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Cassius Daniel:
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cash's birth story

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It's a long one. He apparently likes to take his time.

On June 8th, I woke up at 3:30am with definite contractions. Basically a crampy, tightening feeling. I started to time them using an app I downloaded on my iphone and found out they were between 7 and 8 minutes apart. Laying down only made them feel worse so I got up and puttered around the apartment. I didn't see the point in waking up Ross since they were still far enough apart that I knew I wouldn't be going anywhere immediately. By 7am, I went back to bed and Ross woke up and I said that I thought I was in labor. I kept timing the contractions but they stayed consistant at 7-8 minutes so I waited until about 10am to call the OBs since Ross wanted to go into work for an hour or so and finish things up since he was planning to take two weeks off. When I called Dr. Worth she told me to enjoy the day, continue timing and call her back around 4pm but that she thought that I was on my way.

So off Ross and I were to enjoy the day. We went to lunch and walked around a bit, however my contractions started slowing and timing erratically. They still hurt a lot - but there weren't as many of them. By 4pm they had gone away completely. So we were disappointed but I assumed I would wake up the next day with something going on...but I didn't. June 9th came and went with a few painful contractions an hour, most of them being in the middle of the night, but nothing substantial.

On June 10th, I woke up again in the middle of the night with contractions, but this time I also had bloody show (sorry for the graphics). Convinced that something was finally happening, I contacted my OBs once the office opened and they both decided I should go to labor and delivery at Lenox Hill to get examined and find out what was going on. My contractions continued at about 7-8 minutes apart for awhile but again became increasingly erratic. Once we go to Lenox Hill, we were put in triage and the resident came in to give me an exam where I found out I was only 1 cm dilated which was extremely disheartening. She called Dr. Worth and they said I should go home because it could still be another week before I actually went into true labor. At this point, I was starting to freak out a little because of the pain from the contractions and I wasn't sure I could handle it all for another week but we went home and I tried to keep my mind off of it.

Then at 1:30am on June 11th I woke up with the worst contractions yet. I started timing again, completely unable to continue laying down in bed due to the searing pain in my back (which I would find out later is the ever-dreaded "back labor") so I got up, went in the kitchen and tried to surf the internet and keep my mind off of everything. I was still bleeding kind of heavily from the other day and the contractions again started about 7-8 minutes apart but then they seemed to be around 5 minutes apart by about 7am. At this point Ross called the OBs since I couldn't speak well and they told me to go back to Lenox Hill for evaluation. Once there, I was again examined resident who told that I was only 2 cm dilated and that I should go home. And that was the point I burst into tears (which I think really freaked her out). My OBs were doing rounds thank god so they came in, saw my extremely fragile emotional state, gave me a big hug and said that they were going to make sure that I had a baby either today or tomorrow. They told me to go home and labor for awhile there and to come back to Lenox Hill in the afternoon when I was ready and they would take the next steps.

I'll pause a minute here because obviously the "next steps" are labor interventions and I had been pretty resolute during my pregnancy about opting for natural childbirth. Well I folded like a deck of cards after my third day of contractions and pretty much told them to do what they had to do. I still think that if my labor had progressed normally that I would have had a fighting chance at natural childbirth but at this point I felt like I was going crazy and I hadn't slept in 3 days. Natural wasn't going to happen.

So Ross and I went home and had a lovely time laboring. Basically I hung out in the shower and Ross set up shop with a fold out chair, some water for me, and would spring into action to massage my back everytime a contraction started (which was pretty steady at 6-7 minutes the entire time but they would last for about a minute and a half total). I decided that contractions felt like the worst ice cream headache of your life but centered in my back and pelvis. After the shower we tried to watch some episodes of Buffy but I was started to become delirious at this point so around 3pm we packed up and got a taxi to go back to Lenox Hill...again.

And again, I had to go to triage to be evaluated. The triage room, which I was now in for the 3rd time in 24 hours, is the tiniest little room with two beds and curtain. I feel really bad for the other woman who was in the room with me this third time because she was clearly there for a really small reason and I, on the otherhand, was pretty much clawing at the walls and moaning at Ross that I couldn't do this anymore. It didn't help that the nurse who worked with me this particular time was quite abrupt and told me, very matter of factly, that I was having prodromal labor and that it was normal for a small amount of first time moms and that basically I should just deal and probably go home. I was like, "yes, I know that, thank you for telling me again about how I've had early labor for 3 days now, and yeah, I'm not going home."

So again I was examined and told I was barely at 3 cm. Since my OBs had anticipated this, they had already set it up that I was going to now be admitted and given Stadol, a narcotic that they hoped would relax me, let me sleep for awhile and help my contractions build. So finally I got the Stadol and drifted off to sleep for about an hour and my contractions apparently completely stopped during that time. I woke up from a contraction and pretty much just felt drugged out, tired and still in pain. So I tried to labor a little more without any interventions for awhile. I asked them to get a birth ball but it ended up being almost a joke. I could barely sit on it because I was so tired I kept falling off of it in between contractions. I think this went on for a couple of hours and then I started throwing up. That's when Ross went outside and asked that they send in the anesthesiologist. They did a quick evaluation again and luckily I had gotten to 5 cm dilated, which is technically active labor and a better point to get an epidural. So around 10pm that night, I got an epidural and pitocin and promptly went to sleep for the entire night for the first time in about 3 days. They had to wake me up every half hour to turn me to the opposite side to help the baby move along. I woke up around 7am feeling so so much better and found out that I had dilated to 7 cms during the night and that my water had broke around midnight. Not quite as far along as expected but something had happened and I was told that I would definitely have a baby by lunchtime.

So Ross and I spent the morning watching World Cup soccer as I was dilating about a cm an hour. Finally, at 11:30am it was time to push. The pushing went fantastically and was short (finally something about my labor that was short!) and I was told that I was a pusher for the record books. Cash was finally born at 12:12pm and I had never been happier in my life. Even though he was rather small, he was very healthy in every way and we were taken to a private room for postpartum that we got for free due to a mix up in my blood work during my prenatal care. So the end of labor - awesome.

I know this story is a tad on the scary side - but I was definitely having prodromal labor which is not really all that normal, no matter what that annoying nurse said - and back labor to boot. I'm sure it will be something I can tell Cash about a lot when he is giving me grief during his teen years.

4 comments:

Being one is SO much fun! said...

just heard about your good news...congrats to you and Ross! enjoy baby Cash--they grow up too quickly :)

K. Leigh

Lisa said...

So glad to read your story! I'm sorry things were so hard. That is the longest labor I've heard of. You did so well!

And the sleep techniques you're doing seem great. There are a lot of common recommendations in the baby books and it sounds like you're doing the most highly recommended ones.

Bridget said...

Wow, what a story! I'm sure you forgot all about the prodromal & back labor once Cash was put into your arms:-) Can't wait to meet him.

natalie /dave said...

I just read your labor story and it was exactly what happened to me....i had prodromal and back labor for three days. I was deillusional, tired, and hungry by the time they finally admitted me. I kept thinking to myself how many other women had go through this! I kept praying during these three days that my water would break, but no such luck. The nurse told me that it only occurs that long for a small number of women :) Lucky us!