Sunday, April 29, 2012

Samuel's Origin Story

So, our son Samuel was born on Thursday, April 26th, at 11:07AM.

The info:

First name:  Samuel (or Sam, or Sammy, or Samsonite, or Samosa, whatever.)
Middle name:  Anderson
Last name:  O'Brien
Weight @ birth:  7lbs, 15.6 oz.
Length @ birth: 20.5 inches

The story (from my POV):

So on Tuesday night at around 11pm, Jeannie and I were just getting into bed after a day of not doing much:  she had a midwife appointment, we ran some errands, we sat around.  So around 11 she starts having contractions, and with each contraction she starts having diarrhea.  And the contractions are about 15 minutes apart.  So every 15 minutes she's getting up to be in pain and poop.  Until sometime in the middle of the night when she starts throwing up with every contraction, too.  So she's starting things off not in a good way, because normally early in labor you should be resting as much as possible, drinking a lot of water, and eating some so you've got energy for the rest of the whole thing.  So she's able to do none of that.  And she's gotten no sleep because everything started happening right at bedtime. 

So Wednesday morning, after a night of getting sleep in 5 minute doses, I call the midwife to check in and tell her what's going on.  She tells me to try and get Jeannie to drink some Gatorade or Pedialyte and call her back when the contractions are about 5 minutes apart.  So we spend most of Wednesday with Jeannie either in bed, in the bathroom, or slowly walking around the house with pots and pans in every room in case she needs to throw up.  Until around 4pm, when the contractions were finally starting to speed up, and were about 6-8 minutes apart.  So I called the midwife again, and said look, she hasn't been able to keep any fluids down, and the contractions are about 6 minutes apart, and can you please just take a look at her.  So the midwife tells me to bring Jeannie to the hospital so she (the midwife) can check her (the Jeanners) out.  So we throw our hospital bag in the car and very slowly walk out to the car, and then very cautiously yet deliberately drive downtown to Mercy hospital. 

We get to the hospital around 5pm, and go up to the delivery floor where they take her into a triage room and run all the normal tests on her, and discover that she has extremely high blood pressure and also is not dialated very much (3-4 cm.  She needs to be dialated 9-10 cm to deliver.)  But, because of her alarmingly high blood pressure (something like 180-something over 120-something), and the fact that her contractions were strong and regular, they admitted her into the hospital.  They told her that because of the high blood pressure, they would need to put her on magnesium to help prevent her from seizing (!!), and also that being on magnesium would make the whole process suck.

So we get admitted to our delivery room, and this is where the whole process got really weird and terrible (for me), and time stopped having any sort of meaning and everything.  So we get admitted to our room at probably around 6pm or so, and because Jeanners has been laboring for 19 hours at this point, and is still only 4-5 cm dialated and has a long way to go, she opts for the epidural to try and get some rest (epidurals basically numb you from the belly down so you don't feel the contactions as much).  So she got an epidural and was able to get a few hours of sleep (again, by this point time had stopped meaning anything, so I have no idea how long she slept or what time it was when we woke up) and rest, which was wonderful, and she woke up later and we talked a little bit about how wonderful the epidural was and how nice it was to be able to get some rest.  Oh, also the epidural helped her to stop throwing up, which was a good thing.  So anyway, after some time, that epidural wore off, and she was still only about 6 cm dialated, and the pain of the contractions was coming through again, but she still had a long way to go.  So they gave her another epidural, and she was able to rest for a little while, and then that one wore off.  And she was still only 6 cm dialated.

So I think at this point it's sometime in the middle of the night on Thursday morning, probably around 3 or 4am.  And the anesthesiologist (Dr. Wu) comes back in and says that she can't get any more epidurals, and he was a bit stymied about why they weren't really lasting very long and said that there was one more thing they could try but that it was something that they rarely ever used for vaginal deliveries, and it was called a spinal catheter.  He said that it was the same type of anesthesia that they used for a caesarean and that it is pretty much going to be 100% effective at stopping any pain.  So the Jeanners gives him a weak thumbs up and he comes back in a little while later and gives her the spinal catheter.  She's then able to sleep for a couple of hours.  I really have no idea how long.

So then at 7am on Thursday morning, a new midwife comes on.  Her name is Kate and she's probably late-20's or early 30's, maybe.  I feel very hungover because I haven't really eaten or drunk much and haven't slept much.  The Jeanners is awake, and the spinal catheter is wearing off, and she's about 8 cm dialated.  The baby has dropped really low (I should add here that the baby has been very low for a long time by this point, and that's part of the reason why there was a lot of pain.  Low baby + not enough dialation = pain.), and Kate decides to try and work some manipulation magic and try and get Jeannie to 10cm so she can start pushing.  I have no idea what Kate did, but she was able to move things around and somehow get Jeannie ready for pushing.  Jeannie, at this point, after 2 epidurals, the spinal catheter, the continuous magnesium drip, and maybe 4 hours of sleep in the last 32 hours, is pretty much just the shell of a person.  She's laying there, and she's getting maybe a minute of rest in between contractions, and they're hurting BAD, and she's is just 100% exhausted.  Nothing left. 

And then it's time for her to push.  And Kate is there at Jeannie's feet, and there's a nurse named Tiffany that's holding her left leg, and I'm holding her right leg, and every time there's a contraction, she pushes about 3 or 4 times for ten seconds.  And I have no idea how she did it, because she seriously had NOTHING LEFT, but for about 3 hours she pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed.  And then Samuel was born.

So that's how he got here.