Saturday, August 30, 2008

Teichert's Birth Story

Well, for some this may be old news but I thought I'd share how my labor and delivery went. Here's the short version: Contractions started and a mere 12 hours later I had a baby boy in my arms. 

Here's the long version: After finally giving up on all the supposed labor-inducing methods (castor oil, walking, etc.) I decided to just relax and hang out with my sister. Wednesday
 afternoon, we went swimming and walked around a really cool cemetery. Marie baby sat Booker while Clark and I went to see a movie and then we called it a night. I woke up around 2 AM with painful cramps. I tried to sleep but they kept waking me up about every ten minutes.I had never felt a contraction like these ones before but I didn't think it was the real thing. Around 4, I took a hot shower. Around 5, they were coming about every 5 minutes apart and I wanted to cry each time they did. It dawned on me that this might be labor but I didn't want to make a big deal about it. I started packing things and straightening up the house. I woke Clark up around 6 and told him to take a shower.  I woke up Marie and she settled in with Booker. Here's a photo of our family before it all changed...

We got the hospital around 7, which is exactly when the nurses change their shift. So I sat around in triage waiting to be checked out for about an hour. In the meantime, I threw up everything I had eaten that morning, probably because I was really nervous and in a lot of pain! Vomiting is pretty much my reaction to anything. They checked me and said I was around 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced- enough to be admitted. They took me back to a beautiful labor suite and asked if I wanted an epidural. Absolutely! After some paperwork and getting checked again (4 cm, fully effaced, very low head) the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural around 11. My desire to feel an actual labor pains was completed satisfied at this point. Unfortunately, the epidural took a little adjusting (I couldn't feel my legs but I could still feel contractions) but eventually it settled in and it changed my life. Everything was awesome, except they wouldn't let me eat anything and I was starving. Oh well. Here's a picture of Clark relaxing because I'm relaxed...
The doctor came in to meet me for the first time (my original pro-VBAC doctor was out of town) and she immediately told me that she was absolutely against using any type of augmentation such as pitocin if my labor happened to stall out. I kinda panicked.  She then went on with a little spiel about how it doesn't matter how baby gets here as long as he gets here healthy. She was a little knife happy, but generally supportive. She then broke my water and left. More painless laboring. She came back and noticed that there was some meconium (baby poop) in the fluid. She put an IV up there and starting to "wash" out the baby to reduce his chances of ingesting poop. So Teichert got his very first bath in utero. I think at this point, I had 8 different things hooked up and inserted in me. It was a little annoying. More painless laboring. 

She came back about an hour later to check my cervix and told me that it was completely gone. Again, I panicked (and threw up). I thought I had hours and hours of laboring to do- I wasn't ready for a baby yet. I had dilated from a 4 to a 10 in about two hours. I didn't feel any pressure or urge to push, so she said she'd let me "labor down" for a little while. I was 10 cm dilated and the most relaxed I had been all day. I took a nap and wanted to keep sleeping but Clark was eager for a baby (and I wanted to eat!) so with the help of my awesome South African nurse, we started to push. I pushed for about 30 minutes with Clark and my nurse holding my legs up and telling me when to push. I watched in a mirror and saw his head each time I pushed. It was crazy. Then things get kinda blurry. With the baby crowning, my doctor finally came in and asked for my permission to cut an episiotomy. Again, I panicked (but there was nothing to throw up). I had always heard that it was better to tear then get cut, and with my aversion to cutting I really didn't want to have another scar to deal with. But I wasn't really in a good position to say no. Teichert's heart rate had dropped real low and he needed to get out immediately. He literally slipped right out after she cut me. He was coming fast.

He weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and was 20 inches long. His apgar's were 8 and then 9, so there was no initial concern about the meconium. He was born around 4 in the afternoon and Booker, Marie, and Grandma were able to come about an hour later and hang out with him. Around 6, the nurses noticed that his respirations were fast and he needed to be admitted to the NICU. 
After some tests, we learned that Teichert had a little bit of fluid in his lungs and would need a battery of antibiotics and more monitoring. We said goodbye to him at 10 PM and didn't see him again until 9 the next morning (he had an IV so he didn't need/want to nurse). You think I would have gotten a great night's sleep, but the nurses came in to "help" me pee every two hours. When I couldn't pee, the finally put in a catheter that I had to drag around with me for the next 24 hours. Yuck. 

