For the past few weeks I had been having strong Braxton Hicks, but no real painful contractions or anything that would be real measurable. The past few pre-natal appointments I had been dilated and somewhat effaced with a little bit of progress each week. But without real contractions I figured I was going to go past my due date and would probably have to be induced. Baby G though had other plans.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I figured I should write Callan's (pronounced Cal-in, not Kay-lyn) birth story before I totally forgot and before too much time had passed.
Friday morning, April 22, 2011:
I went to bed on Thursday feeling about the same as usual. At 2 am I woke up with pretty painful cramps/contractions, but they weren't very long and I was able to fall back asleep in between. By around 5 am, I realized that this could be it -the contractions were getting stronger and more noticeable. Excited Huge and I started thinking that this was the day baby would arrive. We started timing the contractions and although they were measurable, they were only lasting about 30 seconds, varied in intensity and about 7-8 minutes apart. Realizing that labor was not going to start in the next hour we decided to go about our day as usual. Thankfully Friday was a holiday for me, so I had no plans, but around 7 am, Huge left for a photo shoot and then to go help a friend pack up for a move cross-country. By 10 am the contractions were picking up and hit the magic 1 minute length, 5 minutes apart for at least 1 hour. Of course being kind of stubborn and thinking that I would be able to labor as much as possible at home, I dragged my feet about doing anything. I emailed/texted Huge while he was out and a friend (hi Jess!) at work about my progress. Of course, they two of them were kind of freaking out and trying to take this more seriously since I had already been 3 cm dilated on Tuesday. Finally after taking a shower I called the doctor at 11 am and she told me to eat something, relax and then head to the hospital in about an hour. Huge made it home and made me lunch while I got our bags ready and got myself ready. Finally around noon we made our way to the hospital in the slowest cab in Chicago.
At 12:30 pm we arrived at the hospital with good contractions and dilated to 4 cm -so unfortunately that meant some progress had been made at home, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. The good news was that meant I was staying and that baby was going to arrive soon. We walked around the hospital and had the contractions measured until around 2:30 when the contractions were coming on much, much stronger and much, much faster. The worst of it was the shooting pain in my back that did not ease up with breathing, walking or massage. I assumed that meant that I must be doing a great job laboring, but when I got checked I had only progressed 1 measly centimeter! I had hoped to labor as much as possible au natural, but since we did nothing to actually prepare to labor that way (i.e. take a class of any sort) we were totally unprepared to cope with the amount of pain I was feeling and I decided that I would need an epidural. I had said that I wanted to make it to at least 4 cm before getting an epi since some theorize that sometimes epidurals slow down labor and would lead to unnecessary medical intervention and I wanted to try to avoid that as much as possible. Of course, that decision was made before I felt real contractions! I finally received an epidural at 3:15 pm and although it was a little painful -that numbing medicine and needle poke is a bit more uncomfortable then they let on - it was totally worth it. At 3:30 pm they broke my water in the hopes of speeding up my labor and I was dilated 6 cm, -1 station and 90% effaced so I was confident that I was in the homestretch. With the epidural in place I was able to rest and relax through the contractions however, I think labor did slow down a bit. At 5:30 pm I had only progressed another cm, but I was at 0 station and fully effaced. It was decided to start a slow pitocin drip to try to get the contractions a little stronger and a little closer together. Finally a bit before 8 pm I was fully dilated, effaced and ready to push!
I started pushing and at 8:19 pm (yes, your math is correct, it was 20 minutes of pushing), Callan Joseph Galdones was born. He was 8 lbs 2 oz and 21 inches long. This part was a bit surreal and something out of a bad slasher flick -Callan's limbs flailed a bit while coming out and some of the amniotic fluid few towards me (yes, it hit me) and then when Huge went to cut the umbilical cord there was some blood still pulsing that sprayed the doctor!
When my bag of water was broken they noticed that there was muconian in it (i.e. the baby had pooped) so a team of pediatricians were there to take Callan and check him out immediately after birth and to suction out his lungs to get out all the gunk. Thankfully when he was born he was already whimpering/crying so we knew things were ok -his Agpar scores were good and they were able to suction most of the fluid junk. After a check out by the pediatric team Callan came to do a little kangaroo care, and even though he cried the whole time, I knew I was in love.