Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Logan’s Birth Story
Shortly after going to bed on Super Bowl Sunday at 12:01am Monday, February 8, 2010, I felt the first contraction. It was mild but different so I waited to see if it was just a back spasm or the real deal. It was snowing outside and Brendan had going to bed earlier just in case he was called out to shovel. I did not wake him for an hour and in that hour, I had several contractions that were about 8-10 minutes apart. Slowly increasing in pain, I told Brendan this was it and I was going to take a shower. I breathed through each contraction and after my shower I sat in the bath tub to help ease the pain. Now this was pain unlike I had every felt before. It started in my low back and went down my legs and as the contraction peeked it radiated into my stomach. Despite the back labor I had been hoping to avoid, I stayed focused on doing the things we had learned in our Bradley class to get through each one as they got closer together and more intense.
By 2:30am, Brendan was up with me, timing each contraction and helping me breath and relax through each one. It was clear that today was going to be Logan’s birthday. All along, my dad predicted that February 8th would be the day and how right he was. I was 41 weeks pregnant and more than ready to meet our precious son.
Around 5:30am, the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting just over a minute long. I was barely getting 2 minutes of rest in between and I knew it was time to head to the hospital. We called our doctor and let him know we were on our way. The drive to the hospital was not too bad, but sitting in that position was not ideal. We arrived at the hospital just after 6am, 6 hours after labor started. I was weighed and checked into my room. The birthing suite was amazing! The lighting was dim, there was a tub for me to labor in, and plenty of room for our parents to hang out in. My doctor came to check me and I was just about 2 centimeters dilated.
Sometime after 7am, the contractions were becoming very intense. My parents arrived soon after and I was so glad to have my mom there with me. A few times throughout the morning, she helped me while Brendan refilled his coffee or went to the bathroom. Everyone kept telling me how well I was doing, but I sure did not feel like that!
My nurse was incredible. Her name is Debbie and she, along with everyone else, helped me breath and change positions as each contraction got closer and harder. I had external monitoring with an EFM and around 10am I asked to get in the tub. Brendan helped ease me into it and I was only with relief for the first few contractions. Changing positions momentarily change the contraction intensity but within minutes I was trying to find a different position for more comfort. That comfort never came.
I began to breath hyperventilate and was put on O2. The O2 really helped me stay focused on breathing but soon I was getting to the point of nearly passing out. We tried cool wash cloths, standing and swaying, the birthing ball, and leaning over the bed. It only got worse. I kept saying “No, no, no...” over and over again and at times I was in tears with pain. I began to give into the pain and that was when I nearly passed out. My parents had left to check on our dogs and between Brendan and I, we decided I needed the epidural. I was so mad at myself. Between contractions I kept telling Brendan how sorry I was, that I could not do it, but the look on his face said everything: it was time for my body to rest. The nurse checked me to make sure I was progressing. I was 4 centimeters at 11am so she called in the anesthesiologist. Even through the pain, I was so nervous about getting the epidural. In our class we had learned that it tends to slow labor down and I did not want to be given pitocin to speed it back up. Little did I know this would have the complete opposite effect.
Brendan sat in front of me as I leaned over the bed, clutching a pillow. A contraction came and as I anxiously waited the anesthesiologist cleaned off my back. As it subsided, he placed the epidural and it was nothing like I was expecting. I felt the initial sting just as another contraction was peaking and it already felt better. I got the “epi itch” briefly, but have not had any of the other side effects of an epidural. Once it completely kicked in, I was in HEAVEN!! I was smiling and happy and able to enjoy the company that came to visit. Patty, Jason and Lana all joined in on our anticipation of Logan’s arrival.
Around 11:45am, everyone left the room to go for a walk. I wanted to take advantage of the pain relief to rest. The nurse had explained that the epidural would make one leg more numb if I laid on it too long. I had been on my right side for awhile and wanted to turn over so I paged her. Just as she came in, two other nurses followed and they were worried about something. Debbie explained that Logan’s heart rate dropped dramatically and she needed to check me. She noticed right away that my water had broken and there was a little bit of meconium in it, meaning Logan had a bowel movement and could be under some stress. I was 6 centimeters. This was all a fog for me as I was not sure as to what was going on. One of the things we really wanted to avoid was an internal fetal monitor. They stick a small needle in the baby’s head to monitor the heart rate more accurately. The nurse placed the monitor and soon after my doctor arrived to access Logan’s condition. He checked me again and I was 8 centimeters! I could not believe how quickly I progressed once my water had broken. After a few moments Logan’s heart rate settled back down to the 150s and I did not have to worry. The worst part about the whole thing was that Brendan had left the room and a nurse had to go track him down. He did not get back until after the monitor had been placed.
