Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thomas' Story

A birth story with a bit of a twist today - the story written from the Father's point of view! Wonderful to hear a Father's perspective - enjoy!

 Thomas' Story
by Ben

We had intentions of a natural birth with a group of Certified Nurse Midwives in a small birth center right near our home.  We've had all of our prenatal work done with them and were very happy with the decision.  Our only concern was that the baby was positioned face forward which we were told can make labor very painful.

Rachel (Ben's wife) woke up in labor at 12am Tuesday morning.  Just as we were beginning to make the call to the birth center, her water broke.  We hurried to collect the few remaining loose necessities from their scattering around the apartment: things were disorganized after having moved out of the apartment the weekend before due to a severe storm that caused a multi-day power outage.  We met the midwife on call, Lisa, and our doula, Kelly, at the center at 3am.  The next 4 hours were extremely painful for Rachel.  Little we did could ease her back pain.  We found two positions that created a little relief for her but we were disappointed to know that despite the massive discomfort and the 7.5 hours effort so far, we had only progressed to 2cm by 7:30am.  At this point, Rachel decided an epidural was a must and we began preparations to transfer to the hospital with Lisa and Kelly (our midwife and doula) as well.

After the transfer and a round of IV fluids, the anesthesiologist finally arrived to place the epidural.  He did a fantastic job.  Rachel was finally able to rest.  Everyone caught a nap and, once awake, was able to interact without the incredible pain and focus that was previously required.  By the end of our first nap, Rachel had dilated to 5cm.  She remained there for quite some time and the doctor decided to introduce pitocin.  By early evening, we reached the appropriate 10cm and were ready to begin pushing. The epidural medication's rate was slowed to help Rachel push more effectively.

Rachel pushed for an hour and a half but the baby remained at -1 station for that time.  Due to the once again present back pain and the lack of progress, the doctors allowed Rachel to let the labor down by introducing more medication via the epidural.  Relief at this point was very quick, and Rachel was again asleep.  The rest of the birth team napped as well.

At 1145pm, Rachel was awake again and once again ready to push.  We worked for another 3 hours toward delivery; employing significant counter-pressure on Rachel's back and many of the positions we'd learned in our classes.  Still, the baby remained at -1 or 0 station and we were told the baby was having difficulty passing the pelvic bone.  The doctors proposed a small vacuum/suction cup could be attached to the baby's head and sometimes used to maneuver the baby while Rachel pushed.  Trying that took another 30 minutes but was unsuccessful.  The doctors decided a Cesarean section was needed.

Surgery was scary for me and freezing for both of us, but a clear success.  The baby was out in about 10 minutes after the initial incision, at 3:52am, and immediately let out a cry.  Rachel and I were extremely relieved to hear him as he was rushed to the NICU table in the OR, suctioned, measured, and evaluated.  They told us he was 9 lb, 2oz, which we could barely believe.  His official height was later recorded as 22.25".    Within minutes, he was considered stable and ready to return to our room in the labor and delivery wing.  We were later told his head was slightly sideways and he had an arm up, both of which were preventing him from moving down.  Rachel sent me with him while she remained in the OR for another 45 minutes to an hour to be stitched up.

We remained in the hospital for 3 days.  Though it was far from what we had intended, we learned a great deal, and our help from the nurses was invaluable.  Looking back, we're very happy with the experience and our decisions. We're now finally at home and very much enjoying our time with our son.

If you are interested in sharing your Birth Story here on the Radiant Birth blog, feel free to Contact Me.

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