Thursday, March 01, 2007

I not TWO no more!!!

That's what Scotty said this morning when I wished him a happy birthday! He couldn't wait to tell his dad. "Daddy!!! I not two no more - I FWEEE!" Three years ago, I gave birth to this vivacious little boy. What a roller coaster ride that day would be. My due date was not till the 10th of March. I was pretty sure I would be early, as I had been 2 1/2 weeks early with Hannah. I was very concerned, as 2004 was a leap year. That meant there was an additional day in February, and I didn't want my son to be born on February 29th (though it would have been cool for him to say he was only 4 on his 16th birthday...but I digress). Luckily, I felt nothing all day on the 29th, which was a Sunday.

Monday morning was no different. Scott got up for work, and nothing seemed amiss. I had been having contractions for a month, so I was completely used to them. Scott left at around 7:20 a.m., and I was dozing on the couch. At 7:30 a.m., I felt a strong contraction, but ignored it. When the next one came fairly close to the first one, I decided to start timing them. After a few, I realized they were about 6 minutes apart. I waited for awhile before calling Scott to tell him. I’d had a few bouts of strong contractions, but they usually went away after 45 minutes or so.

These didn’t! At 8:30 a.m., I called Scott to tell him I thought I was in labor. He said to time them for another ½ hour and if they were still consistent, he was on his way home. I decided to start packing the rest of Hannah’s suitcase. At 9:00 a.m. I called Scott again and told him to come home. He got home, I was just eating breakfast, and trying to finish packing. The contractions were pretty strong…I couldn’t do or say anything during them. I had just finished paying bills, and wanted to drop some off.

We loaded up the car and headed out. First, we stopped at GA Power to pay the electric bill, then stopped at Columbia County Water to pay the water/sewer bill. We went to the ATM to get cash, then headed out to drop Hannah off at Michelle Smith’s house, where she would stay for a few days. We then headed to Re/Max Augusta to pay the rent (it was the 1st, after all!)

We made it to the hospital at about 11:00 a.m. They put me into a labor room, and said I would be admitted as soon as they determined that I was truly in labor. My contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and STRONG…of COURSE I was in labor! But I had to deal with all the questions and tests, etc. Finally, at around noon, they decided I really was in labor and admitted me. They checked me and I was already 4 cm dilated. The first thing I asked for was an epidural! I knew it would take some time, so I wanted it right away. Well, they drew blood to make sure my platelet count was good (should have remembered what someone told me, that I should ask for blood to be drawn right away because it takes some time).

It was 2:00 p.m. before they got the results of the bloodwork and started my epidural. By this time, the contractions were coming hard and fast, and I was feeling an urge to push, or so I thought. My water still had not broken, either. They sat me up to give me the epidural, with my feet on a chair below me, and the tray table to lean on. Scott was telling the anesthesiologist that he had two minutes between my contractions to get the epidural going! The anesthesiologist was a bit of a klutz, though. He dropped the tray of iodine, and it splattered all over Scott’s new tennis shoes.

Still worse, I had a contraction, and I swear I had to push! Right then my water broke – and it was a huge woosh. It went EVERYWHERE! The nurse who was holding my hand got the worst of it. Scott ended up with a bit of fluid on his pants, but not on his tennis shoes, though. I felt MUCH better after that, and the epidural took effect shortly thereafter. They then decided to check me again, and wonder of wonders, I was 10 centimeters dilated and fully effaced…I was ready to push! I really didn’t expect it so soon. I dilated 6 centimeters in 2 hours!

Well, I started pushing. It seemed easy enough. The baby was at plus 2 station, meaning he was 2 inches below the pubic bone – a good place for him to be. I kept pushing, but his heart rate would REALLY slow down. It was very scary. There were a few times that they couldn’t get a rhythm, so they decided on an internal scalp monitor for his heart rate. There were still alarming decelerations in his heart rate; his heart would actually STOP while I was pushing, and the rate wouldn’t start up again! Talk about scary. They kept poking my belly, poking him in the head, doing whatever they could to get his heart rate up.

After about an hour of pushing, I’d made very little progress. It turned out that Scotty was presenting anterior, or sunny-side up – facing up instead of down. That meant that he was trying to push the largest part of his head through the smallest part of my body. It wasn’t going to happen. Dr. Yingling came in and recommended a cesarean section. I REALLY didn’t want one, and wanted to try again, perhaps having them turn the baby…but the doctor didn’t recommend it. The baby was in fetal distress and wouldn’t handle too much more of it.

They upped my epidural dose, and we headed to the operating room. Scott put on his scrubs and was waiting for me. They brought him in, and I was pretty comfortable on the table. I could still wiggle my feet and toes, and they were surprised. I was able to push myself off the gurney onto the operating table, and they said I should not have been able to do that with the amount of epidural I had, but somehow, I could still do it! I was numb from the chest to the knees, however, so they weren’t too worried.

All of a sudden, all hell was breaking loose. The doctors had been calling for someone to “catch” the baby…and they needed someone who had a sterile hand to push the baby back up the birth canal. I could hear them saying all of this, and asking if someone had removed the internal monitor from the baby’s head. Then, with such flair, Scotty decided to punch his elbow through my existing scar tissue, causing my uterus to rupture. Talk about being scared! All of a sudden, there are more doctors and nurses around me. The anesthesiologist is trying to start a second IV line on me, but he botched it, so he had to try a 3rd time. He had been trying to get heart monitors hooked up, but the lead doctor was yelling that a second IV was more important, in case a blood transfusion was necessary.

