Brady's Birth Story

This is the story of how my little man came into this world. It was nothing like I expected. My first lesson in motherhood; it is not easy but worth every moment.

I had a pretty typical pregnancy aside from the tree trunk stumps I walked around on. I tested positive on the quad scream for Down's Syndrome. I will never forget that phone call and tried not to sob as I heard the  words, 'genetic counselor.' At 17 weeks, we had our anatomy ultrasound and found out Brady was a he! It was an amazing experience but solidified how I felt at that moment. We declined the amnio and fell head over heels with our bundle of joy. Even though we didn't know for sure if our son had any chromosomal abnormalities, we didn't care. Looking back at this birth, it was the last thing on my mind.

At 33 weeks, I ended up in L&D for a short stint and fluid levels were on the low side. They remained within safe levels up until he was born. On October 24, I baked enough food for a small army and cleaned the house for the umpteenth time. I went to lay down and felt a pop! My water broke!

Throughout my entire pregnancy, Blake joked that I wasn't allowed to go into labor on a Sunday. Heaven forbid he miss a game or his Fantasy lineup not get set! We packed up to head to the hospital but not before he finalized his picks for the next game.
We settled in Labor and Delivery as they confirmed (duh!) my water broke. I was only dilated to 1cm and 80% effaced. After no progress for what seemed like years, they gave me pitocin. Around 3 am, I woke up in a panic. I wasn't sure if I turned off the oven (I had baked pumpkin bread) so Blake went home to check on it and let the dog out.
The next 12 hours sucked. My contractions were on top of each other and I was still not progressing. I was maybe at 1.5 cm. I bounced on the ball, got into all kinds of compromising positions. At this point, family started trickling in. Someone made a mistake of bringing McDonald's in a room with a pregnant woman who wasn't allowed to eat.

Around 3 pm, I was finally given an epidural. I finally nodded off for a bit. Around 5 things started getting crazy. The epidural started wearing off and after 19 hours, I had only progressed to 2 cm. The nurse had a bright idea to get the baby moving down and had me get on my hands and knees, which was fine until my FIL decided to walk in and then walk right back out.
I started to spike a fever and they were getting concerned. At this point, I was still 2cm. At 5:50, the nurse told me we were scheduled for a c-section at 6.

I asked, '6 am? 

No, honey, 6 as in five minutes.

I was a nervous wreck and shaking so hard I felt like I was going to fall off the table! They wheeled me back and the anesthesiologist  kept changing my meds to get the epi right since it had worn off so quickly before. Unfortunately, I felt the first cut . He was an amazing Dr. and talked me through it. They had to give me some other pain medicine and I felt myself fading in and out. I tried so hard to keep my eyes open but it was near impossible.

Then, I heard it. The most amazing sound. My son crying. I was wide awake now!

They weighed him and quickly cleaned him up. Blake cut the cord and held him quickly before they took him to the NICU. I laid on the table with uncertainty in my eyes. I must have faded back out because the next thing I remember is being back in my room surrounded by our family and friends. My mom showed me a picture of my son. (They had allowed Grandparents and Blake in to see him but no one was to hold him yet.)

Motherhood has been an amazing journey. I would never have expected his birth to go the way it did but in the end, I'm okay with it (even after our issues with breast feeding and post-partum complications.)  I look at him now and he is amazingly perfect in every, single way, and in the end, I'm just blessed.
(yes, this was the first photo I got to see, so perfect with my mom's finger, ha!)

I told her it wasn't fair. The nurse told them I had 'been given the strongest' pain meds they had so I might not make much sense. I told her I was making every bit of sense.

The nurse kicked everyone out and asked me if I wanted to see my son. I nodded. She wheeled me down to the NICU in my hospital bed. That must have been such a sight but I'm eternally grateful for that. Even though I wasn't allowed to touch him, looking at him would suffice. He was the most beautiful, alert and most precious thing I had ever laid my eyes on.
I was so incredibly out of it but I didn't want to leave. We didn't really know what was going on with him yet but that his breathing wasn't right. They though he might have swallowed fluid but were not sure till they get a chest xray.

I remember waking up the next morning with a pit in my stomach. Uncertainty. I called down to the NICU and talked with his doctor. I don't remember much from that conversation but words like lung collapse, and oxygen levels.  I hung up the phone and sobbed. From what I later came to understand, he had a small hole, which would heal on it's own but there were complications that could have occurred due to this. It is a common thing that happens and most likely happened when he was born and took that first breath. Not holding him was a precaution to keep him from being too agitated and making the hole bigger. Regardless of what it was and why he was there, seeing my tiny newborn attached to wires and machines was not easy to see.

I waited nervously to see him. My nurse was worried because my fever was still high, and I looked like Casper the friendly ghost but she finally helped me into the wheelchair and wheeled me down to the Special Care Nursery.  It had been about 24 hours since I had seen him and I hadn't even got to hold my baby boy yet. She looked at me as she pushed me down the long narrow hall and asked me, "Are you excited?" I said 'yes' but really I was so nervous.

She parked my wheelchair next to an incubator, and I saw the first glimpse. They handed him to me and his big eyes looked right at me like he was saying, 'about time mom!' It was right then that I realized I wasn't nervous or scared even with all the wires attached to his baby feet, and the giant IV on his tiny fingers. I finally 'met' him for the first time.This time we had that emotional, magical meeting that all moms dream of, the one we deserved from the start. I looked at him and it was like he knew. He was waiting for me.  We did some Kangaroo care and I fed him. I just held him close for a while, and almost two hours later, the nurses had to talk me into leaving. I kept looking at his tiny hands, tiny little nose, and I didn't want to let go. I still remember that moment and can feel the emotion of that night.
Four days later, he was cleared to go to the regular nursery. I brought him to my room and I finally felt like I could be the joyous new mom. Friends and family finally got to see and hold him!
 We left the hospital the day before Halloween and I have never counted my blessings more.

Motherhood has been an amazing journey; one that I love traveling. The road to his birth was not easy and even though it took me a while to say this, I am okay with how it ended (even after the issues we had with breastfeeding and post partum complications.)

Brady is amazingly perfect in every single way and I'm just blessed.