Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Leland Henning

    Sunday morning, March 10th began like any other Sunday morning.  I had texted a bunch of family members and friends and asked them what their guess date would be for Leland's birth date!  Little did I know!  Nate and I went to the 10:00 church service at The Village Chapel.  As a congregation, we prayed for a mother who passed away during the birth of her 5th daughter due to complications.  I was an emotional wreck during the rest of the prayers.  Nate just held my hand.  It had been one of my fears the entire pregnancy that something would happen to me or that Leland wouldn't be healthy and perfect like I had imagined him to be.  After church, Nate and I went to Green Hills Mall  and bought a laundry basket from the Container Store and I parked in the "Expectant Mother's Parking Only" spot!  1st time for everything!  I was pumped.

 We went home, had lunch, Nate went and played an ice-hockey game and I took a nap.  On his way home from the game he went to the grocery store for me, and I hung out with our neighbors in the cul-de-sac for about an hour.  It was about 5:30pm at this point.  We were all visiting outside, chatting, and checking out the rock star garden that some of our neighbors are beginning in their back yard!  I had, had a few strong "period cramps" during the hour that I was outside visiting.  One of our neighbors asked if I was having a Braxton Hicks contraction.  I told her that it felt more like an intense period cramp.  It began to rain and we all ran back into our homes.  It was 6:34pm.
     I went inside to use the restroom because I felt like I needed to have a BM.  More "period cramps" came and went.  I felt like I needed to walk around so I finished with my business and hello mucus plug!  I immediately texted bestie Suzy to ask her about what it looked like and how large they are supposed to be!  I also mentioned these "period cramps."  She was super pumped and told me to start timing!!  I could NOT believe that this was happening.  I called to Nate and told him that I thought I was in labor.  His response was, "I guess I better go take a shower!"  He went and showered, and I downloaded the contractions app.  I knew that the contractions needed to be 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, for an hour before we went to the hospital.  They were about 35 seconds in length and came every 3-5 minutes.  Nate and I were running around the house doing chores, eating dinner, washing clothes and dishes and sheets.  We even wrote our Birth Plan and printed it out!  It was not nearly as detailed as I had planned but it was what we needed so it worked. 
     The contractions, which I need to add feel NOTHING like Braxton Hicks contractions, kept coming and were about 40-50 seconds long and about 4-5 minutes apart.  I had called the midwife and Lori said to keep working at this and it could happen tonight, tomorrow, or in another day.  She told us to call back when they were 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart, for an hour.  That was at 7:44pm.  I kept walking around and showering and trying to do things around the house.  I called my mom at 9:30pm.  She thought I was kidding.  I purposefully did NOT joke about being in labor the entire pregnancy so that people would not think I was crying wolf when the time actually came.  Well, the 4 people that I called to let them know this was the real thing, didn't believe me at first!  Hehe.  I told my parents to wait a few hours and I would call them back and let them know how things were going.  My mom, dad, and Lins decided to shower and hop in the car.  Kristen decided to wait until the morning and head up around 8:00am.
     For the next 6 hours I laid in bed on my left side and showered about 7 times.  I did not want to take a bath (much to mine and Nate's surprise).  Nate would time my contractions and they were getting more and more intense. Still, they were about 45 seconds long and came about every 5 minutes, sometimes every 3 minutes.  Only a few times were they 1minute - 1 minute and 10 seconds.  My parents and Lins arrived about 3:30am.  Just before I had told Nate that I wanted an epidural.  I had started vomiting and was having trouble breathing through the contractions.  I stayed at home until about 4:30am and then my mom and Lins drove the van and Nate and I rode in his car to the hospital.  Dad stayed home and took care of the puppy baby and their Westie puppy, Sophie.  The ride to the hospital was absolutely horrible.  It was POURING rain.  I had said, if there is one thing that I want during labor, is for it to be pretty outside, ie: not raining.  Sitting in the car was terrible and I was throwing up and crying.  Every bump that Nate hit was so painful.  Sitting was the worst.  Laying down or standing gave me the most relief during the contractions.  We arrived at the hospital and checked in.  They gave me a wheelchair....I sat in it for about 2 minutes.  Leaning on the hospital rails and holding tight while throwing up was how we walked to triage to get checked out.  The walk seemed like an eternity.  I had to take off my clothes and put on a gown...I really didn't want to do that.  Lori came in and checked me about 5:00am and I was 4cm dilated and 80% effaced.  I had chosen to have an epidural at the house, but when I heard Lori say 4cm I thought about the blogs and birth stories that I had read or heard and the wonder women had said that getting to 4cm was the hardest part....then another contraction came and I confirmed that I wanted an epidural.
contraction before the epidural

     As much as I had told myself before labor that I wouldn't be upset if I got an epidural, I felt like I had failed myself.  I wanted to be strong enough to birth my baby naturally, like my body was meant to do.  I was disappointed in myself.  The contractions were coming every 3 minutes and my disappointment and sadness was interrupted every contraction.  I was moved to labor and delivery and they put an iv in and wrapped me with cords and fetal monitors.  I hate being restrained and that is exactly what I was choosing to do.  Nate was very supportive and peaceful during the whole experience.  He kept reassuring me that I was still strong.  Around 6:30am the nurse anesthetist came in, it was my friend Kirk Hatton!  It was so wonderful to see a familiar face when you were feeling down and in pain.  Kirk gave me the epidural and the contractions sort of melted away about 30 minutes later.
taking a little nap

