Hi everyone, you can call me Lily.
My first baby, my son Raven, was born via c-section 2 years ago on September 16, 2009.
I had just turned 18 when I found out I was pregnant, a senior in high school and looking forward to finally graduating and going to UNCA in the fall. My boyfriend (now husband) Spencer and I had been dating for one year and one month (and had been sleeping together for seven months) when I missed my period in January of 2009. When I took a home pregnancy test on January 31 it was positive, and I just sat down and cried. I didn't tell my parents until March 16, when I had a clinical pregnancy test during a routine physical for my nursing class.
On my first prenatal appointment, I was 17 weeks pregnant, and I was able to have an ultrasound which determined that I was having a boy! I was very excited, as was Spencer, but my father remained emotionless, which hurt me.
I gradually started getting bigger and bigger, and more rumors at school started to fly - you know how high school can be. Most of my classmates thought I was faking for attention, like most girls had done. (Numerous girls had faked a pregnancy for attention and a few weeks later faked a miscarriage for MORE attention.) I didn't care that they didn't believe me because I knew I was pregnant and they didn't feel the little fluttering kicks like I did.
I was 24 weeks pregnant when I graduated on June 13, and I walked across the stage barefoot because the heat had caused my feet to swell and cut into my new white strappy shoes. I was so proud of myself - not only had I been able to keep from dropping out, I graduated with honors - I had a 3.7 GPA , cords for Vocational Honors Society and Beta Club and a medallion for NC Scholars.
I had my first baby shower on June 28 - literally nobody came. The only people that were there were the ones who planned it - my mom, my nana and my aunt. That was it. After opening presents I went to the bathroom and cried so hard that I threw up.
Since Spencer had moved to Morganton (an hour away from Swannanoa where I lived with my parents) I decided to go with him. I left Swannanoa on July 8 and I've lived here since.
I switched doctors two weeks later, and met who is now my favorite ob/gyn of all time. He was able to immediately identify that my pelvis was so small that the only way I could ever deliver a baby naturally is if it was morbidly premature or severely undernourished. (he demonstrated that my pelvic outlet is smaller than a softball and I was astonished. My old doctor had told me that I could deliver a 12-pound baby with the size of my pelvis.) At 32 weeks I started having Braxton Hicks contractions and at 33 weeks I went into premature labor. Luckily I was dilating extremely slowly so my doctor was able to stop it before anything bad happened. I was on Brethine, a bronchiodilator that works to stop contractions while you're taking it. Even on the Brethine I still had strong contractions, just not as often and they weren't dilating my cervix. I was cleared to go off of the Brethine at 37 weeks.
After that, I was sure my labor would start on its own. But did it? NO.
(The crazy laws and regulations with the hospital where I was to deliver made it to where if you don't schedule a c-section right at the beginning of the pregnancy, so many criteria had to take place before an emercency c-section was available to the patient. This was to prevent unnecessary and expensive surgery.)
Finally, on September 14, I went to my final weekly appointment at 38 weeks and my doctor told me that I was measuring 2 weeks ahead of schedule, so I could go ahead to the hospital the next morning and get my labor started. We were speechless.
I was in the hospital the next day, September 15, at about 10 in the morning (doctor's order) and I had to wait all day for him before I could see him. He ordered an ultrasound at 3 pm to determine positioning of the baby, and that's when we found out two things - one, the baby was transverse and still moving around and had not descended into my pelvis, and two, that he measured about 9 lb 5 oz. That was an estimate. That's when I was officially admitted into a labor and delivery room.
My doctor finally showed up at about 7 pm, and came to break my water to try and encourage the baby to drop down. I had dilated to 3 cm during the day. I had so much amniotic fluid that I nearly flooded the room! That's when my labor intensified. Two hours later I was dilated to 5.5 cm and I was ready for my epidural. (Call me a wimp if you want - I don't handle pain very well and I knew it would end in a c-section anyway.) Once it took, an hour after it was administered at about 9 pm, I was able to sleep while my labor progressed. I had to turn on each side every hour to try to get the baby to drop down but he still remained way up high.
When midnight rolled around and my cervix was checked, I was informed that my cervix had stopped dilating at 6 cm. They administered Pitocin and checked me twice an hour for three hours - nothing worked. They even had me squat using the squatting bar to encourage the baby to come down and press against my cervix, and when that didn't work, they put a hot compress on my chest to stimulate the natural release of oxytocin. Nothing.
Finally, at 5 in the morning, my doctor came to see me and informed me that I had finally met the criteria for an emergency c-section and he would "pick me up" at 6:30. This allowed for a quick power nap before surgery. At 6 am on September 16, my nurse came to give me a shot of antacid that tasted like over-lemoned lemonade. For the first time in six months I didn't have any heartburn lol! Then the took me to the OR and prepped me for surgery. My arms were strapped to the side and I was given a much stronger dose of epidural, and Spencer was finally able to come in, all dressed up in paper PPE. He held my hand the entire time, and I wish I had been able to see the procedure.
My anesthesiologist took the first pictures of Raven as he made his entrance at 6:51 am, and his first cries were strong and loud. A single tear slid down my face but that's all the energy I had left. Once he was wrapped up, I got to see him and give him a little kiss. Once he was whisked off to the nursery for his measurements and first bath and shots, Spencer on his heels, I fell asleep while my doctor was stitching me up. I found out later that my little moose weighed in at 9 lb 12 oz! I woke up two hours later in recovery and was taken back to my room, where I could finally hold my little boy for the first time.
My first breastfeeding attempts were feeble and unsuccessful. I ended up having to bottle feed when Raven was two weeks old because of an insufficient milk supply.
We went home two days later.
Now Raven is turning 2 in 15 days, and he is counting to 10 and reciting his ABCs. He doesn't have a lot to say but he is so sweet and so stubborn. He's still eating with his hands and drinking from a bottle at night, but that's okay with me. He's not quite ready for potty training, and that's okay too. He's an extremely picky eater, which concerns me because I worry he's not getting the nutrients he needs. I'm wandering in the dark when it comes to raising him but I'm learning.
Anyway, that's Raven's story. Thanks for reading my lengthy post lol.