Sunday, November 6, 2011

Paxton's Birth Story

This is the ever long emotional journey of the birth of our newest addition. It is long and gross in some areas...sad and emotional in others. It's not exactly the birth stroy I think I want my kids reading later, but I wanted to write down every emotion at this moment for my own records...just keep in mind, it's not the typical baby birth story...

Almost 7 weeks ago on a Sunday night, I found myself debating whether or not to go to the hospital. The few days before that I had started keeping track of my contractions, writing them down to see how often and how close together they were. They were only slightly painful, which was normal for me. But Sunday, I had pretty much had them every hour all day long- and that was WITH laying down ALL DAY. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for the morning and was really just trying to make it till then without going in. Then I got a phone call. A friend of mine, neighbor AND labor and delivery nurse. We don't talk on the phone often, but she says she couldn't get me out of her mind all day and she was worried about me. I told her about my concerns. She told me to get to the hospital! At first I still denied that I really needed to go. But after talking with Cortney and his mom (who is also a nurse), we decided it was just a risk we couldn't afford to take. So his parents came over and off we went. After the doctor and nurse wrote down just about every little detail of all my birth history, they did an ultra sound and then measured my cervix. It was still long. Baby looked good. Then they "checked me" to see if I was dialated...and I was. I was a 1 and 40% effaced. My history would prove that I go from a 1 to a 10 in 24 hours...and that is WITH the doctor throwing every kind of medicine at me to stop it. I was so worried. I know some women dialate early in their pregnancies, but nothing ever comes of it. That is just not me. So they kept me on the medicine I was already on to stop the contractions and decided to watch me and then let me go to my appointment with my doctor in the morning, as long as I did not progress. To my great surprise, I did not progress all night.
The next morning, I saw my doctor who did all the same measurements and then he sent me home to come back the next morning and be checked. If there was any change, I would be admitted to the hospital. If not, we keep up on the medicine and pray for the best! And of course, strict bed rest. When I came in that Tuesday morning, my cervix had shortened significantly, I had progressed from a 1 to a 2+ (which means some doctors would call it a 2 1/2, some doctors would just call it a 2), AND the baby was feet down literally pushing on my cervix. When the doc checked me, he could FEEL the babies feet. Not a good sign. I was admitted. They threw everything in the world at me to stop the labor. That day I could not eat or drink anything all day and had literally 6 different medications going for various reasons, mostly to stop the labor.

(my boys paid me a few visits during my 2 week hospital stay)

And for some miraculous reason, all the medicines worked! I had no contractions for 24 hours and more importantly, my cervix did not change. No more was a miracle! We took a huge sigh of relief...and although my contractions did slowly come back...we thought we had bought ourselves some time. And we did. Just not as much time as we had hoped. (See below my oh so faithful notebook where I wrote every single contraction down. You will notice my handwriting was terrible...that's because I would write them down about half way through the contraction so I knew how long it was going to be and how painful to make note of...)

