Jason and I had been married two years when we decided to start thinking about having a baby. We knew that I had one more year of college left and we would like to have a baby after I finished. Well, little did we know where thinking would get us. One month later, in August, 1997, we found out that I was pregnant. We were very excited! The due date was April, 16, 1998. Since we had been together we had always talked of having a family. We both wanted all boys! We went to the first doctorís appointment together on October 2, 1997. We watched the sonogram in amazement. That tiny little being was growing inside me. It was me and the person I loved most in this world, Jason. At that point, I really did not care if it was a boy or girl. As long as it was healthy! The day before Thanksgiving we went for the next sonogram. The doctor took his time doing the measurements and looking at the heart and after what seemed like enternity he said, "Itís a Boy!" We were so ecstatic! The best part was that he was healthy!
The first part of the pregnancy was pretty easy. But, as the pregnancy progressed it got worse. I was sick all the time. At my January doctorís appointment, he was a little concerned because I had only gained about 7 pounds. I had lost a lot weight when I was sick and I was just beginning to gain it back. Dr. Cotter recommended a milkshake every now and then. I took his advice and tried to start eating more. I finally began to gain more weight, but a new problem arose. I am a small person (5í1") and all of the weight was in my stomach so the baby was so heavy for me to carry around.
By March, I was miserable! I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions since 16 weeks, but now they were getting stronger and more frequent. I also knew that the baby had dropped because I could breathe easier and I felt a lot of pressure from his head. When I went to my doctorís appointment on March 12 (35 weeks), I told him about the contractions. He checked me and found that I was dialated to 2 cm and the babyís head was very low. They sent me to the hospital where they hooked me up to the fetal monitor. The contractions were between 3 and 5 minutes apart. They gave me Terbutaline to stop the contractions and sent me home. Well, the next day I was having the contractions again and back in the hospital. They ran some tests and gave me fluids through the IV because they thought I might be dehydrated. (Dehydration causes contractions.) After that did not work the doctor decided not to stop the contractions and let nature take over. I did not want the baby to come yet because I had two more weeks of school. But, the nurses said they see this sort of thing all the time and it could still be another month.
Well, the baby was not going to wait another month! On March 22 (at 36 weeks), I was having mild cramps. I decided to finally pack my suitcase and get everything ready for the hospital. At about 5:00 p.m., I took a long hot bath and said a prayer. I said, "God, please make this baby come soon!" I did not care about school or anything else. The pressure was so bad it hurt to walk. Two hours later my water broke. I was sitting at the computer trying to finish my portfolio when I felt something wet. I stood up and felt the biggest gush! I paged Jason and he flew home from work. (It helped having a police car!) I called the hospital and told them my water had broke but I was not having contractions. They told me to come in immediately. I also called my mom and told her to meet us at the hospital. I was having the Braxton Hicks (or so I thought) and I did not think it was a big deal. In fact, on the way there, I was thinking, "Was that my water that broke or did I pee?" When I got to the hospital, they confirmed that it was my water, but, I was still only dialated to 2 cm.
I was having a hard time believing that I was actually going to have this baby in the next 24 hours. At about 9:00 p.m they put me in a room. At that point, the monitor was showing that I was having contractions, but they still were not hurting. In fact, if I layed on my side I could not feel anything. But, I was agitated with Jason because he was working on a police report that he had to get finished by 10:00 p.m. and fax to his lieutenant. I said, "Canít your work wait? I am in labor here." Then the nurses came to put an IV in my arm and I was like, "No Way!" Getting an IV hurts! (By the way, it hurt worse than having the baby) I asked if I could do this without the IV and they said I would have to talk to my doctor. So, Dr. Cotter called on the phone (I did not actually see him until about 2 minutes before the delivery) and he explained that I had to have the IV in case I wanted any pain medication. I was in a pretty good mood despite the bad news. He told me to go to sleep and get some rest because he would induce labor at 7:00 in the morning and I would need a lot of energy. I also told him I did not want a c-section or episiotomy unless absolutely necessary. He told me he would try not to. I still did not understand how I was suppossed to go to sleep with so much on my mind. He told the nurses to give me some Stadol to relax me. So, they gave me the dreaded IV (Jason held my hand.) And, I told our parents to go home and get some sleep, also.
Boy, did that Stadol work! I was asleep in no time! I do remember getting up a couple times to go to the bathroom. But, I had no concept of time. The next thing I knew, it was 4:00 in the morning and I was about to have the baby. Jason had went to tell the nurses that I was wining and when they came to check I was dialated to a 9+. I slept through the labor! The contractions were starting to hurt and they asked me if I wanted an epidural. I said, "Yes!" but, by the time they came to give it to me I had changed my mind. I knew that the worst part was over with already and all I had left was to push the baby out. Jason called our parents and told them to come back to the hospital and the nurses were rushing around getting everything ready. I was still pretty sleepy and I was in and out of it. I felt an uncontrollable urge to push, but they told me to wait. (I pushed anyway.) Then, Dr. Cotter walked in with his hair standing straight up and looking like he had just crawled out of bed. He washed his hands, put on gloves and sat down on the bed next to me (no stirrups) and told me to "Push!" I did not have a lot of energy, but, I gave it my best. Jason and Dr. Cotter were encouraging me by telling me that I was doing great and they could see the head and that he had a lot of hair. I felt a lot of pressure and some stinging. I remember looking up and seeing about 10 people standing around looking at me (OB nurses, and neonatal doctors and nurses) After about 5 minutes of pushing, I told myself that I was ready for this to be over and meet my son. So, I pushed as hard as I could and the head came out. The cord was wrapped around the babyís neck so after he unwrapped it he told me to push one more time. I did and I felt the shoulders come out. Then the rest just sort of slipped right out. Dr. Cotter cut the cord and placed the baby on top of me for about 10 seconds. Then they rushed to put him under the warming lamps and take care of him since he was a preemie. So that was it! Brett Matthew Barry was born at 4:38 a.m. on March 23, 1998. He weighed 5 pounds 3 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long. He was a tiny little guy. No epidural, no stictches! It was the best feeling in the entire world after he was born. Such a relief to not be pregnant anymore. I felt so great! I was up immediately. I was basically a little sore, but that was it. I did not get to breastfeed for about 3 hours because they had to keep Brett in the NIC.
He had so little fat that he was not maintaing his body temperature and his blood sugar level kept dropping. After two days, Brett was fine (except for a little jaundice) and they let us go home. Although, I did not mind the hospital one bit. Everyone was so nice and took care of me and the baby. And, breastfeeding was very hard. I needed help from the doctors and nurses. Overall, I am VERY happy with my birth experience. I hope the next one goes just as wonderful!
Giving birth was the most wonderful experience of my entire life! I will never forget it as long as I live. In the days after Brett was born, Jason and I would just stare at Brett and marvel at how perfect he was. He was so little and he had beautiful skin, dark eyes, lots of brown hair, and he never cried! We never knew we could LOVE something so much! God has given us the most precious gift of all--a child!
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