Friday, November 23, 2007

Matthew's Birth Story

Sorry it has taken me so long to finally post Matthew's birth story. So here it is in a nutshell..

As many of you know, half way through through the pregnancy my doctor discussed the possibility of inducing me at 39 weeks. I was really happy about that since this pregnancy was so physically challenging for me. I had constant lower back and round ligament pain. The doctors kept telling me that Matthew was measuring a week ahead i.e. big, so the thought of inducing was really appealing.

During the last few weeks of the pregnancy I had a lot of cramping, Braxton Hicks contractions and other false labor signs. I was also physically exhausted and mentally beat. I was still doing the 15 hour a week commute to work and living in a house without a kitchen. Dylan was induced a week late (at 41 weeks gestation) so I had no idea what real labor pain was, so with this pregnancy I found myself over analyzing every cramp, discharge, bleeding etc.

Anyway, on Monday morning, November 12, I woke up at around 5:30 am thinking that my water bag had ruptured. I had cramping and little blood so we called my doctor's office and was told to come on in to the hospital to be evaluated. We finished packing our bags for the hospital and called Joe's mom so that she could come and get Dylan. We were on the road to the hospital by 10 am.

We went to the new Prentice Women's Hospital (Northwestern Memorial Hospital) in Chicago, checked into triage and three tests were conducted. A urine test, a smear test and a swab test of the fluids. I was also hooked up with belly bands to the heartbeat monitor. They never checked my cervix. Anyway, the tests came back negative for amniotic fluid, so my water bag did not break. My contractions/cramps weren't close enough to keep me in the hospital and we were told to go home. I was so bummed. Especially, since my doctor was planning to induce me the next morning anyway. We were there, with our bags and so ready to have that baby, but no we had to leave.

I called my doctor on the way home and she told me that she did believed that I was in labor, just not "active" labor. We made a confirmed appointment to come in the next morning at 9:30 am (Tuesday morning) to be induced. We got home at around 3 pm and I went straight to bed. I was bleeding more now and had stronger cramps.
We kept Dylan at his Nana's since it was easier than driving back and forth to Crown Point, plus Joe was trying to finish the kitchen and I was not feeling well enough to watch and entertain Dylan.

At about 5:30 pm I started to experience regular contractions that were about 5-7 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds each. I was pretty surprised at how regular they were, and at this time they weren't painful. Just really regular!

By 10 pm the contractions were definitely 5 minutes apart and lasting about 1 minute each. Much more pain now and man did I wish that I had taken Lamaze! I had no idea how to breathe through the pain. We called my doctor's office and she told me to call the emergency number to see what the doctor-on-call recommended. I was really pissed at her indecisiveness and indifference. I called and found out that Dr. Kleinberg was on call - he had delivered Dylan too! Not my regular OB and yet he ended up delivering both our boys. I was very happy about that because we had such a great experience with him the first time.

Dr. Kleinberg told me to come on in. We had everything all ready from our "false alarm" earlier in the day so we just jumped in the car and headed back to the hospital. By the time we got to the hospital (it only took us 20-30 minutes to get there) the contractions were 3 minutes apart and lasting up to 1.5 minutes. PAIN! I had to prop myself up against the wall in the triage waiting room, trying to breathe really deep and slow, but man did I want to scream with each contraction.

Once in the triage examination room my cervix as checked and I was at 5 cm and fully effaced. The belly bands were strapped back on and the contractions were still 3 minutes apart lasting 1.5 minutes. I was admitted to a delivery room and Dr. Kleinberg was notified. I think that he was told by my OB to try to keep me comfortable and waiting. I was in a lot of pain but it was manageable because I knew the epidural would be administered soon.

It must have been a busy night because the anaesthesiologist took forever to get to my room. Once there he was constantly answering his cell phone, and trying to give me the epidural between each contraction. I had the needle in my spine during one contraction and he was telling me to keep really still. As if! I was in agony. Finally, the epidural was completed. But to my total dismay it didn't take on my right side. I could feel each contraction to the fullest. Interesting that it was my right side that had issues, all through this pregnancy I had sciatic pain and round ligament pain on my right side. I must have a messed up nerve there or something.

They checked my cervix and again and I was 10 cm and ready to push, much to the nurses surpise, it was about 2 am at this point. I had checked into triage at 12 midnight. Another interesting thing happened, after the young nurse checked my cervix, she was pulling her hand out and my water bag fell out of me, it had not ruptured and was just hanging out there, outside my body. She was a little alarmed and called another nurse over. They were like "We've never seen that happen before". Comforting words, NOT! Joe said that it looked yellow and white-ish. Pretty. They just left me like that waiting for the doctor to give them instructions of what to do next.

During the next contraction the bag ruptured and by that time Dr. Kleinberg had arrived. He got dressed and told me to start pushing. After 3-4 pushes and at 2:45 am Matthew James was born. I was totally numb down there but I could still feel him coming out, I also felt that I had a small rip. One stitch I am told.

We didn't have to have Pitocin or any other hormones. I was all natural in that sense. Needless to say, we didn't keep our 9:30 am appointment to be induced! I am still amazed at how fast my labor progressed from waking up in the morning to having the baby that night/early morning. Overall, it was a less comfortable delivery compared to Dylan but I am really grateful to get a chance to really experience natural early and active labor, since it will be my last pregnancy. And of course we were so thankful that Matthew was born healthy without any complications. He has already lived up to his name which means "Gift of God".


Valerie said...

Hey Hey!
Just read Matthew's birth story, and I have to say I am really glad you experienced it naturally. I don't wanna sound like a fanatic tree hugging pain-feeling freak, but as far as my experience was concerned, most of the labor with no drugs and then pushing and delivery with no drugs was just an incredible experience:
Right of passage I guess, and almost a little death and I felt like I was being born as a mom right there and then! And feeling her rushing out of me into the big world... holy cow!
Anyway, congrats again to both of you for making it! He is just PERFECT!

Anonymous said...

What a story! Thanks for sharing it with us, Quyen! Miss you more than I can say, but sure glad that you are where you are. Love, Leslie

Niki said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! I have been out of town, so missed you other posts! I am so happy for you & hope you are getting as much rest as possible. Keep up with your great posts!!