Friday, December 24, 2010

Introducing Sylvan William!

Well, as most of you know, our little Sylvan was born last week! He was born at 7:31 am on Thursday December 16 after 27 hours of labour. He weighed in at 8 lbs 11 oz and 21 inches long. Or as Luke likes to say: Sylvan is 1'9" ... ha ha.

Here's the birth story (if you so dare to read it):

On December 14th, I had to go in to the hospital for some tests to be assessed as Sylvan was about a week overdue at that point. His heart rate was monitored and I had an ultrasound done. The ultrasound was fine, but the non-stress test to measure his heart rate showed the heart rate wasn't as consistent or strong as it should be. My midwife had an obstetrician assess me, and he suggested I be induced the next day. I really didn't want to be induced so I had a little cry-fest but then realized being induced would be better than having a C-section. We went home and got our hospital bags ready.

Early on December 15th I woke up feeling like I was having some mild contractions. I called the hospital to see what time I should come in to be induced and they said they were having a really busy day and they wouldn't be able to induce me that day (I was told this might happen). I had a feeling I was already in labour anyway so I was pretty excited to be told this and to be given the chance to have labour start on its own.

I had to go to the hospital again anyway that morning for another non-stress test, and while they were measuring Sylvan's heart rate they also hooked me up to a monitor to measure for contractions. I was having contractions about 7-10 minutes apart at that point and they were very mild.

I went home with instructions to rest and then to take a long walk to get labour pumping along.

When we got home I tried to lie down and rest but the contractions seemed to get a lot stronger fairly quickly. I came downstairs and Luke and I started timing them. Later that afternoon after my mom came over, my contractions were at 5 minutes apart for at least 1 minute in duration and we decided to call the midwife. She came over and we all hung out, keeping track of the contractions as I worked at coping through each one with the techniques I had learned in our prenatal classes. She checked my dilation and found I was dilated to 5 cm.

We kept hanging out. A few hours later my contractions were really strong and getting to feel very painful. It must have been around 11 pm by this point. I ended up throwing up because of the pain and my coping techniques were starting to feel less effective. The midwife checked my dilation and found that I was still dilated to 5 cm and that I hadn't progressed at all.

When she told me I hadn't progressed, my immediate reaction was "screw natural labour and a home birth, I want to go to the hospital!" ... I didn't feel disappointed by this decision and the midwife was in support of it as well.

We went to the hospital and got me checked in and situated in a labour room. The contractions were so intense I was starting to lose it as I didn't know what to do anymore to cope. I had to change into a gown and lie down on the hospital bed and that did not make matters any better as the only thing helping me by then seemed to be walking around to get through each contraction.

I was able to get a shot of morphine to help me relax between each contraction. It barely took the edge off the intensity of each contraction though I did feel a little more relaxed.

Finally the anesthetist was able to give me an epidural. At this point I didn't care that I hadn't originally wanted one when I had put together my birth plan. I felt panicked that my body wasn't progressing and the sharpness and relentlessness of each contraction was making me feel crazy! The epidural felt like heaven to me, and it wasn't as numbing in my legs as I expected it to be. I was able to relax and sleep for a few hours. Luke and my mom had to try and sleep in some very uncomfortable chairs during this time, so I commend them for being such troopers! I was also given some oxytocin to augment my labour and help me progress.

A few hours after my epidural the nurse checked me and I was STILL only dilated to 5 cm. At that point I started feeling panicked again because I was starting to feel some pain during the contractions. I told the nurse this and she checked the epidural and told me it was still working. I tried to sleep again.

Another couple hours later I started feeling a lot of pressure low down. I told the nurse, she checked me, and found I was fully dilated! She told me I could start pushing. Luke woke up to see they already had me pushing and hadn't let him know! He got up too quickly and almost passed out.

This part gets a little nasty, so if you get grossed out easily you can stop reading :)

As I started pushing, I started feeling intense, sharp pain on one side of my abdomen. The nurse again checked my epidural and found it was still working. Annnnnd then I started hemorrhaging... and to make a long story short, the OB came in, found the Sylvan's head was cranked to the side, thus causing me to tear and bleed and feel pain in that one spot. This was why my labour hadn't progressed well earlier.

The OB discussed with me the possibility of turning Sylvan's head with forceps. I wasn't feeling too excited about that because I heard forceps usually cause a lot more tearing, but at this point I sort of just wanted Sylvan out of there in with us in the real world... and for the pain to stop! The OB ended up just turning Sylvan's head manually, and in a few short pushes, out popped Sylvan! It happened a lot sooner than I expected it would once I started pushing.

It was all very emotional and wonderful when he was born. He scored a 9/10 on the apgar, because his hands and feet were a little blue... but he was breathing well and doing great otherwise. It was great to have my mom there too and she was the first family member to see Sylvan which was special for her.

We were able to discharge from the hospital later that same day. Since I had lost quite a bit of blood I was feeling really weak and shaky and I was white a sheet. Also as you can imagine I wasn't feeling too comfortable :) But we were happy to be able to go home as we knew we would feel so much more relaxed at home.

Since then we've definitely had some challenges as far as feeding goes, but every day has been getting better and we are starting to get used to being parents. Crazy to think we have a son!

3 comments:

Sonya 6:15 PM  

Wow! That's quite the birthing adventure you had. But that's the funny thing about labor and delivery...no matter how much you plan for it, you never can tell how things will end up going. The most important thing is that you and Sylvan came out of it healthy and happy. (Well, and Luke too of course. :))

Nate, Carla and Lucy 1:25 AM  

Congratulations, Annie! I'm so glad that you are both safe and healthy - even though everything didn't go quite as planned! Welcome home with your baby son!

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