Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sam's Birth Story

Please excuse my little "maternity leave" from bloggy world... like I said, time just escapes me these days.  Before I turn around, I'll be back at work.  Newborns have like a fast-forward button or something.  The hours in the day seriously just slip away and I'm like, wow... look at all the things I have NOT done today! But that's OK... my #1 to-do right now is loving on sweet Sam.  And I'm definitely getting plenty of that in!

So if you remember, we were scheduled to have a c-section on January 19th, when he was 39 weeks.  On the 11th, we had what we thought would be my last OB appointment before delivery.  Before the doctor came in, the nurse asked if I wanted him to check me for dilation, etc.  Well sure, what the heck?  They don't regularly check your cervix as a planned c-section patient, but I figured it couldn't hurt.  Well, turns out I was already dilated some to 1-2 inches and 75% effaced.  At that point, I was a day shy of 38 weeks.  My OB was like, "Well if you were delivering vaginally, this would be great news."  But seeing as my team of doctors didn't want me going into labor at all, this freaked me out a little bit!  With how things looked that day, the OB didn't think I'd make it to the 19th.  In fact, he said he'd go ahead and take Sam that day if there wasn't the big hooplah over waiting till the 39-week mark.  (Not that it's all hooplah - but a lot of it is about hospitals and money and politics.)  So my instructions were to call in if my water broke or I had continuous contractions over a 4-hour period. 

Well this all kind of threw me for a loop...  we had a plan.  January 19th at 5:30am.  We had a nice to-do list to get done in that last week before heading for the hospital.  But God had other plans!  That same day, after going back to work after my OB appointment, I managed to have a ridiculous amount of contractions all afternoon.  They were just Braxton Hicks, as far as I knew... but contractions nonetheless.  And after we hit that 4-hour mark, we called.  The nurse put me on hold after I told her what was going on.  She came back after a couple of minutes, having talked to my doctor.  "It's time, honey.  Head to Labor & Delivery!"  Holy shit.

That call happened about 3pm... I was still at the office and LUCKILY I had really focused on crossing all my T's and dotting all my I's earlier that week so that I could vacate early if need be.  Good thing I did!  I just spent maybe a half hour tying up some little loose ends before the hub picked me up.  And so that was my official last day of work before Sam!  We did have our hospital bags mostly packed, thank goodness.  So once I got picked up, we ran home to grab our stuff, change clothes, get the dogs situated, and head to the hospital. 

Once we got to the hospital, it all went so fast.  We checked in just before 6pm.  The nurses immediately got us into an L&D room and hooked me up to the monitors...

Let's do this!

Sure enough, after seeing my activity (i.e contractions like every few minutes!), the doctor on call decided we needed to do this thing.  Even though my contractions weren't too severe, they still put stress on my wonky uterus.  And we don't need to stress my poor uterus.  My L&D nurses were great.  Our short time there was right smack in the middle of a shift change, so we had two nurses, only for about an hour each before moving into surgery.  Besides their bedside manner, I gotta say I judge a nurse by how well they put an IV in.  This girl kicked ass.  Quick and easy!  The only other thing I had some apprehension about was the epidural.  The surgery itself really didn't scare me.  It's always the pre-op stuff that I hate. 

Because I hadn't eaten anything since my lunch at about noon, we didn't have to wait too long to go into surgery.  They typically make you wait 8 hours after eating, so luckily we didn't have to!  By 8pm, they were walking me back to the OR.  The hub had to stay back to put on his scrubs while they prepped me for surgery.  I had to sit up on the edge of the operating table to have the epidural put in. I was nervous, so I was a little shaky - but it was also wicked cold in that room!  The anesthesiologist was awesome and I'm not kidding when I tell you I barely felt it.  I think I was more nervous about jerking out of position while he was inserting it rather than the needle itself.  I mean, through this whole process, I've had my fair share of needles.  I can handle needles for the most part.  I've been stuck in every place imaginable.  Yes.  Every. Place. Imaginable.  But despite my shaking, I managed to stay totally still and before I knew it, my legs were feeling funny and heavy and then... holy cow, where did my legs go?  I see you moving them but seriously... whose legs are those?!  Totally weird...

