Saturday, September 30, 2006

Monster birth story - with pictures!

So, I bet everyone was a little surprised to read Hedda and Cary’s posts about Nolan’s arrival. You probably came here to read me whining about my big 3 weeks on bedrest. Instead, you read that monster was here! Here’s what happened:

Sunday night I was starting to have contractions, again. I didn’t think much about it to begin with. I had been having contractions on and off for weeks. I decided just to relax for awhile and see what happened. About an hour later I told Cary it was time to start tracking the contractions. Resting wasn’t making them go away. I started writing down every contraction. There was no pattern. I would have 2 or 3 every 10 minutes, then one about 7 minutes later, then nothing for 30 minutes. I decided to go to bed and hope the contractions would go away with some sleep. They didn’t go away and they still didn’t have a pattern.

Monday morning I called my sister and asked her what I should do (although I knew what I should do). She said to call my doctor. I called my OB. They asked me to call my perinat because the OB doesn’t have an ultrasound tech on Mondays. I called my perinat. They called my OB. My OB called me back and said they wanted me to go the doctor’s office for observation.

I took a shower, got dressed, grabbed my bag just in case, and Cary took me to the doctor. They hooked me up to a monitor and saw that I was having contractions (duh!). My doctor checked me out. I had dilated more - to about 2 to 3 centimeters. The cerclage was starting to stretch. My OB sent me to the hospital to have the cerclage taken out and for monitoring.

We finally got to the hospital and checked in to a room at 2:30ish Monday afternoon. Around 3:45, the doctor came to see me. She said she was going to take the cerclage out and see what happened. Her goal was for me to make it until 37 weeks. I begged her to just go ahead and do a c-section. She said she couldn’t. She wanted to do everything to try to keep monster in until 37 weeks. I gave in and said Ok to getting the stitch out and seeing what happened. Then, she started to try to remove the stitch. (My perinat apparently did a really good job with the stitch - the Ob couldn’t get it out.) While my OB was getting ready to get my stitch out, my water broke. My doctor looked at me and said “You’re getting your wish. You’re having a c-section. Today. Now.” I was shocked and scared and excited and nervous and not ready!

After I first got to the hospital - before the pain got really bad!

After the doctor left, there was a constant flow of nurses in and out of the room getting me ready for surgery. They brought Cary scrubs to change in to. The contractions were starting to get very strong. And they now had a pattern – every 2 to 3 minutes. The pain was turning me evil. I was starting to grow horns. I wanted pain meds!!

Cary ready for the c-section. Just after this picture was taken, I had a contraction and squeezed Cary's hand until his fingers turned white.

They finished getting me ready for surgery, wheeled me into the OR, and finally drugged me. The doctor started by trying to get the cerclage out again. She still couldn’t get it out and monster was coming – and the stitch was ripping my cervix. She decided it was time to get monster out and worry about the stitch later.

In the OR - after they gave me the epidural. I wasn't feeling any pain.

At some point, Cary joined me in the OR. Just before they pulled monster out, they told Cary he could peek over the sheet to see the baby get pulled out. Cary peeked. I heard a couple of little squeaks and then a big cry. I looked at Cary. He had a huge smile on his face and tears in his eyes.

Nolan's first picture. The nurse holding Nolan is one of Caleb's ex-NICU nurses. She would stop by and talk to Caleb and me all the time.

Cary went to the other end of the OR to see our new son while they finished up with me. There was a nurse at me head telling me everything they where doing to the new baby. She kept saying “he looks great.” “He is very pink.” “His APGARs are 8 and 9.” (Caleb’s were 4 and 8.) She told me the NICU team was looking at him. (They automatically go to all pre-term deliveries and c-sections with complications, like a breech baby.) Then she told me the NICU team was done. He was healthy and didn’t need to go to the NICU. A few minutes later, Cary came back to my head with our baby in his arms. I asked him if he wanted to go with the name we had talked about. He said yes. (He later told me that while he was on the other end of the OR with the NICU, he had already told them his name was Nolan Cary – before talking to me. He was very glad that I agreed to the name.)

Nolan in Cary's arms for the first time.

After a few minutes, Cary had to give Nolan back to the nurses so they could take him to the nursery. Cary went to tell our families that Nolan was here and healthy and I went to recovery. After 1 hour, they moved me to my room. Soon after I got settled in, they brought Nolan to the room. Then, I was able to hold Nolan for the first time. A few hours later, we sent him to the nursery so we could sleep!

The first time I was able to hold Nolan.

Everything happened so fast. We got to the hospital at 2:30pm and Nolan was born at 5:59pm.

2 days later, Cary took Nolan and me home. It was great to finally get to take a baby home.

Going home.

I remember people telling me that having a baby after a loss is different. They were right. There is no other way to describe it. It is just different. So many things we have done with Nolan we didn’t get to do with Caleb. And there are many things we did we Caleb that we will never do with Nolan.

Nolan was 5 pounds and 18” long at birth. He is now close to 6 pounds and 19” long. His new nickname is piglet. He eats so much!

Other pictures:

Just before I got to the room, someone from the hospital came around with a snack tray. Cary wasn't sure what I would want, so the snack lady gave him one of everything! This is about 1/2 of the snacks.

My mom took these pictures of Nolan while he was in the nursery.

Getting ready for his hospital picture.

Even when he is being a monster he is still incredibly cute!

Go Falcons!


miraclebaby said...

YAY for the birth story! I am so happy for you!!!

sarah Furlough said...

He is beautiful. You did an amazing job. I know what you said is true- it is difficult to have a baby after a loss. Thank you for the birth story, and for letting me share in your journey. I know a little angel in Heaven must be very proud of you and Cary both. Congratulations and enjoy Nolan, he is truly a blessing!

Mrs. S said...

Aww! Great story, great pictures! I'm so happy for you guys! There's nothing much else I can say except congrats!!!

Peg {is ready for Turkey Day!} said...

awesome story. Thank you for sharing. Nolan is absolutely adorable...I know I just keep saying that, :)

Shellbie said...

I remember the feelings all to well with each of my baby's entrance to the world. My first son was born @ 23 weeks, we said our good byes less than 15 minutes after he made his appearance. When I went into premature labor, @ 30 weeks with my second son, I was mortified. We spent months in the NICU and had many sleepless nights, but he is now 11 and healthy. I carried my third son to term, with the help of a cerclage and a wonderful high-risk OB. The day we were both released from the hospital and came home was so new to me, it was all so scary. I had time to "know" his older brother before he came home.
Enjoy every second, know that you are never alone.
Congratulations on all the new things!

KMW said...

congrats! wonderful story!!
nolan is beautiful!

Rachel said...

I came across your blog today and read it from beginning to end. You have made me laugh and cry. I am absolutely amazed at how together you seemed to be throughout Caleb's entire ordeal. You have so much strength. Congratulations to both of you on your new little boy! I can already tell he will be loved more than he will ever know.

Hedda said...

That last picture is pure child abuse. I'm calling someone about it.

Thanks for mentioning that I was there holding your hand. ;)

Mary Ann said...

Okay, I even knew this whole story and cried anyway while reading it. I know what it is like to bring home a new baby, but I have no idea what it is like in your situation. I am thankful that you can enjoy Nolan and so sad that Caleb can't enjoy him with you. I am so proud of you in all of this...and I know Caleb must also be proud of his mommy. Love to you all, Mary Ann, Kevin, Madison and Ian.

Audrey said...

Congratulations! He is gorgeous!

Eli's Mom said...

Great pictures - congrats!! Are you in ATL too? (I noticed the falcons jersey.)