Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thurston's Birth Story

Thurston Wolfgang: Birth story

On Friday, April 24th, I went in for my 41 week appointment to discuss an induction. At the time, I also asked the OB if she could do a membrane sweep while she checked my cervix to see if this may trigger things along and she agreed. During the exam, I measured 1.5 cm and 75% effaced. They ran a stress test and everything looked good.

Later that night at around 6:30-7 pm, I started to notice contractions about every ten minutes. Since I had been having contractions for the pasts two weeks, I tried to ignore them thinking it was more false labor. However, they felt a little different with pain concentrating in my pelvis and hips instead of my back or abdomen as before. I mentioned this to Dave, who gave little heed since I’d been calling wolf all week. We continued watching our movie and eating popcorn while I pretended not to notice even as they were growing progressively stronger. I went to bed around 11, still saying nothing to Dave, however I was starting to think that this might be it.

Dave hit the hay an hour later and woke me up out of a less than comfortable sleep. The contractions had gotten to the point that I could no longer sleep through them. I started timing them and they were about 4 minutes apart, however not so bad that I couldn’t walk around. I started pacing the apartment. 2 hours later, they were measuring at around 2-4 minutes apart and I had to stop and concentrate on them as they would hit. I woke Dave up and we headed out to the hospital by 3 am. The contractions were getting progressively stronger and the bumpy car ride made them excruciating.

I was checked in triage and only measured 2 cm and 95% effaced. They gave me the option of returning home to labor for a few more hours or, since I was already a week overdue, to be induced. I chose to go home. Dave made me some toast, which I promptly threw up once I got in the bath tub. I spent about three hours in there alternating between swaying on my hands and knees under the hot shower or soaking in the tub. Afterwards, Dave and I took a walk around the park. In the early morning hours, people we passed would stare as I stopped and work through each contraction.

At around 9:30, we headed back to the hospital. Again, I was checked in triage and measured only about 2.5 cm. I hated being forced to lie down for this and I would hop off the exam table to sway and moan through a contraction. They could see I was in a considerable amount of pain and offered me the use of the Jacuzzi tub to see if I would progress any further on my own.

The Jacuzzi was HEAVEN! I spent an hour in there. After which, they checked me again and I’d progressed to a 3. Hurrah! Admittance!

I spent the next 12 or so hours laboring on my hands and knees in the Jacuzzi, rocking and swaying on the exercise ball or roaming the halls with Michelle (my doula) and Dave as I stopped to moan and sway through each contraction. I hardly put one leg on the bed the entire time. I remember at one point, an undernourished Dave attempted to eat BBQ chips and I yelled at him for having horrible breath. Luckily Michelle came to his rescue (and mine) with mints. In the early afternoon, I was checked mid-Jacuzzi time and measured at a 4 so we knew things were progressing, although slowly.

However, by 9 pm, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. At times the contractions seemed to fall on top of each other and I could only catch my breath between them. About every single swear word of my vocabulary had been shouted and I’d startled all the nurses while I continued roaming the halls and groaning in pain. I finally found some comfort lying on my side in the bed breathing and moaning through the contractions. I was so exhausted I even fell asleep between them. They started to grow irregular and things seemed to be halting. The midwife came in to check me around this time and I was now measuring at only 3 cm. This was extremely difficult to handle but each time they hooked the monitor up, the baby’s heartbeat had been strong so I knew that everything was ok.

The midwife sat down next to me and stroked my face. She asked me what I thought about an epidural so that I could get some rest and see where we would go from there. After 26 hours of unmedicated labor and no progress, I felt I’d done my time. The epidural completely numbed me from the waist down. I managed to get about 6 hours of sleep even though the nurse had to stop in at every hour to turn me over like a roast chicken. In the morning I awoke to find that they had attempted to try pitocin to stimulate the contractions. However, whenever they turned it up to 4, the baby’s heart rate would drop- So essentially the pitocin drip was too low to really have done anything. They eventually turned it off by morning.

