Graham's Birth Story

Well, at 41 weeks 2 days, our little boy Graham Douglas Teague was finally born!!!  Here's how his birth went down (the abbreviated version):

Tuesday, 4/12/11
As I mentioned in a previous post, because I was post-date and an ultrasound indicated low amniotic fluid, I was scheduled for an induction.
7:00 am - my "last meal" at home: oatmeal, eggs, fruit smoothie
7:30 am - Check into the hospital
9:30 am - all hooked up to the Pitocin IV and fetal monitor.  Pelvic exam showed I was about 3 cm dilated.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  The monitor showed contractions starting at about 6-7 minutes apart and gradually working up to 3-4 minutes apart.  I didn't really feel them.  They were like mild menstrual cramps.  Watched a lot of crappy day-time TV.  They gradually increased my Pitocin.
3:00 ish pm - Another pelvic exam (by 3 residents - ugh!) determined I wasn't much more dilated.  But I started feeling contractions a little more after being prodded by 3 separate people.  All were amazed that I wasn't in pain prior to this given the frequency/strength of contractions - they asked me if I had an epidural because I seemed so cheery.  Nope!
5:00 pm - Pelvic exam by the doctor indicated I was only at 4 cm.  She suggested they break my water.
5:50 pm - water broken.  Contractions immediately got more frequent and much stronger.
10:00 pm - 4 straight hours of lots of contractions.  More and more frequent (up to 1-2 minutes apart).  Much more painful.  Getting really tired.  Kept having to adjust the Pitocin up and down as contractions were getting too close together and then too far apart.  I decided to give in and get the IV pain killer.  This took the edge off but I could most definitely still feel the contractions.

Wednesday 4/13/11
12:30 am - IV drugs have worn off.  I'm in a lot of pain.  It's been 6 hours of hard contractions.  I found myself standing up or on the birthing ball to get through each contraction.  A pelvic exam showed I was still only 4 cm.  WHAT?  Still?!  The resident asked me if I'd thought about a Plan B (aka. C-section) because I just wasn't progressing as I should.  I was so exhausted my whole body was shaking uncontrollably.  The only "food" I had eaten all day was a few jello cups.  We decided I should give in to an epidural to help me relax and get some rest and see if maybe that would help.
2:00 am - the epidural was administered and I was finally able to lay down and relax a little.  I didn't sleep at all because of the frequent visits by the nurse, but at least I was relaxed.  The contractions felt very mild once again.
3:30 am - good news: dilated to 6-7 cm.  Hooray!
5:30 am - more good news: dilated to 8-9 cm.  Yes!
8:00 am - and finally: fully dilated and effaced!  Our new nurse, Melinda, said it was time to try some practice pushes.  Legs were tingly (the left leg was very tingly, I actually had quite a bit of feeling in my right leg).  Melinda held one leg, Jeff the other and we tried some pushes.  It actually felt pretty good!
8:30 am - Dr. Dowlut does an exam and determines little Graham is posterior.  C-Section is mentioned again.  Instead we got me to lay on one side with my top leg propped up for 30 minutes and then switch sides 30 minutes.  Contractions are getting stronger and I'm feeling them again.
10:00 am - Graham has turned anterior - the leg trick worked.  Yes!  Time to start pushing.  It felt good for the first hour.  Good as in tiring, challenging, but not SUPER painful.  They're impressed with my rock star pushing (one resident said he hadn't seen anyone get that strong of pushes for so long).  This is where the exercise throughout pregnancy really helped.  Then he moved into the birth canal.  It started hurting - pretty bad.  The epidural was most definitely not very effective, with the exception of my left leg being tingly.  C-Section is mentioned again because of the concern he wouldn't get passed my pubic bone - it was clear he was going to be a bigger baby and I'm obviously not a big person (I remember hearing one of the nurses comment on how skinny I was).  Oh hell no!  I had come this far - baby was coming OUT!  I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed....I had to have oxygen in between pushes for the last 30 or so minutes ( I had lost track of time at this point.)  My nurse, Melinda, was bound and determined to help me do this without a C-section, as was Jeff.  They told me to just get mad and get that baby out.  And that's what I did - I got mad and pushed as hard as I could.  Then there was concern that his shoulders were going to get stuck and he'd need someone to manipulate his shoulders; at this point, there were about 6 doctors/nurses in the room just waiting to see what would be needed.  Finally I was almost at the point of passing out, and Graham's heart rate was starting to drop.  Dr. Dowlut asked if I wanted a vacuum extraction and I said, YES!  Just get him out.  3 or so more sessions of pushing and then POP!
12:57 pm - 3 hours straight of pushing and 28 hours of labor and finally finally finally he was here.  I was so overjoyed that it was over and I just sobbed as they placed Graham on my belly.  He was 8 lbs 3 oz (less than the ultrasound tech predicted), 21 inches long, and very healthy.

I had to have an episiotomy, but it got him out, so I didn't mind.  When I was all stitched up it was time to deliver the placenta.  This also didn't want to come out and we had hit the 30 minute mark.  Dr. Dowlut had to do a lot of massage on my stomach.  That didn't quite work.  I had to push.  That didn't quite work.  Finally, she said she was going to have to go in with her hand and get it out, which would probably require a drip of Demarol that would make me groggy.  No way - I said.  Just do it.  Couldn't be much worse than what I had just gone through.  Dr. Dowlut was super impressed and in she went and got that placenta and it was finally all over!

I was disappointed that I had an epidural, but it helped me relax enough that my uterus was able to finally dilate.  I don't know what would have happened otherwise.  Most likely a C-section, which I really didn't want.  Ultimately I'm super proud of myself.  Our nurse Melinda said that this choked her up a bit.  She didn't think I could do it initially, but saw my determination and was really on my side as far as delivering vaginally.  In the end I have a healthy, beautiful baby boy who I LOVE more than anything.


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