Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lucas's Birth Story

I was hesitant to write Lucas's birth story on my blog as i felt it's a private event that not too many people would be interested in reading but eventually I decided to go ahead and publish it because i wanted to document that special day on my blog with as many details as possible to continue being open about our infertility journey.

On Tuesday March 7, 2017 i had my regular OB appointment to check on baby Lucas. Jerry was with me on this particular appointment since the OB had mentioned induction the week before so we wanted to talk to him and let him know that we wanted to wait till at least 40 weeks before we discuss induction. My bad luck had it that despite having perfect blood pressure throughout the pregnancy on this particular day my blood pressure was higher than usual; The OB decided to send me to the hospital for observation. We were sent to triage where they monitored my blood pressure for a couple of hours till it was low enough to send me home with a 24 hour urine jug that i needed to return to the doctor on Thursday for analysis. On Thursday's appointment my blood pressure was still borderline and the doctor and us agreed to schedule an induction for the 14th of March just to be on the safe side.

On a side note we had hired a Doula to support us during Labor but a few days before the birth she called me to say she had hand, foot and mouth disease and she wouldn't be able to make it to the birth. She offered to either be available by phone or send a backup doula and neither those options appealed to us. If we happen to get pregnant again i don't think i would hire a doula cause at some point i felt it's just an additional person telling me what to do.

Anyhow I came home on Monday March 13th to find my sister had decided to surprise me and fly from Dubai to be here with me during the labor and birth. It meant the world to me having her by my side, it was an experience of a lifetime and i'm blessed to have been able to share it with my lifelong best friend, it was the best surprise ever.

Tuesday March 14, 2017 we got to the hospital around 5:15 a.m. Jeremy, my mom, my sister and i - we got registered and admitted. We were in our room (Room 15) around 6:00 a.m. ready to get hooked to pitocin. The first nurse popped 2 veins in my right arm trying to put the IV in. A second nurse popped a vein in my left arm and eventually they called the nurse in charge who finally managed to get the IV in place. I talked to the nurse and i told her per my agreement with my OB they were to start the pitocin at a low dose and keep increasing it by 1 or 2 instead of their usual doubling.

We started pitocin at 6:30 a.m. One of the bad things about our room was that the A/C was broken and it stayed broken, stuck on 64 degrees through the day, it was miserable. We brought to the attention of the hospital staff several times but there was nothing they could do about it.

For the first hour the contractions were very bearable but were getting stronger as time went on. At 8:50 a.m. my OB stopped by and broke my water, wasn't the best feeling but he said that will make the contractions more efficient. At this point i was dilated to 3 cm. The contractions became more intense after that to the point where i was miserable, crying and i asked for the epidural within half an hour.  we were told at check in that i could get the epidural whenever i wanted to and was advised that it will take them 45 minutes to get it from when i ask for it.  Jerry was there by my side when the contractions kicked in, he was helping coach me to breathe through the pain, massaging my back and giving me ice chips until they got me the epidural. It was comforting knowing my sister was in the room keeping my mom company so she's not feeling left out. My mom true to herself was busy worrying and taking photos.

The anesthesiologist came in at 10:00 a.m. and gave me the epidural. I got comfortable within 15 minutes, i could talk and socialize with my family like nothing was happening. My right side was more numb than my left side, My leg felt like it weighed a ton of bricks and i definitely couldn't move my right side period. They checked me around 1:45 p.m. and i was dilated to 9.5 cm at the time but still felt no need to push. The pitocin was topped off at 6 and stayed there since the contractions were regular. The nurse said to let her know when i felt the need to push but that urge never came so around 2:30 p.m. the nurse wanted me to start pushing. That part was the most exhausting and useless part of the process for me. I was numb i couldn't feel any part of my lower body to be able to push efficiently. I was getting frustrated seeing the nurse roll her eyes every time i wasn't pushing the way she wanted me to and that made me basically give up.

