Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Caden's Birth - the full story

Jean went into labor around 4pm on Sunday, November 11, she'd started to leak a little bit of fluid and have some minor contractions. We called the hospital and they recommended we come in, but the nurse I spoke with said 'you're probably not in labor." By the time we reached the hospital, I was pretty sure I was in labor, we into their 'triage' center, but the nurse figured out pretty quickly that I really was in active labor. We checked in around 7pm, and I was at 2.5cm dilated. I would swear we got there sooner, but I lost all track of time. I'm going off notes from my sister. While we were in the triage area, I remember that the pain was getting pretty severe and telling Mark that we needed into our room and get me focused or the Hypnobirthing would be doing us no good.

We called my folks and they came to the hospital and stayed the entire time - troopers! My brother-in-law managed to get off work early so my sister could come. She got there about 5:30am. We decided not to call Mark's mum as all she would do is worry. So Mark called her in the morning once Caden was born.

We got into our room and I got set up with the Hypnobirthing CD, the background music, the aromatherapy. Our nurse and staff was great, kept the lights low, kept voices low, I really wasn't aware of people in the room or much else of was what going on. I remained focused and managed the pain by visualizing myself opening up and compartmentalizing the sensation. Since the contractions, or 'surges' as they're called were regular, I knew what to expect and it made it easier to manage it. I was doing really well. Around midnight, I'd made it to 9cm and the labor nurse really didn't believe me when I said my pain was a 6-7. However, at this point my labor stalled and I didn't progress any further. When we asked for the best way to avoid a c-section, the advice was an epidural to help me relax further. I remember thinking, 'how more relaxed would you like me to be?' So, I got the epidural around 3:30am.

Once that had happened, I was able to rest a bit, but I could still clearly feel the contractions. My big resistance to the epidural was I didn't want to be numb, so I was glad I could still feel them. This also reminded me that I tend to need more anesthesia than the average person. I could feel it when they put the catheter in. Uncomfortable.

I started to push about 5:30am, pushed for several hours, once again, with no progress. So the last option was the c-section which started about 8:15am and Caden was born around 8:35am. This is where the anesthesia issue came up again, the epidural block wasn't blocking all the pain for me, so I had to have a spinal. The surgery was once of the most unpleasant experiences of my life. There wasn't any pain, but there was so much pressure. Since I'd pushed so much, Caden was partially down the birth canal so they had a hard time getting him out. If you watch the video of the birth, all you can hear is me moaning and groaning. Once he was out, they knocked me out completely, which isn't something I would've wanted, but it was just fine with me at that point. I remember hearing that it was a boy and seeing arms and legs wiggling and moving from where he was, and that's it, I was gone.

I'd developed a fever during labor so they treated both of us with antibiotics. Caden got some fluid in his lungs during delivery so Mark carried him up to the NICU on the 4th floor. Mark said he knew it wasn't too critical if they let him carry Caden up. Although at this point, Caden didn't have a name yet. We had it narrowed down to three (four girl names), but we needed to decide together, and I wasn't available just yet. Mark stayed with him in the NICU for several hours until I woke up. He took video of the baby so that he could bring it downstairs (2nd floor) to show me, since I hadn't seen him yet. Mark & I slept for several hours that afternoon since we'd been up overnight. That evening, I managed to get out of bed so they could take me up to see the baby.

Caden was born at 37 weeks, 1 day on November 12th at 8:35am. He was 20" long, and weighed 6 lbs, 10 oz. And he's beautiful.


anjanim said...

He's beautiful! Congratulations on making it through, I'm so proud of you all. Welcome to parenthood - it rocks!! -Anjani

Dani C. said...

It's a gorgeous baby, Jean! I'm glad you are all ok now :)
Dani C.