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Our Birth Story

First, let me remind you of what we anticipated our (non) birth plan to be, prior to this day and what we had already updated it with prior to everything happening.

Quickly going through what we had anticipated and what actually happened, it's comforting to know that we actually were able to accomplish A LOT of things on our list that we had "planned" to do.  I was offered an epidural and continually denied it; I labored off the bed, on a exercise ball; I labored with dim lights and minimal visitors; the use of breathing techniques to get me through my labor and we didn't have visitors for almost 8 hours after he was born.  Oh and yes, I was (still am) able to breastfeed, exclusively.

With all of that said, things didn't pan out the way we had thought.  But the way it all worked out, we couldn't be more thrilled and we really wouldn't change a thing.

This is the birth story of Coen...

June 9, 2011

9:00am - Scheduled Dr. appointment for an ultrasound and non-stress test.  Blood pressure was high and my dr. didn't want to mess around since I was already overdue.  Coen was measuring just over 7 lbs on the ultrasound and showing in the 48th percentile.  He was also in great health, despite my blood pressure.  After my dr. checked my cervix and moved some things around, she said to go to the hospital and that they would know to expect me.  She said that she would most likely induce me if I didn't start anything on my own.  High blood pressure wasn't something she wanted to juggle with this late in my pregnancy.

10:15am - Went to hospital and was put in a labor & delivery room verses a triage.  Contractions started almost immediately and was told that I was in labor.  (TMI ahead) When this started to happen, I had the urge to have a bowel movement and luckily was able to have about 3 before making it to the table.  When we told my dr. about it later she said that it was a good thing but we all couldn't help but laugh about it.  Leaving my dr.'s office and heading to the hospital, she said that I was only 1.5 centimeters and about 90% effaced.

11:00am - At this time, my dr. came into the hospital to check to see what was going on.  My water was breaking on its own, but my dr. helped it break fully.  She said when she arrived that I was dilated to 3 centimeters and still about 90% effaced.

2:00pm - My parent's show up and hung out in the room.

Through everything from before now and after this time, I had to have things quiet.  I had to focus on my breathing and if I got off from my breathing, my husband could tell. I had to be able to focus and side conversations were very distracting.  My mom stayed in the room with us until about 9pm and my dad was in and out.  My brother and sister both showed up later in the night and I had to have everyone quiet.  Even having Sean updating them on the details was too much for me and I would have to tell everyone "shhhhhhhhhh" to remind them, I had to be in a zone and they were helping to break it.

I had to have the lights low, I tried to use my ipod a couple of times, but not hearing the nurse and my dr. was distracting to me.  I had to hear what they were asking me and I didn't want to have them repeat it.  Plus, I wanted to know what was going on.

Also, can we talk about how DRY a hospital is?  It's OVERLY dry and just so uncomfortable.  I was eating ice chips like it was my job and my poor husband was in charge of feeding them to me over and over again.  I even had my mom feeding them to me and my nurse feeding them to me when Mr. H wasn't there (which was when he was giving updates to people outside of the room or getting something to eat.  He didn't leave my side otherwise and when he did, I was telling him to go...).

2:30pm - My brother shows up and eats lunch with Mr. H in the hospital cafe.

3:00pm - Checked again - almost 4 centimeters and almost 100% effaced.

3:30pm - My heart-rate dropped.  A few nurses rushed in, put oxygen on my face and gave me pain meds to manage a little bit of the pain.

4:00pm - Checked again and was about 6 centimeters and put on the birthing ball (love this).

5:00pm - Back in bed.  Checked again, still 6 centimeters.

6:10pm - Checked again by dr. and was 6 - 7 centimeters.  Baby was way down.

6:20pm - Back on ball, eating ice chips, (TMI) peeing everywhere.  Peeing was from both the baby and myself.

7:00pm - Contractions were increasing and about every minute of less.

7:50pm - Checked again.  Still the same, back in bed.

9:00pm - 7 centimeters.

This is when everything hit the fan.

Heart-rates were jumping around and scaring the nurses and my dr.  Plus, Coen had a bowel movement in utero and because of this they wanted to get him out quickly.  My dr. said she wanted to move onto the next step, now and, just in-case... it was going to have two parts.  Basically, a back-up to the back-up.

First, I was going to be put on pitocin and given an epidural to force my contractions along because they weren't moving along like they should (in strength) and she needed more force to get him out of my body.  Pitocin would've done the trick.

