04 December 2012

The Story of Samuel: A Labor of Love

Part 2: “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:28

I woke up Friday morning (October 12) feeling a bit odd. I had a doctor's appointment that afternoon and I kept thinking to myself, "wouldn't it be funny if the doctor checked me out and told me I was having a baby, like, today."

Well she did and I wasn't. I was still dialated 1cm. I asked if that meant anything regarding the timing of the baby and she said, "well, you could have a baby in three weeks, or you could have a baby tomorrow."

The rest of the day went by, and I continued to feel a little different. Around 2am, I went to the bathroom and, well, things were a little different. About 10 panty liners and 3 pairs of underpants later,  I woke up Kyle around 5am and told him that I wasn't sure if my water broke, but something was definitely going on.

I called the after-hours nurse at my OB and explained the situation. I wasn't ruining the hardwood floors or anything, but gosh, something was happening.

She told me to pack it up and head to the hospital.

A quick stop in triage and it was confirmed, we were having a baby today!

My water had broken, but I was barely dilated and not having any noticeable contractions. After seeing what my body was going to do, we were told to walk. Kyle and I, along with a pole and my IV bag, walked for an hour. We must have passed the same pictures 100 times. Kyle also told me a few times he was bored. I scolded him and said that he was never allowed to say that again.

But alas, walking forever produced little results. I was not progressing very well so out came the pitocin. As the dose went up and up, the contractions got stronger and more painful.

Now this is where I made a huge mistake. Early on I was asked, on a scale of 1 to 10, what was my pain level. The nurse then proceeded to joke that 10 was having your "arm ripped off." Well goodness, I don't think labor pains would ever be like that, so even though I was starting to feel some strong pains, I only said 3. Every time I was asked to rate my pain (which was about a million times) I used the "arm being ripped off" test, but doing so, I think I really underestimated my pain. Even during my most severe contractions, I only said a 6. A 6?! Always say an 8!

I knew all along that I wanted an epidural, but I really struggled about when I should ask for one. In hindsight, I waited too long. By the time the anesthesiologist was getting ready to give me the drugs, I was in such terrible pain. Definitely a 12. Still only said a 6.

Sitting crossed-legged on the bed, I gripped Kyle and the nurse's hands while the anesthesiologist put in the epidural between contractions. She numbed me and then I waited and waited for her to tell me that it was all done. But unfortunately it wasn't that easy. The first epidural resulted in a wet tap (the epidural needle was inserted too far) and I had to have a second.

For some reason, even after the second epidural was inserted (correctly this time), things still weren't quite right. To test the effectiveness of the epidural, I was pumped with really strong medicine and then given the alcohol swab and safety pin test. Basically I was to tell the doctor at what point I could feel that the alcohol was cold or the pin was sharp -- this was used to see how high up the medicine was making me numb. At my most medicated, I couldn't move anything below my neck. Not something I would like to feel again anytime soon.

Once the medicine was flowing, Kyle and I had fun watching the monitors and laughing at the contractions, none of which I could feel at that point.

About an hour passed, doctors coming in to regulate my medicine frequently. We had a little scare with a drop in my blood pressure, but they got that back on track.

Finally, after driving 8 hours from Ohio and Pennsylvania, our parents arrived at the hospital. I had spent the last month preparing myself for the fact that my mom probably wouldn't make it to the birth and trying to be ok with that. But here she was! Kyle's parents arrived around the same time.

Right after our parents arrived, the nurse checked things out and said "it's time, there's his head, it's time to push!"

At this point, my right side was completely, I-can't-move-my-leg numb. We started some preliminary pushes and my mom had to hold my leg since I had no control over it. She said it was like holding up a tree trunk.

I pushed and pushed and the nurse finally convinced me to look in the mirror. It was a heck of a motivator. Seeing that little head, my little boy so close to being in my arms.

Kyle must have told me I was doing "awesome" about a million times. He was so sweet and supportive and I could just see a sense of awe in his eyes. We were experiencing a miracle. Kyle is one of the most squeamish people I know, yet he was the one that did awesome. He witnessed everything, from the delivery to the stitches, and even cut the umbilical cord.

I have never been more focused in my life. I didn't talk, I just pushed. I pushed three times during each contraction and then once more just because I could. I wanted to meet my son so badly.

Although I was still very numb, I had a pretty severe pain by my right hip. A baby shoulder, a leg, who knows. But once our little man made his debut it's like all the pain in the world just rushed out of me.

He was here! Samuel Noel was here! I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life.

6 lbs 9 ounces, 21 inches long. 10 fingers, 10 toes. A button nose. Loved, oh so loved.

Read part 1 here.

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  1. He is beautiful. And I'm loving reading your story.

  2. Lol at laughing at the contractions. That's a funny thought


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