As most of you know my pregnancy was high-risk due to my heart condition and hypertension. My doctor throughout the past nine months watched me closely. That means that I had doctor appointments more often than a normal pregnant woman and the last trimester my appointments lasted a long time due to having non-stress tests done to check on our sweet baby boy. Also, I had extra ultrasounds done to check on Cam’s weight, which is due to my stomach measuring a few weeks behind where it should be. I knew before I got pregnant what pregnancy “might” look like for me and I was told I would more than likely have to have a c-section. My pregnancy started off really rough with being sick 6-8 times per day until about week 27 and then it got better and the last few weeks I really struggled with insomnia, back pain, and getting sick again.
The last two weeks of my pregnancy I landed in labor and delivery 3 times and the saying is true for me that the third time is the charm. The first time was due to having really high blood pressure for a few days in a row, the second was due to me becoming sick again and showing signs of pre-eclampsia, and the last time was to “possibly induce” after checking my blood pressure and blood work.
My last time in labor and delivery is where Cam’s birth story begins. Two days before being induced I could not get my blood pressure to come down for anything. I was taking extra doses of medicine on top of my medicine already being increased. I also started having this burning sensation in my upper right abdomen a few weeks before but it was getting worse and worse. All of these things were taken into consideration when my doctor was trying to decide on whether to induce me or not. Dr. Golden had my best interest in mind when making the decision and truly did not want to do it unless it was medically necessary and he didn’t think it would end in a c-section. He didn’t want me to have a c-section and I definitely didn’t want to have a c-section. (Not that there is anything wrong with that way of delivery, I just know the recovery process is longer and more extensive.) My blood work came back and my platelet count was extremely low. When Dr. Golden found that out he sent me from triage to a delivery room. Tim and I started making phone calls and sending texts to family and friends that I would be induced that day.
In the midst of all this going on, I receive the “heartbreaking” news that I would not be able to have an epidural due to my platelet count being low and the risk of paralysis. I say that this was “heartbreaking” because any time that I imagined my delivery it was never without pain medication. After the doctors and nurses left the room, I turned to Tim and said, “ I cannot do this without an epidural. Tell them I want a c-section.” Tim kindly reminded me that I could deliver this baby without an epidural and he told me of my words of how bad I didn’t want a c-section.
The nurse started me on pitocin about 11:30 AM and I started feeling major contractions 1 ½ minutes apart right away. Also, Dr. Golden inserted a foley bulb to help dilate me more and progress labor along. This went on for about four hours before I asked the nurse for some type of pain medicine. I tried to go as long as I could without anything in my system. She asked what amount of dosage I wanted and I asked for the lowest dose to start with and I would go up as needed. She came back and started it in my IV line and the room started spinning right away. Tim asked me if I was okay due to looking around like I was crazy and the nurse told me “just go with it”. (Later Tim told me that I looked stoned and completely out of it and was laughing and saying crazy things to him.) The medicine definitely helped take the edge off of things while I still felt the contractions every minute by this point.
After receiving the pain medicine, my second set of blood work came back and they had made a mistake with my first set and my platelet count was in the normal range, which means I can have “the juice” AKA an epidural!
When I progressed to 4 cm the foley bulb was taken out and Dr. Golden suggested that if I was to get an epidural I should do it then before he broke my water. I received the epidural gladly around 7:00 PM that night and Dr. Golden broke my water at 7:30.
Family and friends were taking turns in and out of the delivery room from about 2:00 PM and on throughout the night. I progressed to 6 cm and got stuck there for a while. It was long enough that Dr. Golden mentioned that if I didn’t progress within the next 2 hours that I would unfortunately have to have a c-section. He and the nurse knew that is not what I wanted. Along with finding that out, we were told that Cam’s head wasn’t turned in the best way to have to him. Due to his being the “wrong” way I started experiencing intense back labor and my epidural began to wear off at this point of labor as well. The anastheologist came back in to give me more “juice” to help that go away. My nurse began positioning me in various positions in 30 minute intervals to get his head to turn around and progress my labor.
After everyone left the room I turned to Tim with tear-filled eyes and told him that I really didn’t want a c-section and I had labored for so long for it to end like this. We prayed and two hours later (4:00 AM) I had progressed from 6 cm to 9 cm. Once again, praise the Lord!! He answered our prayers each time. About one hour later I started feeling a lot of pressure that got progressively worse. I mentioned it to the nurse when it first started and she didn’t make much of it, which is understandable since I was in labor. Around 5:30 AM the pressure and back labor really set in and so did my tears. At 6:00 AM Tim knew I had reached my limit and hit my call button for our nurse. When they asked what I needed, Tim responded with “We need to have a nurse in here now”. This was during shift change so Dr. Golden came in with his cup of coffee and made a joke about there being no help around during shift change and then quickly put down his cup of coffee when he saw me crying and in pain. He checked me and said, “Oh, there’s his head..it is pushing time.” Tim sent a text to our family and friends waiting at 6:03 AM. The nurses started coming in and told me to push while Dr. Golden got on his scrubs. I pushed 5 times and at 6:08 AM the most precious and sweetest baby boy was born and laid in my arms! Tim and I just looked at each other and at Cam. What a special and incredible moment/experience!! He was/is the most handsome baby boy I have ever laid my eyes on!
Cam whimpered a little bit and then the next thing I know the nurses pick him up and call the doctor over to where they were with him because he wasn’t breathing. Tim had gotten the camera out by this time and was with him taking pictures. I couldn’t see what was going on, but I knew by the look on Tim’s face that he was scared and I was too. I could hear the nurses and doctor encouraging Cam to breathe and I just prayed for him. He finally decided to start breathing on his own, praise the Lord! Apparently he was exhausted from a long labor, which played into us having to stay in the delivery room a few extra hours before sending us to recovery. The nurses and doctors kept coming in monitoring his breathing and my blood pressure took a major spike during that time as well, which also kept us in that room. The plus side of all that was the fact that Cam and I were able to do skin to skin for a few hours instead of just one. So, we had some extra bonding time. 🙂 Cam and I both started recovering better from a long 24 hours by this point and were moved to another room.
Tim was great at encouraging me through the whole process of labor and delivery. There were several times where I started wondering if I could actually deliver a baby and he urged me onward. I definitely couldn’t have done it without him by my side. 🙂
Cam’s stats were: born at 6:08 AM, 8lbs 1oz, 21 inches long
Cam has decided to follow in the footsteps of his friends, Haddon and Judson, and update you monthly on his life and experiences through his view. So be on the lookout later this month for a blog from Mr. Cam Mathis and what all he has been up to since July 22nd.