Monday, August 9, 2010

Hello! (Its a birth story)

I woke up to go to the bathroom at 3am this morning and discovered that I was in labor. Clearly the first time moms have a longer labor that is usually late does not apply.  My due date is August 21st.  The contractions didn’t feel that bad to me and I hadn’t noticed anything prior to going to the bathroom. However I soon realized my water had broken and I was sure this was the real deal. I have always been told labor takes forever, so even though I knew there was a good chance he was still breech, I took my time in figuring out what was going on and calling the doctor. The doctor wanted me to head on in, I asked if I could wait until 7 so we could drop the dogs off at the kennel, but she said we needed to get there sooner than that. I called my parents and TheMan called his, then we called the doula. My Doula was going out of town this week and so we were really hoping this would not be his birthdate. We caught her at the airport and she was able to contact her backup to come be with us. Both my Doula, Tracey Arwood and her backup Cami Nettekoven were absolutely awesome. My father is also out of town this week. I suspect so many people requested I wait one more week, that the baby had to come just to be obstinate, he’s our son :).
We hadn’t really packed yet since he wasn’t due for two more weeks and “they” say that first time moms are usually late and usually take a long time to labor. We thought either way we’d have plenty of time. We both e-mailed work and started packing up everything we thought we’d need. During that time I had one or two contractions, but they didn’t seem very long and I could breathe and talk through them if I had to, so I still wasn’t that concerned. However, my doctor called me back and asked why I wasn’t already at the hospital. She gave us 5 minutes to get out the door.

The city of Overland Park chose 8-9-10 as the date to repave the roads in our neighborhood. As of 7:30 am any cars left would be stuck in their driveways until at least 6 pm that evening. So both of our cars were a couple of blocks away. TheMan had to run to get his car and put it back in the driveway, then run back again to get my car. The first time he ran for my car, he forgot my keys and had to run back home then run back to the car again. While he did that I kenneled the dogs and texted Jason to see if I could get him to call me when he woke up. I had another contraction as we were pulling onto 69 highway. Changing lanes made the contraction much more annoying, so I had TheMan stay in one lane and flash his lights and honk until other people moved out of our way. We got to the hospital about 30 minutes after we last talked to my doctor (and about 20 minutes before shift change. The nurses were awesome even though the arrival time was less than convenient.

I double checked that they were aware of the baby’s heart defect and possible position. I also updated the pediatrician based on the interview I did last week. Shortly after they got me on the monitors they came in to check baby’s position, in that time I had 2 more contractions. Originally they were about 10-15 minutes apart. Now they were more like 8-10 minutes. They wouldn’t let me up so I had to lie there, which was somewhat harder to take than standing up. I mentioned that I was 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced 2 weeks prior and they said at that it should be fairly easy to tell the position. The L&D nurse was fairly confident she felt a butt and I asked for an ultrasound to confirm. I also asked if we could wait an hour on the section so that the NICU doctors would be in for the day. At this point I’d only had about 15 contractions, so I figured we had quite a haul before things became urgent. The nurse got a funny look on her face and said we couldn’t wait. Then she explained that she’d checked 3 times to be sure, and I was 8 cm dilated. Things started moving very quickly at this point. My doctor was on another delivery so I met Dr. Perryman (also awesome) and he did a quick ultrasound check confirming the breech position. Then we quickly began surgery preps and worked to get enough IV fluids into me. We talked to the anesthesiologist and he allowed both my doula and my husband to be with me during the section. I was upbeat and positive through all the surgery prep and it was actually kind of a trip. By the time we got to the OR I had started in transition and my legs were shaking. They didn’t let me walk there because they were concerned it would further progress my labor. They gave me a combination epidural and spinal block and set me out on the operating table. A few minutes and some pulling and tugging later we had a son. He was born at 7:38am weighing in at 6 lbs 12.2 oz and 18.5 inches in length. TheMan was a bit teary eyed and I definitely was. I was also shaking from the medicines and the weird sensation of not being able to send movement signals to half your body. It was the closest I’ve ever been to a drug trip and it was pretty cool. The NICU nurses were present to assess our new son and after a few minutes they let me nuzzle him and we took some pictures, then he was off to the NICU with TheMan following close behind. My doula stayed with me to keep me company and about 20 minutes later I was in recovery. The NICU team brought him back to nurse within the first hour and he did great! My mom got to hold him for a few minutes and after about 45 minutes back he went for more monitoring. After a couple of hours in recovery, I went to my room and my mother and both of my in-laws were there. They all got to see him a bit in the NICU and then they all headed out with a plan for who would visit when that evening. By then it was only around 11am or so, but it felt like it had been years and the whole world had changed for us. So far, he has good coloring and scores as a well-baby would score. We know that will change, so it kind of feels like waiting for the other shoe to drop. He’s so beautiful and we are so in love, it is hard to picture what he will be going through.

The cardiologist came out from Children’s to do an initial assessment and it looks pretty much like we expected. C has a “pretty big” complete AVSD with an overriding aorta. But we don’t see any signs of pulmonary stenosis. If we had pulmonary stenosis, we would have had a second diagnosis of Tetrology of Fallot. That would actually have been a good thing because the two balance each other out and would have made for an easier wait for surgery. We were too overwhelmed at the time to have questions, so they told us we could talk with the cardiologist who would do rounds on Thursday. We’ll be brainstorming questions for him in the days in between.

Shortly after the cardiologists left it was time for C to feed again. Since he is really doing quite well so far, they bring him to our room and let him feed here. Breast feeding is going well in that he latches on and sucks and I am not in pain. It was strange to only see him for one hour out of every three, but at least we could rest easy knowing they were keeping their eyes on him.


  1. i wondered when I hadn't heard back from you if Mr. Charlie had made his arrival! He is beautiful!!! continue to rest adn love on that little man of yours. I am praying!

  2. Hi! Im a heart mom in Lees Summit, MO! Just wanted to say hi. I found you on BabyCenter. Looking forward to following your blog! Mine is

    Have you hooked up with Valerie at CHD Families Association in Kansas City? Its a great support group for CHD families.

  3. You look wonderful and so does he. (I can't believe I missed all this! How did I miss that you had a new blog?)