Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Joseph Alex

For the most part I am a very detailed person. I like to blog facts and by helping me with the facts I like to use dates, times, months, detailed events that occurred. When I was in the process of delivering Joey my husband, Jeff wrote down all the details. The paper that he had written everything down on was thrown away by him after he found that our fourth child found the paper and was shredding it to pieces. So now I have only my memory to go by. I also have the ability to forget memories especially those memories that were not very pleasant so I am without times and this may be out of order, but it is the best I have to go by.

Sunday August 3rd 2004
This was a day filled with excitement but at the same time the minutes on the clock seemed to drag on forever. Ever hear of time standing still? This is how it felt time was moving. We knew that in the evening I would be going to the hospital to begin the induction process. We were very excited to get to the hospital and begin the journey that would produce our baby. I was so eager to finally see the face of this baby boy who had been growing inside of me, who had been kicking me, snuggling up high in my ribs, giving me scares if I was unable to feel a move, and this little baby who would be coming home with us and starting our family. This excitement was also present with the feelings of anxiety and not knowing what kind of pain would be felt to bring this baby into the world.
I don’t remember what Jeff and I did all day on this Sunday. I know that we were going to go to a movie. I don’t think we ever made it to one. We did go out for a late lunch early dinner and we were both probably thinking that this would be the last time that we sat here as a childless married couple. Our lives were about to change into something that we had never experienced before and our level of responsibility was also going to go to new heights.
When we did get to the hospital that night I was not on the labor and delivery unit. Instead I was given a private room on the antepartum floor. Once we filled out all the appropriate paper work blood was drawn, an IV was inserted, and soon the first dose of Cervidil was inserted vaginally. I was also hooked up to the fetal monitor and would not be allowed up to use the restroom. A cot was wheeled into the room for Jeff to lie on. It was probably around 10-11 pm when all of this was taking place. At the time I was having a few contractions. They were not painful nor were they very intense. I was asked if I wanted something to help me sleep and I said okay. I was given a little Benadryl in my IV. I had trouble falling asleep even after the Benadryl because of the excitement and anticipation of the unknown.
At some point we probably did get a few hours of shut eye, but as anyone knows sleeping in the hospital can be a difficult task. There is always someone coming into the room, lights, nurses talking in the halls, and the constant beeps, hums, or alarms from all the equipment that one is connected to. At 6 am I was checked vaginally and my cervix had started to soften. I was allowed to use the restroom and then the plan was that the next dose would be administered. When I got back into the bed I felt a gush and my water broke. Still being new to this I called the nurses and the fluid was tested and indeed the gush of fluid was my bag of water. At this point I knew that my risk of infection now increases. That was one thing that I remembered from my OB nursing class. The doctors then came in and continued to strip the membranes. I was no longer a candidate for the antepartum unit and was moved now to the labor and delivery floor. Once we arrived to the floor we were given an introduction to the room and my IV, fetal monitor, and call light were all hooked up or in place. Phone calls were made to the grandparents to be and Jeff and I got familiar with our new surroundings. At this point again I do not think that I was dilated very far along and now it was just a waiting game for my body to begin the necessary steps to deliver a baby. A few things that I do remember were being hot. Very HOT. The air conditioner in my room was probably set at 55 degrees maybe lower and it was never increased throughout the day. Everyone that came into the room would complain about it being cold, but to me it was just right. That is kind of funny to me because I am normally cold. My mom is in this photo with the blanket wrapped around her. The other women is Dee. She is my FIL girlfriend. She is part of the family and just like a grandma to my kids!Another side memory is drugs. Being a nurse I have administered all sorts of drugs to patients. Pain medications really do affect everyone differently. For me 2-4mg of Morphine is more than enough. Normally the Doctor’s orders will state something like 2-8mg every 2-4 hours or something close to that. So I liked to start low with my patients and then check after 30 minutes to see what their pain was like. Some patients would need more pain medication others would be like me and totally knocked out with 2 mg of pain medication. I was given some Morphine and I was out like a light. When I would wake up and hear talking or look around I would be told that my contractions were increasing and can I feel the pain and I was always like no. I was allowed up to the restroom at some point and I know my mom was in the room assisting me. We were both very alarmed when we noticed the trail of blood on the floor as I made my way to and from the toilet. I did not know that there would be bleeding associated with my water breaking. I still don’t know if this was really a normal thing. We did tell the nurse and I think that was my last trip walking before I gave birth. From there on out I was allowed to use a bedpan or a straight catheter was used.
