Thursday, May 2, 2013

Moose: April 26th: Birthing the Moose

Here is the story of my little Moose’s arrival into the world on April 26th, 2013:

Throughout the pregnancy I had been doing math over and over to see when Moose could be born so that I wouldn’t have to go back to school for the last part of the school year.  I teach English not math, so it was pretty much a daily game I would play with myself.  If I leave this day or this day – We can afford this much – I can teach through this lesson.  On and on in my head… I ultimately had decided that if I could teach through Friday, April 26th, I didn’t have to come back to teach.

My 38th week of pregnancy had started, and I was increasingly uncomfortable.  I made myself a hair appointment for Wednesday because I didn’t want to have giant roots for months after the baby was born.  Wednesday, I woke up and just was done.  I can’t really explain it, but I was just ready for Moose to be here.  I was over being pregnant.  I felt a little bit funky during the day, but nothing I could really put a finger on.  I went and got my hair done, and we joked that she better fix it cute in case the baby came.  (We were only a day off – haha!)

This is one of my last days of being pregnant with my sweet boy.

Wednesday: Wednesday evening when I got home, I had some odd things going on.  I was cramping and loosing part of my plug.  I really thought something was going on, and I was really glad that I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday so that I could get things checked out.  I continued to have some bleeding, and I thought ok it’s really going to be it this time.  Thursday all day I cramped and felt generally not super.  I told my students I wasn’t feeling well, and even joked with many of them that I wouldn’t see them Friday.  (Mother’s intuition starts early I suppose.) 

Thursday, 4:00 PM: Thursday afternoon, I went to the doctor’s but was still only at a 1.  I was so disappointed because I had been cramping and cramping and really thought I should have made some progress.  Doc even put me on the monitors for about an hour, but nothing…. I was very unhappy with myself and cried telling Sam, I had really thought this was it.  I reasoned myself to make it another week. 


Friday, 3:00 AM: I went to bed still feeling cruddy in general, but about 3 in the morning I started having even more intense cramping.   I tried to sleep through it, but I just kept waking up.  I started tiptoeing out of our bedroom each time and using the bathroom.  Lots of using the bathroom alllll night…. Around 4:30 I decided to time the pains.  They were about 25-15 minutes apart, but not super regular yet.  I did not believe that I was in labor or that they were contractions because I had been to the doctor only 12 hours before and didn’t show any signs.  

Friday, 6:15 AM: When our alarm went off to go to work, I woke Sam up right away – normally we snooze a bit.  I told him what was going on, and I think he knew at that point.  Having been to the birth class, he knew that early labor could last for hours and hours, so he was going to let me figure it out on my own.  He suggested getting up and taking our dogs for a walk because we could be a few minutes late to school everyone would understand, he said.  As we walked my contractions were closer together, now pretty consistently 15 or so apart.  I (STILL IN DENIAL) wanted to go to school because I figured the pains would settle down or that we would be able to make it through the day.  I was so very wrong!! 

8:00 AM: We made the twenty minute ride to school and the bumpy car ride made the contractions 12-10 minutes apart.  Sam was now thinking we would go in and get things settled and get subs for the day.  I agreed since I was now really starting to hurt.  When we got to school, Sam ran up and down our hallway and peeked his head in each teacher’s room saying, “It’s Go time!” Before I knew it I had about four teachers watching me.  As I sat there and continued to time the contractions, they suddenly went from 10 minutes to 7 minutes apart.  With the hospital about 45 minutes away, one of the teachers ran back to get Sam… she said you have to go now!!!! 

9:00 AM: Things were moving pretty quickly, and at this point I was admittedly in labor.  I just thought it would take forever, so I wasn’t ready to rush off to the hospital because I just assumed they would send us home.  When we got in the car, I was grateful we already had everything packed and ready to go in the truck.  Sam made the decision that even if they were going to send us home, we were still going straight to the hospital.  

9:40 AM: When we arrived, we checked in at triage.  The nurses there didn’t seem overly convince I was in labor since I walked in on my own.   Even after I doubled over with a contraction before I could change into a hospital gown.  They got me on the monitor, and we were indeed having contractions every 7 minutes apart.  When the doctor came to check me, he said I was at a 3.  My blood pressure was elevated, and I was spilling protein into my urine.  The doctor said that even if I wasn’t in true labor, they would induce because it was time, but that he ultimately thought I was in labor.  

