Here is Connor's birth story. I'll try to remember as many details and be as candid as possible. Hopefully no TMI moments for anyone. Birth isn't glamorous but it is amazing. The story ended up pretty long.
I woke up Friday morning (my due date) at 5:30ish to a few very small gushes of fluid. Because they were so small I wasn't sure if it was my water or something else. I decided to go back to bed for awhile. If this was it I knew I extra sleep couldn't do me harm. It took me about an hour to get back to sleep (lots running through my mind) and then woke up at 7:30 with a few more small gushes. At this point I was pretty sure it must be my water but didn't want to wake Garrett up if I was just peeing myself or something ;). I decided to clean the kitchen. It was a mess and if I was having a baby that day I didn't want to bring him home to a messy kitchen. In the 20 minutes it took me to clean the kitchen I soaked through a panty liner. I decided to call a triage nurse at Providence Hospital to see what she thought I should do. She thought it sounded like this was it and to come in with our stuff. I woke up Garrett & told him we needed to go to the hospital. He was very surprised since I hadn't been having any contractions & it was my due date. He got up and started calling the people who needed to be in the know. I got in the shower, got dressed and then we had some breakfast and headed to the hospital.
We got to triage about 9:30 AM. They took me right in and put the baby's heart monitor and contraction monitor on my tummy. I was having contractions every 10 ish minutes but wasn't feeling them. They took a sample of the fluid I was continuing to leak. They put the fluid on a slide and if it forms certain patterns (viewed under a microscope) then it's amniotic fluid. It was so we were there to stay. We knew we would be having a baby in the next day! I was in my own room by 10:45 and my mom, and sister arrived shortly after. My first nurse came in and got everything started. Got my hep lock put in (IV w/o anything hooked up). The doctor came in around 12:30 probably and said we needed to get things going since my body wasn't contracting on it's own like it's supposed to when your water breaks. They hooked my hep lock up to a bag of fluid and then started my pitocin drip at 1:45. The pitocin worked pretty quickly and I was having contractions I could feel (not painful YET) in about 15 minutes. For the rest of the afternoon and evening my contractions got stronger and closer together. Within maybe 2 hours of getting the pitocin my contractions were every 2 to 3 minutes. I was using my hypnobabies recordings to keep myself relaxed and was able to deal w/ the contractions rather well. I got into the tub around 7:30 which felt nice. I was in there for maybe half an hour or 45 minutes. While in there, my contractions really started to change and became quite painful. I was checked around 8:30 and was 3 cm. I was quite discouraged. My doctor was good though and said he was happy with how the labor was progressing (slowly but surely). I guess the first 4-5 cm take the longest and then everything speeds up. I tried to relax and breath through the contractions at this point but they were about 2 minutes apart and lasting a minute. I had maybe a minute between each and knowing I had so much further to go I asked for the epidural. The anesthesiologist came in quickly (thank goodness. I've heard of women having to wait for an hour or more after requesting it). Ahh, sweet relief...until the insane pressure in my butt started. It felt like my butt bone was going to break in half. I still felt no pain in my stomach though. After dealing w/ the butt pressure for an hour or two we had the anesthesiologist come back and give me a booster or drugs. It worked for a few contractions but then I was back to the pressure. I relaxed as much as I could for the next few hours until I was kind of feeling the urge to push. I held off telling them because I didn't want to exhaust myself pushing forever. Maybe 20 minutes later my mom went and got the nurse to check me. I was 10 cm and + 2 station. The nurse wanted me to give a few practice pushes to see how I did before they called the doctor. I guess I was doing well because the doctor was there within a few minutes. Pushing was the most intense part of the birth. I can't imagine what it would've felt like without the epidural. I swear I felt everything. Once I felt his head came out I pushed even harder because there was no way I was letting him hang out in there any longer. After a total of 20-25 minutes of pushing Connor came shooting into the world. Everyone wanted to know his name right away so we finally told them after months of waiting. Connor William. Everyone (Garrett, my mom, my sister, Garrett's mom, and my friend Dianne) in the room cried, except Garrett. He was just happy I was done screaming. Guess he didn't like seeing me that way. I tore a little and the doctor stitched me up. I guess there was a patch the epidural wasn't covering because he stuck me with the needle and it really hurt. The doctor gave me a shot to numb the area before he continued.
