16 July 2014

Damon's birth story

Around 3 a.m. on July 8, I started having mild pain in my back. Since I experienced back labor with Avery, I knew that these could be contractions. Just before 4 a.m., the pain was getting a little more intense and was pretty consistent at 10 to 12 minutes apart. So I woke up Chris. We started timing the contractions, which stayed at 10 minutes apart. Around 5:15 a.m., we called the doctor who told us to go to the hospital.

While we were getting dressed, Avery woke up. She asked Chris to turn on her radio. He told her, “It’s time to go to the hospital for Pez to be born.” She quickly responded with, “Oh! OK! Let’s go!”

The last contraction we noted was at 5:27 a.m. Then we left home. I made Chris stop the car at the corner of our street to let me sit through another contraction. Chris called the grandparents in the car and told them to go to the hospital. This wasn’t a false alarm! I made him stop the car again at the hospital entrance. Those contractions were too painful to withstand in a moving car!

We checked in with the maternity unit staff, and a nurse took us to triage. She asked how far I had progressed at my latest appointment, which was the previous day. When I told her 5 cm, she hesitated a moment and considered taking me directly to a room. But instead we went to triage.

In triage, the staff hooked me and Pez up to monitors. I notified the staff that I wanted an epidural, and they said my doctor was on the way. When it was time to check me, another nurse took Avery to the waiting area and sat with her until the grandparents arrived. When my nurse told me that I was at 8 cm, I couldn’t believe it! I just wanted to be more than the 5 cm I was at my appointment!

All the time we were in triage, my contractions were getting more and more intense. When we left home, my contractions were about 8 minutes apart. When we left triage, my contractions were about 2 minutes apart! We were in triage for less than 15 minutes. The staff took me and Chris to a room just before 6 a.m.

Once we were in a room, there was a flurry of activity. My contractions moved very close together. In the meantime, the nurses noticed that Chris was looked flushed and feverish and was sweating profusely. He notified them that he had taken cough medicine, allergy medicine and a vitamin on an empty stomach before he left home. And there was the impending excitement about Pez’s birth! A nurse offered juice, crackers and a chair to Chris. He gladly accepted them. She also called for a few extra hands in the room. Chris couldn’t figure out why since there already were several nurses working feverishly. Then he realized that the extra hands were to help him! A nurse arrived and said she was there to stand next to Chris. He thought that was a good idea. She made sure he drank his juice and ate his crackers. When I finally looked over, I saw how terrible Chris looked. I told him, “Don’t quit on me!” I was afraid he was going to pass out. He said, “I won’t. I just might throw up.” Then a nurse handed him a bed pan in case he couldn’t make it to the bathroom!

Shortly after that, my nurse gently told me that I might not be able to receive an epidural because I had progressed so far so quickly. I was a little more stoic than Chris expected. I thought the nurse left a glimmer of hope that I still could get an epidural, so I wasn’t terribly concerned. After all, I was at 9 cm with Avery before I got the epidural.

My contractions continued to intensify, and my breathing became erratic. I thought I was hyperventilating because I couldn’t control my breathing correctly. There was so much going on all at once that it was hard for me to concentrate. I closed my eyes and did my best to ignore all of the people and activity around me. The nurses told me not to push, even if I wanted to. My doctor hadn’t arrived yet. (Later we found out she was driving through a torrential rain storm and couldn’t drive as quickly as she wanted!)

At some point, I felt my water break just a little. When my doctor finally arrived, the nurses quickly helped her into her gown. She checked me and said she needed to rupture my bag more. After she did that, my contractions immediately intensified and became the most painful ones.

Soon the nurses said I could push. Just before I started to push, I said, “I’m scared” several times. Instead of pushing, I was screaming. I wasn’t being productive. My nurse said, “Look at me, Teresa. Hold your breath. Use that energy to push.” I complied. Three strong pushes later, Damon Christopher Clark was born. I felt a huge sense of relief – physically and emotionally – when Damon was born. The nurses immediately placed him on my chest, something I didn’t get to enjoy at Avery’s birth.

Around 7:20 a.m., Chris went to the waiting room to notify the grandparents and Aunt Karen. He walked into the waiting room with his arms above his head, like he had done something terrific! He told them Damon’s name and birth time. Then Chris said, “By the way, no epidural, and he weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces.” Everyone gasped! Chris returned to the room to stay with me. Then around 7:45 a.m., I was feeling better. So Chris brought Avery to the room.

I was sitting up in bed, holding Damon. At first, Avery was timid as she walked to my bed. Damon was a little fussy, but Avery gently touched him. Then she warmed up to him quickly and acted very motherly, just like a big sister should.

Damon’s delivery wasn’t exactly what we anticipated, but we were glad he didn’t delay his arrival much longer!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Teresa!! AND to all the Clarks; little Damon will be a joy in your lives. You have so many wonderful things to look forward to; we are all so delighted for you.
The Willman Famil

p.s. Relieved to know that Chris survived the birthing experience!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! You told the story so well. So happy for all of you. Juanita