Tuesday, 23 February 2010

my C-section experience...

So here's what happened...

If you read the last post, you'll know that we had agreed to have my water broken after I had been 3cm dilated and 100% effaced for several days. Liam was being measured at 4kilos (nearly 9lbs) but his head and shoulders were very large, so there was a fear of him getting much bigger. In fact, his head was already measured as the estimated 42 week size!! >.<

With this in mind we agreed to having my water broken early to progress things. They soon started me on Oxytocin to speed things up, and the contractions came very regularly. After nearly 8 hours of back labour I was dilated well, the contractions were on top of each other and yet the baby wouldn't turn and descend. We tried waiting, and I even got an epidural (that didn't relieve any pain!) but finally the doctor recommended a Ceasarian. He basically told us that we could just sit and wait with this pain, not knowing how long or even if the baby would turn and descend and still with no guarantee that he would fit, or we could do a C-section.

Ryan and I talked about it, and I feared the idea, but at the same time I feared injury to the baby or I more and I'll admit the pain was making it hard to focus. We decided to go for it and they wheeled me to the OR and slammed my bed into the doorway causing all the people in the hall and OR to just stop and stare at me ~ in the middle of a contraction! >.<

Once in the OR they began to prep me. They bound my arms and body down, and the anesthesiologist administered a stronger dose of the epidural to numb me. However, it still didn't work, I was still in pain, and I managed to get my arm free a few times to struggle. The doctor came in to begin and started with a test cut, at which I screamed! I suppose they didn't believe me that I was still in so much pain, I'm sure they assumed I just felt pressure. At that point the doctor decided to use a general anesthetic and they gassed me.

I recall them having to intubate me several times, as each time I'd gag up and spit out the tubes (I really was becoming a troublesome patient!). When I became to come to, the nurse was smacking my cheek and calling my name. She told me to wake up, to which I replied that I was awake I just couldn't control my eyes yet. She then asked me if I had a manicure. How odd, I thought at first, maybe she was just trying to get me to talk... then I understood as I began to control my eyelids better and saw that my fingertips had all turned blue.

Turns out there were a few complications. They had some difficulty with the bleeding, so they literally bound a sandbag to my body. I was also having trouble getting enough oxygen. The tube in my nose wasn't working well enough, so I decided to help things out by taking the tube to my mouth and inhaling. This helped a great deal and they soon wheeled me to the post-op recovery.

Waiting in the hall were Ryan, Jason, Eunji and her husband Dave. It had been quite a while longer than they expected, and they had only just heard that there was some trouble waking me up from the anesthetic. They all looked so relieved! Soon after they began to tell me about the baby, whom I had yet to see! Ryan made it into the OR just in time to cut the cord and be ushered out. The baby was big and loud, and perfect. He showed me a printed photo of him. I was told that because the baby was having some difficulties with his temperature that they couldn't bring him out of the nursery. At first I was a little upset, I mean, mothers dream of the first time holding their babies, right? But then I actually felt alright with it, as I was tired and already loved him so I didn't have any doubts about connecting ~ though I was a little bummed not to start breast feeding right away.

Some time after 10pm they finally prepared me to go up to my room. As they wheeled me past the nursery, the nurse held up the baby in the window for me to see. All the others in the hall stopped to look and coo and congratulate us. Until now, the baby had no name but I looked up at him and saw that he was a trouble-maker from day one. That's when we decided on the name William ~ our little Liam.

So, nothing about this pregnancy went to plan. The timing, the sickness, the pain and discomfort and finally the labour and delivery. You'd think I'd have a negative opinion after all of that, and yet I'm so hopped up on mommy hormones I couldn't care less. My baby is perfect and we are both healthy. Praise God, He is good!

Our growing little Monkey!!

 Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

The arrival of Liam Rushton!

Having finally decided on a doctor just days before, Ryan and I set off at about 5am Tuesday morning to the hospital.

With all the excitement, anxiety and discomfort, I'd only had about an hour of restless sleep. In the morning Ryan dropped me off at the hospital and headed to work. (boo for work) At the hospital I found out I was still only 3cm dilated, so they broke my water and started an IV. Soon they had added Oxytocin to make things progress faster.

