Wednesday, June 16, 2010
We are still in the hospital, but I've managed to get Joseph to hook his phone up to my computer as a modem so I could share Seth's birth story and
a bajillion some pictures with you. (Actually, as of posting this we're finally home!)
First of all I want to thank everyone for your prayers. As you read Seth's birth story you will realize how valuable your prayers truly were. I truly believe it was your fervent prayers and love that saved Seth's (an possibly my own) life. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
I awoke at 3am Monday morning to contractions. "This can't be labor", I said to myself, "I'm just having those same old contractions I've been having for the last two months"... But these felt different, and I knew it. They were starting in the middle of my back and wrapping around my belly and were coming regularly at about 8 minutes apart. Even with me changing positions and trying to go back to sleep they persisted.
Around 4am I was pretty uncomfortable and decided to get a shower. I thought maybe that would space the contractions out and I was hoping the heat of the water would help alleviate the
feeling that a whole circus of elephants was dancing pain in my lower back. No such luck. Actually standing up in the shower made them worse. (At this point I'm in denial that I'm in true labor although I already knew I was.)
Long morning short and a ton of Lord, I'm not ready for this's later I finally call Celia at six something in the morning and tell her I think I may be in labor. Of course, when I had to stop talking every four minutes to get through a contraction, she told me I really should go wake Joseph up and go to the hospital... So wake Joseph up I did and we made our way to drop the children off before heading to the hospital.
As we made our way into the front doors I remember saying to myself, "Here we go again, I'm going to leave here embarrassed because there will be no baby born and people are going to wonder how I can't tell what labor is after getting ready to deliver my fourth child". I just could not see myself being admitted and hearing the words "Yup, your in labor".
And then there was the big debate with my doctor over lung maturity verses Seth being safer outside of me. You see, when I came in and was hooked to the monitor, Seth had three decels in a row with my contractions. It alarmed my doctor enough that he discussed taking Seth even though he might need help breathing because it indicated my placenta was not functioning properly. We joined hands and Dr. Joy prayed with us to ask the Lord to guide us in making a decision. And we were all on the same page. We had an overwhelming feeling that Seth needed to come and that it couldn't wait until Sunday.
Dr. Joy and I agreed that we would let labor progress as slow as possible so the contractions could give Seth's lungs time to mature through out the process. We decided to only strip my membranes because it would only help things along if I were in true labor. Well, it worked. My contractions started getting more intense and I dilated another half centimeter between cervical exams. I was being admitted!
Can I just say (not entirely off subject, but not so importantly) that these rooms are huge! Seriously, you have to see this...
Joseph and I both were amazed when we were brought to our actual laboring room. We've stayed in hotels that weren't anywhere near as nice. It was a huge jump from the little broom closet they stick you in before you are actually admitted!
Anyways, back to the birth story...
My labor went really slow. I was so frustrated when they checked me after hours of having contractions 2-2.5 minutes apart and my cervix had only dilated to 3.5 centimeters. Hello, didn't my body know that this was my fourth baby and that it was supposed to progress faster than this? Looking back, I think because I had back labor and was so tense my body just wasn't able to progress well...
Dr. Joy came in sometime after 7pm and broke my water and then he strongly advised me to get the epidural in the event that I needed an emergency c-section because I was attempting a VBAC. I really wanted to have a completely natural birth like I had done with Eli, but I understood Dr. Joy's concern. If time were an issue and meant life or death for Seth, I wanted time to be on his side instead of against it.
After I got the epidural, things went fairly quickly. I dilated from 4 centimeters to 10 in a little less than two hours. When Dr. Joy checked my cervix shortly after 9pm and said it was time to push I was in utter disbelief that Seth was moments from being here... finally.
This is where the fun and the scary part of the story start.
First the fun...
Dr. Joy asks Joseph how much he is willing to participate in Seth's birth. Of course, Joseph replies with "as much as you'll let me", as Dr. Joy smirks and asks Joseph what size gloves he wears...
Then I see Joseph being dressed in disposable scrubs...
...And then he's plopped down on a stool right in front of me and asked how he'd feel about delivering his own son!
This was his face!
Followed by a proud grin as Joseph realizes the doctor is serious because Dr. Joy is helping the nurse hold my leg back and telling me to push! Of course, I had to take pictures! (Yes, even in labor the photographer inside of me can't let a great photo opt pass) The epidural had it's advantages!
Dr. Joy talked Joseph through what to do and lent a helping hand when needed, but Seth was literally delivered in about 4 pushes. And Joseph did it all. He delivered the head, suctioned out Seth's nose and mouth, delivered the rest of Seth's body, laid Seth on my belly, clamped and cut the cord... he did it all and it was an unbelievable birth experience.
Talk about a birth experience you will never forget!
It was what we found out afterwards that scared us...
Remember those decels when I was first hooked up to the monitor? Remember how Dr. Joy has been concerned about the health of my placenta the last couple of weeks? Well, we all had good reason to worry.
Apparently, my placenta ruptured.
A beautiful birth became frightening really quickly after Seth was born. As Seth came out, so did blood... lots of it. Joseph immediately looked at Dr. Joy and my doctor jumped right in with trying to get the placenta out. At this point I was the only one at risk, Seth was safe, but there was still the possibility of me hemorrhaging. Joseph asked the doctor if I would be okay and he said yes and told Joseph to go to the warmer with Seth. He started barking orders for the nurse to start medicine in my IV to help deliver the placenta quickly. And then he pulled... and pushed... and yanked... and did some other not so pleasant things until the placenta was out and I was no longer in danger.
He talked to us afterwards and told us if we had all not made the decision to have Seth on this day that we would have been meeting our son as a stillborn. There was no way he would have made it to Sunday. With that, we joined hands and thanked God for his guidance and the blessing of Seth's life.
There is still more to share, but I think I'm going to do this in parts because I have so much to share. So, the most important thing for me was to let let you fully realize how much your prayers impacted our family on Monday. I truly believe my son was placed into my arms alive because God heard and answered all the prayers being said for Seth. There is no way I can thank you enough for the love you've sent our way. And to leave on a really good note until my next post about the rest of our hospital stay, here's some picture of Joseph and I finally getting to cuddle on our sweet little guy!