Sunday, May 1, 2011

Eli's Birth Story

Eli with Grandma Kathy (my mom) just after birth.
Several years ago I gave birth to the most amazing little boy in the world.  Today I was thinking about the events that led up to and included his birth and I realized that all of the things that once seemed like they would always and forever be with me like they had just happened were becoming a bit cloudy. I have decided to write down Eli's birth story, just five years late!

Scott and I were married July 2, 2005. We had planned to start trying to have a baby right away as I was going to be 31 and he 35.  My doctor and mother had both warned that it may take a while for us to conceive and I was hoping that I would be pregnant by Christmas.  I was in shock on August 27 when I took a pregnancy test and it was positive!  We decided to wait until after our first OB appointment to share the news with our family, but within an hour I just couldn't keep it to myself and ended up telling all of our family that day.  I was due May 7, 2006 and really had a great pregnancy. I had occasional nausea and was tired beyond belief, but I was able to rest often and really enjoyed my pregnancy. Just before I hit the 31 week mark, I went to an OB visit and my blood pressure what 195/106. I had to lay on my left side and rest for a while and have it rechecked.  It didn't go down, so I was sent to labor and delivery for monitoring. My blood pressure returned to normal and I was allowed to go home. Two weeks later I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and was put on bedrest.  I had to see my doctor weekly and went twice a week to labor and delivery for non-stress tests.  I quickly became very comfortable with all of the great nurses and was so thankful for all of the great care that I received.  We hadn't found out if we were having a boy or girl and all of the nurses loved that we were having a 'surprise" baby.  Frequently while I was having the NST's the baby had hiccups and it was so fun to hear them!  On my OB visit on April 28 there were concerns about my well being and since I was 38 weeks, it was decided that I would be induced the next morning. I was so excited to meet my baby, but hesitant about being induced at the same time.  I was barely dilated and wasn't favorable for induction, but it was no longer safe to continue the pregnancy.  We arrived at the hospital at 8 AM and began paperwork. The pitocin was started at 9:30.  By 11 I was having full on contractions every 3 - 4 minutes, but I hadn't progressed any.  I was told that I had to be dilated to at least a four before receiving an epidural.  At about 12:30 I was about a two and they decided to break my water.  By 4:00 I didn't know how I was ever going to be able to make it to being fully dilated and have any energy to push a baby out.  I wasn't even dilated to a three yet and finally accepted some oral pain medicine. It really just made me feel out of it and I could still feel the contractions, but the didn't hurt as much.  It was a very difficult labor as I could not do anything to help my labor progress and I was receiving magnesium sulfate to stop me from having a seizure. This same medicine is used in preterm labor to stop labor!  Nothing too exciting happened for several hours. At 7pm I was finally at four centimeters and they called anesthesia to place an epidural. They were very busy and I finally got my epidural placed at around 8:30pm. It worked wonderfully and I finally was able to rest.  At around 11pm my OB came in and checked, I was at a five.  We went to sleep and at 1 AM I was awoke by my OB who had come flying in to my room with a nurse. The baby's heart rate was decelerating. They tried repositioning me, but it didn't work. I was prepped for a c-section and as I was signing the paperwork the baby's heart rate stabilized. My OB gave me the option to continue with attempting a vaginal delivery or proceed with the c-section. I really wanted a "normal" delivery and my doctor told me that as long as the baby stayed safe, she was fine with that. However, if there wasn't enough progress by 4 AM, she said she would be very concerned and would encourage a c-section at that time.  My doctor was busy at 4 am, so she didn't make it to my room until around 4:30, at which time I was dilated to a 7!!!  She told me we could continue and see how I progressed. I was told that if I ever felt a strong pressure that I should call the nurse.  At about 5:20 I called the nurse and said that I was feeling different and she checked and I was at a 9! She told me she would let the doctor know. The doctor came in at 5:30 and checked me and I was complete.  She had me do a test push and then quickly prepped for delivery.  The doctor informed us that the baby was not in the correct position (it was facing sideways) and that it would be necessary to use forceps to turn the baby.  They performed and episiotimy and then turned the baby in to position.  Once the baby was in the correct position, the heart rate began to drop.  The doctor told us that to assist in a quick delivery, she needed to use the vacuum. Due to the heart rate, we had to deliver quickly.  The vacuum was placed and three pushes later at 5:48 AM, Eli Edward Arbogast was born. He weighed 7 lbs. 14 1/2 ozs.  and was 19 inches long.  He was placed on my stomach and my doctor handed a pair of forceps to Scott. He asked her what and she said "cut the cord". He followed her instructions and cut the cord. We had discussed it earlier and he had said he didn't want to do that, but she didn't give him the choice.  Shortly after delivery, I realized by the look on my doctor's face that something else was going on. I became quickly dizzy and nauseous and my doctor quickly informed me that I was bleeding excessively and they need to give me some injections to stop the bleeding. The medication worked, but I wasn't allowed to hold Eli due to being dizzy and lightheaded. I also had to continue the magnesium sulfate after delivery to insure my safety. I wasn't allowed to be up and walking until the next morning. After I finished with the magnesium sulfate, things went really well. Eli nursed easily and we seemed to be perfect together. On Tuesday, May 2, we were set to be released later that day, but first thing in the morning the pediatrician arrived and was concerned about jaundice and had ordered bloodwork.  We were told that his level had to be below 16 to go home, when we received his results, his level was 15.8. We were allowed to go home, but had to return to the hospital for billirubin level checks and then followed up with a home health nurse. The jaundice subsided at six days of age.  It was so amazing to feel such a sudden, amazingly strong and deep love and connection for another person. I thank God every day for the wonderful gift he gave me five years ago.  I love you Eli Edward!  You're my favorite punk in the whole wide world! Thanks for making me a Mommy.

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