Sunday, July 18, 2010

Remembering Grayson's Birth

One of the things I've been meaning to do over the last ten months is to write out the story of Grayson's birth. Lately, I've found myself wanting to talk to Jason about the little details of what happened in the days leading up to his birth and during those first few days after so that I could make sure it was still in my memory. This weekend I had a chance to sit down and really try to remember the small things.

I've decided to share my story here so that I can document it for myself and look back and remember the event years from now. I know this is REALLY long... please don't feel obligated to read everything, but then again, read if you want! :)

I began the school year ready to start the year, get my classroom routine down with my students, and then leave them in the capable hands of my long-term substitute. Working immediately was really tough on me (and my super swollen feet), and I started having contractions off and on for days. I actually felt like I could be in real labor twice, and each time we made it up to the hospital to be monitored and then sent home to wait it out. Anyway, the week I was 37 weeks pregnant, I went to work 1 or 2 days and the other days I spent at home, trying to feel better. This definitely did not match the plan I had in my head, which was to work up until my labor began.

The next Monday I had a doctor's appointment after-school. My blood pressure was really high at the appointment, and they took it several times to see if it would go down. It did go down when I was lying down on the table, so I was put on bed rest and asked to come back on Thursday for a follow up appointment.

Thursday's appointment showed that my blood pressure was back to normal and that the bed rest was helping. The doctor told me he would see me next week and I had made up my mind that I would probably not be having the baby in the next few days.

Later that afternoon, I did all of my laundry- washing, drying, folding and putting away. The first Carolina football game of the season was going to be on TV that night, and Jason and I were looking forward to watching it together. In fact, Jason had joked for a few days, asking me to please just wait until the first game is over before I go into labor. I ordered a pizza, then sat down on the floor with my last load of laundry to fold. ESPN had already begun their coverage of our game, and kick-off was supposed to happen in 5 minutes.

At that time, I felt and heard a "thump" sound. A few seconds later it was VERY clear that my water had broken. YAY!!! I was so excited. I tried to call Jason at work. No answer (common since it was the end of his shift and he was probably in the roll call room). I sent him a text. "Come home. My water just broke." He called me immediately, but I think he thought I was joking because of what he had said earlier about waiting until the game was over.  When I assured him I wasn't, he came home right away.

I went out in the front yard and told my neighbors (who honestly seemed like they had received TMI from me at that point) and then tried to call the pizza place to cancel my order. Since the pizza was on the way, I told them we'd still take it, and went inside to get my things together.

What I didn't realize was that labor takes a LONG time (at least for most 1st timers). I should have gone ahead and eaten that pizza when it arrived, but I had heard stories of people getting sick during labor and I was ready to meet our little boy! Jason did have a few slices when he got home, then he changed out of his uniform and we were on our way to the hospital!

Since we had already been there twice, we knew the way to L&D triage. It was fun knowing that they couldn't send us home this time! My contractions still hadn't really started up, and at that time I thought I must just have a higher level of pain tolerance than some women (ha!). Here is a picture from the triage room:

See the OB Triage sign. What do you think we decided to watch on TV?? The USC game!! 

It was at that time that we called both sets of our parents. Jason's parents were very calm, cool, and collected. They had been through this before. He told them he would update them ASAP, but we all decided that it was probably best for them to go to bed and wait for us to call before they made the trek from Columbia to Greenville. My parents were not as calm and cool. Dad answered when I called. As soon as I told him we had been admitted to the hospital he said, with panic in his voice, "You're going to have to talk to your mom right now". Haha! They were going to take their time, but they decided to come to meet us in the hospital. 

As soon as they confirm that your water is broken you get sent to the real L&D floor. I was wheeled up to our room and as soon as we were in the big room I felt a tinge of fear. I knew I wouldn't leave that room until Grayson was here (or until I had to have an emergency c-section) and for the first time I was really afraid of what the labor and delivery might be like. 

At the advice of the nice nurse who wheeled me to my room, I requested my epidural before the pitocin. The epidural was not bad at all! They gave me a numbing shot and then did the epidural. I felt a feeling of electricity run through my body as soon as the epidural was in, and then I was able to relax. Here are some pictures. 


Jason took a picture of me. 

Then, I took this one of Jason. 

Grayson's warming bed. Already warm and ready for him! 

Hanging out in L&D. 

One more picture to show the other side of the room. 

I remember Jason wanting to go to sleep (he had worked a 12 hour shift on Wednesday and a 12 hour shift on Thursday). I also remember Mom and Dad going downstairs to get coffee and I remember Mom sitting in the room with me while Jason tried to rest on the couch. I was still so excited, and I just wanted to talk to her about anything and everything. It was fun. 

At some point, contractions just about became unbearable and I wasn't making progress enough to suit me. It was at this time that my labor memories go blank. It was also around this time when Jason called his parents to make the drive. I'm not really sure what time this might have been, but I think about 5 a.m. 

I tried to get the nurse to help me with the pain. She brought in the nurse anesthesiologist. That lady basically said I probably didn't know the difference between pressure and pain. I could have slapped her. 

At 7 a.m. I got a new nurse named Ashley. She was a true gem. She did want to help me with the pain. It seemed like the epidural was doing it's job but I was progressing faster than it could keep up with the pain. She brought in this nice man who gave me some shots in my IV. Every time he did this I got about 30 minutes of some pain relief. Thank goodness. 

I remember my parents and Jason's parents walking in the room to check on us many times (it was a LONG labor). I was in so much pain that I could have cried (and I probably did), and I hated that I couldn't be more social. I left that to Jason. They joke that I was mad when the nurse told me I was 9 cm. I said let's go ahead and have this baby. One measly centimeter didn't seem important to me. I also remember telling people that I thought I was dying. This is no lie. I really did think I was dying... I just knew that I would die and they would all feel bad because they thought I was just in labor. Hah!

Finally they let me push. Jason had to hold my feet, and he later told me that they really stunk. Sorry about that, Jason. 

The pushing seemed much easier than the labor, but I did fall asleep between contractions. That was strange to me considering the contractions were 2 minutes apart lasting about a minute each. 

I remember being so relieved when my nurse finally called the doctor. I knew it was going to be over soon. My doctor, Dr. Walvoord, was a sweet gift from Heaven. She was brand new to the practice, and really seemed to care about me. I loved her!! I will say that she was talking to another doctor on the phone throughout my last few pushes.... finally she said, "I'm going to have to hang up... I'm about to deliver a baby"... On the next contraction... 

Grayson was born!! Jason cried and I was relieved to be done. 


Our Conehead




My parents said they could tell that the baby was here because all 4 of them were taking turns standing by the door and finally they heard me laughing. Haha! I guess that is a good clue. I wanted Jason to hold Grayson mostly. I loved him, but I was absolutely exhausted... not to mention, still in pain... 


SEE?? Exhausted. 

As soon as I was stitched back up and Grayson was done with his good newborn baby stuff, the doctor said goodbye and started to walk out the room. When she saw that our parents were outside of the door, she asked us if it was okay to let them in (YES!), and then the real celebration began. 

My favorite first picture of me and my boy. 

My nurse asked Jason and I what we wanted to drink. I got us Coke. 
This is the BEST Coke I have ever had. 

Mom calling Grandma. We were all happy. 

1 comment:

The Dales said...

Wonderful story! You'll be very glad you wrote it all out. I laughed out loud when you said Jason told you your feet stunk! haha! Oh yeah and your making me have baby fever!