Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Story.

Watch out, it's birth story time and therefore the longest post in the history of my life. It's way too detailed but I want to remember all of it, so get over it, or don't read it. Where to even begin? My experience ended up being so different than I ever expected. I had been told by my doctor that I had a "prominent pubic bone" which can make it difficult for the baby to fit through and unless my bones shifted I would most likely be delivering via c section. I found this out toward the end of my pregnancy and was so bummed, but was still optimistic that I would be able to deliver vaginally. I worked hard my entire pregnancy to stay fit and continue to exercise regularly. I had done tons of research about pregnancy and exercise and how it helps you recover so much quicker and makes for a quicker and easier delivery. Some days I didn't want to work out so bad, but that promise of a big pay off would motivate me. I did everything I could to try encourage my bones to shift, so many squats and lunges. At my final appointment my doctor was optimistic too. She said that things didn't feel great, but she had felt worse and had success with them. I was a week overdue and no signs of labor so she decided it was best to induce. I was a little disappointed that my body hadn't figured it out on it's own, but so ready to meet homegirl.

They told me to call at 6 pm on Thursday night and the nurses would tell me when to come. When I called they said they were super busy and it would be a long time before they were ready for me. Finally at 2:30 am they called and said I could come in. Nate and I were so sleepy and the excitement had kinda worn off, but we got dressed and drove to the hospital. They told me to eat something because I wouldn't get to eat during labor and it would most likely be a LONG time so I choked down a piece of toast on the way there. 

Once I got there they said they just wanted to insert a cervix softener to begin with and once things were softened up they would start pitocin. I was told that the softener can take up to 10 hours to do anything and to "try and get some sleep". I understand why they think it's a good idea to get sleep, but seriously, sleep is not going to happen. Aside from the pain, the anticipation of it all = not a wink of sleeping. After about 30 minutes I was starting to feel contractions, they were manageable, but definitely weren't lulling me to sleep. Nate tried to sleep but as the contractions got stronger, he came to my rescue and stayed by my side the rest the time. The nurse came in surprised and excited that I was contracting and checked my progress. I was already at a 2 (I say already because prior to coming in, I was a 0.00). The night went on and the contractions were getting intense, they gave me some pain meds because the anesthesiologist was busy and couldn't get to me for a while. By the time I got the epidural, I was at a 4. The epidural was a dream and I loved the anesthesiologist so much. I watched the contractions on the machine and they huge, going off the charts and I was barely feeling them. 

The nurse came in a short time later and found out I was at an 8. The nurses were all so surprised how quickly my body progressing and that they hadn't even used any pitocin yet. Maybe my body can do this child birth thing. I was starting to feed off their excitement and feeling so proud of my body. I thought all that hard work had paid off and I would be able to deliver vaginally and beat the odds!

The nurses stopped checking on me after that for some reason (I thought 8 was an impressive number, but apparently not). By this time, my mom had made it to the hospital and went to fetch a nurse. They came in and said, "Oh, you're a ten" We can start pushing now. It was so anti-climatic, I didn't really believe her. It had only taken about 7-8 hours to progress from a 0 to a 10, so I was so surprised when it was already time to push. I pushed and pushed for a good 2+ hours. The doctor came in and assessed the situation, she said she'd give a little more time, but if the baby didn't descend more, she'd do a c-section. I was sure I had it. The pushing had been hard, but I could keep going, I still had energy and was feeling pretty good. I pushed so hard. I was in control and if I just pushed hard enough I could avoid a c-section. 

The doctor came back in and casually said, "It's not gonna happen, we need to do a c section". I. lost. it. But what about my awesome progress? I thought my body was finally ready. They didn't even have to use pitocin! All the excitement and hope that had been building during labor came crashing down. The possibility of a c-section was made clear to me many times, but I never thought it would actually have to happen, because I was doing everything I could to avoid it. I felt so helpless. As I laid there bawling, I looked over to see that Nate and my sweet mom weren't taking the news too well either.

