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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. 

Wednesday
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. 

Thursday
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.

Friday 
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. 

To my dismay, 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. 

Unfortunately, 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 eventually came in to tell me the concerns the doctors had with Maverick. 

My bed was finally 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 in the world. 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. 

Saturday 
Apparently, Mav wasn’t able to ingest 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. 


49 comments:

Mrs. Southern Mama said...

You are such a strong mama. I know I would have been just as emotional. Our hospital doesn't have a NICU either, so I am praying that we don't have to do anything like that with my birth - because then my daughter would be transported 45 mins away. All I can do is pray and hope that my birth plans goes accordingly. But as you mentioned, no one really asks to have to do fertility treatments either... so if there's anything to be learned, I have to expect the unexpected. I hope you are loving your time with Mav. He is such a stinking cutie!!!!

Mrs. Southern Mama said...

You are such a strong mama. I know I would have been just as emotional. Our hospital doesn't have a NICU either, so I am praying that we don't have to do anything like that with my birth - because then my daughter would be transported 45 mins away. All I can do is pray and hope that my birth plans goes accordingly. But as you mentioned, no one really asks to have to do fertility treatments either... so if there's anything to be learned, I have to expect the unexpected. I hope you are loving your time with Mav. He is such a stinking cutie!!!!

Cristy said...

Oh Jessah. The tears flow. I also went through a C-section and didn't see the Beats until a few hours after they were born. Even then, I couldn't hold them for another 24 hours. But they were not moved to another hospital and I didn't have a difficult labor. Being separated like that is just awful. I'm so glad Mav got the care he needed, but also sad that you had to go through all of that. No guilt though, lady. You did everything right.

Katie @ Loverly She said...

I’m so glad we live in a day and age where complicated births don’t end tragically. Glad you’ve got wee man safe in arms, that’s all that matters! Women buy into so many lies about their identity, in all areas of life including birth and motherhood. The series of events in your birth experience do not affect your worth, your value, or “taint” or diminish your identity as a woman or a mother. Be empowered Jessah! You’re a MAMA! Praise God!

Kristin DiCristofano said...

I am so sorry that things didn't go as planned. I always wonder what makes the difference between stories like yours and those I see in the NICU that I work at... And the normal, healthy deliveries that we all hope for. Over the past few weeks I've really grown to rely on a Father in Heaven and his plan. You are amazing for handling everything you were dealt, maverick is so lucky to have you as his mommy! Congratulations on your precious little one!

futureMom said...

I'm sorry that the birth was so stressful and that they left you waiting there without knowing Maverick was ok. I'm glad that it turned out ok, and don't feel bad about having to do the C-section. You got your baby out safely, that is the important thing. Congratulations, Mama!!

Amanda said...

I can only imagine how hard losing every step of your plan must have been. You gave it a really good fight... far more than I or most people would have been willing to do. Expectations are alwaysso hard to deal with when they go unmet. Thankful that the end of the story eventually end with Maverick home in your arms.

Heidi said...

There is nothing failure about getting an epidural or having a c section. You did great. He's here and he's now healthy. And STUNNINGLY handsome. Good job Jessah. You did good. Xoxo

Lanie said...

Isn't pitocin a bear? I could not do it either! I'm so glad you got the epi to let your body rest. What a long, tough labor. You are so strong, and have weathered pregnancy complications and birth beautifully. What a great job you have done to keep your baby safe. So glad he is finally safe in your arms! Whew!

It breaks my heart to hear how he was whisked away and you were all alone. I'm glad he got the help he needed though and I'm needig te decid half of this story! Can't wait to hear it all in person too! Lots of love to you and Mav!

Dream Chase said...

Gosh I'm crying. I am so, so sorry about your labor and the aftermath. Poor Mav! Waiting for the next part. *hugs* Jessa!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this a crazy story, but I am glad all is good now!

Katie Jeanne said...

Oh, Jessah, how exhausting and scary for you! I am glad you realized that birth plans don't always go as planned, but it is still hard when they don't :( I labored for 44 hours and ended up needing a c-section, so I can relate on that part. I pray that little Maverick is doing well and I look forward to hearing the rest of your story. God bless you, my sweet friend!!

