Friday, July 11, 2014

Our Birth Story

Benson Cole Barker

7 lbs 3 oz, 19 in
12:11 am, 7/4/2014

It looks like it's been a little while since we blogged…. Oh well, now that we have a kid, I MIGHT be blogging more. No promises!

Anyways, I just wanted to share Benson's birth story, and few of the amazing photos Stephanie was able to take at the hospital. It's a bit of a long post (I wanted to be able to remember everything!), so sorry if anyone gets bored. Feel free to just ooh and aah at the adorable photos at the end instead!

Ok, let's get started!

On Wednesday, July 2, I had my 39 week appointment. I was 3 cm dilated, and 80% effaced, and the doctor said he wouldn’t be surprised if we had a baby before my next appointment on my due date, July 10. Well, he was right! That night I started having contractions at about 3 am (so technically the morning of July 3). Cody was actually sleeping on the couch since he was having trouble sleeping, and I didn’t want to keep him up since he had work the next day, so I spent the next few hours timing contractions. From about 3 am to 5 am, they were coming around 15 minutes apart, and from then on they were completely random, coming anywhere from 3-10 minutes for about 10 hours. I honestly thought I was just in false labor because the contractions were so irregular.

Cody woke up around 7, and got really excited when I told him I thought I was having contractions. They did feel different than the Braxton Hicks I’d been having for weeks, but still not very painful, so we decided he would be fine working that day, and I would just call him if anything changed.

Nothing really changed over the next few hours. I kept timing contractions and trying to catch up on sleep from being up since 3 am (kind of hard to do when you think you might be in labor!) and Cody called every hour or so to check up on me. He came home for lunch, and we went for a walk to see if we could get the contractions going a bit more. Didn’t really work, so Cody left for his last appointment for the day.

Finally, around 3 pm, I started getting worried because I hadn’t felt the baby move in a couple hours. Cody was at his appointment, so I decided when he was done we probably should get baby checked at the hospital, just to be safe. I finished packing last minute stuff for our hospital bags, and when Cody called at around 3:30, I told him we should go to the hospital. I still didn’t think we were really in labor because the contractions didn’t hurt! I was just worried about baby not moving, and was so anxious we forgot to get a last pregnant picture (plus I thought the hospital would just send us home).

We got to the hospital around 4 pm, and they began monitoring baby and my contractions around 4:30. I was about 4 cm dilated. It was right around then that they actually started getting a little more painful! We still weren’t sure they’d let us stay, so we were even making plans to go out to dinner when they were done monitoring.

After an hour of monitoring, I was slightly more dilated, but I could tell the contractions were coming closer and were a little more painful. They gave us the option of leaving and coming back when I was in more pain, or walking the hallways of the hospital for an hour to try and get labor going. Thankfully, we decided to walk the hallways! Only about 10 minutes into our walking, my contractions went from 5-10 minutes apart and barely painful, to 2-3 minutes apart and so painful I couldn’t walk through them. After walking an hour (so at around 7pm), the nurse said I was definitely in labor and I was dilated to a 5, and so we were admitted! I think I was still a little in denial that we were having a baby that night! We were a week early, and although we had everything ready for baby, I still had thought we would have a few more days. Also, we had been jokingly telling everyone we were fine with any birthday but the 4th of July, but I guess baby just had other plans!

After being admitted, I was really starting to feel the pain from the contractions. They were coming pretty quickly, and I was barely able to catch my breath between. I asked for an epidural, but first they had to place my IV, which took 3 tries and almost 30 minutes. FINALLY, they got me all set up and the anesthesiologist came in. The epidural was quite a bit more painful than I was expecting. I think I broke a few bones in Cody’s hand squeezing it so hard!

After the epidural, my pain was so much better. I could still feel the pressure of the contractions, but the pain was pretty much gone. I was so grateful to be able to relax a bit after 18 hours of labor! Dr. Wolsey came in to check on us, and decided to break my water to speed things up a bit. This was at about 9:30. For about an hour, we both tried to rest and prepare for a long labor. We assumed it would take a few hours to progress, and then I would still have to push, so we were thinking it would be a loooong night.

At around 10:30, the nurse came and checked me again, and I was dilated to a 6 and almost completely effaced. She got me set up in a different position on the bed to help things move along. At around 11:30, my contractions started feeling a little different. I began feeling a pressure and could feel myself pushing a bit with each contraction, which was crazy. A few minutes later, the nurse came back in to check me, and I was dilated to a 10! So I had gone from a 6 to a 10 in an hour. No wonder I was feeling the urge to push!

