Saturday, February 8, 2014

Labor and Delivery Finale

      So, remember when I said that I wanted an unmedicated birth? That was the plan going into all of this. Being that my pain level was only a 2 or 3 for the past few hours I've been on Pitocin and the fact that they had to turn down my Pitocin because my contractions were so strong and close together, I really thought I was going to do this. I was going to be able to have my unmedicated birth. Fast forward another couple hours and the game plan changed. That 2 or 3 pain level I was maintaining literally sky rocketed to a 7 real quick. I remember feeling really uncomfortable in bed, so I decided to stand up. I also remember Calvin sleeping while I was going through the most intense pain I've felt in my entire life. Luckily my mommy was there and she really helped me. I could talk through each contraction, but they were extremely painful. It's funny how to this day that  can't describe the pain to you, but I just remember it being very unpleasant.

     When we met with our doula before all of this and went through positioning and tips on how to deal with pain, I remember thinking to try and find some kind of rhythm. There was a rocking chair in the room, so I grabbed that and leaned against the back and just rocked back and forth while my mom massaged my back. My IV machine started beeping and my mom came up with the idea to focus on that. So I rocked myself according to the beat of the beeping. I remember at some point, while rocking, I was facing my sleeping husband. I know it was the pain speaking, but I was so angry that there he was sleeping in peace while I was going through all this pain with my mom. It's just so unfair that we both decided to have a baby and we both share 50% of ourselves in Liam yet I'm doing 100% of the hard work. I said to my mom "Look at him! How can he just sleep and I'm in so much pain?!". My mom tried to calm me down and redirect my attention to something else. The rocking wasn't working anymore so we moved over to the bed when I was hunched over. My mom was still rubbing my back and I was just trying to focus on anything but the pain. My mom is so sweet and I'll never forget her saying, "Just imagine yourself at Disney. There's Mickey, Goofy, and Donald. 'Hi Mickey!'". I couldn't help but let out a little giggle. My brother and sister were in Hawaii at the time and visited Aulani. I told my mom that I wished I was with them right now. My mom was amazing and did whatever she could to help distract me. But the contractions were winning. At some point, my lovely hubby woke up. I managed to get a few words out and told him to take pictures. Why did I want pictures at such a time? Why did I want evidence of all of this? Simple. Even though I was going through all of this, I wanted to be able to remember it. I knew at the end, I wanted to be able to look back at the entire experience and really appreciate it.
Breath in....
Breathe out...
     Anyways, I don't know why, but I got back in to the bed. It was bad. I even got to the point where I was banging my head on the bed rails. The nurse came in and tried to see if I wanted pain medication. She knew I was hesitant about it. I was still thinking about it even through the contractions. My mom, who was very firm before I went into labor that she was against epidurals, was encouraging me. She  kept saying "take it, just take it. You need to rest". I could tell it was hurting her to see me hurt so bad. Calvin knew how bad I didn't want any pain medication and said he wanted me to do what I felt most comfortable with. I told him to text my doula and to ask for her opinion. My nurse offered me another pain medication, Fentanyl, before the epidural to basically take the edge off. My doula told me that it would basically feel like I've had a couple of margaritas. My worry was that it would pass through the placenta. It was such a hard decision to make and I kept struggling with it. I told my nurse I needed to think about it. She suggested we check my cervix to see how far I am. If I'm close, then I would have decided to just fight through it. Turns out, I was still either 2 or 3! I ended up giving in. I could barely breath because the contractions were just so close. My nurse ordered it for me and then she set it up. The next thing I knew, my body felt kind of cool. Then I remember saying to Calvin, "I feel buzzed" with a big smile of my face.
     The only thing with Fentanyl was that it only lasted about 10 minutes, although it literally felt like 2. Once that was over, I thought I could get through the rest without anymore medication. I thought this little break would help me refocus. Wrong! I tried to get through a couple contractions when I said out loud to Calvin, "It's coming again! That wasn't even 1 minute inbetween!" My nurse came back and said she could give me one more dose of the Fentanyl if I wanted to. I gave in again and told her "yes, please!". She ordered it and when she came back in with it, she mentioned the epidural. She informed me that the anesthesiologist was about to go in for a C-section and that if I wanted one, I should get it now because it would be awhile before I could get one. I was so torn. I know I made this decision based on the pain, but I couldn't help it. I nodded yes. My nurse gave me the Fentanyl and told me that it may be awhile before the anesthesiologist made it over. But, she was literally there within seconds.

