October 12th. 8:00 pm. University of Utah Hospital
David and I were packed and headed to the hospital. Davids dad had given him a blessing and then David and his dad gave me a blessing. I was so nervous. I had been waiting for this moment for 9 months, but still didn’t feel prepared. We checked in and got settled into our hospital room. I had heard about this specific room many times the past few months. This room had a little window like a drive thru that they would pass our baby through as soon as he came out. The little window led to the NICU.
My nurse talked to me about my birth plan and many of my fears were put at ease. She was so respectful of my wishes and hopes for this labor and delivery. I changed into my hospital gown and was given an IV. I was also hooked up to a machine that monitored my contractions and the babies heart beat.
My wishes were to labor as long as I could without any pain medication, so the devices I was hooked up to were mobile and I was allowed to move freely. Since this was a scheduled induction they used Cytotec to start contractions. The contractions started out fairly mild and gradually started to build. I would get this first round of medicine and then in 4 hours I would get my second round. David fell asleep and I stayed on the hospital bed for a few hours willing myself to fall asleep. That never happened. I was not prepared for the contractions that were headed my way. They were nothing like the contractions I learned about in my birth class. I continued to push through and was given my second dose of Cytotec. An hour later I could not handle the pain anymore on my own. I told David to wake up. A few minutes later I thought I wet my pants. Much to my surprise my water had broken all on its own! I was excited until I had my next contraction….it was so intense I thought I would die.The contractions were right on top of each other. I barely had any time to orient myself before another would start again. The pattern was unnatural and not what I was prepared for. My nurse suggested I get in the shower. I stayed in there for an hour. David kept the water on my back and talked me through each contraction. The pain was so intense, and the contractions were so close together that I knew I must be in transition. I asked my nurse to check my progress and I was only at a 5!!!!! I was completely devastated. At this point I had been laboring for 10 hours and I could not bear it any longer. I asked for the epidural. It took about 30 minutes till I got it. I had 2 contractions while getting it and was given strict instructions to not move. I thought I was screaming but David said I wasn’t (I still think I was and he doesn’t want me to be embarrassed). Right after my epidural my nurse noticed I was bleeding and checked me. I was now dilated to a 9! I finally had pain relief and was able to take a nap. I slept for a few hours and then started pushing. I only had to push for 15 minutes until he was out. The doctor held him up close to me. My nurse told me I could kiss him so I did….and that was it.
He was gone. The next hour was spent stitching me up. At one point some one brought in a sticky note and told me what he weighed and how long he was. 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 3/4 inches long. It didn’t feel like I had just had a baby. The doctor was joking with me that most women don’t even know they are getting stitched up because they are too busy holding their baby. Unfortunately I KNEW I was getting stitched up. I stared at the clock the whole time. My epidural only worked on half my body, so I was counting down the minutes until they were done and I could see my baby. After a few hours there was word that our baby would be in our room shortly. Each one of my siblings, and both my parents and Davids parents came into the delivery room. I held back my tears as they all came in. I was so humbled that they cared so much about us to be there. I didn’t notice it at the time, but there was a special feeling in the room. They finally wheeled Ollie in. There were 3 people from the Life Flight team that brought him in. He was in an incubator. I shakily stood and walked over to him.
He was so beautiful. He had the fullest, prettiest lips. He was wide awake. Each one of my siblings and our parents were able to peek at him. No one spoke these words….but I know that in the back of all of our minds we thought this might be the only time we would get to see him alive. The men in the room were able to give him a blessing before he was taken over to Primary Children’s. David was able to walk over there with Ollie. He had strict instructions from me to be by his side the whole time. I wanted David to touch him and talk to him so he knew he wasn’t in this alone. I was moved to a different room and rested there for a few hours before I went over to see him. I felt like a horrible mother. All I wanted to do was hold him and look at him. FINALLY I was allowed to go over. I sat in a wheelchair and David took me over. He wheeled me into the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and over to Ollie’s room. A nurse greeted us. I slowly got myself out of the chair (its hard on your body to have a baby) and walked to his bedside. He was beautiful. I touched his hands and feet. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I finally got to see this baby I was so terrified to meet. He was perfect.
He looked healthy and strong. We stayed with him for an hour and then I went back to my room to rest. Later that day my brother that lives in Texas unexpectedly showed up at the hospital! My whole family had come to see this new baby! I was so grateful. I could not have made it through this trial without them. I saw Ollie one last time that day before retiring to my room for the night. My mom was kind enough to stay with Ollie his first night in the CICU in a chair that didn’t even recline. I hated the thought of him being all alone and I was comforted by the thought that he would have his Grandma with him.
Here is the back story on why I didn’t want to have an epidural: I knew that this child would have some form of surgery after he was born. In my studies I learned that babies can be affected by the pain medication mothers take while laboring. I didn’t feel good about our baby having pain medicine from me and THEN medicine after he was born. I wanted him to be alert and ready when he came out. Also, if he wasn’t going to live I needed to be on my best game. I needed to be able to walk so I could be by his side. I wanted to be able to see him, hold, him, and touch him. I didn’t know if I would be able to do this with an epidural. It was weird that I even wanted to attempt this, because I was planning on getting all of the drugs I could get up until I found out I was pregnant. I had never dreamed of trying to have a baby without. I now feel that I was prompted to try because of the anatomy of my back. I got what is referred to as an intrathecal epidural. It caused spinal fluid to leak out. The result is a headache. Not just any headache. A horrible one! The only way to get relief is to lie flat. My sister Abbie had a similar experience after having her second child. As you heard by my story…I ended up getting the epidural anyway and I wish I hadn’t. I got to add headache to my list of things to deal with for the coming week.
These are my views and opinions. I do not look down on any method of birthing or birth plan. Each person needs to pick a birth plan that works for them! Also…be open to change…mine changed!