Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Asher's Birth Story

In the nights leading up to Asher's birth I was beginning to think he may never come.  I was hoping for a VBAC but the doctors would only let me go as far as March 5 before a scheduled c-section.  I had them strip my membranes a couple days before my due date but that didn't start anything at all. My due date came and went on Saturday with no sign of any baby other than the few contractions I would get every  evening for awhile.  

As Monday (March 2nd) came I decided I would try something to get labor started, so after Ephraim went to bed I got out my breast pump to try and get things going.  I didn't really expect much to happen, because I had tried something similar with Ephraim and it hadn't helped.  I was so surprised when immediately I began to have contractions 3-4 minutes apart and they kept going with the same consistency.  I still couldn't believe that this could be it so I wandered around and got some last minute stuff ready, and kept timing the contractions.  Midnight rolled around with little change in the contractions, so we decided to head in.  

I was so worried the contractions were going to stop the whole time, but they stayed steady. Once we arrived they took me to labor and delivery.  I was thinned out and almost 4 cm so they admitted me.  At the mention of a VBAC everyone seemed a little more on edge and double checking their protocols.  I tried to get some sleep, but between contractions and not being able move due to monitors it was pretty much impossible.  

Once morning came Dr. Shimer came to check me and break my water.  He mentioned that he was confident I could do this and said I was four cm but that the baby was low. Shortly afterwards the shift changed (7 am) so I met my new nurses and Dr. Derrick came in to check on me.  She said that I was 5-6 cm and that she wanted to put me on a little pitocin.  By now the contractions were getting really  intense, and that, combined with the fact that I had to stay laying on my side to be monitored and found it really hard to relax through contractions that way and that they were going to give me pitocin convinced me that I should get an epidural.  They gave me the epidural and I felt soooo relaxed.  It was the most comfortable I had been in months. 

They came in to attach internal monitors and start me on the lowest drip of pitocin.  Things really got moving after that.  Before I knew it they came in and told  me it was time to push. I could hardly believe that this was actually happening because I had been mentally preparing for a c-section. Pushing after receiving an epidural was a very strange experience because I couldnt feel anything. They turned down the epidural so that I would be able to feel a bit more pressure and that helped.  

The baby was trying to come out Sunnyside up and turned a bit but was still coming out kind of sideways, so I kept pushing and he slowly made his way out.  The nurse told me that he looked like he was blond.  After his head made its way through they called in some extra  nurses in case his shoulder got stuck, but then after an hour and a half of pushing he just popped out.  

It was the most surreal experience as they laid him on my chest and he started to cry.  I couldn't believe he was actually here!  It was amazing to be so present for the experience and to have Stephen right by my side and able to cut the cord and hold him and everything right away.  I was so happy to be there with my little family.  

The nurses took guesses as to how big they thought he would be.  They said 8-9 pounds and everyone was shocked to see the scale say he was 9 lbs 3.6 oz.  He was also 22.5 inches long!  A giant baby!  No one (especially Dr. Derrick, who had been very sceptical that I would be able to progress and have a vbac in the first place.) Could believe that I had done it.  The whole experience was so wonderful!  I couldn't believe my baby was here and that I had actually pushed him out myself.

They took him and cleaned him up while I got stitched up.  Stephen and I mused over some names as he was given to me and he began to nurse.  The poor little buddy had a scratched and bruised head from his sideways trip out. 

After he had nursed for awhile they took him to bathe him and do some tests.  When they brought him back they told us his blood sugar was really low. We nursed more and supplemented formula but his blood sugar continued to decrease so they admitted him to the NICU so he could have an IV.  Although none of the nurses seemed concerned and said this was a common problem with big babies, I was overwhelmed and I worried about his recovery, and whether or not I would be able to breastfeed.  I felt better after we got to see him in the NICU and come up with a plan. We would go every three hours so I could nurse, then we would supplement with formula.

After a little trial and error we got a rhythm and were breastfeeding and then supplementing with sensitive formula (since he spit up the regular formula a lot). Every three hours before his feeding they would test his blood sugar and if it was above 60 they would turn down his IV sugar a notch.  He steadily improved and only had a handful of times when his blood sugar wasn't high enough to turn the IV down and he always was ready by the next feeding.

So little baby Asher was in the NICU from Tuesday afternoon until Friday afternoon.  During this time there was a lot of snow, we finally settled on a name, and were discharged but allowed to board at the hospital.  

It was a little rough, especially being away from Ephraim for so long.  Luckily, Grandma Ison was here to watch him and keep his routine.  She was a lifesaver! Friday afternoon Asher was upgraded from NICU to regular nursery and Saturday we finally got to go home.   

It was so surreal to think he was ours!  He was already such a sweet mellow little baby. Looking back it's hard to imagine it going any better! The labor wasn't long and I got my VBAC.  The recovery from a VBAC was so much easier.  Asher was big and  after his short stay in the NICU, healthy.  Even the NICU stay was a bit of a blessing because we were able to avoid some bad weather in the hospital and Ephraim was able to overcome his cold that he had gotten the day before I went into labor.  We were so blessed!

Asher Don Steven Beckman
Born March 3, 2015 at 11:49 am
9 lbs 4 oz, 22.5 inches

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