Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about Punkinhead’s Birth?

Miracle Baby Hank got me to thinking about our own miracle birth.

Punkinhead’s Birth Story
June 30, 2003 7:00 pm:

We had gone to Petco to buy some dog food for the in-laws as they have really no pet stores where they live to buy quality food at, and we were planning on seeing them for the 4th of July when we all were going to camp together. As we’re stockpiling the canned dog food in our carts I felt my underwear get really wet. This was not the “gush” or “trickle” I’d heard about in reference to someone’s water breaking, so I was like, “hmm, what is this all about?”

I told Charlie Brown, “I think I’m leaking amniotic fluid,” to which he looked down at the floor and said, “I don’t see a puddle,” rather sarcastically. My mind was just racing…finally I determined I had to go to the bathroom to check this out. Pulled down my underwear which were soaked and low and behold there were lumps of mucous too. So now I was confused, with LMNOB, I’d been induced. I didn’t lose the plug or have my water break on it’s own. Is this just losing my plug or is it more?

So while we’re checking out I told Charlie Brown, “SOMETHING is going on.” We got home around 7:30 and I called my mother in-law to see what she thought. She advised me to just call the dr. So I did. His response? “Get to the hospital and let’s see what’s happening here.”

So we put LMNOB to bed, called a friend who could come over to sit with her and headed to L&D. There we discovered that it was in fact amniotic fluid that I was leaking. I was only dilated to 1.5cm and no contractions at all. The dr gave me Ambien, sent Charlie Brown home and told me that if contrax started they’d call him in, otherwise it was Pitocin in the morning.

July 1, 8:00 am:
Pitocin drip begins. Intense and uncomfortable contrax follow.

I’d only dilated another .5cm despite regular contractions. So, they tried to put a pressure catheter inside the uterus to gauge how intense these regular contractions were. However, b/c I was only 2cm, this was a rather painful and in the end, futile attempt. They did discover that there was still a small sac of amniotic fluid that needed ruptured, but couldn’t get to it due to the lack of dilation. So they unhooked the pitocin and told me to walk around and get something to eat, they would rehook it up in awhile.

The words “no progress” and “c-section” raced around frantically in my head.

Pitocin re-established.

Some friends had picked LMNOB up at daycare and brought her in…this was a huge comfort to see my girl! She was cautious at first, but in the end warmed up and entertained us all. Seth and the gang that was there decided to go and get something to eat.

Internal check…4 cm!! They were now able to put the pressure catheter in and break that last bit of water. The pressure catheter would gauge how intense the contractions were and let the nurse know if she needed to up the pitocin or not.

The contractions that were, up to now, bearable became a bit more intense. I was having to breathe thru them now. I called Charlie Brown, told him I thought things were rolling now and he should come back. My Big’N’Tall brother took LMNOB back to the house and put her down for the night. My contractions got bad, much worse than I tolerated with LMNOB, and the med staff kept asking me if I wanted the epi. Being that an epi could slow down labor I kept saying no, not yet b/c I didn’t want to stall out. They did give me a few doses of IV pain meds when it got really bad and I asked for them. I didn’t like it though, as my head felt so disconnected, so I chose to breathe thru them. I was feeling pretty good in that I just knew things had to finally be progressing, the contractions were one on top of the other and just SO bad!

Internal check…only 5 cm. I was devastated and began to cry thinking it would be c-section time. The nurse asked again if I wanted the epi, and I said yes…why go thru the pain if it was all for naught?

Epidural has been administered, and life is again good on the pain front. We all kind of relaxed and tried to rest.

Internal check….6.5cm.

July 2, 2003 1:30am:
I was feeling pressure for about 15 minutes and feeling like I had to breathe thru what felt like vaginal, vs. uterine, contractions. I paged the nurse as I felt like I had to bear down. She came in and checked me and I was at 9cm! I began to cry and told her that it was the best news I had heard all day. She got some stuff ready and paged the dr. But before the dr got in the room, I said, “I gotta push now,” and the nurse looked and replied, “Yep you do, let’s go.” I pushed 2 times before the doctor got there, and about 4 times after the dr arrived, there was a baby at 1:53am, almost 31 hrs after my water first broke.

He was 5 lbs 15 oz, and 19 in long. Breathing was excellent, which was a concern for him only being 36 wks. We knew his first name, but the middle name controversy had come up again during the labor process. When we saw him, he looked just like Charlie Brown’s baby pictures. He asked me, “Is Archie okay? It just feels right.” Archie is Charlie Brown’s grandfather’s name. Granpa Archie had been gone for a long time, but Grandma Nina, loving wife to Archie, had joined him in Heaven that spring. I told him it only fit as Charlie Brown was called little Archie by many b/c of the resemblance he bore towards his grandfather, and Punkinhead appeared to be carrying the looks on.

Being a “36-weeker” as the hospital staff so lovingly called him, sucking/feeding were likely to be issues because 1.) the suck reflex is still immature at this stage and 2.) they are not ready to be out of the womb yet and are very sleepy. All day Wednesday was an ordeal trying to get him to eat. But finally he did nurse, for 20 minutes at that! It was just after this that the lactation consultant came in (she was req’d to see me as he was in the special care nursery) and I excitedly told her he’d just eaten well. Instantly she started second guessing me and questioning me about his latch and whether or not I heard swallowing or not. I firmly told her he’d done them well, that this was not my first nursing experience. She wanted me to get him to eat on the other side then…wasn’t 20 minutes with a preemie enough for her? No. So then we fought and fought to get him awake and latched on. She “corrected” me on my hold very rudely (I was wanting to do the football hold as that was what had just worked, but she insisted on cross-cradle), told me I was presenting the nipple incorrectly. I was getting really frustrated with her. She then gave me the kit for a hospital grade pump…told me I was going to have to pump and supplement from the get go, that we wouldn’t be able to just nurse. I would have to rent the actual pump from the hospital, blah blah blah. Then Charlie Brown came in. He and his parents had gone to the mall and visited Motherhood Maternity and bought me two sets of nursing pjs and a small electric Medela pump.

The LC saw it and jumped all over them, “Whoa whoa whoa, what is this?” and proceeded to tell him he’d wasted his money, it wouldn’t work, and the only thing that would come close to hospital grade pump was the Pum In Style. Charlie Brown got upset and left. the LC’s work was done and she left. We never did have any nursing issues! Well, at least not until Punkinhead was 10 mos old!

So….all things considered, 1.) My water broke when for all medical purposes, my body was NOT ready to go into labor, the drs told me this was a fact and that was why I stalled so long, 2.) Our at-risk baby was little, but overall very healthy, and 3.) My insurance changed over to a much more expensive delivery coverage on 7/1, but b/c I was admitted 6/30, my old, cheaper insurance was the one responsible for delivery coverage even though it was after 7/1, this was not a case of coincidence, but rather one where we know God was truly in control and totally watching out for us.

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