Sunday, May 18, 2014

He arrived!!!

Say HELLO to Levi!!  He was born on May 2nd, and we couldn't be happier!  

He's got lots of dark hair and is generally pretty happy and calm.

I thought I'd share our birth story here, so if you're not intersted in hearing the details, go ahead and skip this post.  I have gotten a lot of questions about how it went, though, so hopefully everyone can learn about how hypnobirthing a bit.   The whole idea behind hypnobirthing is to calm yourself, relax, and expect it to be comfortable rather than intense and scary and painful.  If you expect pain, you experience pain.  If you expect comfort, you can experience comfort.  Overall, I don't know that I would call it "comfortable", but I really did not experience "pain" with my surges (what they call "contractions" in hypnobirthing since that word can have negative connotations associated with it).  I would say it was really intense and it was true "work" to stay focused on relaxing, but it was a wonderful experience.  God designed our bodies for this work, so it was awesome to see my body in action!

The nitty gritty long-winded details:

On Wednesday, I had a doctor’s appointment where they found me dilated to zero. Bummer!!  Thursday morning, we had an ultrasound to check the amount of amniotic fluid, which was good. We went home to wait (I had lots of pineapple).

Around 5:00, I started feeling nauseated and didn’t want to eat much dinner. Then I started having very manageable surges. This was really the first time I could easily identify a surge, before this I had just felt a little constant ache like cramps. This time, I could feel when they started and stopped.
So I started timing them and found them 8-12 minutes apart and 30-90 seconds long. We went to bed around 10:30, but I woke up at 12:30 to stronger surges that were 90 seconds to 2 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. We left for the hospital shortly thereafter, and when we arrived I was 6-7cm dilated. (Funny story: the parking structure had “expectant mother” parking nice and close, but that area was being washed so I walked myself through the parking structure and hospital all the way to triage since a wheelchair sounded so uncomfortable)
Through each surge, I would stop walking and hold onto Dillon’s arm or a chair or whatever I could find and breathe deeply through it, focusing on relaxing my jaw. I had expected to use the prompts or the scripts we practiced in hypnobirthing during the birth, but instead I just focused on my jaw and muscles relaxing and swayed my hips through them.

I got in the birth tub as fast as possible and it felt WONDERFUL. If you ever have the opportunity to use a birth tub, DO IT. I was able to relax enough that I was sleeping between/through surges when I was 8-9cm dilated while Dillon napped on the couch.

Occasionally I would start to have more trouble focusing on my relaxation, so I would get out of the tub and stand/walk for a surge or two and then get back in. That seemed to “reset” how wonderful the tub was and I was back in control. I think I panicked a bit during 3 or 4 surges the whole time and said things like “I want to be done” and moaned a bit, but the rest of the surges were manageable and (YES IM GOING TO SAY IT) not painful.

Around 10:15 (I think), my body started pushing. At first it freaked me out and I tried to stop pushing but I couldn’t; I asked the nurse if it was okay if I pushed and she said to do whatever my body told me to. So whenever I felt my body start pushing, I just joined in and pushed with it. I was making some lovely sounds when I pushed but otherwise was very relaxed and quiet. The only "pain" I felt was right at the end, but at that point I was so ready to have that baby out, I even told Dillon to make him come out, so the sting felt like progress.

Baby’s heart rate dropped a bit at the end, and they told me to push whether I was having a surge or not. I believe I said “no thank you”, but they said that I needed to get the baby out now. So I pushed and pushed and Levi came out about 2 minutes later, at 10:59 after about 45 minutes of total pushing.

Then I started having a few problems: I started hemorrhaging and they quickly gave me an IV with Pitocin (to contract my uterus to help the blood vessels close) which stayed in for 12 hours and then a couple bags of saline because I had not drank enough during labor and was dehydrated. The bleeding was under control pretty quickly and I didn’t really have more bleeding issues.

We spent time with Levi and then moved down to our recovery room. Levi was doing great, but I started having difficulty every now and then because my heart would start racing, I would shake, and I would feel like I was going to pass out when I stood up to go to the bathroom. I was very weak and needed assistance to get up to go to the bathroom until Sunday morning, when they decided to give me a blood transfusion after saline, rest, and water didn’t help how I felt.

The transfusion took a few hours but I felt way better after just about 30 minutes. After my little “pick me up”, I was able to walk down the hallway and back with no trouble and we were released from the hospital that night, around 10:30. I’m still weak and get pretty worn out pretty fast, so I’m having to remember to pace myself and JUST SIT DOWN.

Levi’s doing great, healthy, and breastfeeding is going pretty well. I’m so glad about how our birth turned out (horay hypnobirthing and birth tubs!), was a bit disappointed that I missed out on some special first moments with Levi because I just couldn’t stand to participate, but am glad to be home and feeling better!

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