Sunday, October 14, 2012

Birth Story: Titus Jacob (Part 1)

I have been wanting to write out Titus’ birthing story for a while, but due to some recovery issues, I haven’t been able to get to the computer for long enough to get it down. Titus (Livia)To accurately record his story, we have to start back at our 31 week appointment.

31 Weeks: I went in for a normal check up, my blood pressure was high (for me, 120ish/80s) with trace amounts of protein in my urine. The doctor sent me for labs and had me set up an appointment a week later to recheck my blood pressure. The labs came back normal.

32 Weeks: After monitoring my blood pressure throughout the week, we expected my pressure to still be up but it was great 112/61. The doctor had me schedule an appointment for another two weeks.

34 Weeks (Friday), September 14th: My blood pressure was once again high 128/98, they had me lay on my side for a while and retook it, it was 142/98. When the doctor came in she sent me to labor and delivery to be monitored for an hour and to have labs drawn. During the hour my blood pressure averaged somewhere around the 130s/80s and my labs came back normal, almost exactly what they were two weeks prior.

They sent me home on moderate bed rest (meaning only minimum walking from place to place, lying and sitting) and told me to come back in if I had any headaches, blurred visions or epigastric pain.

Saturday, September 15th: We had plans to visit some friends at Devils Lake in Baraboo (2 hours away) which the doctor had said I could go to as long as all I did was sit. We left town about 9 o’clock in the morning, and I mentioned to Tim that I was starting to feel a little bit of heart burn. I took a dose of Tums, but it seemed to do nothing. Throughout the day the pain got worse, I took a total of three doses of Tums, none of which seemed to help. We ate dinner at my sisters house and headed home at about 6 o’clock. The pain continued to get significantly worse. At about 7, we decided to call the on-call doctor in our network. The doctor I talked to was a little less than comforting, and basically he said “If you are in enough pain to call, then you should obviously go in.”

I was a more than a little upset. I wasn’t really sure if I should go in or not, I couldn’t tell if it was just heartburn or something more…. and the on-call doctor didn’t do much to help me out. In the end we decided that I should go in, just in case. We called Tim’s sister and she was (as usual) kind enough to have the kids stay over at her house while we went in to the hospital to get it checked out.

When we checked in to the hospital, they started monitoring my blood pressure right away my first reading was 171/109 (it was pretty high between 160s/80s – 170s/90s throughout the first hour there), and took some blood and urine samples. That night, my labs came back slightly elevated, but still within normal ranges. The on-call doctor decided to admit me for the night so that they could monitor me more closely and run more labs in the morning.

Sunday, September 16th : Sunday morning they ran more labs. The kids came to visit me halfway through the morning and while they were there two nurses came in to let us know that they wanted to transfer me to Theda Clark where there was a NICU. My blood work had come back even more elevated, which meant I was headed towards becoming either preeclamptic or developing HELLP and they wanted to transfer me in case they needed to induce me. AMC (the hospital we were at) was not equipped to deliver a baby less than 35 weeks gestation and we were at 34 weeks 5 days. If the baby was born at AMC before that time it would automatically be transferred to the NICU 20 minutes away, transferring me at this point was the only way to know that we would be “together” (at the same hospital) after birth.

They also decided to start me on Magnesium Sulfate to prevent seizures as I was officially diagnosed as preeclamptic. The epigastric pain continued to be a problem, with very little relief. They basically told me that I would have the pain until my blood pressure went down, and that that would not happen until after we delivered the baby.

Once I got settled at Theda Clark, it was kind of just a wait and see game. They decided to run labs in the morning.

Monday, September 17th:

Overnight at about 2am, my epigastric pain was still pretty bad, so they had an ultrasound tech come in to take a look at my liver, pancreas and gall bladder to make sure I wasn’t having any internal bleeding. The results were normal.

They ran labs pretty early on Monday morning and by 7 o’clock we got the results back that showed that I had protein in my 24-hour urine (over 1000), my liver enzymes and uric acid were elevated, and I had low blood platelets. When I spoke with my doctor on the phone she mentioned something about HELLP which is an acronym standing for Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes and Low Platelet count and decided that we needed to induce right away. The only good news that morning was that my epigastric pain had gone away.

Because my platelets counts were so low I was not going to be able to get an epidural or spinal so I had two options – natural birth or general anesthesia c-section. I wasn’t too worried about this, both Treyton and Alexa were born naturally without any drugs, so I knew I could do it. My only fear was that they wanted to get the baby out ASAP (they were talking before noon) so they were going to be using pitocin, which I had only been on with Audrey when I had had an epidural, either way I knew that having a vaginal birth, with or without pitocin, was the way to go:

7:30am They started me on Pitocin (8ml units a miute (18)). I was at 2 cm, 75% effaced. I started to feel contractions almost right away but they were not painful, mostly just constricting.

