Thursday, December 11, 2008

The birth story

On Tuesday December 2 at 4:24pm, my second son, Kannon Dashiell entered the world. He is a tiny little guy, weighing only 4lbs 9oz & measuring 18 inches long. I never thought that this big body could produce such a little thing! I found his name in a baby book. According to the book, Kannon is a Buddhist deity, possessing both male & female qualities. He is the deity of childbirth, children and dead souls. We thought this was perfect. His middle name is his big angel brother’s name. If we had a girl, her name would have been Kinsey Dashiell. (Kinsey means King’s victory, which also seems perfect)


MONDAY, DECEMBER 1 – Monday morning I went to the hospital for an amniocentesis to test the baby’s lung function. A fellow performed the procedure, which was a little unnerving and took longer, as well. They had to move the needle around a lot. It didn’t hurt, but it wasn’t fun, either! I asked about coming in to start the cervix ripening that night. The attending told me that since I was only dilated 1cm as of 10 days prior and since I had been on bedrest to just come in. She figured that I most likely had not dilated any further. I was to come back to the hospital at 7pm and if the lungs were mature, they would start the cervix ripening. If not, I would get round 1 of the betamethasone shot, round 2 would happen on Tuesday night & induction would start Wednesday night.

I went in at 7pm to see if I needed the shot or to start the cervix ripening. The receptionist made a call and said, "nope, you're here for induction!" Glenn had a show, so he kissed me goodbye & I was escorted into my labor room. There were only 2 other women in labor when I arrived, so they gave me the nicest & largest room! It had the most beautiful view of the Hudson river & looked downtown toward the Manhattan skyline. The doc came in to check my cervix around 9pm & come to find out, I was 3cm, 70% effaced & head was at -1! I met with the anesthesiologist to discuss my back issues (my 2 herniated discs), which reassured me. I waited on the actual epidural, though. They didn't need to ripen my cervix & started the pitocin right away. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. Glenn arrived around 11:30pm & we slept for a bit.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2 - around 4am, the doc came back to check me again. I was 5cm & 80%, head at -1. I finally asked for the epidural around 4:30. The resident performed it, which was not the greatest (he was arguing with the attending about how deep it should be and it was really painful), but once it was in, it was fine - until my blood pressure crashed. It dropped to 75/38! I couldn't keep my eyes open & all I could hear was the nurse telling me to keep my eyes open and the anesthesiology resident saying “I have to get to the OR right now.” They finally stabilized me and I had instant relief. I went back to sleep for a bit.

Around 5am, the pitocin was up to 15, but the baby's heart rate was decelerating with each contraction. At that point, they turned the pitocin off. They started it again around 9am at 1. By 12pm, I was still only 5-6cm dilated & 90% effaced. The baby's heart rate kept decelerating, so they turned the pitocin off again. They wanted to let me labor on my own for couple of hours & reassess then.

The doc came back to check me at 2pm & said, "I'm going to check you and once I see where you are, we'll discuss the options." Well, I was 10cm, fully effaced & head was at +2! I went from 5-6cm to 10 on my own without pitocin! She decided to try & let me push at 3pm & see how it went. If it didn't go well, it was going to be a c section.

I started pushing at 3pm and as soon as I did, the contractions (which had been on top of each other) slowed considerably. I would push & then sleep for 5-10 minutes until the next contraction. I only had to do 8 sets of pushing, but it took 1 hour, 24 minutes. The sun had begun to set and it was casting a beautiful light in the room. My nickname for Dash was "my light" and I could feel him with me. The doc said, "OK, you're going to have this baby before sunset, so push."

His head came out & the cord was tightly wrapped around his neck 3 times. It was so tight that the doc had trouble getting it off of him. She finally did. The next thing I heard was “it’s a boy!” We were shocked! We were so convinced that this was a girl. I’m so glad that we didn’t find out before. After a few minutes (which seemed like hours) I heard his beautiful cry. Glenn went over to the table & held his hand & took pics while I was being stitched.
I finally got to hold him after about 1/2 hour. They then took him to the nursery.

I was really hoping that Dr. G would be the one to deliver our baby, but he came on duty at 5pm. As I was being wheeled out, I saw his smiling face and felt such a sense of relief and accomplishment. I feel that we owe Dr. G so much for his cautious and excellent care.

Thankfully, I got a private room. After the epidural wore off, I realized that I had excruciating pain in my left leg. It was the horrible sciatica that I had with Dash, which had returned with a vengeance. I could barely walk. I was so happy that I had a healthy, living baby that I didn't care.

Kannon had to stay in the nursery to get his blood sugar up & temp regulated. They finally brought him to me around 10pm. I just stared at his beautiful eyes. Finally, at 11pm, I started falling asleep, so I sent him back to the nursery. At 2am, the neonatologist came in to let me know that he had been taken to the NICU. He wasn't feeding well and his blood sugar levels were low. Long story short, he was having trouble gagging while he was feeding & they ended up having to put a feeding tube & IV in. He remained in the NICU until Saturday. He worked with a feeding specialist & improved quickly. Meanwhile, I was not doing well at all. I had to be wheeled everywhere, couldn't sit up b/c of the pain etc. They had me see a physical therapist & a neurologist. I had another MRI which showed that my discs have further herniated & they've referred me to a surgeon. I can finally walk with the help of a walker, but I'm still in a lot of pain & on a lot of drugs (all of which I've been assured are safe for Kannon while I'm breast feeding). I can't really breast feed, because I can't sit to hold him, but I am pumping, so at least he's getting breast milk.

The hospital set us up with a visiting nurse to check in on both me & Kannon, as well as in home physical therapy for me. Thank God for good health insurance.

Our first night at home, although a tad sleepless, was wonderful. Glenn has been doing everything. I can't stand up to change him or dress him, so it has all been on Glenn. He has been a rock star.

Kannon is just over 1 week old and I still can’t believe that he’s here and he’s mine. It has been challenging, but even through the physical pain, I’m just so happy to be a mother to a living baby. I didn’t realize it until I saw him sleeping, but he looks exactly like Dashiell. I know that Dash is a big part of Kannon and I have no doubt that he is watching over his little brother. He also looks just like Glenn. I only hope that he continues to remain a happy, healthy baby.

I want to give a shout out to the wonderful staff at Columbia Presbyterian. Especially Danielle and Aydee in the NICU; Dean, the miracle physical therapist, post-partum nurses Barbara & Aretha; Karen, the social worker and Dr. C who delivered our little bundle. The care we received while in the hospital was terrific, and the follow up after has been just as thorough.


Rebekah said...

He is so tiny and cute. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

Hi Allison, Glen and Kannon!!

Just got around to read the birth blog...Didn't even know that you were pregnant!! Those Mommy genes are certainly part of your DNA! He is beautiful! We're sending a little something to welcome him!! Love you, Cathy for the Blockheads

Andi said...

I remember you from the December board, but have never posted or commented to you. I just now discovered your blog and wanted to congratulate you on your beautiful little guy! You deserve this happiness! Your birth story is amazing. Congrats again. :)