Before I talk about the details of William’s birth, I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and family for everything that you all have done for us. I know that you have all been praying for me, and I want you all to know that I have felt all of your prayers and I know that I would not be doing so well without them. I can’t put into words how much love and support I have felt, and I’m so grateful for that. I feel very blessed.
I don’t want to even talk about the last trimester. It was just miserable. We talked to my doctor about inducing. If you don’t know much about the rules about inducing, let me explain them. For first time moms, it is illegal to induce before 39 weeks unless it is a medical necessity. Then, your cervix has to be at least 3 cm dilated and 80 % effaced in order to be induced any time after that until you reach one week after your due date. I went in to get checked twice a week for the last 3 weeks, and my body was ready to be induced a few days before his actual due date. Since I felt like I could handle a few more days of being pregnant, we decided to hold off on inducing for another week, hoping that he would come on his own since it is safer than inducing. The week went by and nothing happened, so we went in to be induced 4 days after his due date.
Things went so well for the first half of labor. I was dilating really well, and things were very peaceful. One annoying thing here was that our nurse would not leave me alone! The anesthesiologist was in a c-section and couldn’t come give me an epidural until he was done with that. They said it would be about 45 minutes, but something went wrong and it turned into 2 hours. The nurse kept coming in and asking me if I wanted another form of pain meds until he could get to me to give me the epidural. I kept telling her no, but she would still come in every two minutes to ask me again! I was so annoyed! Yes, it was painful, but really, I could wait. It wasn’t that big of a deal. By the way, contractions weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they were. I had felt much more pain at other times in my life. They were really painful, don’t get me wrong, just not nearly as bad as I thought they were going to be.
I was terrified of the epidural, and I have no idea why! I know that everybody’s experience is different, but I felt the pinch when they gave me the shot to numb the area, and then I felt a jolt of pain when he put the bigger needle in. It didn’t last very long, and then that was it! So really, don’t be ridiculous like I was and be terrified of it for forever. It was seriously nothing. Getting the IV put in my wrist was a lot more painful in my opinion. The epidural worked well enough to help with a lot of the pain, but it didn’t help all of it. My legs were completely numb, but it would only numb my abdomen and pelvis if I was laying down on my side, and it would only numb the side I was laying on. Apparently the numbing medicine goes with gravity. So I would have to switch sides all the time when one side got too painful to handle. So yeah, don’t be afraid of an epidural, it’s totally worth it, but also know that it may not always work right.
After a few hours, the doctor that worked with my doctor came in to check on us because the monitor was showing that William’s heart rate was dropping after every contraction. He didn’t really say much to us, but he stood there and watched the monitor for about 5 minutes, and I could see from his face that it didn’t look good. I asked him about it and he said it was worrisome but not quite serious yet. He brought in 3 or 4 nurses to look at it, and then he went outside to call my doctor. When he came back in, he explained that because William’s heart rate was dropping after every contraction it meant that he wasn’t getting enough oxygen from the placenta. Either the cord was being compressed during contractions or the placenta was too old to supply him with enough oxygen. We turned off the pitocin to ease the contractions, but after a few hours it still hadn’t made a difference. Then, they tried a few other things in the next few hours and nothing worked to get his heart rate up. We were at the point where there was nothing else they could do to try to fix the problem and it was dangerous for William to keep waiting for it to change on its own. We decided with our doctor that we needed to go ahead with the emergency c-section. The nurse prepped me for the surgery, and within 5 minutes the anesthesiologist and a few nurses were hooking me up to all these things while my doctor explained the procedure to me. It was very chaotic!