I pushed with the main nurse for a while with not much progress. She helped me sit up to let gravity help push Lucas down a bit. After a while she enlisted the help of 2 more nurses. They tried turning me on my left side, then my right side with not much progress either. Lucas's heartbeat was crashing every time they were making me push and it was super stressful hearing the heartbeat slow down on the monitor. They put me on oxygen to help with his heartbeat. I could see on my mom's face that she was pretty freaked out... even though she's given birth 4 times this was her first time being present at someone else's birth. At some point i remember throwing up. They let me rest about 10 minutes after an hour of pushing then brought in another nurse and tried a new way called tug of war where a nurse holds one end of a tied sheet and i hold on to the other end and we pull; supposedly it was going to help me figure out how to push but it didn't. I was just getting more exhausted and feeling defeated.

At around 5:30 p.m. my OB came by to check why we don't have a baby yet. He said the baby needs to come out one way or the other cause he's half way down but it seems his head is a bit big and he may need some assistance to come out. They got my family out of the room, and brought in a medical team for the baby. There was about 10 medical people in the room including my 3 nurses. We tried to push 3 different times with the doctor and he had to use suction to get him out.  All the nurses were encouraging me to push and Jeremy was by my side helping me sit up cause i didn't have any strength left.  After all was done i ended up with a 4th degree episiotomy but at the end it was all worth it when the doctor asked me to look at him and showed  me Lucas.

Lucas was born on 03/14/17 at 5:52 p.m. he weighed 7 lbs 1 oz and measured 20.75 inches long. We were in awe when finally Lucas was born. The excitement of seeing him for the first time, everything that we had dreamt about, it all was so magical and the sense of relief when we held him, a shiny brand new healthy baby is so instant that everything that went on through the day was a million times worth it.

Jeremy got to cut the cord even though before the birth he said he wasn't sure he wanted to do it but when the doctor asked him he didn't blink an eye.

This was the most amazing experience, holding Lucas's little body, hearing his sweet voice and finally smelling his baby smell, it was surreal. When they handed him to me i couldn't help but cry and hold him so tight, i didn't want to give him to the nurse to do her measurements. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I was grinning and crying at the same time. Jeremy and i were in awe staring at this miracle that was just born into our family until the doctor said "isn't anyone going to take pictures of this baby"?

We were in "recovery" for about 2 hours, both Jeremy and i did skin to skin and then Jeremy was able to get my mom and my sister back in the room. I was given a bag of antibiotics because of the episiotomy which caused me to have a low grade fever and gave me the shakes for about 20 minutes; I could hear my mom was very concerned but i couldn't stop shaking long enough to comfort her so Jeremy called the nurse and they gave me Tylenol to bring down the fever. We were finally moved to our room (Room 368) where we stayed with our baby for 2 days. The most magical 2 days.

Throughout this whole day i had so many different feelings, scared, happy, worried, relief ...  it's hard to explain the emotions but i'm grateful i got to experience being pregnant and giving birth to a baby, our baby, as painful as the aftermath was.

Jeremy was and still is amazing, i can't say enough about the support he provided during labor and birth as well as the love and involvement in Luca's care since the very first moments. He's changing diapers like a champ, giving baths and feeding Lucas. He takes the late night shift so i can get some rest even though he has to get up to go to work. Lucas has had an issue latching from the beginning so i'm pumping to give him breastmilk. If you heard me talk about nursing before Lucas was born i was very much on the fence about nursing but now that he's here it's a different ball game. We want to do our best so Lucas is a healthy and happy little boy.

I wish he didn't have to or need to sleep that much so i can hold him more often but i know he needs his rest to be able to grow and gain weight and i need to get some rest so i can function properly.

Some days i'm still in disbelief that we are actually parents to a sweet little perfect creation. This is going to be the most amazing adventure of our lives and we can't believe we get to spend it with this little miracle boy. He's perfect. He's the sweetest little boy with a mellow temperament unless he's hungry or gassy. We love our sweet baby boy.

I want to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported me and our little family through this pregnancy and Lucas's birth. My husband Jeremy for being there for me when i needed him even when i didn't know i needed help, my mom for flying in and staying with us to help the first few months, my sister for showing up like the superhero she is to be there for Lucas's birth and be my cheerleader during labor and cheering me on when i thought my milk wouldn't come in, my brothers and brother in law, Jerry's sister, the grandparents,  aunts, uncles and cousins  for being so excited about getting updates during the birth and a big thank you to all our friends and extended family for believing in us and our little family.

If anyone has any specific questions please feel free to message me.

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