      She came in and introduced herself. I was feeling good because of the Fentanyl, but of course nervous as hell about the big needle about to be inserted in my spine. Everything literally was a blur because of the Fentanyl. She asked my mom to leave the room because Im assuming she didn't want my mom to pass out from the needle, or at least that's what I heard. Then she asked Calvin to sit in front of me because they didn't want him to pass out either plus to be my support. I was then asked to sit at the side of the bed and hunch over. I was hunched over leaning against Calvin and I kept whispering to him "I'm scared. I'm scared. I'm scared". Before I knew it, I was all set and helped back into bed. I was given a little yellow button to press whenever I felt that I was regaining feeling in my legs. It literally was instant. My legs felt so numb and the pain was gone! It was nice. I was finally able to relax.  
Smiles again!
     I felt extremely disappointed in myself. I know I'm being hard on myself, but I had set a goal and couldn't achieve it. I felt like I was letting Liam down too by getting the epidural and the Fentanyl. I felt like I was hurting him. But in the end, I actually did what was best for me and Liam. For hours, I had been stuck at 2 or 3 centimeters. After I got the epidural, my doctor came in at some point to check me again. Not much progress still, but she broke my water. It was a quick and painless process and then we wait again. Calvin had called my doula so that she can make her way over since my doctor said this should start to progress. I was still expecting a long wait until I would finally get to 10. I knew I needed to rest and because I felt like I was up for hours on end, it was pretty easy to fall asleep. After my nap, a nurse came in to check me. I was waiting for her to say 3, maybe 4. The next thing she said caught both Calvin and I by surprise. I was at a 9! Holy crap! In a couple hours,  I jumped from a 3 to a 9! All my body needed was a chance to relax. I needed to relax and that is what helped me progress to a 9. So although I didn't want the epidural, it was exactly what I needed. Right when we found out I was at a 9, we called my mom to head over as soon as possible. Even she was surprised because she wasn't gone for long before she had to rush back over. Before I knew it, I was being prepped to start pushing. 

     I will spare everyone the specific details, but it was quite the experience. I was so happy to have my little team with me. Each and every person contributed exactly what I needed to help get Liam out. Initially there was Cal, my doula Krystal, my mom, and my nurse. The doctor doesn't come until the very end to "catch the baby". Krystal was simply amazing as well. I was obviously nervous and had no clue what I was doing. I couldn't help but doubt myself a little. I was scared, but Krystal helped me snap out of it. I will never forget how she reminded me that I knew exactly what I was doing. I am only supposed to push once the contractions starts and once it stops, I should stop pushing. Since I had the epidural, I wasn't feeling the pain of each contraction. I was basing the start and stop of each contraction on my instinct. Initially my nurse was telling me when a contraction was happening and when to push. Krystal had noticed that right when the contraction was about to start, I was already double checking my instinct by referring over to the monitor. She reminded me that I knew my body and I knew what I was doing. I felt more comfortable to believe in myself. I also had the best nurse ever. I believe her name was Marina. She was so sweet and excited to be there to help bring Liam into the world. She was encouraging and helpful. I remember telling Calvin later that I was so happy that she was my nurse. Then there was my mom. I love my mom and she's like my best friend. Ever since I thought about giving birth to my child, I knew I wanted my mom there. Just her presence alone was comforting. Who doesn't feel safe when their mom is there?

      Last, but not least, is my wonderful husband Calvin. He helped calm me down by playing some Disney music on Pandora. That man always knows that the way to my heart is Disney. My little team was very aware that I wanted Liam out before midnight so he could share his birthday with Disneyland. My nurse loved that we had Disney music on and even commented on how it put her in a good mood. I specifically remember Calvin being right there next to me and helping me count through each push and giving me the encouraging words I needed to hear. He really stepped up to the plate when I needed him the most. 

I think I pushed for maybe an hour or hour and a half. I was trying so hard to have my little Disney baby, but Liam was born at 12:25 AM on Thursday, July 18, 2013. He weighed in at 7 lbs and 11 oz. and measured at 18 in. long. Even though he doesn't share a birthday with Disneyland, he will forever be my little Disney baby. He was brought into the world with Disney music and hey, his mom is a big fan! Words cannot explain how completely beautiful it all was. Right before he came out, I was in so much pain. Yes I had the epidural, but I guess it wore out by then and I had no time to think about pressing the button. I felt everything at the very end. I was in so much pain that I felt like a scene in the movies and I later found out that I scared Calvin. He did not like seeing me in so much pain and felt helpless not being able to make it go away. But once he came out and they put him on my chest, I was speechless. I have been wanting to be a mother and have a child of my own for a long time. I couldn't believe that he was here. My son was in the world, in my arms. It was simply amazing. 
Our first family picture
        Exhausted but so in love
Peacefully sleeping
Cherishing the little moments
     Liam, if you ever read this, please know that mommy loves you so much. You are mommy's dream come true. I promise to love you with all my heart and be the best mother I can. I will protect you from as much as the evil as I can. I will make sure you have the best of the best. I will teach you to have manners,  respect, morals, and values. I will make sure you grow healthy and strong. I will play in the dirt with you and get messy. I will play hide and seek, toys, draw pictures, play games, and whatever you want to do. I will make sure to have patience in times that are difficult. I will make sacrifices to ensure you receive the best. I will nurture your talents and support you in everything and anything that you choose to do. You are my life and my love for you is unconditional. Thank you for choosing me to your mommy. You make me so happy and I love you very much.


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