I was lucky to have a few friends come and keep me company through the day. Ryan came back early from work, Eunji came and brought snacks (which I wasn't allowed to eat! >.<) and Jason came to make me laugh... on which I promptly instructed him ~ jokes were OK at the end of a contraction to make me forget the pain, but at the beginning just made me want to smack him! haha... He was really there to see if I was going to swear at Ryan (and I did, just once... but not the "YOU DID THIS TO ME" that Jason expected ~ it was during a contraction when Ryan calmly looked at me and said, "Just breathe..." to which I exclaimed, "What the heck do you think I'm doing?!?!" **heck may not have been the actual word).

I had many ideas of what childbirth would be like, and many of them were completely realistic! I knew there would be pain, fear, exhaustion and confusion as well as a plethora of other emotions and struggles. Still, I imagined trying to get as far as I could without drugs, using other methods like walking, stretching, using a birthing ball, etc. What I didn't anticipate was after having my water broken everything was a messy struggle (sorry for that image). I walked to the bathroom often just to get up and be able to sqat... but this was so far from the Korean norm that they soon gave me heck for being up so much ~ another thing I hadn't expected, for the Korean standard to be that women just lay there and take the pain (well, with the epidural) until it happened.

Eventually the pain became too much to bear and I asked for the epidural. I wasn't pleased with myself, but it'd been more than 7 hours in active labour. I was confused because in the morning the doctor told me that things looked good and the baby should be here in the early afternoon. I'd even called Ryan to cancel his last classes and come back to the hospital... but now, there was no baby just a lot of pain.

By 3pm I was dilated, the contractions were on top of each other, the epidural wasn't working for me and the baby hadn't descended. At this point the doctor was blunt, he said we could wait for several hours to see what happened and even then he was skeptical that the baby would fit, or we could try a C-section.

A Ceaserian was never part of the plan! In fact, that was why we'd agreed to induce early, to ensure that the baby would fit without injury to either of us. However, after a few more contractions and back labour we said OK to the C-section. I'd love to say from there things were easier, but they were not. I'll write my next post about my C-section experience... but for now, know that I got to experience more than a few complications... >.<

Finally, at 4:32pm our baby was born! Ryan made it in just in time to cut the cord and be ushered out of the OR. It was quite a while later that I was out, and then I was in recovery and the baby I'd yet to see was in the nursery where he was being treated for some breathing struggles (nothing serious).

Finally at about 10:30pm they were moving me up to my room and as we passed the nursery a nurse brought our baby to the window for me to see (his temp. was irregular, so they didn't want to take him out). At that point, exhausted and a wreck from the day I looked up and saw the little, beautiful and absolutely stubborn trouble-maker and it was love... I also knew he'd be a "William."

And that was little Liam's first day.

Monday, 15 February 2010

37 weeks, and what a mess!!!

(written at 37 weeks, but forgot to post! oops!! >.<) So last week we'd been excited to have found a nice delivering hospital... and preemptively bragged. On Wednesday we went to see the head doc. at that place, and he simply told us to go find another hospital. We were not impressed, and I did in fact have a mini-meltdown. How could this be?? I could go into labour any day and we had no idea where! We were stressed not only about hospitals, but we also still were basically broke, didn't have insurance, and also hadn't applied for our foreign IDs! Surely this was the most difficult week for us so far. We spent a lot of time stressed, arguing and worrying about what to do... admittedly it took us a while to bring it to God. >.< Not a proud moment, but definitely a learning moment for us.

The next day we and a good friend made some frantic phone calls, and we got in to see a new doc. at a new hospital. I had been complaining the night before that doctors these days weren't what they used to be, and deep down inside I had secretly hoped for Bill Cosby's Dr. Huxtable to deliver my baby. Well, this new doc could very well be my answer to secret longing! ^.^

We went to visit him and he was very talkative and informative - a pro for me, as I'm an anatomy info. junkie. He did a sonogram and we discovered Baby Rush is now 4kilos (!!!!) and everything looks good. As we were talking I mentioned that I hadn't had a pelvic exam in a long time, but I'd been having some discomfort down there. He said with no contractions it wouldn't be necessary and that he'd do one next week... but, being Beth, I argued with a doctor. I wanted an exam that day!!