Just T said...

I read this last night and it made me so sad because I knew how important your birth plan was. I know it had to be scary seeing your little baby in the NICU, but I am so happy you guys are all home and healthy now.

BTW, I love all of his hair!

Julia Spencer said...

I am sorry this didn't go at all as you had hoped. You did an excellent job Mama.

JoJo said...

Oh Jessah, I'm sorry u had to experience this. Birthplans don't always go as planned but I could only imagine the fear you were feeling during this time. Praying for your little Mav.

Amie said...

Wow this sounds like a long awaited arrival of your sweet baby boy. So glad to know he is doing well now!

Ashley @ Life on the Parsons Farm said...

Oh jessah my heart is so overwhelmed with emotions. So grateful he is here but so sad that non of your birth went according to plan. But more importantly he is here and in your arms now!! What a blessing he is.

holly said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry. This breaks my heart to hear.

Natalie | Mrs. Janney | said...

Each part of this story broke my heart. I am sad that, after everything you went through to get pregnant, you didn't get to have the birth you had hoped for. I know, firsthand, how it feels when your birth doesn't go as planned. But you did a great job and you made the best decisions for your baby and your body. I can't even imagine how exhausted you must have been.

I'm so glad I Maverick is ok!

BabyBlueSunday said...

What a hard labor. So sorry it didn't go as planned. Hope your baby boy is doing well!

Sunflower said...

Gosh, that sound like a really hard labor and to end up with a c-section must have been really disappointing. I cannot even imagine how difficult it must have been for you seeing him taken in the ambulance :( I hope Mav is doing okay now. Do update on his progress. Thinking of you all.

Life Happens said...

Congrats to your little family! What a blessing. Enjoy every minute of it (even when you are exhausted). :)

Aramis said...

I'm so happy that despite everything you guys are all ok. And yeah, it's pretty much "birth plan, schmirth plan". Babies have other ideas!!

ADSchill said...

Oh how traumatic. With all the hormones surging and the worry...I can't imagine. I'm so sorry that it didn't turn out as planned - that is always sad and frustrating. I can exactly see how painful it would be to be separated from your newborn, not knowing what was going on while trying to recover from surgery. A very intense story. I'm so happy you all are okay now.

Laura Rahel said...

oh my goodness. so emotional. I'm so glad you're at home with him now and have gotton lots of time together. that must have been so worrisome!

JenS said...

Sorry things didn't go as you had hoped, but glad you are both ok. That's the most important thing - healthy mom and baby! You are not a failure for needing an epidural or a c-section. You grew a human being and brought him safely into this world! I don't see any failure there. You did what was best for your little boy and that just makes you a good mama.

Aislinn said...

Oh Jessah, I'm so sorry things didn't go at all as you planned. I also went from a planned natural vaginal delivery to a semi-emergency c-section, so I can empathize with your feelings and emotions.

I'm so glad that both you and Maverick are doing well now <3

Sarah said...

Oh wow :( So glad you all made it through okay. All the emotions of Samantha's crazy birth came rushing back to me while reading this. Mav is so beautiful! Enjoy every precious second.

J said...

Oh sweetheart, im so sorry, but im also thankful that all is well now assuming you and baby are doing well now

Amy said...

Congrats mumma!! I swear I do not know one mother who struggled with infertility that didn't have things go to plan. It's not fair!! But it's also the start of true motherhood and learning to roll with the punches....even when the punches hurt. You are amazing and so is your son! You are a mother!!! It is a crazy feeling isn't it? We are all here to help get through the first few months which can also be a rollercoaster! Lots of love from Australia xoox

Stephanie said...

Oh Jessah, I can't imagine not being able to see your baby right away and then having him transported to a hospital while you have to stay behind, meanwhile your husband is torn on who to be with. I hope he has continued to get better and, if not already, will be home with you soon!

Gypsy Mama said...

You're right. It's totally natural to have a plan and to be disappointed when things don't work out as hoped. I'm so glad he's OK now. Looking forward to the next update!

Krystal Sullivan said...

