Birth Story || Turner Glen
I've been wanting to post the birth story on my blog for some time now. It was such an amazing, traumatizing, and crazy experience. I didn't really understand how truly crazy it was until I heard my husband talk about his experience. I'm going to do my best to share a mixture of my side and my husband's side with you, and for future reminiscing when I think about having another one.
Two years ago today, on April 29th, I was anxiously waiting in the living room thinking about the result I might see on a pregnancy test on our bathroom counter. We had been trying to get pregnant since the beginning of the month, and had already been disappointed with several negative pregnancy test results. We were pretty impatient, but I hadn't started my monthly menstruation, and it was supposed to start the previous day.
I'll never forget the moment when Matthew and I opened our eyes to see that double line. We were going to be parents! WE WERE HAVING A BABY! I was instantly in tears.
My pregnancy was a little rough at first, but I couldn't complain. I was growing a tiny human inside of me. I was so awestruck and perfectly content. I also craved lots of meat and potatoes. Tater tots, DAILY. No joke. I only threw up a total of 6 times and they were all during my transition between the first and second trimester.
I wanted our first to be a boy, but would've loved a girl to dress up and cover in frills. At our 20 week ultrasound, we found out it was a BOY. Right in that moment we knew his name would be Turner. Turner Glen Salter. I couldn't wait to snuggle that little one and his perfect little features.
As Turner's due date, January 8th, grew closer and closer I became desperate to do whatever it took to hold him for the first time and see his sweet face. Several days before my due date, my mom and sister convinced me to take castor oil to try to induce labor. I thought it was really going to work! I went to the hospital and was told I was dilated at a 1 and they would only admit me if I was at 3 cm. So for an hour I walked around the hospital, in pain, praying that this would work. Well, it didn't induce labor, just lots of painfully coupled contractions and diarrhea. (TMI, sorry) After that experience I was not trying any other voodoo to get Turner to come. He would come when he was ready.
At 11 pm on January 8th (punctual little guy) I woke up to a very strong contraction. I went back to sleep, and an hour later I woke up to another strong contraction. I decided to get up and walk. I must have circle the kitchen 100 times. I bounced on my exercise ball, but the contractions didn't seem to be getting stronger or faster, so I went back to bed. At 3 am my contractions were even stronger and getting closer together.
The pain was enough that I convinced Matthew to take me to the hospital. Unfortunately, it was the same drill. I was still only 1 cm and they would only admit me if I was at 3 cm. I was miserable. I couldn't lay down, sit down, or walk comfortably. I have a very low pain tolerance, and I was thinking lots of negative thoughts about my ability to give birth. An hour later they sent us home and I cried the whole way.
Once we were home I took some tylenol and sat down on the couch to try and get some more rest. I was walking up every 30 minutes to even stronger contractions lasting for 30 seconds. I was literally screaming into my pillow. By 9:30 am my contractions were probably closer to 8 minutes apart and lasting from 30 seconds to a minute. Matthew decided it was time to take me back to the hospital.
As soon as we got there the nurse checked me and said I was at 3 cm. My first words were, "You mean, I can stay?" The nurse laughed and said we were staying. I then proceeded to say, "How soon can I get the epidural?" The nurse reassured me that I could get medication as soon as we were in the delivery room. As soon as I was settled in the anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural. He was a miracle worker. I hardly felt a thing. As long as I kept pushing that button I was a happy camper. Until I forgot to push it of course. I was in so much pain for those few minutes they called back in the anesthesiologist to give me another dose. That guy was incredible. No wonder he gets paid the BIG BUCKS.
Now, I was Group B Strep positive. For those of you who don't know, it basically means I carry a bacteria that is harmful to babies if they are born vaginally. Luckily they have figured out that having penicillin in your system for 4 hours before birth protects the child for getting sick. That meant I had to wait 4 hours to give birth to my son. At 2 p.m. they started a second dose of penicillin and broke my water. For a couple hours we patiently waited for Turner to descend and for the doctor's okay to start pushing.
At 4 p.m. my doctor told me to start pushing. She was convinced that it would only take 30-45 minutes, and my son would be born before her on call shift ended at 5. Well, her shift came and went (she had been working for 36 hours) and so another doctor came in to finish the job. She would stretch me as I pushed and I would see progress in the mirror, and then she would leave for 30-45 minutes. I was doing my best with the nurse in between visits by the doctor, but I wasn't seeing any progress when the doctor wasn't stretching me.
