Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Saben's Birth Story

Three years ago today....
I'm finally recording this somewhere permanent, I wrote an email to some friends about it and just now edited/added a few details. If you don't enjoy the details of childbirth, read no further.

On Thursday, March 24th, about a week before Saben was due (due date: April 1st) I stepped out of my car at World Vision where I worked and felt a little fluid leak. I went inside to clean up and then called the hospital. They said to wait a few hours to see what happened, so I just went to work like normal, but warned my boss who was then a nervous wreck. At noon I went out to lunch (olive garden) with my cousin who just happened to be in town from Wenatchee. She had been joking all along about me having the baby and when I told her what was going on, she insisted I go to the hospital. The hospital agreed when I called them, so off we went.

When I arrived, they had no idea why the fluid leaked, but my blood pressure was super high (about 140/90) and they said I had pre-eclampsia. (I had been retaining water like mad & had other signs as well) Did I mention at this point that my slacker husband was in complete denial and was still working? I didn't make him come in because my cousin was there with me, but he didn't even arrive until I had already been checked in & they'd started the pitocin to induce me! (6pm)

Kyle arrived and we sent my cousin (Amy) off to our house to get our stuff. The lame part was that I was so certain I would be late, I hadn't even packed my hospital bag. So she was running all over the house while Kyle & I described what to grab & where it was.

The hospital put me on magnesium to keep me from going into seizures from the pre-eclampsia and Kyle's family arrived to check on us right as I was feeling completely nauseous from it. The night passed uneventfully as far as I remember.

The next morning I talked to my friend Katie and found out she was in the hospital too! We had both gotten pregnant about a week apart and had been joking about talking on the phone while in labor. Sure enough.... We checked in late afternoon once we both had epidurals, but Katie beat me and actually got a different birthday for Leah since Saben was born just after midnight.

I didn't start feeling contractions till noon on Friday, the 25th. Through the night, they were there & frequent, but weren't powerful enough to do anything or to even hurt really. By 3pm I was hurting a lot and I think it was around 5pm that I was dilated to 4cm and begging for an epidural. But I was having these odd 2-3 minute contractions that would peak, go down, go up a little, then back down a bit, peak again... and after the long contraction I was only getting 30 second breaks before it would start again. The monitor looked more like large plateaus, rather than the peaks & valleys of a normal contraction.

I tried a few drugs first to see if that helped. It did, and I remember my water breaking as being one of the most phenomenal sensations I've ever experienced, but I'm pretty sure it was the drugs that made it so wonderful.

So off to epidural land. I really truly thought I was in love with the anesthegiologist lady, she was my favorite person in the entire world. At 7pm they told me I was already 8cm & would be pushing shortly...but turns out the resident who checked me didn't do such a great job (to put it mildly) and I was only 6cm when they checked again at 9pm.

At this point, Saben's heartrate was going down during the 5 minute long contractions I was having. My uterus was basically having super long contractions but never getting strong enough ones to actually get my cervix open. So they waited 2 hours and when I was still 6cm at 11pm they decided to do the cesarian. Oh, and I was running a fever, which they didn't like either.

So out he came!! I was half relieved & half completely freaked out. I think I shut down a lot mentally/emotionally at that point because it was just too overwhelming for my brain to comprehend what was going to happen. Being cut open while awake is pretty much my worst nightmare mentally. I actually tried to talk them into putting me under so I wouldn't be aware of the surgery.

Actually it wasn't that bad. I didn't even realize they had started and spent the whole time trying to figure out exactly what we had been doing one year prior. (lying on a beach in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt) Saben Luke Young was born at 12:30am, March 26th. I teared up when I heard his cries & then got to gaze at him while they sewed me back up. Part of me was still pretty freaked out that they were still tugging & playing with my guts though.

Saben got to ride in my bed with me back to our room and we tried to nurse for the first time. I'm still not quite sure what was going on, but I have never been so completely exhausted in my entire life. I actually was falling asleep while trying to nurse. Granted it 1:30am, but still....I blamed it on some drugs that perhaps the anesthegiologist gave me.

The first day was odd too, I think I was still in shock, it kept seeming like Saben was just some baby they had dropped off for me. It was only later that I learned that the Magnesium they give you can make you feel really strange like I felt. Luckily by the next day I suddenly was completely happy & excited - my emotions turned back on and I was in heaven.

Kyle was absolutely great through the whole thing, he blew me away with how fantastic he handled the whole thing.

We were in the hospital five days, four for me to heal & recover from the pre-eclampsia and then an extra day for Saben because he had lost too much weight. By the following Wednesday we were all home, safe & sound.


Jen said...

AHH! Happy Birthday Saben! Thank you so much for sharing it Kari!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Kari. My name is Elizabeth Denton and I'm a friend of Kristen Gough. I live in Bellingham and met you a few times at a hillcrest bible study at Lionel's house a few years back. Anyway, so great to read your birth story. Tyler & I had a baby girl, Riley, 4 1/2 months ago and after 30 hrs of labor I had to have a c-section. Not what you plan on! But so happy to have a healthy baby in the end. Happy Birthday to Saben!