We got transferred to the room where they do the surgery, and it wasn’t too bad at all! I did feel really claustrophobic since they tie you down and the sheet is put up right at your neck, but I got over that pretty quickly. The anesthesiologist and Nick stayed right next to my head the whole time, and that was a huge comfort. I also started talking with the doctors doing the procedure, and it was actually pretty fun to chat with them! There was one point during the procedure where I glanced at the big lights that they have above you, and I saw the reflection of what they were doing in that. I nearly fainted seeing that so I didn’t look up there again. So if any of you have a c-section in the future, don’t look at the lights! Trust me, you don’t want to see what they are doing. It turns out that the placenta was too old to provide William with enough oxygen, but the cord was also wrapped around his neck so it probably was being compressed, too. There was also a lot of meconium(the first bowel movements) present, and thankfully he hadn’t inhaled any of it. There’s a good chance he would have if we had waited any longer to do the c-section. (It can be really dangerous if they inhale it). Overall, I felt like everything went very well. We were treated very well by all the hospital staff, and I always felt well taken care of. There was one point during labor where I nearly fainted and had to be put on oxygen and it was scary at first, but when everyone came in to help me, it wasn’t scary at all. Even though we had to end with an emergency c-section, I always felt very calm and peaceful. It was a thousand times better than I expected it to be. Everyone asks me if I’m sad or disappointed about the c-section, and most of the time I’m not. I know that it was the best choice in our situation, and I’m so grateful that we had that option so we could get Will here safely. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get to experience a normal birth just because it would have been really cool, and the healing process would be much better. The doctors that did the surgery told me that I am a perfect candidate for a vbac(vaginal birth after a c-section) because the surgery went really well and the reason for the surgery was because of the baby, not my body. So hopefully next time we will get to experience a normal birth!
I will never forget hearing those first cries once they got him out. It was the most adorable thing I’ve ever heard! I was so jealous of everyone else because they got to hold him and see him and Nick got to go to the nursery with him. They were all telling me about how he had so much hair and was such a big baby, and I was dying to see him. They took another 40 minutes to finish the surgery and then I had to recover in the labor and delivery room for about an hour before they took me to my recovery room where I finally got to meet him! Since it was super late at night, we only spent a couple minutes with him before he went to the nursery so we could sleep, but I didn’t sleep at all that night because I was just too excited!
Recovery has been amazing so far. At 5 a.m. after the night of the surgery, I started getting up and walking around. I hated it that first day because I still had the catheter and IV in and I had to have a nurse carry everything any time I wanted to get up. For the first time I got up, they brought in three nurses because apparently the first time is the hardest, but I didn’t even need their help. I just got up on my own and they all just stared at me and said they’d never seen anybody be able to do that. That was pretty awesome since I expected to recover slower than most people. Things just got better as they took the IV, catheter, and staples out. I hated being at the hospital. Everyone was really nice, and I did have a good experience, but I just don’t like the nurses coming to check on me all the time and having to take my blood pressure 20 times a day and stuff like that. Also, there was absolutely nothing on TV so I was pretty bored and itching to be able to leave and do my own thing. Because my recovery went so well we got to leave a day early!! It felt so good! I should clarify here that even though I was able to get up and walk on my own, it wasn’t painless. The incision was pretty painful, especially since I’m allergic to any strong pain medication so I had to rely on Tylenol and Ibuprofen. There were a few times where it brought me to tears, but I can honestly say that pain was nothing compared to the pain of the hemorrhoids that I had during the pregnancy. I also handle pain so much better than I handle sickness so I’d much rather deal with the pain from surgery than the nausea and vomiting that I had during the pregnancy. It honestly felt like a vacation.
It will be 3 months next week since he was born, and things have gone really well. Everyone told me that the postpartum period would not be fun since I was recovering from surgery while trying to care for a newborn and my hormones are supposed to be going crazy as they stabilize after the pregnancy, but I didn’t feel any of that. I’m not saying everyone is wrong, I know a lot of people who really did have horrible postpartum periods. Is there a such thing as postpartum happiness?? If so, that’s what I have. Since the day we got home from the hospital, all I’ve wanted to do is be up doing things and going everywhere, but I’ve been really careful not to cause a CFS relapse. The first 6 weeks I just sat around with Will and did pretty much nothing so I could heal and relax. That was really nice. After that, I started going a few different places and cooking and cleaning more, but I still have to take it easy. I’m still doing really well, but many of my CFS symptoms have come back. They aren’t nearly as bad as they were before I was pregnant, though, so that’s good news! I’m also able to start more of a rehabilitation program now that I don’t have a pregnancy looming over my head, so I’m excited about that and hopefully that will help! I will tell you more about it later!
I also want to mention that even though it has been great, I still have those moments where it’s not great. For some reason whenever I don’t mention that, people are amazed and ask me if I’ve really never had bad moments. Of course I’ve had moments where I’m exhausted and caring for William is just so overwhelming and I just have to take a moment to cry about it. I don’t know of any new mom that hasn’t done that. Overall, I’m so very happy and grateful just to feel a little better and be able to actually get out of bed and my apartment a few times a week. William is just so cute and adorable and my heart melts a little more every time I look at him. Here are some pics for you: