Saturday, September 14, 2013

Aaron's birth story

Sitting up in the early morning I just said happy 4 days old to little Aaron after we passed his time of birth. We still can't believe he's ours! We are so thankful to have him, he's so perfect!
Nearly everything about Aaron's birth was different than what I had planned... First of all, I was overdue despite trying every natural labor-inducing trick I'd heard of! I am convinced that those techniques don't work unless your body is close to starting the labor process itself. I tried spicy foods, prego pizza, miles of walking, pineapple, pregnancy tea, membrane stripping, foot reflexology, labor-inducing massage, bouncing on an exercise ball for hours and hours, etc. I thought we must be so close to labor, especially since I had been 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced since week 39. We went in with false labor three times.

The weekends since hitting my due date ended with disappointment. After climbing stairs at my parents' house for 4 hours on Sunday 9/8 and getting very regular contractions, I was convinced that this was it! Our bags had been in the car since the previous Wednesday and we were headed to labor and delivery! Once we were in triage, the contractions slowed down and the resident on call told us that we should go home unless we wanted to be induced. Knowing that the 42 week mark is the suggested deadline to get babies out since research shows a higher likelihood of stillbirth after that point, I knew we were up against the clock! With tears of frustration, I scheduled an induction for Tuesday morning. I went home that night and had a complete break down. It seemed like I would never reach the end of my pregnancy!

Monday, 9/9/13 
The following morning we had an appointment to see our OBGYN and I knew we would have the induction conversation. I almost cancelled since we had monitored baby's status the night before and had already scheduled an induction, but decided to go in since I had contractions overnight. As I was being checked in, I spilled my frustration to the nurse checking me in and she asked if I had had my membrane swept. I told her it had been done twice. She asked if our OB had done one and I said no. She smiled and said, "Oh, I'll make sure to tell him to do the sweep." I should have known... The OB came in, checked me (3-4 cm dilated and 80% effaced) and did a very vigorous sweep for several seconds. I almost scooted off the table in pain! He smiled and said he was working labor and delivery from 8pm-8am and said he planned on seeing me there that night since I would definitely start contractions by afternoon. I stood up and my water broke! It was 10:15am Brandon and I teared up from the relief! We went straight to labor and delivery and the nurses were all laughing about the patient whose water broke in clinic after a membrane sweep... Apparently he has a reputation. :)

Family was called to let them know we'd been admitted! My parents and sister Ashton came to support us during labor. A doctor came in and informed me that they would have to induce with pitocin if I had not progressed in 6 hours as the likelihood of infection increased over time due to the water breaking.  Slowly contractions were starting and Brandon and I went to work to help them continue.

After hours, they were becoming strong enough that I needed to use breathing techniques and positioning to get through them so the doctor allowed me to continue naturally since I appeared to be having effective contractions. My midwife was working that afternoon so she stopped by to greet us and check my progress at 6:30pm... 4 cm and 80% effaced after all that time. The contractions continued to get stronger. My mom and the rest of us thought I must be more dilated and closer to transition by the way I was acting.

My OB came in at 8pm to check and I was only at 4-5 cm! He reiterated the necessity of getting baby out, but understood my wish to have a natural labor and delivery. So he ordered internal monitoring to be completed to measure the strength of the contractions, if they were strong enough to make necessary progress he would allow me to continue, but if by 9:30pm they were not measuring strong enough, he would insist on pitocin. The contractions were unbelievably painful, I was barely managing.

In order to be strong enough, the contractions over 10 minutes needed to rate 180-205, despite all the pain, my contractions were measuring 105. I was exhausted and could not imagine going through pitocin with the pain I was barely tolerating doubling! I also knew that at the rate that I was exhausting myself, I would not have the strength to effectively push. Around 10pm, after 12 hours of labor and dilating only 1 cm, I decided to order an epidural and the pitocin. Not what I had planned... My family went home to rest until showtime. Brandon and I were able to rest as well. I kept the epidural low so I could still feel contractions but they weren't as sharp. I continued to focus on my breathing, mainly for that little heartbeat that would begin to race with each contraction. The nurse said we might be ready for delivery around 6am.

Tuesday, 9/10/13
I started to feel an urge to push but thought maybe I was wrong. I woke up Brandon and waited to see what I was feeling. I called the nurse in at 4am to check, I think she was reluctant since it seemed early. She came in and said I was ready! Baby was already at +3 position. Brandon called my family to let them know it was time. While the medical staff began assembling in my room, I breathed through each urge to push. I couldn't believe how strong the instinct was!

The other doctor on call was scrubbing in and was all set to begin, when our OB arrived from another delivery and took over. My family had arrived as well. After some additional prep, I started pushing at 4:40am. Watching progress in the mirror was incredible! All of a sudden, his head was out! The OB told me not to push anymore but to just breathe through the next contraction. Out came Aaron at 5:17am!!! They set him on my chest and this big baby boy began darting his eyes around the room as he cried. It was an incredible moment, unlike anything else.

Aaron measured 8lbs. 8oz., 21 in. long, and with a head circumference of 14.25 in.! He is the most amazing baby, making us a family of 3! From this point on, our lives are completely changed. I never knew I would love him this much! So even though things didn't go the way I planned, it was all perfect in retrospect since it brought Aaron to us safely and in excellent health!

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At September 30, 2013 at 2:31 AM , Anonymous Linda Prior said...

Such a beautifully written story of the birth of our first grandchild, Aaron! I treasure reading of your feelings and the timeline, since we were so far away Bless you Jenny and Brandon, as you parent your wonderful, beautiful son! We are so proud of the three of you!

Grandma & Grandpa Prior


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