History: Our first attempt ended in a MC at 6 weeks or so. They determined my wife has low progesterone levels. On attempt #2 her levels were low again, but they were looking for it this time.
This time around I had to inject her 4 times a week (two shots bi-weekly) with progesterone. These were muscle shots from a syringe with a inch and a half needle on it! Her levels never got to where they needed to be naturally so she had to continue doing these shots until 36 weeks. I did some calculations and she took 118 shots our kid! Taking 118 shots for a child you haven't even met yet = amazing.
Anyhow I?ll get on with my birth story from a Dad?s perspective. So last Monday, November 28th, my wife and I went to her last Dr appointment before she was to be induced. The doctor checked her and she was the same as she had been the past 4 weeks: 1cm, 50% effaced, and the baby was still really high. We chose an 8pm induction for the next day and went home to enjoy our last kid-free evening together.
Late that night around 12:20am she woke me up and said she thought her water just broke. There is no coffee in existence that will bring you from a dead sleep to wide awake faster than being told you wife?s water just broke! I jumped out of bed and got her a towel so she could run to the restroom and make sure it was her water. She was positive it was so we topped off our hospital bags we had packed a few weeks earlier and hopped in the car to head over to the birth center.
On the way to the birth center we decided to call the soon-to-be grandparents to let them know. This was to be the first grandchild on both sides of the family. They all said to keep them posted as much as possible.
We arrived at the birth center and got checked in. They ran the typical test to make sure it was her water that broke, which the test proved it was. They then got the IV plug started. My wife?s veins are very shy and they actually had to call in an expert to help them find a vein. The expert was awesome and got it on the first try even though I couldn?t see what he was aiming for at all!
After all that was done they gave us some bummer news. Since my wife?s blood pressure was high she was no longer low-risk and couldn?t give birth at the birth center. We were to be transferred to the hospital next door. I made a comment asking if they really get pregnant women who run normal blood pressures while in labor?? We were a little disappointed at first but once we arrived at the hospital any disappointment we had went out the window. The birth suites at the hospital were just as nice as the ones at the birth center, only larger! The only downside is after you give birth you get moved up to a postpartum room, while in the Birth Center you stay in the same room your entire time.
After a bit they came in and checked my wife. She was still at 1cm and 50%, so aside from her water breaking nothing had really changed since that morning. She was having contractions according to the computer but they were barely strong enough for her to feel them. Since the rule of thumb is to try to have the kid out within 18 hours of the water breaking they started her on pit. After about 30 minutes to an hour on pit they had to stop it. Sometimes when she had a contraction on pit the baby?s heartbeat would slow down. They thought maybe she wasn?t ready for pit yet and went with Cervidil instead. Cervidil worked like a champ and brought her from 1cm and 50% to 3cm and 80% in about 40 minutes! By this time it was about 4:30am and we were both happy that progress had finally been made.
They let her labor on her own most of the morning. My wife has a pretty high pain tolerance and said the contractions she was getting just felt like bad period cramps. During this time I discovered I am way better at "The Price is Right" then she is (it?s required that you play along while watching!) Around noon on Tuesday, now 12 hours since we headed in, they checked her again: zero progress since the Cirvidil. They thought maybe the baby might tolerate the pit better now that my wife had progressed further and wanted to try turning it back on. Before they did they suggested she go ahead and get the epidural, she agreed.
This is were it gets crazy. The anesthesiologist and a masters student come into the room to administer the epidural. The master?s student goes first, under the supervision of the anesthesiologist right next to her. She gets the needle in but cant get the catheter to go in. Next the actual anesthesiologist tries, same result. They decide to move to a different area and try again. This time they can?t even hit the spot needed to attempt the catheter. During all this my brave wife is slumped over in the required leaning-forward position, trying not to move, while dealing with contractions that are starting to go above 10 and 12 on the computer. After they try for 40 minutes they call in a doctor. It takes the doctor another 20 minutes but he finally gets it! All in all she was poked with that big nasty needle a total of 6 times in 4 different areas. Her back was bruised for days afterwards! After the anesthesiologists leave her nurse tells us she has never seen it take that long before and she?s helped deliver thousands of babies!
So now that the epidural is in they start the pic back up. She was only on pic for about an hour when two RN?s came running into the room. During a two minute contraction the baby?s heartbeat had dropped all the way down to 62bpm. At this point they turn the pic back off and let my wife try to labor naturally. We find out later why the pic was causing the heartbeat to drop.
Around 4pm they come in a check her again, still no progress. We are now approaching the 18 hour mark since her water broke. Not only that but even without the pic on some long contractions the baby?s heartbeat keeps dropping. It always returns back to 150 but it?s still scary every time it happens. All the doctors have a pow-wow and decide it would be best to go in and get him. They explain everything to my wife and I and then leave the room for us to decide. This is one of the scariest decisions I?ve ever had to help make. I tell my wife that my vote is to go ahead and do the c-section but ultimately it?s her decision and I?ll stand by whatever she chooses. She bravely chooses to put her fears about going under the knife aside and do what?s best for our son and get the c-section. This would later prove to be a life-saving correct decision!
As they prep her I get changed into scrubs. They don?t let me enter the operating room until most of it is set up. I'm stuck just outside for about 5 minutes or so.
Anyhow so they let me in and sit me on a stool right next to her head. They then put up a screen so we can?t see the operation itself. The doctor tells use she likes to have the baby out before the first song on her iPod is done and with that one of the assistants starts the music and they all go to work.
Now is when it gets really scary. If you?re still pregnant you may want to stop reading now, or at least skip down a few paragraphs.
The first song ends, but still no baby. The doctor informs us she?s going to push on Molly?s stomach to help get the baby out since he?s still really high up (station 2+). She starts pushing, mean while song number two ends. Now the anesthesiologist starts yelling out times every 10-20 seconds. The doctor asks another doctor to help her push the baby down. The clock keeps ticking. The 2nd doctor stops pushing and moves over to the shelf on the wall and unwraps a large metal L-shaped device and goes back to the operating table with it. He takes it behind the screen so I can?t tell what?s being done with it.
In the mean time the main surgeon asks the anesthesiologist to leave his station and go to the head of the table and help push the baby down. His assistant keeps yelling out times and I?m starting to get really worried. Finally after what seems like forever I hear the most beautiful sound in the world, my baby boy crying like there?s no tomorrow.
They hand him over to the baby nurse who cleans him up and runs some tests while they put my wife back together. The entire time he?s being tested he keeps screaming up a storm. She then announces he?s fine, got an 8 and a 9 on his apgars! She wraps him up and hands him over to me. Both my wife and I are crying and something weird happens. As soon as he looks at me he calms down almost instantly. He has these big wide eyes and is just staring back at me as I talk to him. I show him to my wife and he stares at her for a long time too. He never leaves my arms or makes another cry until we get back to our room.
While they are finishing up the head surgeon explains to us what happened. The reason he never dropped is because the cord was wrapped around his neck two to three times. On top of that he was also sunny-side-up. It took two full-grown men and one pretty strong looking head-surgeon woman to get the baby down and out. If my wife had decided to try for a vaginal delivery the surgeon is positive she would have ended up with an emergency c-section.
As you can imagine recovery was pretty rough. We didn?t head home until 3 days later. My son is perfect in every way though and I can?t thank my wife enough!