In the meantime, Teichert was probably the healthiest and biggest baby in NICU. Clark and I got bored quickly without him and I was pretty sick of walking over to the NICU every two hours to nurse him. His breathing regulated just hours after he was born but he couldn't be released until his tests showed improvement and he finished his antibiotics. That finally happened last night and we were all packed to bring him come when his bilirubin levels came back slightly elevated, not enough for light therapy but enough to keep him for another night. My time was up though, and I had to be discharged last night. The nurses were kind enough to set up a fold out bed for me and I slept (rather terribly) in the NICU so I could keep nursing Teichert. I'm home right now and we're waiting to hear back about his bilirubin levels. I've never felt so tired in my life. 

On the other hand, my body feels great compared to how I felt two years ago with Booker. I feel like I was in a minor car accident with soreness in weird places (like my jaw and neck) and of course, some pain when I have to sit on my stitches. Overall, I'd take a vaginal birth any day over a c-section. I'm kinda bugged, though, that my vaginal baby has had all these "problems" while Booker was able to come home right away. 

I'll try and post more photos of Teichert later on today. He really is a funny looking baby and I'm not saying that in a fishing-for-compliments kind of way. Booker was the same way and I think he's pretty cute now, so I think Teichert will turn out alright. In the meantime, his nose is so BIG he's got some nose cleavage. He's got little black fuzz all over his body, including his forehead, shoulders and the back of his ears. He reminds us of a turtle with his little beaked nose and mouth. I'm blessed that he's been such a great nurser so far. As for his name, Teichert (Tie-curt), it never even occurred to me that it would be hard to pronounce. You don't have to love it but learn how to say it (or you can call him Tiger Roar like Booker). 

Well, I'm hoping that maybe later on today Teichert will be able to come home. He'll definitely have quite the welcoming. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law (Callie) have been cooking up a storm in my little-used kitchen. It smells amazing. My fridge is full of goodies like cheesecake and spaghetti. Its been so nice having them here with Booker while Clark and I shuttle back and forth from the hospital. 

Anyways, sorry about the mini novel. I'm really proud that my body went into labor on its own and did what its meant to. I think my body was made for having babies. When we said goodbye to our labor nurse (who knew we were LDS), she said she'd see us in two years. She might be right. I had such a great labor and delivery experience, I can't wait to do it again.


Baba said...

We can't wait to see him. Millions of people in Cairo are rejoicing, maybe because of Ramadan but so what. We'll pretend all the lights and celebration are for Teichert.

sherry said...

I like your mini novel. I am really curious and like to have the whole story. ANd this way you don't have to explain it over and over again. Genious. That really isn't very long for your first real labor, although I am sure you had enough pain. I don't know why they waited until 11 to give you your epidural. That is definately enough labor to have to go through without drugs! Your next labor will be much easier now. I think he is cute, and his nose is similar to what Booker's looked like as an infant, so he will be just as cute as Booker before you know it. Can't wait to see th elittle guy!

Petra said...

Yay! You did it! I'm delighted to hear that everything went (relatively) well and I wish I could see him. Thanks for posting all the photos, though; I love them!

Hobbie said...

Congratulations! So glad that mom& baby are healthy & home. I 've never heard the name before, but i really like it. I just saw the video on bookers cute:)

bea t said...

I really can't believe you named him Teichert. I am one of Minerva's grandchildren and he will be forever saying, "yes, Teichert, T E I C H E R T, and you say it TIE-curt". Hope he doesn't mind that for a hundred years. But, that said, we are honored. Congrats on the sweet delivery almost two years ago.

bea t said...

Okay - just looked through some of the more recent blogs. Ike is good. : )