That must have been so scary. I am so sorry that you didn't get to see him right away, that must have been so hard. I was able to see Jordan and have skin to skin, but then was separated for her for awhile because they could not get me a room, and they couldn't bring her to post-op. It was torture. I can only imagine how hard it was for you, especially with Mav being moved to another hospital. I hope all is well now :)

Amola Argiros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aubrey said...

Oh Jessah.... I hate that nothing went as planned and that your sweet boy was taken to another hospital. But I am so glad he's ok and that you're all home now and are together!! xo

Lee-anne Barker-Cobb said...

My friend in the States had a very similar birthing story. It's crazy. Glad he's okay now.

Michelle Levine said...

Thanks so much for sharing - hope you and baby are doing well !

Non Sequitur Chica said...

Oh my that is quite a story. I hope that everyone is home and healthy by now!

amberlynn said...

I'm so sorry that this has happened. I pray that baby is doing good and I pray that you are ok emotionally and physically. I remember all to well my postpartum Blues and I can't imagine having to go through this as well. Praying for all of you

shay said...

omg, sorry you (and mav) went through so much to get him here, but i'm glad he is doing good now... so crazy how nothing ever goes to plan...

Amber said...

I'm sorry you had such a hard labor and delivery! I remember how difficult it was not being able to be with my babies after they were born. I can't imagine them being in a totally ddifferent hospital altogether! The most important thing is that you are both now home and together at last! Congrats again on your beautiful baby boy!

AMY MICHELE said...

Oh my goodness you have me in tears! I couldn't even imagine...
I'm so glad that he is OK! You shouldn't feel like a failure about the C-Section. Your body created and hosted this amazing creation & I think a C-Section is just as beautiful as a vaginal birth PLUS you get a battle scar!! Maybe I'm not making this sound as good as I mean too but it breaks my heart that you had such a hard time. Can't read part 2

Amy

Karre Havey said...

That certainly wasn't a typical c section! That's too bad that it was your experience, and I hope you aren't too hard on yourself about not being able to follow your plan. I never had one, maybe that was crazy but I just felt like I couldn't control the situation and i just wasn't going to try. Women put too much pressure on ourselves to do things naturally and always in control but when you are trying to give birth the playbook goes out the window. I hope you are enjoying motherhood, such a wonderful gift you have.

Melissa said...

A close friend of mine, Ashley, had her baby March 14th, and her story is almost exactly like yours! She wanted a completely natural birth, she had prepared for it & i have no doubt she would have done it if she could have. She did not want to be induced but when she went in to the doctor on her due date, her blood pressure was high and she had protein in the urine (i think that's what it was), so they induced. She naturally labored for 36 hours, and then had an epidural because she was still only at 5cm after 36 hours. At that point she couldn't even stay awake anymore. (She'd been awake for about 40 hours.) So she got the epidural, she went to sleep,and woke up at 7cm. She finally was able to push but baby was stuck. They could see her head but baby wouldn't come out anymore. After all of that! So she had to do a c-section. I don't know why i had to share that with you! It just was so weird reading your story because it sounded so close to Ashley's. I'm so sorry it didn't go the way you planned but i know you feel the same way as my friend - it is so worth it, now that you're holding that sweet baby! :)

Melissa Long said...

So scary! I'm so glad to know everyone is well and safe!

Ashley Sanderson said...

Oh Jessah, my heart hurts for you because I was there. JUST like you! Had a plan and not one part happened. Feeling like I had failed when we had to move onto a c-section after days of surgery. After everything we both have been through to get pregnant, our labors and births followed suit, tough. But we are both so strong and we made it through. I'm so proud of you and am so happy for you momma!

Janna Renee said...

Man...way to leave us hanging!! I didn't even know about a lot of this birthing stuff. I really need to start doing my homework since we only have a month or two. You worked hard for this little nugget!!

Desirae said...

Wow what a crazy part 1! I know it must have been so insane to go through all that! It must feel amazing to have him safely home now :)

Laura {happily ever} Parker said...

Oh my goodness! You are so incredible. Mav is already so incredibly lucky to have you for his mom. What a fighter - I am so sorry your birth plan didn't go as planned :(

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