Sunday, June 30, 2013

Harlan's Birth Story

June 19th our little man entered the world. Here is his story.

That day was a Wednesday and I woke up feeling the same as always. We had a scheduled weekly OB appt at 11 a.m. Before the appt. I was trying to finish up a document for a meeting I had at 1 p.m. that day at work. I told my boss I was going to the doctor and would send her the final once I returned. I left all my stuff at my desk and was off.

My dad and brother were in Conway at a coaching clinic all that week and Dad texted me about 10 minutes before my appt asking how I was feeling. I told him "about the same" and that I would call him after the visit to give him an update.

Ryan met me at the doctor's office and we headed in. Dr. Collins checked me as she usually did and told us I was 2-3 cm dilated and 90% effaced. She asked if I had been having contractions and I said no. She then said "Go ahead and make your appt for next week but I really don't think you will last that long." That got us excited and a bit nervous because we were still 2.5 weeks from our due date. So she left and I got dressed. Ryan and I took literally one step out of our patient room and I had a funny "wet" feeling. I thought I had really peed my self (that was not unusual at that time) so I told Ryan to wait a second while I went to the bathroom. It seemed like a lot more than usual. I cleaned up and opened the bathroom door and saw Dr. Collins again and I told her what just happened. She told us to go back into the patient room so she could check to make sure it wasn't my water breaking. Well, she took a little swab and next thing we know she says "Ha! Yep, sure enough, your water just broke. Head on upstairs and I will tell them you are coming. Looks like you will be having a baby today!"

She left the room, I looked at Ryan who had a gigantic smile on his face and I just burst into tears. I didn't know if I was excited, nervous or just plain terrified. I knew I was physically ready but I wasn't ready. My bags were packed but they were at home and she told me I couldn't leave the hospital because of risk of infection since my water broke. I didn't feel organized just yet.

So next thing we know we head upstairs and go to triage in the maternity ward. While she is taking all my info, I told Ryan to call my Dad immediately because he was 2 hours away. The nurse there was overwhelmed because we were the 5th couple to come in that day already in labor. She got me signed in and took me directly back to a room. At this point I am shaking in disbelief. I get changed into my lovely hospital gown and the nurses start going to town getting me hooked up. During which, I am trying to call my teammates at work to finish my assignments that I obviously won't be back for. At that point it is only 11:45 a.m. and  Ryan raced home to get everything and I am trying to text him a list of last minute things he needed to grab that weren't packed yet. This was all happening so fast!

Dr. Collins ordered Pitocin for me since I wasn't having contractions yet. About an hour after my water broke, I started feeling them even without the medicine but they weren't strong enough. Once the Pitocin started, I was really feeling them. My plan was try to go as long as possible without the epidural so my labor would progress naturally. That was a little derailed since I had to have Pitocin and couldn't leave a 3 foot radius of my bed.

By about 2 p.m.our parents and siblings are in the room with us and I am having intense contraction pains but nothing that was unbearable. At 2:30 p.m. the nurse came in and told me the anesthesiologist would be leaving at 3:30 and that with the floor being so busy they couldn't guarantee me that I would get the epidural right when I wanted it after that. So we decided I would be the last epidural the doc would give before he left. So right at 3:30 he came in and I was starting to get numb by 3:45.

Around 4 p.m. everybody had stepped out of my room but all of a sudden 3 nurses rush into the room and tell me the baby's heart rate dropped dramatically and it wasn't coming back up. They laid me all the way on my back, put oxygen on me and started flipping me back and forth. Finally after about 5 minutes the heart rate got stable and  they said it was probably due to the epidural. That was the scariest moment of the whole delivery by far!

After that baby was stable Dr. Collins checked me and said I was 4 cm and that I still had a little bag of water. She broke that and that made me automatically dilate to 6 cm.

By now, almost my entire family was in the waiting room and were coming back in shifts to visit me. I'm not kidding when I say there was probably 20-25 people there. The nurses were even commenting on how big our party was. I loved that everybody was there for us and were so excited to welcome this baby.

At 7:30 my nurse checked me again and I was fully dilated! Again, I was in total shock how fast that went. I was convinced I was going to deliver in the early morning hours. Aren't first labors suppose to be the longest? Not for us!

By 7:45 we were pushing. They had me play tug of war holding a towel with my nurse and at 8:17 p.m. our baby was born! Again, I thought I would push for hours! Dr. Collins placed him on my chest and all I kept saying was "It's a Boy! It's a Boy!" Ryan and I were both absolutely shocked. I was so wrong about the girl thing.

Ryan and I got to spend the first hour with him and we all bonded. It was truly magical. Harlan Levon (pronounced Lee-von) Pettigrew was 8 lbs 5 oz and 20.5 inches long. The nurses kept saying "Think of how much he would have weighed if he was born on his due date!"

That day was a whirlwind and I will never forget a second of it. I had the absolute best experience and I would not change a thing about it. We are so in love with our Harlan and can't wait to watch him grow up!

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