Tuesday, February 25, 2014

the birth story of Langston James Snyder as told by his mom

I woke up at 5:30a on Monday, 24 February 2014, and I felt like my old self: my legs were strong from walking 3 1/2 miles over the weekend, along with doing squats and only eating healthy, whole foods. I woke up and worked on my lectures for the day and organized a few things, and I planned on driving myself to my Pregnancy Care Center appointment, even though Tim and my mom had been driving me everywhere for 3 weeks because my belly had grown so much and labor was eminent.

Tim called me back into the bedroom at 6a, and we layed around, talking and laughing. At 6:15a, I decided to do lumberjacks (continuous lunges), and then I layed back down with Tim; after ten minutes, I felt a <pop>, which was followed by a surge of water. I thought it may have been my water breaking, but I didn't believe it. I've read a tremendous lot about labor signs, and only 1 in 12 women break their water prior to advanced stages and contractions.

So I cleaned myself up, and layed down again, naked, for 30 min. When I stood up, a small amount of fluid fell, and though I was not convinced, Tim was. Actually, Tim was so convinced that he pulled out his video camera while I was in the shower, and asked if I had anything to say to Langston. Sheesh. I was so nervous and nonbelieving at that point, but Tim had already connected with his work to say that his baby was being born that day, and he packed our hospital bag.

I layed back down and waited again to see if there would be a burst, and there kind of was, so almost 2 hours later, I finally called my obstetrician, and she told me to go to the triage unit at St. Joseph's Women's Hospital, where I had already set myself up for labor and delivery.

Tim and I didn't talk so much on the way to the hospital; we were both so anxious.

 At the hospital, we waited for 15 minutes to see my doctor. Everyone seemed pretty skeptical that my water had broke (including me) because I was not having contractions; however, during the exam in triage, the water just gushed out, and the doctor told the nurse, "She's ruptured," and then she turned to Tim and I and said, "You're going to have a baby today."

But she was wrong.

Langston's time stamp was 6:30a, when my water broke, which means I had to have him within 24 hours; that seemed simple enough, but it didn't happen.

I was in labor for 26 hours, and it was the most intense experience of my life (and Tim's life too). The nurses hooked me up to pitocin right away, and from 6:30a - noon, I was fine. My contractions were steady and manageable. However, while I was sleeping, I felt this sudden surge, like this hard fall happen in my body that just boomed on the monitors, and then I was pouring water everywhere, and my contractions became incredibly intense.

In so much pain, I took the epidural, which was an experience of its own. I've never been in a hospital, never layed on a hospital bed, and never had a million needles stuck into my body, so that epidural blew my mind. When the doctor hit that nerve, and then told me to wait for the kick, which I did not know meant that my leg would feel like it was being electrocuted and jolt repeatedly, while the doctor warned me not to move because I still had the needle in my back, I so was scared, I cried. The nurse was so kind, and she knew it was fear, but the esterician made fun of me, saying I didn't look like a woman that would fear an epidural because I have so many tattoos.

That made me feel terrible.

And by 1:30p, I had only dialated to 2 centimeters, and that's not good.

There were quite a few scary, difficult times between 1:30p and 7p; my body went into shock and rejected a pain killer and an anti nausea medication. I could not stop shaking,  and I could not figure out how to make it better. My back was being compacted, and my legs were swelling.

At 7p, I was only dialated to 3 centimeters. From 7p on, they had me on such intense pain medications because my pitocin level was so high (in order to induce contractions, which dialate the cervix). From 7p on, I could not feel my legs at all; they felt like foam, like plywood, like nothing that was a part of me. Tim kept massaging my legs and feet because they were hard to the touch due to lack of circulation, which was a far cry from the way I had been feeling that morning.

Furthermore, I lost about 23 lbs even before labor began. I had not eaten since 7p on Sunday, 23 February, which means it had already been 24 hours with no food, only ice chips; I was losing a lot of water and my baby belly was shrinking incredibly.

Then, at 11p, I finally hit between 4 and 5 centimeters, and at that point, the contractions picked up their pace (like they are supposed to do), and at 2a, I was finally at 9 centimeters, which means I had only 1 more measly centimeter to go. 

So Tim called his dad; my mom called my dad and my brother and sister-in-law, and everyone sped to get there and be present for Langston's delivery.

But my body stopped working. Even though my legs were completely paralyzed, the pain in my hips, back and pelvis became excruciating; I took it in stride because I thought it was normal, but

when the nurse checked me again at 3a, I was still 9 centimeters. 

At 4a, I started to reverse; my cervix was hardening and Langston was not dropping. He was perfectly healthy and fine; he was kicking like a banshee, but he was not falling farther. The pressure was immense.

