Monday, January 4, 2016

Griffin's Birth Story

September 23, 2015

Griffin's Birth Story

September 23, 2015 I woke up with mild contractions. This was no biggie since I'd been doing that forever. I knew we would have to set an induction date at my dr appt. that day, and I was feeling rather grumbly and cranky about STILL being pregnant. But, I was hopeful that all the contractions I'd had over the last week would have done SOMETHING, SOME kind of progress. But, at my appt., I was only dilated to 1.5 cm and about 80% effaced. I was happy about the effacement, but bummed about the dilation. I had the dr strip my membranes, in the hope that at the least, it would put us in a better position for my induction on September 25. The dr sent me to walk for an hour or two and see if anything happened. Two hours later, and I was still contracting, but nothing was getting closer together or stronger or longer. So, I went home. I continued contracting all day, but really, nothing seemed to be changing. But, I called my mom and asked her to head out way. I wanted her presence around, and figured if she was there, at least when things DID pick up, I would have a sitter in place, and wouldn't have to worry about that anymore.
While she was on her way, things started picking up. Yay! They weren't painful, but longer and closer together. I lay down for awhile and just rested while I could. The kids got home at 4 pm and I found their noise really distracting and irritating. I wanted them around, but quieter, lol. At about 4:45, contractions totally stopped. I was really mad. But, I decided to eat dinner with the family, and then cuddled kids and helped them get ready for bed (ie gave them hugs and kisses). At about 8:30, after the kids were all in bed, contractions picked up again, this time with some seriousness. I pretty much stayed in my bed resting as much as possible and trying to cat nap between contractions. 
Around 10:45, I was singing through contractions, and my mom told me I needed to make a decision. Was I going to the hospital, or staying put? So, we headed out about 11:00. We called the hospital and let them know we were on our way in. 
We got there about 11:30ish, and amazingly, the hospital got us right into a room, we totally skipped admission/registration (I have always pre-registered, but there's always a stack of papers you have to sign when you get there, but I got out of it this time). In my room, I was checked and found to be 6 cm, almost totally effaced, and with a bulging bag of waters, and baby was still high, like -2 (I think). The nurse suggesting breaking my water, which I declined. I got all hooked up to the monitors. After a bit of time, the nurse pointed out that baby was not tolerating contractions very well. Normally, baby's heart rate should drop during a contraction, then come back up right afterwards. Griffin's was totally flat, aka non-reactive. Then, he had a late deceleration after a contraction. Both are signs of distressed baby. We made the decision to start me on some oxygen and do two bags of IV fluids, with the knowledge that if that didn't work, we were looking at a c-section. Thankfully, those did the trick, and Griffin did great from there on out. At some point, I was checked again and found to be 8 cm, completely effaced, baby at -1 and still a bulging bag or waters. Again, the nurse suggested breaking my water, but I remember that contractions really hurt after the water breaks (for me). But, another 20 minutes later, I was feeling really push-y, and found to still be 8 cm, etc. So, I requested my water to be broken. The dr came in to do that and stayed the rest of the time, because as soon as the water was broken, I immediately went from 8 to 10 cm and could not stop pushing. Griffin was very high still, and it was really hard to feel like he was making any progress. It seemed like I pushed for a long time, but Philip says it was only about 20 minutes, maybe less. Finally, his head was out, (and his hand, since he put that up by his face), and I paused for a breath, then the nurses and dr started shouting for me to push more, but there weren't any contractions anymore. It was like my whole uterus went limp. And I tried to push, but he was not moving. Big guy got his shoulders stuck. :/ I had been on my hands and knees, but at this point, my dr said I needed to turn over now. As I moved to do so, the three nurses grabbed me and flipped me over, then pulled my knees up to my ears. Then the pain was so bad, all I could see was red as the dr pulled Griffin out while I tried to push. As soon as he was out (at 1:34 am, two hours after arriving at the hospital), the nurses took him to the warmer and began working on him. He was quite limp and blue. I sent Philip over with him. Apparently, from him being so big, and the number of kids I've had, my uterus went hypotonic (I think that's the word) and quit contracting. I lost quite a bit of blood. The dr (maybe it was a nurse, I forget) said I needed a shot of something to stop the bleeding (methergen maybe?). But, that didn't work. I was given a second shot and told if it also failed to stop the bleeding, I would need pitocin. Thankfully, the second one did it. I then had a couple of blood draws over the next 24 hours to see if I needed a blood transfusion. Again, thankfully, I did not. It took forever to get the placenta out (again, probably from the lack of contractions for awhile). 
Griffin's 1 minute apgar was a 3. His 5 minute was a 7 and his 10 minute was a 9. He needed quite a bit of suctioning and stimulating to get him to pink up and perk up. Then, they went to weigh him. I could see him across the room and marveled at how long he looked. They put him on the scale and I heard the nurse say, "that can't be right, zero it out again." Then a second time, "no way!" And finally, the third time, "ok, he's gaining weight now, we're calling it 12 lbs 3.6 oz." And I said, "12 lbs!? Are you serious?!" LOL He was also 23 inches long. His head and chest were 15 inches, his abdomen was 15.5 inches. I have no idea how big his shoulders were, but obviously they were big. But, he was healthy and very happy to begin breastfeeding as soon as he was handed to me. I asked the dr how many stitches I was going to need, and was shocked when he said I didn't tear at all. A few abrasions, but nothing needing repair. 
I still can't believe it. I'm so in love with this big guy. He's so awesome, and I am amazed at myself too. I can't believe he's here, and how perfect he is. 
Griffin Joshua 
September 24, 2015 at 1:34 am
12 lbs 3 oz, 23 inches long

