Thursday, April 14, 2011

Brennan's Crazy Birth Story- The Good, Bad, & the Ugly!

My water broke on Tuesday, February 23rd at 3:54 am. I wasn't having very noticeable contractions yet. I could feel tightening in my abdomen, but nothing strong enough to tell when it started or ended so that we could time them. I decided to hop in the shower and clean off since I assumed stronger labor and the trip to the hospital was a long way off. By the time I got out, Ryan had the bed sheets changed (I had a big absorbent pad underneath the sheet in case my water broke at night...thank God I did! It got every drop!) and was in the process of packing the last of our hospital bags. I was starving so I decided to have a bowl of cereal at about 5:00. Ryan tried to catch a few more hours of sleep. Around 10:00 we hopped in the car to bring Emmy up to my Mom and Dad's place. I was still feeling pretty good, but would get a pretty strong contraction every once in a while with several small ones in between.

Ryan called the hospital at noon to see when they wanted me to come in since my water had been broken for 8 hours already by then (they start worrying about infection rather quickly). After they heard that my contractions were about 10 minutes apart and that my water broke so long ago, they told us to come in right away. They got me all hooked up to the monitors and checked me right away- I was at 3 cm and 90% effaced. At the previous office visit I had been only 1 cm and 60-70% I was making progress. We decided to try to keep things moving (or speed them up) by walking laps up and down the hallways. We did this for quite a while. They checked me again, 2 hours after we got to the hospital (around 2:15) and I was at 5 cm- halfway there!
Unfortunately, labor really started slowing down once I hit 5 cm. I didn't progress much at all within the next few hours and my contractions started to strengthen. I was beginning to get very uncomfortable with each and was worried that I'd wait too long to decide what I wanted for pain medication and not be able to get any if I progressed quickly at the end. After discussing with Ryan and my parents, I finally took my Dad's (and Ryan's, although I don't remember him influencing me much one way or the other) advice and chose to get an epidural. It was about 5:30 or 6:00 at this point and they said that I would have to wait until 7:00 for the nurse anesthetist to show up to administer it. In the meantime they started my IV, with the help of some EMLA numbing cream, and I did great! No crying or anything. They started me on some fluids while we waited for him to show up. He was an hour late and finally showed up at 8:00. I was feeling pretty crappy by then- and I was terrified of the epidural! They managed to get it done, but I didn't handle it very well. I had sort of a breakdown, but managed to sit still enough for them to get it done (which was really hard, especially in the midst of bad contractions). As soon as the medicine got going, I started feeling MUCH better. It entirely took care of the contractions. It was inadvertently placed slightly to the right of center, so I couldn't move my right leg at all, but had full control of my left.

After I got the epidural they decided to start pitocin to ramp up my contractions and hopefully get me to progress faster. This worked well for about an hour, but then the baby started showing signs of stress. His heart rate would drop with each contraction. They decided to stop the pitocin and give him a break. I don't remember my dilation numbers at this point because this same cycle went on for another 8 hours or so. I did eventually get dilated enough that I could try pushing.

