Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cohen's Birth Story

Well, I have to give it to my children... they certainly do know how to make an entrance.

I spent Tuesday morning doing housework and weeding the vegetable garden in hopes that I would somehow jump-start labor. After my shower and lunch I started having contractions and by 2pm they were painful enough and close enough that I started thinking about calling Derek. At 3pm I gave in and called him and told him that he needed to come home so we could head to the hospital. His dad came over to watch Addison and we left for the hospital. We checked in to L&D at 4pm and the nurses hooked me up to the monitors to check my contractions and see how baby was handling everything. My contractions slowed down a bit once we got there [go figure, my uterus NEVER wants to behave] and Derek and I started talking about how we most certainly about to get sent home. I was dilated to 1cm and 60% effaced which wasn't much of a change from my appointment last week. After a while the nurse came in and looked over the print-out from the monitor. She wasn't impressed with the contractions [and neither were we] but she was concerned about Cohen's fetal monitor strip. Each time I had a contraction, Cohen's heart rate would drop significantly. It wasn't the fact that it dropped that was concerning but WHEN it dropped [after the contraction instead of during it]. There is certain criteria that the fetal print-out has to meet in order for patients to be sent home and our information didn't meet the criteria to go home. The nurse said that the strip was 'concerning' but not 'worrysome' which, of course, left me worrying like crazy. They called Dr. H to see what he thought about the situation and he came over to the hospital to talk with us and do an ultrasound to see if he could figure out what was going on. The ultrasound didn't help us much - we couldn't see where the cord was [and the suspicion was that it was pinned between his skull and my pelvis] but we did see that Cohen was not nearly as active as he normally was and seemed to be staying in a 'sleep cycle' despite being poke, prodded, and having loud noises played up against my tummy. Dr. H explained that while he didn't feel like we needed to deliver right that moment but that baby was definitely sending the message that he wanted out sooner rather than later and that meant inducing my labor right away.
Hospital bling...
The infamous 'strip' that started it all...
At 7pm we were admitted to the hospital and moved into room 428, two door down from where I delivered Addison. Once we got settled the nurse came in and started my IV and started my Pitocin drip. I started having more regular, stronger contractions around 10pm but Cohen's heart rate dropped several times and set off all the alarms on the monitors so they backed off the Pitocin drip for several hours. Derek and I tried to get some sleep over night but with the nurse checking my vitals every 30 minutes and being hooked up to an IV and having to pee every hour or so, sleep was kind of a joke. As the night progressed, the nurse continued to increase my Pitocin dose because my contractions kept petering off and stalling out. At 5am the contractions started to get a lot more intense - enough that I couldn't play Scramble with Friends during one [that's how we measure contractions around here...] They were really strong but not unbearable and I wanted to go as long as I could before getting my epidural because when I had Addison the epidural caused my labor to stall out. Dr. H came in at 7am to check me - I was dilated to a whopping 2 cm and 80% effaced. He opted to break my water to get things rolling. My water broke on it's own with Addison so I didn't realize what I was in for during that procedure. I think I about crawled out the top of the bed while breaking Derek's hands - it was horrifically painful. After that, the contractions started coming A LOT stronger, longer, and closer together and I was left crying and hanging on to the bed rail begging for the epidural. My heroics of waiting for labor to progress further went right out the window and thankfully we didn't have to wait too long for the anesthesiologist to get there and get started. At 8am they started the epidural and I finally got some relief from the pain. I was way more comfortable afterward and was able to play on Facebook, play Words, and text friends while we were waiting and chatting with our nurses. At 10:30 I told the nurse that I was feeling some pressure with each contraction and she decided to check me - I was dilated to 8 cm and almost completely effaced. I was surprised that things went so fast after breaking my water and finally had hope that we were going to have a normal delivery and not a c-section. We thought it'd be another hour or so before it was time to push but 20 minutes later I was feeling more pressure and when the nurse checked me she said it was time to go. They broke down the room and got ready and some time around 11am Dr. H arrived and I started to push. It took 6 or 7 contractions worth of pushing to deliver Cohen - almost twice as long as it took with Addison and by the time he was born at 11:20am, I was EXHAUSTED. I don't know how women push for hours on end - I would most certainly die or pass out if that was the case!

Cohen Jeffrey Tweedy was born at 11:20am on Wednesday, April 25th 2012. He weighed 6 lbs. 14 oz [EXACTLY the same weight as his sister] and was 20 inches long.
Our first seconds as new parents...
He's giving the nurse the side-eye for taking his vitals...
All bundled up...
Proud Papa...
My new little man...

Sleeping like a baby...
He looks too little to be in this giant car seat!!
Getting ready to head home...

Recovery and Postpartum...

Delivery is hard... I don't think that is any big surprise. However, delivering Cohen was significantly more difficult that delivering Addison, despite them being the same size. It took me almost twice as long to push him out and I feel like the aftermath of his birth was harder on my body this time around. I'm almost 100% convinced that my tailbone is severely bruised and I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone told me it was actually broken - the pain that I feel every time I sit down or bend over is excruciating. Add to that the joy of an episiotomy and you can imagine that my girl parts have seen better days. One thing that was much different with Cohen is that after delivery I was totally unable to pee due to the massive swelling. When Dr came to check on me I was sitting on the potty crying because I was in such pain from trying to pee. He sent for a nurse to re-insert a catheter and drain my bladder. Placing the catheter was almost as painful as the contractions I was feeling after Dr broke my water - it was horrible. Once they got it in, they drained 1600 ml of pee out of my bladder (FYI - that's almost a 2 liter)... the nurse said that with that amount of fluid my bladder had been the size of a newborn. No wonder it hurt like hell! The catheter was left in overnight and ended up being a lifesaver. When they removed it the next morning I was able to pee without any pain (hallelujah!).

The only thing that we left behind at the hospital that made me sad was the nurses. We were blessed (again) to have some of the most wonderful nurses that I've ever met. Some were new to us - Christa, Becky, Jamie, and Pat... and one was dear to our hearts from when we had Addison - Carla. They made the difference in everything - from finding out that things weren't ideal with Cohen's vitals and the stress and tears that followed that, to the painful contractions, and right on through delivery.

I'm just thankful that, despite all the challenges of this pregnancy and birth, this little man is healthy, happy, and sweeter than we ever could have hoped for... Now my new challenge will be to learn how to be a parent of two little munchkins =] I'm sure there will never be a dull moment...

1 comment:

  1. Stefani, Congratulation to you Addison and Derek. That is wonderful news that everything ended up in great shape. I wondered why I Words with Friends was going so slow. I hope that our playing helped you get thru the "DOWN" days and made the time go a little faster. You probably wont have time to play for a while.
    I bet your Mom and Dad are over the moon. What did Addison do when she saw Cohen?
    Again, hugs all around, Diane


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