My Birth Story

December 2nd, 2010
Christina

My Birth Story:

After months of sleepless nights, dirty diapers, new parent challenges, and many firsts, I’m finally taking a moment to update this blog and write about my birth story and the weeks/months that followed…

I’m not going to lie and say it felt great to be pregnant. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was extremely uncomfortable and as we were coming into the summer months, I dreaded it even more knowing the Miami heat was going to make it even more unbearable. By the 34th week, I was ready to have my body back and all the things I took for granted while not being pregnant, like bending down to put on my shoes or sleeping on my back. As my belly grew bigger, picking out clothes in the morning became such an ordeal and I refused to buy to many maternity clothes knowing that I would no longer be wearing them after I delivered Jack. The days dragged at work too, I would walk around the office ever so often just to kill a few minutes in the day. I couldn’t sleep, I had terrible acid reflux and had to use the bathroom every 30 mins. How can any woman say they “love” being pregnant?! From the moment I woke up in the morning, I longed for the couch in the evenings where I could take the pressure off my legs/feet and relax while I tickled my belly in hopes that Jack would be awake to kick back (this must be the part we all love).
Around the 34th week, I also began to experience an intense itching all over my body. I would have to say, this was the worse symptom that I experienced. There was no way of escaping it, and after trying all kinds of over-the-counter remedies, I could not get any relief. The itching would keep me up at night as I rubbed my hands and feet raw. At my 36 week appointment, I complained to my doctor about it and out of concern, she ran some blood tests. Two days later, I received a call from her stating that I had a condition called Cholestasis. This happens to be a liver disease caused by pregnancy hormones that slow the flow of bile in the gallbladder. As such, this causes a build up of bile acids in the liver which can spill into the bloodstream and become toxic to the baby. Due to the high risk of fetal distress, she wanted to induce me that night! It took me a few minutes to get over the initial shock that I’d be meeting Jack the next day. All these thoughts started pulsing through my head. I didn’t have anything ready for the baby, nor had I finished my baby classes, or picked out a pediatrician, or nested! How can I be having this baby 4 weeks early?
Needless to say, I didn’t expect it to go down like this. I never really put much thought into it, but I was always wondering if I would really know I was in labor once my body decided it was time. That evening, I met up with Frank back at the house, took a shower, packed a bag and headed to the hospital. From this point forward, it is all somewhat of a blur due to the hunger and exhaustion. I had no idea they would cut me off from liquids and food once you get there UNTIL after you deliver your baby. How do they expect a woman to give birth on an empty stomach?? I remember while I was in labor being extremely thirsty, crying out for something to drink. I would have given anything to have a few sips of some cola and have used the caffeine boost.
Thursday night, after we checked into the hospital, the nurse administered a drug to open my cervix. They stressed that I should try and get my rest, but how could anyone sleep in a hospital when you have nurses coming in every 30 mins, the blood pressure cuff going off every so often, and the fetal heart/contraction monitors bothering my already itchy skin. It was the worse night of my entire pregnancy!! I couldn’t use the bathroom for 3 hrs after they inserted the Cervadil, yet they had the IVs running fluids through my body. Getting up to use the bathroom was a mission as well, when you had to unhook from everything and drag the IV bags with you. By 5:00am the next morning and no sleep, I began to feel mild cramps. Around 6 something, my water broke. At that point, they kicked my labor in gear with Pitocin. By10:00am, I was really feeling the contractions and just when I thought the last one was the worse, the next one would come with more intensity than the last. I was all for a pain-less delivery and asked for the epidural at this time. When they checked me, I believe I was 4 centimeters dilated. The epidural worked for maybe a good 45 mins until I started to feel intense pain in my back. They keep flipping me from side to side, but I would only get some relief. I managed to progress quickly and hit 10 centimeters before noon. It seemed like smooth sailing, or so we thought until I started pushing. Once the Dr decided it was time for me to start pushing, the vibe in the room totally changed and the room started to filled with all these unfamiliar faces. Since Jack was considered a ‘preemie’ at 36 weeks, Neonatolgist specialists (and their students) needed to be present for the delivery. At one point, I opened my eyes and there had to of been at least 10 people in the room, watching me at my most unflattering time. This was not comforting to me at all, especially when they ALL were telling me what to do. It was driving me crazy instead of putting me at ease.

Anyway, going back to the pushing. I pushed for a good 15 mins, 30 mins, 45 mins and NADA. I just couldn’t get Jack out. After about 50 mins of failed attempts, my Dr decided to completely stop the epidural and let me ‘suffer’ while resting for a bit, before we continued. The PAIN, the PAIN!! It was the worse pain I’ve experienced, like knives were being dug into my lower back. After 2 hours of tiring pain-full labor, Jack was finally born weighing 5 lbs, 13 oz. They let me hold him for maybe 1 min before they whisked him away to the NICU. At that moment, I thought to myself, I would do it all over again, just to hear those first little kitten-like whimpers from Jack. My little sumo baby. Our little guy had to spend 24 hrs in the NICU. That evening when I visited him, I was in awe of how beautiful he was. I couldn’t believe he was ours. As I stared at him, that John Lennon song came to mind “Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful….beautiful boy”. So perfect and healthy. All the pain, restless nights, morning sickness, swollen feet, etc was so worth it for that moment.