Clearly my due date has come and gone, so I imagine that questions have risen regarding the status of our little Owen...
I am so proud to report that Owen Richard finally made his grand entrance (right on schedule) on Wednesday September 14th, 2011 at 11:09am! He weighed 8lbs 9oz and was a whopping 21.25 inches long (he's one lean little man, so all of that weight is in his height).
Before we get into the nitty gritty, I of course need to formally introduce you all to my Owen
Side note: this post is being made on Wednesday September 21st at 11:09am, exactly one week from the moment that Owen entered the world :o) My little man is one week old already and I can hardly believe it. Bryan says my hormones are clearly still unstable, but I've been an emotional mess just thinking about the fact that Owen's first week of life has already come and gone *tear* It's been such an amazing week, I'm just a little sad to see it go. But am so looking forward to these next moments in our lives together.
His grand entrance wasn't (of course) without it's trials and tribulations. So I will forewarn you all that this next section will not only be lengthy, but will probably contain some adult rated material that won't be for the fainthearted - so read on at your own risk :o)
It all started at my 39 week appointment (where I was actually 38w5d): my blood pressure was continuing to slowly climb the charts, even despite my increasing medication dosage. So the doc and I began discussing our options for getting Owen out and into the world as safely as possible. This conversation resulted in a trip over to labor and delivery for monitoring, which of course led to being sent home after 3 hours of NST and blood work that ultimately indicated Owen was doing fine and there was therefore no reason to take drastic measures... yet. They didn't, however, let me leave without scheduling a followup monitoring session for that following Friday.
So we made it through the week, my last week of work (whew) and went back to L&D for our followup session at 39w2d. My blood pressure was (as per the usual) still climbing and the decision was made to start labor induction and get Owen out, before any complications had the opportunity to present themselves. Unfortunately, L&D was super busy on that particular day - I'm not sure if it was the impending full moon, or just our poor luck, but they were sWaMpEd! Our hospital's L&D has 3 triage rooms, one of which we were lucky enough to get, and they were all full. So full, in fact, that there was a poor girl waiting to get in who was laboring in the hallway! They had to keep walking her into the bathroom to check her over and get stats on her baby - I felt so bad, she was clearly in pain. They also conducted an epidural on the woman in the room next to us. It was so busy and things were so crazy, that I managed to hear the anesthesiologist say they don't usually do epidurals in the triage rooms but he clearly didn't have a choice :::insert panicked face:::
We waited... we waited... oh yea, and we waited some more... we waited for over 5 hours, only to finally be told that my doc had changed her mind (she was the on call OB in L&D that day) and they were just too busy at the moment to induce me at that time. Let me clarify - it was determined that there was no immediate danger to Owen, so deciding not to induce at that exact moment was not a poor decision on my physicians part and I do see that now. But you can only imagine how insanely frustrating this was to very pregnant and unfed (they wont let you eat once you've been admitted to L&D) pregnant lady. I was literally in tears as we walked out of the hospital. I was so ready to meet our little guy and promised (albeit only momentarily... well, hourly really) that it would be happening soon, so having promise revoked was just pure torture. But home we went and I tried my hardest to pull myself together.
We made it through the weekend and I went to my regularly scheduled appointment on Monday morning, where (of course) my blood pressure will still high. Quickly approaching full-term, our due date, 40 weeks, etc. etc. etc. we decided to formally schedule labor induction for that evening. I was told to go home and get everything in order (it's sort of nice when you know the fairly closely estimated day and time of your baby's delivery - makes getting ready a lot easier lol), and then to call the hospital at 6:30pm to see if they had the means to admit me for induction that evening. I was honestly nervous to make the call - after our experience(s) the previous week, I didn't want to get my hopes up again only to have them crushed. Luckily, that's not how things went down and we were told to come to L&D at 7:30pm to get things rolling! I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and then tried to mentally prepare myself for what was about to happen... we were having a baby! We finished packing our hospital bag, fed and cleaned our pets, settled the house, and were on our way!
We registered with L&D and then were shown to our birthing suite:
I seriously love our hospital - it's fairly new (remodeled within the last 5 years) and the maternity ward is just gorgeous! It's completely separate and isolated from the rest of the hospital. The rooms are all birthing suites with private bathrooms and jacuzzi tubs - labor, delivery and recovery and all done in the same fabulous room (no more room sharing or hopping).
