Birth stories are like butts…

…everyone has one.

MicahIt has been a crazy past 10 days in our house. In case you haven’t heard, Micah. Jonathan was born on Sunday, October 13 at 7:58 pm. He was 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 21.5 inches long. He has a full head of hair and is ridiculously adorable (we’re not biased…).

So, how did we get to that time of 7:58 pm?

Things really started the Wednesday before. Micah (or as you’re used to him being called, Peanut) decided he wanted to be uncooperative. He has been very active throughout the pregnancy. Even in the final weeks, he was as active as ever…throwing punches left and right, kicking everything he felt was in his way. The strength and level of his activity never decreased – until Wednesday. Instead of moving once every hour or so, he only moved twice in the entire day. Thursday, his due date, we had a repeat performance. I had a regular OB appointment on Friday so I decided to wait until then and see what the doctor had to say.

MicahFriday rolls around and I go to my appointment. My doctor went through the usual questions: any contractions, baby moving well, etc. I explained to her about Micah’s lack of movement over the past 48 hours. Although his heart rate sounded fine in the exam room, she decided to have me do an NST (non-stress test). I sat in a little room for well over an hour while they tracked Micah’s heart rate. I was given a button to hit if I felt him move so it could mark the heart rate tracing. During the hour, he had what’s called a “reactive NST”. Heart rate looked good, had good variability. Textbook. He just decided he was going to be uncooperative. After I finished the test, my doctor looked over the tracing. She decided she would feel better if we got an ultrasound and did a biophysical profile on him. She called and set that up for later in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping Jon updated on what’s going on. He received some picture updates: one of me hooked up to the NST, one of the apple juice they made me drink to try and get a reaction out of Micah…that kind of thing. I explained what they had decided to do and why. He decided he was going to take the afternoon off and come with me to the ultrasound. As he put it, although things looked fine so far, he would be upset with himself if I were to find out something was wrong during the test and he wasn’t there. So, he came. Micah received a perfect score on his biophysical profile and otherwise looked great. He even started “showing off”, as we call it. He began kicking and the like (the first I had felt all day). Silly boy. They did an anatomy scan, too, since they had to send me out for the ultrasound (the tech at our practice doesn’t work Fridays…lucky duck). From that, we got confirmation again that, yes, he is really a he. They also estimated his weight at 7 pounds, 13 ounces (whatever…not so much). Because everything checked out, they sent me home. They scheduled an induction for the following Friday with 2 NSTs the next week.

MicahSaturday, we had a repeat of the previous 3 days. I had decided that if he still was playing this game the next morning, I would call the doctor. Sunday morning rolls around and we’re still being uncooperative. I called my doctor and she had me come to the hospital for another NST. We arrived about 10:30 am and were admitted to triage. This NST looked good and he did his “showing off” routine again. The doctor came to see me in triage about 1 pm. She said that because Micah moving is the way we know he’s okay when I’m not at the hospital, she wanted to bump up my induction…to now.

I wasn’t quite prepared to hear that. My nurse had mentioned they may bump me up to. Monday or Tuesday as they had induction space available so Jon and I were expecting to go home, see the pumps, have a “last meal”, and get a good night of sleep before coming back for an induction. I’ll be honest, I was a little overwhelmed with it being moved up like this. I’m certainly glad Jon was there. I knew it was the best thing for Micah. Once he was here, we would know that he was fine.

bw-28-snull-9602I was admitted to the floor and they got my induction started just before 2 pm. I’ve delivered babies before…5, in fact. I knew the medical parts of labor and delivery, and some of the practical bits, too. My labor flew in the face of what I knew to be “normal” and what I had seen/experienced with the babies I had delivered.

At first, I began feeling some light contractions throughout my abdomen. About 90 minutes into my induction, my contractions were getting stronger. My doctor came in and checked me: 3 cm (I had been 1-2 on Friday). She decided to break my water at this point. That’s when things started to pick up…and change. From this point on, what I felt from contractions in the abdomen lessened until I didn’t feel anything there, and I had a sensation of overwhelming pressure along the lower abdomen with pain in my back and some numbness down my leg (I figure it’s all from my back injury being aggravated and not something truly with the labor).

