Sunday, April 12, 2015

Maverick's Birth Story

My birth plan was simple. 
So simple, in fact, that I didn’t even give a copy to my nurse because we didn’t want to jinx anything. All of my wishes were the standard of care for the baby-friendly birthing center that we chose for our delivery. The plan was to deliver our son naturally and vaginally at the birthing center with dual care from an OB and midwife. We enlisted the help of a doula and hoped to utilize the birthing tub for hydrotherapy during my labor for pain management. After our son was born, I hoped to have delayed cord clamping, skin-to-skin time and have him room-in with us so that I could start breastfeeding. 

But nothing about our son’s birth went according to plan. When I wrote my birth plan, I knew full well that it was nothing more than a list of wishes for my labor. But it was still disappointing when none of them happened. 

It’s normal to have a plan. Even if you know that you ultimately have no control of how things turn out. It’s natural to have hopes that things will go a certain way. Just like when you do a fertility treatment cycle. No one plans to get a cyst, have a cancelled cycle, not respond to stim meds, have a low number of follicles, etc. But sometimes, things don’t go as planned. 

In week 38 of my pregnancy, I developed (PIH) pregnancy-induced hypertension and severe edema. As a result, I was placed on full bed rest and had to monitor my blood pressure levels daily. Every few days, my blood pressure would spike higher requiring a trip to the doctor’s office or birthing center for monitoring. The monitoring usually consisted of blood work, urine analysis and a non-stress test for the baby. The doctors were watching me very closely to make sure that I didn’t develop full-blown preeclampsia. 

After almost 3 weeks of the continued rise in BPs, we arrived at the birthing center at 1pm on 3/25 (at 40 weeks and 6 days) and the medical team decided it was time to admit me for an induction while we still had the time. Preeclampsia was close at hand and I don’t think the OB wanted to take any chances. The doc did a cervical check at 2:30pm and found that I was only 1 cm dilated, -2 station and 40% effaced. They administered a dose of Misoprostol at 4pm to get things going. Contractions began. My water broke with meconium staining at approx. 11pm that evening. 

At 5am, A called our doula to come to the hospital to help as my contractions were beginning to get more difficult. At 7:25am, the midwife ordered labs to check for preeclampsia and an hour later sterile water papules were administered to help me manage the pain. 

Around 10:15am, my contractions began to space out (5-6 minutes apart) and the doctor and midwife decided to administer Pitocin to better control my contractions and get them closer together. At 1pm, the midwife checked my cervix and stated that I was 4cm dilated, 80% effaced and -1 station. She also mentioned that she could see black hair on the baby’s head. As the Pitocin was increased, I had more difficulty handling the contractions. By 2pm, I needed an epidural. I was so bummed because I felt like a failure. My doula reminded me that Pitocin contractions are much more harsh than natural contractions. There aren't many people that could handle the intensity without drugs.

Over the next few hours, the doctor continued to increase the Pitocin until our baby’s heart rate started to decel. They increased the dosage and then the baby’s heart rate would dip again. This cycle continued until 8pm when blood work was drawn again and a cervical check showed that I was 6cm dilated, 80% effaced and -1 station. An IUPC (intrauterine pressure catheter) was placed to more accurately monitor the strength of my contractions if baby’s heart rate continued to dip. 

My lab work came back fine but my blood pressure was very sporadic – ranging from 153/106 to 95/56. The doctor continued to increase the Pitocin throughout the night and ordered blood tests and urine tests to monitor for preeclampsia.

At 6am, the OB found me to be 8cm dilated, 90% effaced and 0 station. She suggested we turn off the Pitocin to let my body rest and then start it back up again at 8:30am. The Pitocin was steadily increased throughout the day to the max dose. 

I was checked again at 1:30pm. The doctor felt that if I was complete, I could start pushing. If I had not progressed since my last exam and my contraction pattern was not effective, it was time to move onto a C-section. I had not progressed - still 8cm after another 8 hours of Pitocin-induced labor. 

I was prepped for surgery. Accepting that I needed a C-section was difficult but I was exhausted and knew that my body had had enough and wasn’t going to cooperate. I’d already been in hard labor for two days trying for a vaginal birth. 

I don’t remember much about the C-section except that I felt like I wasn’t really there. The doctors were retrieving my son on the other side of the curtain and I was on the outside. Separate from this event. Then when my baby was born, he was immediately whisked across the room for examination. I couldn’t really see over there and didn’t know what was going on. However, my husband later told me that he had to stand by and watch our son turn blue and stop breathing 5 minutes after birth. 