At 7, the midwife came in to check me and I was measuring 8-9 cm! Dave, who had still been sleeping on the couch in the room up until this point, suddenly jolted up and awake and came running to my side in excitement. Things were actually progressing! I was going to have this baby! An hour later, my water broke on its own. The nurse told me to let her know when I felt the urge to push.

Just before 10 am, I started to feel a lot of pressure during contractions. Michelle asked if she should go get the nurse to check me. I turned her down, thinking it was probably nothing. At the next contraction, I felt much more pressure and exclaimed that it felt like water was getting pressed out of me. At this, Michelle ran for the nurse. She came in and checked my cervix. I was fully dilated and the baby was at +3 station- right there and ready to go. It was time! The nurse called the midwife to prep for delivery and then started to coach me to push through a few contractions to get the baby moving down through my pelvis. However, within about three contractions, I had almost brought the baby to crown and his head was visible. She frantically called the midwife again and exclaimed that this baby was going to come out in just a couple pushes. She told me not to push and hold off until the midwife got there. I had to hold through about two to three contractions and the baby’s heart rate started dipping a little. The nurse ran out to find the midwife, who had apparently gotten caught in the elevator. They both came running and at 10:17 am, Thurston came sweeping out in just a few more pushes. They had me reach down to feel his head as he was crowning and when his shoulders had birthed, I got to pull the slippery and screaming baby up onto my abdomen. It was the most amazing moment of my life. I still tear up just thinking about it.

The total time pushing was only 17 minutes (including the time it took the nurse to find the midwife). Even with such a short delivery and a large baby (8 pounds, 11 oz!), I only had a 1st degree tear, which the midwife promptly stitched up.

He came out pink, wriggling, and screaming as loud as can be. His 1st and 2nd apgars both measured at 9. He is one big healthy boy! Shortly after he was born and while he was warming still on my abdomen, Dave got to cut the cord. I asked the midwife to show me the placenta since I was curious. It was pretty gross and bloody but amazing. I considered but opted not to have Michelle take a photo!

Thurston is doing well. We just had our well baby appointment today and the Doctor said he was “perfect”. He is nursing well and frequently and is already gaining back some of his weight he lost after delivery. He was a bit jaundice, which the pediatrician at the hospital attributed to the large amount of swelling in his head because of his major cone-head! He had to wear a billy blanket the first night home but his levels are in the low risk zone and it is no longer necessary. One of the nurses at the hospital suspected that due to his large Dan Akroyd-like conehead, he was probably stuck in the birth canal, which would explain why I never progressed in labor. I suppose the epidural helped me to relax so that things could continue to progress- unlike what I’ve read previously about epidurals.

This was an amazing and wonderful experience. I regret nothing and treasure every painful and frustrating moment of it.

And now a photo of the milk-drunk baby for your viewing pleasure:

And how I managed to type this whole thing out:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Introducing :Thurston Wolfgang

Thurston was born on April 26 at 10:17 am after 40 hours of labor. He came in at a whopping 8 pounds, 11 ounces and 21 inches in length. We're finally home and settling in. I'll post the whole story later when I get a bit more established. In the meantime, per family demand, here are a few photos from the big day. More to follow - I promise!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

40 Weeks, 6 Days

I had my 41 week appointment this afternoon. Dave came with me and sat with me as they ran a Non-Stress Test (NST) and performed an U/S to measure his fluid levels. All looked really good. He was squirming around a bit (as much as he can in that space) but we still got to see his face and torso. The NST came out, as the nurse and Doctor described, perfect. I had a few contractions that also showed up during the scan. My cervical showed me at 1.5 cm dilated and 75% effaced, which means there's some progress already. The doctor did a sweep, which may help move things around. I really would prefer that this boy comes on his own, but if nothing happens by Tuesday night, I've an appoinment to go in for an induction.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

40 Weeks, 4 days

For the record, I am still here. Still very pregnant. And a tad bit more uncomfortable than I was 3 days ago.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

40 Weeks, 1 Day

Nothing to report.

