Wednesday, January 14, 2009, started out like any other day. I woke up and headed off to work, determined to finish another day as I got closer to my due date of January 18th. The previous night, the doctor had told me that I was less than a cm dilated and we began to make plans for if baby did not arrive on the due date. Jim also asked if the doctor thought that the delivery would even happen this week, to which the doctor responded, “Never say never.”
While at work, during my lunch break, I thought that I may have been having contractions, as my back was aching, but the pains were not consistent. I grabbed everything I needed to make my infamous White Chicken Chili from the store and headed back to work to finish the day. As the day was coming to a close, my boss said to me, “It’s going to happen tonight, you’re going to go into labor tonight.” He didn’t know what made him think of it, but he had a strong feeling that this was the case. Little did he know…
During dinner preparations, I had a number of different pains throughout my back and front abdomen, but nothing to write home about. I spent some time in the tub for the pains and then headed to bed early. Around 1:30 a.m., I woke up, went to the bathroom, believed to be having contractions, but went back to bed for more rest. Finally, around 3:00 a.m., I woke up again, took another bath, and woke Jim as I soon realized that I was having contractions that were lasting around 10-12 minutes apart. I lost what I thought to be my mucous plug, but because of the bright red blood, Jim put a call into our doctor. He wanted me to be examined at the hospital, so we quickly packed up our remaining bags (not expecting anything) and called my parents. By 6:00 a.m., we were at the hospital, anxiously awaiting an examination. Our hope was to be examined, discover I was in labor, and then head back home to wait it out, but our baby had other plans…
After being examined at 6:30 a.m., the nurses discovered I was already 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced. They put me on a fetal and contraction monitor and waited for the doctor to arrive. The contractions were not that bad and were definitely manageable. Once the doctor examined me, he asked that I be admitted and determined that “today was the day.” I was somewhat frustrated at this point because I was now resigned to this bed because of the monitoring and couldn’t really have the “walking” labor that I had envisioned. I called my mom and Marisa and they promised they would be on their way shortly. Thankfully, it had worked out because my brother had the day off of school and could watch the kids while Marisa came to be with me. Kaeli was SO excited to hear the news of her little cousin.
At about 10:30 a.m., the doctor came in and broke my water (which WAS painful, contrary to what many people say) and they discovered that a small amount of meconium had been passed by the baby, so they would need to monitor him much more closely. I was scared, but tried to remain calm as I worked through the contractions. I was also STARVING because I hadn’t eaten since the night before and I was not allowed to eat once I started labor because of the possibility of surgery or problems in labor. My dad also arrived at this time to be prepared at any moment for baby’s arrival.
The contractions continued to come steadily, ranging between 5 and 7 minutes. I continued to progress by centimeters and finally at around 2:30 p.m. began experiencing intense contractions about a minute to a minute and a half apart. This went on for about THREE HOURS as I sat rocking in a chair. Marisa and Jim really kept me on track the best they could by either rubbing my back, applying cold cloths or helping with my breathing. My parents also were very supportive (even though I did yell at my mom once, she forgave me). Marisa came armed with magazines, Kaeli’s DS, and gummy lifesavers from my brother (SHH! Don’t tell the nurses). After these three intense hours, my progress was minimal. I had only gone from 6 to 7 cm and baby’s head was still at a -2. I was disheartened, needless to say, and from the sounds of it, my labor was not progressing really as it should. My water continued to gush with each move I made. They moved me back to the bed and it was there that my labor came to a screeching halt. The contractions waned, they lessened in intensity and I continually had nurses asking if I wanted something for the pain. After another exam 1 hour later, the result was the same, still 7 cm and baby’s head was still very far up. I was devastated. After careful consideration and discussion with my family, we finally decided that an epidural was the best option to hopefully relax my body, allow me to get rest (considering the long road ahead if I were to end up pushing), and could allow for the easy administration of pitocin to try and regulate my contractions and kickstart my labor. After a LONG day, this was a welcome relief, although not in my original birth plan. I called the anesthesiologist my angel and truly felt relief almost instantly. My family insists that I was a new person and Marisa even said I was sort of slap happy. Believe me, I felt AMAZING (for the most part), while everyone else was exhausted. They administered the pitocin and we waited for the doctor to arrive for another examination.
At about 10:00 p.m., an hour after the epidural and continued, upped doses of pitocin, the doctor came and examined me – the SAME result. He scratched baby’s head slightly and was still getting a reaction. He then explained some things to us. He said that at this point, he thought that I surely would have delivered by now, but I had not. He then talked about internal fetal and contraction monitoring to see my progress more closely. He said it was clear that the baby was not moving down and the head may not be conducive to my pelvis for a vaginal delivery. He also said that if after an hour on this monitoring, I had not progressed, he would recommend the baby be taken out by c-section for a number of reasons: labor that failed to progress, my water being broken, and a prolonged period of time in the womb with the meconium. Jim then asked the doctor what his recommendation was and Dr. Flosi suggested a c-section at that moment because time would probably not produce a different result. We weighed our options and finally agreed that this would be our best bet. Dr. Doah was called in to assist and a neonatologist was on call to check the baby upon arrival for any swallowed meconium. The doctor communicated this to our families and we began to prepare for a surgery – our baby was almost here…
As I was wheeled into surgery, I was nervous and my mom told me my dad was just as scared. I was concerned for myself and for the baby. I never imagined that my labor would end like this, but I knew that I had to put complete trust in God. They laid me on the table and I was sure that I was going to fall off. They put up the midway curtain, administered more of the epidural, and waited for my abdomen to go number. It must have worked because I would barely feel my arms too! I was shaking from the cold and nerves. The anesthesiologist stayed near my head and told me what was happening. He said they would pinch me, be sure I was numb and then begin the procedure. As a nurse went to get Jim, I suddenly heard, “Incision.” I asked the anesthesiologist why they had not PINCHED ME! I was freaking out! He laughed and said that they had already done it and clearly I did not feel it. The procedure was beginning.
After what seemed like hours (and really only ten minutes), Jim and I finally heard what we had been longing to – our baby’s cries! “It’s a boy!,” the doctor proclaimed and he was immediately whisked to the other table while I was put bck together. My very first images of my son were on a camera as Jim took pictures and I was overcome with emotion at the thoughts of this little life that I had waited for. Jim and I were over the moon and clearly overcome with emotion. With his Einstein-like hair and somewhat cone-shaped head (after his efforts to get out), he was beautiful. I never even thought about my surgery or the long day, but was only concerned about his well-being. He was healthy and here – safe and sound.
Charles Aiden Schultz
January 15, 2009
8 lbs, 6 oz.
22.5 inches long
Our first family photograph