Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Labor & Delivery

Here it is... the long awaited story of my labor and Logan's delivery :).  It was quite eventful and definitely didn't go as I had planned, but he arrived safe and healthy, which is what matters more than anything else.

It all started when I went to my scheduled doctor appointment on Wednesday, May 11th at 11:30am.  They took my vital signs and I had to leave a urine sample, as usual.  Then, since I was past my due date, they said I had to be hooked up to their monitors so they could watch my contractions and Logan's heartbeat.  They said I would be monitored for 20 minutes and then the doctor would examine me and then I would be done.  They hooked me up and I sat calmly listening to Logan's heartbeat.  A nurse came in and told me to lie on my side and that's when things changed.  Logan's heartbeat dropped from the 130's down into the 70's and 80's.  The nurse ran back into the room and had me turn from side to side to get it to go back up.  It happened again, so she pulled the cord for the doctor to come in while inserting an IV into my hand and putting an oxygen mask on me.  The doctors ran in and asked "what's your husband's phone number?  You're going to the hospital NOW".  They called Jason and told him to meet me there, but didn't really tell him what was going on.  I told him to call his mom and have her pick up my parents.

They loaded me into an ambulance (craziness) and we headed down to Northside Hospital in Atlanta.  On the way, I called Jason and my parents to offer a small explanation of what was going on.  Apparently the umbilical cord was wrapped around Logan somewhere and was getting pinched when I moved into certain positions.  It also got pinched during some contractions.  The doctor said that once I got to the hospital, they would monitor me again and if Logan's heart was ok they would plan on an induction Thursday morning.  If not, I would have an immediate C-Section.  I joked with the EMT that I had been concerned about getting stuck in traffic when I went into labor, but now I didn't have to worry about that at all :).  We arrived at the hospital and after monitoring Logan for about an hour, they decided he sounded great and that they would go forward with the induction the next morning.

The doctor examined my cervix and said that it was soft, but closed.  Apparently I was no longer 1cm dilated like they had told me a couple weeks before.  They decided to insert something called Cervadil that evening, which would help to soften my cervix and would also help with my contractions.  At this point, I was having contractions every 5-6 minutes, but they weren't too painful yet.  They soon started to get more intense, though, and closer together.  By about midnight, my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and hurt like h-e-double hockeysticks.  The nurses were great about following my birth plan and did everything they could to accommodate me.  However, during contractions, Logan's cord kept getting pinched and the staff became very concerned about his heart.  They decided to remove the Cervadil and give me some muscle relaxers to slow down the contractions, relax my uterus, and "relieve some of the pain" (HA!).  It worked to space them out a tiny bit, but did nothing for the pain.  It just made me groggy so that when I was about to fall asleep, I would have another contraction and would wake up in pain.  This went on throughout the night so I barely got any sleep.

Thursday morning, my doctor came in and said he had reviewed Logan's heart readings from the last 12+ hours and he was very concerned.  His heart rate continued to drop during contractions, so he didn't think Logan would do well with a vaginal delivery.  He said that depending on where the cord was pinched, when he came through the birth canal, it could be extremely dangerous because his heart rate would drop dramatically and the oxygen would also be cut off, which would most likely result in an emergency c-section and they would only have about 10 minutes to get Logan out safely.  He said that they could proceed with induction but he really felt that a c-section would be the safest route for his delivery.  Jason and I agreed and were told that they would start with my epidural within a couple of hours.

I took a shower and we contacted our families so that they would be there.  Around 12:00 the anesthesia team came to my room and gave me the epidural... which, for the record, I am NOT a fan of.  The shot they put into my spine hurt like crazy and they inserted it during a contraction, which didn't help.  Once they got the epidural in, my body started shaking uncontrollably and I immediately felt nauseous.  I hadn't eaten anything since midnight and stopped drinking anything around 10am, but my stomach was churning.  Also, they inserted the catheter before I was completely numb and that was quite painful :P.  Once I was completely numb from the ribs down (they kept poking me to make sure), they wheeled me into the OR.  I kept telling a nurse that I was nauseous and they had to give me a couple doses of something to help.  I think I was pretty nervous, which added to the nausea.

Jason came into the OR and they started surgery right away.  I think they began around 12:40 and it went really fast.  The whole time, I was praying that Logan would be healthy and that his heart would be strong.  I also prayed that he would breathe well.  My thoughts were a constant stream of prayer.  I didn't care what was happening to me, as long as Logan was fine.  I felt a lot of pressure and pushing and as soon as they started to take Logan out, they told Jason and he stood up and looked over the sheet (?!?!?!?!) which shocked me :).  He even took pictures!  Once they had his head out, the doctor made them stop and said "the umbilical is around his neck..... twice!" as he unwound it... then he pulled him out more and the umbilical cord was also wrapped around his shoulders.  The doctor said it looked like he had spun himself around in my womb.  As soon as Logan was out, the doctor shouted "12:49!" and then I heard the most beautiful sound I can remember hearing in my whole life... Logan's crying :).  As soon as I heard his cry, I started bawling my eyes out and all I could think or say was "thank you, Lord!" 

They immediately took him to a station where they took his vital signs and cleaned him up.  They said his APGAR scores were great (I didn't get the specific numbers).  Then they swaddled him and put him on my chest (see my Logan's First Pictures album on facebook) so that I could see him.  Finally seeing him was surreal... my heart was overflowing with love :).  After about only a minute or two, they took him up to the NICU to be checked and Jason went with him.  The doctors started to sew me up and I asked if they could get rid of my stretch marks while they were at it... they laughed and said "if we knew how to do that, we'd be rich!"  The doctor said he gave me a nice "bikini" incision to which I replied "it's been a looooong time since I last wore a bikini, but thanks" :).

The entire surgery took maybe 30 minutes from start to finish and I was wheeled into Recovery.  They had me wiggle my toes and lift my knees a few times to prove that the epidural was wearing off.  A nurse came in and said "don't move too much... the placenta is in between your feet", ha!  It was in a tub but I still thought it was odd/funny.  After maybe 15 minutes or so, Jason came in with some pictures and videos of Logan.  I am so thankful to have such an awesome husband.  He was going back and forth to check on me and Logan the entire time and he made sure I saw plenty of Logan and knew exactly what was going on while I was unable to see him.

Continued soon in my "Post Delivery" post... :)

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