Thursday, June 2, 2016

Rome Verner Dixon: A (really long) Birth Story

I was convinced, convinced, this kid would come early or right on time. Because "according to my calculations", whether it was based off the last missed period, the day we conceived (which, yes, I know the exact day), or the first ultrasound measurement, he was due to be born on either May 14, 15, or 16. So it had to be a sure thing, right? My baby would be born on that weekend. Nooooo doubt about it.

Well.If Motherhood doesn't teach you patience, I don't know what will.

May 14, 15, 16 came and went.

So did May 17, 18, 19, and 20. 

Then I was convinced I would become the first woman on the planet to NEVER GO INTO LABOR.

My induction was scheduled for Monday, May 23, and if I'm being honest, I really didn't want to be induced. It was something that I felt strongly about my entire pregnancy. I had heard too many negative stories about Pitocin, plus, I really just wanted to know what it was like for my body to do it on its own.

However, as the days kept going by and the baby kept cooking inside, I could feel myself becoming more and more okay with this induction talk.

Fortunately, on the morning of Saturday, May 21st, at approximately 9:45am, my body decided to get things going! I woke up with a contraction and from then on, they were coming every 4-6 minutes. They were only about 40 seconds long though, so I wasn't too sure if it was the real thing or not.

After a few hours of this, we called L&D and the nurse said to wait a few hours and then come in to be checked (especially because I was already almost a week late).

I walked around the kitchen, I bounced on my birthing ball, and the contractions kept coming. They weren't too painful, but definitely noticeable enough to make me stop for a second and breathe. Verner immediately started cleaning the kitchen (late nesting?) and packed up our stuff in the car. We took a shower, then off we went!

We made a last minute call to stop for a sandwich before heading to the hospital (BEST idea ever because the second you get admitted: no mas food for you).

Before officially admitting us, the nurse checked to see how dilated I was. Here was another time I was convinced of something only to be shut down. I thought I'd for sure be at least a 4, but nope. I was 2-2.5cm dilated. THAT'S IT. However, again, because I was almost a week late, she suggested we walk around the hospital for an hour and then they would officially admit me.

So off we walked. Which, by this time (around 1:45pm), the contractions were decently strong where I would stop in the hallway and have Verner press hard on my lower back while I breathed through them (about every 2-4 minutes).

At 2:45pm, the nurse checked me again and I was at a 3! Progress! I was admitted, the IV was started, and I hopped on the bouncy ball again.

A few more hours later, and some strong breathing slash jiggling of the leg, slash staring intently at a spot on the wall through each contraction, and I was 4cm dilated.

Annnnddd that's about when I said, "Well alright then, I've got a good idea on what labor feels like, no need to feel this anymore. Let's go ahead and get that epidural started."

Again, I had imagined in my head, pre-labor, that I wanted to try and get to like a 5 or 6cm dilated before getting an epidural. I didn't know if the epi would slow the labor down and part of me wanted to see if I could do it, but then when the actual moment was happening, I kind of just threw those thoughts out the window and did what felt right at the moment. "Don't be a hero," said my friends. Say no more.

About an hour later, the epidural man came. This epidural man liked to talk. A lot. But whatevs, kept me distracted. I always wonderered what it would feel like, but to be honest: not too shabby! Just a slight pinch and then you're done.

Here's the shitty part though: The epidural worked gloriously on the right side of my body. The left? Not so much. I could still feel each contraction in my lower left back and lower left abdomen. Ugh. So the epidural man came back after a few hours and jiggled the tube in my back to try and "reset" it. That seemed to help (at least for a few hours).

I was checked again, I think around 9pm, and I was 7cm dilated!

Things were progressing great; I was doing it on my own (aka no Pitocin), and I thought MAYBE I could be having my baby before midnight!

And then here's another part where you think one thing is going to happen, but then something else entirely does instead.

Around 11pm or so, they checked me again........Nothing. No progress whatsoever. In fact, the doctor checked this time (instead of the nurse), and she felt like I was more a 6-7cm, not a 7-8 like the nurse thought.


So THEN, the doc recommended she break my water and give me the lowest dose of Pitocin to try and help things along. She said they like to see SOME sort of progress every hour, and I had none. I was pretty exhuasted at this point and I really wanted my body to progress! So we thought about it for a few minutes and I decided we would give it a try.

She broke my water and started the Pit.

Oh and did I mention that the epidural stopped working again on my left side?
And did I also mention that I was throwing up almost every hour?

Anyway, fast forward through 6 hours of that and in came the doctor again to check me. Here we go, I thought. This is it! They're going to tell me it's almost go time!

....except the opposite of that happened. NO progress. None whatsoever. In fact, my cervix began to get irritated and swollen. My contractions were not getting stronger and my body just decided to stop dilating. 

This was around 5 in the morning, almost 20 hours of sleepless laboring. Egg-Sauce-Ted.

The sweet Dr. gently let me know that she strongly recommended a C section. That it wasn't normal for my body to not progress at all over 6+ hours time.

The good news? Baby was PERFECT throughout this whole experience. Never had any issues with his heart rate or movement. #majorrelief

She said if we went forward with a C section, I could see my baby in about 45 minutes. Having flashbacks of the YouTube videos I watched of C sections and how rough it looked on the baby to be "yanked" out of the womb made me say, "Will you promise to be extra gentle when pulling him out?"

She promised. I said, "Let's do this." Verner got scrubbed up.

As I was involuntarily shaking due to all of the drugs coursing through me, they wheeled me to the operating room. Strapped my arms in a T-Shape to my side, set up a blue curtain, had the epidural man FULLY numb me up, then brought Verner back in to sit by my head.

