Friday, April 27, 2012


Oh BOY! I'm not sure where to even begin...The whole day seems like a dream.

Leading up to March 7th my doctor visits had been wonderful. The day before I went into labor the doctor said that the baby's head was down, I was 90% effaced and 1cm dilated. He said everything looked good, we just needed to wait for contractions to start. Bryan worked on our labor play list and we headed off to our last labor class. The classes were amazing a they did a great job of preparing me for the craziest day of my life...

My birth plan...
From day one I had planned on accepting whatever plan the baby had for his birth. I felt like the baby was in control and I was just along for the ride. I wanted to learn about all options so I wouldn't panic when the doctors told me "it's too late to get an epidural," or "you have to have a Cesarean birth,"...etc. As we got closer to the due date I realized that I really wanted to wait to get the epidural until I was 5 or 6 cm to ensure that I wouldn't have to get a c-section. I didn't want to be hooked up to monitors, I wanted a labor experience. I didn't want to feel like I was a patient in a hospital. So to prepare for this I meditated every day and Bryan and I practiced different labor positions to help with relieving pain from contractions. I asked my friend Andrea to help with my labor because I wanted girl support person and she, just like Bryan, make me a stronger person.

Boy did my labor not go as I had hoped...

March 7th 2012
I woke up at 2am and thought I had peed myself. I rushed to the bathroom and realized that I wasn't peeing but I was leaking. My water had broke (but not fully). I woke Bryan up and got everything together and we headed to the hospital. Only 10% of women's water brake before they have contractions so I wasn't counting on my water breaking at all. We got the hospital and they confirmed that my water had broke. This wasn't a good thing because I wasn't having any contractions and I was only 1 cm dilated. It was going to be a long day and because my water broke 'early' I could possibly get an infection. As soon as it was confirmed that my water broke I was a little bit sad at the idea of not being pregnant anymore. I had enjoyed it so much! But I was also ready to meet my son! They hooked me up to the monitors to watch the baby's heart rate and my contractions. The nurse told us it was going to be a busy day because it was a full moon. We thought her comment was a bit odd but sure enough, within that hour the triage room had filled up with women having contractions. I was so jealous, I still wasn't having any. These women got their labor room before me as well. Around 3:30AM the baby's heart rate dropped to 80 (normal baby heart rate is between 120-150). The midwife started me on fluids and told me that it was going to be a long day...

At 730AM we finally got in our labor room. I still wasn't having contractions. Bryan was really supportive. He gave me our New Zealand badge of courage pin. While in New Zealand we got a cheap pin that said NZ on it. We passed it back and fourth throughout our NZ trip any time one of us did something courageous. It was so sweet that he remembered to bring it for me on a day like that.. He called our parents and told them the news. Bryan's dad, Jimmy, stopped by the hospital and dropped off breakfast for Bryan. Then we took a small nap. We didn't sleep for very long because we were so excited. We started a game of cribbage to help keep us distracted. We were about half way through when my mom and Andrea showed up. 

The midwife came in and started me on pitocin at 9AM. They only wanted to give me a small amount to see if my body would start natural contractions. I was really disappointed in my body for not responding the way it should have. I started to feel some discomfort from the contractions and then I heard a burst and a gush of water came pouring out. My water fully broke. At 1015 the midwife put a balloon in my cervix and filled it with water. Then taped the end of the balloon to my leg. This was to help open up my cervix because the contractions weren't doing anything for me. The balloon was putting pressure on my cervix and basically forcing it to dilate. The contractions were awful after that. They were on top of each other and I couldn't find a pattern. I sometimes had a 4 minute break and then sometimes I had a 10 second break. Bryan, Andrea and I kept moving around the room in different positions to help relieve the pain. It sometimes helped and sometimes it didn't. Bryan and Andrea were a perfect team. They kept me calm when I was about to loose it. 
At 11AM the balloon popped out and I felt a ton of relief. This meant I was at 5 1/2 cm. I still didn't want the epidural because I wanted to see how long I could go. The contractions were painful and unpredictable. Going through contractions with my husband was an experience I'll never forget. He was truly amazing and I feel like I fell even more in love with him that day.
After 2 more hours I hadn't dilated any more and so I got the epidural. I couldn't take it any more and I felt like something else was happening with my body. With every contraction the baby's heart rate would drop.
At 1pm I had my epidural and I felt a lot better. I could still lift my legs and feel a persons touch but I couldn't feel the sharp pain like before. Sarah came to visit. It was wonderful to have her there! My mom was working on a blanket for the baby and was there for moral support :)
 I had an oxygen mask on because the baby's heart rate kept dropping. They tried to put more fluid back in my cervix to get him in a better position. 

