Sunday, August 07, 2016

Graham's birth story

Our sweet Graham Robert arrived with quite the dramatic buildup to his delivery on August 3rd, 2016 at 8:56pm. He's quite the teaser. Everything was looking good up until my 38 week prenatal appointment, at that checkup my OB discovered that our little munchkin who had been presenting cephalic (head down) had suddenly decided to turn breech (head up). And he wasn't just kind of breech; he was complete breech (the most dangerous kind), which would necessitate a c-section delivery. She informed me that the best plan would be to try to turn him by performing an External Cephalic Version (ECV) a couple days later on Saturday.

Come Saturday and after a couple hours of reading articles about ECV's and c-section recovery, I was completely worried about what would happen if this babe wouldn't turn head down. With my parents on a mission and only coming back for one week to help me with Hilton I was beyond worried. How would I possibly be able to recover from a c-section and still be able to care for Hilton? Do the laundry? Lift him up into my lap to read nightime books? Let alone trying to care for a newborn and Hilton at the same time, the concept of having to recover from a c-section at the same time just seemed more than I could handle. Since ECV's are only 58% successful with breech babies at 37 weeks gestation and as I was already 38.5 weeks by the time they were going to attempt the ECV I didn't have high hopes.

Well we arrived around 7:30am, and they confirmed he was still breech and got me prepped for the procedure. My OB was the on service that day so she had to go to postpartum rounds on ladies she had delivered so we had a bit of a wait. They came in around 9 and did a confirmatory ultrasound right before they were about to start the ECV and he had all of a sudden turned head down by himself! My OB was shocked and said, "Boy, he must have quite the joking personality to pull this prank on you!". To help reduce the chance of him turning back breech and being unable to turn him we decided to induce me as early as possible. Since the earliest I could be induced was 39 weeks, we still had to wait another 4 days until he could be born so we were all crossing our fingers he would stay head down until then.

Come Wednesday morning we arrived at the hospital at 9am, got admitted and waited for the resident to come and do the ultrasound check to make sure he was still head down. The resident who came and did the ultrasound was unfortunately a first year and wasn't highly trained yet in reading ultrasounds so he had a difficult time confirming babies exact positioning, however from three classes of anatomy I could at least tell that what we were worried about had happened: baby wasn't head down. A higher resident came in and confirmed what I had figured out myself, baby had turned out of cephalic presentation however the good news was that he had only turned transverse (sideways). The OB MD on call came as my OB was in clinic and confirmed that they wanted to do an ECV before inducing me and they wanted to do it right then (10:30am). Of course I said yes, they gave me the shot and we were ready to go. Let me tell you, when they say ECV's are 'uncomfortable' they are pretty much lying. They are darn near excruciating! My belly is still sore and bruised where they pushed to turn him. But it was worth the pain because thank heaven's baby was cooperating, my fluid level was still high and we got him turned back head down.

Then I had to have towels rolled up on either side of my belly to keep him vertical and restrict his room for movement until they could get me into progressed labor. At 11:45am they finally got the pitocin started, and told me to rest and they'd be back in two hours to check my progress and break my water. Well, I was dilated to 2cm's at my 38 week appointment, and when they came back in to check me at 2pm, I was barely a 3cm and could literally not feel my contractions at all. Well they decided since I was at least a 3cm that they would go ahead and break my water. Problem was they sent in the first year resident but I was just so ready to get the ball really rolling that I said yes to letting him attempt to break my water. Well, he thought that he 'poked' a hole but didn't get a confirmation with fluid loss so he thought that babies head must have blocked the hole he'd made or something. He said he would send in the more experienced resident to break my water and we'd go from there. After he left I decided I wanted to sit up and get rearranged in bed with pillows and as I sat up the pressure I exerted must have helped break my water and all of a sudden a gush came and I could feel the baby move farther down.

