Saturday, November 12, 2011

Welcoming Noah Part #1

On Monday when I wrote my 40 week post I did so knowing that I was heading to the hospital that night to start the process of having our little boy. The decision to be induced was based on a number of factors. While none of them involved anything truly medical (i.e.-we could have waited a couple of weeks to see if he would make the move on his own) it was the decision that was best for our little family. Originally I was going to go in after my due date on Thursday night. However, we realized that the entire city of San Francisco was probably going to aim for that since the next day was 11.11.11. Thus, the decision to induce Monday night. I should also mention that I had no birth plan going into the big day other than I was 100% ok with pain management meds and 100% wanted an epidural.

SO, Monday night at 5pm I called OB triage to see when we should check in. They said the sooner the better so I gave Scott the call and he abandoned the client meeting he was in and headed home for a quick dinner of Amici's and we set off for the hospital. 

The drive to the hospital was very calm and surprisingly Scott and I weren't overly anxious. It honestly felt a bit like we had packed the car up for vacation and we were just setting off for the airport! We also packed enough stuff to go on about a week long vacation!!! 

The following 36 hours or so are a bit of a blur but the timeline of events went something like this:

7:30pm-arrive at hospital and check in for the big event. I got my IV, signed a zillion papers and was then escorted to our labor & delivery suite. Our first nurse was Taffy and she got us settled in our GIANT room. I got hooked up to IVs and monitors and we did more paperwork. 
Before I had 700 wires connected to me.
A funny aside...Taffy asked Scott if his name was with two t's or one and Scott responded, "one". After a really good laugh (he thought they were asking about our last name) we were back in the business of trying to get this shin dig started. 
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
Once we began watching the heart rate and contraction monitor we realized that I was indeed having a few contractions on my own. It would not have been anything close to enough to have me admitted (I couldn't even feel it) but it was nice to know that my body was at least starting to think about having the baby.
The first contraction!
All tucked in for the long haul. The monitors make me look like I am having triplets!
9pm-Taffy administered Misoprostol. This is a little pill that is inserted to hopefully make the cervix start dilating and effacing. While we waited for that to take effect, Kyle came over to keep us company and share a little wine with Scott (I opted out as I imagine they frown upon drinking while having a baby).   
Scott getting ready for the long haul!
11:30pm-By this time I was having lots of contractions. They weren't very painful but I definitely felt them and knew we were on the right track.

Well, it was kind of premature excitement with the "on the right track" thinking. Originally they had hoped to give me four doses of Miso but because I was contracting so much they weren't able to move forward with this plan. Our new nurse, Page, checked to see if we were getting my cervix to play along with the contractions and learned we had only progressed 1cm...a whopping 2cm dilated (she also deemed me 90% effaced but we later learned that it was more like 30-40%...they didn't break that news to me until much, much later...good thinking by everyone!). 
Still mobile. This was all the crap I had to drag around with me any time I got out of bed.
1:30am-Since we weren't able to do any more doses of Miso the decision was made to go ahead and start the Pitocin drip to try and get my cervix ready for the rodeo. This was also the time that I gladly accepted an Ambien so I could get some sleep (I was contracting too much to be able to sleep without assistance). 

9:30am-Dr. Ulrich arrives!! I also got a new nurse, Susan. There is something very exciting about seeing the felt like we were really going to get some great news and be ready for the next phase. HA! She checked me out and noted that despite all my awesome contracting I was actually only 1.5cm dilated and barely effaced. Cue the balloon.  

I have no idea what the medical term is for this device but in my book it is on par with a stretching machine, bed of nails, and any other torture device you can conjure up. The balloon is inserted and then inflated with water to mimic the baby's head pushing on the cervix in hopes of making it dilate. With a death grip on Scott's hand I put on a brave face as they did the procedure. It was a horrible, horrible pain and at some point someone said, "It's ok to let it out" and I just started bawling. Stoic is my middle name and I finally let my guard down and gave in to the pain I was feeling. Scott was wonderful and gave me all the support and encouragement in the world. So did my new friend, Fentanyl. Immediately after the balloon incident they said, "we can give you some Fentanyl for the pain", YES!!! Scott laughed when it washed over me and said it instantly looked like I had had a few shots at the bar. 

