Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jeremiah's Birth Story - Part 2

If you missed Part 1, you can find it here.

So I planned on finishing this several days ago. But my son had other plans.  He likes to wake up as soon as I pick up the computer. I also have become a big fan of sleeping during the day. But again, I blame him since he's a fan of NOT sleeping at night. :)

So when we left off, I was about to go to sleep with the Cervadil in.  The plan was to leave it in until about 6 or 7 the next morning and then start the Pitocin. 

By 10 o'clock that night, the Cervadil was causing pretty regular contractions.  They were not too intense at first, but they started picking up in intensity throughout the night.  As a result, I got very little sleep. I also kept needing to use the restroom (probably because I was very thirsty and drinking like a big glass of water every hour).  I wouldn't be surprised if the nurse was ready to kill me as each time was an ordeal due to the IVs I had (magnesium sulfate and fluids).  I think my mouth was also dry because of nerves. And because they kept saying they didn't know how long the doctor would continue to allow me fluids (luckily, I was allowed clear fluids pretty much throughout the whole process). 

Since I couldn't sleep, I started thinking of some of the things I had wanted to do for labor that I hadn't gotten to do. Now, none of them were really necessary. They included things like give myself a pedicure, put a playlist of music to calm me together, have inspirational thoughts and scriptures to read when I needed a boost.  There was no way I could give myself a pedicure, but I realized I could do the other two items on my phone.  So I downloaded a few songs on my ITunes that felt labor appropriate.  The songs were Great I Am by Jared Anderson, Holy by Matt Gilman but as performed by Jesus Culture, How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin but sung by Jesus Culture, I Surrender y Kim Walker, I Will Wait by Jason Upton but sung by Bryn Waddell, I'd Rather Have Jesus sung by Bryn Waddell, and You Never Let Go by Matt Redman.  Each song had special significance to me especially for this.  For example, the "Great I Am" talks about God's power. I was scared, and I'm not afraid to admit it. :)  Knowing that the all-powerful, ever-present God had me and my baby in His hands brought me a lot of comfort. "I Will Wait," well, let's just say by the time I finish this story you'll know how appropriate that song was. :)  "You Never Let Go" has some lyrics that really spoke to me.  Part of the song says "I can see the light that is coming for the heart that holds on, a glorious light beyond all compare. There will be an end to this struggle." The whole song just talks about how God is always there for us.  The other songs reminded me of different attributes of God, which I like to dwell on when I'm going through something hard.  I also googled Scriptures I wanted to focus on.  Some of the main ones that I dwelled on were Joshua 1:9 "This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Psalm 56:3 "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." And the one I thought of the most was Zephaniah 3:17 "For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs."  I kept these songs playing at different points throughout the day and kept the Scriptures on my phone screen to pull up to read whenever I needed a reminder.

By about 6 a.m., I had slept maybe half an hour but I was excited.  You see, my contractions were coming stronger and stronger.  They were also every 3-7 minutes. I was thinking that maybe this labor thing wouldn't be so bad. Maybe it would all be over by noon. My sweet boy would be in my arms! After all, with contractions that regular, I had to be progressing a lot, right?

Wrong.

Very, very wrong.

When the doctor checked me before starting the Pitocin, I had progressed slightly. I was dilated to a 1.  But the baby was also very high up still.

So they started the Pitocin around 6 a.m. This meant a second iv, this one in my other hand.  Since they were drawing blood every 6 hours, having an iv in each hand meant that blood draws had to come from my feet.  Ouch.  The contractions continued to be very regular and grew in intensity even more.  At 7, a very kind nurse who had been my Christmas Eve nurse for my non-stress test/lab work took over my care as did a different doctor.  I was glad to see Debbie - I had gotten to know many of the L&D nurses over the months and they were almost all great, but she was one of my very favorites.  I was a little more apprehensive about Dr. G.  He was one of the few doctors in my practice that I hadn't rotated through - you're supposed to see them all at least once, but because of my complicated case, they had mostly stuck with me seeing my regular doctor (which I preferred anyway, so I certainly hadn't pushed for seeing the rest).  But he seemed really nice as well once I met him.  He kept giving orders to turn the Pitocin higher.

At some point during the morning, my parents came back.  We talked about the shower and talked with the church to set a new date for it. My sweet friend Dyanna contacted almost all the RSVPs to let them know of the change.  (I contacted a few that she wouldn't have known, but she contacted about 40 of the 50!) Once we settled on a plan for that, I felt better. I had worried about it off and on all night.

Parts of the day are kind of a blur.  I remember getting annoyed throughout the day because people kept dimming the lights so I could rest, but I couldn't rest and wanted lights on.  I was also having a lot of side effects from the magnesium (very common) such as dizziness, light headedness, nausea, etc. Eventually, they didn't want me getting up to even use the restroom anymore. I remember the Pitocin being turned higher and higher and higher.  John and my mom would come and rub my back to try to make me feel better.  Another thing I remember was that the contractions were a lot lower than the contractions I'd been having on my own for weeks.  I think this was because of the position of the baby. 

Around 1, Dr. G. checked me again. Still at a 1. Baby still very high up.  At this point, I was ready to cry.  Lots of painful contractions (every 3-5 minutes) that were getting more and more intense with no progress. 

About half an hour later, my water broke! I was excited thinking "This might be it! Things might really start moving along!" 

Wrong again.

Very wrong again.

Don't get me wrong. It was a nice mental break from feeling like nothing was happening, but still was no substitute for actual progress.

Around 3, they decided to put internal monitors on Jeremiah as he kept moving off the monitor. He stayed on the monitor if I laid on my back, but moved off if I was on my side. But when I was on my back, my blood pressure started climbing.  So, they really didn't want me staying on my back the whole time.  A different doctor came in to do the monitor as Dr. G was going to be there all weekend as the "in-house doctor." So he had left for a while, but was still on call Friday. Jeremiah was so high up that they couldn't attach the monitors - despite a very painful attempt to do so. 

When I realized he was still that high up, I became discouraged. Even the things that I had read/learned in birth class that can help a baby move down into position weren't an option because I had to stay in bed due to the magnesium sulfate.  I didn't see how he would suddenly move into position.  And at this point, we were going on 20 hours of pain.  I had already been at the hospital 25 hours, but it was 20 hours from when they had actually started the induction.

Again, a lot of the afternoon was a blur.  I do know that very soon after this happened, while I was very discouraged, teary, and drowsy, one of our pastors stopped by, but I wasn't up to seeing him.  He prayed with John out in the hallway. 

Around 6 o'clock, I was checked again. Still at a 1.  I remember saying to my mom that this wasn't working. If I was going to end up having a C-section, couldn't we just do it? I was tired of labor.  I was tired of 2-3 minute apart contractions doing nothing but causing pain.  The pain was by no means unbearable. I definitely could have kept going physically, but it was more that I could just tell it wasn't working.  I mean, 23 hours and 1 cm of progress?  Baby still nowhere near where he should be?  They kept turning the Pitocin higher and higher. By now, it was as high as it could go.  I remembered Dr. D's words from Wednesday about how just because Dr. K says it's time to deliver doesn't mean that the uterus will decide to cooperate.  He was right.  Jeremiah was not where he needed to be to be delivered for one simple reason - he wasn't ready to be delivered. He was 36 weeks.  He was supposed to have another 4 weeks of peace and quiet in the uterus. :)

And seeing as this post is already way too long and my son needs to eat very soon, I guess it is a good place to leave off.  To be continued yet again. :)

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