Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Harrison's Birth Story

I checked into the hospital on Wednesday, July 2 at about 6 PM.  I was taken to my room and changed into a gown and got into bed to get hooked up to the monitors.  The day nurse was finishing up her shift and she worked on getting all the paperwork filled out.  Once the night nurse, Megan, came in, she started my IV and got me hooked up to the monitors.  Thankfully, the IV was less drama than last time!  I told Megan that Harrison was not a fan of the heartbeat monitor and that he would probably be a pain to monitor and keep running away from it.  I was right, and Megan spent the majority of her shift in my room trying to keep him on the monitor.

Pitocin was started at about 8:15 PM.  It was gradually increased every half an hour, but only as long as Harrison stayed on the monitor long enough to watch his heart rate.  At one point, Megan asked another nurse to come in and try to find his heartbeat.  She succeeded, but it was short lived.

At around 1 AM, my contractions began to intensify to the point where I had to focus and breathe through them.  I was surprised at how quickly they escalated.  Before then, I wasn’t feeling much in terms of contractions.  All of sudden, they came strong!  I ordered the epidural at 1:30 AM, and the anesthesiologist came in to administer it at around 2:00 AM.  Once he was finished, I laid flat on my back and waited for it to take effect.  My toes were very tingling and I commented that I didn’t feel like that last time.

Megan checked my progress once the epidural had taken effect.  I was a “loose 1”.

Harrison was still running away from the heart rate monitor, and now that I had both the Pitocin and the epidural going, it was even more important to keep him on the monitor.  He wasn’t cooperating.  After Megan had spent a great amount of time trying to find him, she asked another nurse to come in.  This nurse decided to move the contraction to the bottom and the heart rate monitor to the top.  She found his heartbeat and I commented that it was weird that it was so high.  He said that sometimes the machines pick it up in weird sports.  She left, and I laid there and rested for eyes for a little bit.

Shortly after 4 AM, Megan came back into the room.  She told me that she hated to ruin the surprise, but that we would get to witness Dr. Manas’ awesome bedhead.  We had been joking earlier in the night that it was too bad that I wouldn’t be delivering overnight because Dr. Manas comes in with awesome bedhead.  I asked why I would get to see him and she said that they called him and he wanted to come in and scan me because he thought that Harrison was breech given where the heart beat was found.  My heart sank!

Dr. Manas arrived around 4:20 AM and immediately did an ultrasound.  His suspicions were confirmed and Harrison had indeed turned breech.  Dr. Manas ordered that the Pitocin be stopped and let me know that we would have to do a c-section.  I was heartbroken, and everybody could see it.  Dr. Manas said that he couldn’t send me home because of the meds, and he didn’t want to risk turning the baby and rupturing my bag of waters and causing complications.  I, of course, agreed to the c-section and once everyone had left the room, I cried.

There were c-sections already scheduled for the morning, and since it wasn’t an emergency, I was told that I would go back at about noon.  Drew and I called everyone that needed to know, and filled them in on the situation and that I would be having a c-section.  Dr. Manas said that Dr. Holden would be in for the surgery too.  He came in to see us and we chatted with him for over an hour about what he was doing since he was no longer practicing at ARC.

It was around noon that I began getting prepped for the surgery.  Nurses came in to fill out paperwork, Drew was given his scrubs, and I was given a nasty drink to drink that would help lower the acidity in my stomach.  Once Dr. Manas ordered the c-section, I was no longer allowed to have any sort of liquid, even ice chips.  So, I was actually a little glad for the nasty drink because I was very thirsty.

I was wheeled back to the OR and entered at exactly 1:00 PM.  I remember seeing the clock on the wall.  I moved over to the operating table and everyone in the room began to get prepared for surgery.  There were three anesthesiologists; one main one, an intern, and a student.  The main one basically stood back and supervised the other two.  Once they had dosed up the epidural, Dr. Manas asked if I could feel anything.  I told him no, and he called for Drew to be brought in.  Then, he asked for a knife and I started crying.  I was completely overwhelmed and still hadn’t come to terms with the fact that I was having a c-section.

The rest of the surgery was a bit of a blur.  I felt nauseous and threw up a few times.  The anesthesiologists were very kind and helped to reassure me, especially since I was crying.  I remember it being very hard to keep my eyes open and I felt extremely tired.  I later learned that my blood pressure was very low and the main anesthesiologist was keeping a very close eye on it.

I heard Dr. Manas call out that there was extra fluid, and then I heard a splash on the floor.  Harrison was born quickly later at 1:17 PM and he was immediately taken to the warmer.  I heard him cry and I felt awful that I couldn’t comfort him.  I kept looking over to try to see him, but I couldn’t see anything and it was still hard to keep my eyes open.  After just a few minutes, he was wrapped up and brought over for me to see.  Before surgery, I had been told that I could hold him if I wanted to and do skin-to-skin.  I wasn’t stable enough, so Drew took him out to the nursery.  Harrison weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces and was 19 ¾ inches long.

Dr. Manas finished up with the surgery.  A benefit of having the c-section meant that he could look at the endometriosis.  He cleaned up the endo from my uterus, tubes, and ovaries, and then sewed me up.  I was taken to recovery.  My blood pressure was still very low, so I was being monitored closely for that.  It was still hard to keep my eyes open.  Drew came in and told me that I needed to breastfeed Harrison soon because his sugars were low.  I could tell that the nurse was a little concerned because my blood pressure was still low.  I told them to bring him in so that I could nurse him.  Drew left, and returned a little bit later with a lactation consultant who brought Harrison in.  Harrison latched immediately and did a great job nursing.  I was finally allowed to have some ice chips!  Ice never tasted so good.

I stayed in recovery until about 4:15 PM and was then moved to my room.  Once I was all set up in there, Rachel brought Annelise to the hospital to meet Harrison.  She loved him and kept kissing him and hugging him and wanted to hold him.  
Even though the birth didn’t turn out how I imagined it, I was so happy that Harrison arrived safely and he was healthy.

All images compliments of Photography by Kristen.