And I never stopped reversing. They gave me more needles and more medications but the pain was just becoming more and more compounded. 

The progress of moving 5-10 centimeters is supposed to occur rapidly: within 3 hours, but mine stopped completely, and time was running out.

I was in labor for 26 hours; the entire room was set up for a vaginal birth, but I stayed at 9 centimeters from 2a-6:30a, and my cervix was beginning to swell.

Time ran out, and at 6:45a, after all those hours, my doctor called for an emergency Caesarian Section, and I started to cry because I was so scared and so worried for Langston, and it was not what I wanted to do, but I knew it was going to happen;

I knew that because my pregnancy was so easy, and he was so much bigger than me, that a Cesarian Section would happen, and 

time had run out; my amniotic fluid was no longer stable, I had ruptured all the amniotic sacks around the baby, and he needed to get out, so

they put Tim in scrubs, and left him in the room while they prepped for surgery. It happened so fast. My body was on a stiff, black, vinyl board, and my arms were stretched on planks: I was in the position of a crucifixion. There was a huge, tall sheet in front of me, and I could not feel my body; I was half conscious, but I could not move. The anesthesiologist kept stabbing me with a needle to test my feeling. It took a while to feel absolutely nothing, and finally,

Tim came in and held my hand. I kept my eyes closed until the moment I felt Langston being pulled from me; when I heard his low, deep, beautiful howl, I started to cry-

I could not shut my eyes, but I could not see him either. I never saw his face. 

Langston cried until he heard Tim's voice; Tim kept telling him not to worry, that we were right there, and Langston did not cry. When they put Langston in Tim's arms, I could not see him then either. Then Tim and Langston left for the nursery,

and I was alone with the rest of my surgery, so I closed my eyes, and pretended I had seen Langston's face, like it wasn't just the low howl on the other side of the sheet. Everyone in the surgery room thought I was asleep, but I wasn't; I don't know what I was, but it wasn't me. I vomited a tremendous amount of stomach acid because of all the shock and medication, which extended the time until I was allowed to eat real food ( this actually has not happened yet).

I was alone, in recovery, for a while. Tim came in to see me; he showed me photos of Langston, but I was hardly cognitive after such a major surgery, and I could not see his face. I remember Tim telling me that he was 22 inches long and 8 pounds 7 ounces and born at 7:27a. The nurses kept promising that Langston would be in my hospital room, maybe even before me,

but he wasn't. I did not see Langston for over 4 hours. I was bed ridden, my legs were dead weights, and I was crawling out of my skin. Numerous times, Tim went out and created hostility with the nurses on our floor and in the nursery,

and finally, Langston was wheeled in; I was so excited, i was crying. I could not see him right away because we had to read our armband codes to make sure that Langston is mine and I am his. 

We did not spend much time together yesterday, but he took to breast feeding right away, and he kept looking up at me, with these big, dark blue eyes, and smiling. He coos like a little bird and makes a million faces. 

Mostly, I was alone all day yesterday. I'm tied to a hospital bed; I can't walk. I had major surgery and there is still a million things poking in and out of me. 

Langston was here for a few hours, in the day, but because his birth was so long, he had to go back to the nursery for blood tests, heart rate monitors, a check up with his pediatrician, and everything else that keeps him away from me. The nurse kept coming in to give me bad news that Langston would take longer, and I had more testing to do and more medicine to take.

By 9p, I was so distraught from hardly seeing Langston and being alone all day, I could not stop crying, so Tim went to the nursery and explained to the nurses that I had hardly seen Langston, and I went through a lot to get him here, and I was crying, so they brought Langston to my hospital room for a few minutes, and I got to hug him. Wow, he's so beautiful.

Since midnight, Langston has been with us in the hospital room. I've fed him at least 5 times, and Tim is so great. He changes his diapers, writes out all the feeding and changing charts, and walks around the room on circles, carrying Langston and singing him songs.

It's now 5:30a, and I am about to get the catheter out, and when the antibiotic bag is done, I will be untied from that too, which means, most likely, I will be able to walk and shower today. I will be in the hospital for at least 2 more days, but there is so much happiness in this tiny room, that I don't mind.

Everyone has been so kind, and I appreciate all of the constant love for our little family. xx.

1 comment:

~aerie~ said...

Beautiful and intense and so very similar to my little guy not wanting to drop completely, me not dilating completely and ending up with an emergency cesarean after 18 hours of labor. He's beautiful and you have an incredibly beautiful family. Congratulations to you and Tim on your beautiful little Lion. Xoxo