After Sarah left I tried to take another nap. My dad came to visit and it was so wonderful to have both my parents there. I feel so lucky that my parents, although divorced, are able to be in the same room to support  me. The nurses kept putting me in different positions to get the baby to move so his heart rate would stop dropping. At 3:45pm everything took a turn for the worse. The baby's heart rate dropped to 35 (normal baby heart rate is 120-150). The hospital room went from one nurse to 7 different nurses and doctors within seconds. They started throwing things onto my hospital bed and disconnecting stuff. My midwife looked at me and said "you're having an emergency C-section. The best thing you can do for your baby is breathe." As quickly as the tears came to the surface, they got sucked right back down. I couldn't cry, I had to breathe and stay calm. It wasn't about me, it was about my baby. This was the first moment where I felt like a mom. I closed my eyes and focused on breathing and seeing my beautiful baby boy. They wheeled me into another room where I saw a doctor standing with a scalp all ready to go. I heard someone say "he's about to flat line." Everyone was talking at the same time. I kept my eyes closed and focused on breathing. They upped my epidural really fast so that they didn't have to put me under. I was numb from my neck down. I couldn't move my arms. I couldn't feel my lungs, so I felt like I couldn't breathe. I was seeing double and everything was blurry. I had to focus on breathing to not crying. I was scared and upset this was happening. The baby's heart rate started to come back up so Bryan was able to come in and comfort me. Within minutes, Bryan got to see our son be born. As soon as I heard him cry, I began to cry. I was so happy.
James Daniel Green, Danny to us, was born at 4:02pm weighing 7lbs 8oz and 21 inches long. He is named James after his grandpa and we just loved the name Danny.
 As soon as he came out he peed and pooped on the nurse. Then he flipped off the camera, a Green for sure. Bryan took pictures of the baby. Since my arms were numb and I could hardly breathe, I couldn't hold Danny. Bryan went with him into the recovery room. 

I laid on the table as they stitched me back up. I couldn't move so I just closed my eyes and tried to sleep. 45 minutes later I joined my boys in the recovery room. Just me and my boys. Bryan put Danny on my chest and I got to see my baby for the first time. Bryan had to put and hold my hands on Danny because my arms were still numb. It was the best feeling in the world (minus the numb arms).

My labor didn't go as planned...I didn't want a c-section. I didn't want pitocin. I didn't want that stupid balloon. I felt a little disappointed and defeated.
 But then Bryan helped me remember that a c-section is not the worst case scenario, it's to prevent the worst case scenario. The end result is still the same, healthy baby and healthy mom. My friend Kurt also gave us some helpful advice before going into labor, "being a good parent isn't determined on how you bring your child into this world, it's what you do once they are here."

I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. A baby boy that I get to love and spoil every day for the rest of my life. That is what matters. My labor experience was completely wild. Bryan and I made such a great team and I am so thankful for the amazing husband that he is. He was so supportive and sweet. I'm happy to see him be the father of Danny and I'm so proud to be his wife.

All three of our hospital bracelets

Proud Daddy showing off pictures of Danny to the grandparents
visiting friends

Aunt Val and Uncle Kevin
Toasting to the birth of Danny

Besties, Andrea and Candace
Happy grandparents. Grandpa and Grandma Green. Grandma Renee and Papa Joe.

Justin brought Bryan bubble gum cigars

Celebration beer with Uncle Kevin

Everyone who visited us the first night went out to eat.

Here is a video my friend Andrea put together of Danny's Labor day!


dlvrjoy said...

You made a human and he is here, no matter how he got here, he is here! Good job mama. Great post.

Lauren Murty said...

Sally, I loved reading your labor story! It brought tears to my eyes. There is nothing more precious than bringing a child into this world. I'm so happy for your beautiful family. Great job, Mama! :)