The plan was to do this for about 1 hour, in hopes that it would go well and allow for me to have a vaginal delivery.  My doctor really pushed for me to do this because she knew that our plan, all along was to have a vaginal delivery.  I really commend her for remembering every single thing that we wanted.  I could hear her come into my room and remind the nurses that I didn't want an epidural before everything changed and that was just awesome.

Now, the second part to this was, if we don't have any progress with this first step, a c-section was my next option.  After laboring for about 11 hours on my own, I wasn't ready to be done, but I was ready to have everyone healthy and here.  Mr. H and I talked and said that if the pitocin and epidural was just another step to ensuring that everyone was here and healthy, let's just skip it and do the c-section.  I think I said that I wasn't trying to be super human, I just want him out, safe & healthy.

My dr. wanted to try it though, so we did.  She knew I wanted a vaginal delivery and this was one "safe" way to get me there, but she wasn't going to mess around with trying it for long... only an hour.


The pitocin started to work and the epidural was placed.  The procedure of receiving the epidural was not bad at all and once the epi was working, I felt like a new woman.

9:30pm - "Epidural set in - Jill laughing" (those are the notes my husband wrote on our birth story pad)... but it was true.  That epidural set in and I was chatty Cathy.  It was totally night and day from how I was acting and feeling... it was amazing.

I remember saying... "now I understand why people get an epidural.  wow!"

I was put on my left side to make sure it took and told to take a nap...

10:10pm - Mr. H's parents, my parents, my brother, my sister and her fiance... eating pizza and watching the NBA basketball playoffs.  Mavericks vs. Heat... in the waiting room.

When I was on my left side, I started to fall asleep and just when I thought I was comfy, a handful of nurses rush in, put oxygen on my face and tell me they want to move to the other side.  Just as I get comfy on the other side, the same thing happened and the moved me back to my back.  It was all fast and furious.

I knew going into this pitocin + epidural thing, that it wasn't going to last long and we just had to wait to see if my body was going to respond to the drugs to see if it was going to work.  There was no promise that it would... we just had to try.

By this point, the notes pretty much stop on our birth story pad because things just started moving fast.

Basically, when I moved, I was making it harder on Coen.  His heartrate went "flat" at one point and that doesn't mean that he was flat lining, just that it wasn't jumping around like they had seen before which meant that he was under some serious stress. 

And the worst part, at this point, was that the epidural basically had stopped my labor.

My doctor was called back in and while we waited for her to come in, they prepped me for my c-section.

They never called it an emergency c-section because in the back of my dr.'s mind, it was an option all along and the hospital and staff were all ready to go if I needed it.

My doctor came in and we both looked at each other and said, "we're doing a c-section"...  That was it.

Mr. H was put in his little scrub outfit, I was scrubbed down, and wheeled over to the OR.

(This picture is from a little later, after Coen was born, but it's the only picture I have of Mr. H in his scrub outfit.)

Being in that room, all I could think about was Coen coming out without any issues, having the meconium not become more of an issue that we already thought and PRAYING to God the epidural was going to work.  Outside of that, I was good to go.

I was on the table in no time at all, my husband wasn't asked to come into the room until the procedure had already started and things happened all very quickly.  I remember my dr. kicking open the door and saying something like, "let's go, we don't have time..." while she was scrubbing her arms and hands.  That's when I knew things were going to be fast and furious.

I remember now that things were moving fast when the anesthesiologist was cupping my face with his hands instead of a oxygen mask, because they didn't have time to open it.  It was fast.

I also remember that someone saying the procedure started at 12:03am but asking when Coen was born.  He was born at 12:06am.  Wow.  They were moving!

Luckily the meconium didn't cause any problems.  They were able to suck everything out and then get him to squeal.  That sound was priceless and so precious.

My husband, during the procedure was a groundhog and bounced up and down to see what was going on beyond the curtain.  He wanted to look, but didn't want to look all in the same breath.  And seeing Coen for the first time for him was pretty awesome.

After Coen arrived and yelled out, they wrapped him up, put a hat on him and brought him over to me.  I was able to give him a little kiss on the forehead and then him and my husband went onto the nursery.  They had to have Coen in the nursery for some time just to make sure that things were okay with him.

They also had to do an x-ray just to confirm that things internally were good.  They sent this to the dr. on-call to confirm, but he was a champ and never had anything standing in his way once he was here.

