Today, Sunday April 8, 2007 is Cade's 7th birthday! Hard to believe that it has been 7 years since he came into our world, in a blaze of glory....I suppose being hugely pregnant is making me super sappy and sentimental, so I decided I wanted to share his birth story! I copied and pasted this for the antiquated computer in my husband's office!
Big babies pose a problem with delivery, so given the fact that Emily weighed 10 pounds and broke her collarbone during delivery and that Grant and Jake had both been 9 pounds, I was being watched very carefully. The OB who was following me promised to deliver my baby no later than 38 weeks;hopefully avoiding the large baby/broken collarbone problem we had experience with my third child. Unfortunately she never noted in my chart that she planned to deliver me early, and when she went on unexpected leave when I was 37 weeks pregnant, none of the other doctors believed that I had been told I would be delivered at 38 weeks. They each thought that I just wanted my pregnancy over and that I was pushing to be induced for my convenience rather than true medical concern. So despite my protests and my ever-growing abdomen, I waited out weeks 38 and 39. On the day before my April 8 due date, the ultrasound tech estimated the baby to weigh about 8 pounds, 12 ounces, just under the doctor's 9 pound threshold for avoiding ac-section (the one thing that she actually did note on my chart!).. After consulting with the doctor who would be on call on the following morning, we were scheduled for induction at 7 am, Saturday, April 8, 2000.After almost 40 weeks, it seemed unbelievable that the end was finally so close. We scrambled to make plans for all of the children the following morning. My friend Michelle came to the house and watched everyone from 6 am until other friends could pick them up. Brett ended up staying with his best friend from school, Hannah and Emily stayed with another friend, and Grant and Jake went home with Michelle. The weather in Cincinnati had turned rather nasty. At midweek we had been wearing shorts and t-shirts but the forecast now included rain and snow, with temperatures falling through the 30's, what a gloomy day. At about 6:50 a.m. we pull into University Hospital parking garage and head over to triage. I change into my favorite light blue nursing gown and the nurse tries to start the IV. It only takes her two tries to get it started, but that is one more time than I would have liked. I really hate needles. The doctor checked and says that the cervix is high,firm, and just under 3 centimeters dilated and that baby is at -3 (still floating). The doctor asks if we would be interested in participating in a research study for a new induction drug. The one drawback is that it can take up to 48 hours for labor to start. We had been through two long inductions already (Grant was around 20 hours and Jake had been over 36hours) so we felt we had nothing to lose. Finally just after 10 a.m. a labor room is open and we are transferred. At 10:45 a.m. the study drug is administered. The doctor says she will be back in to check on us in four hours unless we need her sooner, and then we can ring for her. I experience some mild cramping, certainly not painful at all, and both Jay and I ended up taking a nap. At 12:45 p.m. the doctor returns to discuss my concerns about shoulder dystocia and she feels that given that Emily was rather short and round that this baby appeared to be much longer and at least a pound lighter and that this baby should emerge rather easily. Since she was in the room, she decides to check for dilation and announces that I am now 100% effaced and close to 4 centimeters. I haven't felt hardly anything, she decides to stop the study drug (obviously labor is now underway, there is no turning back) and says she will transfer us to a birthing room and start pitocin as soon as one opens up (little did we know at that point that 15 other women were also in labor... YIKES!).The nurse brings up a lunch tray and I devour everything (I had been told not to eat after midnight: roast beef, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables,applesauce and a slice of wheat bread. Around 2 p.m. Jay and I start to play the alphabet name game, we each pick at least one name for each letter of the alphabet (minus the letters the other kids names start with) it helps to pass the time since basically nothing is happening at this point, mild contractions, we watch bits of a movie on TV (the Langoliers by Stephen King) and once again we nap (remembering what a long road we might have ahead of us given our other birth experiences). At 3:30 p.m. we are finally moved to the LDR room. The nurse administers IV antibiotics because I was group B strep positive with a previous pregnancy. Jay and I decide to narrow the list of names and rather quickly have it narrowed down to three names(Dalton, Lance, and Quinn) for a boy and three names (Veronica, Alison, and Sarah) for a girl. The question is, will we still agree on any of the three once the baby gets here? At 4:35 the pitocin is finally started. A side note here: at about 4:15 p.m. I decided to have Jay pull out the camera so it is ready and I discovered that the batteries I just bought two weeks early are completely dead! Jay runs out to get new batteries, and I dig out a cheap disposable camera for the labor bag in case it is needed. By 5:10 p.m., the contractions are starting to piggyback... vivid