Monday, November 5, 2012

Reagan's Birth Story

Reagan's journey from the womb to the world was simultaneously everything I thought it would be and nothing like I thought it would be. We knew going into the delivery room on October 26 that we should be ready to expect the unexpected, and well...that's exactly what we got.

Our day started completely off-kilter, with our scheduled induction being pushed back nearly four hours at the very last minute. We were called in the wee hours of the morning and told that it would probably be mid-afternoon before we would get to begin the induction process. So our long awaited plans were altered, only to be changed again when we were caught off guard mid-morning by a "Can you be here at 11:00?"

Eric and I began scrambling to get all of our last minute things together and to get the girls off to my parent's house where they would be spending the night. When we finally got to the hospital it was almost noon, haha. Late to our own induction.

We stepped through our hospital room door and were greeted by a familiar scene - the same similar bright and cheery set up that we had visited twice before in the last three years. I received the awesome gown that I would be donning for the day, got myself cozy in bed, and we waited to meet the nurse who would be taking care of me during delivery.

Our room...and me blogging, probably. :)

I hesitate to say anything negative about the nurse who began our day with us, because I've always received wonderful care at St. Luke's. But when our first nurse walked into the room Eric and I exchanged glances, if ya know what I mean. She walked in sniffling, wasn't super warm or friendly at first, and to be honest...she didn't seem to know what she was doing. In reality, it was a crazy day on the maternity floor and everyone was scrambling, but at the time I was thinking, "Can I get someone else, please?"

Then there was the construction happening on the floor above our room. It sounded like a jackhammer was going off every ten minutes, and I wasn't too keen on the idea that I'd be pushing my baby out to the lovely sounds of remodeling above my head. Luckily the crew was done for the day well before Reagan arrived.

After our first setbacks though, things began to smooth out and life was pretty grand. I called for my epidural fairly early in the process, and it looked like things were going to be quick and easy, just like they were the last time. Eric is such a wonderful and supportive partner during times like these, and he held my hands tightly during what should have been the worst pain I would feel all day. A little bit of pain now for a whole lot of comfort later.

The resident doctor came in to break my water, and boy was there a lot of it! Haha. Because of my first two experiences we knew that it wouldn't take long at all for our baby to arrive after my water was broken, and so we made all of the calls to our family to let them know they could start heading in our direction any time. This was it! We were going to meet our son very very soon!

Somewhere in between chatting and blogging and tv watching, I began noticing a lot more pressure than usual during contractions. When I mentioned it to my nurse she pressed on my stomach and said, "Oh, that's because you have a full bladder. That's what you're feeling the pressure from." Which I thought was odd, because I purposely hadn't drank that much before going in, and I made sure to use the bathroom before I was hooked up to a million wires. But I didn't think much of it.

And then the pain started getting worse. I kept mentioning it, and hearing over and over again, "We can take away the crampy feelings, but we can't take away the pressure." I knew this, having done this thing a time or two myself, and I knew that something wasn't right. The pain continued to mount to the point that my nurse decided to test me by giving me a pinch where I shouldn't be able to feel it...and guess what...did I ever feel it. Finally I saw her expression change, and she realized that I wasn't just epidural wasn't working.

My contractions continued to get stronger and closer together, and I was reliving my experience with Evelyn all over again. I felt every single ounce of pain from those contractions, even though I had already endured an epidural. The anesthesiologist was called back in, and she gave me a second dose of medicine. I felt the cold liquid go into my back and prayed that it would do the trick.

But by now the pain was unbearable. All I could do was hold onto the bed rails for dear life as tears streamed down my face. I seriously could not control the crying, even though I felt like the biggest goober. The staff must have thought I was nuts, because in between contractions I was laughing at myself for crying, and then seconds later I would be sobbing again. It was as if my body was saying, we have to release this pain somehow and tears are the only way we can do it.

The anesthesiologist waited in the room for the medicine to kick in, watching every contraction and asking if they were getting better. They never did. And Reagan was coming...I could feel him coming...and it was time to push. My doctor was called in, and it was go-time, epidural or not. And that, my friends, is the reason that Reagan was pushed out so quickly, haha. I was pushing through the pain like I had never pushed before. Apparently labor without pain relievers hurts. Who knew? :)

When they placed Reagan on my chest for the first time, tears of pain were replaced with tears of joy. I loved him, so much, from the very beginning. He was beautiful, and I felt an instant bond with him that I can't explain. Looking into the face of my son was like looking into the face of a long-lost friend. We were just meeting, but I felt like I had known him my entire life. This was what we had been waiting for - and he was so worth the wait. (I'm still totally enamored by him. I guess there really is something special between a mom and her son!)

