Monday, January 4, 2010
Brody's Birth Story
I'm a mom -- I can hardly believe it! Brody David Hayes has finally made his appearance into the world and into our lives. We love him so much already...I can't wait to see what he brings into our lives and the little person he becomes.
I had a fairly easy pregnancy, all things considered. I never got the dreaded morning sickness and never had any complications. I suffered from all the "normal" aches and pains of being pregnant in the third trimester, but carpal tunnel was my worst symptom.
Once I hit the 37 week mark I started to freak out a little bit. It was such a surreal thought knowing that Brody could arrive at any time. By my 38 week appointment I was convinced I'd be going past my due date. I was only 1cm dilated and wasn't having any Braxton Hicks contractions or anything. I hadn't seen my mucus plug either (sorry, but I'm keeping this post candid and honest). My 39 week appointment confirmed my suspicions -- I was still only 1cm dilated.
I had just gotten home from my appointment when my water broke. This was around 10:30am. I had three gushes of fluid -- I wasn't sure if it was my water just because I had never experienced it before. On the other hand, I never had experience the pregnancy bladder control issues that some women mistake as their water breaking either. As I walked around the house (calmly, believe it or not) I called my doctors office. They told me to lay down for 30 minutes and if more fluid came out when I stood up, to head to the hospital. I didn't even need to do the 30 minute test...the fluid just kept coming. I called Keith and finished packing my hospital bag while I waited for him to get home. I wasn't in a big hurry; I knew it could be hours before anything happened. I began to have mild, mild contractions that were about 7 minutes apart. Keith came home about 30 minutes later and off to the hospital we went!
I was admitted around 12:30pm and checked at 1:00pm. I was expecting to hear I was 2, maybe 3cm dilated. Come to find out, I was already at 5cm! Holy crap, this was happening fast. When Keith heard I was already at 5cm, he had to sit down...it was all getting to be real for him. I was still having mild contractions and they were about 5 minutes apart at this point. My nurse asked if I was ready for my epidural and called for the doctor. Going into it, I wasn't 100% sold on getting an epidural. I always said that if the pain got bad enough I'd get one. Since my labor was progressing so quickly, I didn't want to reach the "point of no return" where my contractions were so bad that I wouldn't be able to sit still through them while getting the epidural. Long story short, NINE attempts and two doctors later, I was still epidural-less. Both doctors said there wasn't any problem with my back, they just couldn't get the positioning right. I don't know which hurt worse, the zinging pain down my legs when they hit my spine, or the countless local anestetic shots they kept giving me. After an hour of being all hunched over trying to breathe through my contractions (which were getting stronger) without moving, I threw in the towel. I had enough.
It was around 4pm by this point and my nurse checked me again. I was expecting to hear I was 6cm or so...again, not the case. I was nearly 8cm dilated, 100% effaced and Brody was at a -1 station. Holy crap! By this point, my contractions were coming 2-3 minutes apart and were getting really strong. It was getting harder and harder to breathe through them. When I felt like I wanted to push, my doctors told me I was at 9.5cm and I still had a "lip" on one side of my cervix, so no pushing for me. The pressure was so intense, I can't even describe it. Keith was such a trooper during all of this. He kept putting cold washcloths on my forehead and let me squeeze the crap out of his hand if I needed to. He was so encouraging.
Before I knew it, it was time to start pushing. Keith and I gave each other a look that said "Ok, this is it!" I pushed for about an hour before the doctors came in. By this point I was yelling out in pain and I'm sure I scared any other women in labor who could hear me. I was making noises that I didn't even know was possible. All I know is that what I was doing HURT like nothing I've ever felt before. They were telling me to push through the pain and pressure, but what really kept me motivated was Keith telling me how he could see Brody and that he was right there. The doctors were ready for me to deliver Brody, so I gave it everything I had and before I knew it they were putting him on my chest. What an amazing moment! He came out screaming and kicking his little legs around. I remember looking into his little face and looking up at Keith and just being in pure awe. I didn't care that the doctors were pressing on my stomach to get everything else out of me or that they were stitching up my 2nd degree tears -- I finally had my son and that was the only thing that mattered.
Brody was born at 6:34pm on 12/31/09, weighing in at 8lbs 7oz and 21" long. He was born nearly exactly 8 hours after my water broke.