8:30am Still no pain and I remained at 2cm, 75% effaced. The doctor came in and broke my water

9:00am They put in the catheter (because they were no longer going to allow me out of bed). I have never had a catheter before and for whatever reason it’s been one of my biggest fears. I fought them on having one this time, but to no avail. Once they put the catheter in, I was the most agitated I think I’ve ever been in any labor I’ve had.

I don’t know what labor is like for other people, so I can only speak for myself, but in order to get through the contractions (particularly without any drugs or epidural) I have to get to a place mentally where I can relax my body and just allow it to do what it’s supposed to do…. it’s all mental.

Once they inserted the catheter I felt like I lost all mental control, in the sense that it was ONE MORE THING! I already had two IVs which (of course) were annoying, I couldn’t get out of bed to move around, I had already been in bed for 2 days…. it just felt like too much. It took me about 10 minutes to calm down and get my head around they fact that I was going to need to deal with one more thing.

9:45am My sister, Skye, arrived

10:30am They had continued to up my pitocin at this time it was 22ml per minute (66). They checked me I was at 3/4 cm and my contractions were 3 minutes apart.

10:40am The nurse called the doctor to update her, she was planning on heading over within the hour.

Before the delivery I had warned the nurse that I tend to go pretty quickly once I reach about 5cm. With both Alexa and Audrey I hit a certain level (with Alexa it was 7cm, with Audrey it was 5cm) and then it was just time, just like that! She took me at my word. She had told me that going from 3-6cm is usually the toughest, and that it can be common to go pretty quickly after that.

11:00am My mom and step-dad arrived. I was at 4cm and the head had come down quite a ways.

11:25am Pitocin was at 24mls a minute (72). Contractions were much more intense still 2-3 minutes apart.

11:45am The nurse checked me, I was at 6cm, 0 station. I was beginning to get a little frustrated, it was feeling much more intense and I felt like I was progressing more slowly than what the contractions were. At this point I started telling Tim “I don’t know if I can do this” (which apparently is my sign that I’m very close).

The next contraction, after the nurse checked me, IT WAS TIME! It never ceases to amaze me how quickly I can go from “I can’t do this” to I am feeling the baby’s head like RIGHT NOW!

Once I said “UGHHHH, okay, it’s time!” the nurse didn’t even bother to check me she hit the blue button on the wall and as people started running in, she started shouting out commands. She hadn’t gotten everything set up yet, so she was telling people what to pull out and set up and trying to get stuff ready. She told me “Just don’t push, the doctor is here, she’s on her way, just don’t push.”

At first I was really really trying not to push, but after about one contraction I just HAD to push. I was starting to yell/scream at this point and saying “I’m sorry, I have to push! I have to push!” I was really trying not to…. but oh my word….

“Wait,” she said “I still have to get the catheter out!” That got my attention… there was no way I was going to push with my fear of catheters. She took it out and right as she did, the doctor walked in and they said “Just let her get her gloves on!”

I heard the doctor say “Okay! I have my gloves on. You can push.”

I pushed once, the doctor got her gown on (I think) and the baby’s head was there. I pushed one more time and he was out!!! It was 11:56am!  a Few Moments

The doctor had to unwrap the cord from around his neck (three times!). But he was totally healthy and fine. He cried well right away, so they let me hold him for about 2 minutes. He was bigger than I expected and he had great skin color.

It was the fastest two minutes of my life. There seemed to be so much going on, but I still appreciated the moments I had to hold him. mom dad and titus

After that, the NICU team took him to check him over. He looked great and they let me hold him again for a minute or two before they transferred him to the Children’s Hospital. He looked great. off to the NICU

Tim went with Titus. dad with titus at the NICU

My sister and mom stayed with me.

They didn’t weigh him in the room, but later Tim texted me that Titus was 4 pounds 11 ounces, 19 inches long. little giant day 1


Jessica-MomForHim said...

Seriously, that first one is the cutest picture EVER! It could totally be in a magazine! Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad everything has worked out so well, even though he was early.

Ashley Skye said...

Ok so as I am reading this all the emotion came back again - sitting here reading this crying. This was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed (It is so different when you are the one having the baby or maybe it is the C-Section diference) Thank you so much for allowing me to be apart of this with you.

You are not exagerating when you say how quick it was. I remember earlier in the morning you saying I want to have this baby before noon. Whne you put your mind to it........