Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Leave it to "Secret Life"

Normally I would write about my weigh in (down 0.5 this week!! :) But as I was getting ready to sit down and watch an episode of "Secret Life" on Netflix, I got hooked. Needless to say, the subject of my blog has totally changed for today. I watched episode #73 today...aka the birth and death of Ben and Adrienne's baby. If you have watched it, then you know it is an emotional episode to say the least. To me it evoked emotions that I battle with all of the time.

Many of you know that I gave birth on 1/18/11 to my beautiful little boy. What many of you do not know is my labor and delivery story...It is a long story, so hang in there:)

On 1/16/11, I went to my sister's baby shower, I hadn't felt like myself at all. I was sick to my stomach, weak and more swollen than I could have ever imagined. As I sat with my feet propped up, my youngest sister rubbed my feet. She was astonished to realize that she couldn't feel the bones in my feet. I was miserable! My appointment was the next day and I went in with every intention of BEGGING for an induction.

I showed up to my appointment on Monday 1/17/11, barely able to bend my knees from the swelling. And of course, my blood pressure was elevated to 158/88. I had prepared an entire speech for when the doctor came in, but when she entered she did a check and looked over my chart and told me that I had probably been in labor since Saturday night! I expressed my preference to have her deliver my baby as opposed to the "on call" doctor. She agreed and said that if I didn't have him by Wednesday, then she would induce me.

This pregnancy was FINALLY almost over:) I went to lunch with my parents and husband and talked excitedly about what was to come. When I said goodbye to my parents I told them I would see them on Wednesday, and my mom smiled and said,

"Or maybe tonight"

I went home and finalized my hospital bag and the diaper bag. My husband and I just hung out for the night. I had been contracting on and off for weeks, but they were starting to get closer. It was a full moon and we were due for a winter storm that night, and something told me that he was coming, and soon!

My biggest fear was to going to the hospital only to get sent home. I wanted to be absolutely certain that when we went, I would be there to stay! So as my contractions got closer, I remained calm. I didn't want to get Steve worried for no reason. So when the sleet started, followed by lots of snow, I got a little nervous. Steve was ready to take me to the hospital but I insisted on a hot bath first:) So I took my book and got in the bath. I continued having contractions. When I came out, I looked at Steve, but I didn't have to say anything. He just got pale and said,

"Really? In this snow storm?"

What would have been a 10 min drive took 40 minutes thanks to the terrible weather and the fact that it was midnight and the roads were completely covered. As I checked into the hospital, I called my parents to let them know that I was there, but there was no rush...I could not have been more right!

Lots of cervical checks, and laps around the floor and I could not dilate passed 4cm. I was contracting every 4 minutes but no progress. After 9 hours of being in the hospital, they finally admitted me and my doctor came in to start pitocin. Soon after the pitocin was administered, it was time for an epidural.

The epidural is something I had said from the beginning that I wanted. But when it came to to consent for it, I got scared and unsure. Then the first pitocin contraction kicked in and I was sold! LOL! The first stick was not so bad...yes I said FIRST! That is because they missed and shot spinal fluid across the room, so they had to do it a second time. Steve had to step outside, and mom and I cried the entire time they were getting the second epidural rolling.

Several hours later, and I was maxed out on pitocin. By this time I had also had a reaction to the steroid in the bolus in my epidural so I was scratching uncontrollably. Oh, and did I mention that I was still not dilated passed 6???

Four boluses in my epidural and pitocin set at 10, and very little progress...My right side never went numb and I was still in enough pain that I couldn't sleep through the contractions. I was miserable and EXHAUSTED!!!! Did I mention that I also got a low grade fever from the boluses, so I was trembling uncontrollably...It was now 6pm on Tuesday and I hadn't been to sleep since 8am on Monday. At 8pm, I was only dilated to 8cm. We were all exhausted (my husband, parents and both sisters had been there with me all day), My husband decided to step out for a smoke and my dad wanted to get something out of the car. Since I was progressing at a ridiculously slow speed, I was ok with them heading out for a break.

Within a few minutes, I looked at my mom and said that I needed to use the bathroom. She reassured my that I had a catheter so I didn't have to worry about it. That is when I clarified that I had to poop. Yep, I said it! :)

She yelled for the nurse, they checked me...TA DA! I was FINALLY at 10cm and my husband wasn't there!! I looked at my sister with pure panic in my eyes and yelled,

"Get STEVE!!!"

When Steve arrived at my side, and everything hit me. I burst into tears, I wasn't sure I was ready for this. I didn't think I could do it...If you have delivered a child you know what I mean when I talk about this feeling.

