Birth Stories

Otto James' birth

My beautiful little boy just turned 11 months and I am fairly sure I will weep the next entire month until his birthday. I've been reminiscing and thought I would share. It's not the most reassuring story for anyone who is anxious, but it is our story. 

A bit of background. I developed gestational hypertension in the third trimester. As the weeks went on my pressure kept creeping up. I was on limited activity and then modified bed rest starting at 32 weeks. 

At 36 weeks 2 of the doc's in my group were ready to induce, the other two weren't. I was sent to the hospital for an NST and monitored for a few hours because I started having contractions. I was having real and strong contractions 4 min apart. Because I was not yet 37 weeks the doc (one of the two who were against inducing) said to go home because they couldn't do anything to promote labor (basically because I was just a liability to him) but wouldn't stop it either and come back if they continue. They fizzled out that night. 

Halloween day I got my only 'nesting' energy burst. It lasted 2 hours. I ran around cleaning and picking up. I needed to go to the bathroom and when I did I heard/felt a pop! I was SO excited and even though I was 2 days shy of 37 weeks I knew it was time for him to come out. I called L&D and they said come in. I called my DH at work and told him to come home so we could go to the hospital. I took a nice leisurely shower. When DH got home he was like "would you hurry up?!" :) I started having contractions just before we left. 

After we were admitted they determined I had a slow leak of fluid. My water hadn't fully broken yet. My contractions of course fizzled again. The doc (one of the good ones and he actually delivered me!) said if they didn't start back up again they would start pitocin at 4am. I started having mild contractions but they went ahead and started it anyway. Yuck. But it got 'em going!

By noon I was 6 cm and ready for my epidural. After I had several blissful hours of numbness! By 6pm I was fully dilated and they wanted me to 'labor down' for another hour and a half. I was careful not to keep hitting my epi button because I didn't want to over numb. I could move my legs a little but was generally not in pain. At 9pm they finally were ready for me to start pushing. (Many many weeks earlier when we all guessed when I would deliver I guessed Nov. 1 at 9:00pm so I was only off by 4 hours and 32 min!) 

After pushing for an hour I had made zero progress. The other 'good' doc was in and she kept cheering me on and saying I'd be able to get him out! (He measured big for 37 weeks.) After the second hour of pushing I had made zero progress. I was getting really tired. Doc said keep going for another 30 min. She came back in, and nothing. No progress. Finally one of the nurses asked if she noticed blah (I didn't catch the phrase she used) and doc said yes. Then they told me his head was turned to the side some and combined with the fact that his was huge it was really going to be nearly impossible for me to push him out. She stayed in with me for the last 30 min of pushing. I was done. He hadn't moved. I couldn't push any more and the topper, my epidural had completely worn off. I mean GONE. I was in such extreme pain. I was that chick from the movies crying and swearing and writhing in pain. Doc said okay time for a c-section. (Baby was just fine this whole time though.)

I was never afraid of having a c-section, and I was so exhausted so it was fine with me. They wheeled me in and prepped me. DH came in and held my hand. Then I felt doc pinch across my belly... I told her I could feel it. They pumped more drugs into my epi and we waited a few minutes and tried again. Pinch, pinch, pinch... That's when I began to freak out. I had had my epidural too long and it was no longer going to be effective. The doctor said she was so sorry but they were going to have to put me under. I kissed DH and told him to stay with the baby and that was it. 

My first memory in recovery was my DH bringing Otto over to me. I can't even describe the explosion of emotion I felt. DH put him in my arms and I very clearly remember saying "Is this him?" LOL. DH laughed. I asked if he thought the name Otto was his name. It was. I nursed him for the first time while still in recovery. Then we introduced him to my parents when we got to our room. 

The next few days in the hospital were hard. He had to be under a bili-light for over 24 hours. I couldn't stand not holding my baby and no one told me/it never dawned on me to hold him in bed with me and wheel the light up over us. It also made knowing when to nurse him difficult. There were some very helpful nurses, and others that were not. But we made it through and made it home. I feel like I blinked and now he's 11 months old. 

Otto James was born at 1:32am November 2. He was 7lbs even and 19 1/2 inches long. His big toes looked like thumbs and I love every single little red hair on his perfect little (big) head.

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