Monday, October 22, 2007

Ford is here!

Yea! After much anticipation and a very long wait we are proud to announce the arrival of our son - Ford McKey Shirley! He was born on October 17th at 9:58 AM. He weighed 8lbs 2 oz and was 21 inches long. He is just precious! We are loving having a newborn in the house again. It is such a sweet and brief time. We are just savoring every moment!
Here is the birth story for all of the girls who love to hear the details: We decided that the 17th would be the day to nudge little Ford into the world. We gave him 2 extra days to hang out and after trying every trick in the book to bring him on we decided an induction would be the best way to get him here before 41 weeks. All he needed was a nudge after all! When I was admitted and they checked me I was 4cm dilated and 75% effaced. A pretty good start to the day! She broke my water at 7:30 am and ran to a meeting. She forgot to leave the pitocin orders in her rush so we ended up not getting it started until around 8:30. In the meantime I started contracting on my own at around 8:00. When the pitocin started I was a little concerned because I was already getting pretty uncomfortable with my "natural" contractions. My nurse said she would increase the pitocin every 15 minutes until the contractions were measuring 200 and were 2-3 minutes apart. This is where I made the mistake of asking what pressure the contractions were currently measuring - her answer: 80. Yikes. I was really uncomfortable and didn't think I could make it without the epidural if the contractions were going to get more than twice as strong. I folded like a deck of cards and asked for the epidural. Rhett says that I am a mental marshmellow and if I had not know that little piece of information I would have made it. Baby's heartrate started having some issues so she put some oxygen on me and wanted to check me. I heart sank - I could see this going nowhere good. I feared I would stress the baby with an induced labor and end up with a c-section or with something happening to the baby. I was having contraction upon contraction and not getting back to my baseline so he could rest. She said I could be changing quickly so she wanted to see - 5 cm. That was about 9:00.
About this time anesthesia come in and asks Rhett to step out for 20 minutes. He goes somewhere in the hospital to read about sports on the internet. In the meantime everything intesifies. I start loosing control of the pain - at this point the pitocin has only been increased once to 4. My contraction pattern normalizes a little bit and baby is doing well with the O2. I sit up for the epidural and I am hopeful now that relief is on the way. It is taking way too long to get it going though (this is at UAB and a resident was doing it) I remember with Claire it was in about 30 seconds after the anesthesiologist walked in the door and I started feeling better quickly. Not this time. I started feeling nauseated and I told my nurse I felt like I was sitting on the baby's head. The pressure was intense and incredible. She told the anesthesiologist that she needed to check me "NOW". I laid on my side - epidural still not fully functional and she checked me - 7 cm. She said "lets get your foley in". The charge nurse was in the room and she said "we will probably take it right out". It was all happening so fast. Rhett walks in about this time and is a little surprised to say the least. I am in an incredible amount of pain by this point and just trying to get through each contraction. They are trying to get the narcotic bag to hook up to my epidural but realize that I am probably going to have a baby before pharmacy fills the order! They drain my bladder and then check me and my nurse says "she's complete" - it's 9:30. My Dr. walks in a few minutes later and I start pushing. I get a dose of fentanyl via my epidural about the time I start pushing. I've always heard about the strong urge to push - I don't know if I'd describe it like that. It was more the intesity of the pressure and the strong urge to get the baby out so the pain would end. I pushed through 5 contractions and in a little more than 10 minutes I saw my sweet baby for the first time. (Timecheck - 9:58) Even in that moment it is surreal to see your child for the first time. Two of the best moments of my life have been seeing my babies faces and meeting them for the first time. There is nothing like it.
So that's the story. Quick and intense. I could have made it without the drugs but I was not mentally tough enough once I thought it was going to get twice as bad. Of course there is no way of knowing that you only have an hour of labor left and not 6 hours left. I still got my natural childbirth (Rhett says I can't claim it but I say I can - I felt every last twinge of everything!) and the most important part is that I have a healthy baby.
Not only was the birth way easier and much quicker but the recovery has been much better too. Ironically the only discomfort I complained about postpartum was in my back from the epidural. It ended up causing more discomfort than it relieved. Oh well. So for all of you who had difficult 1st deliveries or recoveries - have hope! It gets easier!
Claire is thrilled with her brother. She was so excited to meet him in the hospital. She gave him a stuffed puppy when she met him and said "Here you go Baby!" and when Ford gave her a toy cash register so smiled and said "Da doo baby!" (thank you baby in Claire-speak). She was just as excited to see him the next day and when we arrived home she was jumping up and down with excitement to see him. I am so proud of her and how she has handled everything. Her little world has been turned upside down and she is doing so well. It makes me love her more deeply and in a new way too. And as far as loving another child as much as the first: Yes, what you hear is true - you do! I thought it would be different having a boy too but it's not. The love and joy you feel in your heart for your children flows from the same place whether it is your 1st or 5th, boy or girl - they are just your precious child and you love them.
I will post more pictures and updates soon. I'm going to grab a nap while I can! Thanks to all of your for your encouraging words and support.

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