Little Man’s Birth Story

Little Man’s Birth Story

Mama: April M.

Stats: 7lbs 2oz

Type of Birth: Vaginal

Birth Location: Hospital

Primary Care: Obstetrician

I’ll never forget my OB saying: “Your estimated due date (EDD) is December 25.”

Don’t get me wrong, everyone likes Christmas gifts, but I was hoping my little guy would not be part of the 5% that are born on their due date. Since we had no idea if we’d be in the hospital or not, we made no plans for Christmas that year, ordered Chinese takeout, and camped out on the couch. 

Thankfully, my EDD came and went. I had not experienced many, if any Braxton Hicks contractions throughout my pregnancy.

I woke up on the morning of December 27th at 5:00 a.m. and knew things were different. I was a bit uncomfortable, but nothing worse than a bad period cramp. I sent my then husband to work saying I’d call him if things amped up. It was actually snowing a good deal. When he told his boss he might have to leave because there was a slight chance I was in early labor, his boss immediately sent him home. 

I stayed in bed and worked on some Excel reports for the office I’d agreed to continue to do while out on leave.

My OB office has a policy that if you think you are in labor during office hours, call the office instead of going to the hospital. By 10:00 a.m. things were slightly stronger, and I never really thought to time anything. This was my first rodeo; were they just annoying cramps or were they contractions? I had no idea.

I called the office and they had an 11:30 a.m. appointment available. I got to the office and the medical assistant (MA) explained they would do an internal exam then hook me up to a monitor to check contractions. I’ll never forget how the MA looked at me after the internal and laughed. She said “how uncomfortable did you say these contractions were, because you are 4 cm and fully effaced. We aren’t going to hook you up to a monitor, go check in my dear!”

Labor was great. We checked in at noon and my water was broken at 1:00 p.m. Contractions slowed after my water breaking and I was given Pitocin. I asked for an epidural at 5:00 p.m. when I was about 6-7 cm. I rested for a bit and at 9:00 p.m. I was told I was 10 cm, but I had no desire to push. The nurse said they’d let me labor down, and to let them now when the feeling to push came.

By 10:00 p.m. I knew I was starting to get a fever. I told the nurse, and sure enough I had a fever of 101. After talking with the doctor around 11:00 p.m., they told me, desire or not, it was time to deliver my baby as it was a risk that he’d catch the fever too. After a little over an hour and a half of pushing, my little man was born on December 28 at 12:42 a.m.

This is where things started to stray from the “everything went great” statement from earlier. I was SO tired. Little man was cleaned up, measured, and spent a few minutes with dad while I delivered the placenta.

My first memory of holding my little man was looking at him on my chest, and he was panting like a dog. Again, being my first rodeo, I didn’t know, so I asked the nurse “is he supposed to be breathing that quickly?” She came over, said no, and took him for a bit. I was given a bag of antibiotics for my fever, and waited. And waited. Finally someone came over to talk with me. They explained they were taking little man up to the NICU for a few different reasons. Mainly, because he had TTN, transient tachypnea of the newborn, meaning his respiratory rate was too fast. Due to the fast rate, he was unable to eat/swallow and breath at the same time, so his blood sugar was dropping too low. He needed an IV to increase his blood sugar, and also, sadly, he was born with the fever I had, and would need IV antibiotics, which are only given in the NICU. 

Little man went to the NICU and I was moved onto the maternity side of labor and delivery. It was tough having him be on an entirely different floor. I’d waddle to the elevator every morning to go up to be with him, then go back to my room to rest for a bit. He did spend three days in the NICU, but we were both released home on the same day.

I didn’t walk into the hospital with a birth plan. I figured if I wanted to try natural, I would, but if it got to be too much, I would have no opposition to asking for an epidural. I wanted to have the freedom to make the choice in the moment as I saw fit. My labor and delivery were both so smooth, I was very happy with the experience. The few days following were not quite what I had hoped for, but we all went home together and healthy in the end.

 

There are two hospitals in the city I live in. One has an affiliation with a secondary hospital 45 minutes north that provides a NICU if needed, and the second hospital, where I delivered, has an onsite NICU. No mother wants to think their child may need one, but the deciding factor to my hospital choice was the onsite NICU. I am SO thankful I had taken that into consideration.

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