Then... about 4:00am, Coen finally joined us in our room and life as we knew it changed.  It was perfect.  We both slept for a bit longer and it was just so sweet.  Both my husband I hadn't been able to hold him until this hour and even though it was 4:00am... we took in every minute of it!

About 6:30am, we finally were able to start trying to breastfeed and luckily Coen knew exactly what was going on and latched on almost immediately.  While I would've loved to have been able to have him placed on my chest when he was born, that didn't work out.  But now I know that it won't stand in the way of a good latch.  I had been told that before and knew that it would all work out... but actually experience it was pretty great!

After labor and being in recovery for several hours... my blood pressure didn't want to come down.  It wasn't alarmingly high, but still high enough that they were watching it.

The short version of how the next few days went is like this...

It didn't come down.  I was on magnesium for 24 hours after my labor and the day before we were supposed to go home, it was really high.  Unfortunately, this meant that I had to stay in the hospital with everyone for another 1.5 days to see if they could get it to come down.

In the middle of battling my blood pressure, I also found out that I had a skin infection on my stomach above my incision.  This resulted in a fever and being put back on an IV drug.  All things you don't plan for but none that effected our perfect little baby.

As I said the other day... Looking at him now and all the days that he's been in our world, it's just amazing.  He's perfect and we couldn't ask for anything more.

Today, he's almost 3 weeks old... but this is pretty cute and thought I would share...

Welcome to the world Coen... we've been waiting for you for a very long time!


the grumbles said…
congratulations (again) he's so dear and perfect, just like the story of how he got here. xoxoxo
Sassytimes said…
He is so cute, Jill! I can't believe it's been 3 weeks already. Wow.

Isn't it funny how they have their own plan for entering the world? I'm glad everything worked out and you both are doing well! You are blessed.
Moore Family said…
Congrats Jill!!! He is SO cute!! How are you feeling now?
Tears. Tears Tears.

You're incredible.
Your husband is awesome.
Your sweet baby is PRECIOUS beyond words.

My favorite line: "Then... about 4:00am, Coen finally joined us in our room and life as we knew it changed. It was perfect."


I hope you're healing ok. I'm a fellow c-section Mommy. Take care of yourself.
Mrs. Dirnberger said…
GREAT story!!! I have been waiting to hear it all along and I can't believe you finally have that baby in your arms. So sweet and precious :) congrats again momma
Bethany said…
Love Coen's birth story!! Congratulations a 1000 times over! Also, ADORABLE 2 week pic!!
Jill said…
Moore Family...

Oh dear... That's a post all in its own.

Recovering from a c-section was probably the hardest part of the whole process. Gearing up for the unknown and taking care of this little boy are easy compared to what I went through and what I'm going through.

I'll write about it soon, but basically... it's been going ok. This week has been the first week that I've actually felt somewhat normal.
Maria said…
What a great story with a wonderfully happy ending! He is just precious. Hope you are feeling better soon.
christina said…
He is just so perfect! Look at all that hair! I am so happy for you. I got all teary reading the birth story. I'm so glad everything worked out okay and I'm glad breastfeeding is going well for you, too. He's so perfect...worth the wait!!
Kristal said…
Wonderful story Jill!! You did amazing and I'm so glad to hear that you are happy with Coen's birth and that BF'ing is going well. Keep healing!!
molly said…
Good job, Jill. During this entire difficult process of becoming pregnant and finally having the baby you want - right down to the c-section - you have had a very uplifting and positive attitude! I am proud of you for all you've come through. And just look at that beautiful baby boy.

You're right. He is perfect :)
Kristen said…
I also had a c-secion after pitocin - take things slowly and give yourself time to heal. Hope they sent you home with a abdominal binder - I wore mine for about 4 months! I'm sorry you had to veer off of your birth plan but so happy everyone is happy and healthy! Congratulations again!!!
Whitney said…
You are a trooper, girl! It's pretty amazing how you rise to the occassion and do whatever you have to do for a person you've never met, isn't it?? Hope to meet him soooon!
Oh this just gave me chills, I am SO happy for you!

Congrats again on your precious new addition :)
Leah said…
And welcome to the world Coen! It's a bummer that things didn't go as planned, but what a wonderful result!
Mickey D. said…
You did what you had to do for the safety of your child - you're definitely a MOM :)

Welcome little Coen! He's perfect. And I adore his name.

Best wishes to you and your husband!

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