Jun 22, 2008

Birth Recap

I'll keep this short and clean (just for you, John Young).

We got to the hospital at 1 pm, started the antibiotics and just a small amount of pitocin by 2:30. For almost 4 hours I was contracting regularly, but felt just about nothing, which was fine by me. By 6:15, I was at 4 cm- enough to break my water, stop the pitocin, and get me an epidural (my first one, by the way). It kicked in just as the contractions started picking up, so I pretty much felt no pain, thus accomplishing my goal for this birth. In fact, for the next few hours, we watched a movie, and I slept off and on, which = awesome. By 11 I was at 10 cm, but the baby hadn't descended very far, so I slept for another hour to let him labor down- which is what is so amazing about that blessed epidural. By 12:15 I was ready to push, but we had to wait quite a while for the doctor, so again, thanks to that epidural, we just kind of hung out. (Let me just point out here how drastically different this is from Sam's labor, where I pushed for 2 hours, screaming at the top of my lungs the whole time and shaking uncontrollably between contractions- not a fun time). So after a few pushes and a little help from the doctor, Nate was born at 1:03. I was actually surprised when they were handing him to me- I just expected it would take a lot longer. He was the first baby that I actually had the energy to hold after delivery. Also, it turns out that he was sunny-side-up, which explains why he was so late, and the labor took longer than we thought too. He also didn't turn during delivery, and without an epidural probably would have caused a lot of back labor. Man, I loved that epidural!

So after he was born was when it started to get exciting. Around 4 AM when things were finally settling down and the nurse was trying to get me up to walk around, I kept having dizzy spells and ended up not being able to get out of bed. My blood pressure had been pretty low the whole time, but it always is, so it wasn't too alarming. The next morning, I tried to get up again to get cleaned up. Everything was going OK until I realized I was bleeding continually and suddenly blacked out. It got a little dramatic as it took 4 nurses to get me back in bed, there was blood everywhere and everyone thought that because of the bleeding I was hemorrhaging. Turns out I wasn't, but somehow between the birth and that morning, I had lost more blood than they realized, and my hematocrit count was pretty low. It was never dangerous or really serious, but it did leave me extremely weakened, and pretty much unable to get out of bed without passing out. I decided that wasn't a great way to care for a newborn and 2 kids, and so that is how I ended up getting a blood transfusion. Within about 10 hours the difference was amazing. For all the times I've given blood, I never thought I would be on the receiving end. And Nate was such a sweet baby the entire time, which was the biggest blessing of all. By the time we got home the next night, I was feeling more like a normal person who had just given birth would- a little tender, a little tired, and really happy to not be pregnant anymore.

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