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Friday, August 1, 2008

Scott's Story part three

So what do you do when a professional tells you that your baby has a 90% chance of dying during the next 7 days without ever having drawn its first breath? You go have a baby.
BUT
I wasn't mentally "there" yet. I just wasn't ready to go to the hospital and have a baby. So we went back to the midwife's office (the next step in the process anyway). While I might not have been ready mentally, physically I was already 3 cm and 70-80% effaced. She "stripped" my membranes and then graciously allowed us to go back home (a 45 minute drive) and get our "stuff" and then head to the hospital. It turns out the hospital couldn't have taken us anyway...they didn't have a room. I was to report to the hospital at 3. At 3:30 they finally had me in a room.
Induction is no fun. I had planned a totally natural birth. Yet here I was hooked up to every conceivable machine. Because of Scott's small size, they had to monitor the entire labor. They even placed a sensor on his head to be sure they knew how he was reacting. There were so many unknowns as to what caused him to not be growing properly that no one was sure what his condition was and how well he would tolerate labor. All that monitoring meant my dreams of walking around/showering/laboring how I wanted were all tossed out the window. Just add pitocin for the perfect mix of exactly what I didn't have planned. But God's plans are not always the same as ours.
Around dinner time labor was, well, awful. Scott was facing the wrong way (posterior) and my back was killing me. Pitocin, and the urgency of the situation with Scott, did not allow for a gradual, natural progression. My midwife, who was very much like a doula in that she stayed with me almost the whole time, had asked if I minded if she went to get dinner and I of course had said, "no" so it was just my husband and I and my "I can't take this anymore" thoughts got hte better of me. I caved and asked for pain medicine. BUT I was smart enough to ask for only half a dose. It was even more awful than labor without the medicine. It spaced me out and made me terribly groggy...until a contraction came and then I was in intense pain, but had been to out of it to cope with it at the onset, so it hit like a ton of bricks. Looking back, I wish someone had said to me, "These contractions you are having now are as bad as they will ever be...they will just get closer together from this point." If I had known that, I would have never gotten the drug. But I think God used that experience for 2 things. First, that was the genesis of my wanting to be a doula. I realized the importance of an advocate in labor. SOmeone who could encourage you at just the right time. Who KNEW about labor from a personally and clinical perspective and could giv eyou infromation to help you make decisions. THe Second thing I got was empathy. Empathy for mothers in challenging situations. For mothers being induced. For people opting for "drugs" in labor. While I consider it my biggest mistake, I know I have been to that point where taking the edge off sounds REALLY good. Where my mental perception of things got the better of everything I knew and wanted.
So anyway, after about an hour the medicine wore off, and because my labor had slowed with the stadol, the pitocin was again turned UP. There's a consequence they don't tell you about! Things got serious then. My midwife had returned. I was in control of my metal faculties again, and we were all ready for a baby. At 11:38 that night, Scott was born. My labor had been 8 hours long. Not bad for a first labor, and a foreshadowing of the short labors to come ;-).
Until the moment he was delivered, no one could tell me whether I'd even be able to see him or hold him right away. There were so many unknowns. But he was great. Not "without problems" great, but great enough that I could see him and hold him and he wasn't whisked away to the NICU. He was 4 lb. 5 oz. at birth, and 18 inches long. Everything was formed correctly, but he had no "meat" anywhere. His arms and legs were sooooo skinny, and he had the longest fingers! He's since put those to good use with the piano.

He's not dead...just sleeping. Apparently stretching out sounded good. But here you can see the skinniness.

Here's my husband's hand for a size comparison...

Sadly, once they whisked Scott off to the nursery, he did not come back to us until he left the hospital. We were allowed to see him...sometimes. I spent most of that first night by his side, but then his oxygen desaturated when I left and they did not allow us to hold him or touch him for a whole 24 hours. It was THE WORST 24 hours of my life. I know SO MUCH now that I wish I had known then about advocating for myself and bucking gentle against the medical protocals, but again, God had a bigger purpose for my trials-they ignited within me the fire to do just those things.

I want to finish...really I do...but we have to leave the house in 10 minutes and I have to make sandwiches and get everyone ready. I promise I'll finish soon...
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3 comments:

Lisa said...

Pitocin rots.
Rest of story please! You're going to do the others, right? pretty please? :)

chewhi said...

both of my labors had pitocin... the first, with the twins, they had me hospitalized with pre-eclampsia and I was still maxing out so they tried the pitocin but ended up doing an emergency c-section (they went into NICU)... and Ann was comfortable and didn't want to come out. She was 2 weeks overdue and getting bigger (she was almost 10 lbs). She delivered vaginally but it was an awful delivery.

He's little but how gorgeous is he?!! Keep the story coming!

Randi Sue said...

Please keep going. I love hearing about his story.