So, the doc took a look at things and exclaimed, "whoa!" Then went on to explain that without any contractions that I'd become 100% effaced and was 3cm dilated!! Wowzas... he then said it could be any time, and with the baby being so big and fully developed (full term) that he'd be willing to break my water to speed things up!! Wow...

After that news, we were off to our baby shower, which was a blast and such a blessing to us!!!

We celebrated with several friends at the local Christian school, and really just enjoyed the company and encouragement. Of course they took the time to pray for us, which really gave me peace about things knowing that we were covered in prayer. They also blessed us with many great gifts and a fun night.

Seeing as this post is actually old, I'll stop now so I can move on to more exciting things!!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

36 weeks... when will it end???

Pregnancy is a roller-coaster ride of hormones and emotions.

One minute all you can think of is the miracle of life and that there is a human being growing inside of you... you can feel the kicks and hiccups, you can see a foot, knee or little bum wiggling or poking out, you can imagine holding this little creature when he comes out...

At the same time, it's terrifying... I want him out. I never want to go into labour. I've changed my mind, I'd rather adopt.

On the bright side, one of the big concerns was gestational diabetes - which my doctor yesterday confirmed I do NOT have. ^.^ Praise God for that news!! She said I was having some issues with insulin... Ugh! my brain fog has caused me to forget the exact wording. But basically knowing how to eat better to keep my blood sugar stable and then exercising more often when needed has prevented this from becoming a problem. Yay!! I did get high sugar the other night from ice cream... so I do need to remember, ice cream in the afternoon = no problem, ice cream in the evening = harder to control.

Luckily I've been in the habit of walking Cooper up into the mountain park at night and stopping in the exercise park for a while. Korea is full of these little exercise areas everywhere! In the middle of the park (or on the side of the road even!) there is sports equipment for the community to use. Mind you it's metal equipment, outdoors, in winter... but it works! Plus I can feel my tolerance building, and feel a bit more prepared for labour. A bit... >.<

This week we've also (finally) made a decision about where to deliver. With insurance still an issue (it could take a few more weeks to be active) we've decided NOT to go to the major hospital nearby. Instead we've chosen a new, small woman's hospital recommended by a friend. There are pros and cons...

The cons are:
1) it's further than the hospital (which is 5 mins away from home) and could take 10-20 mins to get there, depending on traffic.
2) while the doctor speaks English, the staff do not speak well. From our experience last night, they understood most of what I asked, and I understood most of what they answered, BUT I will need to make sure a few friends are available for emergency translating. A major issue, but compared to the pros, still worth it.

The pros:
1) Clean, quiet, new, relaxing, and well equipped rooms and atmosphere.
2) Cost, even without insurance, this place will cost a fraction of the price of the large hospital. In fact, this place is cheaper WITHOUT insurance than the hospital is WITH insurance.
3) The doctor seems more focused and caring, and there are few patients at a time.
4) After delivery care is very good. There are usually only a couple baby's at a time, max, so there is a lot of attention to each mother and each baby. Also the food is good, the rooms are all private, clean and well stocked. Each room is beautiful, with a bed, sofa large enough for a father to sleep on, TV & cable, mini fridge, breast pump, bassinet, and other furniture. The bathroom is large as well, with a better shower than we have at home, a bidet, and is very clean. They also have a sitz bath.
5) Gifts. Yes, this is a huge pro! They give gifts upon discharge... samples, clothes, blankets, etc. My friend said she received over $100 worth of gifts.
6) Photos! The hospital collaborates with a photo studio and will make a professional photo album for you. Pics included are pre-baby belly, a family portrait after delivery, 50 days and possibly 100 days. I've seen some of their photos, and they're beautiful!

So there you have it. Ry and I will be going back next week for a check-up and to meet the other delivering doctor on staff. IF there are any concerns, we can change out mind... but we're pretty sure we'll stay there.