The doctor had me give a couple of pushes during a contraction. I was mostly worried that I wouldn't push right, but apparently I was doing it perfectly. Unfortunately, his heart rate dropped dramatically while I was pushing. At that point they told me that his cord was being compressed somewhere so that he wasn't receiving any oxygen while I was pushing (which is the same reason the pitocin was causing him this stress). They decided that I would have to have the baby by C-Section. I was REALLY mad and terrified, to say the least. I had a lot of questions and couldn't stop bawling... actually, everyone there- Mom, Dad, my sister Haley, and friends Heather, Eric, and Shannon, were really worked up. I had sent Ryan home to get a few hours of sleep, so he hurried back as soon as he heard the news. He did a good job of calming me down as much as possible, but I was still terrified and so was he. They had to draw some blood to count and type in case I would need some in an emergency. They also had to give me a catheter, which sucks a lot.
Soon I was being rolled into the OR. The anesthetist was running the numbing medicine into my epidural as they walked me. He kept asking me if I could wiggle my toes and I always could. Ryan had to wait until they got me set up before they let him in. I was pretty mad about that, too. Getting prepped was so scary. There was about 8 people buzzing around me hooking me to things and draping me all over. Finally they let Ryan come in and sit next to me. He was terrified. They kept trying to get me numb, but after administering twice the amount of medicine they normally use, I still had total feeling. So they gave me the choice of having another shot in the back to try to numb me, or they could put me under general anesthesia. I didn't know what to do since I really didn't want more needles, but I was also afraid of feeling the pressure/discomfort of the surgery. I asked the anesthetist what I should do and he said to do the general, so that's what I did.  In hindsight, I should have never made the decision to be put under general anesthesia.  I missed the birth of my baby- my FIRST baby!  If I ever have to have another cesarean section, I pray that I'll be able to be awake to hear my baby's first cry.  I still get sad and depressed thinking about how I missed it.

Ryan had to leave right away and wait in the recovery room. I was completely asleep right away. Everything went well as far as the surgery goes. The baby came out extremely clean (the nurses were shocked at how clean) and with the best C-Section lungs they had heard. He was born at 7:09am on February 24th. He was 6 pounds 2 oz and 19.5 inches long. His apgars were 8 and 9. And obviously, he was a BOY! They brought him into the recovery room right away to meet his Daddy (Mommy was still asleep). Ryan checked him out, cut what was left of the cord and went with him to the nursery where they weighed, measured, and foot printed him. They also did his vitamin k shot and his eye ointment. At that point Ryan went to tell everyone that I and the baby were doing well so far, but he didn't tell the the sex yet- I wanted to be there!

Finally I began to wake up, but was having trouble breathing. I kept saying that my throat was too dry to breathe. Finally they understood me and started giving me water on sponges. Then I asked what I had. They told me it was a boy... then I asked twice more- I couldn't believe it!!! Finally, after I begged enough, they let Ryan back in. He told me about the baby while I was still coming out of the anesthesia. They wanted to wait longer before bringing the baby into the recovery room, but I wouldn't leave them alone. I wanted to see my baby. I was getting mad at the nurses. They kept telling me to cough to clear my lungs and I could sort of do it. Finally I had a better cough. I looked at the one nurse and just said, "Was that good enough?!" and they finally said ok and brought the baby in. I started crying when they gave him to me. I was so happy, but still shocked that he was a boy. (All of this is Ryan's account because I don't remember bits and pieces of it.)

We finally got rolled back into the original delivery room where all of our visitors- Shannon, Eric, Heather, Mom, and Dad were waiting. Ryan went and got the favors (which is how we were announcing the sex) and told everyone to hold out their hands and to close their eyes. They did it and opened their eyes to see a bag of BLUE gummy bears tied with an "It's a boy" ribbon! Everyone kind of screamed in shock! It was gonna be a girl! We were all wrong.

So, in summation:
The Good- Our little man is so perfect and we both made it through safe and healthy.
The Bad- Almost NOTHING went according to plan. I missed the birth of my baby!
The Ugly- My reaction upon finding out I had to have a c-section and during the epidural placement.

I'm just so lucky and blessed to have such supportive family and friends that got me though this scary, scary time! I'm so in love with my little baby and with Ryan.  I'll always remember my crazy first labor experience.  It definitely was all worth it, but I hope it's the hardest labor I ever have!!!  Can't get too much worse, really (assuming baby and I are healthy), so I guess I just need to look forward to having baby number 2!



  1. Wow, what a crazy birth story!!! I bet that was so upsetting missing his birth but thankfully you have pictures. He is such a cutie1

  2. It was super upsetting! I struggled with it for a long time and still do some, but having experienced Bryleigh's birth helped A LOT!

  3. I would have been super upset to miss the birth of my babies too, so I totally get that! :) I am glad that everything has turned out great! :)


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