Stephen Thomas was born on July 11, 2011 at 4:41 am.
As requested, here is our baby story.
Sunday, June 10, we got to the hospital and started the induction around 10:30 am. Honestly, I wasn't thrilled about the induction. I really wanted to have a close-to-natural childbirth (meaning, I wanted an epidural but not until I'd made it at least halfway through dilation) but because of Stephen's estimated size, we couldn't really put off labor any longer. Pitocin didn't seem so bad at first and I was able to successfully breathe through contractions. I was so relieved to find that it wasn't that bad.
What a joke.
About four hours into labor, the breathing wasn't cutting it at all. Hell, I was lucky if I could even get a complete inhale! This wasn't because of the pitocin. No, no, no. That wouldn't really jive with the way my pregnancy went, now would it? Instead, labor for me was defined by back labor. Don't know what that is? Piercing pain. It's not throbbing, it's not soreness. It's piercing back pain. Doctors and midwives encourage counter pressure. Yeah, rolling onto my side so that Eric could shove his fist into the same spot where the pain was generating from was like asking a turtle on its back to roll over. Not happening. I finally cracked for the epidural when the pitocin was working TOO well and my contractions were no longer separated. What does that mean, you ask?
So this is what a contraction should look like on a screen:
/\ /\ /\
/ \ / \ / \
----/ \___/ \____/ \___
As you can see, there is a base line when the uterus is relaxed and a peak at the top of the contraction. Essentially, it hurts the most at the peak (duh).
When the pitocin was working too well, this is what mine looked like:
/\ /\ /\
/ \_/ \_/ \
In other words, there was no relief. My teeth were chattering and I was shaking. That is, until the epidural kicked in. Ahh...sweet bliss.
I was in labor for 19 hours. Yes we tried pushing. No, it was unsuccessful. Baby Stephen's head was too big. So, finally, we decided to do a caesarean. I've been opposed to the surgery from the moment I got pregnant. But after that much time and over an hour of pushing with no progress, I was done. That being said, it didn't really matter. Only moments after making the decision, my doctor came back in the room saying we didn't have time anymore. Stephen was in distress and had to come out now. I had to be completely sedated because we didn't have time to wait on the epidural. Eric wasn't able to be with me. I think it's good for Stephen and I that I was so exhausted and already drugged up; I don't remember being scared in the OR.
I woke up a couple hours later to Eric by my side saying that Stephen was okay. Once I got set up in my mommy room, a neo-natal nurse practitioner came in. Stephen wasn't doing as well as we'd thought. There was a chance that he had brain damage and if that were the case, he would need to be transported to another hospital in Denver.
Now, I could sit here and regale you with what that sort of terror was like, or how worried we were. I could detail the tears that were shed, or the prayers that were sent up. I could do all that.
But, I'm writing this ten days later with Stephen curled up on my chest and he has a clean bill of health. His EEG came back fine and didn't have to be transferred. And with him at home and both of us healing nicely from our roller coaster experience, the important thing is that it's over and we triumphed together. It's important that he's reaching milestones earlier than some babies do. It's important that he looks just like his daddy and has long fingers and toes.
And it's important that he is absolutely perfect.