Oliver is finally HERE! And boy, did he have an exciting entrance into this world…
Lets start from Monday, November 5th. My official due date. We had our weekly check-up and discovered that I was still not making any progress and it seemed that Oli was just too comfortable in there. I was miserable, and my doctor and I decided to add me to her induction list for that Friday, November 9th. The rest of the day, and Tuesday, and Wednesday were pretty normal for me. I had a few contractions here and there, but nothing consistent or promising. Then Thursday morning came.
At 6am I woke up with a painful contraction. I didn’t think much of it. After all, I was 3 days over-due. I had a few that first hour. But, by 9am, they were becoming more regular and were timeable. I was having a painful contraction every 7-12 minutes. An hour later, I went to the bathroom and discovered something new. I was bleeding and leaking things. I let Joe know and I went to lay back down. After another hour had passed, and I was still bleeding and leaking, I decided to be on the safe side and go in to be checked out. So we packed up the car with everything we’d need in case I was in labor and headed out.
We made it to L&D around 12:30pm. I walked in and told them what was going on, and they took me to be checked. It turns out that my water had broken… in hindsight it made sense, but I expected a gush of fluid with water breaking, not a small leak! The nurse told me that it appeared there was meconium in my water, which isn’t good. Meconium is the baby’s first poop. He’s supposed to do that outside, not inside. She told me not to worry as it seemed to be thin, and just to focus on the laboring I was going thru. I told Joe it was time to let our families know that I was in labor.
This is where things became emotionally difficult for me. I knew there was a small chance that the on-call doctor when I went into labor would be male. While I have nothing against male OB/GYN’s, I have an issue with strange men I don’t know being down in my nether regions. I was happy with my induction date because I knew I’d have my own OB. Because Oliver decided to start labor a whole day early, I ended up being admitted with the male OB. They tried to find a woman OB to come in, but they were all unavailable. The doctor was a sweet, wonderful man. And I wish I felt differently, but I just couldn’t get past the issues my previous trauma had caused. So, we came up with a plan. We’d let the labor progress as naturally as possible. As long as the baby was ok, we could try and prolong the actual birth until the morning when my OB would be in. If things started to get to the point of pushing, then we’d have the nursing staff do all the hands on that they could before he stepped in to wrap things up. While I wasn’t thrilled with this, I accepted it. If you’re curious as to my past trauma that was hindering me, you can read about it here.
The first few hours were what I expect typical labor to be like. When I was initially checked, my cervix was so high that we didn’t know if I was dilated. A few hours later, I was dilated to 1cm. By that point, the contractions were getting very intense and were about 1-2 minutes apart. The doctor told me that he’d put the epidural on order and I could have it when I wanted. I tried to wait it out a while, but by 7pm, I was in so much pain that it was epi time. The epidural wasn’t so horrible! It took the pain away and all I felt was some pressure. I know there are women out there who make it thru labor without epi’s, and I commend you! I could never do it! God bless the epidural!
Shortly after my epidural, we had our first scare. I was laying on my side, talking with Joe and listening to Oliver’s rhythmic, soothing, heartbeat when it changed. He went from a gallop sound to a slower “whomp, whomp,, whomp” sound. My nurse came in and had me switch sides. The heartbeat still sounded the same. So she had me put some oxygen on, and she opened up my IV fluids so they would drain into me quickly. That seemed to do the trick and Oli’s little heartbeat started galloping again. She let the doctor know, but since Oli had recovered quickly and had looked so great the entire time, he wasn’t worried. My nurse checked me again and I had dilated to 2.5cm. So, labor continued.
Around 10pm, I started feeling the contractions again. I asked my nurse if it was normal, and she said with the epidural I should feel pressure, but not pain. So we checked me again — I was at 5cm — and then called the CRNA back in. I received another bolus dose of pain medication and then a lecture. She basically told me that I wasn’t getting any more pain medication, and that she never intended for me to not feel anything and that I’d only ever be numb if we went to the OR. She then accused me of mistaking pressure for pain, which I assured her that I could tell the difference. She then told me that if she gave me more medication, it would postpone my labor and “we” didn’t want that. I told her that due to past trauma, we were actually attempting to stall the labor as long as possible so my OB could deliver me in the morning. She told me that I wouldn’t be able to resolve my emotional issues tonight, so I just needed to get over it and think about my child. I again told her that both the doctor and my nurse have agreed that since my baby is looking healthy and good, what we’re attempting to do is not harming him and that its completely ok. In a very condescending tone, she basically accused me of being a bad mother because this was our plan and told me that I was going to feel the pain of childbirth so I needed to deal with it. And then she left. My RN was there for this whole ordeal and she was appalled. She had to leave the room to take care of a few things, and that’s when we had our second scare…
We heard the gallop switch to a whomp, and watched as Oli’s heartbeat dropped from the 160’s to the 80’s. The nurse came running in and flipped me, put on the oxygen and opened up the fluids. This time it didn’t change anything. She called for help and five nurses came in. It was terrifying, and there was so much going on around me. After a couple minutes, his heartbeat returned to the gallop and he was ok. By that time the doctor had arrived. They left me on the oxygen just to make sure Oliver was ok and then they left me to rest. After not too long, the doctor and nurse came in to talk with me. The doctor told me he wasn’t too worried about Oliver since he recovered from the deceleration, but they’d keep a closer eye on things and he was just down the hall in the on-call room if we needed him. Then he told me wonderful news. My nurse had told him what the CRNA had done to me, so he personally called her and told her that he wanted me to be as comfortable as possible. So she was to give me as much medication as I needed so we could achieve that. Hallelujah! Love having people advocate for me! My nurse checked me again, and I was now at 6.5cm at 11pm.
