Wednesday, February 12, 2014

oliver's birth story

i wasn't sure i ever wanted to share the full details of my hospital experience, mainly because i still seem to cry every time it gets brought up. i still can't seem to accept the way certain things played out. the main reasoning for posting this is for you. and a little for me to remember what exactly i went through. my experience was pretty intense, and i'd like to consider myself strong for going through it all. so i want to be able to remember that. i am strong, if i can get through this, i can (hopefully) do it again, and maybe it will be a little easier next time. but whether you are pregnant or planning to be one day, i hope you are more prepared than i was. you see, i had my idea of a perfect labor, but i never focused on that. i thought i kept a pretty open mind on the fact things never go your way, and that anything could happen. i read multiple birth stories that stated, don't have a plan, because if things don't go your way, it could ruin your whole experience. so when my doctor asked if i was planning on getting an epidural, i said that it would be ideal. but the one thing i didn't keep an open mind about was having a c-section. for some reason i thought i knew that wasn't going to be the route for me. i could see myself giving physical birth to my baby boy, so i skipped over reading anything about c-sections. jinxed myself on that one. the other reason i decided to write this is if you did happen to go through an experience like this, lets be friends. and maybe cry together in pure understanding of each other.
don't get me wrong, i am overwhelmed with happiness and excitement that my baby is now here with us. i became a mother and it does not matter how it happened, but the fact that it did. he is my little angel and i never knew how much i could love, until he arrived. but there is some deep emotion in me that still can't let go just yet. i imagined giving physical birth to him, to get to hold him right away and get that instant skin to skin time, and to strictly breastfeed only... non of that i got, and that's ok. snuggling oliver makes everything seem right again when i'm feeling sad.
saturday january 25th at 8pm we arrived back at the hospital (after being turned away on tuesday) to be induced. we had been crossing our fingers and toes all day that we would not be turned away again, but this time felt different. we weren't leaving without a baby this time! 
we checked in and headed up to labor and delivery. we turn the corner to find the nurses station and hear a woman screaming in labor. we looked each other with a look that said, well... let's do this. haha what a way to be welcomed into the labor and delivery wing. they showed us to our room, i got in a beautiful hospital gown, and hooked up to monitors. one that would show contractions when they started, and the other showing the baby's heartbeat. after being monitored for about 30 minutes my doctor came in to do a quick ultrasound to make sure oliver was still facing head down, and he was. they then inserted what is called cervadil, a small device that would help soften my cervix to get it prepared for pitocin in the morning. i liked this approach since my cervix was still, posterior, and pretty much closed. they said they would leave this in overnight and would come to check on me the morning and encouraged me to get some good sleep. around 2:30am the contractions started. nothing too strong, but i got excited that something was happening. so i started timing them and they were about 4-6 minutes apart. i was giddy to be feeling something so consistent that i only managed to get 3, maybe 4 hours of sleep. after 12 hours of the cervadil being in, they came to take it out and check to see if i had progressed. they said i was at 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. that may seem like nothing, but i was stoked that it did something! thats more than my body was able to do on it's own. 
they went to call my doctor to see if he was ok with that and wanted me to be started on pitocin, or to have the cervadil inserted again to get me progressed more. i was so relieved when they came back with the IV and to get me ready for the pit.
11:45am - immediately contractions got a little stronger, but still manageable. they were about 3 mins apart now, and the nurse said they would be back in 2 hours to check on me. once they checked me and i was only at 2cm and 60%, so they upped my pit.
2:30 and my doctor is here to break my water and says i'm at a 3, yay. at this point we were hopeful that things would really get moving after this. i thought it would be painful to get your water broken, but it was kind of a cool feeling. minus the fact you feel like you are peeing the bed. but still cool! contractions got a whole lot stronger, and with each one came with more feelings of peeing the bed. it made me laugh every time.
after changing out the towels i had to lay on, they noticed the fluid was a little green which meant meconium. ollie had a bowel movement in the womb and there was a risk he could aspirate the fluids during birth.

the contractions started getting real gnarly. and i felt them most in my back. the only thing that seemed to help was j pushing really hard on my lower back during each contraction. j was the most perfect person i could have by my side during all of this, it's like he knew exactly what i needed. when to talk, and what to say to help me, and let me squeeze his hand. he talked through each contraction and was still making me laugh. he would watch the monitor and tell me when they were starting to fade, or how big they really were. "you set a new high score!... that one reached over 90!". i remember thinking how much i loved this all, even though the pain was starting to get too much to handle. the epidural was ordered asap, as i wasn't one to want to attempt going all natural. i'm a wimp, so bring on the drugs. haha.

