April 20, 2007

My Birth Story

Seeing as a week ago today I was in labor and had our Sophie, I guess I'm about due to tell my birth story. Here goes...

4/12-8am-starting getting mild contractions every 8 minutes apart or so. Since I had these before I didn't jump for joy yet thinking this was it.

4/12-10am-by now they are down to around every 6 minutes apart, so I take a shower just in case as I know it would be awhile before I could shower again if this is indeed it.

4/12-noon-they are now about 5 minutes apart, lasting 30-40 seconds each and getting progressively more painful. I call David and tell him to come home from work, I think this may be the day.

4/12-2pm-David gets home. He tries to comfort me through the contractions but I realize I'm better on my own working through them, leaning against a wall and just counting the seconds until they are over. David starts up a Scrabble game for us to play to help keep my mind off of things. This game lasted maybe 20 minutes before I couldn't concentrate anymore.

4/12-4pm-Still 5 minutes apart, lasting exactly 40 seconds each. We decide to call Dr to see what he thinks. My main concern is getting to the hospital early enough to get the two doses of antibiotics I will need since I was Group Strep B Positive. Dr gives us green light to go into hospital anytime we're ready. He said we would either want to go in soon or after 8:30pm as there is a nurse shift change at 8.

4/12-9pm-Now 4-5 minutes apart, lasting 40-50 seconds. We keep trying to put off going to hospital every hour as we really want to stay home as long as possible and hopefully arrive when I'm at least 3cm dialated. David brings out my rocking chair and we watch several episodes of Planet Earth to keep my mind off of the pain. This is very relaxing to watch but it's becoming increasing difficult to get through each contraction.

4/12-midnight-David looks exhausted so I suggest he take a nap to conserve his energy so he can be there for me through the night.

4/13-12:30am-Contractions getting much stronger and closer together. I get nervous and wake David and tell him "It's time". We pack up our stuff and hail a cab to the hospital. Arrive there six minutes later. Contractions continue 4 minutes apart. I am very nervous. A nurse has me change into a gown and I am told to wait. A Medical Student comes in and asks me a million questions. Very annoying. When are they going to check me already? And doesn't he know not to ask a question during a contraction? Duh.

4/13-1:30am-They finally check me and I am 4 cm dialated. Woohoo! All my hard work laboring at home paid off. We are asked what kind of pain meds we want. I say I'll probaby end up getting an epidural, even though the contractions are fairly manageable. The Resident Dr tells me they will get "much, MUCH worse" and to get the epidural now rather than wait. I agree and we are checked into our room. A few minutes later the anesthesiologist comes in and gives me the epidural. A few minutes after that, I feel no contractions or pain whatsoever. Very nice! I can't believe how the pain just vanished. What a wonderful drug!

4/13-2:30am-I lay there listening to the baby heartbeat monitor while David tries to get comfy on two very uncomfortable chairs. Nurses come in every so often to check on things. I am exhausted but can't sleep at all.

4/13-3:30am-A Resident Dr checks me and I'm almost 5 cm. Hoped I was more but it's better than being stuck at 4.

4/13-9am-My Dr arrives. I am so happy to see him. Still haven't slept and David has maybe dozed on and off but no real sleep either. He is nervous for me. I am nervous for me. Dr checks me and I am still 4-5cm. Bummer. He orders some pitocin.

4/13-11am-Dr checks me and I am now 6cm. We're getting somewhere.

4/13-noon-I start to feel some UNBELIEVABLE pain down in my lower back region with each contraction. The pain is like nothing I've ever felt. They call in the anethesiologist to check my epidural. All looks fine and they can't figure out why I'm in such pain. I really feel like I can't handle it. I scream, I cry, David tries to soothe me best he can. Nurse tells me to breathe through it. I get pissed at her but try my best.

4/13-1pm-Anesthesiologist comes in again with nurse and they give me something to 'top me off'. It helps a little but not much. Soon after the pain suddenly vanishes. No one can figure out why but I don't care. I was just glad it's over.

4/13-3pm-Dr checks me and I'm 6-7cm (I think). My water breaks on it's own which was a bizarre but comforting feeling as I know labor is going to really progress now.

4/13-5pm-I get that UNBELIEVABLE contraction pain again down low and in the groin region. UNBEARABLE. Dr comes in and is trying to figure out why. He checks me and I'm 9cm. I demand another top off or something to make it stop. I simply cannot handle it anymore. He gives me a oxygen mask.