Things continued somewhat normally for the next couple of hours. We were all keeping an eye on some small decelerations with my contractions. But they were minor. Joe was cute though. Every time Oli’s would have a small decel (from 140’s down to 120’s), he’d sit there and cheer Oli on, “Come on Oli! You can do this… get that heart rate back up!”. It was precious. Around 1am, my blood pressure started rising to the point where my nurse wouldn’t tell me the numbers. She was smart enough to recognize that the cause was pain, because yes, my epidural was wearing off again. She got me my third round of medication. Sadly, this dose didn’t do a whole lot. The left side of my body was really feeling the pain. We tried repositioning me to see if gravity would help the medicine flow into my left side, but it didn’t. By 1:30am, I was 8cm dilated. And by 2:30am, I was just about fully dilated, having painful contractions every 30-60 seconds and I felt like I needed to push. I fought it hard for about 20 minutes until my nurse convinced me to try pushing. So, I assumed the position, and with the help of my nurse and Joe, we started pushing. Oliver was still really high up and not wanting to come down. Pushing didn’t do anything to get him any lower. But we tried and tried… and then things went downhill…
With every contraction and push, Oliver’s heartbeat dropped drastically. The doctor came in and monitored the strip while I was pushing. Along with the doctor, a couple more nurses came in and the CRNA was paged as well. I was trying so hard to ignore all the people and focus on getting the little man out of my body! They put the oxygen back on me to try and help Oliver out a bit, and to try and help me. This final stage of labor triggered a massive asthma attack and I couldn’t breathe. Between my asthma attack, my high blood pressure and Oliver not doing well, the doctor told me I needed to stop pushing. They laid me on my side and gave me a breathing treatment. Everyone around me was whispering and trying to be discreet. The doctor was giving the CRNA orders to give me all these different medications, and the nurses were talking about another doctor being paged and on the way in to the hospital. I appreciated their attempt at discretion, but I knew what was happening. Oliver was in distress and I was going to be having a c-section. After my breathing treatment finished, the doctor confirmed my suspicions and told me we were headed to the OR to get Oliver out of there.
Things get a little fuzzy from here on out. I remember being wheeled to the OR, and getting there. The OR techs were super sweet guys and made me feel ok about what was happening. The crabby CRNA was there as well, and gave me a bit of attitude when I told her about a painful contraction. Oh well, she had already been put in her place. I was given lots of medication and then I remember two things. The first was a strange dream where I thought I was actually dying, and the second was opening my eyes and seeing the drape. Joe said I was “awake” thru the whole thing, just out of it and groggy. But, he was able to witness his first surgery ever! If you want to ask him, he loves to talk about it! I was wheeled down to the OR around 4am, and woke up in recovery around 6:30am. The first three questions I asked were:
1) Did I almost die? (Because of the dream… it was so real to me!)
2) How’s Oliver?
3) Be honest with me… is my baby cute?
I was told that I didn’t almost die and I did great in surgery, that Oliver was in the nursery and on oxygen but he was weaning off of it, and that yes, Oliver was adorable! I stayed in the recovery room until about 7:30am. When I was wheeled back to L&D, they stopped outside of the nursery and showed me my little man. He looked so cute laying in there getting his oxygen! Sadly, I didn’t get to see my little guy for another 2 hours after that. But they brought him to me as soon as he was breathing without oxygen. I got to hold him, then Joe got to hold him. It was a sweet and precious moment. After 22 hours of labor, some terrifying moments, and an emergency c-section, it was such a beautiful thing to see our baby boy safe and healthy, and in our arms.
Oliver Philip Kelly was born at 4:47am on November 9th, 2012. He weighed in at 7lbs 2oz and was 19.5in long. I learned a couple hours after he was brought to our room that when they took Oliver from my uterus, he wasn’t breathing. But, they got him going and he recovered quickly and is doing great now! He has amazed us so far in his short time on this earth. He is super alert and curious about the world around him. He is also abnormally strong! He already lifts his head and upper body up and will move it around, and he puts up one heck of a fight when we change his diaper. He’s not overly fussy, and typically only cries when he’s hungry or when we’ve angered him by changing his diaper. He loves laying with us and looking into our eyes. He is an amazing baby and we are so blessed! God is good!
Mama is recovering. It was a traumatic, and yet wonderful, labor and delivery experience! C sections are no joke… the pain of recovery is very real. Its hard not being able to do things for my little man and having to rely on others. I think its just God’s not-so-subtle reminder to me that I am not super woman and I need to ask for help. I’m loving life as a new mom and learning how to adjust daily. Joe is a fantastic father! He was born to be one 🙂 He loves on Oliver so much! It warms my heart to watch them interact. And its my favorite thing when Oli does something that Joe thinks is adorable… Joe becomes so giddy! I am so blessed that I have such an amazing man as a husband, and that Oli has him as his father.
We spent a total of 4 nights in L&D, and I am in awe of the care we received. I want to send out a thank you to the Marshall Hospital staff! Our nurses — Lisa, Jan, Lindsey, Pam, Cindy, Traci, Becky — you all were so wonderful! These women loved on and supported the three of us unconditionally while we were there. There were others that helped out, and the aides were fantastic as well! Thank you for answering every question, offering up great advice and being patient with us! The doctors — Dr. Nelson and Dr. Tobin-Williams — from the bottom of our hearts, we cannot use enough words to express our gratitude. A big thanks to Dr. Nelson for safely getting our Oliver delivered and being patient and understanding with my past issues. And Dr. Tobin-Williams for being an amazing OB these past 10 months! It was a rough pregnancy from start to finish, and I am blessed to have had such wonderful care and these fantastic doctors advocating for me. The lab techs, respiratory therapists and even dietary folks were super sweet as well. All in all, God was looking out for us and provided such excellent care and support… thanks Jesus!
Here are a few pictures 🙂 Enjoy!