Everyone came to have a quick look & wait for his stats. 8 pounds, 5 ounces and 20 inches. He scored an 8 and 9 on his apgars. Garrett & I sent everyone out at this point so we could spend time with our new baby. He was so alert & so cute. I tried breast feeding and he caught on right away. Our family came in one last time to see him and then they took off to go home. They'd had a long day/night too. We tried to get some sleep. Got a little but not much. About an hour after he was born I had the nurses help me to the bathroom. I'm so glad I got up and moved. It was super hard to get out of bed the first time but it got easier and easier.
After the 2nd or 3rd time up I noticed an intense pressure/pain in the base of my head & neck. I mentioned it to the nurse and she thought it was probably just stress from just giving birth. She brought me some ibuprofin. It didn't really bother me until I stood up again. Then people started visiting and I was sitting up more. The pain in my heead and neck kept getting worse and worse. I couldn't get comfortable no matter what position I was in. I tried to sleep for awhile.
I woke up to Garrett telling me that Connor was having some rapid breathing and they were going to take him to the NICU to monitor him. I was out of it and they were going to leave me in my room but there was no way my baby was going to the NICU w/o me. I walked down there w/ Garrett. The pediatric nurse explained what they were doing but I was in such intense pain I couldn't focus. I asked someone to call my nurse to take me back to the room. It was so hard leaving Connor down there. The nurse in the NICU asked if I'd had an epidural (which I had) and said it's possible I had a spinal headache. When I got back to my room my nurse called the anesthesiologist to see me. She asked me my symptoms and determined I did have a spinal headache. To fix it they have to basically do a 2nd epidural but instead of putting medicine into your spine, they put your blood into your spine. The blood forms a clot which plugs up the leak. The nurse gave me some percocet & I let the blood patch do it's work. When I woke up about an hour later I felt way better. I was able to feed him in the NICU throughout the night.
The next day we found out we would have to leave Connor for a few days. They had decided to give him antibiotics and do a blood culture to make sure he didn't have an infection. They took extra precautions because my water had been broken for 24 hours. I was so upset that we would be going home without our baby.
We visited him throughout the next 2 days until Tuesday (the day he went home). Monday I spent most of the day there but had a horrible headache that kept getting worse throughout the day. It hadn't felt like the spinal headache (just a really bad headache). The longer it lasted the more it started feeling like the spinal headache. I called Garrett (who was picking up Jager from his parents house) and asked him to come take me home. I was hoping that laying down for the night would take care of the headache but I woke up Tuesday morning & it was still just as bad. Garrett went to start discharge papers for Connor and I went to the ER to see what they could do for my pain. I was given 2 liters of fluid (they think dehydration is what brought back the symptoms) and some IV narcotic drugs for the pain. The drugs didn't help too much for the pain. Just made me care a little less. The doctor told me I needed to stay laying flat for a minimum of 48 hours and drink as much caffeine & water as possible. Caffeine helps slow the reabsorption rate of the spinal fluid which gives your body a head start in filling the void. He also gave me a pain killer w/ caffeine that I could take at home. At this point I was still in a good amount of pain but we had a baby to go pick up. We took care of last minute paper work and then took him home.
The last week has been tough. I had to stay in bed for those 48 hours. Plus most of the day on Friday & Saturday. It was even painful just to get up to go to the bathroom. The only thing that kept my headache under control was laying flat on my back. Feeding him was tricky too since I had to stay as flat as possible. Today, Monday the 28th was the first day I've had no pain associated w/ the headache. Other than the headache, I'm doing well & we love our little boy so much.
Sorry this got so long but lots happened.