Monday, August 29, 2011

Garrison's Birth Story

I may be crazy for doing this, but now that I'm approaching the end of my pregnancy with Austin and thinking a lot about his delivery and arrival, it's also got me thinking and reminiscing about Garrison's birth... which is why I've decided to try my best to recall all the details (pleasant and not so pleasant) of his delivery and arrival. I'm planning to do the same thing once Austin arrives, we're home, and I'm up to writing about it. So while I have the chance now I wanted to go ahead and write Garrison's birth story. I really think I might be crazy for attempting to re-live everything this close to delivering another baby, but I'm reminding myself that even though it wasn't easy, I did it, and the reward of that sweet baby is so worth it! Okay, here goes...

But a quick warning first: some of the details and information below could be borderline "too much information". And a note to my sister: Don't read. ;)

Throughout the majority of my pregnancy with Garrison, the doctors thought I was carrying a very average sized baby or possibly smaller baby (despite my reminding them over and over that my husband and father-in-law were really big babies). Thankfully one of the midwives at my group of doctors' determined very late in the game that I was most likely carrying an 8 pound baby. So, we scheduled an ultrasound to make sure, and what the midwife predicted was confirmed... 8 days before Garrison's due date. They then decided to schedule me to be induced so he wouldn't have a chance to get too much bigger.

We left for the hospital on a Wednesday afternoon (Feb 4, 2009) and arrived at 5:00 pm to get "checked-in" and settled before welcoming our first baby boy. My doctors had already discussed the plan with me so I pretty much knew exactly what was going to take place. Or as much as you can know having never experienced child birth before. They decided that instead of starting me on Pitocin right away, they would first use something called Cervidil to help with thinning/softening my cervix. The next step would be to wait it out to see if my water would break on it's own. Then, if it did, more than likely I wouldn't need the Pitocin at all. There were a couple of not so pleasant experiences with the Cervidil but it did it's job and everything else basically went according to plan.

I remember the doctors telling us to tell our parents not to come to the hospital until they heard from us because it wasn't guaranteed he would be born the next day. We were warned it could be as late as Friday sometime. That didn't stop the Garrison's and the Selph's from planning a breakfast together for Thursday morning before driving over. Ha! Anyway, we settled in Wednesday night and watched a video about receiving an epidural, signed some papers, watched TV, and slept off and on. I don't remember too much about that evening/night. I do remember Terrell trying to sleep on the couch thing in the room and I think he was freezing the whole time, and I remember nurses being in and out all night. Then, around 4:00 am I felt my water break. It wasn't a gush or anything, just enough for me to feel and realize what had happened. Terrell was sound asleep so I just used my little phone and called a nurse to tell her I thought my water had broken. As soon as Terrell heard those words, he was up. =)

I remember feeling relieved that it happened on it's own and we were making progress, but nervous that the time was getting closer... and we were making progress! At that point we made the decision to wait and call our parents once we knew they'd be awake, which ended up being sometime between 6 and 7. I honestly can't remember what took place between 4:00 am when my water broke and 10 am when they told me it was almost time to push. I remember feeling contractions before getting my epidural and they were not fun. Everytime I felt one I would grab onto the bed rails on each side of me and squeeze and try not to hold my breath.... which was sort of my first reaction/reflex to them. I don't remember where Terrell was. I was supposed to be squeezing his hand! I vaguely remember him being in and out of the room. He faints really easily and seeing me in pain, plus the nurses being in and out, plus the hospital smell had him a little light-headed.

Finally the nice man came in to give me my epidural. Sweet relief. I remember wondering when I would finally get it but I don't think I ever asked about it. The epidural itself went great. It wasn't painful or scary, or anything really. It was just easy. Terrell did leave the room for that one though. After the epidural we could watch my contractions on the monitor screen beside my bed but I was pretty comfortable. Let me re-phrase. I wasn't in pain anymore. That's more accurate. Calling myself comfortable at that point would be a bit of a stretch.

The midwife who would deliver Garrison finally told me to get ready to push around 10:00 am on Thursday morning. That's when Terrell went to the waiting room to get my mom. We had already planned for her to be in the room with us for extra support and in case Terrell started feeling sick or like he might faint. It was a great decision and I'm really glad I had two cheerleaders helping me through the toughest part... giving birth to a big baby!

I think I actually started pushing sometime closer to 10:30. It was the most exhausting thing ever. She had me pushing and "holding" for 10 seconds, then taking a break, then pushing and holding for 10 seconds, taking another break, etc. This lasted for 2 hours. 2 hours! (I know lots of women have pushed for much longer with no epidural, which I think is amazing... but 2 hours was about my limit!) I also had what my midwife called a "hot spot". It was a small spot on the lower, left side of my belly where I could still feel contractions. I don't think I felt the "hot spot" until I started pushing so I'm not sure if the epidural wore off a little or if it never really numbed that particular spot.

I remember them being able to see his head fairly early on. They told me he had dark hair and starting pouring or rubbing some kind of oil on his head to help out. So at that point I thought it was almost over. No such luck. His head was right there ready to come out for a looong time but he was so big and I was so small it took lots more pushing and every ounce of energy I had to get him out. I was feeling exhausted and hot (they kept putting a damp cloth on me and even giving me ice chips if I'm remembering correctly) and literally like I was running out of gas and couldn't keep going. But somehow I just knew that I had to keep going and so instead of panicking or even letting myself give up, I just kept pushing and mustering up all the strength I had. Kendra, my midwife, was amazing. I'm so thankful she delivered him.

Finally 2 hours later, at 12:33 pm, my baby boy was born weighing in at 8 pounds 1 ounce and 19 and 1/2 inches long. Praise God for his safe arrival and that he eventually made his way out. One of the first things I remember after he was born was my mom saying "There he is Meggie" and me just being out of it. They gave him to me and I was able to look down at him for just a second before handing him back because I felt like I had to throw up. Then I did. Yuck. Definitely not how I imagined our first moment together and seeing each other face to face. After that another doctor had to come in to start taking care of me. Unfortunately I had a 4th degree tear that couldn't be prevented. Not fun. Sooo, Garrison bonded with Terrell while I was laid up being "worked on". Afterwards I felt guilty about not being able to hold him and bond with him right away like you're supposed to, but I'm over that now. Garrison turned out perfect even though his delivery was a little traumatic and I couldn't hold him for the first hour or so after his birth. So there you have it~ the birth story of my first baby boy.

Looking at this picture I can't believe I was carrying him inside of me. But I definitely know why we both had a hard time...

I looked as rough as I felt...

Finally holding my baby boy who was still swollen from that tough delivery

Meeting each other for the first time

Daddy and Garrison... Terrell was instantly in love. While I was laid up in the hospital bed waiting for the doctor to finish, Terrell held and stared at Garrison the whole time and I got to watch. It was precious.

One of my favorite newborn pics of Garrison. All cleaned up and wide awake, my bundle of joy and gift from God.

***Now I'm praying (a lot) about the best, safest, easiest delivery method for my next baby boy. Please pray with me that we'll make the right decision and do what's best for me and Austin. In the meantime, we're still playing the waiting game until our ultrasound on Friday morning. Hopefully that will help make our decision a little easier.

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