Feb 3, 2014

A Birth Story...

I'm not entirely sure where to start or whether this is even of any interest to anyone who might read my posts but its been weighing kind of heavy on my heart and I've been wanting to get it written down anyway so here goes. And even though it has taken me months to finish/publish...here it is. 

In all honesty I think the writing of Ethan's birth story was somewhat spurred from being included in the birth of my second niece. This is the second time I have been blessed to watch a tiny little life come in to this world. All three deliveries I have been there for (including my own ;o) ) were filled with every emotion possible...lots of smiles and "ooh thats uncomfortable" comments from mom, tense moments of quiet when working through a contraction, faces filled with fear and "I can't do this" comments, to pure, raw love and happiness as the little bundle makes his/her entrance. Both times it has been such a joy to watch both my sister and sister-in-law hold their little girls for the first time just minutes after they've delivered and fall madly, completely, head over heels in love with their daughters. And here is where our story diverts from the two stories I had enjoyed from the outside...

My pregnancy was pretty textbook to be honest...morning sickness (eh hem...all day sickness actually) the first trimester, more energy the second, and then complete misery the third. Taylor babies are known for being large--and this little man did not disappoint. I was definitely large and in charge during the final trimester. I definitely could NOT see my feet, even though they were swelled double their size (new shoes were a necessity at that point). I had every intention of working right up until at least my due date, if not longer. I remember telling my 'plan' to my boss that I was going to be there when my kids took their state English and Math tests. I also clearly remember him smirking and saying "ok Courtney, as long as you have a plan" sort of demeaningly and me being a little irritated that he didn't believe me. But, he was right in his sort of "yeah right" response. I never did return to work the week of the tests...I had been in the Dr's office and Labor and Delivery probably 4-5 times for non-stress tests because my blood pressure was through the roof. Every time the monitors would register contractions but nothing too uncomfortable/noticeable for me...and every time everything looked great for the baby according to the Drs and nurses. After finding out that the "pains" I was having were contractions I thought "hey lets get a move on then little baby and get out here so we can meet you". However, he had another idea...he was quite comfortable in there and I was still a week out from my due date. The Sunday before Ethan was born I had a little bout with false labor landing me in Labor and Delivery for a few hours only to be sent home because things slowed down...this can have a terrible affect on your mood, let me tell you. So home we went and this started my week of getting up each morning with every intention of going to work but finding out very quickly that my body was NOT going to make it through the work day. 

On Friday of that week my mom and niece came over and since I had been resting all week I was ready to do something a little more active. We decided to take Isabella to the park down the road from our house (about a mile) in our new stroller. I chose to push her hoping all the way that maybe walking AND pushing the stroller would help get things moving. And low and behold IT WORKED! The next morning, like weeee hours of the morning, I woke up with some pretty righteous pain and told Aaron that I was going to lay on the couch but to be ready should I need him. Aaron went back to sleep for a while and I laid on the couch riding the waves of contractions and waiting for them to get closer together. They definitely did that and so after getting Aaron up we got ready to head to the hospital. Showered, made a plan for where to grab me something to eat (since I knew I wouldn't be given even a smidge of food at the hospital)...and we headed out the door. Now at this point I wasn't feeling too much pain, just some discomfort, and so I was afraid things had slowed down. I told Aaron I wanted to walk to the end of the street and see how I felt...I didn't want to head to the hospital only to be sent home again. Before we got back to our driveway I was practically on my knees and knew at this point--OK! Let's GO! (NOW!). 

At the hospital things went as they normally do. I was admitted, put in a delivery room, and got down to the business of labor. I had previously decided I wasn't going to have a "birth plan" other than "get the baby out" and I was just going to go with the flow--no pain meds unless I needed them, and if I did I'd ask for them. I have a pretty decent pain tolerance I learned and didn't end up needing anything for quite a while...about 24 hours  later to be exact. I was not very keen on the idea of the epidural because I was also not keen on the idea of being totally tied to the bed. When I don't feel good or if something hurts I want to be able to just do my own thing...whether it be sleep or walk it off. I didn't do a whole lot of sleeping but I definitely did a lot of moving. Birthing ball, walking around the room, leaning over the bed and rocking back and forth...pretty much if it felt good, I did it. I had a lot of back pain/hip pain...so the birthing ball was awesome. Ethan decided to have his little derriere facing up so the posterior position definitely made things interesting. Plus in hindsight, being that he was 9 lbs 3 oz inside my short 5' 2" body probably also increased that discomfort. We labored like that for like I said almost 24 hours. I took a shower in the midst of all of that to try and relax and dilate a little more and that helped for a little bit. When it was time to push, nothing happened...and I mean nothing. I pushed for about 3 hours...being given suggestions by my doctors of all sorts of positions to 'help' things along. No Ethan. 