The nurse got really excited and said it was time to push. We had been expecting at least a few more hours of active labor, so this was a total shock to us! The nurse went to get the doctor, and then came back. She got us started pushing at around 11:50, and the doctor came in a few minutes later. Pushing was incredibly hard! After a few minutes, I was already drained. Cody asked the nurse how long pushing usually lasted, and she said 1-3 hours. I was NOT going to do this for 1-3 hours, so the next few minutes I gave it all I had.

After 20 minutes of total pushing, Benson was here! It was the most amazing thing to see him and hear him cry. I got to see him for just a minute as they suctioned out his nose and mouth and cut the cord, and then they took him to be checked and wiped off. I was just staring at him the whole time, and could not wait to hold him! After a few minutes, he began to have trouble breathing. I was being stitched up by the doctor, and Cody was over with Benson, so I didn’t know what was happening for a few minutes. Apparently, he had some trouble transitioning to breathing, and had some fluid in his lungs. They were going to have to do a breathing treatment for 30 minutes and see if he improved. Before they started the treatment, I got to hold him for about 10 seconds, and it was the shortest ten seconds of my life! I just wanted to hold and kiss him so bad!!!

They told us during the treatment that if he didn’t improve during the 30 minutes that he would have to go to the NICU for a longer treatment. I was really disheartened to hear that; I just wanted to hold my baby! I was still getting worked on by the doctor, and I couldn’t see Benson very well because of all the nurses working on him and me. However, for some reason, I knew he was going to be OK. Maybe it was all of the drugs, but I felt very calm about everything and I knew that the treatment was going to work. For a while, it looked like he was going to the NICU, but about 3 minutes after the treatment, he began improving dramatically, and the nurses said he was going to be fine! They bundled him up and I finally got to hold him! It was the most amazing experience! Even though I had just given birth to him, I couldn’t comprehend how miraculous the whole experience had been! I was so overwhelmed. Cody also got to hold him, and it was the sweetest thing I had ever seen to watch him hold Benson for the first time.

After a few minutes, our nurse got us ready to move downstairs to the recovery room. This was at about 1:30 am, so we were all pretty exhausted at this point. My epidural was wearing off, and the feeling was coming into my legs, so I was able to transfer to the wheelchair pretty easily. I got to hold Benson while Cody grabbed all our stuff. We took Benson to the nursery, where they were going to check him over and bathe him. Cody got to stay with him while I was taken to our room to get settled. This took close to 45 minutes, which is FOREVER when all you want to do is see your baby! Finally, they came in and we got to snuggle with our sweet baby.

Benson was seriously the most perfect, beautiful baby! He had no bruises or birthmarks, and his skin was completely clear, and so, so soft! Most newborns heads turn out kind of odd-shaped, but Benson’s was perfect and round, with just a bit of soft hair. We honestly could not believe we had made something so adorable!

I could have held him all night, but Cody wanted to get some sleep (understandably) and didn’t want me falling asleep with Benson in my arms. So we put him in the bassinet next to me, and Cody fell asleep on the fold out bed. I didn’t sleep a wink that night! The combination of adrenaline from birth, general excitement, and a fear that Benson wasn’t breathing kept me watching him all night. I was seriously terrified he wasn’t breathing! But he was obviously fine, and Cody woke up at around 6, and I finally got to snuggle Benson again.

The rest of the day went in a blur! We got lots of visitors, even though it was the 4th of July. We were so grateful for all the family and friends who made time to visit, and who traveled a long way to see him!

That night, we decided to have Benson sleep in the nursery so that I could get some rest. I knew if he was in the room with us, I’d never sleep because I would be too worried about his breathing! The nurses brought him in every couple of hours to nurse, but otherwise we got a good night’s sleep.

The next day (July 5), we mostly took it easy. Stephanie came after lunch to take some hospital photos for us, which turned out amazing! It was such a great way to capture all our memories of those couple of days.

We left the hospital around 7:30 pm. We couldn’t wait to take Benson home! We’ve been home now for a week, and Benson has been the most amazing baby so far. He only cries when he’s hungry or being changed, and even then just little cries! We’re waiting for the time we have a first big crying session, but so far we are loving out little angel baby! Benson sleeps a lot, although he does like to be awake at 3 in the morning. Fortunately, “being awake” just consists of having his eyes open, not crying.

I love being a mommy, and being able to love and take care of Benson, but just as much, I love watching Cody be a daddy! He is so sweet with Benson, and loves to cuddle and play with him. He has been amazing this week; he’s taken care of all the chores, so I can pretty much just relax, rest, and care for Benson.

It was an incredible experience giving birth. We had no idea what was in store, but everything went just about as well as it possibly could have! We love being a family of three, and are so excited to see Benson grow!

1 comment:

  1. Oh Joanna! What an excellent birth story, thank you for sharing it with us! Little Benson is adorable! You three make a darling family. Can't wait to meet him sometime. Enjoy this golden time as a family. They grow so fast!