Honestly the worst part of the whole epidural was the fact that my blood pressure slowed so much that I got nauseous almost immediately.  But of course they had some good drugs at the ready for that very reason and before long I was feeling fine again.  It was weird though because I could hear my pulse on the monitor the whole time and you could literally hear it slow way down once the epidural hit.  By the time I was feeling good again, the hub was by my side.  The curtain was being pinned up at my chest.  And here we go!

It was all so fast.  I could feel some pressure, but I was totally relaxed.  Well, as relaxed as you can be when your long-awaited son is about to enter the world!  I just stared at the hub the whole time.. listening, listening, listening for that cry.  And OH did he cry!  Boy was NOT too pleased to be yanked out so abruptly!  But it was a beautiful sound.  Holy crap - that's our baby!!!  Sam was born at 8:29pm.  So walking back to the OR to the time I was horizontal with a baby flying out... less than 30 minutes.  Wow.

The hub watched the whole thing (from behind the curtain).  He described the scene - said it was seriously like a NASCAR pit crew.  Nothing gentle about it, that's for sure.  And I sure don't want to ever SEE what happened on that table to my body!  But wow, it sure is amazing. 

After Sam was out, they eventually took him away to get cleaned up.  The hub stayed with me though as the doctors got me cleaned up and sewn up and ready to go.  I have no idea how long that took.  I was totally conscious and "with it" the whole time... but after that epidural, time just seemed to disappear.  And I haven't been able to find it since! 

Our families were in the waiting room - anxious to get word on Baby Sam's arrival.  So while I was back in recovery, the hub spread the good word and shared some pics on his camera.  Here I am holding sweet Sam for the first time...




I was in recovery for an hour or so.  I was able to start breastfeeding Sam there.  They had a lactation consultant there at the ready.  Everyone was super supportive and helpful.  Then we were ultimately moved to our postpartum room and our family was able to come back and meet our little man...

Grandpa with Sam

Nana with Sam

It was all a whirlwind!  We stayed in the hospital for three nights and went home that following Saturday.  We were at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta and I had a fabulous experience there.  ALL of the nurses we had while in postpartum were fantastic.  Of course we had our favorites... Nurse Amy was our day nurse on the second day.  I had a total breakdown when I couldn't pee.  It was a total repeat of the nightmare recovery after my first surgery years ago.  Sometimes when you get catheterized for surgery, you forget how to pee once they remove the catheter.  Imagine needing to pee like a race horse, but not being able to get your muscles to function properly and relieve yourself.  Um, friggin nightmare!  And just super frustrating.  I had a feeling this was going to happen when I couldn't pee the first time I tried.  So basically what happens is, they have to insert a straight catheter in if you can't get the job done yourself.  And if you don't know... that hurts like hell.  At least that's how I remembered it.  So knowing this was coming just made me lose it.  But y'all, Nurse Amy could NOT have been sweeter about it.  You know I hate crying in front of people.  So breaking down in front of the nurse was not in the plans.  But there was no stopping it.  And she was just super about it.  She was totally comforting and to top it off, she kicked ass doing the catheter.  Yeah, it was not fun - but it was not NEARLY the painful experience I had at Northside years ago after my first surgery.  So now, along with IV's, I can judge nurses on their ability to insert a catheter.  ;-)

The last nurse we had, Nurse Marsha, was also amazing.  I tried my best to hold it back, but I totally cried when she was loving on Sam as we were packing up to go home.  Heading home... into the real world... was emotional enough as it was, but seeing her say goodbye to our boy... ugh, wow.  I'm telling you - our nurses were the best!  And I certainly have a whole new respect for L&D and postpartum nurses.  They see stuff and do stuff no person should have to.  Goodness.  Modesty just goes out the window while you're there. 