i think the one thing i was most nervous about was getting the epidural. i had heard so many stories about it being super painful, but let me tell you, it was a piece of cake. even j handled it like a champ! they sit you up, and make you turn so your legs are hanging off the bed, while you lean forward onto a table holding a pillow. originally j thought he would leave the room, not wanting to see this gnarly needle and risk passing out. but i just couldn't let him leave. i was nervous. so he sat across the table from me holding my hands with both of our heads down. the anesthesiologist was nice and explained everything before he did it. the only thing i felt was the small needle that was to numb everything. after that, i didn't feel the big needle go in, just a little burning and that was it. almost instantly my contractions started to fade and i could breathe through them easily. ahh the relief off my back was nice. and i was feeling great! we tried to get in a little nap, and they came back at 6pm to check on me. i hadn't really dilated more, but was at 75% effaced and they could feel his head really low. they decided to re-position me, lay me on my other side to try and get the pitocin moving around a little more. when they did this, oliver's heart rate dropped bad. they immediately stopped my pitocin to get his heart rate back up. they stopped the pitocin for what seemed like forever (almost 2 hours). then slowly got me back on it, coming in every 30 minutes to up it again. 
my family came to visit us, and kept us entertained for a bit. when i started feeling some acid reflux that was making me nauseous. (i had this feeling a lot during the last trimester of my pregnancy and what usually helped was eating something because my stomach was empty). i hadn't eaten in over 12 hours, so i knew that was what caused the nausea. i tried to ignore it, but couldn't take it anymore and asked the nurse for something. she put something in my IV to help, but it was too late. i was mid conversation on the phone with my dad, and had to hang up on him to throw up. that was fun for my family to all witness. haha! but i felt so much better after, and the nurse ended up bringing me a popsicle!
at midnight ollie was doing great, and was happy again. pitocin seemed to be working great as the nurse told me i was having a lot of contractions. i couldn't really feel them, except i would still kind of loose my breath a little with each one. this was the life. epidurals are gooooood.
we tried to get some sleep... key word, tried.
12:30am i am finally at a 5! yayyyy. haha boy was i hoping things would start moving faster. but my nurse was hopeful that ollie would be here in the next 3 hours. 1:45 i get checked again, i'm at an 8! hallelujah! nurse is thinking 2 more hours and we'll have our baby! i'm sooo tired, but so excited to hear these words.
and then things started to go downhill...
around 3am my epidural wore off, and i have never felt such pain. these were not like the mild ones i had felt earlier. so much more pain and pressure really low, down there. AND in my bum. i seriously felt like i had two babies in me and one wanted to come out the front, and one wanted to come out the back. ugh it was rough. my nurse was encouraging me to not get my epidural topped off because i seemed to be progressing great. i was at a 9! she said she would be back in an hour to check on me.
looooooongest hour of my life! i'm moaning through these contractions, and i feel like a little kid saying OWWWW, this hurts through my tears. nurse comes in and warns me that with each contraction i am having, oliver's heart rate is dropping. she wants to keep an eye on it for 30 minutes to see if he can improve because they all know i DO NOT want a c-section. she gives me oxygen to see if that helps as well.
it's after 5am and they said ollie's heart rate has evened out and he seems to be doing ok. my doctor is here and i'm at a 9.5. i cannot wait any longer, i need my epidural recharged. i send jared out to track down the nurse, and waiting for the anesthesiologist to come was hell. i'm sorry, but this pain was soo rough. props to you ladies who have done it drug free, you are amazing and i will never understand how you could do it. it's been almost 36 hours since we've been at the hospital and i'm running on maybe 5 hours of sleep. my eyes could barely stay open, so they kept our room dark for me. i was completely exhausted.
anesthesiologist arrives, oh happy day! and my doctor and nurse are here too. it's after 6 now and i am still at a 9.5. they decide to have me try a practice push to see how oliver handles it. his heart rate spikes when i try pushing and i won't forget the look on my doctor's face. he was so sad to tell me that a c-section is going to be our only option at this point. at that point my epidural kicked in and i started feeling great. i said, "no! i feel so good now, i can do this. i know i can, just let me try!" but they wouldn't allow it, it was way too risky. oliver was in distress and he needed to come out NOW. i was rushed to a surgical room.
i don't know if it was the lack of sleep or what, but i am completely out of it. my eyes are so heavy i could barely open them. the surgical room is so bright. they laid me flat on my back on a table and made me lay my arms stretched out to the side on arm rests. 
laying on my back was the worst. my air supply felt cut off and i couldn't breathe. i couldn't open my eyes to see what was going on, and i couldn't breathe. j said i kept saying over and over, "i don't like this". it was awful and i'm pretty sure i passed out a few times because i had no idea what was going on. i hear jared next to me asking for orange juice, knowing he's not doing so well. he apparently saw a little too much over the screen and ended up throwing up. i don't blame him! next thing i know jared is telling me oliver is here, and to open my eyes and to look across the room to see him. 

he was born at 6:40am. i could barely open my eyes, and i think i passed out again.

