Saturday, March 21, 2009

Baby Milo is Born

Milo James was born on March 16 at 9:32 p.m. It's taken me a little bit to process his birth and really think about the details. For some of you, this all might be too much information and if it is, that's fine, just skip this post. I'm sharing the story because writing it down will be cathartic for me and I want a record of how Milo came to enter the world.

Last Saturday night I was having contractions through the night which were close together, but not really strong. I was having some spotting so I called the doctor who said I could head to the hospital or wait for the contractions to get stronger. I decided to wait and the contractions eventually spaced out and then disappeared by mid-morning on Sunday. I took a nap to make up for the sleep lost the night before and Chris and I went for a walk. Later that night, we headed to our weekly Sunday night dinner at my parents house. We played a few rounds of boccee because it was a beautiful spring day outside and I thought the walking and bending over to pick up the balls would help get things moving. In fact, I was feeling contractions and they were getting stronger, but they weren't regular. After heading home and going to bed, the contractions did start back up again around 3 a.m. and they were stronger and steadily getting closer together. I spent some time walking around the house and bouncing on the exercise ball. I also spent a fair amount of time cowering in bed. By about 6:30 a.m. I decided it was time to head to the hospital and get checked out.

At the hospital, I was certain I would have progressed from the centimeter I had been dilated at my last appointment, but I wasn't. I was really surprised to hear that, but was told to walk around the hospital for a little bit and report back in an hour. Chris and I started walking the halls of the hospital and wondering if we would meet our little one that day. After reporting back to triage around 9 a.m., I was dilated to 2 cm and was admitted to the hospital. In the words of our nurse - Let's Go Have a Baby.

We were told to keep walking around the maternity area, which we did, stopping every couple of minutes to squat through a contraction. I wasn't having a lot of trouble breathing through the contractions as long I focused and kept moving. We would walk for a half hour and then I would sit on the birthing ball for a half hour. During our half hour activity rotations, they manually broke my water. I kept making progress and it was looking like we would meet our little Olive around 5 or 6 that afternoon.

Around 1 p.m., I was in a resting phase which meant laying on my left side. This was, even though I was exhausted, the most painful of all the phases. By this time I was dilated to a 5. Also at this time they came in to insert an intrauterine contraction monitor. Because the baby was resting right up against my cervix, this was difficult for the midwife to find space to get this in and consequently hurt like hell. All day the nurses had been asking me to rate my pain and this was the first time the pain was unmanageable. I was left shaking and crying on the bed and asking for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came and within minutes I was feeling no pain. At this point I also consented to having an IV of pitocin which I wouldn't allow all morning. The pitocin and a little rest progressed to from 5 cm to 8 cm and then the trouble began.

I stopped making progress at 8 cm. The doctor came by and suggested we do a vaginal bypass. He wouldn't say the words, but I knew he was talking about a Caesarian section and I immediately said no, if the baby and I were still doing okay, let's wait it out. He said he would come back in an hour. That hour passed and since there was no feeling in my legs, my only option was to stay in bed on my side but we did try to use pillows between my legs to lengthen the pelvic floor. No progress was made in that hour. I talked him into another hour of trying to progress on my own and at this point it was getting to be a battle of wills. The nurses were great though and really worked with me to try to and progress. We tried all types of positions in the bed including hands and knees and a couple of others. Still no progress was made and at this point they told me the baby's head was beginning to swell because he was pressing into my cervix. The nurses also let me know that the baby seemed to coming out crooked.

The whole pregnancy the Olive had been hanging out on my right side and it was no different during labor. At one point when the nurse looked, you could clearly see the back of the baby way off to the right of my abdomen. He just wasn't lining up correctly and was getting stuck on my pelvis bone.

At this point, I was scared, tired and couldn't stall any longer when the doctor came back in asking for consent to do a c section. Chris and I talked it over and decided it was the safest option for the baby because of the swelling, but I couldn't stop crying as I was being prepped for surgery. The day was turning out so differently than I had imagined and prepared. I was wheeled into the operating room and Milo James was born at 9:32 p.m. more than 12 hours after we had been declared in active labor.

Although I am very blessed to have a healthy baby and to be a mother, I am having a tough time coming to terms with the surgery. For one I feel like I should have held off longer on the epidural as I think that slowed things down. I also feel like I could have been stronger with the doctor because I really felt pushed into the surgery. It was hard for me to hear my baby cry after the delivery and not be able to do anything for him or even see him.

Throughout my stay at the hospital and I as continue the recovery, I still cry when I think about how Milo came to be born. I can't really pinpoint why I feel so sad about it because I know it isn't how the child comes into the world that makes a mother. I'm also beginning to realize that I probably made the safest and best choice for my baby and myself with the information I had at the time. In spite of those things, I just can't shake the feeling that I failed at my first responsibility of being a mom.

As each day passes, I'm beginning to move past those feelings and enjoy my new role as mom. We're doing well now that we're at home. Breastfeeding is going well and for the most part our little guy is living up to the meaning of his name which in the German translation means peaceful and calm.

3 comments:

Toni said...

*hug*

Congratulations to your wonderful son!

I understand it can be difficult when our birth plans change and I'm sure with time you will be able to work through this. The most important part is that you and your baby are both healthy.

I think it was a great idea to write down his birth as well as to continue to write how you are feeling about everything. I've never felt completely in charge of my births, which have been two, and now, hopefully, with this one I'll have more of the experience I'd hoped for.

It is important to heal those pains, but oh so much more important to celebrate and enjoy life with your son. :)

*hug* again. You are an awesome mom!

TaraTaraTara said...

Little Buckeye Boy Milo is your new bundle of joy and life! Have Chris massage your swollen piggy toes every night and this will help you relax.
I bet it sucks not being able to change this birthing reality of how he popped out of his mommy den. He was stalled before he could even take his first breath. The bones did not want him to leave his warm den! Blame this on the bones! Not you personally...

Gayle said...

Amy, Congratulations to you and Chris! I know that nothing anyone can say can help how you're feeling right now. I'm a planner too, and it's hard to deal when things don't go as planned, especially something big. The fact that you're acknowledging your feelings, not fighting them, is all you can do. My mother always said "this too shall pass." Feel what you're feeling. Be where you are. It will pass. *HUG* Until then have fun with your little boy! I hope he likes his new room that you and Chris have poured so much time and love into making just so! :) I have enjoyed reading about your journey. Keep it up :)