For the next two hours I chatted with family and relaxed. I was checked again around 2:45pm and was 9.75 centimeters dilated so the doctor said I could just wait until I felt an urge to push. We waited another two hours and by that time, the epidural was starting to ware off. I did not feel any pain, but the sensations in my legs started to come back and I could feel the contractions start. It was not painful at all and I was so glad I was going to be able to feel what I was doing.
At 4:37pm I started to do some practice pushing. It felt so good to know that I would be meeting Logan soon! The doctor said I was progressing and the head was coming down so I could keep pushing. I pushed for exactly two hours until 6:37pm when Logan came out sunny side up. He immediately screamed and continued to give us big cries. I had a 2nd degree tear and one small abrasion, something which I am still healing from. OUCH!! The pediatric team in the room noticed that his breathing was rather labored so I held my O2 mask up to his face to see if that would help. He laid on my chest for about 5 minutes until they determined he needed a little more assistance. Brendan stayed with him by the warmer while I was cleaned up. After another five minutes Logan was taken to the nursery for further assistance and Brendan stayed with him. They told me it would only be 30 minutes to get him feeling better but after an hour, still no sign of my son or my husband.
I began to worry and my new nurse did everything she could to help reassure me that everything would be okay. Around 8pm Brendan finally came back to the room and the look on his face was not that of a happy daddy. He was worried. I don’t think I have ever seen that much worry in his face before and I tried not to cry before knowing exactly what was going on with my sweet boy.
Brendan began to explain what was going on when the on-call pediatrician came into the room. After an X-ray, he discovered Logan had a pneumothorax. It’s a small whole in the lung that most likely happened when Logan took his first breath. The whole caused air to escape and become trapped between his lung and the chest cavity. The more air he sucked in, the more it compressed his lung and made it more difficult for him to breath. He was waiting for the neonatologist to examine Logan and his X-Ray to determine the next steps in getting him healed.
Once he left, Brendan went back to the NICU to be with Logan. I was taken to my postpartum room, the nurse did my vitals and nearly three hours after his birth, I was finally able to go see him. The NICU was something I never thought I would have to experience. I never imagined I would be a NICU mom. All the babies in the NICU are either really sick or premature and my baby was sick. It scared me more than anything to think about what could happen. But then I saw him. He was calm and sleeping. He was still breathing too hard but the O2 hood helped him stay regulated. After his 10:30pm X-Ray, Dr. Paisley showed us his lung and what was going to need to happen to fix it. There are several different ways to treat a pneumo and the first step was doing a needle aspiration. A small needle was inserted into his chest to suction the air out. This only had a 50% success rate and if it didn’t work, he would need a chest tube. Well Praise Jesus the aspiration worked! After a 4am X-Ray the lung looked much better. There was only a small spot of air left, something the doctors were sure would go away over the next day. Just to be safe, they also treated Logan for an infection and would need to be on antibiotics for 48 hours.
The following morning, Brendan and I went to visit Logan and we were able to hold him. It was the happiest moment for our little family to finally be together! Over the next two days, Logan continued to do better and was weened off his nutrition IV and started to have the milk I had started to pump. Once I was discharged, I stayed in a sleep room at the hospital so I could continue to pump and feed Logan through the night. Friday morning he was discharged! The pain I was still feeling from giving birth could not be felt as I nearly raced Brendan out of the hospital so we could finally go home.
Logan’s birth was incredible and despite the pain from the contractions, I loved every minute of it, knowing Logan would soon be in my arms. His stay in the NICU is one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I would not wish something like that on anyone and I continue to pray for all those babies. It’s a club I never wanted to join but now that I am apart of it, it feels kind of special. Logan is special and everything about his delivery was meant to be. We are so glad he is healthy and doing well. He eats like a champ and is the most beautiful, precious thing Brendan and I have ever done together. We are so in love.