4/13-5:30-Anesthesiologist comes in again and tops me off. It does nothing. I am utterly miserable. The fact that they can't help me and I already have a full epidural is so upsetting I wonder how on earth I can continue and how will I even push? Dr checks me again, 10cm, but baby still VERY HIGH in pelvis. In all these 34 hours, baby never progressed down into my pelvis. I know what this means. David knows what this means. Dr looks at us apologetically and says we have two options-to attempt to push or a C-Section. He says in his honest opinion he thinks baby's head is too big and I have a roughly 3% chance of pushing her out safely. He said I can try and we could always do emergency C-Section if it doesn't work. But David and I agree a C-Section is the best way to go. The pain is unbearable, and I just wanted to see my baby already. They start prepping the room. They pull out my epidural and I continue to be in misery. The room takes FOREVER to get ready. David calls the family on the cell who are in the waiting room and tells them the news.

4/13-6pm-FINALLY they wheel me into the operating room. Stark white lights. Lots of doctors and nurses. But the only person I'm concerned with is the anesthesiologist. he puts in medication and I can finally no longer feel the incredible pain of the contractions. Now I wait anxiously as they prep, put up a big blue sheet in front of me, and call in David so we can begin. They are about to start cutting but I tell them I can feel the prick of the scalpel. They can't understand why I can only feel it in this one spot so they give me some Lidocaine and then begin. I feel lots of tugging and pressure, but no pain. I am so excited to hear our baby cry.

4/13-6:27pm-Sophie Rotstein is brought into the world with one little cry and "it's a girl. A BIG girl" announced by our Dr. We see her for a second and she is whisked away. We hear another cry as they prick her heel. They tell us she has light hair and that she is a big, healthy girl. After a few minutes they bring her over and David holds her to me as I stare into her eyes. I feel like I'm looking in a mirror. She looks exactly like me. David is bawling and I am crying as well. David is escorted out with the baby as they sew me up. I am so exhausted I fade in and out of sleep.

4/13-7pm?-They wheel me into recovery room and the whole family walks in bawling. They hand Sophie to me and I say "she looks like a Sophie". I hold her for only a couple of minutes then she is passed around to every. Photos are being taken. Cell phone calls being made. Very overhwelming. I tell them I want her back so I can try and breastfeed. Everyone leaves the room. Five minutes later the nurse comes in to take her away to the nursery. I am very upset I had no time with her.

4/13-8pm?-Everyone watches her in the nursery then decides to head home for the night. David is completely exhausted and tells me he is going to go home to sleep and will be back first thing in the morning. He looks like he is about to pass out.

4/13-9pm-I am left alone in this big multi-bed recovery room. No one is around. A nurse comes in and gives me some ice chips. Tells me my room is being prepared and leaves again. I text message people and lay there feeling very lonely and sad that I can't see my baby.

4/13-10pm-I am STILL there. Another couple is brought in across from me, and from behind their curtain I hear them oohing and aahing over their new baby boy. I am VERY upset and start crying. I yell for a nurse to get my nurse because I feel so abandoned there and can't understand what is taking so long.

4/13-10:30pm-I am finally brought into my room and put to bed. I ask for my baby and am told they will bring her in after they have warmed her. I text Shaina back and forth telling her how I'm feeling.

4/13-11:30pm-They bring in Sophie. I nurse her for a little while, then the nurse comes back in to bring her back to the nursery. I go to sleep. After that they bring her in twice more throughout the night for nursing. It's very painful but I nurse and try to bond with her.

I have to mention the nurses at the hospital were AMAZING and helped us so much with any issues or questions we had. I felt like we were staying at a hotel. We had to pay extra for a private room so David could stay with me but it was well worth it.

So that's my birth story. This week has been very rough for me as I am suffering from the 'Baby Blues' as they call them and I am so lucky to have David here as he is so commited to me and Sophie. I hope this passes soon so I can fully enjoy her. I've had many breastfeeeding issues as well and tried to attempt to work through them with a great lactation consultant at the hospital but in the end I am pumping most of the time and try to nurse once or twice a day. It's all very difficult. Sophie was sleeping for 3-4 hours at a time but since last night has become more and more fussy. I know the first three months are the toughest so I have a little countdown in my head.