Given the circumstances, I really do not remember it being 3 hours...I just remember pushing and trying so hard to meet my little person. (at this point we didn't know it was Ethan...we just knew it was a baby...Ethan could have been a "She-than" --like what I did right there?? ;o) ) At some point, my doctor came in and said very calmly and sweetly "I think its time to call it Courtney." And I remember thinking "Really? I don't want a c-section though"...and feeling very defeated. So defeated in fact that I had to look to Aaron and his encouragement to finally say "Ok...let's go ahead with it." 

I've never seen a staff move so quickly...minus the  anesthesiologist (hey, at that point there was NO reason for the contractions/pain so this momma got cranky and wanted miss anesthesiologist to get her little behind down there). My delivery room had been all set up for a regular delivery...but in the blink of an eye all of that was taken care of and they started to prep me for surgery. A lot of what happened next is a blur. I don't remember being wheeled into the operating room or much between that and the anesthesiologist doing her thing. I do remember Aaron being up near my head and the anesthesiologist asking if I could feel her touching my shoulders...of which I could. I also remember feeling pretty nauseous and her telling me to let her know if it got too horrible. Aaron sat watching me the whole time, which was good considering he had to look away when they took some blood when we first arrived at the hospital. My mom was given the lovely opportunity to wait on the other side of the glass window with some medical students. Little did she know she was about to get the view of a lifetime and see a whole lot more of me than she expected. Yikes. 

But after some tugging and pulling...this guy made his entrance into the world at 6:15 a.m. weighing 9 lbs and 3 oz. 

And it was a boy...

As I said before we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl...and let me just say, if anyone can wait find out the sex of their child the long 9 months it is SOOOO worth it. What a wonderful surprise after such long, long, difficult day. (Not that having a girl would have been any less wonderful)

Here are a few more pictures...sorry. 

The emotional whirlwind that happened directly after this was something I didn't really process until much, much later. Giving birth is pretty emotional any way you look at it...but this was pretty righteous for me. My type-A personality unfortunately (even though I said I didn't have a 'plan' per say) had a plan or idea as to how this day would go. I'd go in, labor for a bit, and have a baby...just like I read about, heard about, watched, etc. 

I must have fallen asleep right after because I do not remember being wheeled into the recovery room. Or maybe they helped me fall asleep so they could take care of me. I do remember my mom sitting there in the recovery room, and Aaron coming in pretty soon after. I don't remember if he had Ethan with him or if they brought him to me later on. And to be honest, some of this may be incorrect...but I don't particularly mind. This is what I remember of this pretty important day and so thats how it will remain.
C-Section was NOT in my plan. And it hurt, emotionally and physically. And it still hurts sometimes...more emotionally than physically, but sometimes emotional feels physical. I was sad for a long time that I didn't get to hold Ethan right away...I just got to look at him from across the room, and even that was an exhausted look. I remember trying very hard not to cry...if I had started I don't know if I would have stopped. I also remember laying there thinking, "please let it be a boy, please let it be a boy." I think somehow in my brain I thought, "if this is a boy, it will make me ok with what is happening." Once they weighed him I remember thinking "well its ok I failed--he's a big baby, I'm a small person."  

I know that the end goal is to have a healthy baby and we did that. (And boy was he healthy...wow, was he big and heavy and solid for an infant). I also know that in all honesty I didn't 'fail'...I still brought a beautiful life into this world. I'm not writing this as a way to scare anyone or to say "HEY! This is what you should expect if you go the C-section route!" Every birth is different...thats a no-brainer. But I also know being that I never even entertained the idea of a c-section, it was all very scary and fast and I wish I had been a little more prepared in hindsight. At my follow up appointment the Dr. explained a little more about what had happened and why we had to go the way we did...and I know now that, if I had tried to have this baby before the advancements of medicine it would have been far more scary. 

For any possible future babies I know a C-section is the way I will be going (VBAC is pretty much not an option for me). And I will lay there waiting to see a little head pop up over that curtain and to hear the first cries and thats ok. 

Because even though it was traumatic, and scary, and sad...and overall not what I had planned, we still wound up with a pretty awesome prize at the end. 

1 comment:

  1. LOVED THIS. I think everyone has an idea l birth plan, but even though it didnt go as you expected, you still got the best gift in the world. I am in awe that you perservered in labor for 24 hours....that is AMAZING. Great story and I adore your cute lil man!!!



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