Saturday, June 20, 2015

Oliver's Birth Story // Part II

I've been working on writing Oliver's birth story off and on any chance I get. In case you missed part one you can catch up on it here.

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After a short drive to the hospital we walked into the emergency room, checked in and were soon after taken upstairs to the labor and delivery ward. I kept thinking the whole time how very strange it was, going in and being there when all was calm. Doctors and nurses weren't rushing around, poking and prodding me, they were taking their time and carefully explaining everything that was going to happen that morning. I was hooked up to an IV and a monitor and asked all sorts of questions. Periodically nurses would come in to check on me, give me something, or have me sign something. While the nurses came and went and Landon and I waited in the room, I liked looking over the edge of the bed to see the steady heartbeat of the baby being charted. And I noticed at one point the other line that was marking my contractions. I hadn't paid much attention to that charting when Emerson was born, so I loved seeing both of the charts side by side. 

As time passed I became increasingly uncomfortable and the contractions began to get stronger and more frequent. At one point of of the nurses came in to check on some things and noticed that my contractions were three minutes apart and were getting stronger each time. As we neared the time for me to go into the operating room, I remember thinking two things: 1. I don't know how mamas have vaginal births [let alone ones with no drugs at all!] and 2. I'm not ready for this! 

Landon and I looked at each other, said a prayer together, I was terrified of walking into the OR to have our baby. I was ready, but at the same time I was not. I was excited, eager, nervous, worried, and so thankful. The only thing we knew for certain though was that our baby was coming - soon!

last picture with a bump - right before Oliver was born!

My doctor brought in one last form for me to sign, went over the risks of having a c-section, and then went off to get ready for the surgery. My nurse gave me another grown to wear around my back so I didn't have to worry about being completely exposed while walking down the hallway [bless her] and told me I would be able to keep the baby with me during recovery as they had enough nurses on staff. Something I was so grateful to hear, and such an answer to prayer as I just wanted to hold our sweet baby as soon as he was born. 

We walked through the recovery room to go into the operating room. Landon kissed me good-bye while I went in for them to get me prepped for the section. The first thing I noticed was that the room was freezing cold and the table looked smaller than the one I'd had Emerson on. The nurses helped me sit on the table and gave some instructions of how I should sit while the anesthesiologist gave me the spinal. I was shaking from nerves and the cold so my nurse held my shoulders and kept me still. The whole time reassuring me that everything was okay, it was almost done, and rubbing my back. It wasn't too long before the anesthesiologist was finished and I laid back on the table. I remember the nurses moving me and my gown and pushing my legs to go this way and that, telling me to relax - it's a little difficult for me to relax when a not so gentle nurse is barking at me to relax and do this and do that. As the medicine kicked in, I cared less about how incredibly exposed I was and less about how much I was being poked at. 

Soon I was shaking, dizzy, freezing, and felt nauseas. I wanted to hold on to something - someone - but there was nothing for me to hold onto. A nurse laid a blanket over my chest to help keep me warm. Another asked how I was feeling, I couldn't talk. So she asked yes or no questions and I just shook my head in response. After a while I felt a little more stable and the doctor and Landon came in. Later no the anesthesiologist told Landon my blood pressure had dropped to 30 and she tried two different medications before it went back up. No wonder I felt awful! When Landon sat down and gave my hand a squeeze, I just squeezed harder and didn't let go. The doctor talked to me and asked questions, but I still felt dizzy and couldn't talk at all, so Landon did all of the talking for me. After about ten minutes of pushing, pulling, and pressure on my belly we got to see our baby for the first time! The doctor held him up and they lowered the curtain for a minute so I could see our sweet boy. Then he was taken to be cleaned up a little bit and checked out, while the doctors continued working on me. 

I remember hearing Oliver cry and watching them clean him up, check his heart, suction his mouth. My doctor came and talked to me for a little bit as I was laying on the table and the other doctors worked on finishing me up. I wanted to see Oliver, I wanted to hold him, but something was keeping him away from me. I could hear the pediatric nurse tell Landon something and Landon came and told me there was excess fluid in his lungs so they had to keep him under the warmer and continue to try to suction it out. Oliver kept crying and crying, which was good, but it wasn't a steady cry and they called a pediatrician into the room to look at him. They decided he needed to go to the NICU for a while until the fluid cleared from his lungs completely; I was devastated that I wouldn't get to hold him and do skin to skin with him right away, but I knew that his health was of the utmost importance and just wanted him safe and healthy. Before they took Oliver to the NICU I got to hold him for a few minutes and pray over him and thank God for his little life.

I stayed in the recovery room for two hours, during which time Oliver was in the NICU. Landon went back and forth between spending time with me and being with Oliver. The nurse in the recovery room was wonderful and so encouraging, and she kept checking to see if Oliver could join me in recovery. I was so tired, all I wanted to do was close my eyes and sleep, but she kept me awake and talking [maybe that's part of their job?] and even had me pump at one point since I couldn't nurse right away.

After my recovery time was up they wheeled me upstairs into our room and I fell asleep as soon as they left. It felt so strange - being in a room by myself, no baby, no toddler. I was supposed to have a baby in my arms, but that's just not the way it worked out for us. So I slept, which felt pretty good after the night and morning I'd had. About two hours later a nurse brought Oliver into the room so I could nurse him and came back after a while to take him back to the NICU, he still hadn't been cleared to leave for good. Thankfully I didn't have to wait too much longer and they brought him back a little over an hour later. I think. I was pretty out of it and keeping track of time wasn't my strong suit that day.

I held him the rest of the day, feeling as though I had already missed so much of his short little life. I was thankful that the nurses had waited to give him a bath, it was something I missed with Emerson and I didn't want to miss it again. But apart from them giving him a bath, and a short visit from family and Emerson, he was in my arms the whole day long. 

I am so thankful that he chose his birthday too, as that was one thing I had hoped and prayed for so much. It worked out well to have a surprise c-section date - one that also just happened to be the day my contractions started. What a blessing and answer to prayer! And even though I wasn't able to hold him right after he was born and have him stay with me in the recovery room, I am beyond thankful that he was only out of my arms for a few hours and that it was nothing more serious than having excess fluid in his lungs. We feel beyond blessed to have this sweet little boy at home with us. He is a joy and a gift and we are forever thankful that we have been blessed to be his parents. 


kelseylynae said...

Baby. Fever. Thanks a lot. ;)

He's beautiful. Way to go!

Amy said...

Aww! I'm so happy that he's healthy as can be! Can't wait to hear how you all are adjusting to being a family of 4. :)

Laura said...

So happy for you, Hannah! Oliver is precious, and I'm glad he picked his own birthday for you. :)

Jillian said...

congrats! love the pictures. glad he is healthy and thinking of you all as you adjust to life with your newest addition!

tina bumblebee said...

Congrats!! He is beautiful :)