My birth story – 41 weeks 1 day

I woke up in the morning on October 1 at 41 weeks exactly with cramps and wondered if today was the big day of the start of labor. Hubby and I headed off bright and early for the first appointment of the day at the Perinatology office for our BPP (Biophysical profile) to be sure Baby Keytar was doing alright in there. The ultrasound went wonderfully and Baby Keytar looked happy as a clam. The doctor congratulated us on having the oldest baby in the office today. We left there feeling great and headed to our birthing center to meet with our midwife and do a NST (non-stress test). Hubby and I sat and did the NST for quite a long time, as Baby Keytar wanted to make it difficult for us by being very mellow and sleepy for the first hour or so. The NST looked great and paired with the BPP, we were given the go ahead to continue waiting for baby’s arrival. We opted to do a cervical check and have our midwife sweep my membranes to see if we could get things started. I was dilated to 2 cm and Baby Keytar was way down low at +1 station. I bled a little bit after the sweep, but not as much as last week. Hubby and I drove back up the mountain so he could drop me off at home and then head back to work.

By the time we got home I was feeling extremely crampy. He asked if he should go back to work and I told him yes. This was at about 1:00 pm. By 4:30 pm, I was on the computer finding out how to time contractions. I downloaded a contraction-timing app and waited for hubby to come home. He got home about 5:30 pm and we started timing the contractions. They were about 5-6 minutes apart. We planned on timing them for about an hour to get the hang of the app, but we never stopped. They got closer together pretty quickly and much more intense. I was able to eat a chicken caesar wrap at 8:00 pm but that was the last food I had for a long time. I labored throughout the evening, mostly walking/standing through the contractions, as sitting or lying down through them was much worse. I took a warm bath, but that was only comfortable for about 10-15 minutes. I consulted some labor position diagrams from our birthing center book and we tried those, with some pillows on a chair for my head to rest on and a pillow on the ground to kneel on working very well. Hubby made me some labor-ade and I drank that throughout the night, but food wasn’t working because as soon as I started chewing something another contraction would come on and I would feel nauseous and spit it out. I was having some bloody show as well. I used my hypnobirthing trigger to help me through the contractions and I was able to slow them down from about 3-4 minutes between to 6-7 minutes between for about an hour from 1:00 am – 2:00 am while I got some sleep between them on the couch. Hubby slept from about 12:30 am – 2:30 am on the couch until I finally woke him up. My contractions were between 2-3 minutes apart and we finally decided to call the midwife and consult with her. Our midwife and my hubby decided we would leave our house at 4:00 am and head to the birthing center, which is about 40-45 minutes away. Getting out of the house took a little longer than expected due to the contractions stopping me in my tracks but eventually we got in the car and headed to the city. My contractions slowed back down to about 6 minutes apart on our way there – I think it was a psychological thing because having the contractions in the car was so painful I used my hypnosis trigger to try and keep them away.

We met the midwife, R, at the birthing center at about 5:00 am and she checked me out. I was 4 cm dilated and baby’s head was at +1 station. I had a good deal of bloody show and we decided to walk around the labyrinth outside to try to get the contractions closer together again. Midwife R checked my blood pressure and it was elevated. We did some bloodwork and a urine analysis and sent it to the labs, expecting it back at about 9 am. I continued laboring and my blood pressure continued to remain elevated. Hubby and I decided to move to the bed and listen to my hypnobirthing audio. I was able to get my blood pressure to go down a bit, but it was too late. My blood pressure had already been too high to continue birthing at the natural birthing center and it was decided that I would need to transfer to UNMH. I was very disappointed but felt that I needed to do whatever was best for me and the baby.

Dr. L, who I had talked to about my gestational diabetes earlier in the summer and had heard amazing things about, would be at the hospital to deliver Baby Keytar. Hubby and I hopped in the car and drove to the hospital. Midwife R would be right behind us and a doula, A, would meet us there as well. I called my mom from the car on the way there to let her know what was happening, having to tell her to hold on while I breathed through contractions.

We arrived at the hospital at about 8:00 am. Hubby walked me in to the hospital and I sat in a chair waiting for him while he parked the car. I used my hypnobirthing trigger to get me through the contractions and he was back by my side in about 7 minutes. We went upstairs to Labor and Delivery and they were expecting me. I got all hooked up with an IV and had some blood and urine taken. My blood pressure was rising so it was good I was there. It was determined that I had developed severe preeclampsia, which was extremely unexpected, although I have now been told that the risk is higher with IVF pregnancies, as well as IVF pregnancies having a higher risk of a crazy placenta. No shit- my placenta really fucked with me this pregnancy with the gestational diabetes and now this!