She was calling for a type and cross-match, and I casually stated, “oh, my blood type is A-, if that helps”…she was incredulous that I could still speak! She came up to me and told me that if I started feeling light-headed or if I passed out, they would immediately put me under general anesthesia and kick Scott out.

Scotty's First Picture

During all of this, baby Scott came into the world. I never heard him cry, didn’t see him or anything. Scott was torn between going to see the baby and staying with me. I really didn’t know the severity of what was happening to me. I was worried about our little boy. I finally talked him into going to the baby. I wondered when he would cry. It took about 5 minutes before I actually heard him, and it brought tears to my eyes. Meanwhile, they were still trying to stop the bleeding from the rupture.

They got the bleeding stopped rather quickly. I told Sc ott to head to the nursery with the baby, I’d be fine. The doctors were checking my chart and realized I had requested a tubal ligation if I had to have a c-section (hey, while they’re down there, why not?). So they took care of that too. They were able to repair the uterus and didn’t have to remove it (which often happens). As they were preparing to close me up, I asked if they were going to stitch me or staple me. The doctor replied that he was going to put in staples. I said, “oh…I wish you could do the invisible stitches like I had last time, the scar healed so nicely.” So they said they would, although they normally didn’t do that when there was a high risk of infection (uterine rupture + unsterile field, since the scalp monitor had not been removed before they took Scotty out). But they did it anyway. To hear the doctor tell it later, I BEGGED him not to staple or stitch me!

Once I was wheeled into the recovery room, it was my sole goal to get my body parts moving as quickly as possible. I knew from experience that until I could move my toes, they wouldn’t release me to my room, where I would FINALLY see my baby! I was in recovery for awhile, and Scott came in. It was then that I realized the extent of what had just happened. The possibility of death, both mine and Scotty’s, was SO much closer than I had realized. When Scott told me about seeing the baby being brought to the table, blue and lifeless, the lack of crying came back to me, and I realized he could have died! They were doing a lot to him to get him to breathe. Scotty had a low initial Apgar test. I never did hear what the numbers were. His 2 and 5 minute Apgars were better. I left the recovery room about an hour or so after the surgery. It was STILL another hour or so before they finally brought that little boy in to me.

He was perfect, in every way. He had a few more “battle scars” than Hannah, due to having actually made it into the birth canal, but he still had a mostly round head. And THEN I heard him cry – boy, he had the lungs of a 2 year old! LOUD and PROUD. We bonded well as a family. The doctors and nurses later astonished us with the story of how he turned over in the nursery…not once, but TWICE! He did NOT want to be on his back!

Whenever I think about how close to death he was, how close to death I was, I am so thankful to God - His hand was definitely in our lives that day!

Happy Birthday, Little Man - my bugaboo, buggerdoo, Bug, Boo, Scotty Mac....I'm so glad you're here!


Susan said...

Happy Birthday my boo!! :) -- what a story, I had forgotten all those details :) I am glad you are BOTH okay :)

rennratt said...

What a beautiful beginning!

Happy Birthday, little man!

rennratt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rennratt said...

Sorry about that. My link stuck and I posted twice!

grant said...

Despite, the terror, that is a lovely end to the story.
My GF is starting to get abit clucky lately so I don't think it will be too long.
Hopefully our experience will be all the good bits from your story and not the bad.
Delighted for you and Boo.
happy birthday little man

Bob-kat said...

Happy Birthday! :0)

That was a close call for you both - I am glad it ended so well and now a third birthday!

Do you know - I love that you were paying bills while in labour! I cannot imagine a man doing that!

Michele sent me to say hi and thanks for visiting my blog.

utenzi said...

Happy Birthday ("fweee" if you're keeping track) Scotty. May it be a great year for you as well as the rest of your family.

That's quite a delivery, Linda. It's a good thing that the anesthesia had you out of it enough so you didn't realize how much danger you both were in. That's scary stuff. I wonder how often a situation like that--with the arm going through scar tissue--happens anyway. *whew*

Michele sent me over!

(I tried posting this a bunch of times, Linda, but your "visual verification" do-hickie wasn't working)

Mr. Althouse said...

Wow! What an experience. And today? All is well apparently. Good looking kid!
Michele sent me to say,
Happy B-day Scotty!


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a fantastic story Linda...and so scary, too! I'm so glad everything turned out wonderfully well...!
It was like The Perils Of Pauline! But with such a very happy ending!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

OOOOPS! I forgot to say that Michele says Hi to you, too!

margalit said...

woa, that is one scary birth story. It's amazing that you didn't realize how severe the situation was until much later on. And what an adorable baby. He was beautiful on his birth day, and beautiful today. Happy Birthday, Scotty!

carli said...

Well, I got a little lightheaded when I read that, but I'm glad it all came out okay.

I pay my bills online. It's so much nicer than schlepping around!

Berry Patch said...

Aren't three year olds awesome? Jack keeps saying he's "2" though. Can't seem to get him to grasp the whole being 3 thing. :-)


Anonymous said...

Wow Linda..I never knew are such a strong woman.