After 3 or 4 cycles of that process, nurses started to put ice on my neck and give me additional antibiotics. Supposedly they told me I had a fever, but I don't remember hearing it. I was also given an episiotomy. The doctor told me that Turner had an abrasion on his head because of all the pushing and that it would only get worse if they used the vacuum. So my options were to push my very hardest and get him out now, or we were going to run and do a c-section. I had been pushing for 4 hours, and I did NOT want all of my work to be for not. I turned into the Hulk and I scream and pushed as hard as I could.
That's when I finally felt each part of Turner's body descending out of mine. It was a series of strange and satisfying pops. One for his head, another for his shoulders, then his bum and his legs. I was bleeding, A LOT. Matthew was sure that the baby and I weren't going to make it. His mom was in the room, noticing his distress she comforted him and told him this was normal.
They showed me Turner's little face and I instantly broke down into incoherent sobs. "He's so beautiful!", I said through my tears. Matthew cut the cord, which he considered a very unpleasant experience and probably won't do it again. They set him on the scale and took his measurements. 8 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches! Born on January 9th at 8:32 p.m. They let me hold him briefly before taking him for his first bath. I was in love. The nurses and my husband rushed Turner off to clean him up while I was being stitched up due to that fact I had ripped on one side. It seemed to take ages and I was anxiously waiting to hold my son again.
When they brought him back in he was in a diaper, a tiny little hat, and swaddled in a blanket. They unwrapped him and put him on my chest. He almost instantly fell asleep, I could hear a slight snort as he slept. He had Matthew's chin. A little baby dimple chin. I was feeling pure bliss and joy. He was finally here, in my arms, and I knew he was mine. A precious spirit sent from heaven above. He latched on to eat for about 15 minutes on each side, and then they took him to the TLC Nursery to keep an eye on him while they got me settled into my postpartum room.
A couple hours later they brought him to my room for me to feed him. He nursed for a while and told me he would need to be fed again in four hours, then they wheeled him back to the nursery. A couple hours passed and a nurse came in our room. I was confused because it wasn't time for a feeding yet, but the nurse began to tell us that Turner had turned blue in the nursery. Not once, but twice! They immediately took him to the NICU and put him on oxygen. He was doing well, but I couldn't see him for two more hours. They insisted I go back to sleep and they would call me before his next feeding.
I sobbed. My poor baby. Would he have stopped breathing if he had been here with me? I was so exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally. I said a prayer that he would be alright, and then I fell back asleep. At 4 a.m. the nurse came in to take me to the NICU. I let Matthew sleep because I knew he was exhausted. The wheelchair ride across the hospital was extremely uncomfortable, but I wanted to be with Turner so badly I didn't care.
I signed in at the front desk and they took me to my son. My heart sank as I saw him laying there with oxygen tubes in his nose and monitors coming from his chest and feet. There were cords everywhere and it made it almost impossible to hold him. They suggested I try to nurse him, but he was having such a hard time breathing he couldn't latch on properly. I held him there and I sobbed. I felt completely helpless and alone. I called for the nurse and she warmed him a bottle of formula. I fed him until he fell asleep, and then I asked them to call a nurse who could take me back to my room.
In 24 hours he was off of oxygen and saline, he was nursing and eating better, and the tests had yet to come back with any signs of infection. Unfortunately, the culture they did wouldn't show signs of infection until the day after we we're supposed to leave the hospital. We were going to have to pay to stay another night, or go home without him. My swelling had decreased dramatically and I was ready to sleep in a REAL bed. How could I leave my son here, though? Why couldn't he come home with me? I knew he was in good hands and that he would be taken care of at the NICU in the hospital. They promised to call if anything were to happen. We saw him as we checked out of our room and promised to come see him in the morning.
That night we slept like LOGS. It was much needed, but as soon as I woke up I wanted to get ready to go see Turner. We got dressed, ate breakfast, and drove to the hospital. We went to the NICU and the doctor was waiting for us at Turner's usual spot. He had some good news for us! Turner was doing great, he was gaining weight, he was breathing fine, and the culture had come back NEGATIVE! And then he said, "You can take him home, right now!" It was sweet music to my ears. I couldn't contain my happiness! I cried and hugged my husband. Our son was coming home with us. Our healthy baby boy was coming home! We changed him into his "going home" outfit, buckled him in his carseat and we went home together. Our little family together forever from that day forward. The happiest day of my life.
(DISCLAIMER: The photos in this post were taken by my sister, Malinda Designs Photography, during labor and delivery. They are not to be viewed by the faint of heart.)