Anyway, I met Dr. L and he was just as amazing as I thought he’d be. He was totally on board with our birth preferences and promised to do everything possible to get us the birth we wanted. Midwife R came to the hospital and was there until we were all settled with our doula in our birthing room. I was brought to my birthing room, maybe about 9:30 am? My doula, A, hung up the prayer flags my family and friends made for me during my baby showers and I was feeling very comfortable with the situation. I got hooked up to some magnesium sulfate, which was to keep me from having a seizure or stroke, and I labored all day and into the night. I kept up high spirits throughout the day, making jokes – hubby said I was really funny. After everything we had been through to get this baby, I wasn’t going to allow anything to get me down. I was in labor and about to have a baby!!! I couldn’t have been happier.

I was 9 cm dilated and Baby Keytar’s head was sooo low for many, many hours. Everyone thought that the baby was coming soon, like in an hour, for the entire day. The next thing I knew the sun was going down and I was still in labor, on mag, on blood pressure medication, now on pitocin because the mag was slowing down my contractions, and still in labor. Did I mention I was STILL in labor?! I pushed for 3 hours after going through the whole transition, shaking, puking thing. Three hours of hard-core pushing and Keytar’s head kept coming down and going right back where it was. Finally I decided that I was losing energy and nothing was happening. I had been in labor for well over 24 hours and was running out of steam. I did not want a c-section and was starting to get nervous that I was getting too tired to continue. My birth team, Hubby, Casey, Doula A, Dr. L, and I had a little powwow and decided that using the vacuum to pull Baby Keytar down a bit further would be a huge help. We all agreed. Dr. L hooked it up and I pushed with all my might to get that kid to descend a little further. We got his head a little further down and Dr. L popped the suction cup off his head and told me that it was all up to me now. (That vacuum was a very strange feeling , by the way – lots of pressure.)

There were a ton of people in the room at this point, and I felt like I was putting on a show. I just HAD TO get this baby out – everyone was watching! I couldn’t let them down! They set up a large mirror so I could see what was happening and I swear I couldn’t have gotten this baby out without the mirror. I could see the head move out when I pushed and then move back in when I stopped. People would tell me to take a break but watching the head go back in made me mad, so I just pushed and pushed until finally that baby came out. Dr. L held him up for Hubby to make the announcement: It’s a boy! Baby Keytar was born at 10:37 pm on October 2, 2014 Mountain time.

Our miracle baby boy was immediately put on my chest and cried. Hubby and I couldn’t believe it. Hubby cried. I got my vaginal birth, with a mirror, with no pain meds! No epidural. No c-section. No tearing or stitches. AND I was on pitocin! Woohoo! I beat the odds! I was so proud of myself.

Baby Keytar was crying up a storm, on my chest, inching his way toward my breast. We did a delayed cord clamping and hubby was able to cut the cord. The pediatric/ NICU team decided after about 20 minutes that they wanted to assess Baby Keytar due to his bluish hue and the sound of his crying. They decided that it sounded like there may be some fluid in his lungs so they took him, with Hubby, to the NICU, while Dr. L dealt with my pesky placenta. All throughout the labor I bled and bled and bled, and we were sure the placenta was abrupting. I lost over a liter of blood. After having the baby, the placenta would not come out. Dr. L said, “You got your birth without pain meds, now is the time for pain meds.” He had to go in with his hands FIVE times to get that pesky placenta and its little pieces out! OUCH!!! That placenta gave me gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, made me lose a liter of blood during birth and now it won’t come out on its own, or whole! I decided then and there I would not be ingesting that thing! It made my beautiful baby boy but I wanted nothing more to do with it having anything to do with my body. We saved it and will plant it under a tree, but there was no way I was ingesting that thing! Dr. L said that he sees rugged-looking placentas that give women a hard time often with IVF. Huh!

Anyway, after all the mag, blood pressure medication, 30 hours of labor, and the pain meds from the placenta debacle, I was done. I slept for about an hour and a half until they made me get on a rolling bed to go to the NICU and then my room. They rolled me into the NICU and hubby was so in another world that he didn’t even recognize me at first. He had been there with Baby Keytar the entire time. He tried to do skin-to-skin with him, but pretty quickly our feisty little man ripped out his IV so he was taken away to get that resolved. When I rolled in they placed him next to me on the bed and let me spend about 20 minutes with him. I was pretty out of it but it was one of the best moments of my life! I said goodbye to our baby boy and hubby and they brought me to my room, where Casey was waiting for me. A little while later, at about 3 am, hubby finally came to the room to get some sleep and Casey went home.

I spent the next 5 days in that hospital room. Baby Keytar spent Friday, Saturday, and part of Sunday in the NICU across the hall. We visited him as often as we could. My midwife brought us some donor breast milk for him and I pumped colostrum to give him as well. My blood pressure was still sky-high and I was feeling pretty crappy. They had me on a ton of blood pressure medication after taking me off the Mag 24 hours after giving birth. On Saturday my blood pressure spiked super high again and we had a bit of a negligent group of nurses that day, which sent me into the start of an anxiety attack after they made me miss seeing my baby all day and didn’t take my blood pressure for like 6 hours leading to a super high rise. We complained about the negligence and the rest of our stay was as wonderful and supportive as the first part. (Apparently Saturdays aren’t a very good day to be in the hospital.)

