Cannon’s birth was nothing what I expected the birth of my child to be. I want to record all the details here to help myself remember. But first here is the the short version for those who don’t want all the details.
On June 16th I went in for my 39 week appointment and my midwife was concerned about how high my blood pressure was. I was instructed to go to Labor and Delivery that afternoon. I started the process of being induced that evening. The next day I had progressed enough to start pitocin then had my water broken to move things along. After 7 hours of labor and about an hour of pushing we met our little man at 8:54pm. It was amazing to meet and snuggle our little boy. Unfortunately I struggled with a severe hemorrhage for four and a half hours after giving birth. Those hours were the scariest, most painful in my life but I am thankful that all turned out ok and I was able to go home with a health baby boy.
Here is the long version:
On June 16th I thought it would be fun to go to Boulder Reservoir with my Mom and Cory it was their first open water swim of the season and it sounded nice to be outside before it got too hot. Being a million weeks pregnant I did not tolerate heat well.
After watching Cory and Mom have great swims, I headed to my 39 week appointment. My blood pressure was very high and there was concern about preeclampsia which can be dangerous and even fatal for mom and baby. Given the risk and the fact that I was full term we decided it was time to meet our baby. Our midwife agreed to let us go home to get our hospital bags, take the dogs to my parents house and be back to the hospital around 1pm. I was in shock that I would have to be induced but also excited that I would meet my baby soon. After getting as ready as we could we headed back to the hospital.
Normally the start of the process of being induced would be an outpatient procedure to help my cervix be prepared for birth since I was only 1cm dilated. We stayed in the hospital overnight so they could monitor my blood pressure and Cannon. I had no idea what to expect that night but settled in to see what would happen. We were in the process of that is called “ripening the cervix” which can sometimes throw you into labor but not always. We moved around, watched The League on Cory’s tablet and just tried to pass the time.
We did get some sleep that night I had some very painful contractions that had me hopeful that we would get the show on the road more quickly but they only lasted a couple hours and went away without really progressing. In the morning we were still just a couple cm dilated but things were moving along.
Around mid day on Friday the 17th I had progressed enough to start Pitocin. Pitocin is a drug that mimics the hormones that would naturally start labor. It was now time to wait and see how my body reacted and start to manage the contractions. I was doing well and dealing with the contractions well enough. Even though I had to be hooked up to the IV I could walk the halls and move all around my room.
A few hours into labor I had dilated to 5cm my midwife checked on me and was unhappy with how high my blood pressure was. She told me that I could take a medicine that could help control my blood pressure but what she really wanted me to do was to get an epidural. According to my midwife, epidurals often lower peoples blood pressure and she thought this would be the best choice for me. I didn’t want to get an epidural at least not that early into labor but it seemed like the best option and it would lower the risks for Cannon and me. I talked it over with Cory and agreed to the epidural. Getting the epidural was not very painful, it was just uncomfortable to sit still for so long while having contractions. The worst part for me was that I was stuck in bed and could no longer walk or move around the room. At first the epidural was really nice I could still feel and move my legs but the contractions in my belly were dulled. My midwife also decided to break my water to help move labor along.
As the epidural progressed I could move and use my legs much less and I really didn’t like this feeling. I also developed what my nurse called a “hot spot” this was a spot in my belly where I could feel everything. The nurses helped me move back and forth in the bed as much as possible to help relieve the hotspot and endure the contractions that felt like they were coming strong and fast. This time seemed to go by very quickly and soon my midwife checked me again and told me that we had made it to 10cm dilated. It was time to start pushing and doing the real work to get Cannon out into the world. My midwife was also working with another woman who was giving birth so I worked with a nurse to start the process and do some practice pushes, this lasted longer than I would have liked and it seemed like we were stalling a bit so my midwife could make it back. After about 45 minutes she was back and it was my turn to really get to work. I can’t recall exactly but I think I really pushed for 40 minutes. I was glad that my epidural was light and that I could still feel the contractions and knew when to push and when to stop and work with my body.
With each push I really believed that it could be the final one and each time it wasn’t I was shocked. Finally Cannon came into the world, he did have the umbilical cord wrapped around him twice and needed to be unwound. He was grayish blue but started crying immediately. The nurses assured us the Cannon was just fine and only needed some skin to skin cuddles and breastfeeding.
We got our magic hour of cuddling and just staring at our little boy. We were both in shock and I was exhausted. It was such a weird feeling of disbelief that he was finally here and he was OURS. After our cuddle time the nurse came in to take his vitals, he was healthy, 7lbs 13oz and 20.5 inches long (88% for length, tall boy).
Unfortunately I had a severe hemorrhage after Cannon was born and lost a lot of blood. It took over four hours to get the blood loss to stop. The procedures they had to take to get the bleeding to stop were the most traumatic and painful that I have ever experienced. Even though this was a very scary experience for both Cory and me, we are very grateful that more extreme measures were not needed including emergency surgery and/or transfusion.
In the end we had to spend four nights in the hospital instead of the typical one or two nights so that I could be monitored. It was so nice when we finally were cleared to go home on Monday afternoon with a healthy baby in tow.
Cannon has now been in our lives for over a month and I love him more than I could imagine. I look forward to sharing so many things with him but also try to hold these quiet moments while he is so small in new close to my heart .