Declan’s Birth – May 2012

Before the story of Seamus’ birth can be told and fully understood, the story of Declan’s birth must be retold.  Here are the blog posts of my Birth story from May 2012:

Please be aware that Declan’s birth was traumatic and may be a trigger if you have had a similar situation, are squeamish, or a worrier and pregnant.  

Declan’s Birth Story – Part 1

It is officially one week since I gave birth to our little boy and I still can’t quite believe it!  In the grand tradition of new mommy bloggers, I decided I need to write the story of his birth – and do it before I forget!

It all starts on May 1, 2012…
My work schedule was such that I didn’t start until 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I woke with contractions that felt different from the Braxton-Hicks that I had been experiencing since week 25 or so of pregnancy. I didn’t really think much of it – I was only 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant, I had been experiencing Braxton-Hicks already, and the cramping really wasn’t that painful.  A little after lunch that day – I spent the morning running errands – I noticed that they were picking up and coming more regularly.  I called the advice nurse and we decided I could totally hang out at home, that things probably weren’t really going anywhere.
May 2, 2012…
when I woke up on Wednesday, the contractions were definitely stronger and only 3-5 minutes apart.  I called the labor and delivery nurse again and she told us to come in.  Sure enough, the monitors showed that I was having contractions 3 minutes apart.  Internal exam showed that I was 2 cm dialated and 80% effaced – officially in preterm labor.  Uh Oh!   I wasn’t progressing very quickly so I was sentenced to bedrest and they let us go home – suggesting that I take Nifedipine to slow contractions down.
3 weeks pass…
May 21, 2012
Things started feeling more intense and I was spending more time with coping techniques (crawling, breathing, squatting) than not, so we decided to go into the hospital to get checked out.  Finding out that we were only 3 and a half centimeters dilated, we decided to go back home to labor.
May 28, 2012
Not again!  I was half sure that the crazy pain increase during dinner was nothing and didn’t want to go to the hospital for another false alarm.  When they checked this time I was 4 cm dilated (FINALLY), but our plan had been to wait until I was 6 cm before going in.  However, when they checked my blood pressure, it was dangerously high and I was at risk for preeclampsia, so they decided to keep me and take measures to induce labor.  Hubby and I wanted to have a natural birth, so we weren’t thrilled about the suggestion to be put on pitocin to speed things along.  Thankfully, the Dr was open to trying to strip the membranes to move things along- which was working swimmingly until they put me on Magnesium Sulfate for the preeclampsia.  At that point, the contractions slowed down and they started me on a Pitocin drip at 4am… so, I guess we’re now at…
May 29, 2012
we called my mom at 5:30 in the morning to come join us in the Hospital.  Our birth team was to include her and the hubby and the hospital staff (who were AMAZING, by the way)  Things were picking up, but still moving fairly slowly.  I wasn’t allowed to leave my room because of the Mag Sulfate (which can make you really off balance and dizzy) or jump in the shower (which had been helping with the contractions up to that point).  Nor was I allowed to snack or drink water.  only 1 small cup of ice chips an hour for me… That was probably the most frustrating and annoying part of the whole experience!!!
Things were still moving fairly slowly, steadily, but slowly, so when I reached 5 cm and my bag of waters had already popped a leak, they came in and fully broke my bag of waters.  weirdest feeling EVER!!!

Declan’s Birth Story – Part 2

May 29, 2012 – 11am
Dr. Rose (the resident on call at the time) broke my bag of Waters (which had sprung a leak about 3 hours before) to help move things along, since they were worried about preeclampsia and really wanted to get the baby out.  It wasn’t something we really wanted to do, but more than that, we didn’t want a cesarean-section and it was starting to look like we were on that track.  So, Dr. Rose used a crochet hook looking thing to break the bag of waters and after the gush, contractions picked up 100% and got crazy, crazy painful!

I gave in to some painkillers to help relax me between contractions because I was tensing up HUGE amounts in between and making things worse.  The way one of my mom & baby nurses put the use of the painkiller was the best description:  ”It’s like drinking a margarita for the pain – you feel nice and relaxed between contractions, but when the contraction hits, you’re pissed because it still hurts like you had no drugs.”

After they breaking the waters, things began moving INSANELY fast.  I went from 5cm to 10cm dilated in an hour and a half. when I hit 9cm my body started telling me to push.  the doctor checked, said “9 cm.  you can push in 20 minutes, but no pushing until then!”

Those 20 minutes were the hardest of my life.  Hubby and my mom spent it talking (and holding!) me down from pushing.  ”Breathe, breathe, breathe.  Don’t push.  you can do this.  Don’t push.  Breathe! Relax!”

