June 2017Back Home Again: June 2017

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Introducing Cameron Niall

Cameron Niall made his appearance at 11:40 PM on June 15, 2017. 9lbs 9oz and 21.5 inches. Here is his story.

I had a bpp last Tuesday to check fluid because my doctor had been bugging me for weeks to do a growth scan since I was measuring six weeks ahead and he couldn't feel baby at all. I knew there was a lot of fluid, but figured it would be on the high end of normal, not borderline severe. He left the decision up to us but strongly suggested an induction sooner rather than later. I really didn't know what to do because I did not want to be induced and risk what happened with Ewan to happen again but I also knew that there are risks with polyhydramnios. My doula looked up a bunch of studies and while the risk my doctor kept mentioning, cord prolapse, was actually fairly low, the risk of stillbirth was too much for me to be ok with. So I reluctantly agreed to an induction for Thursday morning. The plan was to do a slow water break and monitor to make sure that he stayed head down and there was no cord since he was already that way on Tuesday. 

Well, he goes to break my water Thursday morning and my cervix was way posterior and Cameron wasn't engaged at all. After some very painful tries, he called for an ultrasound to check position. I knew from where she was scanning that he wasn't head down, but it was devastating to hear her say it out loud that he was transverse. I basically had three options, go for a c-section, try an ecv to turn him from the outside or go home and hope he turned back to where he was supposed to be. I wanted to go home and come back on Monday when I was 40 weeks in the hopes he had turned back then go from there. My doctor was strongly against it and I knew Alan was too, but not how much until after Cameron was born. 

There were many, many tears and eventually I decided to do it, although I knew I was going to blame myself for my decision either way if it resulted in a c-section. However, my awesome nurse had had one herself so I was able to talk to her about it. She said don't do it unless you get an epidural because it's really painful. One of the things I really really didn't want. I was absolutely terrified of the ecv though and didn't want to feel any of it. So I wound up with a half dose of a spinal plus an epidural. I listened to the fear release track of hypnobabies the entire time and it took maybe 20 minutes for him to go head down. Alan said it was really crazy to watch on the ultrasound but I didn't see any of it. 

My doctor broke my water immediately once he was head down and my nurse chased him on the monitor for what seemed like hours to make sure he stayed head down while it came out...and out...and out. Probably one of the funniest parts of the day was when not only did she, but my doctor sat on the bed and wound up having to change their clothes from it. Haha! 

The plan was still to hope contractions started on their own at this point, even though I had an epidural and was going to have to deal with it from 4cm on. Well, they were sporadic and he wanted to start pitocin. I bargained an hour to try to breastpump and while it worked while pumping, it didn't make them consistent really. When he came back and asked if we could start pit, I agreed, even though again, it was something I didn't want. I took my doula off guard but I knew it was probably coming anyway so I figured might as well get on with it. 

Once the spinal wore off, we discovered that the epidural was only working on one side. Just. Like. Ewan's. Birth. I kept doing hypnobabies and telling myself that it was a different baby and birth but it was turning out to be a repeat of everything and I was terrified. We were switching positions using the peanut ball and I was doing my best to stay calm and just go with everything because my goal at this point was a vaginal birth. Contractions were slowly getting more intense and I was getting to the point where I probably needed to top off the epidural in the hopes that it worked this time since I was limited in what positions I could do. I was starting to feel some pressure so I was hoping that it was transition and I had them check me, I had made it to 7, as far as I got with Ewan. The epidural was topped off and it worked for maybe an hour? I'm not really sure. However, I'm pretty sure I was at 9cm at this point. 

It was an interesting experience because while medicated, I also felt everything like an unmedicated birth. I don't recommend it. I was stuck with positioning and eventually started saying I wanted him out now instead of just moaning or whatever it was I was doing. Alan said mean Holly came out and I told him we were never having sex again and that various people were on the bad list. Things are kind of fuzzy at this point, but my doctor came in eventually and was like ok, let's push. 

I made them cover the clock because otherwise I would just stare at it the entire time, so I'm not sure how long I pushed, it felt like hours, but one of the nurses later said it was probably about an hour or so. The epidural had been topped off not long before but I totally felt everything on my left side. My nurse kept telling me to hold my leg but I couldn't move it since it was numb and since she was also using an external monitor it took her a moment to switch to help me so I wasn't able to push right when I was told to. I eventually told her to shut up because she was pissing me off. I did apologize for being mean after Cameron was born though.

While my doctor was outwardly calm, I could tell that he was getting anxious because he kept asking me if I was ok with the vacuum. I kept asking for more time to try to push because I could feel him moving down and then when his head was right there. Cameron's heart rate was rising and I knew he needed to come out or he was going to go into distress so believe me I was trying my hardest to get him out, even though I thought I was going to pass out while pushing. He eventually asked me if he could "make a cut" because there was tissue right where I tore the last time and he would probably come right out. While not something I wanted, at the point if it was going to help, then fine. And sure enough, his head was out I think on the next push. 

Then I heard the most terrifying words: shoulder dystocia, call for help. Which means that his shoulder was stuck behind my pubic bone. The next thing I know, there were a bunch of people on the bed and I was in the most pain of my life when one of the nurses was pressing down on my stomach, uterus, public bone, I'm not really sure what. I have no idea what I was screaming but all I could think was "Please God just get him out. This is not going to end after all this with me knocked out in an emergency c-section not knowing if my baby is ok." Someone was saying numbers, which I later learned was time, but I thought it was his heart rate. Absolutely terrifying. Then I felt the worst pain of all and everything went white. I thought my scar ruptured and I was going to pass out right there when they told me he was out. I'm not sure how long this was, but I think maybe 90 seconds. 

One of the things I wanted to do with Cecily and didn't was "catch" her and pull her onto my chest. Even through all of that, my doctor let me pull him onto my chest. Sort of because I couldn't really reach. Things are fuzzy here but what I do know is that Alan was offered to cut the cord, but said he'd already done that once so he didn't. I wanted to delay clamping but I'm not sure if that happened. I could tell that Cameron was having trouble breathing and when asked if they could take him, I said to. Once the birth team had him I heard him start crying and heard my doctor say something to the effect of there we go, so I knew he was going to be ok. 

I delivered the placenta, which my doula told me broke a record on the number of pills because it was so ginormous, and my doctor stitched me up. I would up with a partial third degree tear in addition to the cut he had made. Once the tension was all over, everyone started chatting about whatever and it was hilarious when he busted out in German to my doula, who is fluent. She later told me that he asked her how he did and she responded how did I not know you speak German?! I then told them both in Spanish to speak English.

I'm glad I got another vaginal birth, but I also know how dicey it was, especially at the end. I know I need to process everything but right now I'm just glad we're ok. I guess it just goes to show that no matter what type of birth, it can all be traumatic.

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