Monday, June 16, 2014

Henry's Birth Story

Friday, May 30th I woke up shortly after 6am feeling miserable and in pain, but that's how most of my mornings have been for the past month. As I laid in bed awake, painful contractions started picking up. I did not mention any of this to Josh because I knew he would go into full on go mode. He got up with the girls and I stayed in bed clocking contractions. After an hour of painful and consistent contractions I finally told him our plans for a family fun day would probably need to be postponed. I was right, he went straight into go mode and got everything ready to leave the house. I, on the other hand, took my time in the shower, dried my hair and didn't wan to rush into labor and delivery only to be sent home. By 10:15 Josh convinced me call my doctors office and they said to head to L&D to get checked out. We dropped the girls off with Grandma and Grandpa and checked into the hospital at 10:45am. They hooked me up to monitors and checked my cervix, I was 5, almost 6cm dilated. The nurse quickly got me into a room and the fun began. Contractions picked up in intensity and by noon I was at 7cm. At 2pm my doctor checked me and I was still at a 7, she broke my water and there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. At 2:30 the anesthesiologist was in my room for my epidural, but baby's heart rate kept dropping when I would sit up in bed, so I had to lay on my side, curl into a ball and arch my back while having very painful contractions. Thankfully, the next few hours were great and pain free.
Since I wasn't really progressing much on my own, we started a slow drip of Pitocin to help increase contractions. It was probably about 4:30pm I hit 8cm and shortly after that my epidural was wearing off and pain started coming back slowly. The pain was getting worse and I was get desperate for some relief. Around 7 pm my doctor came in, checked me and I was still at 8cm and I started running a fever. She suggested we start thinking about the possibility of a C-section. Since my C-section with Lillian and Claire, I knew I wanted the option to attempt a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), but Josh and I agreed from the start of this pregnancy we would do whatever it took to keep both baby and I healthy and safe at delivery time. It could have been that I was in extreme pain and I loved the thought of being completely numb and not feeling any more pain, but Josh and I knew the answer right away. We agreed to the repeat C-section.  They wheeled me down to the OR about 7:45pm and it felt like it took forever for my spinal to be placed.
Henry was born at 8:16pm and Josh watched as Henry was screaming before his legs were pulled out. The NICU team was in the OR because of my fever and the meconium in his fluid. Henry weighed in at 9lb 8oz. He had a slight fever, so after a few minutes they took him to the NICU and started an antibiotic. I was back in my room shortly after 9pm and finally around 10pm Henry was brought in while for a short time while they waited for some meds to come for him.
My fever was gone, his was low and he was doing well so he was able to come back into my room after he received more meds in the nursery. Saturday was great, he was still receiving antibiotics, but otherwise doing well. Saturday afternoon he started developing a newborn rash and as the day progressed it continued to get worse.  His eyes were so bad with the rash they were puffy and he had trouble opening them. On Sunday afternoon his rash became really bad, he started running another fever, he was jittery and very upset. They admitted him into the NICU. All of his labs came back normal and they are not certain what caused him so much discomfort, but thought that it could have been from the antibiotic and since he didn't want to eat, he had an empty stomach. In order to help Henry, I nursed him while the nurse inserted a small tube attached to a syringe with formula into Henry's mouth. This allowed him to get nutrition while nursing before my milk came in.  Sunday night he had formula and at constantly and wanted lots of snuggles from his nurse. Monday morning Josh and I headed to the NICU and his rash looked so much better, his temp was still inconsistent, but lower and he seemed much happier with a full belly. I was discharged on Monday and spent all day with him in the NICU before having to head home to get some sleep. I could have stayed him in his room, but I didn't think sleeping on a fold out bed and caring for Henry with little assistance on my own would be a wise choice just days after my surgery. Tuesday morning Josh drove me up to the hospital and I spent the day up there with Henry while he spent time with Lillian and Claire. It was not easy spending 9 hours caring for Henry by myself (of course the nurses were great and made sure I was doing alright) with all of the up and downs, bending and bouncing to keep him happy. I loved the silence of his room though, just him and I bonding and getting to know each other. Henry was able to come home on Tuesday evening.
The girls absolutely adore him and are always asking to snuggle him. They ask to help change diapers, pick out his clothes and pat his back when he needs to burp. They are even more amazing big sisters than I ever imagined. They are so patient and kind to him. They are not afraid to hold him if he is crying, they kiss him and sing him songs and he calms down to the sound of their voices. They are constantly telling him how much they love him and give him more goodnight kisses than they give me now. I'm not going to lie, I have cried a few tears of joy when I sit back and think about my three amazing children and how incredibly blessed we are. I have also sat back and wondered what in the world were we thinking disrupting the family of four and everything we have grown comfortable in knowing, but at the same time, it has only been two weeks and I cannot imagine life without Henry being in it.

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