11:15am-Mom arrives. She stayed home with poms on Monday night and came up to participate in all the fun!

noonish-Once the Fentanyl wore off I became very aware of my contractions. Unfortunately, they were 98% located in my back (aka, back labor). I upped my pain scale declaration from a 3 earlier that morning to a 7 or 8. While it was very uncomfortable, the pain was fleeting (as contractions are). 
Looking pretty thrilled about the only "food" I was allowed to eat from midnight on Monday through delivery.
Sometime in the afternoon I got another dose of fentanyl to be able to get some rest through the contractions. 

6:30pm (ish)-The balloon is deflated!!! Dr. Ulrich deemed it a success and I was 4cm dilated. The plan was made to go ahead and break my water to hopefully take advantage of the progress we had made. 

7:15pm-The anesthesiologist arrived to administer the epidural. This woman was a miracle worker. A couple of tiny pricks of numbing meds and I felt nothing as she got me all hooked up.

7:45pm-Dad arrives. Once we knew I was going to be induced we alerted my dad and he was able to change his flight to come a day early to be there for baby's arrival. My mom had arrived the previous Thursday just in case I went early ;-).

While I was in bed unable to feel anything from the waist down (or eat, just saying) a little party commenced in our room. There was dinner, wine, and Guinness for the non-laboring parties. Kyle also stopped back by for a little pre-celebration.
Dinner party Labor & Delivery style
10:15pm-Dr. Ulrich broke my water. This was kind of a non-event since I couldn't feel anything. At that point it was more waiting to see how my body reacted. She also prepared me for the fact that her on-call hours ended at 9am the next day so if the baby hadn't arrived, she wouldn't deliver me. I was not optimistic about how the next 12 hours were going to unfold.

1am (ish)-Dr. Ulrich returned to check on our progress. Her first comment, "well, you aren't going to believe this"...Of course, I thought we had made zero progress. Turns out I was fully dilated and we were ready to go! Apparently I was also having some rock star regular contractions so Dr. Ulrich decided we would wait an hour before I began pushing to see if the baby would descend a bit more.

2am-Our nurse, Erika, came in and prepared for me to begin pushing. We asked how long she thought it would take and she guessed an hour or so. I think once she actually got me situated she felt a little differently as the preparation of the room for baby's arrival seemed to shift into high gear. Erika was watching my contraction monitor from across the room, counting my pushes from afar. This led to a few missed pushes and a little bit of a fear that the baby was going to just appear with no one there to catch him! 

Luckily, this didn't happen as Dr. Ulrich arrived soon after for the big event. I actually began pushing 2:15am and Dr.Ulrich arrived soon thereafter. Scott was by my head encouraging me every step of the way. Throughout the entire three day process he rarely left my side (unless it was a popsicle run). I could not have asked for a better husband & friend than he was to me. Even now, looking at the little life we created I am at a loss for words about how happy I am that Scott is his dad and that we made this little being that we get to share. BUT, I am getting ahead of myself...
All of a sudden, the Dr. said, "With the next push, I think he'll be here". This was probably the most "real" moment of the entire process for me. The little guy who had been kicking inside of me for 9 months was finally going to be here to meet his mom and dad. After the one big push, I was told to give a few half pushes, one mini push and then I saw him. 

Noah Scott Retchless made his grand arrival at 2:39am on November 9th, 2011. 
Noah's first picture
I am officially a mom.
The new family (Noah is being camera shy on my chest) with Dr. Ulrich. As you can probably tell from this post, we are so thankful for her. She has been nicer than she had to be every step of the way in this process.
Part #2 coming soon...


Andrew said...

Pretty awesome cuz! That was emotional just to read. I'm really happy for you guys and can't wait to see the little guy!

Be well!

Andrew said...

Pretty awesome cuz! That was emotional just to read! I'm really happy for you guys and can't wait to meet the little guy.

Be well!

Cayce said...

Watery eyes here! The awesome thing about this is one day, Noah is going to be able to read this and know exactly how momma and daddy were feeling about his arrival into their lives! Congrats to you and Scott and welcome to Noah Scott Retchless...handsome boy!

paige said...

Ok, so I'm totally crying reading this post. Good tears of course!