Gabriel is here! Well.. he's been here for almost 3 weeks but this is the first I'm able to blog about it after a long recovery from being awake almost a week straight :)
After a long 76 hour labor starting on Thanksgiving, he made his appearance at 4:30 AM on Sunday, November 28 missing his Grandma Steffen's birthday by a mere 4 1/2 hours!
I've written before about using hypnobabies for the past few months and I am SO glad that I did. Although the labor and delivery was not even near pain free, having the coping skills learned and the tracks playing constantly helped me to have a natural birth despite several days of no sleep and intense back labor. Not gonna lie.. on a scale of 1 to 10 it was a 10 the ENTIRE time, so it really is a testament to hypnobabies that I wasn't admitted into the hospital earlier. (Actually, I tried on Friday night, but the midwife sent me home with an Ambien to sleep it off.. didn't help AT ALL) If so, I would have definitely been a prime candidate for interventions leading to a C-section. Most everyone who attended my birth said that was the case since his head was posterior and sideways up until the very last few hours. And after it droning on for days I totally would have taken them up on every intervention offered.
The drama didn't stop with the labor and delivery. Right after Gabriel was born, we spent about an hour in the labor and delivery room bonding as a family of three before Lee headed to the nursery with him for an exam. The three of us left the L & D room and the nurse wheeled me to a recovery room while Lee headed on. About 3o minutes later, Lee returned to the room and told me that they had to keep Gabriel in the nursery for observation because of rapid breathing and fluid in his lungs. We were both running on NO sleep for four days and had no idea what was going on. We headed to the nursery to be with our little man and try to figure out the next course of action.
The staff notified us that the pediatrician we chose was contacted and wasn't going to come to the hospital. She was going to leave all treatment up to the residents at Vandy. I was IRATE that she would ditch us like that and tried really hard not to kick her in the shins when she finally did show up for a "courtesy visit" and to tell us she was going to recommend admitting Gabriel into the NICU for antibiotic treatment and further observation. Luckily, she turned over all treatment to the doctors and residents at Vandy who ended up being FABULOUS! They overrode the pediatricians decision and instead monitored him in the nursery and did all kinds of testing and antibiotic treatments there. After one full day apart from him in the little warmer hooked up to monitors, they decided his vitals had steadied enough for him to room in with us! They still had him under close observation with nurses coming in our room to monitor his respiratory rate, etc every 2 hours around the clock and they took him quite a few times to keep running antibiotics through his IV.
Poor guy, in his first few hours of life he had gone through more testing and IV antibiotic treatments than I've had in the past 10 years. They drew five vials of blood (using a razor on his heel) each vial the size of my pinky. And his vein even burst during one of the treatments and he had to have another IV inserted to finish up. It was definitely one of the most stressful times I can remember and all I wanted to do was have my baby with me.. not in some incubator down the hall. But everything turned out fine, and after 3 days in the hospital, he was released and we could FINALLY go home!
I definitely learned that no matter how much you prepare, plan and visualize everything going perfectly that things happen and stuff hits the fan. Honestly, I was traumatized by the whole birth and hospital experience, but am really blessed that we had such great staff taking care of all of us.
All that matters now is that Gabriel is here, he is healthy and as sweet as pie :)