Again not really being able to give correct times and all details of the day, there was one point when I had every Tom Dick and Harry in my room and up in my business. Joey was experiencing desats and a probe was inserted vaginally to prick his head. After having everyone in my room and a lot of commotion and talk of a possible cesarean section being heard they were soon gone. That was a terrifying event and as speedy as they came in my room scrambling around and having extreme anxiety fill the air they were gone just as quick. They never did come back into explain how the baby was doing or if a cesarean needed to be performed. I had to ask a nurse later about that. Turns out baby was doing okay and recovered from whatever occurred.
The day continued to progress and grow later and later and still little progress was made by my body. My dad left and had the gumption to walk into my room later with a pizza. Boy did it smell and look good. I had no appetite to eat, but just knowing that my favorite food (pizza) was in his hands made me annoyed that he would bring it into my room. We have a picture somewhere of him walking over to my bed talking to me with a pizza in his hands. I am unable to find that photo.
It was not until around after dinner time that things began to evolve for me. I was in more pain now and contractions were beginning to increase in intensity and frequency. I knew that I wanted an epidural so I was dilated enough now to have one started. We waited for what seemed like forever to get the epidural. I know that I had pain that I never wanted to feel and still try to block out. It was the worst feeling and pain that I have every felt or experienced before. I do not know how women can give birth naturally. I thing they must have a pain threshold like no one’s business. It hurts…. BAD is all I can say and I only experienced it for maybe 10-15 minutes. I was crying and if someone offered me a gun I may have taken them up on their offer at that point. It was excruciating to say the least.
The epidural was in place and I was now more comfortable. M concern was how I was going o push unable to feel my legs and feet, but I was now also not worrying too much about it. Again with all the drugs I was just tired. I slept mostly and tried to participate in conversation when I was up.
The next event to cause the nurses running into the room with doctors falling in step was that my blood pressure was dropping and my heart rate was increasing. At this point they stopped my epidural. NOOOOO is all I was thinking. That was not part of my birth plan. NOOOOO I just felt that pain. An oxygen mask was placed on me, a new bag of IV medication was hung for my blood pressure, and again the tension and worry filled the room. I was so drugged and tired that really I know this happened but it is kind of like the feeling of seeing things happening, but being unable to speak your thoughts. I do know that I talked to someone and begged and pleaded for my epidural. I knew from nursing that if it was too powerful that they do have a way to decease the epidural as opposed to shutting the whole thing off. At some point it was started on a lower dose and I was much happier. The epidural also helped my body relax so that my body was able to dilate faster. It was not until around 8 or 9 pm that my OB was called and pushing started.
On Monday August 4th Joseph Alex was born at 2154. He came into the world weighing 6 pounds and 1 ounce and was 18 inches long. He came out not making a sound and he was not put on my chest immediately. He was put onto the baby table (don’t know what to call it) they had to rouse him and I remember saying “why isn’t he crying?” There was a moment when we all were very quiet watching the nurses and the NICU nurse that was called in and soon we heard the first noises of Joey. Once he started to breathe and his APGAR scores improved as well as being cleaned up he was swaddled and put into my arms. Jeff did cut the cord and he did great at viewing the whole birth process. Soon the grandparents would be coming into the room but before they did I wanted to make sure that Joey was in his Wisconsin outfit before anyone else saw him. It was important and meaningful to me to have Joey in something Wisconsin to remember my grandpa and to pass on his name.


Jocasta said...

What a wonderful record of Joseph's birth. I love the detail you have managed to recall. It makes special reading - thanks for sharing.

Tracy said...

I think you could do a tv movie - crazy stuff. LOVED the pics - all of them. how fun.

Shannon said...

What a amazing thing to have all of those details. I remember my births but not in such detail. Good for you for writin git out so you will never forget. What a story it is!

Will Piper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will Piper said...

We loved to see the Wisconsin connection- Go Badgers! It is cool that you have such a connection to your grandfather. Hope's middle name (Laila) is the same as my grandmother's. Great writing and thanks for sharing your story.

Will & Jeni

Rick said...

It was nearly 25 years ago that I became a father (officially). It's been a while since I've one in a birthing room. Cherish the memories. They are special

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