There was one night when my contractions were especially bad. I cried and screamed through each one. They were as painful as when I HAD Brayden. Yes, HAD, as in dialated to a 10 and pushing him out with no epidurhal! That was the night I asked for pain medicine. Seriously, I hoped to be pregnant for several more weeks at least, but how can one last several WEEKS of those kind of contractions. Did I mention my contractions were anywhere from 3-5 minutes long? Yup. We timed them. Me and the nurses and the doctors because they just couldn't believe it. My back was in constant pain by this point. But once I got on pain medicine, it was a lot better. I then had 2 really calm, nice days and finally said to my nurse "I am going to try to go without the pain medicine tonight, I had felt really good all day." That was when it all started again.
Around 2 in the morning I still couldn't sleep, I had a mega-ultra terrible contraction again and my nurse came in right away with pain medicine. She recommended a hot shower (which has a seat that I sat in) to help ease the pain. I did not argue. I got in and it still wasn't very comfortable. I got out, went to the bathroom and was bleeding. It wasn't a lot, but not good for me. They had the doctor come in a check me and I was a 4 and 80% effaced. Great. Here it comes again. I think at this point I knew my placenta was abrupting and there was truly no turning back. It was a very sad, emotional moment. They sent me to labor and delivery and my pain lessened a little on the contractions, but they also gave me even stronger pain medicine. They also gave me lots of medicines again to stop the labor. They checked me a few times over the next few hours and I stayed the same, so I waited to call Cort until 6:00am so he could sleep a little. He came right away and everything seemed okay until one time when they checked me they told me my water bag was bulging. I knew if my water broke, it was all over. And it was. My water broke a few hours later and they checked me, I was a 7. By this point, every time they checked me I was bleeding. They said my placenta was abrupting, so the baby needed to be born now. There was no stopping it. They sent me to the OR, the baby's head was down, but they needed me in there to pass him directly to the NICU. We thought I would go straight to a 10 in 30 minutes, but with all the medicines to stop the labor, apprently they worked a little because it took me about 2 hours to get a 10 from there. After about 30 mins, they started the pitocin. Slowly but surely I made it there. Time to push. It took about 6 good pushes to get him out, which quite frankly shocked me because Brayden and Keaton were out in 1 push each. But I could not feel where to push...normally even with an epidurhal, I can still feel where to push. But not this time. So it took a little longer. Finally, he came out and Cortney and I sobbed and sobbed. I could not believe I had this baby so little. I tried hard to look at him at the bottom of the table but part of me could not move, I was numb. So I saw him a little, but what I saw more was them passing him into the NICU. He was so little. How could a baby possibly be that little? I cried harder and Cortney did too. And then things got really painful. They were trying to get my placenta out. Now, with my last two, it literally flew out on its own. Not this time. They pushed and pushed and my eppidurhal had worn off and I screamed. And cried. And screamed. They called the tech back in and he gave me more epidurhal. Finally, they got it out and discovered that it had broken apart in little pieces...inside ME! So they had to clamp me open and get it out with forcepts (a DNC). From the time I had Paxton to the time they were done with everything, I think it was about an hour. It was terrible. Even when I couldn't feel the pain, it was terrible. And I was sad. And then I was shivering. The epidurhal had made me very sick and I could not stop shivering, chattering my teeth. I felt freezing, then hott, then freezing. They put 4 warm blankets and a quilt on me. I think THAT lasted another hour, then I calmed down. This part was now in my room with my mom, mother and father in law and Cort's Grandma Nammie. I am not going to lie. This part was so hard for me. I just had a very early baby and I was sick emotionally and physically. I was so grateful when it stopped and I started feeling better.

The whole time all this was going on, Cort asked the nurse every hour or so when he could go and see the baby. We were anxious. I knew I couldn't see him until I was able to at least ride in a wheel chair, but Cort could go right away. The NICU kept passing word along that they were still trying to get all the IV's and lines in. Lines are tubes (tiny) placed so they don't have to poke his foot every 2 hours for blood gases, etc. They could just draw blood, give medicine, etc without poking him. They are similar to IV's, but don't leave a big needle in somewhere! Because the baby's veins were so little and hard to find, it took them a long time. Cortney wasn't able to see him until around 6:30pm or so and we had the baby at 1:47. After Cort finally saw him, he took my mom to go see him. Shortly after they saw him, they went home to take care of our other kids. Around 9:00 that night, I was able to see Paxton for the first time.

It was emotional. I *KNEW* and had told myself he was so little, that he would look so frail and fragile, which he did. But there is something about having a baby in an incubator, hooked up to tubes, that makes the reality of our new life so sad. And overwhelming. And I was so disappointed I had not been able to stay pregnant longer. I was physically feeling sore in every direction and uncomfortable. And sad for my kids at home that have to go with their Mom and Dad leaving them all the time and feeling abandonded. There are/were so many emotions.

And then the Lord steps in, puts a hand on my heart and tells me that it will all work out. I knew that everything had happened for a reason. And we don't know why. But he does. And I put my faith in him and let go of the saddness and the worry. And I let go of all the things that are now out of my control and try my best to do the best I can with the situation I am in. We are so blessed that other kids turned out so healthy and strong. And so we pray that the same will happen for our new baby. We put it all in the Lord's hands and let him take over.

And our nwe life began. Paxton Cortney Larson, born October 5th at 1:47pm at 25 weeks and 6 days gestation. Weighing 2 pounds, 5 ounces, 14 3/4 inches long. He is a miracle!


Kenzie said...

oh elizabeth, I love you and pray for you and your family all the time. you are amazing.

annieareyouok said...

What an amazing story. I was hooked on every word. I hope that everything continues to go well with that little baby, for you and your beautiful family.

clarisa said...

what a real story. i'm so sorry for what has happened and so inspired by your faith in the Lord. your family is truely wonderful and we think and pray for paxton's health and your endurance and comfort everytime we pray. thanks for sharing this story.

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