after the epidural

 I still knew when they were happening and some still took my breath away but I kept thinking that I didn't want to increase the medication because I wanted to be able to push and feel the labor progressing.  Linda (the new midwife) came in and checked me again and I was 5cm and still 80% effaced.  Not very much progression in 2 hours.  She came in a few hours later and checked again.  6cm and a swollen cervix.  Not the progress I had been hoping for.  Of course I immediately think that the lack of progression is due to the epidural ( I was constantly reassured that was not the case....I am still not sure I believe everyone who told me that.) Linda had me sit "pretzel style" to try to make some progress and to get my water to break.  About 30 minutes later, I think around 10:00am my water broke naturally.  Yay!  Things were looking up!  Linda came back in and checked, 6cm and still swollen.  She could now feel Leland's head and noticed it was not in the correct position so she tried to reposition him. He did not want that and turned his head back immediately after she tried.  So, I tried laying on my right side so use gravity to shift him.  Well, his heart rate dropped immediately.  Now I couldn't lay on my right side, and he needed me to so that he could shift positions.  Then the "c" word was mentioned and I melted.  The LAST thing that I wanted was a c-section.  I know that many people love their experience in having a c-section.  Linda said that she would come back at 12:00pm and check again and see if I was making progress.  Before she left, she inserted a device vaginally to measure the strength of the contractions to see if it was the lack of "power" that was causing me to "not progress."  I had heard this term countless times in documentaries and birth stories and I didn't want to be another statistic of a woman who was in labor, got the epidural, didn't progress, and ended up with a c-section.  Linda came back at 12:30pm and nothing.  Still 6cm and swollen.  The contractions were showing that they were very "powerful" and progressing as they should.  Leland was just not in the right position and was pressing on my cervix to make it swell and my cervix was just not dilating.

     Linda said that we could wait until I get to 10cm which could be another 12-24 hours or check back in 2 hours and if there is no progression then we could do a c-section and get Leland out happy and healthy.  So, Nate and I looked in The Birth Partner and read the chapter on c-sections.  We asked the nurse our questions and then decided that if there was no progression when she came back at 2:00pm then we would go ahead with the surgery.  2:00pm, Linda comes in.  6cm and swollen.  I cried.  I was hoping and praying that this was it, I had made progression and Leland would be born vaginally.  Well, c-section it was.
my dad and nate before they rolled me away

     This is when I became an emotional wreck.  The room was instantly flooded with nurses, students, and the anesthesiology team.  They increased my medication, told me of all of the risks, and I had to sign a waiver saying I was ok with the risks.  They told me that Nate couldn't walk with me down the hall, and he had to wait in the room for me to be prepped in the operating room.  That's when the flood gates opened.  I was terrified.  I hate hospitals.  I didn't want a c-section.  The one person who can calm me down and help me relax couldn't even come with me. I kissed my dad, Lins and Kristen, and Nate.  Being rolled away from them was terrifying.  I did not have a positive feeling.  I was scared and nauseous and felt so alone.
     They wheeled me into the brightest room.  Everything was white and the lights were blinding.  I was so scared.  Still crying.  My nurse, Julie, kept reassuring me I was ok and that it was ok to cry.  They moved me to the operating table and stretched my arms out like I was on a crucifix.  Horrible.  Then I heard the scariest sound.  I could hear Leland's heart rate dropping.  They turned the sound off and I hear the surgeon say, "Someone needs to go get Dad quick."  Everything was happening so quickly and I was alone just wishing Nate was with me and terrified that all of my scary thoughts about some complication happening  during birth were coming true.  (I had horrible thoughts during pregnancy that something would be wrong with Leland, or there would be terrible complications, or something would happen to me during the birth because Nate and I have been so blessed with everything in our lives that it was our 'turn' to have something 'bad' happen.  I know that is not how God works but I couldn't stop thinking that way.)  Nate came in and I began sobbing.  Then Leland was born.  It was 2:59pm.  It was totally silent and then everyone started telling me that he is perfect and healthy and Nate could see him and then I heard him cry.
the first time i heard him cry

The nurses escorted Nate over to meet Leland.  I probably asked the surgeons over 50 times if the baby and I were ok.  Then Nate brought him over to me and he had a FULL HEAD OF HAIR!  I couldn't believe it.  He was wide awake and I just stared into his charcoal blue eyes, thanking God he was ok, and still asking the surgeons if I was ok! Nate spoke and Leland turned his head and he looked right at him.  It was unbelievable!
holding my baby boy for the first time!

    I had developed a fever/infection during labor and so they took Nate and Leland to our room as they stitched me up.
7lb 6oz, 21 in long!

skin to skin with daddy

 I was in the operating room for about 45 more minutes.  The surgeons were wonderful and answered every single one of my questions and reassured me that I was totally healthy and that they were almost finished.  Julie was in there the whole time.  After everything was finished they wheeled me back to our room and my whole family was there and I saw Nate holding Leland against his chest.  I was so happy!  My mom, dad, and sisters left and Nate and Leland I were all together.  Leland tried to nurse but wasn't as interested as I had hoped (we will have a whole other post about nursing!!)  It was so wonderful and I was so TIRED.  I kept falling asleep accidentally.  After about an hour they moved us to postpartum.  All 3 of us were alive and healthy and happy.
our first picture as a family of 3!

skin to skin with mommy!

1 comment:

  1. Hey! My name is Kalie. I LOVE reading your blog. I have been hoping to hear the birth story for little leland. He is so cute!! I am currently pregnant and due August 1. I am glad that you and baby are okay. I am sorry you had such a hard delivery but you're that much stronger because of it. I am nervous as you probably were for the delivery as well. I am scared of all the same things you are! Thanks for sharing your story. You can check out my blog at kalieelfstrom.blogspot.com. Hope you are loving every minute with your new little peanut.