October 20, 2008

Post from the new Mommy!

I know it's been awhile since my last post as things have been a bit busier than normal around here, but I'm back and ready to share with the world the miracle that we were blessed with just last week.

Austin entered this world to a very anxious mommy and daddy on October 15th at 1:00am. I had woken up on the 14th around 9am with cramps that just wouldn't go away. Ryan had actually slept in that morning and just as he was getting out of the shower and getting ready for work, I told him he might want to wait about 30 more minutes before going in...just in case. I didn't really think I was in labor (and neither did Ryan) because the cramping was happening every 3-4 minutes and wasn't that painful.....yet. However, when they kept coming even after an hour I decided to call my Doctor's office to talk to a nurse. The nurse told me to wait another hour and if they didn't go away to go ahead and go to the hospital. She said that if they were consistent and that close together that I needed to be checked out. She said they may send me home or they may keep me, but better to be safe than sorry. Ryan and I hurried and got ready and tried to quickly straighten up the house until I was doubled over in pain every few minutes and could hardly talk or stand through a contraction.

We arrived at the hospital around noon and they took us to labor & delivery to be checked out. The nurse checked me and I was still only 1-2 cm dilated and 50% effaced and the contractions were close together but still very irregular. She said that we would most likely get sent home and they would give me a shot for the pain and we would probably make it until my scheduled induction that Thursday. I was immediately crushed and disappointed and a little embarassed that I thought this could actually be "it." However, the nurse said the doctor on call from my practice still wanted to come and see me before we were released.

After about 2 hours, the doctor finally arrived and checked me again. In less than an hour I had dilated to 3-4 cm. and he said that baby was on his way!! I was so excited and kind of gave the nurse a smirk like "I told you so!" We were immediately admitted and wheeled into our room where we would spend the next few days. Ryan brought up our bags and we got settled in and were prepared to wait for our little guy to make his entrance.

By about 4pm the contractions were getting very intense and I was not feeling too hot. Ryan was doing the best he could to console me but all I wanted to do was close my eyes and grunt through the pain. Around 5pm the doctor came back into the room and said he was going to break my water. Surprisingly it didn't hurt at all, but it made my contractions come stronger and harder almost immediately. He checked me again and I had made it to 5cm. He was surprised how quickly things were moving and said he expected me to go fast.

About a half hour after my water was broken, the nurse came in and said those magic little words, "Would you like an epidural now?" I had been contracting for 8 solid hours and I almost jumped out of the bed and yelled "bring it on!" The anasthesiologist was there in 20 minutes, the epidural was placed, and I was as happy as could be in less than half an hour!! Unfortunatley, this seemed to slow things down and after waiting, for what seemed like forever, the doctor checked me again at 7pm and I hadn't progressed at all. He ordered petocin be administered by IV and boy did it kick things up a notch!! By 8:30pm I was 100% effaced and 9.5 cm. dilated! Luckily, my parents were getting impatient waiting in Columbia and had already started driving because they told us baby would be here by 11pm!

Around 9:30 I was fully dilated and baby was very low but I still wasn't feeling any pressure to push so we waited awhile longer to see if things would progress. The epidural was intense and I felt nothing in my pelvic area and my legs felt like dead weight. I couldn't tell when I was having a contraction and I couldn't even feel the pressure from baby's head.

By 10:30 everyone was getting impatient and the epidural had worn down just enough to give me a little more sensation. Me, Ryan and the nurse were in the room and I started pushing during each contraction for 30 seconds to see if we could move baby's head down. Pushing was tiring, uncomfortable and made me feel like I had to throw up. It was almost worse than the contractions. They kept telling me how to push but I couldn't feel what I was doing. The nurse would say "Great, just like that!" but to be honest, I couldn't tell the difference from one push to the next....I just did what I thought was pushing and hoped to hear that each push was a successful one. This went on for over 2 hours. I began to get really hot and they checked my temperature. I had a fever of 102 (enter Ryan's joke about More Cowbell) so they gave me tylenol. My arms started to go numb from my shoulders down and I could no longer hold my legs back while pushing. The nurse began to get worried and grabbed the doctor from his cushy lounge. He ordered my epidural (which had worn off pretty good by now) turned down even more so that I could push better. I started feeling each contraction and it felt like my entire stomach was one giant knot getting tighter and tighter by the second. The harder I pushed, the tighter the knot got. I was exhausted and in pain and baby was still snug and secure inside and barely budging. At this time we were getting worried that he just couldn't fit but the doctor wanted to try the vacuum first to see if this might help.