The anesthesiologist came in and pumped me full of SO many drugs, they transferred me to a different bed and rolled me into the OR. It's a scary feeling being wheeled into surgery. My body was SO numb. I realized at this point that I could have been feeling a lot less pain during the pushing sesh, and maybe should have upped my epidural dosage. They plopped me onto the operating table and started introducing me to fifty different people. The room filled up with a million busy bodies and before I knew it the doctor was telling me that she was cutting me open. C-sections are insane. They take out body parts, and slice through your stomach muscles. It's a pretty traumatic/gory experience. Once they had reached the baby, the doc told me she was stuck in there real good. I had pushed so hard that she got wedged in. She had to tug and tug to get her out. I felt her push up against me to get leverage. I couldn't feel anything besides my head really, but I could tell I was being jostled quite violently as two doctors tried to pry her out.

Finally, at 3:29 PM she came out and I heard her adorable little cry. It was the most beautiful sound in the world. I tried to see her, but the nurses were blocking my view. A few seconds after they got her out I started getting really sick, and I couldn't even think about my baby anymore. I started freaking and started gagging and dry heaving and the anesthesiologist was right there pumping me full of something to take away the nausea. A few seconds after that came the hyperventilating, I could not breath and felt like I was gonna die. Again, my good buddy was there pumping in something to relax me. I finally felt okay enough to look over and see me beautiful little girl. Finally, I got to hold her. She was perfect. She had a red mark on her face from being wedged in my bones for so long.

All the doctors agreed that there was no way she could have fit. If I had given birth back in the day, me and baby most likely would have died. She was only 6 pounds and had a tiny little head and she still couldn't fit. This means the rest of my births will have to be c-sections, terrible terrible news.

I got to hold her for a little while in the recovery room and breastfeed for a minute. It was great, but I was so drugged that I was kinda out of it. I had also started getting the shakes and couldn't hold her very well. The entire rest of the day and night I had quite violent body shakes, they were exhausting.

Sloane Kay Christiansen. 
6 lbs 3 oz. 19 in.

The next few days were some of the worst of my life. I was exhausted, but couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep. My body hurt and I couldn't get out of bed. I have never been so immobile or unable to function in my life, and I had a baby to keep alive. I was pretty emotional because of the whole ordeal and felt so defeated. When the nurse came in the next day to take out the catheter I bawled and begged her to keep it in. She looked at me like I was crazy and said she would give me a couple more hours. I couldn't imagine getting out of bed, let alone getting out multiple times to go to the bathroom. I had no appetite but was so hungry. The nurses told me I shouldn't eat anything more than chicken broth for a little while because my system was going to be screwed up for a while. Another weird thing that happens with c-sections is you get extremely painful gas. Air gets trapped inside you when you're all opened up to the world and then closed back up. And since you aren't moving it doesn't really get worked out, it just sits and causes so so much pain.

The nurse came in and took out my catheter and told me to tell her when I was ready to go to the bathroom. Getting up for the first time was terrible. I cried and cried partly because it was so painful and partly because I felt completely hopeless and felt like I would never be "normal" again. Progress was so slow. It was probably the most hopeless I've ever felt.

I was forced to get up and walk the halls. I couldn't stand up straight because it tugged on my incision and hurt too bad, so I had to walk around hunched over. My legs were super weak and shaky. Needless to say I was quite the sight to see walking those hallways. I think the hardest part was seeing the other women who were all recovering from a vaginal delivery. They looked so normal and great. They were up and walking around in normal clothes and holding their babies. I cried when I got back to my room because I was so jealous and angry. It felt like I would never be back to normal.

Nate was so great the whole time. Every time I had a break down, he was there telling me how proud he was and how awesome I was doing. He had some amazing pep talks that usually just made me more emotional because they were so nice. I tried so hard to find things to be grateful for which was really hard but once I switched my focus, I realized how pessimistic and ungrateful I was being. Even though I still had some breakdowns and dark times, I was able to (mostly) focus on the positive. Most importantly my baby girl was safe and healthy. I found myself saying prayers of thanks for my C-section, which seemed insane. Because of modern medicine and (gruesome) c-sections I am able to be a mom and have a family, which would not have been possible years ago. Things could have been so much worse and I am so thankful for my birth experience.

Congratulations if you made it through that dramatic pity party. Here is your reward, the cutest baby.

Motherhood is rocking my world. I love this little babe so bad. She was worth all the terror of pregnancy and birth.