Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5, 2009 - Ledger's Birth Story

May 5, we were 4 days overdue with Ledger. My doc had scheduled an induction for the morning of May 7th, which I was dreading! Chris and I spent all day May 4th doing yard work and got up May 5th and took a long walk and went to run errands. I started having some contractions while we were at the mall at 11:00am. We went to lunch at 11:30am and I noticed some spotting when I went to the bathroom. I called my doc and left a message with the nurse. I finally got to talk to a nurse at 1:30 in the afternoon -- she thought that it didn't sound like labor -- maybe just a UTI. I went to the office and gave them a urine sample. By 3:30pm, I hadn't heard back from the doctor's office and my contractions were getting closer together... about 4-5 minutes apart consistently. Chris was insistent that we should go to the hospital. I called the doctor's office again to tell them that I think things are getting more serious and they sent us up to labor & delivery.

We arrived around 4:00 and got hooked up to monitors. The nurse checked and I was dilated to 2cm and 90% effaced. After an hour of monitoring my contractions, I was still only dilated to 2cm. Since the hospital can't say we were "in labor" until they could monitor actual progress, they sent us home around 5 p.m. My contractions were consistently 4-5 minutes apart, so we were told to come back when the contractions felt stronger.

Just walking out to the parking lot made a huge difference in my contractions! We stopped to get dinner for Chris and by the time we got home at 5:30, the contractions had definitely increased in intensity. By 7 pm, contractions were really strong and only 2-3 minutes apart. I tried walking and getting in a long, hot shower but it was starting to get way too painful! So I called the hospital and told them that I felt like contractions were a lot stronger, even though I'd only been sent home an hour and a half ago! The nurse told me to come on back.

Chris and I packed up again and headed back to L&D. Then everything happened really fast. I arrived at 7:15 and was dilated to 4cm. They started an IV and called to have lab work done. By the time my doc arrived at 7:45, I was dilated to 6cm and was *very* ready for my epidural. My doc broke my water and saw that there was some meiconium present. The anesthesiologist came in at 8:15 and took about half an hour to put my epidural in place. Sitting still through the contractions was the worst part -- the epidural was GREAT once it kicked in. By 9pm I was dilated to a 9 and by 9:30, doctor said it was time to push. I couldn't feel a thing, thanks to the epdiural, so they had to tell me when to push with a contraction. The doctor manually repositioned him from "sunny side up" to sideways and after a few pushes, Ledger's heart rate started to drop from 150 bpm to 60-70 bpm while I was pushing. The doc was pretty anxious to get him delivered because of his dropping heart rate, and decided to use forceps as an aide. After about 10 good pushes, his head was out. 2 more pushes and Ledger was delivered!

Due to the meiconium in the amnion, the pediatrician on-call was present to check my boy. His lungs didn't sound great. They let me hold him for about 30 seconds before whisking him off to NICU. I had two 1st degree lacerations on my internal vaginal walls that wouldn't quit bleeding -- it took my doc almost 45 minutes to them them stitched up! During that time, Chris and baby Ledger were gone to NICU and I was dying to know what was going on! I threw up from the adrenaline about an hour after delivery. By midnight, the pediatrician came back in and told me that they planned on keeping Ledger in the NICU for 2-3 days because he had aspirated the meiconium. The nurses tried for an hour and a half to get an IV in him, but couldn't. He was started on antibiotics and placed in an oxygen hood because his respiration rate was faster than it should be.

By 2:15am, I was starting to feel like I could stand and was taken to shower and change clothes. We were transferred from L&D to Mother-Baby and I *finally* got to see my little boy around 2:30am. He was laying in an incubator with an astronaut-type oxyget helmet over his head, so we couldn't hold him. He had multiple monitor wires all over him -- it was very hard to see my newborn without really touching him!

The doctors estimate that he will need to be in the NICU for 2-3 days. We will just have to monitor his progress and see how it goes.

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