MicahAbout 5 or 6 pm (it’s all a blur to me), we started having fun: I started feeling sick on my stomach and my blood pressure suddenly dropped (well after the nausea started). I had gotten up to go to the bathroom (my goodness, they were pumping me full of fluid!) and as I was washing my hands, I saw my face in the mirror: I looked like a sheet. No color in my face whatsoever. I knew I was a little lightheaded already, but figured it was from the pressure/pain. And it only got worse as I walked back to the bed (constant monitoring due to the induction and an uncomfortable rocking chair landed me in the bed to labor). I sat on the bed, trying to figure out if I was going to vomit or not. I did. Yay. My nurse had come in by that point. She asked me to lay back so she could find Micah’s heart beat (the monitors got bumped when I got up). I told her she may want to check my blood pressure, too, as I was feeling lightheaded and dizzy. As I was laying down, it was in the 90’s. And then found its way to the 80’s. If I thought they were pumping me full of fluid earlier, I hadn’t seen anything yet. My doctor walked in in the middle of all of this. She checked me and said I was 6 cm dilated. Progress! I asked her for some Zofran for the nausea. She suggested Phenergan. Her thought was because it makes you sleepy, maybe I could rest a little bit before things really picked up. I accepted. For the next several hours, I was in a Phergan fog. And, unfortunately, I progressed too quickly to get any rest.

About 7 pm, my nurse came in because they were having trouble tracking Micah’s heart beat. I was very uncomfortable and rolling from side to side between contractions. Just before the nurse came in, I told Jon I thought I needed something for pain. My goal for labor was to do it without pain medications, either IV or epidural. If I needed one, I had already conceded that I would be willing to accept it: IV medications first and then epidural as a last resort. Well, their first concern was getting Micah’s heart beat on the monitor again. Once they found it, Jon helped keep it on the monitor by holding the monitor on my belly where it needed to be because it would just move if they tried to strap it on. He later told me he wanted them to give me the medicine I was asking for so he wanted to do whatever ended to be done so that they would/could. During this time, the doctor came in and checked me: 9 cm! Almost there! She said to give it another 15 minutes and she’d be back to check on me, thinking I’d be fully dilated by that point.

Micah
In the warmer getting bundled up

I didn’t last that long. I made it about 10 minutes before I knew it was time. The nurse checked me and said that, yes, it was time. I was completely dilated. She had me do a few practice pushes to see how I would do. She quickly realized Micah would be here very quickly. She called for the doctor and said for her “not to stop”. From when the doctor walked in, Micah was out in less than 2 minutes. I pushed for a grand total of 16 minutes before he was here. Our 8 pound, 9 ounce, 21.5 inch beautiful baby boy was born at 7:58 pm. And only 6 hours after my induction started. That was a shock to everyone. I progressed much quicker than most first-time moms could ever dream of.

Micah was happy and healthy. And we certainly felt better now that he had arrived.

MicahWe spent one night in the hospital and headed home late Monday evening after he got his 24-hour tests done. Micah has done really well since being home. He eats great (all.the.time). He sleeps pretty well (best during the day, ok at night). He loves to snuggle and love on you. He is super-strong and has been working on holding his head up all week (he can do it for about 10 seconds at a time). He is very easy-going: he’s been toted all over town this week for errands and hasn’t complained about it. We certainly feel very lucky and blessed to have such a sweet little boy.

Now, I have to brag on Jon for a minute. He was awesome during labor. He has said he doesn’t feel like he did much but I beg to differ. He was so encouraging and tried his best to make me comfortable…as comfortable as would be possible, anyway. And since Micah was born, I have loved watching him snuggle his little boy and love on him. He is a wonderful daddy to that little guy. And he’s been a great help to me this week. His boss gave him the week off, so he was able to be with me all week. He has picked up on my slack around the house and taken care of me and Micah all week. If I’ve needed something, he’s helped me with it. If I’ve wanted to get something accomplished, he’s either done it himself or helped me to accomplish it by helping with Micah while I did it. He’s been awesome the last week…even more than usual. I’m sure going to miss having him around all day since he has to go back to work this week.

Probably my favorite picture of Micah holding his daddy's finger
Probably my favorite picture of Micah holding his daddy’s finger

And that’s our story. We’re only a week in, so who knows where this will go from here. An adventure to say the least!