Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ezra's birth story

Meeting Ezra for the first time.
Our newest blessing, Ezra Walter Beck was born last Saturday night around 8:30pm.  He was 9lbs 1oz and 21 inches long, and he looks a lot like his big sister.

Sadie's and Ezra's birth stories are actually very similar in many ways... yet, as you already probably guessed, so different in the most important ones.

Friday, the day after my due date, I had an appointment to see the midwife, and, just like with Sadie's appointment the day after my due date, I asked her to strip my membranes.  This is a procedure that can help start labor, and worked well with Sadie.  That afternoon, at about 4:00, my water broke.  About 10:00 we headed to the hospital.

What I didn't realize at that point was that I was still in early labor.  As the night wore on and nothing exciting happened, I grew frustrated and very tired.  After being in the labor tub for a while, things slowed down, and I actually ended up going to bed and sleeping for a few hours.  We expected to have a baby in the wee hours of the morning, so it was discouraging when 8:00 rolled around and still nothing had happened.  I ate some breakfast and we decided to try some prostaglandin gel on my cervix.  My midwife said that sometimes this can push someone over the edge into active labor who is just right on the verge.

It worked.

I had to lay in bed and be monitored for about an hour, then I had to get up and walk the halls.  By the time we had gone around the floor once, I was having such strong contractions that I had to stop and lean against something.  But I could still talk in between.  We took two laps and then I got back into bed.

For the next 7 or 8 hours, I moaned and squeezed Brian's and my mom's hands.  I changed positions, drank lots of water, and eventually got back in the laboring tub.  Being in the water helped me to not be still and allowed me to relax a little, but by this time, I was so tired, I was just ready to have this baby!  At one point I said I felt like pushing, so they had me get out to check and see if I was fully dilated.  I tried pushing then on my hands and knees, and they hooked up the squat bar for me, but the pain was SO INTENSE in my public bone that I just couldn't do it.  They let me get back in the tub and try to start pushing there.  Although, I wasn't allowed to push too much there, because they don't want me to give birth in the water (liability), it helped me get past some of the pain and be able to do more pushing back in the bed.

Again, I tried hands and knees (this made my knees hurt after a while) and the squat bar.  But finally just being in a semi-reclined sitting position seemed to be the best for me.  And after a while of this kind of pushing and not seeing a lot of progress, the doctor was called in to have a look.  I was so tired and I wanted help, but was told that I hadn't made enough progress for any kind of help unless it was a C-section.  So, I kept pushing.

I was told that since I pushed for 3.5 hours with Sadie, they'd let me push for that long again as long as I was making progress.  So, I kept pushing.

And then they started an IV on me to hydrate me because Ezra's heartbeat was getting high and they knew he was distressed.  And they gave me oxygen between pushes to help keep me from hyper-ventilating because I was also distressed.  And I kept pushing.

They started to see meconium in the fluid that was coming out and Brian gave me a look of terror.  I told him it's okay, he's okay, but I knew at that point I had to get him out... for Brian, for Sadie, for me. So, I pushed harder.

And after a while I started feeling him move down as I pushed and that motivated me to push more.  The problem was getting him under my pubic bone because he was so big, because he was a little diagonal (we later discovered), and probably because of the shape of my pelvis (because I had a similar problem with Sadie).  But once I got him down under my pubic bone, then it went pretty quickly.

Heard of the "ring of fire"?  That's when the baby's head crowns and is stuck stretching out your vagina until you can push it the rest of the way out.  I definitely felt that this time.  And it made me hysterical.  It hurt SO BAD and I was SO READY to just be done with pain.  But it took me still another 2 contractions of pushing to get his head the rest of the way out.

You can see in this picture how lopsided his head was...I pushed it out diagonally!

And while I was screaming for them to just suck him out, I noticed that people were coming in the room and setting up the warmer and getting all scrubbed up like they were going to take him once he was born.  So, I asked, "are you gonna put him on my chest when he comes out?"  The midwife told me she was.  I said, "then why are these people all dressed up and stuff?"  She said it was just a precaution just in case something is wrong.  But I knew nothing was wrong.

Finally, I got him out.  After 3 hours of pushing, he was out, and in my arms.  We heard him cry and his eyes were open.  He seemed to be having some trouble breathing and so I handed him to the man dressed in scrubs (I later found out he was a neonatologist nurse practitioner) and he suctioned him a little and gave him back to me, he told me he's perfect.  And then I started crying and telling Ezra how beautiful he is and how strong he is and how we don't have to go to the NICU and nobody's riding in an ambulance.  And that same guy he goes, "nope, nobody's going to the NICU."  I'm not sure if he knew our background, or if he just thought I'm crazy, but he was really nice.

9lbs 1.5oz and 21 inches long!

But we weren't quite done, and like everything else with this pregnancy, it wasn't easy to get my placenta out either.  The midwife tried for a half hour.  I pushed some more, she pulled a little, then oops!  The cord ripped off!!  So, she called the doctor back in, who had to completely stick her hands up inside me and pry my placenta out with her fingers!!!  Yes, it hurt.  But by then, I had been in pain for so long, and I had had a 30 minute break, that I was just happy to get it over with.  And she was really nice.  And while we were doing all this, Brian got to do some bonding with Ezra!

We are so happy to have the whole thing over and a healthy baby boy at home in our arms!  Thank you for all your prayers and well-wishes, we couldn't have done it without you!!

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