Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Birth Story: Silas Emmanuel

My little man has been with us for 5 months now, yet it feels like we've had him with us a whole a lot longer. I realize my telling this labor and delivery story means nothing to the masses, but i'm including it here as a means of remembering. Reliving that day and the details before the little tidbits are forgotten.

My February 5th due date had come and gone and with 1 last week granted to go into labor naturally. We nervously waited and prayed for baby boy to come on his own. It must have been super comfortable in the womb because that final week flew by and on February 11th we found ourselves too anxious to sleep as we nervously anticipated our 4 AM alarm to head to the hospital to be induced.

We arrived at the hospital a little before 5 AM, filled out the last few pages of paperwork and got situated in our birthing suite. They broke my water and started the Pitocin drip a little after 6 AM. I nervously waited for labor to progress, but was grateful to be distracted by my parents, sister and aunt who excitedly came to cheer us on. My sister did my make up and my parents and aunt chatted while keeping an attentive ear to the nurses coming in and out of the room. My husband dozed off here and there on a nearby chair.

My contractions had started and my body was making progress. I noted the pain of the contractions and tried to breathe through them. The baby was super active, so I focused mostly on his movements and the oddity that I could still feel him moving so high up on my stomach. All the while the contractions grew stronger. I had already set my mind on getting an epidural but wanted to hold off as long as I possibly could. After a few hours of contractions and notification that the anesthesiologist was getting rather busy, I finally caved and asked for the epidural. It was such a relief to not feel that pain anymore, but part of me did feel like I was cheating myself out of a "well rounded" birth experience.

Shortly after the epidural was administered, the baby's heart monitor started sounding off periodically. Each time two or three nurses would rush in and move me from side to side to stabilize the baby's heart rate. My Doctor came in to examine my progress, noted that my body had taken things over naturally and decided the Pitocin was no longer needed. I was dilating fine and baby was in "position" to be delivered, however the baby's heart rate continued to drop dangerously low and soon they couldn't stabilize him no matter was position they put me in. The doctor came in once more to check my progress and baby's position. He merely pressed the baby's head and his heart rate dropped instantly. At that point baby was pronounced in "distress" and I would have to have an emergency C-section.

The room was quiet as my family quickly packed up my things to moved them to my recovery room. Everyone was busily moving around asking questions. Lying alone on the other side of the room, fear came over me and the tears started to flow. I was scared out of my mind and even though I wasn't, I felt very alone. I dried my tears as the Dr's and nurses came to get my husband and give us directions and information as to what would happen next. They whisked my husband away to get changed into scrubs and I was wheeled into the operating room. They strategically transferred me from the bed to table. I felt like a beached whale, unable to move, big and heavy. 

From that point on, everything was kind of a blur. I recall they checked to make sure I couldn't feel anything, I was too preoccupied with the anxiety that had come over me. I felt like my heart was racing, like I was suffocating. I kept telling myself that if the heart monitor wasn't sounding off, that meant I was okay. The waiting whiled they "prepped" felt like an eternity as I anxiously anticipated surgery to start. I focused on deep breathing as a means to remain calm. Not too long after, I heard a baby cry. I thought it was a baby from another room, it sounded so far away.  But, then I saw them lift my baby and hurry him over to the nurses. He was bluish/purple. My husband made a comment about having a smurf. A joke I wouldn't get until hours later. They brought baby boy over for me to see and quickly whisked him away to the nursery, taking my husband with them. When it was all finished, I was wheeled into a temporary recovery room where I spent over an hour groggy and alone. They let a few family members check on me, while that rest hurried to the nursery to watch/take pictures of baby boy getting checked, bathed and swaddled. 

I was finally taken to my own room, still in pain and unable to walk but so happy just watching my husband and family hold and love on my son. It was a feeling I will never forget. The next few days were filled with sweet visitors, joy, pain, sleepless nights, jealous nurses (b/c of my husbands snoring) among other things. I wouldn't change my experience for the world, baby boy was so worth it all. 

I have to say, the Doctor, Nurses and Staff at North Central Baptist Hospital, in San Antonio, Texas were nothing short of exceptional. From the moment we arrived, everyone was so friendly, understanding, encouraging and accommodating. The Lactation nurse, although helpful, was a little intimidating. Overall, I was thoroughly impressed and so thankful. I don't think I could have been in better hands.

Welcome to the world little Silas. You're so loved. 
I still can't believe you're mine. <3    

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