My nurse for the morning was fabulous and warned me that the anesthesia team were going into a another procedure and would be unavailable for an hour or so, so as soon as my contractions did get unbearable to let her know so she could page them and possibly they could come do an epidural as soon as they were available. Well when the doctor 'broke but didn't break' my water he also told the nurse to increase the pitocin in hopes that would help my labor to progress since I was only a 3cm. Between my water breaking and the increase in pitocin the contractions got bad rather quickly. I asked my nurse to page anesthesia and let them know I was ready for my epidural, and we waited a very long half hour as the contractions were coming close and hard. They arrived by about 4pm thank goodness and had it placed and it kicked in really quickly. Thank heaven's for modern medicine. Within an hour I was finally progressed to a 5cm. which was a relief since we felt the day was going so quickly and my labor was so slow, however in retrospect it was mainly due to little man being head down and the delay between procedures and increasing my pitocin so slowly.

The resident came back to check me one last time before he left for the day at 6pm and I was still only a 5cm! Jared and I started exchanging glances because we thought for sure that by 6pm I would have been almost ready to push or at least closer to a 10cm. We had expected to have a baby around 6 or 7pm and had been planning on my parents bringing Hilton to the hospital to meet him before he went home to bed. Instead it looked like that wasn't going to happen and I was getting worried this would drag on into the next day at the rate we were going. Thank goodness after shift change my new nurse wanted to check to see how dilated I was around 7:30pm and all of a sudden I was at an 8cm! We were all relieved as I was getting really tired, which seems ridiculous but I hadn't had anything to eat since 8am and had been having a lot of stress most of the day and had been laboring since noon.

Since I was so close to being ready to push my nurse called my OB who headed into the hospital to deliver me. From then until 8:30pm when my OB arrived I felt sooo much pressure in my pelvis and starting at about 8:15pm I felt the strongest urges to push but knew we had to wait. My OB arrived and what felt like no time we were ready to push. It felt like it took forever but six minutes later after starting to push Graham Robert made his entrance into the world at 8:56pm. He cried before he was even all the way born and peed on both my OB and me, but oh his eyes were wide open and he just curled up on my chest and it was just such an amazing moment. And just like that we were parents for a second time.

Since Graham was born so late, Hilton was already in bed at home and we decided it would be best to wait until the next day to bring him to the hospital to have their introduction. Because Jared had to go to work after Graham was born, when he got off the next morning he needed to go home to sleep. Jared wanted to be present when they met so we waited to have my parents bring Hilton to the hospital until around 5pm the next day. Hilton was understandably upset and confused as to where mommy was, so I made sure that when they arrived at the hospital Graham was in the nursery so that Hilton could be comforted and calm down before they met. Hilton arrived with my parents and had a very confused looked when he arrived but once he saw me he instantly lit up and climbed up into my hospital bed and asked me very earnestly, 'mommy, you got hurt?' and I said, 'Oh no sweetie, mommy is OK, no owie's'. Once I reassured him that I was fine he wanted to play and we watched some Disney channel and gave him a quesadilla to eat.

After he seemed at ease I asked, 'Hilton, there's someone who would like to meet you. Can baby Graham come meet you?' He just said, 'yeah' and so we called for the nurse to bring Graham in from the nursery. When he arrived Hilton had climbed down and was playing with Grandma and Grandpa Mills but he came back to where the nurse put Graham's bassinet by the hospital bed and Jared lifted him up and it was just such a look of tenderness on Hilton's face and he said, 'that's baby Graham, hello baby Graham'. I then asked if Hilton wanted to see him closer and maybe hold him and he said yes so we put Hilton on the bed next to me and Jared handed me Graham and Hilton curiously inspected him closer. We put a pillow on Hilton's lap and I placed Graham on Hilton's outstretched hands and at first he said 'oh there's baby Graham', and then he started to whimper and say, 'I don't wanna hold him, I don't wanna hold him'. I think that was due to how heavy baby Graham was or maybe because Graham started to squirm but it was OK, he did so much better than I expected he would.

Granted, there have been a couple of rough days since we got home but there hasn't been any outright hate from Hilton or requests to return or get rid of him, but there has been some 'I want him to be quiet' (referring to his crying), and being a little more upset when dad takes care of him instead of mom (like putting him down for naptime or waking him up in the morning). However, we know Hilton loves Graham and he has been so precious in giving Graham goodnight kisses and wanting to check on him when Graham is napping in the nursery. I feel that they will grow to be the best of friends, it's just going to take some time to get everyone adjusted to our new normal. We are so in love with our newest addition and Jared and I are just in wonder of how we got so lucky to get a second precious little Boy to call our own.