Thursday, March 29, 2012

Samuel's birth story

I originally posted this on 3/29/08. Today is Samuel's 12th birthday & it felt like a good time to re-run this. Happy birthday, sweet boy!

In late July 1999, I found out I was expecting our 2nd child. We had prayed for another baby and were so thrilled to learn that we were going to have a baby in March of 2000!
Our insurance had changed since baby #1 and we lived in a new town, so I had to find a new OB/Gyn. I wasn't too thrilled that my only choices were men, but I figured other people had survived giving birth with male doctors, so I knew I'd be fine. Throughout the pregnancy, my OB & I butted heads. He was determined that I needed to sign up for an epidural (or any other variety of pain medicine) in the 3rd month of pregnancy. He basically assured me that no matter what I thought I could do, I would need to get drugs because every delivery is different. (I didn't use pain medication when I had Savannah & was perfectly content to do without this time, but he was "sure" that I would change my mind in labor. :::sigh:::) I adamently denied his pushy behavior & comments all throughout the pregnancy. Even when he was an all-out pain in the neck, I did my best to maintain a pleasant attitude & kindly tell him to SHUT THE HECK UP! ha ha
Anyway, late in my pregnancy, I began to dilate. This was no great surprise. I was content to let the baby & my body do its thing til whenever baby was ready to arrive. My OB was determined to convince me to let him induce me, however. No thanks. I'm good.
Larry jokes that I'd make a good pioneer woman because I really do love being pregnant & love the birth process. I have a really high threshold for pain and (he says) could give birth in the potato field & keep on going. (I love this guy!)
I could make this a really longggggggg story, but I'll try to sum it up. I was due March 23, 2000 but Samuel had not yet arrived by then. Dr. F asked me to come in twice that week for non-stress tests to make sure Samuel was alright. Geez....come on! I went along with it, though. Larry was getting nervous about me going past my due date and was made more nervous by a pushy, intervention-happy doctor. At 40 weeks & 5 days, I was dilated to 6. Larry was panicked that I'd sneeze or something & have the baby in our kitchen floor while he was out on patrol (he was a cop at the time), so I finally agreed that if the baby hadn't come by morning, I would agree to checking intothe hospital. I made it very clear that I didn't want pitocin, though. The doctor finally admitted that he loved watching natural labors progress because he sees so few of them. He said that he would agree to just needle-pricking my bag of water & letting me "leak" instead of actually all out breaking my water like they usually do. That was something I could agree to. So we went in on the morning of March 29, 2000 & he did that. I walked the floors of the OB unit for a couple of hours, slowly leaking amniotic fluid. At some point, I needed to go potty, so I went back to the room. The nurses were cheering for me the whole time---most of them saying that I was the FIRST patient that they'd seen do "this" (meaning walking to make my labor progress instead of doing it the usual drug-induced way). When I made it back to the room, the nurse suggested that I let her hook me up to the monitor for a minute to make sure everything was ok. I went to the potty & layed down for some quick monitoring. It only took a minute before the nurse got all panicky & had me turn over, put an oxygen mask on me & was calling for help.
What? Why do you need help? What's going on?? Apparently, Samuel's heartrate was dangerously low all the sudden. Yikes! How did that happen? After some monitoring & oxygen, his heartrate "recovered" and everything went back to normal. I got back up, but decided that due to our little 'scare', I'd just stay in the room. I walked around for another hour or so, just sort of roaming the room looking at everything. I was kind of bored, but Larry told me jokes & family members visited, so I wasn't all alone. After about an hour, I layed back down for some more monitoring. I was starting to have some pretty serious contractions by that point & knew I was getting close, so I figured it would be best to let them monitor me for a bit. Once again, the nurse freaked out, threw an oxygen mask on me & called for another nurse to come help her interpret the heartrate on the monitor.
The same thing had happened again. Good grief. What on earth is up with that?? By this point, my contractions were getting pretty strong & I was not really feeling like walking, so I decided to stay on the bed for a while & just try to breathe through the contractions. Istayed there until I was ready to push.
The OB was called & I started pushing. Unfortunately, with every push, Samuel's heartrate drastically dropped. It wasn't just low, it was very very in the 20s. The doc did a very OUCHY exam to see if the cord was presenting (which can be a very dangerous thing). Then he checked (OUCH again!!!) to see if the cord was wrapped around Samuel's neck. This was quite painful because Samuel never made it past zero station, so he was up really high still. I don't think I've ever experienced an exam quite like that one......and pray I never do again! Once it was determined that his cord was not in the way, the doc suggested to me that we might have to think about a Csection since Samuel didn't appear to be tolerating labor & pushing too well. He told me he'd give me an hour to attempt to push him out, but in the next breath, he was handing Larry a pair of scrubs to put on, calling for anesthesia & setting up the OR across the hall. Hmm...I don't think he was ever confident that I'd get Samuel out the regular way. (& of course, I have always thought that he was probably secretly giggling after the fights we'd had about me needing drugs in labor the whole pregnancy!)
After an hour of pushing, I could TELL that Samuel wasn't moving an inch. His heartrate continued to dip dangerously low with every push and I felt like I was pushing him against a brick wall. Nothing was working. When I had Savannah, the pushing stage was slow, but I could tell she was moving each time. That was not the case with Samuel. Larry finally layed his head down on the bed beside me & said "Honey, I'm really getting worried about Samuel....let's get him out of there, ok?". I nodded my head between contractions & did my best to breathe (ok, pant....and nearly hyperventilated) through the very strong urge to push while the doctors & nurses & anesthesiologist very QUICKLY prepped me for an emergency Csection. This was NOT the birth I had wanted, but I desperately wanted to see my baby delivered safe & sound, so I consented to it.
I was rolled across the hall to a waiting operating room & within minutes, Samuel David Reeves was born. It was all at once very exciting & very scary. What we found out when the doctor pulled him out was that there were several things impeding his delivery.
First, his head was laid over to one side. He was coming out ear first. He had a scalp electrode heart monitor during labor & the scab from it was just behind his temple (above his ear). With that being the case, he would've never made it out vaginally.
Second, his cord was up over his shoulder like a lady carries a purse & he was wedged into my pelvis. Therefore, each time I was upright and each time I pushed, it was compressing the cord, cutting off his oxygen supply (& lowering his heartrate). Yikes. It was scary to realize just how close we came to having a much more serious outcome!
One of my funniest memories of laying on the table during the Csection was asking Larry if they had started the surgery yet (I was numb from the bottom of my ribcage down). He laughed & said "Umm, yeah...your guts are all on the table beside you now." Silly goose! Moments later, the OB was telling me "this boy is huge...I can't get my hand all the way around him to pick him up!".
We knew all along that Samuel was a big boy. Larry was actually 9 1/2 lbs at birth and Samuel had measured large throughout the pregnancy. When he was born, he weighed in at 8 lbs 15 1/2 oz, but we've always called him 9lbs because in all honesty, if he'd wiggled on the scale, it would've tipped the 9lb mark I'm sure.
And so, at 2:21pm on March 29, 2000, Samuel David Reeves entered the world & our lives. I can't imagine our lives without this crazy little ball of joy we call our son. He is such a precious child, truely a gift from God. I am so honored to be his mother.
Here he is on the day he was born. I was still in the OR getting sewn up when Larry brought him to this window to show our families who were anxiously waiting to meet him.

