Let me start off by saying Luke's birth story went way different than I had thought it might go, but the good part is there was a happy ending!!
I had hoped to go into labor on my own, but when I reached 39 weeks we decided to schedule an induction. I wasn't opposed to being induced since I had been through it with both of the girls. With Kevin having a work trip planned out of town only a week after Luke's due date, I really wanted to make sure we had a little recovery time together.
I went in at 6am on Wednesday April 18th and got my IV right away and the pitocin was started. I was at 3cm dilation, a little progress since my last Dr appt on Monday the 16th. I thought for sure we'd have this baby by lunch time! Keira had been born at 3:06 pm (first baby needed lots of pushing!) and Callie at 11:58 am. So I thought surely this boy would be born within that time frame!!! My Dr came in and broke my water around 8am and soon after I was ready for the epidural at 4cm.
When the anesthesiologist came in, he went over the possible complications with an epidural and for some reason I got a bad feeling. I've never been scared of the needle because usually the pain pales in comparison to the contractions! My contractions weren't too bad yet though and I was trying to stay ahead of the pain. At first try he got the epdiural in pretty easily but just a minute later my heart started racing and I was totally freaked out! The Dr took out the line and said he had to re-do it, some of the medicine was getting into my bloodstream and that was causing my heart to race. I had never experienced this before and the feeling of your heart racing faster and not being in control of it was so scary. He tried it again and the same thing happened. I watched my heart rate go up on the monitor from around the 80's range to the 90's, 100, 110, 120, 125 then he pulled out the line and it would recover to normal. Finally on the third try he got the epidural in correctly!!! Immediately I started getting the chills and shakes. I know this is a common side effect from the epidural medicine but I had never had them with the girls. Definitely not fun!!! Eventually I got comfortable and was able to relax a bit and chat with Kevin and my mom.
The nurses checked me every now and then and I progressed to 6cm within maybe 2 hours. I was feeling pretty good about everything! But after a few checks and no progress I started to worry. The nurses called my Dr and let her know. She came over around 1:00pm and checked me and mine and the baby's monitors. She said I should have progressed beyond the 6cm by then, especially since this was my third baby. My contractions were still steady, but with each one Luke's heart rate started to drop lower and lower, sometimes to the 60's! Then it would recover up to the 120's but then go down with each contraction. This obviously was not a good sign. She checked me to make sure the cord was not wrapped around his neck and all was clear. They couldn't figure out what was causing him to become so stressed and why I was not progressing. His head was also not engaging as well and he remained up high in my abdomen. After watching and waiting for another half hour, my Dr told me she didn't like the stress it was putting on my baby,and with 4 cm still to go, it wasn't looking good for a vaginal delivery. I never had imagined a c-section would be possible after 2 successful vaginal births and Luke had been head down, ready to go! I knew I had to do what was best for him and didn't want him to be deprived of oxygen at any point or risk any further complications.
I began to cry knowing the c-section was inevitable. My husband was sweet and comforting and my mom was there as well to reassure me that everything would be ok. Within a few minutes everyone was ready to go and they wheeled me back into the OR. Kevin came in looking adorable in his scrubs and mask :) The anesthesioligist pumped up the meds and made sure I was good and numb!! That was one of my many questions, how do they know if I am numb enough or not!!?? I was asking 20 questions, being the control freak that I am and then he asked me "Are you always like this?" "Like what?" I said. "So inquisitive, asking a million questions and have to be in control!?" "Um, yes!!!" Then he asked me if I had ever had a surgery before. "No! That is why I am asking a million questions! Wouldn't you!?"
The surgery was quick, maybe 10 minutes. I was a little freaked out by the oxygen mask they put on me and had to remove it. I have a little issue with clostraphobia. Thankfully they didn't tie my hands down, just made me spread them out to my sides. Kevin was right by my head and ready for pictures. He didn't really watch much of the surgery but looked up just as they were pulling him out and snapped a photo. Luke was born at 1:56pm, red and just a wailing!! There is nothing more precious than that, seeing your baby for the first time. Meeting that little person who had lived inside you for 9 months, whose kicks & somersaults you had felt and finally seeing what they look like. Of course he was adorable!!
He weighed a healthy 8 lbs and 4 oz! A big, big boy!!! He is 2lbs over what Callie weighed and 1 and half more than Keira. I knew he would be a bigger baby but never thought he'd quite reach 8 lbs.
As she was getting ready to get him out, my Dr said she had found the source of the problem with me not progressing. Poor baby had the cord wrapped around his leg about 3 times. There was an indention where it had been that lasted a good 24 hours. His leg was stuck up high by the cord and the placenta which were on my left side near my rib cage. With every contraction the cord was squeezing him, causing his heart rate to drop and preventing him from descending down into the birth canal. I am so thankful we got him out when we did and that there was no permanent damage. My nurse told me later while in recovery that they had had a patient before who's daughter was born with the cord wrapped around her wrist. It had been that way for several weeks and the baby's hand had actually stopped growing, or died and had to be amputated. How terrible!!!! I just could not imagine.
A happy ending is what we got for sure in this beautiful baby boy. A c-section is nothing compared to the gift I received in a healthy baby! I thank God for his many blessings and for bringing us through that experience safely.
Recovery was a little more painful compared to a traditional delivery. I think having 2 kiddos already adds much more stress on you and it took several weeks for me to feel somewhat normal. Kevin had to leave 9 days after Luke's birth. It was rough but we survived. My mom stayed with us for 3 nights and then my dad and stepmom came into town. Everyone was a huge help. I had a tremendous amount of support from friends who brought so many meals. We didn't cook for almost 3 weeks!
There were definitely some rough moments and there were times I thought I was never going to feel better. Now at 10 weeks, I can look back and see how quickly it all passes and how amazing the human body is.
We have adjusted pretty well so far as a family of 5. The girls are just eating him up!! We're getting into a routine and I hope to post lots of pictures of them together.
Right after I get some sleep!! :)