I wasn't sure if I wanted to share his birth story and contemplated writing it but I am constantly reminded that when I share certain things about my life, I could be blessing someone else with my story. It was emotional, intense, and not what we would have ever imagined but our Ford is here, beautiful, and worth everything.
Being overdue was hard. The week after my due date we went to the doctor 4 times, had my membranes stripped 4 times, and waited. We spent lots of time with my family to take our minds off of waiting for baby and it was such a great time. Honestly if laughing could put you into labor, I would have had Ford long before! Friday morning we had an appointment and I still hadn't progressed from 3cm and 75% effaced but was having some good contractions on the NST. The nurses told me to go walk for an hour or two and come back to be checked that afternoon. Operation walk the baby out started and we walked the neighborhood and every square inch of Costco. No progress. My doctor could sense how uncomfortable and ready I was and told me that she was on call all weekend and that I could come up at anytime for a "secret date" and she would break my water. The hospital was so busy and didn't have any induction dates until the 15th but there was no way I wanted to wait that long. We spent Saturday with family and prayed for direction on what to do. I didn't want to be in the position to choose when I had my son, I wanted it to happen on it's own but it just wasn't happening. Sunday morning we woke up and walked for an hour in our hilly neighborhood and timed contractions 4 minutes apart for an hour! This is when they tell you to go into the hospital so we did! I was able to shower, pack and relax before we left and I was incredibly excited. I was hooked up to the NST and unfortunately I wasn't in active labor. We met with the doctor who said we could go ahead and admit me, start me on pitocin and get the show on the road. We were game!
We settled into our L&D room I think about 2pm and started a low dose of pitocin (2). The doctor wanted to wait to see if Ford would drop a bit before breaking my water because he was still at a -2 station. I could feel the contractions a bit stronger but totally managed. My family came to hang out and I labored on the yoga ball pretty much the whole time. I wasn't progressing so they broke my water which was the weirdest sensation! They upped my pitocin and things got real. I think this was around 7pm because my family left to go get dinner. Contractions were coming on stronger and more frequent and I started to feel tons of pain. I held on as long as I could before asking for an epidural. I had labored for 5 hours on pitocin on my own which was enough for me. I went into labor knowing I wanted to have an epidural but wanted to experience some labor beforehand. I was ready to relax, possibly get some rest, and get some relief. I was 4cm dilated and 95% effaced. Before you are given an epidural, they pump you with 800ml of fluids so as I was being pumped full of the cold liquids, the anesthesiologist came in with the bad news. My blood platelet count was too low and I couldn't receive an epidural. I lost it. I remember shrieking, "so you're saying I am going to feel my son rip through my vagina? Like I am going to feel it all?!" Less than 2% of women have this gestational condition, Thrombocytopenia, and I was a part of that 2%. Pitocin contractions are so much more intense than naturally occurring contractions and I was devastated knowing there wasn't a way to alleviate the pain. I was hysterical for a few minutes and finally calmed down knowing crying and questioning wouldn't fix the situation. I had been healthy my entire pregnancy and never showed signs of high blood counts (doctor said it was gestational and my counts are down so nothing to worry about now). Getting an epidural increased my chances of a blood clot which is deadly and dangerous. There was no way we would risk it. Jon and I were alone and he prayed over me, asking God for guidance in this scary situation and for us to stay calm and embrace the incredible thing that was about to happen. I was given stadol through an IV to attempt to take some pain away and honestly it did nothing but mess with my mind (I do NOT recommend that drug at all but I was willing to try anything at that point). I've never been on drugs but I imagine this is what it would be like. My physical pain was intensified but my mind was far far away. Contractions were coming a minute apart and my whole body would shake in pain. I honestly felt like I was about to lose the battle of life and cried out in pain. I start crying thinking about the pain and looking through pictures, I am so glad we documented it but it just kills me to see everyone around me watching me in pain. The doctor checked me around 11pm and I had made no progress. 9 hours of intense pitocin and I was still stuck at 4 cm dilated. This is when I looked at Jon and said I needed to get the baby out, I needed a C-section. It was such an out of body experience. With tear filled eyes Jon told me he had been waiting for me to ask. And within 20 minutes, my son was born.
Unfortunately I couldn't be put under "normal" C section anesthesia (spinal block) because of my low blood platelets and had to have a full on surgery meaning Jon couldn't be in the room with me. We knew this would be the case if we went for a C section so I had already cried those tears but it was such a blessing. I remember being moved from the hospital bed to the surgical table in the bright, cold, OR, having a contraction, being tied down and crying out in pain clinging to the anesthesiologists' arm. And then I went to sleep. They held off on anesthesia until right before the cut as to not pass on drugs to the baby. Of course I was sad Jon wasn't able to see our son being born but this is our story and there was nothing we could do about it.
Jon and my family waited anxiously outside the OR and met Ford at just minutes old. We got the whole meeting on film, another thing that wouldn't have normally happened so it was a God thing. The nurses came out and told Jon he was pink, crying, and already peed on 2 nurses! Ford was even opening up his eyes within his first minutes. Proud daddy got to wheel him to the nursery for a bath and my family watched through the glass. I am so lucky they documented it for me!
I got to meet Ford about an hour after he was born and I was able to wake up from the drugs. I was still woozy from the surgery but got to breastfeed him right away. Jon was with me the whole time and my family took turns coming in as I recovered. They told me I kept asking, "do you think he's cute? Does Dr. Wang thing he's cute? Does Ernie think he's cute?". Well that's a no brainer!
We settled in to our postpartum room and the rest of the night was a blur. I remember the doctor coming in and telling me what a great job I did and also that she highly doubted I would have been able to birth Ford vaginally since he was so large. Again, God redeems. I think how hard it would have been to have gotten the epidural, labored another 24 hours then to have a C section. Was it the birth I always dreamed of? No. It was the most emotional, painful, thrilling, amazing day of my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat for sweet Ford Nehemiah.