a couple of pics of his younger years.......
He was 8 months old in this picture.

riding a pony at a church carnival when he was about 18 months old:

and being a typical little boy when he was about 2 1/2:

and here he is tonight......

Happy Birthday baby boy! I know it's not officially 3/29 yet......but it's close enough! I love you!


alyssalore said...

Hey Liz,
Happy birthday to Samuel! :) I loved reading your birth story. I remember bits of what happened but that was really scary! He's such a doll & you can just see his personality come through in your pictures. Loved that 2.5 y/o pic of him... so typical. LOL! :)
Love, Alyssa

cnbp1 said...

Happy Birthday Samuel! I really enjoyed reading your birthing story. The whole labor and delivery thing makes me nervous but excited at the same time. I haven't decided yet on how I will have this baby but I'm pretty sure there will some drugs involved. Unlike you, I have a very LOW tolerance for pain! LOL I totally admire you and any woman that does it the old fashion way but I'm not sure if I'm strong enough for that! Its a good thing I have about 5 months or so to decide. : )

mamafaye2 said...

   I remember this day all too well. When Larry signaled to me you were going to the operating room for a C-section, I immediately went outside the building and called the church to ask for prayers for you and "the baby" because it was a scary time for all of us.  I am so thankful that your disagreeable Dr. made the right decision and got him here safely.  God is good!  I can't imagine life without this little Stinker!   He is a lovable mess, and cuddly too.  It is always fun taking him birthday shopping and out to eat pizza.  Looking forward to our "date" next year at this time.                   Grandma

Candice said...

Your kids are so cute!! Happy late bday, Samuel.