I was having a baby…

August 3, 2010

So, it’s been a while, and I think I have a pretty good excuse. On July 22, we were blessed with a brand new baby boy, Caleb Grant.

I hummed and hawed about how to share this news on my blog, and figured that 99.9% of people checking it out are women, and Mom’s in particular, I figured the most interesting and intriguing to my fellow mommies was a labour story. We all love hearing them, and sharing…so I will just carry on. Bare with me, it’s slightly long…

Caleb surprised us by arriving 8 days early. Considering our first-born, Lucas, arrived 11 days late and had to be induced, it was a delightful surprise to be laying in bed 10 days early and having my water break. I had to convince myself that this was the real thing and I didn’t just pee in the bed 🙂

Unfortunately, my water broke, but no contractions followed and I had to be induced with Oxytocin the following day. After about 5 hours on the oxytocin, the contractions finally started coming regularly, and very strong. I was determined to avoid all pain medications to ensure that labour kept going and wasn’t stalled. After about 3 or 4 hours of strong regular contractions, we decided to get up out the chair, and let gravity help things along. My water didn’t break all at once, and I had what they called a slow leak. With every contraction, a bit more amniotic fluid gushed out. After standing for only a short time, I needed to make my way to the bathroom, where I discovered that I was bleeding.

To say the least, I freaked out. I had never heard about this, or even read about it. Contractions kept coming and I had a hard time breathing and focusing through my tears. The nurse helped me back into bed and assured me the doctor was on her way. Between her and Harold they were able to calm me down and I was able to refocus. “Deep breaths” I kept telling myself. The nurse explained that there was two reasons a labouring mom would start to bleed. First, the more common, a quick change in your cervix causing it to tear and bleed, or the second, much more rare, but way more dangerous, my placenta was starting to tear away.

The doctor was there within a few minutes, and assured me that at this time, everything was fine. She did an internal, and unfortunately nothing had changed from when I had been admitted. I was till 1.5cm dilate, and about 50% effaced. The doctor decided it was best to re-evaluate in about an hour to decide which direction this was headed. She was quite optimistic; the bleeding had slowed and our little baby was completely unaware of our little freak out and seemed perfectly content. His heart rate was at a steady 130, and had no dips in heart rate.

We were back to focusing on labour. Another hour of strong contractions, and the little bambino was still happy as could be. The unfortunate part was that despite being in strong, active labour, my body wasn’t doing anything and I wasn’t continuing to dilate. The baby was in the OP position (head turn sideways), but he was still quite high up and the doctor said he could still turn as he came down, however OP was not an ideal position for the baby to be born. At this stage, we had two options. She could send us straight to the OR and our baby would be born within the next hour or so, or she would call the anesthesiologist and request an epidural. We could continue labouring through the night and if I wasn’t making good progress by the next morning I would take the first elective surgery spot at 7:45.  Our doctor was totally on board with me wanting to try for a successful VBAC, and she even encouraged the second option. I wavered slightly and almost opted for the c-section right away, but Harold reminded me that I really wanted to give it my best shot, and that would option #2, to wait it out. So the epidural was ordered.

The hospital was super busy that night and it took over 2 hours for the epidural to come. Contractions were coming right on top of each other and I hardly had a break and I was relieved when the nurse said the anesthesiologist was on his way. I remembered my epidural from Lucas’ birth as pure relief that washed over my body within minutes. Unfortunately that never happened. The epidural was so painful. It was hard to breathe through the contractions and sit still while he administered it.  I cried…like a baby. It was terrible. Then came the shakes. They are fairly common; involuntary movements of my arms and legs. I could hardly talk through the shakes. The pain was also not totally gone…I could feel it in some places and not in others. Then I felt terribly nauseous and within a few minutes was throwing up.  Caleb’s heart rate also started to dip first to 100, then to the 70’s. After each contraction it would come back up, but with contractions coming right after another, there wasn’t a lot of time for it to come back up. When the nurse checked me though, I was still only 3 cm’s dilated. Another nurse was called in to help between my throwing up and flipping me from side to side to help bring up the heart rate.

The doctor was called in, and within a few minutes of watching the heart rate, seeing my shakes, throwing up, and continued bleeding she promptly told Harold the OR was being called and it was time for our little one to be born. Harold did due diligence to my desire to have a VBAC and asked the doctor several times if this was necessary, or if it was maybe the position of the baby. He also made sure that I was included in the discussion. The doctor came to the side of the bed beside Harold and close to my head and told me her job was to ensure a safe delivery. At this point, she wasn’t sure that could happen vaginally anymore and that the safest for both me and the baby was to head straight to the OR. I loved our doctor and trusted her instincts and signed the papers; 20 minutes later I was in the OR.

The OR was no fun. First the anesthesiologist tried to get the epidural to take better…3 or 4 attempts and I didn’t feel anymore numb and there was still random spots I could feel. Plus I was throwing up even more. Eww! They gave me something to combat the nausea, which made me very sleepy. I was convinced I wasn’t going to be able to stay awake for the birth.  After about 10 minutes of trying to get the epidural to take, they sat me up and gave me a spinal. Within seconds I felt like someone had placed a load of bricks on my body. I was completely numb. A minute later Harold was by my side, such a relief to have him there again.

Surgery started right away and what felt like only minutes, we heard the doctor state the cord was around the babies neck. I don’t think it fully registered right away, but Harold was watching and he told me the head pretty blue. Seconds later I heard my babies cry and tears were streaming down my face. They safely delivered Caleb and announced, “It’s a boy!” After wiping him off and checking him over, they brought him right to my arms. Here he was at last, safe and happy, what a relief!

We later found out that my placenta was tearing away and it was only a matter of time before they would have had to rush me to the OR for a much more dangerous emergency c-section. The cord was also around Caleb’s neck, not tightly, but enough so that it could have been a major concern in vaginal delivery.

My whole pregnancy I wanted to be realistic about a c-section vs a VBAC, and although a c-section wasn’t my desired outcome, we were blessed with the safe arrival of our baby boy. Thank the Lord for keeping him and me safe through the delivery and that medical technology and intervention allowed for Caleb to be born quickly and with no further complications. So far, I’m healing great. I have to keep reminding myself that I had major surgery and to take it easy, but I’m so blessed to be feeling good. Praise the Lord!!

Caleb Grant Louwerse
July 22, 2010, 2:59AM
8lbs 5oz, 21.5″ long

Only minutes old:

Meeting my new little boy Caleb.

Well…here I am 11 days later and so happy to have my little boy in my arms. We are adjusting well to our new family of four. I hope to put up some more updates in near future. We aren’t doing much cooking over here, unless you count Harold’s pancakes or wraps…so my posts will be more baby and family orientated for a while!


One Response to “I was having a baby…”

  1. I’m so glad that things went ok… kinda scary with the emergency C-section. Caleb is here, healthy and safe and that is all that matters! Great story, I looove reading birth stories. 🙂

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