We got settled into our room and waited for the nurse to check me in, take my vitals, etc. And then for the doctor to come in and start the Cervadil to hopefully begin ripening my cervix (since we were still barely at 2cm, as we'd been for the past couple weeks). Once everything was setup, we took a deep breath and tried to get some sleep for the night.
The next day - Tuesday - I was checked for progress and had only managed to dilate to barely 3cm (ha, my body hates me). But it was enough to get started with the Pitocin and hopefully bring on some contractions to do the rest of the work. We started out with a low dose and slowly worked our way up throughout the rest of the day and through the night. This was nice because I didn't get slammed with full fledged contractions, and was able to slowly build up a pain tolerance just like with natural labor. We did, however, get to the point where I just needed some sleep and relief from the contractions. So later that night we ordered an Epidural, which wasn't as bad as I had imagined. The actual administration of it was fine, it was the sensation of not being able to feel my legs that I wasn't thrilled with lol I never liked that sensation (even when it was just my limbs "falling asleep" naturally throughout life) and this was just a concentration one-thousand times worse. No less, it did take the edge off and I was able to get some sleep. But only for a couple hours, as the Epidural quickly began to wear off. I had to call the nurses and they sent out for yet another Epidural, thinking that the first one just didn't take for some reason. So they did yet another Epidural and that one seemed to do the trick (thank goodness).
So we continued to relax and labor throughout the night and into the next day - Wednesday. We were eventually checked again and had made it to almost 6cm (slow and steady wins the race, right?). So we continued with the increasing Pitocin drip, until we reached 32mi and had finally managed to make it to almost 10cm (yay!!!). It only took 39 hours *sigh* During this check, was when we realized that little Owen was presenting face first :o( Not an impossible feat, but definitely not ideal for a vaginal birth. The physician on call gave me the option to give it a go vaginally and see what we can do, or just to go straight for the c-section. I really wanted to try for a vaginal birth, so we made the decision to push for an hour and see where that got us. At around 9am on Wednesday September 14th, 2011 we began pushing. Unfortunately it just was not meant to be and after an hour of pushing with no progress (he never made it post -2 station) we made the call to deliver via c-section. I had made peace with the decision and knew it was the best thing for Owen - his face was so smushed up in there, beating against my pelvic bone, I didn't want to stress him out anymore. We prepped for the OR and were wheeled down the hall for our procedure within minutes.
The rest is a real blur for me personally - they gave me a Spinal Tap on top of my second Epidural, because they were concerned about me feeling things (thank you!). So I was completely paralyzed from the ribs down, which is one of the oddest sensations I have yet to experience. But it did the trick and I didn't feel a thing. They also gave me a dose of medicine to help with digestion during the anesthesia, unfortunately it made me nauseous and I ended up getting sick on the operating table (that was fun :::insert sarcasm here:::). But the best thing by far - and the one thing I hope to always remember - was the first time I heard him cry :o) Since I couldn't see anything, that cry was all that I had to let me know that he was here and ok - the best sound in the world. At that point they called Bryan over to cut his umbilical cord and take pictures of him being weighed, foot printed, and cleaned up. Laying there alone while they got him situated and me closed up was a confusing moment emotionally - I was sad, lonely, stressed and frustrated, but I was also happy, elated, anxious and excited to finally meet the little guy. I couldn't see him or Bryan (which I was kind of upset about), but I could see my mom in the observation window and she was signaling to me that he was doing well.
As soon as he was stable they let Bryan bring him over to me :o)
You can see even in this picture, how swollen, bruised and beat up his poor face was :o(
After they got me stitched up, they placed him in my arms for the ride back to our room. Once we were parked, they got him latched for his first feeding and he caught on like a champ! We were given an hour of family time, just the three of us, before any visitors were allowed back. This is all still a little blurry for me too, but Bryan does a good job filling in the gaps.
Soon after my parents came back to meet Owen
Of course with a c-section we had to spend another 3 days in the hospital, so we were there for a total of 6 days between both the induction and the c-section. The whole experience was just a whirlwind. But he's here now and we are sooooooooooo in love with this little man :o)
Today Owen is 1 week old and things are going well. We're settling into a routine, trying to find our groove. Lucky for us, Bryan was able to get an additional week off from work (since we spent a whole one just in the hospital) and so now we have two more weeks together as a family :o)
Welcome to the world and our family Owie :o)