At this point the nurse said it is time to do some "practice pushes." Which are real pushes as it turns out! My doctor wasn't even there yet! But I geared up and started pushing.

I won't go into the details of pushing, what I will tell you is that NO ONE can prepare you for how hard it is to push. Especially when you haven't slept in 30+ hours. So I begin pushing, I got in 3 pushes and my doctor showed up! I continued to push on cue, while passing out between contractions. I honestly didn't know how much more I could take.

The doctor tells the nurse to take off the band on my belly, that it is in her way. Then we press on...

I look around and notice there are several staff members in the room with me. It is a small hospital and I was the only one in labor and delivery so I didn't think too much about it.

I continue pushing, I had pushed my 3 pushes and was looking for a break. But instead the doctor looks at me and says,

"I need you to come back and push again...now"

That is when I felt the burning, but I kept pushing. I was sure that I was done at this point, I had nothing left, I was so tired. I told Steve I couldn't push anymore.

He tells me, "You are doing great, you can do this." Like he has any idea what "this" is ;)

Some people have a huge birth plan, that is terribly involved. That is not me. I only wanted 2 things...no IV drugs and I wanted my son placed on my chest immediately so that he could nurse. At this point I had not had any IV drugs.

I push one last time and the doctor throws the baby to my chest. I remember pulling him towards me as a nurse comes and takes him from me. It is then that I see that my son is purple.

The doctor continues to reassure me that they are just going to "stimulate him."  I had watched enough shows to know that this is fairly common. But I was scared to death. Next thing I know, the crash team rushes out taking my son with them. I didn't have to say anything, I just look as Steve, and I was crying hysterically.

With tears in his eyes, all he says is, "I know." It seemed as though time has stopped. The doctor keeps telling me that he is ok, and that he has been a strong little boy for 9 months. But when you have yet to hear your baby cry, there are no words to soothe you.

The entire room was a mess. I was was inconsolable...

It was 2 minutes before we heard my son cry. They did full resuscitation measures on him. When he cried, so did everyone else in the room.
It turns out, Jayce had gotten the cord around his neck 3 times. Every time he had tried to descend into the birth canal he was hanging himself. It turns out that they had lost his heart beat while I was pushing, which is why they removed my belt as to not alarm me. My husband tells me that not long after that he saw the doctor hit the emergency call button. Which is why there were so many people in the room.

The doctor had literally gone in with both hands to pull the baby the rest of the way out since he wouldn't come out on his own and there was no time for a c-section. That is why I felt a burning sensation.  When she finally got him out, she had trouble getting a clamp on the cord because it was wrapped so tightly.

Once we hear him cry, the nurse takes Steve to meet our son. But thanks to the epidural I am not allowed to go. The nurse tells me that there is a 2 hour recovery with the epidural BUT she will let me see my son in 45 minutes if I can get myself from the bed to the wheelchair on the other side of the room without her help. At this point it was only Lindsey and I in the room. I didn't have to say a word, she knew that I was going to make that walk.  It was the longest, hardest walk of my life...but I did it. I walked to that damn wheelchair and I was finally able to meet my son.

Having him old my hand made everything that I had gone through worth it. I won't lie. I still mourn what I nearly lost. You may think its crazy, I mean I have him with me, I get to see him smile and kiss him all over. What is there to mourn...I guess that just means you haven't been in my shoes. You didn't almost lose everything in the blink of an eye. And if that is the case, I am thankful. I am thankful that you did not have to go through it...I wouldn't wish that trauma on anyone. I AM grateful every single day that I have this little man in my life. He is truly the light of my life, my entire heart and soul.

But, when I watch something so terrible on "The Secret Life" or I hear about someone losing a baby, I cry. I cry for them and what they may be feeling and I cry for me and my son, for my family who was there with me during the worst and best moment of my life...My family who nearly lost their son, grandson and nephew.

I would not be where I am today without my husband who coached me while in labor, held me while we waited to hear Jayce cry, and went to make sure our son was okay.

Or without my mom who taught me to breathe and coached me through the hardest thing I have ever done.

Or without my dad who stayed so strong and helped hold my head.

Or without my sister Taryn, who rushed to my side while everyone got a grip, and held me while crying with me.

Or without my sister Lindsey who made sure that I made the most important walk of my life.

I am nothing without my family <3


  1. Wow Amber, that is an amazing story!!! I'm so glad you both made it and your little man is 7 months old!:)

  2. Thank you, Jen!! I still can't believe he is 7 months old!! :)

  3. Amazingly touching story, God was with your son that's all I can say.