The next thing I knew, 9 people were in the room and I didn't even really care that I was totally exposed to a bunch of strangers. You definitely lose a lot of modesty when you're having a baby! There was me, Ryan, my nurse, the doctor, the doctor's assistant, a surgical assistant, 2 nurses from the NICU and a recorder. The doctor inserted the vacuum. Everyone in the room was yelling at me, "PUSH! Push harder! Just like that. Ok, not like that. Right, just like that! PUSH PUSH PUSH PUSH!!!" Ryan was to the side with the video camera filming with one hand and holding my leg back with the other. He kept saying "You're doing great baby, you're doing so good, keep it up!" He was holding his breath and pushing with me and trying not to pass out from all the excitement. With each push baby's head would peek out and then slide back in when I quit. Ryan was so giddy and jumping up and down. Seeing his excitement was purely what kept me going and kept me pushing when I thought I couldn't push anymore.

Even with the vacuum, I still had to push with all my might. After one push, while waiting for another contraction, I suddenly felt a twinge and then heard a "snip, snip." I looked up at Ryan after and his face confirmed my fear. I knew immediately what had been done. They didn't tell me I needed an episiotomy and it was probably for the best because once I realized what had happened I almost burst into tears. Baby was just too big and he needed assistance getting out. Apparenlty I had already torn and they wanted to prevent any further trauma. (Sorry if this is TMI for some!!)

I quickly got over the set back however, because the next thing I know, Ryan starts going crazy and with one big push baby's head was out!! I believe I pushed about 4 more times and out came his shoulders and then his tiny little body (althought it felt muuch larger!). With one big "whoosh," he was here and my stomach deflated like balloon. At this moment I heard the sweetest sound in the entire world, my baby was crying! Ryan had to quickly cut the cord and they whisked him away to the warmer where the NICU team was standing by. When they broke my water earlier in the day they had noticed it wasn't clear and feared that there was some meconium in the amniotic fluid. If this meconium is ingested by the baby it can cause a lot of problems so they had to immediately suction him and make sure nothing was in his airways before they handed him over. All this time and I still hadn't seen my baby yet. I had to remain in position while things were stitched up and he was across the room getting attention from the nurses. Ryan was able to go over there and video him and he relay all the details.

About 15 minutes later they finally brought him to me and laid him on my chest. My heart melted. All the pain, exhaustion and agony was immediately lifted and I was honestly happier then I've ever been in my entire life. Ryan was in awe and we both completely forgot what was going on below my belly button and totally focused on our new baby, Austin. Our miracle was finally here and he was healthy and beautiful. Austin Ryan Harris, born October 15th at 1:00am, 18 inches long, 7 pounds 9 ounces of pure joy!

1 comment:

Our Life said...

Thank you for telling your story about Austin's birth. I am sure you have heard, I do not remember hardly anything from McKenzie's birth until she was about 6 months old.(post pardom) So reading this made me feel like I was there with you. Austin is the sweetest thing and I can not wait to see him and get to hold him. You are a great mother and Ryan is a great father. I have been looking forward to you starting up your post again. I missed reading something about "baby H" every day or every other day so now that Austin is here Please Please keep up the writing. I know having a new born in the house is a busy thing, but I love reading about him and sneaking a peak of his tiny life a few times a week. When things calm down please let us know so we can come and see this precious angel.
Love you all Farrah


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