I don't have a photo of my belly but it probably has changed little since last week. I made the mistake of going to bed at 9:30 last night and found myself waking up at 4:30 and completely incapable of returning to sleep. I was also ravenous and raided the kitchen for cereal and strawberries. Now that the belly monster is satisfied, I'm waiting until Dave gets up for work before attempting to fall back asleep. Poor guy only has an hour of sleeping bliss before he has to drag his ass up and my tossing and turning will probably not be beneficial. I, on the other hand, can sleep peacefully all day if I do so chose. Furthermore, I can sleep peacefully all day tomorrow and the next and well probably the next because, well, I can't expect a baby of any relation to my family decide to show up on time. Now THAT would be ridiculous. I might as well milk my time off work and no show baby time as much as I can. Hah! 'Milk my time'....that's funny. Or it's funny if your 40+ weeks and baby delirious like I am.

To celebrate my due date yesterday, Krista and Mel and I went and got pedicures and then had a tasty picnic lunch in the park. The weather was glorious! And now my toes are prettied up for the baby because God forbid his first glance be of ugly feet. I got them painted "Billionaire Red" and the color lives up to the name. Boy Howdie! I like a little flashiness in my life these days - disregard the fact that I can hardly bend over to see my toes. Later, Dave and I celebrated National Record Store Day by spending ten minutes at the record convention-- 10 minutes is how long it takes for Dave to spend his record purchasing dollar maximum before we have to scoot out of there asap. All in all a good due date.

On the baby no here yet front: I've been having contractions on and off for about four days. These are a step above Braxton-Hicks belly tightening ones and do inflict some measure of pain but nothing I would call home about. I can still walk and talk through them easy enough and that basically means - no bones.

Oh and on a final note, I am now getting labor induction advice from complete strangers. Apparently acupuncture is the way to go. Or acupressure. And sex. And walking. And on and on and on...I've come to realize that being pregnant is sort of like being a teenager. When you're a teenager, you swear you'll never turn out like your parents and then years later you find you're exact replicas of them. When you're pregnant, you'll swear you'll never be one of those parents that doles out unsolicited advice to pregnant women. I guarantee that years down the line, I'll catch myself inflicting all sorts of "advice" on poor pregnant women. Smile and nod. Smile and nod. Note: for those who I know that have provided me with unmeasurable help, advice, and support, this does not apply to you... I am talking about the random waitress, barista, or lady with shopping cart on the street corner who assures me that their fourth child came out early because of some induction voodoo magic.

At this point though, I've heavily researched the topic. The one thing that seems to hold true in ALL cases of labor induction: The baby ain't coming out until it's ready. Simple as that. So no matter how much I circle the neighborhood, hop on one foot, eat spicy food, etc. This baby is not making an appearance until he is damn well ready no matter how damn well ready I feel!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

39 Weeks, 3 Days

On a whim, I decided to go to Chipoltle for lunch today after my yoga class. The manager took one look at me as I finishing up my order and exclaimed, "Wow! You look hungry! Your lunch is on me today." I thought he was joking at first, but sure enough, the cashier rang up the order as a complementary meal! Now I normally would be put off by his comment but, hell, I'll take it for free food!

So, as I was walking back to my office with the hefty bag of free deliciousness, I came to the realization that there quite a few perks of being extremely pregnant.

1) I get to eat whatever I want, whenever I want and however much I want and people tell me I deserve it!

2) I am allowed to be lazy- hell, I'm encouraged to be lazy.

3) People move out of my way when I'm walking down the street. I mean, I don't necessarily need them to clear themselves all the way to the farthest side of the sidewalk, but it's nice to have the sidewalk right-of-way.

4) Everything I wear is spandex-- and it's socially acceptable.

5) People (even strangers) pick things up for me because they're terrified of what will happen if I attempt to bend over (so am I, frankly).

and the #1 reason it's awesome to be extremely pregnant:

6) I have only three more days of work until my maternity leave!!*

*I know this involves caring for a completely helpless being, enduring sleepless nights, stress, anxiety, etc., however not working is still pretty awesome.

Oh yeah--- and I'm going to have a baby! That's pretty cool too.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

39 Weeks, 1 Day

Another attempt at fashion for the rotund:

This was back on St. Patty's day. I cut out a felt shamrock and stitched on the belly of a green sweater that hardly fit past my belly-- had to layer it over a white cami so I wasn't baring it all!