I wish I could say it was all rainbows and daises from then on out, but that wasn't the case. With the girls I was always very alert and aware when they were cleaning and weighing and taking footprints of my babies. But this time I was distracted by the searing pain of feeling stitches and having to receive local anesthetic to take the edge off. I was basically told that it was going to suck either way, but my doctor recommended the shots over feeling the stitches. Yep. Glamourous.

Once the doctor was done and Reagan was wrapped up like a tight little burrito, I was finally able to rest and relax. I knew that my girls would be coming to see their brother soon, and I was excited for them to fall in love with him just as we had. Through all of the smiles and laughter and memories, I will never forget how absolutely exhausted I was that night. I was honestly super groggy while family was visiting. My body had experienced every up and down possible that day, both physically and emotionally. I was drained from crying so much. I don't think I had ever slept so well in a hospital bed as I did that night!

Reagan was definitely the hardest delivery of all of my children, and one more reason why I'm glad I cannot see into the future. Our experience went from happy-go-lucky to super serious in almost an instant. Had I known that I would essentially have a natural labor with him, I would have been a nervous wreck. Yes. I am glad that it took us by surprise. And now we beg the question, "If you receive an epidural and it doesn't work, does that mean you still have to pay for it?" Haha.

No, but seriously.

The rest of our hospital stay was just fine, and I was glad for some time to rest and bond with my baby some more before being thrown back into the hectic life of toddlers at home. Reagan was a champion eater from the very beginning, and the kid fills diapers as fast as he eats! He was and is perfectly healthy, which is a HUGE answer to our prayers. I feel so fortunate to have three healthy babies.

As for me, I am once again defying the norm. I was told my recovery with number three would be the hardest yet, but it's been the easiest so far. (Recovery has gotten progressively easier and faster for me with each child.) I think I shock the nurses in the hospital when I don't take the pain medication that they offer. And I never need their prescriptions when I leave, either.

Reagan's birth story is definitely not what I expected it to be. It was better at times, and it was definitely worse at times. But like every child's story, it was unique. Every baby makes their debut into the world in such a different way. Yet they are all little miracles, aren't they? :)

Nothing could have prepared me for what life would be like coming home and having three children to take care of...for Eric and I to be outnumbered. But that's another post for another day. :) Babies are no joke - they are hard work. But they are the best work. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. For Reagan. For my son. I love him so much.


Heather said...

Dang girl. I had to cross my legs while I was reading this! Glad you are all happy and healthy!

Cassie said...

i love these birth stories. you explain them SO well. like i'm there.
no joke - you are woman hear you roar doing that thing with no pain meds! ow ow ow.
boys are honestly the best. he will be your buddy and everything more!

Christine Pettijohn said...

Ouch! This post had me in tears just about. Happy you and Reagan are happy and recovering good.

Jami said...

Well, you know my outlook, and I gotta say I'm thrilled for you! Great job! If that happens again next time get a doula - it may sound crazy but those girls are like verbal drugs, it's amazing what they know how to do to help you get through the pain, and convert it into power and strength. You just did the job you were meant to do as a woman and you succeeded beautifully it sounds like! I'm proud of you! And Reagan really IS beautiful :)

Adrien said...

Haha, I wouldn't have planned it that way for sure, but I'm definitely proud to say that I did it. (Glad it's over!)

Meagan said...

I know how you feel, when I was in labor with Keegan my epidural kept wearing off! I was also clenching onto the bed rails crying, don't feel like a goober either because that is some serious pain!! I didn't have to deal with the pain of actually pushing him out though, thank God, so I give you major props for that!!

sblind2 said...

oh my gosh ... you're one brave momma! What was the girls reaction?? I know one of them had to have said something hilarious when they saw him for the first time!

Anonymous said...

LOL, yes- the construction! It was going on in September when we had our baby! I also had a nurse I wasn't crazy about (she just wasn't very friendly or helpful!). The rest of the staff was great though!! Of course, our doctor (Dr. M) was awesome and hilarious at times which was much appreciated! :)


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