Well, I've had almost a month of complete radio silence on this blog - I've been trying to keep up with one newborn and one severely traumatized black lab. As you probably know already, William Hall Greiving was born at 1:17 AM on April 15th by C-section.
C-section? Yes. C-section.
One of the biggest questions we've had since Baby W arrived is, "What happened!? I thought you guys were planning on natural birth? Why the C-section?"
Well, Dear Reader, let me enlighten you with a quick rundown of what occurred. Warning! The rest of this post may very well contain references to blood and pregnancy-related organs. Continue at your own risk.
Alright, now that's out of the way. Here we go!
As mentioned in my previous blog entry, I went in Wednesday, April 13th to have my biophysical profile. That's the appointment where they check the baby to make sure it's okay for me to proceed with my 42nd week of pregnancy. I had to go to another doctor's office to have this done since the birth center doesn't have the proper equipment.
They found the baby's heartbeat and then the doctor came in to hook me up to the ultrasound. As he ran the probe over my big belly, he found out that the baby was breech! Less than 2 weeks earlier I had had an ultrasound that confirmed the head-down position. Alas, Baby had other plans.
We knew that many people were praying for us, and this was very evident in the fact that the doctor we happened to choose for the biophysical profile is one of the few doctors in Colorado (in fact, in about 5 surrounding states) that still performs vaginal breech births. He quickly ascertained that I met all the qualifying factors to proceed with a normal birth, but he also found that I had low amniotic fluid and the baby needed to come sooner rather than later.
I was admitted to the hospital right then (just walked right over) and called Ben who came rushing home from work to be at my side. They started me on a low dose drip of Pitocin and tried to get labor started – not an easy task since I wasn't effaced and I was dilated about 1 cm. Contractions started a couple of hours later, but at the end of the day I was still only about 3 cm.
Ben and I were able to grab a few hours of sleep Wednesday night. Thursday dawned with another increase in Pitocin. I labored all day Thursday and got all the way to 7 cm by Thursday night. By that point, the nurse on duty was growing a bit concerned about the baby's heartbeat (which was high) and also the amount of time it was taking me to dilate. There were also some bleeding issues going on, which made the medical staff worried that my placenta was abrupting. The nurse called in our doctor and he made the call that we needed to go on and get the baby out. I had a spinal epidural in the OR and they began the surgery. Ben was able to watch the surgery and be on hand once Baby W was born. They whisked Ben and the baby off to the nursery to get Baby cleaned up and evaluated and then they closed up the incision. I had to hang out in recovery a while because my body temperature had dropped low enough that they had to get out the space blankets and heat blower. Thankfully, once they had cleaned up Baby W, Ben was able to wheel him down and we spent some time bonding in the recovery room.
So obviously a C-section was NOT what we had planned for our birth, but looking back, we still had a great experience. The medical staff at the hospital was absolutely wonderful – the team that performed my C-section was very sympathetic and did a great job of comforting a slightly freaked out mama. The doctor who did the spinal epidural (oddly enough, the one part of the C-section I was dreading the most) was gentle and his staff was very kind. Our doctor (who we'd met for the first time only 2 days prior) was one of the nicest, most trust-inspiring people I've met. We had no qualms whatsoever about him making major medical decisions for us.
Recovery has been a little slower than I'd like – it's a month tomorrow since my surgery and I still have some tenderness/pain around the incision site. The slowness in recovery is probably due to the fact that I tend to push myself a little harder than I should – not that big of a surprise if you know me!
We want to thank everyone for the prayers and encouragement during our hospital stay and beyond. It was such a comfort to know we were in the thoughts of so many people, and we definitely saw God's hand in the details of our experience.
Upcoming blog topics - the interesting conversations you have in public when you have a baby, common frustrations, how to do chores with one arm, and the TV shows at 3 AM you never knew about.