Thursday, August 13, 2015

Miles Jacob: Birth Story

Before we get started, I want everyone to know that I feel so blessed and happy to have another son, despite things going the exact opposite of how I wanted. So don't think of this as a pity party, it's just an honest account of the crazy crap we women go through to have babies.

For the past couple weeks, I tried everything humanly possible to get natural labor going. The birthing center, I was at, would not induce vbacs (vaginal birth after cesarian) so my options were old school and limited. I foolishly thought that with Graham being so early, this baby would have to come sometime in July. So I booked my mom a ten day trip around my 39th week and hoped it would all work out. Ohhh Courtney.

Flash forward to August 4th. My mom had left, I had been experiencing pretty consistent and uncomfortable contractions for days and had lost my plug. I thought for sure I was hours from active labor. Jake came with me to my OB appointment, we packed up the car ready to stay if we needed to. The OB checked me and I was still closed up tight! Not only that but she couldn't find my cervix. She had to look three or four times and use a speculum. We went home discouraged and frustrated once again.

The next day I woke up feeling crampy again, so I took more castor oil. Third time is the charm? Later, I woke up from my nap having more contractions and having lost more of my plug, but not wanting to get too excited, I kept on with my day. Jake came home early to help me with Graham, I got the house ready, Jake picked up pizza, I went on a walk, then around 8:00 I went to comfort Graham in his room and felt a gush. I checked my pad and it was pretty soaked! Then the contractions became more intense. They were still about five minutes apart so I took a shower and packed a bag. Afterward, I began to feel quite a bit of pain, I told Jake to pick up the sitter. It's go time.

10:00 pm and they were coming every 3-5 minutes, so I was pretty confident and excited when we went to the hospital. They hooked me up to the monitors and everything was looking good, except my blood pressure. Normally, it would have been somewhere around 109, however, this time it was up to 132. Oh crap.

11:00: they tested my fluids and took some blood while I pushed through more and more contractions. Blood pressure was getting higher and higher 142, 161... Blood work came back with platelets at 85,000. A normal range is 150,000 to 400,000. The nurses seemed confident normal delivery was still the best option. They stuck me four times before they finally got me hooked up to  an IV.

1:00 am: The OB finally came in and told us that the risk was too high for a vaginal delivery and my platelets were too low for a spinal anesthetic. I had to have another general anesthetic C section and afterward, be put on Magnesium for the following 24 hours. I began to sob. All of that extra work at the end of pregnancy, all of the hope I had for a natural delivery and it was for nothing. Once again I would be left alone in the cold, bright delivery room and I wouldn't see my baby enter this world. I was going to be drugged and miserable for days and I will never experience a normal birth. Jake assured me that the baby needed that extra time in order to be healthy. What was important was getting us both safely through this. The next two hours lasted forever, between the IV's, the catheter, and the contractions, I kept crying and shaking violently, begging them to just put me to sleep. I felt so weak and helpless. This time seemed so much worse than the last because I knew what was coming. Finally, they wheeled me to the room, and after what seemed like forever, they put a mask on me and, next thing I knew, I was waking up to a brand new baby. 8 lbs 1/2 oz 20 inches long and lots of dark hair.

Despite the Magnesium and C section pain, the recovery seemed a lot easier to handle this time around. After our baby was born, Jake had skin to skin immediately in the nursery. When I woke up, I breast fed him and held him close. I couldn't keep my eyes open for very long, but my nurses were great and kept my pain at a manageable level. Graham came and visited in the evening. He didn't quite know what to think of the baby, it kind of freaked him out, but he seemed happy none the less. The next two days went really well. They took me off Mag early, removed the catheter, and, suddenly, I felt like myself again. Luckily, my sister was there to help, thanks Lauren!

Baby was doing so well with breastfeeding, he slept with me in my hospital bed and I felt so much peace and love holding him. We hadn't decided on a name yet. I was set on Abel Jake and I thought Jake was on the same page but he wasn't! He wanted Miles. Which had been in the top four the entire time but never my number one. After Jake left Friday, the name Miles seemed to really grow on me and fit him. I felt at peace with it.

It's been a week now and I still stare at him in amazement, thinking how he fit in my tummy just a second ago. I am so very in love with him and it feels very different this time. With Graham it was a terrified intense love that exhausted me and scared me. This time I feel so much more at ease and can really soak up this precious newborn phase. Still exhausting, but he makes our family whole and I'm so grateful for him.