Saturday, November 5, 2011

Birth Story, Part 3

Now that the doctor was in position, I was able to push freely with each contraction.  I would feel one coming, and Josh would start to count to ten while I held onto the backs of my legs.  Stephanie and Josh each help one leg, and as soon as Josh got to ten, I would stop pushing, take another deep breath, hold it, and push for another count of ten.  We did this three times for each contraction.

I couldn't feel a difference between contractions, as in Lane moving down or not.  But all of a sudden, it burned.  The doctor had me stop pushing, which was HARD, so he wouldn't come out too quickly.  And then with one more big push, and one more small push, Lane Marshall Davis was born.

It was 3:06 AM, and I had only pushed for 13 minutes.

It also happened to be my Dad's birthday.  We had always jokey that maybe Lane would be born on his birthday, but never did he actually expect it to happen.

Lane was immediately placed on my belly, and Josh cut his umbilical cord.  He was then moved up to my chest for skin-to-skin contact, and the nurses helped me wipe him off a little.  I always wondered if I would be grossed out by my baby being covered in all that "goo", but I saw right past it to my beautiful new son.  I kissed his little head, and held his tiny hand.  I am so thankful we had our camera handy, as Josh was able to capture photos of Lane's first moments of life; pictures I will cherish forever.

Although Lane was crying after he was born, the nurses called it "singing", as it wasn't the deep, strong, clear cry they wanted him to have.  We kept rubbing him with blankets, tickling his feet, etc., but he just didn't want to cry very strongly.  So, although I had plans to breastfeed him right away, the baby nurse took him to his isolette to check him out.  His color was great, but they just weren't quite satisfied with his crying, even after suctioning his nose and mouth out more.  So, they called in a nurse from the Special Care Nursery.

I was terrified something was wrong, but I was stuck in my hospital bed, unable to go be by Lane's side.  The new nurse came in with a cart of machines, and hooked him up to an oxygen meter.  His oxygen levels were great, which was a relief.  After spending several minutes with him, the nurse decided to take him down to the Special Care Nursery for further evaluation.  She wrapped him in a blanket, and handed him to Josh for the first time.  Josh brought Lane over to me, so I could hold him one more time before they took him away.  Luckily, Josh was allowed to go with the nurse, so he took the camera and off they went.

I was left in my room, with just my nurse, wondering if my new baby would be okay.  Amazingly, I didn't cry though.  I think my emotions were so all over the place, I was too in shock to cry.

Stephanie asked if I wanted to invite any family in with me so I wouldn't be alone.  I told her my mom and Josh's mom could come back.  They came in, all smiles, looking around the room.  And then I had to explain that my new sweet baby was not okay.  I could tell they both tried to act like it wasn't a big deal, so that I wouldn't worry even more.

Eventually the rest of our family came in, and Josh came back with an update.  Lane was doing okay, but they still wanted to monitor him for a little longer.  He was breathing on his own, his oxygen levels were fine, and he was awake and alert, but still sounded kind of congested in his lungs.  We (or I) still didn't know how much Lane weighed or how long he was, and thats when Josh told me he was 8 lbs. 5.7 oz, and 21 1/4 inches long.  He also brought my camera back with him, so I could see pictures.

Our family went back out to stand outside the nursery door so they could look through the window, and were lucky enough to be able to go in and visit him.  It broke my heart that I couldn't go down there yet, and that everyone was getting to know my new baby before me.

Luckily, Josh was able to be present to watch them weigh him, bathe him, and see him alert and looking around.  Around 5:30 AM, the nurse took me to the nursery to try to nurse Lane.  While still in my wheelchair, they handed my precious boy to me, still hooked up to the monitors.  The nurses were great about helping me get Lane latched on, and also explaining what each machine was.  They assured me he was doing great, and it wouldn't be long before he would be back in my room.

After only ten minutes or so, I started to feel light-headed.  Not wanting to risk dropping Lane, I had Josh call for the nurse, and I was taken back to my room to lie down.  I hated leaving Lane after such a short time, but I knew I was putting him at risk by trying to fight it.

The pediatrician from the office we had chosen that was doing rounds at the hospital that day was coming in at 8 AM, and so we knew we had to wait for her to evaluate Lane before there was a possibility of him coming to our room.  I watched the clock, and finally at 8:30 AM, the nurse and doctor came in, pushing a bassinet with my swaddled son inside.  The doctor explained that because Lane came so quickly, he didn't have enough time to be "squeezed" by my body, which helps expel all the congestion in his respiratory system.  So, he needed extra time to get all that out.  Dr. O'Leary gave us things to watch for, and it was reassuring knowing our new nurse, Erin, was experienced in working in the Special Care Nursery.

So, we settled into a rhythm of nursing, changing diapers, being poked/prodded by nurses, and hosting visitors.  I don't think either of really slept more than an hour or two, as we were running on adrenaline.

There were a few times we called the nurse to come check on Lane, as his breathing sounded abnormal.  Each time, he checked out just fine.  I think because of the earlier scare, we were extra paranoid.  But each time, we were reassured that it was better to have him checked than to ignore it.

Overall, our birth experience was extraordinary.  It still seems surreal to me, and each time I think about it, I remember a different detail I missed the previous time.  It still amazes me that I have a son, and that I am now a mom.  Thinking about my pregnancy, labor and delivery, and now having Lane home with us still brings me to tears- he is changing so quickly, and now at almost six weeks old, he is a completely different baby than just a few short weeks ago.  Although this birth story has been loooooong, I'm so glad I took the time to document it, if only for my own sake down the road.


Karrie said...

I loooooove birth stories and yours was a great one!! Glad Lane is ok! I am sure that's not what you expected; but in the end, it's sweet how you were all reunited again!! Happy 6 weeks to Lane!