This is the birth story for my son Corbyn and how with the miracle of Skype, his Daddy was able to be there even while he's 7,000 miles away protecting us and keeping our country safe.
I'm 26 years old and this was my first pregnancy. My husband and I have been together for 11 years and married for almost 4. He joined the military in the summer of 2011 and left for basic training that fall. We had planned on starting a family when he came home in March of 2012 but were handed a different destiny when after being home for less than two weeks he found out that he would be deploying later that summer. We had to decide whether to try anyway or to wait until he came home. Being that I'm posting a birth story, you can tell that we didn't wait.
I found out that I was pregnant when I woke up the morning of July 18 and did not have any cramping from my period which was due on the 20th. I didn't even need to take a test to know for sure as my cramps had never skipped a period in the 10 years I'd been having them. I was 3 weeks and 6 days pregnant. My husband deployed 6 days later - and still hasn't come home yet.
On the morning of my 38.5 week doctor's appointment they told me that my cervix was still closed but was very soft and that based on how quickly it had softened since my last appointment 4 days prior, they did not think I would make it to 40 weeks. I was told to make sure that I had my bag packed and was ready to go. Later that day I lost my mucous plug (grossest thing ever, btw) and called my doctor to let them know and that I thought I was feeling contractions.
I went back into the doctor's office and they checked me again. "Yes, those are contractions and No, you definitely are not going to make it to 40 weeks. How about we induce you on Thursday at 39 weeks instead?" (They knew that my husband was deployed and that I needed advance notice of my labor if possible so he could get time off from work)
Thursday morning I headed into the hospital to be induced. My appointment was at 6:30 AM.
6:31 AM - Husband messages on Facebook asking if I'm in the hospital yet. Respond that we're in registration.
6:39 AM - Husband messages on Facebook asking where we are now. Respond with "In the elevator"... Asks if we can skype yet (LOL) Reiterate that we're IN THE ELEVATOR.
6:45 AM - Husband messages on Facebook asking why we aren't on Skype yet and that he's getting excited and nervous. Respond that his mother just pulled into the parking lot with the laptop for Skype.
7:13 AM - My doctor comes in to break my water. We discover that not only is the doctor who delivered me going to be delivering my son (which we knew) but that I will deliver my son in the EXACT room that I was born in.
8:05 AM - Pitocin administered and contractions begin (They had stopped late in the day after my appointment earlier that week)
My plan had been to have a natural birth if I could since I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. Everything was going smoothly for the first few hours. They would come in to check how baby and I were doing every so often and see if I needed anything. My husband was more anxious than I was I think. He saw all the equipment in the background (the stuff they use in case something goes wrong) and was worried that I was hooked up to "all those machines."
My stepmom was watching the monitors and each time I had a contraction and was breathing through it she would tell me that it measured at a 20 or 25 or whatever. I was able to make it until about 1:30 PM just breathing through the contractions. My family tells me that at one point I actually matched my breathing to my husband's during a particularly painful one.
The next time the nurse checked me I was 6cm dilated. I still had time to make a choice if I wanted an epidural or not and I said I was still OK going natural. Well, not 20 minutes later I started feeling this grating bone on bone pain that was unlike anything I've ever felt in my life. They tell me that I screamed (even though I don't remember that part) and the nurse came back in. She checked me again and told me that my cervix had this tiny little lip on the right side and that the baby's shoulders were too wide to get through so he was stuck. The pain I was feeling was him trying to get around that lip and his shoulder bone was grating against my pelvic bone. That pain was too much and that's when I basically begged for the drugs.
The anesthesiologist was called and came to administer the epidural. I was hardly able to sit still long enough for him to get the needle in because sitting up caused his shoulders to push even harder on my bones during a contraction. I finally got the epidural and they told me it would take 15 minutes to kick in. I was told to expect my legs to go numb and that I would still feel pressure but that all pain should vanish. Not the case.
After 15 minutes I could feel my legs in that pins/needles state as if they were asleep, but I was unable to lift or move them. All the pressure was gone off my back and I couldn't feel the contractions anymore, but I still felt every last bit of his bone grating on mine. At this point I was 8 cm dilated (9 with a contraction) and I was out of time. If they were going to do anything else, it had to be done NOW.
All through this my husband was so concerned and frustrated that there wasn't anything he could do for me. He kept asking if I was OK and if I needed more pain meds and "Can't anybody do anything for her?"
The anesthesiologist came back in and told me I was out of time so they couldn't increase the pain meds in the normal way little by little. I had to have the max dose given now, or deal with the pain. I took the max dose. Oh, and boy oh boy... Once that kicked in, I didn't feel a blessed thing. No pain, no pressure, nothing. My mom said that my color returned, I became so much more pleasant, and I was even checking my Facebook and texting updates.
2:45 pm - Time to push
The nurse told me it was time to push and I told her she needed to call my doctor because I was not having this baby without him here. She assured me that he would make it in time because this is the part that could take a while. She just wanted to see how it would progress once I started pushing, so I did. That's when it happened.
I had a contraction, I pushed, I felt as if my eyeballs were going to pop out of my head, and the nurse looked at the machine as it started beeping frantically. At the exact moment I was pushing, my son's heartbeat (which had been about 130-150 all day) dropped to 70. I was told to stop pushing, and his heartbeat recovered and climbed back up. After a minute or two she said to push again. Again, his heartbeat dropped down in the 60-70 range. She went and called the doctor.
I was asked to push one more time before the doctor got there and this time his heartbeat dropped to 50. So the nurse told me whatever I do, DON"T push. Of course, this sent my husband to freaking out and he did the only thing he could think of to calm down... he started cleaning his weapons. LOL Over Skype. The nurse looks up at the screen and there he is taking apart his assault rifle. I probably would have been freaking out too if I wasn't so high from the drugs. It just seemed at the time as if everything was going to work out and there was no reason for me to panic.... which was probably a good thing as I'm sure that would have made things worse.
3:25 - My doctor arrives and is filled in by the nurse on what happens when I push. He asks me how I'm doing and if I'm OK. Reassuring me that everything is going to be OK and that he's going to make sure this baby comes out OK and for me not to worry or stress myself out. I tell him that I trust him 100% and I know he will do a great job since he did a pretty fantastic job delivering me.
My doctor asks me to push just one more time so he can see for himself just what is going on. So I push (really thought my eyes were popping out on this one) and the baby's heartbeat dropped to 25. That did get through to me that it was really low and I started to panic a bit because it was taking a really long time for him to recover this time. It took about 15 minutes for the baby's heartbeat to climb all the way back up to the 120 range. I thought for sure they were going to tell me that I had to have a C-section. And I was pretty sure my husband was going to pass out. I had to coach him to breathe until he regained some of his color.
I can't even imagine what he must have been going through to watch all of this on Skype and not be able to do a thing to help me or the baby. I'm sure he will come home with some grey hair because of it.
It was at this point that my doctor told me he was going to use a suction thing to get the baby out since he didn't like it when I pushed and his head got squeezed. He warned me that because it was going to be quick that I wasn't going to have time to stretch and most likely I would tear and need stitches. At this point, he could have told me that he had to amputate my leg to get the baby out safely and I'd have been OK with it.
4:48 PM - Time for one last push. 15 seconds later it was all over with and there was a baby on my chest. He weighed in at 8 lb 0 oz and was 19.5 inches long. Absolute perfection and I just couldn't believe that he was here and it was finally over with.