Saturday, December 15, 2012

Birth Story

Do you think we should "be careful what we wish for?"  Even if, on the rare occasion, it works out to our advantage?

The last photo I posted of myself, at 35 weeks, I mentioned how I hoped it was the last one I needed to take.  Can you believe that's when I went into labor?  Crazy right!?  I knew "something" had happened, called my mom, a friend and the hospital, but decided to put off a visit until I knew more.  Keith was up for work at 5:30am the next morning.  I woke up, "surveyed" my situation and asked him to call in.  I still wasn't positive what I was experiencing so I took my time around the house.  Had a shower, ate breakfast, did a couple house chores, then we were off.  I only alerted my parents we were headed in for some testing and I'd let them know how things went.  Shortly after our arrival, around 9am, I was admitted.

Here is the "short" version of the day the Gummyboys finally arrived.  December 4, 2012.

The nurse prepared my IV and wheeled me into labor and delivery.  I found it amusing I was put into the same room where I had my false alarm. This should have been a sign that I had a long way to go...

I was introduced to my team of doctors and nurses, began answering questions and sharing my birth plan.  I was given a few hours to progress on my own, but didn't do well.  I was having the same contractions I had been experiencing for over a month.  A little after noon my nurse began the first round of pitocin.  This was the first time I felt nervous.  Every two hours they would increase the pitocin, just slightly, which brought a round of uncomfortable contractions.  I called for pain relief for the first time around 6pm.  Once the anesthesiologist arrived I felt fine and called it off.  Another hour passed and I called for pain relief once more.

The epidural wasn't like I expected.  The hardest part was not being able to watch what was happening.  It's a funny feeling when your leg falls off the side of the bed and suddenly it's too heavy to move yourself.  I knew exhaustion was setting in when I called the nurse to help me pick my leg up.  Clearly I wasn't the only one exhausted.  Keith somehow made himself a cocoon.  The nurse asked me if I had gotten up (bum leg and all) to tuck him in, haha.

Practicing his swaddling skills!

Although labor progressed extremely slow the clock on the wall seemed to move rather quickly.  It wasn't until around 3am (now December 4th) I started begging for help.  I was on my 2nd set of doctors and nurses, and knew shift change was quickly approaching.  I felt so comfortable with my 2nd set of doctors, since most were familiar faces to me.  Finally at 530am they took pitty and pushed me to the last leg.  It was time at last!

Being wheeled into the OR was surreal, and SO intimidating.  We had double the staff, so  although the room was fairly large it felt small and cramped.  Keith was an amazing coach and held my head the entire time.  He disappeared after Kaleb was born to sign paperwork for the NICU staff to give him the care he needed.  While he was away I realized how tired I really was, completely incapable of holding my head up on my own.

The staff was great, giving me constant encouragement, massaging my sore hips and legs when they cramped, and helped settle my nausea when I couldn't concentrate.  The NICU staff paused for a moment on their way out of the door with Kaleb and I remember saying "look how cute he is!"  Aiden made his appearance exactly 50 minutes after Kaleb!  I couldn't believe how I could suddenly see him over my significantly smaller belly!  I remember feeling so happy when they announced we had another BOY!

Aiden, brand new
After the push push push was complete everything seems kinda foggy.  I remember the staff trying to give me Aiden to hold, but all I managed was a little kiss before falling asleep.  I'm not even sure how much time passed before Keith woke me, holding a hungry little Aiden in his arms!  Breastfeeding was the most important part of my birth plan, and without Keith's encouragement this would have slipped through the cracks.  I was lucky, being successful with feeding from the get-go. 

After my first successful tandem feed!  Feeling very proud

Sometime that morning I was moved to my recovery room with Keith and Aiden.  I was SOO excited to finally order something to eat.  Aside from labor being EXTREMELY difficult, not eating for over 20 hours was sheer torture!  I remember talking about salami sandwiches and crackers in the middle of the push push push!

I slept a lot that day, mostly with Aiden tucked into my chest keeping me cozy and warm.  It was like a dream.  I met Kaleb for the first time that evening, which was a little heart breaking.  Seeing him hooked up to breathing tubes and IV's wasn't and easy thing to swallow.  My sweet little man was so strong, and by the second day he kicked the tubes and was ready for some kangaroo care!  I'll never forget the first moments I held him.  Completely consumed with love and emotion.

First time meeting Kaleb!
Kaleb, day two..kicked the tubes!

My mom explained labor to me in many different ways, but the most helpful tip she passed on to me, and I'll continue to pass on to others, is God made it really hard to do, but really easy to forget :)

Besides waking up to see my husband and sons, I'd like to thank my Dad and brother Ben for sending one of the most beautiful congratulations flower arrangements I've ever received!  I love you both!

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