Friday, August 25, 2006

Two years ago..........


It started Friday, August 20th, when I was 35 weeks 4 days pregnant. I had about 3-4 hours of regular contractions that were 5 minutes apart or so and more painful than they had been in the past. I kept wondering if "this was it" but didn't get excited or anything as my body tends to work out quite a bit before the real thing (as you all know by my numerous trips to L&D). The contractions died down and I fell asleep.

Saturday, not much out of the normal was going on and I was really feeling like I should stop taking my medication for preterm labor. I was going to be taken off of it on Monday anyway, and just felt that it was time to stop taking it all together two days early. My last dose was at 1pm Saturday afternoon. I took the boys to play at Chik-Fil-A play area and as I sat and watched them, I enjoyed strong contractions knowing this was the last day I was to enjoy being pregnant. I was sad that it was over already and excited to meet this baby. By dinner time I was noticing more contractions that were getting my attention in strength and were giving me a clue that this might be it, but didn't want to get too excited because just the night before nothing had come of it. I also thought that it was good my body was getting ready even if the big event wasn’t tonight. Ben asked me if we had decided on the name and I said that the two girl names we had chosen didn’t’ really sound good for some reason and that made me think it was a boy because I really loved the boy name and we only had one boy name. Ben said he really believed it was a boy.

We finished dinner and I began to chart the contractions, we made popcorn and started a movie about 8pm and I had to really concentrate on the contractions by then. Ben was giving me counter pressure on my back, which was really a big help at this point. I was enjoying being so in tune with my body and being able to “enjoy” these contractions. IT was great to be at home with my family preparing for the “fun” to come.

I started to feel the need to finish packing the boys overnight bag and my hospital bag. I needed to feel ready to go when it was time. Ben was trying to help me time my contractions but I had a rhythm going and wasn’t’ near him every time I had one so it was easier to time them myself. I would call him for some of the contractions to do the counter pressure on my back when I need him too.

By 10:30pm the boys had been put to bed for a while, I had finished packing the hospital and boys’ bag, and feeling like it was time to head into the hospital. Contractions were pretty close together and getting pretty strong. I kept worrying that the hospital would tell me that I was only 3 cm and I would be strapped to the bed for the long haul. I call my OB and told him I thought I should come in and he told me they would check me out to see what was going on (labor!). I called my doula and she was telling me that if I went too early, they would most likely not let me labor as I would if I were home. I agreed, but told her that it was time to head in. Ben tells me that he doesn’t think I should drive myself!! I have to laugh because I never had any intention of driving myself this time (I drove myself all the times I was in preterm labor so that I could have dh at home watching the boys). This told me that he didn’t’ realize how close we were to having this baby and that I must have been handling myself pretty well. Cute! I asked him if he was prepared to deliver this baby at home and I was serious. He told me he would rather be at the hospital in case anything went wrong and I agreed (with our history we have always needed the NICU). I tell him that means we need to go NOW.

I call my friend Wendy to come over and watch the boys for us and she arrives excited and worried. She is worried that we might not make it to the hospital and there is nothing that she can do for my pain. AT this point I don’t really feel in pain but know that my body is working. After giving her the run down, we head out.

We arrive at the hospital and Ben asks if I want dropped off at the door. He wants to wheel me in a wheel chair but I decline the wheel chair and tell him dropping me off at the door is just fine. I just want to get there, and tell him I am going to start walking and he can catch up since I won’t be able to walk very fast. I got to the elevators and he is catching up with me telling me that I am walking faster than I realize. I just want to get there and feel settled as to where this baby will be born.

The nurse takes me to the exam room, I wonder what she is thinking by taking me to an exam room instead of labor and delivery room, but don’t ask any questions figuring I don’t’ care which room I give birth in. I get into the bathroom to pee and change into the lovely gown, and realize that Ben had not brought my hospital bag in with him. In the bag is the camera and extra film. I want him to go get it, but he wants to wait to see what the doctor says. I ask him to get it now, he wants to wait. The nurse comes in and asks some questions getting me hooked up to the monitors. My doula arrives and is great from the get go. Ben sits down beside the bed and his knees are at my knees, perfect for me to lean forward during the contractions and put my hands on his legs. He gives me words of encouragement and rubs my shoulders if I want. The nurse then checks my progress and barely gets out “you’re between 6-7 cm” as she starts running out the door for the doctor. I think, thank goodness, at least I am making progress! Ben asks Paula, our doula, how long it would be now, knowing that every birth is different but just wanting an idea. Paula said that it could be a few hours. I laughed, and said, “No Paula, not a couple of hours! We are talking a half hour here. Ha ha!”

A good friend told me to keep my hands and jaw relaxed during contractions, which was a huge help. I also kept thinking of things opening up. I kept making sure that my body was relaxed so that my uterus could do all the work it needed to. The nurse comes back and tells that we can go to the labor and delivery room and would I like a wheel chair. I declined stating that I would go between contractions which were very strong and very close by now. I needed to stay empowered and in control. I waited out the next contraction and get up and walk very fast down the hall giving directions to the room. Ben was looking for room numbers and I am telling him where to go, I had to get there and feel settled. My doula commented on how well I was walking and I said “I’m on a mission!”

When we get to the room, Paula starts “setting up shop” like a radio with wonderful calm music playing and I remember thinking “why bother, there isn’t time” but that it was a nice thought. The nurse then starts asking me more questions. She is asking me my social security number, address, and all kinds of silly things (silly at the time!). I tell Ben between contractions that he is welcome to shout out any of these answers that he knows at any time. The next question the nurse asks is my age, Ben him haws around thinking about it and finally answers 32. I look up from my contraction with a scowl and tell him “I’m NOT 32 I’m 31!!” Great, he gets the first one wrong!! I soon start ignoring the nurse asking questions thinking that there is plenty of time for this later.

