Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Isaac's Birth Part 2

I wasn't ready to share the second part of his birth story because it has been very difficult emotionally to deal with and I wasn't ready to answer questions from a bunch of different people, but today I'm feeling much better and much more at peace with it all.

The story continues after his actual birth. When I sat down with him against my skin he was crying a lot. He wasn't settling down very easily. He seemed a little distressed and his face was very purple. We were worried it was because he wasn't getting enough oxygen, but he was crying hard so we were confused. The more I looked at his face the more I thought it looked like bruising. Especially since he was breathing well and it wasn't labored. We both listened to his heart and there was no swishing (we were concerned it could be a heart defect that wasn't caught on the ultrasound). His heart sounded very strong. His lungs sounded normal. But he was crying a lot more than usual and a lot harder. I couldn't get him to settle down. I stayed calm and felt like we would figure this out.

I really needed to readjust because I was still in way more pain than usual after birth. Usually the pain is mostly gone once the baby is out, but my bottom was really really sore and I couldn't sit up to breastfeed him very easily. So I handed him over to Phil for a few minutes and he did skin to skin with him. He stopped crying once we took him off his face which made me think it was bruising even more. We cut the cord and checked it for 3 vessels which it did have. Then I took him back and breast fed him. He latched right on no problem! We passed him around a bit more and kept an eye on his face. He was acting like a normal newborn and nothing really too out of the ordinary was showing up. But my midwife kept noticing how purple his lips were and his hands and feet were a little purple too. Even though his face showed signs of bruising, because his lips were so purple she recommended that we go to the hospital to make sure he is ok. As much as I dreaded going to a hospital right after having a home birth I knew it was the right thing to do and have always firmly believed that there IS a time and place for medical care. I never questioned her judgment, if anything I just wished so bad that it wasn't true, that we didn't need to go, and that he was really just ok. But it just didn't look good, we needed to get there to be safe.

The ER doctor put my mind at ease. Of course the first thought on your mind is "are they going to tear me apart for having a home birth? Are they going to over do things to make a point?" You hear horror stories you know? But not one person did that. The ER doctor told me that his sister had several home births, the NICU nurse told me her best friend had a couple, not one person judged me. But I'm getting ahead of myself. So the ER doc looked at him. His vital signs were great and right off he said it was definitely bruising, but to be safe they were going to admit him to the NICU for overnight observation because the color was definitely a concern. They said they'd draw some labs and once those came back we might even be able to go home early.

Ok, this sucks, but we can do overnight, we'll live, no big deal. I was disappointed, but had no control over it, we had to do what was best. So they got us a room to sleep in. I was exhausted having not slept all night and not having the chance to sleep since I powered out a 9 pound baby that wouldn't move down the birth canal (it's really indescribable how tired I was while pushing. All I wanted to do was lay down because I was SO tired. I actually did lay down through a bearing down contraction, I just didn't have the strength to keep going. I'm emotional thinking about it because it was really just so indescribably hard).

I tried to get some sleep, but was woken up by a phone call about an hour after we got to our room. I needed to come feed him, and some of his lab work came back abnormal and they needed to talk about it. So I walk down there, slowly, still in so much pain from the birth. My room is all the way in the back of postpartum in the overflow area out of the way too. I get down there and the neonatologist explained that his labwork came back abnormal showing signs that he was fighting an infection and that they had to start antibiotics. My heart sank. All I could think about was all his wonderful brand new gut flora being destroyed. Still breaks my heart to think about. Then she told me he'd have to be in there at least 2 days. I broke down and cried. I tried not to cry so hard, but I cried and cried. That's not what you want to hear when you just had a home birth. You want to be at home snuggling with your babies enjoying skin to skin. Kissing their soft cheeks and sweet lips, rubbing their bellies, singing them lullabies. But I knew it was the right thing. The infection was unrelated to the purple face, but a nurse did say that it can happen with difficult deliveries, another neonatologist said it's just luck. We're SO lucky they caught it because he had no signs or symptoms of infection. If we would have waited for a sign, he would have been a lot sicker and it would have been more difficult to recover from and possibly life threatening.

That night was a long night. I got almost zero sleep. The next morning I went down and the day neonatologist talked to me about his second lab draw. His blood work was still abnormal. He said sometimes the first one is abnormal and they just treat right away and the second one will be back to normal and he could still go in 2 days. However, since it was still abnormal they had to do a full dose of antibiotics which would be 7 days. I cried and cried again. I started to feel like they would keep extending the days forever. It was just really difficult to hear.