Non-prego black dress I got somewhere some time ago paired with some winter boots from the Rack. I realized later in the day that this dress might have been a little shorter (length decrease due to belly size) that I'd have preferred. This was worn a couple weeks ago so let's just say, I doubt I could get away with it today.

The officially dubbed "Pregnant School Girl" look. Clearance prego skirt from Old Navy paired with non-prego $3 clearance sears sweater. Socks gifted from pops over x-mas and shoes discounted at the Rack. (Same white cami to avoid inevidable belly exposure)

This outfit is ALL maternity. Maternity skirt paired with black maternity flowy shirt. I actually paid full cost for the skirt but it was a hundred times over worth it - and my favorite prego item thus far. The shirt was gifted from my friend Jazzy, who had her baby girl back in Feb. Discounted boots from the Rack.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

39 Weeks

Pretty much as each day progresses, I become less mobile. I even need Dave's help standing up at night since I can hardly roll into a sitting position, let alone push myself up to standing. I make all kinds of noises just to try and get out of bed for my typical 5-8 bathroom trips at night. I've given up on acting anything remotely close to lady-like. I can't slouch these days, nor hardly sit up without reclining back because I've basically forfeited all the room I have left in my abdomen for the monkey residing in there. I feel bad for him too- I don't know how that guy can be comfy in there!

However, aside from discomforts, my spirits are still fairly high. I'm excited, anxious, and enthusiastic about what may happen in the next week or so. Fear has really played little part in my emotions.

One thing's for certain: I don't really like going out into public much these days because I feel like a walking zoo exhibit. You know-- equipped with little kids pointing, drunk guys shouting, mothers smiling, and young couples looking completely terrified at the sight of me. I'm not quite sure what I'll do if one more stranger comes up to me and asks 1) when I'm due 2) if it's a boy or girl 3) and his name 4) and then proceeds to tell me their own birth story, kids ages, and life story. There is only so much strangerly love that a pregnant lady can take these days. ;)

So I had ambition to do laundry and clean the apartment but then I realized I'm 9 months pregnant, low on energy, slow moving, and incapable of bending these days. Instead, I opted for cheesy chick flicks on netflix and some toast. I'll do laundry later.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

38 Weeks, 4 days

For the record, I am still here and rotund as ever. I had my 38 week appointment and all was smooth. The NP even confirmed that he's dropped a bit (which I figured since I'm getting up to pee about 8 times a night!) and even told me she thinks I'll probably have a smooth labor. Of course, I know this is subject to change, but it puts me in a good mood. I scheduled my 39 week and 40+ week appointments as well as my 6 week post partum appointment. I also found out that procedure is to induce by 41 weeks-- so even if this boy is stubborn (like is mom), I'll probably be induced by the 25th (pretty close to my imaginary date!).

However, I have a feeling he'll come on his own. I've been having a lot more cramping that often accompanies a Braxton Hick contraction the past week or so and they've been getting stronger as the days progress. Nothing regular or anything but it is starting to get uncomfortable. I've also just recently noticed more pressure in my lower back.

To be safe, I packed up my hospital bag ;).

Saturday, April 4, 2009

38 Weeks

So I've decided that I'm not playing the waiting game. This baby's coming out on April 23rd-- and that's what I'm going with. It's five days past my official due date and 11 days past my lmp date. I can't do the he-can-come-at-any-time notion so I've decided he's coming on April 23rd. No reason for this particular date or anything but it has helped my sanity almost as much as oranges and dark chocolate have.

On a positive, it looks like Spring is here. If this boy stays in me longer, I'll get more time off in the summer. I keep telling myself this but I also bought a pineapple ;).

Here's the monstrosity as of this morning:

Still no stretch marks....I think I may be magical.

P.S. For those pregnant ladies out there, I found a nifty tool: I've even got the theme song stuck in my head for the Contraction Master! Who needs a stop watch??!! This thing is awesome and you can print out a record. Hurrah for laboring at home before heading to L&D.