She is a very sweet baby and snorts like a little pig when she wakes. We have nicknamed her our Little Golden Pig.

last photos of us as a childless couple taken in the labor and delivery room


Blogger hillary said...

that's got to be the best real-life story i have ever heard ever. most of all because it's so FANTASTIC!! congratulations!!

8:55 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Oh, what an ordeal! That's weird about the pain you felt during the epidural, and I'm so sorry you had to go through that. :( Honestly, for me, too, labor pain was beyond imaginable! But the prize was worth it, right? It's great that you were able to score a private room, and I smiled when I read that you saw immediately that Sophie looked just like you. :)

I was really weepy for the first couple weeks, too. I'm glad to hear you have a lactation consultant, hopefully she will help. I had an in-home nurse visit (because I left the hospital a day early) and she helped me a lot with getting the positioning right. I also used Lansinoh, as well as cool AND warm compresses (depending on the type of pain!). At one point it hurt so much, I was crying through the nursing session! But as long as Sophie is latching properly, it will definitely get better!!! So hang in there.

Thanks so much for posting your birth story. I'm so glad you shared it. I know it's not easy to find the time or the energy!

I can't wait to see more photos of the new family. :) Congratulations again!

10:41 PM  
Blogger e.kuo. said...

congrats simone. i have to say that the hospital you went to is super lame... disappointed to hear that they did not put sophie on you as soon as she was born so you could feel her against you... and all this whisking away to the nursery. was that really necessary? seems like there should have been more bonding time between you and baby at the hospital... although... having her taken to the nursery is a very good idea as you could get some rest. anyway. just my disappointment with how the hospital stay sounded to me. but good job on staying focused laboring at home at home for as long as you did. enjoy!

11:55 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

Well, I'll just say that one of the disadvantages of a C-section is that it's literally impossible for the baby to be put on you right away - your arms are extended out on either side of you, and there is a curtain at your neck, below which is basically a bloody mess... In my case, Ken was allowed to show me Isabelle for a few minutes, but I didn't get to hold her until I got out of surgery, which was like 1 1/2 hours later.

And I don't know, but maybe whisking the baby away after a C-section is customary, too, because it sort of happened to us, too... In the case of unplanned C-sections, the baby might be in distress from so many hours of labor, so they might need extra attention immediately after birth. Isabelle had some extra risk due to my having a fever, and maybe Sophie did, too, from Simone being positive for strep.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Simone said...

I have to agree with ekuo, and I think he was referring to them taking her away in the recovery room, not immediately following the c-section. I understand that they couldn't give her to me immediately when she came out, but afterwards when I was in recovery we literally had like only a half hour with her at most before they whisked her away to the nursery for 'warming'. But there is no better place to warm a baby than the mothers chest! Most hospitals don't do this but for some reason mine does and I don't agree with it either. But whats done is done unfortunately. The nursing staff was amazing for the stay afterwards though.

11:42 AM  
Blogger Simone said...

Thanks Irene. The lactation consultant mentioned several things that are helping me-shields, shells and so forth. Even though I know what proper latch on is, b/c of my shape it's been very difficult. And I am a slave to the purple tube. We are so lucky to have Lansinoh!

12:43 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh man, what an ordeal. You had me feeling the contractions all over again. Epidurals are a godsend. Now you know why I was begging to have one 2nd time around and thought I was going to DIE when they said no! haha!!

But she is BEAUTIFUL!!!
Gosh, you are right, she looks just like you.
I'm so excited to hear about your experiences as a new mom.
I had the baby blues with both of my kids.
Try to get some sun-even if it's just sitting by a sunny window. It always helped me feeling that warmth.
Email me anytime to vent or blow off steam.

Congratulations again Simone. I'm so happy for you guys!

2:45 PM  
Blogger H3NR7 said...

What a play by play. But where were you on Thursday April 12, between the hours of 12 Noon and 2pm?
"Dun dun!"

The parts that stood out for me was David trying to calm you down with a game of Scrabble, "BABY! 11 pts., triple word score, 33. Suck It!," you seeing yourself in baby Sophie's face and the sadness you felt when they took her away from you.

What is Dave sporting on his head?
Did he wear his poker visor in the delivery room or is that his favourite, "Allo Guv'nor!" cap?

12:30 PM  

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