So, yeah . . .

I have a feeling I've said that title before. Nevertheless, it is what it is. So, yeah . . .
It's a new year and it's been over a year since I blogged last. A lot has happened and a lot has changed. There were good things and bad things. Some of the bad things are hard for me to admit. I hold a lot of shame and guilt for them. This Graves' disease is no joke. The medication I am on has a nasty side effect of slowing your metabolism way down. It becomes near impossible to lose or even maintain weight on this pill. After struggling several months to keep the weight down, and being so discouraged by the ever-rising numbers, I gave up. Bring on the donuts. If I'm going to get fat anyway, I better enjoy myself. So, donuts it was. And burgers. And fries. And pizza. And anything else I wanted.

So, yeah. . . I got fat again. I got all the way back up to 250 lbs. and I vacilitated back and forth between enjoying myself and hating myself. Mostly, I felt ok about myself, until I needed to buy new clothes. Nothing induces more shame in me than 360 degrees of evidence of my choices. Still, my metabolism must have gotten a little better because 250 is where I stayed for several months. I would start thinking maybe I ought to work on that again, combined with being so depressed that I didn't want to do anything but enjoy yummy treats and binge watch tv whenever I could. Then, I got pregnant. 
We were so excited! And I decided then that I needed to choose better for my unborn baby. I ate carefully, I tried to stay as active as I could. And I managed to gain only 15 lbs my whole pregnancy. Yay for me! (Birth story to be posted later). My son was born September 24, 2015 weighing 12 lbs 3.6 oz and perfect. I had no gestational diabetes, he had nothing going on, he was just a big, healthy boy. I took it easy during my recovery period, not sure how the Graves' disease would react post partum (it was very easily managed during pregnancy). Then, just as I started to get more active again, I took. Stumble down a short flight of stairs and managed to tear several ligaments in my ankle. I had to wear a walking boot for over a month, then an air cast splint for several weeks. I just came out of the splint. Some days are better than other. I have not yet regained full strength in my ankle, but it feels better out of the splint than in it. I can't wear my boots or heels, etc, only my tennis shoes. I'm hoping that over the next few months, it continues to heel and strengthen. However, I'm tired of being fat. I'm tired of being short of breath. I'm tired of not fitting into my clothes. I had lost all of the baby weight and a little more when I fell. I got back up to 260 over the Christmas holida. This morning was back down to 257.6. I am planning to continue to work on that number, to get it lower, to get my health back, and my energy too. It will be hard, but I think it's necessary. I can't be a very good mom to 6 kids if I can't walk more than a few steps without needing a break. 
So, yeah . . . That's one of my goals for the new year. I've not written it down exactly yet, as I'm still working on making it SMART. But, it's a start. Hopefully, I'll be back soon with a more in-depth list of goals (spiritual, social, physical, financial, etc). 
Happy New Years!