Saturday, January 1, 2011

Noah's Birth Story

I thought it might be time to sit down and tell the story of how Noah came into the world on Saturday, April 4, 2009. At 28 weeks pregnant, I was measuring about two and a half weeks further along than expected (initial due date: April 13). I went in for an ultrasound and Noah looked as though he would be a big boy. At 31 weeks, I started having regular contractions and spent four days in the hospital where they tried many different things to stop preterm labor. I went home still having occasional contractions, but without any progression in labor, we felt confident Noah would wait until it was the right time. I switched from an OBGYN to a midwife at OU Medical Center and found out when transfering my medical records that the last ultrasound had shown some concerns that I was not aware of. Noah had extra fluid on his right kidney. We had regular advanced ultrasounds to monitor the progress. Each time, it was confirmed that Noah was a big boy and a c-section might be in the works.

I finished up my accounting internship early on April 3 since a decision for a c-section, induction, or neither was to be made at the ultrasound that day. While in the waiting room for the ultrasound, I was having stronger and stronger contractions about 6 minutes apart. I notified the front desk and they had a nurse check me before the ultrasound. I was 4 cm dilated, so it was decided that following the ultrasound I would go to Labor and Delivery. The ultrasound was somewhat uneventful, with the exception of stronger contractions and Noah's continued kidney issue. The tech did the measurements and estimated Noah would be 7 and a half pounds (2 pounds less than previous ultrasounds had shown).

Matt came to the doctor's office to pick me up and take me over to the hospital and my mom started her drive to OKC to help. At triage, they said that I was more like 3 1/2 cm and would have to walk around for an hour before being checked again. After an hour of walking around and having very strong contractions, I was at 4 cm and admitted to the hospital at 1:00pm. Fastforward 7 hours of walking around the room, leaning on Matt for support during contractions, and sitting on a birthing ball to rest, and my water broke during a contraction. I continued to labor for three more hours before deciding that exhaustion was taking over and the pain was too much. Noah was positioned face-up, causing a lot of back labor. I had the epidural at around 11pm. By this time, they had decided that Noah was having a difficult time during contractions and they needed to replace the fluid I lost when my water broke.

After another 3-4 hours, the midwife checked my progress and I was at 7cm. They had to turn off the pitocin before then because it caused the contractions to be really strong and Noah's heartrate would decelerate each time. Around 3am, the midwife came to talk to me and let me know that the contractions without pitocin were not strong enough for me to keep progressing toward delivery, but with the pitocin, the decelerations were concerning. It was time to make a decision. I said, "Even if I could make it to the end, I don't think I have any energy left to push." We decided it would be best for everyone to go ahead with a c-section. I was wheeled back to the Operating Room, where it seemed like 20 or more people were. They increased the dosage of my epidural until I felt nothing below my ribcage and let Matt in to sit beside me as they started the c-section. When the doctor pulled Noah out, she said, "Congratulations, you have a toddler!" and I heard a gasp from most of the people in the OR. Murmurs of "he's so big!" echoed around the room. Noah was born at 4:10am on April 4, 2009.

He was 9 lbs 12 oz, and 22 inches long. There is much more to the story, but something you would have to ask me in person. Noah is now three days away from being 21 months old. It's hard to imagine it has been almost two years since Noah was born.

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