Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dylan's Birth Story

At 23 weeks and a day, Friday September 21st, I drove about 20 minutes from my house to meet my BFF (also pregnant) for dinner.  I had been feel bad all week and even went in the day before to do a urinalysis to see if I had a UTI.  But on Friday, I felt so much better.

I went to the bathroom before going to the hostess stand and found that I was bleeding, bright red, kind of a lot.  I had the worst sinking feeling in my stomach and started to freak out.  I first called the hospital...they agreed that I should come in.  Then, I flagged down my friend as she approached the restaurant...crying.

While she was driving me to the hospital, I started to feel contraction, not painful, just lower abdominal tightening.  At this point I seriously thought that I had miscarried.

I had no idea where to go when I got to the hospital.  The signs to Labor & Delivery are not very clear.  So I wandered around while bleeding and crying until another pregnant lady took pity on me and found a nurse who took me to Triage.

When the doctor did an ultrasound, we immediate heard a heartbeat and saw movement.  At that point I felt like everything was fine and that I'd be able to go home.

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The next 2 weeks and 2 days were a mix of bleeding, contractions, really intense contractions, baby monitoring, blood draws, IVs, pretty decent hospital food (lucky!), family and friend visits, Game of Thrones (read Book 3, watched season 1), Magnesium, Terbutaline, Antibiotics, Steriod Shots, constant beeping, and lots of nurses, doctors, and a social worker.

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On October 4 or 5 (25 weeks), my water broke.  I wasn't doing anything.  I had just gone to the bathroom and I was sitting or laying in bed.  I felt a little gush, not a lot, and then more a little later.  It was determined that I probably had a "high leak" since my water never fully emptied.

After confirming the water break as best as possible, the doctor discontinued the Magnesium at 2pm on Saturday, October 6th due to the risk of infection (or maybe it was 10am).  By 6:00pm, I was asking for something for the pain.  My contractions were at an 8 out of 10 for me.  They gave me morphine twice.  We were still hoping at this point that I would not go into labor.

By midnight, the pain was still extremely intense and they didn't want to continue morphine if I was indeed going into labor so they checked my cervix to see if I was dilated so that I could get an epidural.  I was 3cm and the epidural was in by 12:45am.

My mom was already staying with me so we called Mr. GG to tell him he better come too.  It was really cute watching my mom and my husband in sleep chairs next to each other. : )

(A note about contractions:  Over the two weeks, I never stopped contracting, even on Magnesium.  My contractions ranged from 3 an hour to about 11 - you're supposed to go in if you have over 6 in an hour.  Most of the contraction I could feel, but they weren't painful.  I just felt tightening either at the top or the bottom of my uterus, sometimes the entire thing.  The weekend before labor, the contractions were extremely painful - to the point that I would have to breathe through them.  They were one level below crying.  This is how the labor contraction felt too (until the wonderful epidural).)

So anyway, I slept great all night.  In the morning my sister showed up and because we thought it would be a long time, my mom and sister went to take my dog to my sister's house and get breakfast (which I wasn't allowed to eat.  They starved me off and on during the last couple of days.)  Sometime after 8:00, probably 8:45, they decided to check me.  Lo and behold, I was 8cm!  I didn't need to be fully dilated to deliver my little guy, so this was a big deal.  Within the next 5 minutes, I felt the baby drop - it was like a "whoosh" and I felt the pressure they always talk about.

It was time.  Doctors were already in the room and they had me start pushing.  They weren't able to keep his heart rate on the monitor, so they clipped something to his scalp instead.  They still couldn't get a good rate (to see whether or not he was in distress and needed a C-section), so they decided to move me to the OR just in case.

Pushing was different than I thought it would be.  It was difficult to push in the right spot.  During each contraction I probably pushed about 4 times.  He was crowing after the second push.  He was out by the 3rd or 4th.  I could feel a lot, even with the epidural.  It was not comfortable in the slightest, but I could handle it.  I also had a ton of pain in my hip even before the epidural.  I guess it didn't get to everywhere it should, but I didn't know that it was wrong until he came out.  The second he came out, all of the pain vanished.  It was an amazing relief.

I don't really remember exactly what happened right after.  I know the NICU team was working on Dylan. I could hear him cry and make little sounds while they worked on him.  I found out later that Dad got to cut his cord.  They also brought him over to me before taking him to the NICU and I got to touch his face.  (He was that stable which was awesome.

Then I had to deliver the placenta.  The doctor pushed on my abdomen hard while having me try to push the placenta out.  We tried for awhile, but it would not budge so she had to do a D&C to get it out.  The anesthesiologist gave me a C-section dose of meds in my epidural and I slept like a baby during the procedure which took about 30 minutes.  I was awake and back in my room shortly after.

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The weirdest thing about the recovery is that I was freezing and shaking for about an hour afterwards.  I had at least 3 blankets on me, but I was still violently shaking.  I felt fine though.  For my first meal, I had my mom go and get Einstein's (bagels).  It was amazing.

Dad went with Dylan to the NICU, but I wasn't allowed to go until I could walk.  Feeling came back pretty quickly and I was moved over to the post-partum side.  We had some guests both before and during the move so we didn't get to go to the NICU until around 2:00 I think.  If I had my way, I would have not allowed any visitors until the next day (except my immediate family).  It was too much.

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Although I was prepared for a C-section, I felt really lucky to be able to have a vaginal delivery.  It made recovery and the ability to see Dylan much easier which was helpful.

I never got to the point where I was even thinking about birth.  Even while I was in the hospital I didn't consider it since I was working on keeping the baby inside.  One thing I know from my experience and others is that it rarely goes how you want it to.  It's really only the end that matters...


  1. Awesome birth story. Dead-on that it rarely goes how you want it to--or expect it to! My V-deliveries were much easier than C-section. I was lucky enough to have doctors that let me try VBAC, and it worked. It was pretty awesome to feel all of those sensations, uncomfortable though they might be. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Very true. I'm happy you got your vaginal delivery - a little less physical recovery for you, so you could focus on getting well & being there for D!

  3. Wow. Thank you for telling your story. I've been thinking of you and your family.

  4. You are such a warrior for having gone through all of that. Baby Dylan is very lucky to have you as a mother!

  5. Thanks for sharing your story!

  6. Your strength continually astounds me! I know you're probably sick of hearing that kind of thing, but I really mean it. Hugs!

  7. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so glad it had a happy ending and that things are continuing to go well.