Once baby Mav was stabilized, he was taken immediately to the nursery. No skin to skin. I didn’t even get to see his face. Hubby went with our baby and I was left alone. I didn’t know what was going on and whether my baby was okay. 

The next few hours were extremely hard emotionally because I had to lie there and get stitched up, then wait in recovery until the meds started to wear off and then wait until my postpartum room was ready. Hubby finally came in to tell me the concerns the doctors had with Maverick. 

Finally, my bed was wheeled into the nursery so that I could see my son for the first time. It was such an emotional moment. Seeing his face and holding him was like no other feeling. My heart swelled with love for this tiny little being. I just wish I could say that I remembered it more clearly but I was in a fog of exhaustion and worry. 

Instead of rooming-in as planned, Mav had to stay in the nursery overnight for observation. 

Apparently, Mav wasn’t able to eat the colostrum that I had pumped the night before and was given the food via feeding tube that morning. At that point, we were told that he would be transported to UC Davis Children’s Hospital NICU to get the help he needed to breath and eat. 

A and I stayed in the nursery holding him all day. Thankfully the hospital staff allowed me to stay in my hospital bed in the nursery with my son until the paramedics came to transport him to the NICU. It broke my heart to see him get carried away in that incubator with all of the monitors and IV. My precious baby, less than 24 hours old, was being carted away from me to another hospital. Hubby followed behind the ambulance in his truck to be with our son. I was left behind to recover from my C-section. 

Post on baby's stay in the NICU…coming soon. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

he's arrived

Maverick Dean was born on Friday, 3/27 at 3:19pm. 
7 lbs 1 ounce and 21 inches. 

A and I are both so in love with our little man.

 It was a long, hard labor and baby boy has had some difficulty breathing. He's been transferred to the NICU at another hospital to get the help he needs. 

Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes. I will share more when I can.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

sharing baby sunshine's name

naming a human being is a big responsibility. it can shape who he becomes. this little person will be called by these letters strung together every day of his life. choosing a child's name is a reflection of you and your partner. who you are. your personalities and ideals. what you want your child to be like.

in the beginning, i'd give hubby long lists of baby boy names that i liked. he'd listen and say yes, no, or maybe to each one. but mostly he'd say no.

once we finally we landed on a name that we both love for our son, we shared it with a few people. quickly, we learned that sharing your baby's name gives people an open invitation to critique it and share their opinion. that bothered me at first so we decided to wait to share his name until after he's born.

but recently, we decided…we don't care what anyone else thinks. we don't need affirmations. this is our son's name and all that matters is that we like it. he's due in 5 days and i'm on bed rest until he arrives. so i thought i'd write this post to share his name a bit earlier in anticipation of his arrival.

this sweet onesie is from the little goose shop on etsy.
you can follow them on instagram @thelittlegooseshop to see their darling baby products.
what maverick means
independent, nonconformist
symbolizes an unfettered, free spirit

etymology & historical origin 
maverick is an english word meaning “independently minded”. interestingly, the word was coined in the mid-1800s by the ranch neighbors of samuel maverick, a texas politician and land baron who refused to brand his cattle. the name received further “wild wild west” cachet in 1994 thanks to the movie “maverick” set in the american old west starring mel gibson.

 in 1986, we saw the release of the hugely popular film “top gun” starring a young tom cruise as the independently defiant naval pilot pete “maverick” mitchell. the word and the name “maverick” are both distinctly american. we like to think of ourselves as free, bold and independent.

initially, we really liked aiden until we realized that it is one of the top ten baby names for little boys right now. according to nameberry, in 2013, maverick was #273 on the popularity list. my iPad baby names app says that there were 851 births last year with the name maverick...placing it at #356 on the popularity list.

interestingly, the name maverick appeared on the american male naming charts for the first time (and very briefly) in the late 1950s. in 1960, the name abruptly disappeared again not to reemerge for another 30+ years in 1994. clearly, the resurfacing of maverick as a boy’s name was influenced by the aforementioned movie starring mel gibson. the name has achieved pretty low-moderate levels of usage. by no means is this a commonly used name which is appealing to us.

boys with the name maverick have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family or community, and a need to work with others and to be appreciated.

boys with this name tend to initiate events, to be leaders rather than followers, with powerful personalities. They tend to be focused on specific goals, experience a wealth of creative new ideas, and have the ability to implement these ideas with efficiency and determination. they tend to be courageous and sometimes aggressive. as unique, creative individuals, they tend to resent authority, and are sometimes stubborn, proud, and impatient.

middle name
we wanted a more traditional middle name to pair with our son's less common first name. we also wanted it to be short and succinct. so we chose dean.

we call him mav. 

Blogging tips