Luke’s birth story … (long)

Fri 29 Feb, 2008 at 11:54 am 3 comments

So here goes the narrative …

On Saturday morning, Tim and I were due to head into the hospital to be induced at 7:00 am. Needless to say, Friday night didn’t allow for much sleep – a combination of being up at 5:45 am and being excited about the next day! I called the hospital at 6:30 and they asked that I delay arriving until 8.

We arrived promptly at 8, and were told by the nurses it would be a while before we’d be admitted as there were no available rooms for delivering. So we waited in the “waiting room” – a.k.a. the front entrance to the Maternity Ward until 9:30 when we were told to get admitted and that they’d then start the induction.

By 9:45 I was ready and waiting in a snazy hospital gown for the doctor to check if I was making any progress since last time. Nope – none at all. So a gel was used to start the process. Having learned most of our information off the internet, we thought the gel would be a quick process – it wasn’t – Dr. Morrow wouldn’t be re-checking until 4 pm! We were released until 3:30 and we decided to come back to the farm (there’s only so much to do in Oakville when in the midst of an induction – walking around ain’t fun!). We watched Manchester United thrash Newcastle 5-1!

Back to the hospital we went. The situation was checked and the good news was that I’d dilated 1 cm so Dr. Morrow broke my water. I was hooked up to an IV of Pitocin and things really got started then. Contractions started within about 30 minutes. They were close together from the start (5 mins) and painful, but still tolerable for a couple hours.  The Pitocin was increased every half hour by 2 ml (from 2 to 16 mL/hr), and the doctor came back towards the end of the increases to see how things were … bad news – no progress – not even a hint. Normally this drug not only makes things progress, but will eventually kick start the whole process. By the time I hit 10 mL (6:30) things were getting quite painful – contractions every 4-5 minutes and lasting a minute each. So it was very frustrating to hear that despite the pain, nothing was happening.

The doctor told the nurse that she could up the Pitocin as high as 30 mL/hour but to keep an eye on me and the baby, as between my water being broken and having contractions for a few hours, things needed to be monitored closely. They also kept asking if I wanted an Epidural because the anesthetist takes a while to arrive. Eventually at 9:30, I thought “enough toughing it out – this REALLY hurts!” So the anesthetist arrived half an hour later and put the shunt in (a process I’m glad to have been unable to see). Soon after the Epidural was given, the doctor came back to see how I was progressing – despite all the pain I was still making no progress. They kept putting me on oxygen because the baby’s heartbeat kept dropping. At least with the pain being numbed, hopefully I’d be able to relax enough (in case staying tense was why I wasn’t dilating – and for anyone who’s not been through labour – staying tense through contractions which at the time of the Epidural were coming every 2 minutes felt like a much easier thing to do than relax! Poor Tim must’ve lost circulation in his hand given how hard I was squeezing it!)

The doctor checked things again an hour later. Despite the pain relief and the Pitocin being cranked up, no progress was being made. The nurse kept coming back to check on me and the baby. She was quite concerned about the Pitocin putting too much pressure on Luke’s heart. She decided that the best solution would be to drop the drug and restart the whole process. The nurse wheeled a bed in for Tim to sleep on and told my parents to head home, it’d be a long night and they didn’t anticipate that anything would happen until the next morning. Whoo-hoo – a night of Pitocin and an Epidural!

So we attempted to sleep (I actually somewhat succeeded for half an hour). Having an oxygen mask on did somewhat complicate the situation! At 12:45 am (Sunday) the nurse and Dr. Morrow came in and let us know that despite dropping the Pitocin right down, Luke’s heartbeat still wasn’t righting itself. Dr. Morrow told us that he couldn’t explain why it was and that he was concerned that the umbilical cord may have gotten around his neck. He said that it wasn’t for sure, but that we should seriously consider having a c-section. Definitely not what I’d anticipated coming in the morning before!

We decided to go ahead. Tim called my parents to let them know the situation and I was whisked away to prep for the surgery. The nurse put something else in the Epidural shunt that made my legs feel like they were floating away. I was strapped to the operating table. It’s no wonder that they do given my hands and arms were shaking uncontrollably from the drugs.  Tim came in as the c-section was starting. At 1:42 Luke’s head popped out, but he wasn’t fully out for another minute – so his official time of delivery is 1:43 am Sunday, February 24, 2008.

The time after he was born was bizarre. I so wanted to hold him (impossible given the incision and being strapped down!) but was being sewn up (bizarre sensation to say the least!) so I couldn’t. Tim got to hold him first. And there have been pictures of the just-post-baby-coming-out time. We went into the recovery room where I eventually got to hold him – it took some time given one nurse’s reluctance given my shaking, but it was wonderful to hold him in my arms. He was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful!  (still is!)
I’ll post again later to update on life since the hospital, but I really wanted to get this posted.

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Entry filed under: baby stuff.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lucashannon  |  Fri 29 Feb, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Wow what a story! I wondered what had happened when the one picture was of Tim holding Luke while you were getting stiched up. 🙂 It’s good to hear the whole story and I can’t wait to see more pictures! Congratulations, again!
    -s

    Reply
  • 2. Katie  |  Fri 29 Feb, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks for the update. What a whirlwind. You are an amazing woman to say the least. And again, congrats on your preciouw Luke!

    Reply
  • 3. Sylvia Cairns  |  Sat 1 Mar, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Jen what a story! I didn’t know the half of it! Just as well as I wasn’t able to sleep either.

    Congratualtions on all your hard work – it was worth it – Luke is beautiful. Can’t wait to hold him! God bless

    Reply

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