They were admitting us. I cried to Sam… “Today is the day we are having a baby.” It was surreal, and it felt like the world was on hyper-speed! 

10:00 AM: We moved from triage to our Labor and Delivery room, and Sam was on the phone letting everyone know it was the real deal.  Contractions were increasing in time and intensity.  We had a little misunderstanding coming from triage to the L&D, and they thought I was asking for an epidural, which I wasn’t yet.  My doctor came by to see us (I knew since I had only seen her the day before that she was leaving to go to a last minute meeting out of town),  even though she couldn’t stay.  My doctor helped take care of the confusion with the epidural, and it called me down.  She also asked if she could break my water before she had to leave, so my doctor in her cute pink silk top broke my water before she left.  It’s a crazy feeling when they break your water, and it feels like you are peeing yourself in huge gushes.   

10:51 AM: Contractions were intense after my water was broken, and I even though I felt like an amazon warrior woman I asked for the epidural because watching my poor husband’s face every time I screamed through the pain was too much for me.  The anesthesiologist came quickly, and I was terrified of the epidural! (I was probably more afraid of it than anything.)  They checked my before the epidural, and I was at a 6 almost 7.  What, what! I felt so strong, when they told me that.  J I did really well with the epidural after all! The worst part was the numbing medicine – that crap burns like nobody’s business. 

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM: The epidural worked like a champ and labor suddenly became easy.  It is a little ridiculous how easy, which is probably right where I jinxed myself.  Sam and I just hung out.  He texted, and I wriggled a little with each contraction but didn’t really hurt anymore.  


1:50 PM: Time to push.  Fully dilated.  Sound the alarms it’s baby time… My nurse told me that we would probably have a baby in the next hour.  Sam was on the horn.  And then things got a little crazy.
Pushing was awesome for a while.  I felt like I was contributing again, but Moose was facing the wrong way.  So we kept pushing. About an hour into pushing, I could feel a little hole in my epidural. It’s a weird thing to explain, but I could feel this one spot of really intense pain. One of my legs wasn’t so numb anymore, and the doctor wanted to try me pushing on all fours to see if the baby would change positions.  We pushed like that for a while, but he didn’t turn.  We went back to on my back… and my epidural was just fading away.  I had one leg that felt like a ton of bricks, and everything else was coming out from under the numb sensation.  Things were getting increasingly intense and painful.  I started to feel sweaty and nauseous.  I felt like I could feel everything – because I could.  I started getting really sick, and my poor husband was fanning me, holding a throw up bag, and holding my leg up.  We were now at almost three hours of pushing.  Things were starting to look less than good… my blood pressure was up.  Moose was starting to have some D cells.  

5:00 PM: The doctor said it was time to discuss some other options.  She said that we could try vacuuming him out, and that if he didn’t come it was time to start considering a C-Section.  I was upset, but in such pain that I just wanted him to be here.  We decided to go ahead with the vacuum.
As soon as we said yes, everything in the room changed.  It went from dim lighting with just Sam, the doctor, and one nurse to every light on (there are a lot of lights in the room) and nurses flooding in the room.  It suddenly became very real that I had to do this and had to do it now!!!! 

Sam looked at me and said, “Baby, you have to push him out.”  

The doctor used the vacuum and because the baby has so much hair it popped off the first time.  I pushed through another set of 3.  She reattached, and we pushed again.  Baby Moose turned the right way…. And one more set of pushes.

5:27 PM: Baby Boy was born.  

They whisked him away because he was a vacuum delivery, and immediately went to check him.  The doctor began to work on me.  This is the point at which I confirmed that I had zero epidural save for my right leg.  I could feel the doctor stitching.  I had a second degree tear and a cut, but otherwise we were all ok.  I finally got to hold my little boy, and I just looked at Sam crying. “It’s our son!” 

 Daddy quickly changed into his new shirt.... to announce our little man!!! 


For a while, it was still totally surreal that he was here. … I am so in love with him it’s crazy!

More on my postpartum recovery and the first days at home coming soon. 

Lots of Love,
The Rileys

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