3.24.2010

Connor - the birth

Last Tuesday (march 16) I arrived home from work at around 6ish. I was feeling ok, but had noticed some cramping while at work. Kyle and I were both sitting in the office and at around 6:30 I mentioned I was feeling what I thought were contractions, but couldn't tell if they were real or false labor. I mainly felt them in my lower stomach, which usually means false labor, but wasn't sure. After a few had passed we decided we might as well start to time them, just in case.

For the next hour and half or so they increased in intensity and seemed to consistantly be 5-6 min apart. I also started to feel a lot of pressure - almost like my water could break at any moment. We learned in our baby clases to wait until contractions are about 5 min apart for roughly an hour before calling you doctor, so finally at around 8:15 we called the doctors office. The on call doctor called us right back (Dr. Osborne) and told us to wait another 45 min to see if they stayed the same and we would go from there. I'd had an appt the day before and was only a centimeter dialated, so we likely had some time to kill before it was really necessary to head to the hospital.

We were both starving, so Kyle ran out to pick up some food and I started to get all our things together and add some last min items to the hospital bag. By the time Kyle got back I was really feeling the contractions and could barely talk through them. I just wanted to get to the hospital as soon as possible and when the doctor called us back the contractions were about 3 min apart so he told us to get in the car and he'd meet us there.
I was checked in and in a bed by 10pm and decided I definitely wanted an epidural. I'd been undecided about it and wanted to see how things felt, but at that point couldn't imagine not getting one. I think I have a relatively high threshold for pain, but this was intense. The nurse checked me at 10:20pm and I was a centimeter and a half dialated and almost completely effaced. She called the anesthesiologist for the epidural and told us once that was all set we'd probably be able to take a nap and would likely have the baby early the next morning. Most women typically dialate a centimater an hour, so we had some time.

The anesthesiologist arrived and gave me the epidural (he's on the left and our first nurse, Connie, is on the right)
Overall, it was a little uncomfortable, but not bad. As he admistered the test dose, it seemed to have little effect and I could still feel my entire left leg. As he was figuring everything out, Dr. Osborne arrived and checked me again at 10:45. I was suddenly 6-7 centimaters dialted and completely effeced. He was shocked - we all were - and said he was going to go change because this was probably going to happen pretty soon.

The anesthesiologist quickly gave me a second epidural - if you wait too long and are too dialted they can't give you one. Luckily the second worked and instead of breathing through intense contractions, I was able to watch them on a monitor (two monitors were hooked up to my belly - one to monitor contractions and another to monitor the babys heartbeat). So when he was done Dr. Osborne checked me again a little after 11pm and I was fully dialated and almost ready to start pushing. My water still hadn't broken, so he went ahead and broke it.

Our nurse Connie was done for the night and Tricia, our new nurse arrived. She started to get some info from me for hospital records but everything was happening so fast, she wasn't able to finish and instead quickly got everything ready for the baby. Two other nurses wheeled in a baby warmer, a scale and some other equiptment.

About 20 minutes later, I was ready to start pushing. The epidural took care of the pain, but I could still feel sensations from the contractions, so as each one started I took a deep breath, held it for a count of 10 and pushed. We did three rounds of taking a deep breath and holding it with each contraction. Tricia and Kyle were right there with me the entire time - I think Kyle was actually taking the breaths and holding it with me :) I felt like I wanted to just keep pushing but they made me rest between contractions. After about an hour of pushing the contractions were back to back and finally at 1:39am on Wednesday, March 17th (St Patricks Day!) our sweet little baby arrived and screamed his head off. They immediately handed him to me and he promptly peed all over my hands.

Dr. Osborne clamped the umbilical cord and Kyle cut it. A few minutes later the nurses took him and wiped him off and began to weigh him, check him, give him an apgar test, etc.
he passed the test with a 10/10 and looked so cute and tiny!! He was 6lbs 3oz and 19'' long. They swaddled him and handed him to his Daddy as the doctor was cleaning me up.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, I was able to hold him again.
We were both starving - I actually never ended up eating before we went to the hospital - so Kyle ran out to pick uo some food and Tricia began to fill out all the paperwork we never got around to earlier. Kyle said he ran into the anesthesiologist in the elevator and he said " just so you know, that was not the norm". From the first contraction to Connor's arrival, I was in labor for seven hours total, with less then four of that in the hospital.

The epidural took some time to wear off and I remenber being freezing and shaking for awhile afterward. I nursed Connor and then they took him back to the nursery so we could get a few hours of sleep. Kyle stayed in the room with me and we finally fell asleep at around 4am. Three hours later they brought Connor back to nurse again, and we were up for the day.

We eventually moved from the labor and delivery room, which is pretty nice and large, to a sleeping room, which is not nearly as nice and tiny. We spent the next two days in the hospital hanging out with Connor, though he actually still didn't have a name at that point, and getting to know him. We decided we liked the name Alex and started calling him that to see if it seemed right. By the next day, we both decided Alex just wasn't right and finally decided on Connor as his first name and McIntosh as his middle nme. We went home on Thursday afternoon and it's been great ever since!
Kyle's very uncomfortable chair/bed
Going home!

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