Friday, August 8, 2008

The Story

So here’s the scoop on today’s adventure….
As Tom mentioned, I decided to try some castor oil last night to see if that would help get things moving with this baby :)

It all started around 3:45 this morning. I woke up to what I was pretty sure was a contraction. I was a little excited, but didn’t dare get my hopes up. I then proceeded to use the bathroom and a little bit later had another contraction. After a couple contractions, I decided to try timing them. They were about 6-8 minutes apart – no big deal I thought. I sat around for a while until Tom got up for work. When he got up, I told him I’d been having contractions for about an hour & of course he panicked a little. He was ready to leave ASAP, but with my previous experience of my labors being kinda slow, I told him we could wait until we dropped Mackenzie off at school & then head to the hospital. So, he got ready, I packed my bag, and we waited till it was time to get Mackenzie up & ready for school. (It was now around 6:20 a.m. & we didn’t need to get Kenzie up till 7:00)

Anyways, as I was sitting on the couch, Tom said he thought we should see how far apart the contractions were now. So, I said OK, and at the next contraction, Tom panicked when it was only 4 minutes from the last one. He said “we’re leaving right now, we don’t have time to wait on Mackenzie” So I agreed & told him to take the suitcase out to the car then come & get his parents up so they could get Mackenzie off to school. Well, when Tom went out to the car, I had another contraction & my water broke! Here’s where I had my first inkling of panic. You see, it’s a 40 min. drive to the hospital. So, I headed down to the Mustang & off we went.

We got on I-20 & after about 10 minutes, the contractions were coming much closer together & getting REALLY painful. I was getting to a point where I couldn’t breathe through them very well. I tried to call my doctor’s office to let them know we were on the way, but was in so much pain that I just hung up because I couldn’t write down the number to call for the on-call doctor. I handed the phone to Tom and told him to call 911 because I wasn’t sure we were gonna make it to the hospital. Especially since we were heading into Birmingham right in time for rush hour traffic. So, he spent the rest of the trip to the hospital on the phone with a 911 dispatcher who was prepared to have someone meet us on the interstate if we got caught in traffic since it felt like things were moving really fast.

In the meantime, Tom was driving ridiculously fast! I had no idea till later that he actually got up to 110 on the interstate! Good thing I didn’t know at the time. Anyways, we made it to the hospital (I think around 7:20 – 7:25a.m.) & pulled up to the ER, Tom ran inside, & got a doctor who came out to help. When he found out this was our 4th, he was like “CRAP, get a gurney out here NOW!!” So they ran me in, checked me & the doctor said I wasn’t completely dilated, so I asked if I could get an epidural. He said no, I was way beyond that, but he was just glad I wasn’t going to deliver right that second. He said labor & delivery was on their way down to get me. He proceeded to tell me his name along with all the nurses, to which I responded “don’t bother to tell me your names, I’m not gonna remember & I don’t care.” Kinda funny I suppose….I was just in a ton of pain!!

Labor & Delivery showed up about 20 seconds later, the nurse checked me, said I was about 9 ½ cm, but she thought they could get me up to the 3rd floor to deliver. SO, 3 nurses all took off with my bed, literally running through the hallways. The tricky part is that the ER is actually in what they call the south tower of the hospital. They needed to get me to the women & children’s bldg. of the hospital. So, it was not a quick trip up the elevator to the 3rd floor. They had to run the entire length of the hospital to the next bldg, then up the elevator & down to labor & delivery. Meanwhile, as they were running, I started feeling that urge to push, so I was screaming my head off! I’ve never been in so much pain in my life, and I kept thinking I was gonna deliver this baby in some hallway somewhere. The nurses kept telling me to breathe, don’t push, we’re almost there. I was bawling, screaming, and stressing!! They called ahead & said to make sure a room was ready for me to deliver as soon as we got there. They wheeled me into a room, moved me to the bed, and the next contraction I started pushing. Some OB doctor who happened to be in the hallway as we came running through came in to help until the dr. who was on call from my office could get there. After about 3 pushes, my on-call dr. came in & took over. It was so painful to push that I just kept crying & saying I couldn’t do it. The nurses were still all rushing around getting everything ready to deliver & a couple of them were on either side of me talking me through each contraction & telling me I had to push. I kept saying I couldn’t cuz it hurt too much (I even asked if they couldn’t just reach in & get the baby out!) but I did my best to keep pushing through the immense pain. Finally after what seemed forever, but I guess was really only about 10 minutes, I felt the head crown & the next push, out little boy was out! (7:42 a.m.) I thought the pain would immediately stop, but it didn’t. They cleaned him up & put him on my chest, but I was in so much pain, I told them just to take him away. I couldn’t even hardly focus to look at him or enjoy him. I felt so bad, but after they delivered the placenta, the pain finally came down to a bearable level.

When it was all said & done, he came out face up, which the doctor explained was actually a good thing in this case. It’s harder to deliver that way (takes longer for the baby to come out), and if he had been face down, she said I never would have made it to the hospital & I definitely would have delivered out along the interstate somewhere. And that also explains why it was so painful. Evidently it’s not as painful to deliver when they’re face down like normal. Who knew….but I would NEVER sign up for natural childbirth again after this experience!! I feel like I “survived” the experience. I feel just fine now, and we’re both doing great. He’s been nursing great every 3 hours, and is very content.

And as for his stats: he weighed 7 lbs 5 oz, 20 ½ in. long. We’re still working on a name. We’ll let you know as soon as we decide!

Grandma & Grandpa Palmer brought the kids up to the hospital this afternoon for a while, and the girls were excited about their brother. Camden did really well, too. He didn’t seem bothered at all about the baby…went right up to him, pointed & tried to say “baby”. He smiled, stared, and touched his head really sweetly! We’ll see what he thinks when baby comes home!


aje said...

Congratulations, Tom and Ruth!! What a story! I am so glad you didn't have to deliver on the interstate! My friend's brother delivered their baby on the side of the interstate one snowy winter in Canada!!!!

Glad to hear you have a healthy little boy to add to your beautiful family!

Blessings, The Edwards (not sure if you remember us...we met you at Wallen (pre-kids!) and friends of Dusseaus, Potters, and more....)

Jen said...

well, Tom finally got his mad dash to the hospital. I have a feeling it was probably more than he had always dreamt it would be! So glad you made it and didn't have the baby in the mustang! You are my hero, that was some delivery!

talk to you soon,


Leah D. said...

Hey Tom, Ruth & All,

Am having trouble sending my comment to you. Am not a computer guru. Congratulations!! He is beautiful. My mind has a video going of that whole scenario! God bless and keep all of you. You have a beautiful family.

Leah D.