It was kind of a crazy experience. Not traumatic crazy, but just.... surreal crazy? I never in a million years imagined myself getting a C Section. You live through 9 months of a pregnancy telling yourself over and over the kind of birth you want, that you really believe it will happen that way. So when reality tells you otherwise, sometimes it's a little hard for your brain to keep up.

I felt tugging and pulling, I could hear the doctors chat about something unimportant, like co-workers do, then after about 20 minutes, they told Verner he could peek over and watch him come out!

At 5:53am, on May 22nd, our little Rome Verner Dixon was born! The second I heard him cry, this overwhelming happiness came over me and out poured my own tears. I couldn't believe I was actually hearing this little human cry for the first time. This little boy who had been living in me since he was smaller than a poppy seed is finally on the outside. All 9 pounds, 21 inches of him.

They left the umbilical cord a little longer (which never did get that "delayed clamp" I had wanted) so that Verner could experience cutting it. Then they let Verner bring him over to me, as they sewed me shut, so I could finally see our sweet boy.

And booooyyyyy was he puffy-eyed and cone-headed! I'm talking straight up boxer eyes after a 12-round fight, poor babe. Then off he went for immediate skin-to-skin with his dad while I was left to be finished up.

They finally wheeled me to the recovery room, as I was trying my hardest to stay awake through all the drugs and 20-hour labor exhaustion. And then Verner handed me our sweet boy and it was simply amazing. I did it. We did it. He was here. 

And then finally, something happened according to my birth plan!!! We had our skin-to-skin time and he immediately latched on and nursed! I had always wondered if the ol' boob job would hinder my feeding skills, but nope! Out came the food into this very hungry boy. Who basically hasn't stopped nursing since.

It's true what they say though, you never really know what your birth experience will be like until you go through it. And chances are? It will be completely different than what you thought it'd be.

But it's also true what they say. It doesn't matter how your baby gets here. As long as you're healthy and baby is healthy? It really doesn't matter. You didn't "fail" as a woman if you needed some assistance to get your babe. You aren't less of a woman if you decided to ease the pain through modern medicine. No matter what, You. Grew. A. Human! You birthed a human! You made life! How incredible is that?

I'm so thankful. I'm thankful for my incredible husband (which, I could write up a whole new blog post on just how amazing he was throughout this whole experience). I'm thankful for the nurses and doctors who made this experience so calm and pleasant throughout. I'm thankful for my mom and her support in the L&D room. And I'm thankful for this sweet son of mine for sleeping peacefully over the last hour and a half so I could write this post. 

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Friday, March 25, 2016

...and then I cried during the hospital tour.

Last night, The Dizzle and I had our hospital tour. 

We hopped in the car, did a "let's pretend this is the real thing" drive and made it in 16 minutes from door to door. #nottooshabby

We were in happy spirits, laughing, making "I'm in labor" jokes. You know, the usual first-time parents shenanigans. 

Once we got there, we were joined by about 9 other couples, all in the same happy spirits. After all, this is where we were potentially going to deliver our babies! How exciting, right?!

The nice tour guide, Kimberley, did a great job in explaining what the process would be like on D Day. She was super friendly and informative. I liked Kimberley. Come to think of it, everyone on staff was super friendly and welcoming. Good job, guys.

After the 5 minute intro, she led us all up to the 4th Floor: The Birth Center. She explained that there were 24 Birth "Suites" and they were all private. Which I was happy about, because I'm not about to have this situation:

So in we walked to said "Suite", which let me just say is a word that should be used loosely. I personally don't consider a small twin bed and decorations that look like they're from the early 90's a "suite".  But that's neither here nor there.

About 60 seconds after walking into the room, something shifted in me.

There was just something about being in that room and looking at this little bed where I would be PUSHING A BABY OUT OF MY YOU KNOW WHAT that seemed to hit me and the reality of the situation sunk in. I mean, obviously I know we're having a baby. And obviously this baby has to come out somehow. But just standing there, imagining this actually happening sometime in the next 7 weeks kind of freaked me out. Like, ummm... no. nope. nevermind. don't wanna do this! Peace out everyone.

And then, when I get overwhelmed, I cry of course. Happy, angry, sad: You can usually expect tears.

So then that sweet, sweet husband of mine pulled me close and told me it was okay to be scared and it was all going to be okay and he would be right there next to me the whole time. 

Yeah. Right there next to me on that tiny, tiny mental-institution-looking bed. (I don't know why I have such an issue with this bed! Like, what was I expecting? A luxurious King Size Tempur-Pedic??)

Anyway, I took a few deep breaths and we joined the other couples out in the hallway, whom I'm sure were thinking I was the crazy, hormonal pregnant lady. But really now, how did everyone look so calm??

We finished the tour and then left the hospital; me in a much different state than when entering.

I just need to remember that I am not the first woman to have a baby. This is done all over the world, every single day. Our bodies were made for this. I can do this! I will do this. I have to do this. And then, this one (maybe two?) day of discomfort will be over and the reward we get will be priceless. We'll finally get to meet our sweet, sweet babe and bring him home with us forever. I think that's a pretty good reward, don't you?

Deep breaths. I got this.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bloat? HA.

Once upon a time, at just 15 weeks pregnant, I thought I was super large and super bloated....

And now, this 31.5 weeker LAUGHS at that 15 weeker! You had no IDEA what large meant, silly girl! HA!

And what's even funnier? Okay, not funny. Scary, maybe? Is that I still have 8.5 weeks to go. THAT'S TWO FULL MONTHS of growing that will be happening.

Let's just let that sink in for a second. <insert wide-eyed emoji>

Ooooh, but then I feel the little guy squirm, kick and wiggle and it gets me feeling all kinds of happy. I can't wait to meet you, baby. 

Just maybe do me a favor and don't be a 12 pound baby? K thanks.

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