Monday, October 24, 2011

Coen's Birth Story

It was decided after our visit to the high risk doctor way back in May that I would be induced at 39 weeks.  This was a relief to me, since both the girls had been late.  It was also very important to me to have the doctor who delivered Adelyn be the one who delivered Coen, because she "got it."  She was there last time and had been checking up on us from time to time, even before I got pregnant.  Plus, I liked that it would be a more controlled situation - I wouldn't have to worry about going into labor and waiting for Trevor to get home and being in pain alone.  Plus, Adelyn came so quickly I was worried I wouldn't make it in time for an epidural.

So at my last ever prenatal appointment, my doctor told me that Oct. 10th was the date she was on call.  Perfect - one day shy of hitting 39 weeks - the sooner I could get the baby out safely, the better.  That appointment was emotional - it was at the hospital.  Now, my first two prenatal appointments were also there and we had gone back for a memorial service last December, but all of those times Trevor was with me.  This time I was alone, emotional, and anxious.  I made it through, but the bad news was that I was only 1 cm and would have to go in the night before to get my cervix ready to be induced.  I was not happy about that - how was I supposed to sleep in that hospital without a baby again?

The day I had to be induced I spent packing and doing last minute stuff, but really I was nervous wreck.  I barely could eat but knew I wouldn't be able to for awhile so I managed to get some pizza down.  I wanted to cry when my parents drove away with both Sierra and our dog.  After that, the house seemed too empty.

I don't remember the drive to the hospital, but I remember parking and walking in.  I brought our Molly Bear - Adelyn Bear, but I decided to take off Adelyn's little sister onesie so people wouldn't think I had lost it.  On our way in, we ran into another couple who were being induced.  They were all relaxed and excited, and it was hard to "pretend" we were too.

I had not been back to the Family Birth Center since last September 30th when we left without Adelyn.  I was afraid to even check in.  I was SO relieved that we were in a different room than last time.  Once we got settled, they started my IV and the medicine to help soften my cervix.  I had to be on the monitor the whole time.  They offered me a sleeping pill, which I took because I knew it was the only way I was going to sleep.  I probably slept 4 hours, and it was a drug induced sleep so not the best, but better than nothing.  Every time I had to go to the bathroom I had to call the nurse to unhook everything - nice huh.

The next morning I got to get up and shower, which at first I thought was pointless but now I am glad I did.  I do not remember what exact time they started the Pitocin, but I think it was around 9.  Our nurse was really nice and apparently she knew Trevor from the bus stop when they were kids?  Of course he didn't remember her - but what a small world.  The nurse joked about racing the other couples who were being induced and told us the baby needed to be born before 3 because she was done then.  We had a couple visits from the doctor once things got started.

Contractions weren't as bad as I thought - I started feeling them and honestly they just felt like really bad period cramps.  As soon as the nurse noticed I was getting a little bit uncomfortable, they checked to see if I was dialated any more and I think I might have been 2 or almost 3.  At that point the nurse said I could get my epidural whenever - I was surprised I could get it so soon because with the girls, I was in severe pain by the time I got it.  I was worried it would stall labor to be honest, but on the other side, as soon as I started feeling the contractions I got really anxious about going through labor again.

So the epidural went smoothly.  Adelyn Bear got a lot of comments - the doctor knew about her and was telling the nurse about her.  But she wasn't there when they did the epidural and someone moved Adelyn Bear and was like whoa that bear is heavy.  And they started talking about her and I wasn't sure what to say, tell the story or what?  Trevor made a few comments and it passed over - I just wasn't in the emotional place to go there.  So my epidural was STRONG and of course my blood pressure dropped like it always does and they pumped me full of fluids.

I think it was after the epidural that the doctor came in and broke my water.  I never had that done before, and I was nervous because there was no going back at that point.  I think I was still only 3 cm.  Thankfully, there was NO meconium this time.  Big relief.

A little while later I started feeling pressure, or so I thought, so they checked me again.  I was only 5 cm maybe and the nurse informed me that we were losing "the race."  I was relaxed and comfortable, I could almost have slept to be honest.  But I thought things would move faster and was worried this was going to take a long time.

Then the nurse or doctor or someone came in and finally I was 10 cm.  They were right when they said once you hit 5 or 6 things moved quickly - it sure did.  I was still super numb, I couldn't even move my legs.  I asked the doctor if the baby would have to be taken to the pediatrician right away since there was no meconium.  She said absolutely not and that I was going to get him if I wanted.  Of course - it's exactly what I wanted, to be the first to hold my baby.  I never got to do that with the girls.

The doctor said that I could try to push, and we could check to see what I could do because maybe I was too numb.  So on the next contraction she had me push.  I pushed and then everyone yelled at me to stop.  Apparently he was right there.  So everyone had to scurry and get their gear on and break down the bed.  Once everything was ready they told me when to push again since I could feel nothing.  It was one more push and he was out.

I remember the moment so clearly, and it is strange to me that it happened that way this time, when I was so disconnected and anxious about things.  I saw the doctor holding him and he was moving around, obviously pink and fine, but he didn't cry immediately.  She was suctioning out his mouth and told him that he needed to cry because his mommy needed to hear that.  And cry he did - I don't think he stopped for a half an hour.  We were like ok buddy, enough!  As soon as he cried, the doctor handed him to me.  I wasn't sure how I was going to react, because I had not allowed myself to get attached to this baby at all.  But I don't think I have ever felt such an instant, intense love before.  It was truly love at first sight.  He was crying, I was crying - it was a moment I will never, ever forget.  Quite honestly, it was a moment that I'm not sure will ever be topped in this life.  I wasn't expecting it to be like that, especially with it being a boy.

I'm thankful that the pushing part was quick and that Coen was a good little boy and did everything he needed to - no heart rate dips, no suction cups, no meconium, and a big cry when he was born.  I needed that. 

I remember so many people telling me "It will be worth it in the end."  I wanted to scream at them and say that no way is anything worth losing a child for - because had Adelyn lived, Coen wouldn't be here.  This pregnancy was probably the MOST difficult thing I have ever done - definitely emotionally the most difficult of my pregnancies. Adelyn's pregnancy was the most difficult physically because of the heat and working up until the end and going a week over due.

And you can all yell "I told you so" to me now.  It's so complicated though, because as much as I wish Adelyn was still here with us, I know Coen wouldn't be if she was - so I can never really answer the question of if it was ALL worth it.  All I can say is that yes, going through the emotional roller coaster of this pregnancy was most certainly worth it.


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