memories of my last labor and the 15 hours of piggybacking contractions that did nothing keep flashing in my mind. Jay makes it back with the batteries and I am feeling pretty miserable. The doctor agrees to break my amniotic sac, even though baby is still very high,in order to get labor rolling along. She said that it was the toughest sac she ever had to break, probably explaining why the stupid thing didn't break when I fell down the steps in the rain on Monday, April 3. Within an hour of the sac breaking contractions and pressure are really building I can remember thinking to myself, "Please let these contractions be doing something." The doctor decides to check and says we are at just over 6 centimeters dilated. I am so relieved because I stayed stuck at 3centimeters with my last baby for over 12 hours. Jay comments on how smoothly things are going (of course it is smooth for him -- he can't comprehend feeling like a bowling ball is trying to escape from your bottom), we have made it to more than 6 centimeters and that we are in the home stretch and he hasn't gotten yelled at once or been made to massage my back for hours on end. Somewhere shortly after 9 p.m. I feel a contraction that I know is different, the sensation that maybe I could push is there.The next contraction I try to completely relax and listen to my body, as the contraction builds I can feel my body being called to push. About 90 seconds later the next contraction begins, I moan, look at Jay and say, "Go get the nurse and the doctors; it is time to push." Everyone rushes in. The doctor checks me at 9:40 p.m. and declares I am complete and that I can push whenever I want. Since I had gestational diabetes, the room begins to fill with medical personnel. Along with the two OB doctors and three nurses there are also five pediatricians in the room. Empowered by the freedom to finally push, we didn't go with the typical controlled pushing to the frantic count of 10. The doctor allows me to push as many times as I choose through each contraction. The head rapidly descends; I can feel bone moving through bone. Someone's pager keeps going off and I make some comment to the effect that they either need to answer the damn thing or given it to me so I can throw it out the window. Dr.Carpenter comments the next day that she has never had a patient keep her sense of humor the way I did during pushing. I probably pushed a total of 20times, through about 8 contractions. I will never forget that wonderful feeling as the face cleared the pubic bone. What a wonderful feeling to know that the baby is almost here. The head completely out; I know from previous
experience that one more good push and baby should be free.I push, and NOTHING. Suddenly all 10 members of the medical staff in the labor room fall quiet. I know our worst fear has come to pass: the shoulders are stuck. The head of the bed is rapidly dropped (talk about a head rush) and I am practically doing a headstand. The OB tried to break his collarbone but couldn't. At this point they had pushed the mirror out of the way so I couldn't see what was going on, so I was looking at my husband and watching the color literally drain from his face. He got whiter and whiter. Later he told me this was because 1) baby was getting grayer by the minute and 2) he heard the neonatologist say that they has lost the baby to a nurse as he sent her from the room. Too distraught to look at my husband any longer, I decided to focus on the OB. Big mistake. When I caught sight of my OB's face, she was crying. Talk about being freaked out! Finally she managed to reach her fingers between the public bone and the tightly wedged flesh of the baby's shoulder,maneuvering her fingers under the left armpit, and she rotates the arm in and up popping baby out. Free at last at 10:01 p.m., it's a boy! My son is blue, limp and lifeless. My husband leaves my bedside practically running over to the table where they are working on our son. The doctor lets the placenta deliver itself (10:26 pm), and then makes a final check for tearing or skid marks, and not a single stitch is needed. Thanks the Lord for flexible tissue! During this time the baby is taken to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit to be assessed. Jay follows him to NICU and then comes back to tell me he is stable and that they are assessing him and going to run some tests. Jay and I both agree that he looks just like Jake and we decide none of the names on the list seem fitting. About 11:30 p.m. one of the pediatricians comes back into delivery room and tells us that baby broke his humerus (bone in his upper arm) during delivery and also has suffered some nerve damage, and that they are consulting with an orthopedic doctor from Children's Hospital. After the delivery, physically I felt pretty good with the exception of feeling like my pelvic bone is bruised and the fact that my afterpains felt like labor contractions. I finally got to see my son at 1:45 a.m., little splint on his arm and all! I spent so much of that night and the next day angry with the doctors for endangering my son's life. I felt that if anyone had listened to me he would have been spared a broken arm and damaged nerves and my husband and I would have been spared almost losing our son. So even as I hold my son and look at him I can't help but erase from my mind my first image of him, so sick and barely clinging to life. I can't imagine what my life would be like without him.