It's been 48 hours since his birth now and I'm feeling a lot better about it all. It's going to be a really long week, but knowing I have friends that have been through having NICU babies has helped a lot. I never thought I would find myself in this situation ever. My kids never get sick. I mean, I can count on one hand how many times both Nate and Audrey have gotten sick total combined. This is a new concept for me.

He's going to have to be put on bili lights tomorrow which I knew would happen as soon as I saw his bruising after he came out. He hasn't gotten worse, but the doctor said around day 3 is when they start to fight the infection and get better. The nurses have been absolutely AMAZING! I'm feeling good about it all now. Just tired and anxious to sleep in my own bed with my own baby by my side. The NICU is uncomfortable and awkward. I want to wear him around all day and I look forward to this being a distant memory!

Bonus for making it this far, pics!:

My loves! 

Day of birth, note the purple face

1st day, his face started looking way better. 
2nd day (today) his face is perfect and beautiful! 

Isaac's Birth

Through out the night (morning of the 24th) I was having painful contractions. I had a feeling he would be born that day because I was losing my mucous plug (TMI sorry). Around 6 am I decided they were getting more serious, but they were short contractions so I knew it would be a while still. I knew it was real labor. I called my mom to come over and texted my midwife to let her know that it would be that day and that I’d call her when I was ready for her to come. 
Contractions continued through the morning. Very easy laboring. We talked and laughed. At around 10 I decided to take a shower which turned into a bath. I laid on my side and had Phil put a wet towel on top to keep me warm. It felt SOOOO good! While I was in the bath my water broke. I knew it because when I pushed out I could feel an incontrollable gush of fluid. It’s hard to explain how it feels, but I knew that’s what it was. When I got out, my belly was smaller and you could feel his parts easier. It was weird! 
So I called my midwife and my sister. Since my last birth went so fast (dilated to a 5 to pushing in 15 minutes), we were worried that I’d go really fast once my water broke. So they hurried over. 
Contractions were slow moving. They slowed down enough for me to take a nap so I did. I slept for an hour or so. Then I got up, we all hung out in my living room, I helped Nate and my nephew Austin play Super Mario Galaxy. We relaxed. My contractions weren’t too awful. Painful, yes, but I could just close my eyes through them and breath and I was fine. This continued for a couple hours. At around 4:15 ish I started to feel like laboring in my room. They were getting a little longer which was a good sign. At around 5 I started to transition. They got longer and I had to moan through them. They really still were very manageable. No big deal at all. I didn’t love them, but a little moaning and i was good. After about 15 minutes of transition I could feel that pushing was coming soon so I got ready for pushing. It felt like I was complete and that his head was going to start moving down. 
At this point the contractions got VERY painful. They were working SOOOOO HARD trying to get him to move down. I didn’t quite feel the urge to push like I had with Audrey. But the contractions were more intense than anything I’d ever felt in my life that I felt like I had to push to get him to move down. So I used those contractions to get him down my birth canal. It was the most difficult thing I had ever done in my life. It was so far from what I was expecting and extremely painful. Worse than any pain I’d ever felt in my life. Really quite indescribable. I was planning to breathe through the contractions and let my body push naturally, but it wasn’t happening (I know now it’s because he was in a bad position). Finally I felt it burning and I was SO happy to feel the ring of fire. I knew it was almost over and I could feel what was happening and that I wasn’t just pushing nothing. I reached my hands down and felt his head, my mom helped push my perineum out of the way  and his head popped out. I still had my hands on him. My midwife helped me grab him and somersaulted his body around the cord while I held his head and she handed me the rest of his body. I grabbed him and pulled up up to my chest and walked over and laid down on my bed. 
Because of the crazy pushing, I didn’t feel quite as much of relief as I should have. It burned bad and I was still in quite a lot of pain. My uterus still hurt a lot till I pushed the placenta out. I felt a lot of relief after that, but was still in a lot of pain. 
He nursed like a champ. It was so crazy! He didn’t do the breast crawl because I hurt so much I had to hand him to Phil to do skin to skin so I could get better get readjusted because of the pain I just let him hold him for a while then took him back to feed him. He latched on like you would not believe! It was insane! No struggle at all whatsoever. I could not believe it! 
We are so in love!