I had a bad reaction and my blood pressure kept dropping; then I joked "Not that blood pressure dropping seems to be a problem for me these days which is why we're here!"  He said they would monitor me closely, but since I wasn't being put under, it shouldn't be a concern. 

Then the neonatologist came in. I had seen him many times while I was at the hospital for tests, but never knew who he was. I always wondered who the somewhat strange looking man wandering the halls was.  Now I knew. He wanted to be prepared for whatever could be wrong with the baby.  He said "How has your pregnancy been overall? Anything to look out for?"  Short question; long answer.  I remember telling him about the abnormal quad screen that showed an increased risk for Downs, the fall at 15 weeks, the fetal echocardiogram that came back fine, pre-eclampsia from 28 weeks on, Jeremiah failing his last biophysical profile for breathing, the fact that we'd done steroid shots to develop his lungs at 32 weeks, his abnormal size and subsequent repeat gestational diabetes testing, etc.  He had obviously read the file (or maybe skimmed it given its length by that point) because he said "Didn't an ultrasound also show a cyst on the sternum magnus several weeks back?" I was like "Oh yes. I forgot about that right now."  He said he would immediately check the baby after birth.

Finally, I was taken back to the surgery room.  This was when I went from nervous to very, very nervous.  The room looked nothing like I expected (I may watch too many medical shows or something!).  It looked like a storage room to me.  Then they started counting instruments, etc. and I remember thinking "This is so they make sure they don't leave anything in me like that episode of Grey's!"  Then I thought of the episode where the doctor did a C-section and accidentally cut the baby's arm off. Yeah, I really would have handled this better if I could have shut off my brain.

They did the spinal block and the anesthesiologist stayed at my head the whole time.  When they started the surgery, John still wasn't in the room and I needed him there. :) They assured me he was just outside and would be in right away (he was still washing his hands and stuff).  I remember asking them if we could stop and try the other method again. They said no. :)  I remember they had trouble getting him out because he was still so high up and the movement made me feel really sick (John told me later that both Dr. G and the doctor assisting him had their elbows on my upper abdomen pushing the baby down so between the movement and my nerves, I felt sick).  I said I thought I was going to throw up - I don't know if I really thought I was going to or if it was just so uncomfortable and scared and thought that might make them stop. :)  It didn't work if that was the plan. Instead, I was told to turn my head to the side and they held a basin there. I didn't get sick but apparently I kept asking if it was over, when the baby would be out, etc.  I was kind of panicked.  I think the doctors probably wanted to hit me. :) I do remember at one point John and I just started praying while we held hands.

The anesthesiologist told me "After they get the baby out, I can give you some more medicine to help you relax." That seemed like a good idea for everyone's sake. 

When Jeremiah was born, I don't really remember. I think they gave me the other medicine so quickly (along with what I had already been given) that I was already out of it. I remember John carrying him over to me. I couldn't really see him, but I felt incredible relief.  I remember thinking that if the baby was doing well enough that they were letting John hold him, he must be at least okay. After that, I don't remember anything until I was in the recovery room.

Usually at my hospital, the babies are put in the recovery room with the mom and allowed to do skin to skin right away.  Because Jeremiah wasn't breathing well, he had to go straight to the Special Care unit, so we weren't able to do that.  But I had reminded John about 15 times before surgery to take the camera to surgery (and the nurses reminded him as many times not to take pictures until he was told it was okay - no blinding the surgeons please!). So I stared at the pictures and asked a lot of questions.

I was in the recovery room extra long since there were a few complications during surgery, mainly with getting the baby out.  When Dr. G came in to check on me, I did have the presence of mind to apologize for panicking during surgery. He said it was fine. :)  I was so cold throughout the recovery room and was trembling. 

Finally around 4:00, we were able to leave the recovery room to go to our new room in the Mother Baby unit. We were able to make once quick stop first.  I got to see my son! 

John Jeremiah II born on January 12, 2013 at 1:29 a.m. weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 20.5 inches long.  Here are his first pictures, taken in the surgery room.


  1. What a beautiful birth story. I'm so glad everything turned out well, even though I'm sure it was a fairly scary ordeal to go through. Congratulations on your gorgeous baby boy.

  2. We're so glad that you are both fine. It definitely sounds like you had the time of it. And I think you did an amazing job and have a beautiful little man! Congrats again.

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