I hope everyone had a wonderful end of 2016. We enjoyed spending time with family and starting new traditions with our little one.
As you can imagine, the unexpected arrival of our little man combined with the holidays have thrown us for a spin. It’s been really busy around here as we try to get used to taking care of a newborn and get back into a routine. Between feedings, diaper changes, and other newborn related care, I haven’t had much time to sit down and actually write or shoot a video, but finally this week I was able to set aside a couple hours and get it done.
The birth of our son, Roark, was an incredible positive experience. It was fast and pretty straight forward. From the time we checked in the hospital to the time Roark came into the world, it was only 12 hrs, of which 5 hrs, I spent sleeping. This is the birth story, basically the procedures we both received and some unexpected things I learned during this experience. For a more detailed birth story, watch the previous vlog which was shot real time.
Here are some of the medical procedures I received during birth:
- Epidural: pain management has always been part of my birth plan. I am amazed by women who chose to keep it natural, but for me, pain management was key to having a more present and enjoyable experience. I received the epidural in less than 30 minutes after my hospital admittance when I was 4 cm dilated and having frequent contractions (every 3 minutes). During those contractions, I was in so much pain that I was not able to breathe or think clearly. I wish that kind of pain on no one. After the epidural, I was able to relax, sleep for 5 hrs and prepare myself for the very extraneous process of birth.
- Catheters: this procedure is done along with the epidural. The medication numbs from the under the breast down to the toes and one of the results of that numbing is that the bladder does not signal the body that it needs to be emptied. I had a total of 3 catheters – 2 during birth and 1 post delivery. I believe this was what caused a post delivery UTI.
- Pitocin: after I received the epidural, I was able to sleep and wait for further dilation. I was checked 5 hours later and hadn’t dilated as much as expected- only 1-2 cm. My contractions had also subsidized and was very sporadic. To get it started again, my doctor recommended the pitocin.
- Water breaking: after the contractions started back up with the Pitocin, the process had not moved much further, therefore my doctor recommended that my water bag be broken. Originally, I didn’t plan on having this procedure, but after talking to my doctor about it, I decided it was the best way to proceed. Upon breaking the water, I immediately dilated another 2 centimeters, getting much closer to birth. A couple hrs later, I started pushing. I pushed for 2 hrs (1-3 hrs is the norm for first babies).
- Stitches: I had a first degree tear, which required a few stitches. These dissolved a couple weeks post-partum.
Those were procedures for me. For Roark, he got the usual check up after delivery and the following:
- Oxygen: Roark was born a little blue and had to receive oxygen and be monitored shortly after birth because the cord was wrapped around his neck and the stress of 2 hrs of pushing. He has not had any trouble breathing since then.
- Glucose tests for 12 hrs: because of my gestational diabetes, he received heel pricks every couple hours to make sure his blood sugar was stable.
- Hearing tests: the state of Colorado requires hearing tests of newborns. Roark had two done. He didn’t pass the first one due to fluid in his ears. The test was administered on the second day and he passed.
- Genetic testing: there were a couple tests done after delivery for genetic anomalies that can’t be screened during pregnancy.
- Jaundice: Roark tested positive for jaundice into an intermediate level. The nurses kept an eye on him to make sure it didn’t get worse. He had jaundice for almost 4 weeks after birth.
There were several things I didn’t expect during our hospital stay. Here are a few:
- Fluidity: I didn’t expect all the decisions that were made during delivery that were done pretty fast. It’s not like you have a lot of time to think about it. Maybe minutes. And I also didn’t expect that I would consider things out of my birth plan because of the situation at the moment. When you are in pain, it affects how you make decisions. Prior to receiving an epidural, you could have asked me my name and I would have a hard time answering you. I was against vacuum and forceps, but given enough pain or an emergency situation and I would gone for it. Actually I think I would have had no say in the matter. The doctor would have made that call. My experience was a positive one, but I read many stories where women feel like their wishes were completely ignored. I felt like half of the time I wasn’t aware of what was going on below my waist and believe me I was fine with it. Sometimes it is just better to go with the flow.
- Busy environment: the hospital is not a relaxing place. After delivery I was taken to the restroom to clean up, was transferred to a recovery room and for the next 30 hrs, I received multiple visits from nurses, technicians, doctors and hospital staff. It’s like my room had a revolving door. Nurses woke me up 2-3 times in the middle of the night, sometimes just to let me know that another nurse was coming in. I had a blood test done at 4 am. It seemed unnecessary to do it so early. I am glad we had no visitors at the hospital other than my mother, because I would have been overwhelming to juggle a newborn, visitors and all that was happening at the hospital.
- Goody bag: when we were discharged, my nurse brought over a goody bag with all the necessary products I would need postpartum to take care of myself at home. This bag included: mesh underwear, chemical ice pack pads, feminine pads, nipple pads, nipple cream, numbing spray, perineal bottle, blue “puppy” pads (to be put on the bed during the first couple days to contain leaks), and ibuprofen. This was great because a lot of these items are not available for sale at pharmacies.
Overall I think Roark’s birth was a beautiful experience that was made better by the team and care I had during delivery. It was fast, relatively pain free and uncomplicated. In addition we brought home this precious, perfect little baby. What else could I ask for?
If you want to know more, watch the vlog below.
Thank you for following along and for your support.