Thursday, April 1, 2010

Friday night's big event--Benjamin's birth story

We load into the car and wave bye to the neighbors. A few doozies hit me en route and I breathe through them. We park out front (he tried to take me to the front and drop me off) but I'm stubborn and wanted to walk myself. Yes, he married one of those women--ME! Ha!

Up the elevator to the 2nd floor. Labor and Delivery. There we are. Two of us checking in and hopefully, God willing, three of us checking out.

We get to the room and I realized, I haven't taken any preggo shots (I had intended to have a couple) and I have to have at least ONE photo of me... as I am... before "D day". So, my ONLY true, intentional photo of me pregnant is the one Andy took of me standing before the delivery bed in the hospital.

Truth be known, I don't care about that just because while I think it's neat to see everyone else's progression into motherhood, I don't necessarily enjoy seeing/getting stretch marks and I don't embrace that particular part of motherhood. I don't feel like I should strut around in a bikini proudly because those are the "scars of motherhood." I'm just not like that. More power to the ones that are --it's just not me. And so, I continue my journey with just the solo photos of me before delivery. And, that's it. And I don't mind it. Seriously.

After my singular photo session, I go change into "the gown." Don't laugh. You KNOW "the gown." The butt-less mu mu. They're so gosh-darn-awful looking. Seriously, just SO bad but I guess when in Rome... The first L&D nurse came to hook me up to monitor my contractions and monitor the baby's heartbeat. Everything was moving along swimmingly. My dear mother-in-law came up there to be with us. And then we sat. I think that's the worst part of laboring in the hospital is that you just sit and wait. Sit and wait. Wait and sit. Everyone watches you like you're going to do tricks or something. Honestly, it's quite boring. Andy bought me two magazines (People and Oprah -- two magazines I'd probably never read in a million years but he figured light-hearted reading was best to take your mind off things). My mother in law brought a few magazines/catalogs, too.

However, instead of reading, we had important business to get to -- picking out a name! Yes, it's true... we had NO NAME picked out for this child. In all fairness, however, we still THOUGHT we had a month in which to CHOOSE one!

I had several on my list-- have I ever mentioned how much I love to make lists? My list included names like Barret, Benjamin, Brady, Cabe (my grandmother's maiden name), Caleb, Cash, Charles/Charlie, Christian, Cole, Cooper, Dierks, Dylan, Jacob, Jett, Landry, Liam, Max, Miles, Nicholas, Nolan, Oliver, Reagan, Ripley, Ryan, Sean, Trey, Westley, Westin, and Zane. We kept picking up "the list." My mother-in-law picked it up and went through it with us.... I think Benjamin was just sticking for everyone. We all liked it -- Benjamin, Ben, Benji... I liked it. It was growing on me, but what to choose for a middle name? GEEZE! I gave Kyle the list and she liked Ryan. Andy liked Ryan so we gave the middle choice (from our list) to our L&D nurse. :) That's how we chose Benjamin Ryan. Benjamin is a family name, however. It's Andy's great-grandfather's name. So that was what we were doing while I "labored."

Occasionally during this time, I had to be checked for progress. I will state that other than getting the epidural this is my LEAST favorite part of L&D. Seriously, it feels like someone is trying to shove their entire arm up your vagina. There has to be an easier way -- ESPECIALLY since it's all relative. I think I will always warn young women that when choosing an OBGYN to look at the size of the man's hands! At that point in time, I was measuring at about a 3-3 1/2 (the nurse says she measures conservatively). We talked about epidurals and pain management, etc. The contractions started being a little less pleasant. (That's the easy way to say they freakin' hurt!) So, she got the anesthesiologist en route. I was anticipating bliss shortly after his arrival. Instead, it took about 4 pokes -- and Lord have mercy -- I was about to say I'll do it without the epidural. That hurt SO FREAKIN BAD. He couldn't get the needle in. The one time he did get it in, he hit a blood vessel so he had to start over. It was not pleasant. It was not fun. However, once it kicked in, all was forgotten. God bless that man.
The only bad side effect, the shakes. I felt like a Parkinson's patient with the DT's. It was horrible. I was wondering -- is it nerves? Is my brain telling my person -- FREAK OUT! You're about to have a baby? However, Nurse Kyle said that it was normal. So, regardless, because she said it was... I still have "proof" that I'm "normal" -- whatever that means.

Unfortunately, shortly after receiving that my blood pressure tanked. The monitor was reading me at 50 over 30. She said she knows that wasn't entirely accurate because I wouldn't have been conscious or able to carry on a logical conversation. They rushed in some epinephrine (that's my phonetic-medical spelling for whatever the heck it was they gave me) and put me on oxygen. I had to sit there having a conversation with her so that she knew I wasn't going to pass out. I also rolled between sides instead of on my back at this point.