The drive home was surreal.  We kept saying, "There's a baby in the back of our car."  And we both cried... driving up 85.  It's been 3 weeks and it's still so unbelievable sometimes.  Not sure I'll ever stop pinching myself!  We had a photographer come out on Sam's one week birthday.  Here's one of my favorites...

Samuel Nolen
This little guy melts my heart!  So in love. God is good.

17 comments:

Jill said...

First your FB picture commentary, and now this...tears in my eyes again. I LOVED reading this. I love reading birth stories now (umm...what?) but ESPECIALLY from us gals who have battled for it a bit. Time does FLY, just crazy. I mean, your days will get more normal eventually, but I have to say, since becoming a Mommy, something about time has sped up. So thrilled for you, and loving reading this next chapter in your life on your blog. Can't wait to meet him!!

Susannah said...

God he is so beautiful! It does go so quickly! I'm sorry I'm such a shitheap and still haven't sent your giffffft! I looked on BRUs and didn't see a registry. Hook a sister up on what you need! And don't say nothing!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I cannot believe it has been three weeks already! He is perfection!! Love you. And my boy, Sam!

JMMarden said...

He is absolutely beautiful! Seriously. And as someone who has had two c-sections you captured the process perfectly. Honestly- why is it so damn cold in that OR when all you're trying to do is stay still?! I remember that so well. Enjoy every minute with that sweet boy!

Sasha said...

So happy for you! Sam is so handsome and I am SO glad you guys are doing well!

Dr. Blondie said...

Congratulations! Sam is beautiful. That love in your heart will only grow and grow and grow as he does. My boy's 4.5 months old now, and I truly do love him more every day.

Best wishes to you and your little family!

BroncoMom said...

Your story is so inspiring. God is good and we are so blessed. Sincere congratulations!!

Miche said...

Awww what a great story! I had the same fear of not being able to pee. It is crazy how your body forgets how to do it so quickly.

godmommie said...

Your story is a true manifestation of the sweetness of life. It's Thanksgiving all over again!

Lady Law Dawg said...

You've got your sweet baby! Loved reading your "story!" Congrats to you all!!!!

Jillian, Inc said...

Awwww...so sweet! I am sure you just hold Sam and look at him and sometimes still can't believe it's all REAL! I had Adam at Piedmont, too, and it was such a great experience. The second night Doug had gone home to sleep and for some {hormonal} reason I started to cry, mostly from being so happy and relieved everything was OK. A really sweet nurse who had been there 25 years got me an ice pack and sat with me for a good long time and held my hand and told me funny mom-baby stories. I know you are enjoying every single minute of your maternity leave with your sweet boy.

Lucky in Love said...

This post makes me so happy :) I'm just thrilled for your little family!

Europafox said...

What a beautiful boy! Congratulations ( I am new to reading your blog)

Elizabeth said...

Sam is such a handsome little fella!! Loved reading his birth story. Although our journey was a little different, I totally know what it's like to hold your long awaited baby in your arms! So incredibly happy for you!!

Julie Tiemann said...

Ahh, that kid is so cute I can't even stand it.

I had a very similar experience with the epidural. I hated getting them so bad for my c's, that if I ever did have a third and was allowed, I'd VBAC it and attempt natural. I honestly don't think natural labor could be that much worse than the epidural. AWFUL!!! And like you, I got super sick. Thankfully I knew that after my first c, so I warned them on the second and they had the Zofran at the ready. But yeah, didn't like that at all...

BUT, yeah, they're worth it. Like you said, worth.it.all. SOOOOO happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just Ask Beth said...

God is great..he is just delicious!

gigiofca said...

What a journey & such a beautiful reward. Thank you for sharing your story this whole time. I've been rooting for you :)