Baby Keytar was on antibiotics in the NICU in case of possible pneumonia, while we waited the necessary 48-72 hours to find out if there were positive cultures suggesting pneumonia. He was doing great and all of his tests came back normal. On Saturday night one of the NICU nurses let us know that someone had defrosted and refroze our donor breastmilk so they had to throw it away. We were very upset because that meant the baby would not have enough breastmilk to get him through the night. Fortunately I had packed for a hospital birth with a NICU stay and had bought a container of organic formula JUST IN CASE. Thank goodness for my obsessive planning because I had EVERYTHING you could think of needing for a 6 day hospital stay after a birth with a baby in the NICU. So anyway, Baby Keytar only ended up getting one small bottle of formula. My friend, B, who had given birth about 2 months earlier had a plethora of pumped stored milk so she brought enough to the hospital to get us through the remainder of our stay, but my milk came in right when I needed it to, when Baby Keytar was discharged from the NICU and brought to my room to stay with me on Sunday night. Thank God for Dr. Leeman – he said, “get them their baby!” and our baby was brought to us without having to do all the crazy NICU discharge stuff. Although the NICU had given Baby Keytar a pacifier and a bottle, we were able to establish breastfeeding in about 12 hours, with the help of a couple wonderful nurses, a lactation consultant, and a handy dandy syringe to squirt drops of breastmilk onto my breast to get him to latch. I am soooo grateful that breastfeeding has been so easy for us!!!!!!!

Baby Keytar was delivered to us on Sunday afternoon and my mother flew in that evening after we called her that morning and explained that we thought we’d need more help than expected, since I wasn’t doing very well. Originally we had planned for the first week to be visitor-free so it could just be hubby, ma, and the baby, but all of our “plans” had gone to shit so why not that one too?!

I was finally discharged on Tuesday late afternoon. Thank God my mother was here because I couldn’t do much for the first couple weeks. She stayed for about 2 1/2 weeks, my dad came for a week and overlapped with my mom, then my mother-in-law came the day before my dad left and my father-in-law came last weekend. My in-laws left on Sunday. This has been my first week alone as a mommy and family of 3. It has been pure bliss. For the most part my blood pressure seems to be behaving itself since I finally weened off all meds a week + ago. I am enjoying every second of being a mommy and having a perfect and adorable baby. He is incredible! Hubby and I have been blessed (thus far- knock on wood!!!) with no sleep deprivation. We are cosleeping and nursing a couple times to a few times a night and hubby is in charge of diaper changes at night. It’s going really well so far! I’m sure there are things I left out and I will probably come back and add things in as I remember them, but it’s been so long since I’ve posted that I really want to get this posted. Afterall, Baby Keytar is FIVE weeks tonight!!!!

Oh, and as for Baby Keytar’s real name… His name is Zev Odin. Zev is Hebrew for wolf. My husband is Jewish so we loved the idea of a Hebrew name, while January is the month of the wolf in German, which is part of my heritage. Our embryo transfer was in January so the month of the wolf seemed perfect! Also, Odin is the Norse God of culture, art, literature, etc. and is for my Scandinavian background. Zev has my husband’s last name, since I never changed my last name.

Welcome Zev Odin!!! October 2, 2014. 10:27 pm. 8lb. 1 oz, 21 inches long. He was 10lb. 3 oz. at 4 weeks 5 days. He never lost any weight after being born!!!

Zev hospital

3 days old, after all the tape, tubes, and wires were removed

9 days old

9 days old

IMG_2628e

9 days old

Zev 1 month Nov 2, 2014

1 month old!

Zev and daddy hoody

Z with daddy (4 weeks old)

Zev 5 weeks in stroller

Today, 5 weeks old tonight, on our evening walk in the stroller

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13 thoughts on “My birth story – 41 weeks 1 day

  1. thanks for sharing your story. i learn so much from all of you ladies birthing before me and sharing you stories. i appreciate it! little Z looks like his mommy… so sweet.

  2. He is precious!! I love the name too. 🙂 Such a great birth story in that you labored so well through it all. Gives me courage if I end up having a natural birth. I don’t blame you at all for not wanting to ingest the placenta. My placenta with my last (ivf) baby was wacky too. So glad also that breastfeeding is going well. 🙂

  3. Are you going to continue your blog now that your baby is here? I’ve been following your blog and have enjoyed reading about your journey. We have our own little bundle of joy in the oven.. would love to read more about your story as a new parent!

  4. I don’t remember if I ever congratulated you so I am now! Congratulations! Zev is amazing, sooo adorable (and I sort of consider myself an expert on identifying adorable babies😉)!!!
    I’m thinking of you today as we are driving through NM on our way to AZ to be with my husband’s family! I have family in Albq (and I was actually born here and we moved when I was 4 to the Midwest, visited every summer until married life) but we won’t have time to stop and visit. How long have you lived in NM? My brother used to live here but moved to NC about 8 or 9 years ago. He was locally known around Albq as a singer. Small world!☺
    Congrats again! I’m sure you’re thoroughly enjoying your sweet little boy!

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