Once I was regulated and stable, she said to just get some rest. I did. I lay back in bed and dozed off. She came in around 11pm and asked if I felt any pressure or an urge to push yet. I said, "No." She was about to leave the room and then said, "Well, while I'm in here and you're awake, I'll go ahead and check you." She pulled her hand out and said, "Oh, wow, you're about to have a baby. Put your legs together. DO NOT PUSH." She prepped the room. Paged the doctor (who had just gone into a c-section surgery), paged the NICU team. It was a frantic getting together of people. I just laid there while everyone else was freakin out. Ok, they weren't freakin out but they were all rushing around in a flurry.

Kyle pulls the light down from the ceiling. She puts the leg rests on the foot of the bed. She preps the delivery tray. She gets the baby unit ready. She is rockin' and rollin' like this ain't her first rodeo (and boy was I glad!)

One of the "side effects" of contractions for me was a cough. Unfortunately, coughs meant I was "pushing" albeit unintentionally. Kyle, was monitoring my contractions and seeing they were making me cough, paged another doctor who entered the room nearly breathless because she ran up the stairs to get to my room in time. Just when she was about to suit up, in walks Dr. Vaughn -- the doctor on call for my doctor's practice. He said a few things, took his position on the stool and then said, "Ok, with the next contraction, start to push." I just kind of laughed and said, "You'll have to tell me when that is because I can't feel them at all." Apparently, they were coming fast and furious -- and, again, gotta love that anesthesiologist.

I remember with Josh, I was literally DEAD from the waist down. I couldn't move my feet. I had no control over my legs. I was DEAD. With Drew, the epidural was different. I felt no pain but I did feel the pressure. I do recall during his delivery as saying, "Get this f'n thing out of me NOW!" The pressure was THAT uncomfortable. However, perhaps it was because he was nearly 10 pounds that I felt that way.

Again, I digress, so Dr. Vaughn says, "Here comes one." Kyle starts with the cheerleading for me and starts the countdown from 10 to 1. The contraction wasn't done so she said, "Take a deep breath and start push again." Again, she gives the countdown. They said I was doing great. It wasn't a few seconds and the next contraction hits. "Take a deep breath, bear down... here he comes... here he is... his head is out.... He's here April. You did fantastic." A moment passes and I hear the beautiful sound of my son's first cries. Dr. Vaughn holds him up for me to see and the NICU team swings into action. One of the first things I recall hearing is, "...well, the plumbing works." Yes, little Ben came into the world peeing on the doctors! I hope that isn't a sign of things to come! Ha ha.

Once the NICU was finished with their in-room assessment of Benjamin, they swaddled him up and let me hold him for a few before they had to whisk him off to the NICU. I was in awe from first sight. He just stared at me... and I at him. I kissed his forehead and in a slight whisper said, "Happy Birthday Benjamin. Mommy loves you." I didn't cry (then) as I sat there with my beautiful perfect little boy in my arms... I was more in awe and soaking up the moment...but in looking back now... tears are streaming. It was such a beautiful feeling to hold this amazing miracle of God. Birthing a child is so humbling... not because of the loss of your privacy... but at the very overwhelming power of the All Mighty God and the gift you've been given.

.... ok, out of the Hallmark Channel... I had a small tear so Dr. Vaughn stitched me up. While he did that, Andy followed to watch the assessments they were doing on our new little man. He came back a little while later to let me know that he was doing great. He was a month early and still doing great. Another miracle.

All in all, it was a fast delivery although 8 hours of laboring isn't "fast"... considering that once I got the epidural it was just a matter of time... And praise God that he is healthy, no problems even being a month early. I know that Andy was concerned about that...

So, what started out as a trip to Kroger led me to the Labor & Delivery room. That sure made for an eventful weekend. Granted, I missed my MOPS ladies night out reunion at Campagnia's in Southlake but I guess God had more important things for me to do.

And so, as it stands, Friday, March 26, 2010 (exactly a month early) I delivered my third beautiful baby boy, Benjamin Ryan Driggers. 19 inches long and 6.6 pounds.


Amooretto said...

WOW...I feel like I was in the room. Very good story. Brings back memories of my children's birth. It's a miracle, and that's an understatement. No words can explain the bundle of emotions you have when giving birth and that first moment when you and your child lock eyes.

so happy for you all. CONGRATS!

MaryC said...

Congratulations, April. I can't wait to see him.
Blessings to you all.

Frugal Vicki said...

Great story, very detailed and emotional, I love it. And what I loved best about it was that you wrote it just like it was your first. So often by the second or third those stories just turn into quick replays!
I got the shakes REAL bad, but that was also because after the epi I also ended up with c-sections and LOTS of drugs!