The nurse said that our OB was on his way to the hospital and that he was very supportive of our birth plan. Since they hadn’t done a GBS since 31 weeks, they wanted to give me the antibiotics to be sure. Great. They started an IV lock so that I didn’t have to be hooked up to an IV. By this time, I was having contractions back to back and the nurse was having trouble getting the IV lock in for some reason, even though I was very still. I wanted her to hurry because I hated having my arm still and needed to be in the moment. By this time, it was getting pretty scary for me as the pain was non stop and I couldn’t find a comfortable position. I finally looked at the nurse putting in the IV lock and saw a bunch of blood. That makes me feel good-NOT. I thought that I didn’t’ care if she was done or not I HAD TO MOVE. I felt all kinds of pressure and pain and finally stood up and started pushing. I thought, I guess I should tell someone I am pushing! So I did and they were all like “Whoa!!, we need to check your progress” I thought “no you don’t, it’s time to push here!!” I didn’t move but pushed again real strong and POP! My water broke every where; I guess I didn’t have low fluid after all! LOL!! Ben said it was like a fire hydrant going off! AT this point our OB walks in the door, just arriving at the hospital. The nurse asks Paula if I have delivered all my children naturally because I am doing so well. That makes me feel good! At one point Ben told me that I was his hero, which really kept me going. He also told me that if I could run a half marathon, that I could certainly do this and I remember thinking “that was much easier!” I could hear Paula saying that was why I was feeling all the pressure and pain and that things would let up now and give me a breather, and I remember thinking, “that’s not right, I am pushing this baby out now, there is no breather!! What is she talking about??!!” At this point I tell Ben I don’t think I can do it and I want pain medication. I am really scared that I will be unable to do it. I am worried that I will be so much dealing with the pain management that I won’t be able to push the baby out. He was wonderful in offering me words of encouragement and holding me as he was able. Coming from a man who spoke about 3 words during Jake’s birth and about that or less at Kyle’s he really pulled through for me. Paula asked Ben if he had our camera—ARGHH!!! It was in the van!!!!!

I spring myself onto the bed so that the darn nurses can check me, but before they can I am crying for Ben because I was afraid he left me for some reason. I am shouting Ben’s name because he is standing up talking to the nurses and Paula about me and I can’t get his attention. I don’t’ want him talking to them; I want him talking to ME!! I start pushing and grunting with my legs together. The nurses are yelling at me to breath and spread my legs to be checked (how nice!). They check me and I hear the nurse say “she’s at 10” and I think “DUH!! I have been trying to tell you that!!” They all start scampering around the room getting everything out and breaking down the bed. They are shoving my feet into stirrups, which I thought would really bother me, but at this point, they could have been stringing my ankles from the ceiling and I wouldn’t have cared or noticed. All I knew was that I was going to be pushing with or without them.

The doctor and Ben tell me that Corbin is crowning and I look into the mirror and all I see are my knees!! I tell them “I-Can’t-see!!” and they quickly fix the mirror. I see Corbin’s head and am very excited and ready to go. I push once and his head is coming out. I push again and it’s out! I notice that the doctor is pulling the umbilical cord from around his neck and I worry for a split second about that but soon think that things must be okay or they would have told me differently. I take a breather and look at his head out of my body thinking that was really fast. I get the urge to push again and out comes his body. 12:32 AM, August 22nd (35 weeks, 6 days) As the doctor is handing him to me I notice his privates and think BOY !!They put him on my belly and let the cord pulse. The nurse immediately starts rubbing Corbin’s back to make him cry and I am very irritated. Just give me a second to look at him for crying out loud and give Corbin a chance to adjust!!! I was in shock that this was my baby already since everything happened so fast. They then take him from me after about 30 seconds and Ben gets to cut the cord and they take Corbin to check him out. The NICU team tells me that they need to take him to the NICU because he is making grunting noises and they want to make sure that he is breathing okay. They also need to check him for the GBS since they only got one dose of the antibiotics in me. I was VERY upset that they needed to take him to the NICU but after about 20 minutes he returned everything fine.

The nurses were asking his name and I told them baby Akers, that we had decided the boys would be the first to learn of his name before anyone. The nurses were really wanting to hear his name but we just couldn’t do that. When Kyle was born, we decided his name just then because he had surprised us by coming so early. When Jake was born, we had decided his name right when we knew we were expecting but he was the first to hear his name just like Kyle. This time we told Corbin his name in private , just Ben, Corbin and I and it was very special. When the boys came several hours later, it was just us as we announced his name to the boys and the boys told Corbin his name and held him. A very special moment.

Back to the afterbirth, they later showed me the placenta, stating that it was very healthy (another thing I had worried about after my last PTL scare). I asked how long it had been since I joked to Paula about this taking a half hour and it had been a half hour. Corbin was born 40 minutes after getting to the hospital, 30 minutes after my comment.

Corbin nursed for the first time for about 40 minutes, and it was heaven. The nurses were much more supportive than I could have imagined, which was a wonderful thing. They all offered me words of encouragement through the labor as well.

The OB and Paula both separately made the comment that by talking to me on the phone they would have never thought I was as far along in labor as I was. My OB said that I sounded so in control on the phone. This coming from a man who does this all the time, I felt like that was a compliment.

It was a great experience, one that I am so glad I was able to have. I felt bad that I got freaked out at one point and even asked for drugs but know that is common. Looking back I know that going through the back to back contractions, the pressure of the bag of waters, and transition all at the same time, it was difficult to handle, but I did it. It will always be a wonderful memory for me!!! Thanks for letting me share this special time with you!!

Happy Birthday dear son!!!!!!!

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