then somehow managed to open them wide when they had my little boy right by my side. he was here. i turned my head to see him, to kiss him. 

then he was gone with dad sticking by his side. i still am out of it as they tell me everything went great and are stitching and cleaning me up. i remember them lifting me off the table and onto a bed and i said "weeeee" haha i'm telling you i was so loopy.

they wheel me back to my L&D room where my body begins to shake uncontrollably, so they nurse brings me a bunch of heated blankets. i knew my family had been in the waiting room for sometime now, so i tell the nurse to go get them. i'm a little more awake and aware now, but loose it when they enter the room and they all give me hugs. then j finally comes back and i loose it even more and i'm finally realizing what has happened. we sobbed and sobbed together. that is when i was told that oliver came out not breathing and they had to suck out the meconium from his lungs. j said everyone worked fast and handled it so well, and they got him breathing in no time. i still remember that first cry i heard in the surgical room. it was the cutest sound i had ever heard! 
but our baby was now in the nicu, and i was told i could see him on our way to my recovery room. 
j and i tried to take a little nap until they came to get us. i finally could get a better glimpse of our little baby. he was bawling when we walked in the nicu, but as soon as he saw us, heard our voices, and held our fingers he calmed right down.

he was all hooked up to wires, but was so peaceful and content. he was perfect. there he was. OUR baby.
i wanted nothing more than to hold him right then, but we couldn't.
it wasn't until tuesday i finally got to hold oliver.
after 2 days in the NICU he got to come stay in our room with us! that was such a happy moment when they wheeled his little crib in our room. i finally felt like we were a real family. i'm a mom. j is a dad. we have our baby. nothing could be better.
the best part of the whole experience was getting to go home together as a family. it had been almost an entire week we were at the hospital, and we were more than ready to be in the comfort of our own home. they had volunteers wheel me down, and take our bags. when we got to the lobby area, one volunteer asked if i was ready for the parade? i was confused, but there were two of the cutest, old, white haired ladies working at the front desk. they wheeled me around the front and said, we have a new baby! the ladies looked up, and were so thrilled. it was such a sweet moment, they were just going off non stop about how cute he was! i kind of liked showing off my little handsome man.
even though things went completely opposite of how i had hoped they would go, i know it could have been worse.
we are lucky everyone is healthy, and that we got to take our baby home with us. i am so so grateful.


  1. You have me in tears, remembering my son's birth and my birth plan was somewhat like yours. I wanted an all natural birth but ended with a C-Section. Every time I talk about that experience I tear up because I wanted that natural birth and I want that bond and I wanted to be able to breastfeed and nothing like that happened for me and it still hurts me (2 1/2 years later).

    Your son is beautiful and I wish you and your husband a WONDERFUL life with him. Enjoy every second, treasure every kiss and hold tight to every hug.

    1. we are so the same! thanks for your sweet words, i will most definitely be enjoying every moment with him for sure!

  2. You are so brave! I love you and I am so glad it's all over and that you have your healthy boy.

    1. thanks sar! haha i'm so glad it's over too, thankfully it was just a few crazy days and now i have him forever! so worth it. love you!!!

  3. Such a beautiful story. I know how it feels when things don't go as planned, but I know you would do anything to get that babe here safe. So happy you're all healthy and doing well. Those little babes sure bring an indescribable amount of love. Hope you're recovering well and enjoying your new family of 3! xo

    1. thank you so much morgan! and i truly am so glad he is here safe and sound! that is all that matters! :)

  4. I'm happy baby Oliver is happy and healthy! Such a perfect little family.

    1. thanks alicia!! you are too sweet, and i'm so so happy he is here! :)

  5. This made me tear up for sure! You went through so much and are so strong. I am happy everyone is healthy and together now. (He really is sooo handsome.) Congratulations on becoming a momma!

    1. aww thanks liesl! being a mom is the best for sure! you're little guy is getting so big! he's a cutie for sure!!

  6. Tears! This is such a beautiful story and seeing a picture of little baby Oliver after so much labor/waiting made my heart sing for you both. I'm so amazed at how much the body can endure, and how many resources we have now to keep baby safe throughout the whole process. Wow! PS We're 36 weeks and going into things much like you mentioned—an open mind. But hearing all sides of the coin is really helpful, especially from someone who sounds as queasy as me ;) Happy day, welcome baby Oliver!!

  7. This is so perfect Courty. I love this. Wish I could have been there to cry and hug you! Love you! So glad Ollie is here!

  8. well congrats courtney on bringing this amazing person into the world! he is so perfect and you get to be his MOMMA!!! Loved reading your story. makes me sad that after all that work you did, you had to go have a c-section. both of my girls had crazy heart rates during labor too and c-section was a definite possiblity. that pitocin man, i don't think babies like that stuff :( but we do what we gotta do! congrats again! hope you're doing great :)

  9. Thanks for sharing you story! My name is Heather and I have a question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)