Finally, they let me push.  For the first 45 minutes it was the best feeling ever.  I felt strong, in control, and it was a release from the labor that had been plaguing my life for the past 4 weeks.  After that, I just started to feel tired.  I couldn’t help but push when the urge hit, but the Doctor wanted 3 pushes with each contraction and the 2nd and 3rd just felt exhausting every time.  At first I was pushing from my back with hubby and the nurse holding my legs and me pulling back on my thighs.  Then I flipped over on to hands and knees on the bed.  It was at this point that I lost any need or desire for modesty.  I tore of the hospital gown, moaning something about “I can’t wear this anymore.  get it off, get it all off.”  I really wanted to get rid of the monitors too, but they wouldn’t let me because they wanted to keep an eye on the baby’s heart rate. I pushed for an hour and a half – starting on my back, middle on my knees, flipping back to my back to deliver.  In the last pushes, as he crowned, they pulled up a mirror so I could see his head.  It was so amazing and it hurt SO much.  During 2 of the pushes, I felt myself tear and I screamed like a banshee – my voice was shot for days – not great for a singer!  Finally his head came out and they unwrapped the umbilical cord and I pushed the rest of him out.  They put him on my chest and we waited for the cord to stop pulsing so the hubby could cut it.  There were tears pouring down both of our faces as we looked at our little boy for the first time.  I kept saying “I did it.  He’s so beautiful.”  over and over again.

The nurses took Declan across the room to weigh, measure, and clean him up a bit while they started stitching me up and worked to deliver the placenta.  

The scary and unusual conclusion to follow.  Please do not read if you are pregnant, a worrier,  or at all squeamish.  

The Conclusion to Declan’s Birth

May 29, 2012

content after eating

As we watched our son get measured, weighed and cleaned up some, Dr. Rose was dealing with something a lot more serious and scary.  I had a tear up the front near the left labia that she was fixing up while trying to encourage the placenta to deliver.  Once she delivered the placenta, she realized that there was a lot of bleeding coming from somewhere.  She started trying to find and repair it with just local anesthetics, but couldn’t.  Dr. Rose then sent one of the nurses to get Dr. McKay, the head OB/GYN on call.  It was about this time that we noticed that something wasn’t right with me

Dr. McKay came in and the two of them were looking and stretching my vagina, looking for the bleed.  It was quickly decided that emergency surgery was necessary.  As they wheeled me out of the room, hubby looks at me while holding our little boy and said “we WILL see you in a little while.  We love you.”

I was so tired that nothing had penetrated until then.  As they were wheeling me down the hall, they were explaining the risks of the spinal block that I was about to get and trying to get permission to administer it.  I remember saying “can you fix it?  Then just do what you need to to fix me.”

I hardly remember anything from the O.R.  I remember arriving and helping maneuver myself to the table, I vaguely remember being mostly asleep and leaning on someone while they administered the spinal block.  Other than that, I remember almost nothing.  They didn’t actually knock me out, but I was so tired from laboring all night (and for nights previous) and pushing the baby out that I slept through most of the surgery.  I woke up about an hour and 15 minutes later and chatted with the anesthesiologist (who was 33 weeks pregnant) while they finished up.

my dad in the PACU, holding Declan for the first time

They wheeled me into the recovery area of the OR wing to wait for the first blood transfusion and my family to come down.  They couldn’t bring Ethan and the baby down fast enough for me.  I couldn’t get that boy in my arms fast enough, though my arms were too tired to hold him for long.

After waiting 3 hours for the blood to arrive (I’m O negative, so I can only get O neg blood and there was apparently none on the shelf – i found out later from a friend of mine who works in the lab there.

The important thing (for any of you who ignored the disclaimer) to know is that this is an extremely rare occurrence.  The Doctor who admitted us to the hospital on the 28th ran into my husband in the hallway during the week and said; (essentially, not exact quote)
“I heard that happened with your birth.  This NEVER happens.  So strange.”
This particular doctor finished his ob/gyn residency in 1987… so he’s been practicing for over 25 years…
There is a reason that this isn’t even on your radar if you’re pregnant. It never happens. A very high percentage of births go exactly as planned, or, at least, not far off plan.  complications like mine are extremely unusual.


Finally we went up to the mom and baby ward and began the recovery process.  Some ‘highlights’:

  • the catheter… yeah… enough said.
  • My amazing husband taking care of me and the baby (along with the nurses, of course).  I thought he was amazing before, now I’m even more head-over-heels in love with him than before.
  • first attempted trip to the bathroom (4 feet away) when I pretty much fainted dead away on the floor – thank God for my hubby holding me up!!
  • Hubby sleeping so soundly that he couldn’t hear me calling for him, the baby crying, or feel the projectiles I was throwing at him hit him in the face..
  • a totally relieving/refreshing sponge bath… from my mother-in-law.  I have to say, having a nurse for a mother-in-law, especially MY mother-in-law, is amazing and such a blessing.
  • Hubby McGyver-ing a way to wash my nasty, nasty hair in bed.
  • Lots of lovely visits from friends and family
  • ‘dropping’ 2 rather large blood clots – first one was 400ml, 2nd was 100ml
  • Nearly passing out from trying to walk to the discharge meeting.
  • The most amazing Nursing staff.  Loved them all and had favorites; Rebecca, Stasia, Kelly, Lien, and Rose (and the nurse who helped deliver whose name I forgot in the craziness of our delivery…
  • Getting in the car to go home.
  • Bawling my eyes out because  I wanted to be back in the hospital with our nurses… embarrassing?  perhaps, but they were just that awesome.
This concludes the story of a little man’s birth.  I’ll close with a couple pictures, because I know you’re dying to see! Maybe the next post will be a guest post from the hubby on his side of the birth and being a new father.
~Errant Soprano and Family


About Katiebear

Singer, Wife, Mommy, Teacher. Living with nose to the ground.
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