Friday, March 16, 2012

Maxwell's Story

Thursday March 8th, during Lori's 5 PM doctor appointment, she began having contractions 5 minutes apart and was dilated 2 cm. By 11 PM they were 3-4 minutes apart. We arrived at Alta Bates at midnight March 9 and sat in triage for 3 hours, staying at 2.5cm. It was a full moon and the hospital was packed. While we waited for them to decide what to do with us, Lori's contractions were one after another, 2-3 minutes apart. She was having horrible back labor and was in intense pain. As the pain got worse, she began to get sick with each contraction. A room finally opened, and we immediately put Lori in a hot shower for an hour. Now that we had a room, Lori's mother, who had been waiting for over 3 hours, could join us. Lori experienced back labor all morning. By 7 AM she was supposedly dilated 8 cm, and the doctors seemed sure she would deliver by 2 PM. We later found out that the student nurse that had checked at 7 AM was likely incorrect, because at 9 AM she was re-evaluated and determined to be only 6 cm. She was feeling strong urges to push already and the nurses determined that her cervix was now very swollen due to her body's involuntary pushing.

By 9:45 AM on March 9th, Lori could no longer work through the pain, and because of the cervix swelling, we made the decision to get an epidural to allow her to relax and progress. We spent the rest of the day slowly waiting for things to go in the right direction. At 7PM, Lori was 8 cm and exhausted. Things were proceeding very slowly and talk of c-section was beginning. The nurse had set up the necessary c-section equipment. Feeling exhausted and the fact that our birth plan was out the window, morale was low. But all we wanted was a healthy baby.

At 9 PM, the delivering doctor evaluated Lori and she was 10 cm, which completely recharged everyone in the room. For 5 hours Lori pushed. A small bit of the head could finally be seen and the doctor decided to use the vacuum suction to try to pull him out since we had been pushing for so long. We were told it could only be used for 3 contractions. If the head wasn't able to pass after trying 3 times, a c section would be imminent. Luckily, baby was doing beautifully this whole time, so the doctors were allowing us to try different methods and lots of time to try and get him out on our own. The room filled with people cheering and rooting for Lori to push. Each time the suction was used, baby would get to the point of crowning, the suction would pop off, and he would slip back into the birth canal. After the suction use, it popped off three times in a row, and once again c-section thoughts ran through everyone's heads. But the entire crew rallied and 3 more attempts were done. The entire room was hoping, while I counted and tried to feed every contraction she had left in her. On that 3rd count on the 6th suction use, we heard the entire room scream with excitement and we watched baby Maxwell come into the world and placed on her chest.

Maxwell Strummer Friend was born March 10 (his due date) at 2:12 AM. He weighed 9lbs and 10 oz, and measured 22" long. Because Lori had a pain/stress fever of 102 degrees during labor, he was required to go to NICU for 2 days to rule out infection. But he was alive, healthy, strong, loud, and the most beautiful little guy ever. We spent the next 2 days visiting him every 3 hours to breastfeed, which he is a natural at.

We left the hospital March 12th at 4PM and have been home since. Adjusting has been so much more difficult than we ever imagined. Lack of sleep, lack of experience, and waiting for the milk to come in have been the biggest hurdles. Luckily we have Lori's mother here to lend a hand. Maxwell is a beautiful little boy who will forever change our lives.


I find the placenta, the sure size of it, fascinating

Everyone in NICU loved Max!

1 comment:

erinmcfavorite said...

Jason, I'm only just now reading this post, and I'm crying!! Lori and Max look great, and good for you for actually remembering all the details! Amazing birth story, and congrats to all! I'm so happy for your family. Did you ever think you could love something so little and new THAT much?!