Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weston Teuscher | a birth story

This is a birth video- there are photos of... birth. You have been warned.

As I sit here, three minutes away from 2012, I can see little feet poking out from the baby swing. This year has been good to us, especially the last week of it. We went out with a bang there is no doubt about that. Weston Teuscher Alberts was born December 28th, 2011 at 5:30 pm. He weighed 6 pounds 10 ounces and measured 19 and a half inches in length. All ten fingers, all ten toes, and a perfectly proportioned, perfectly round head. We are so blessed.

 His took his sweet time with his entrance into this world and the start of it all came as quite a surprise to us. I had been eagerly awaiting each weekly doctor appointment, crossing my fingers that my body would show some signs of labor and give us an idea of when we would expect our little boy. Every week it was the same thing, no cervical dilation or effacement, no contractions, no baby on his way. On December 27th I had my 40 week check up and it was no different, until I was outside the exam room talking with my wonderful nurses and doctor about scheduling a c-section for that Friday and about the risks of trying pitocin without already being in early labor and adding having a VBAC to all of that when it happened. I had my first contraction. The first of many that would bring our little Weston into my arms. The doctor confirmed by rubbing my belly but told me not to count my lucky stars just yet.

After I left the doctor, Hubs, Ryan and I ran some errands. One of our stops was Buffalo Wild Wings-- I was going to spice this baby out. By this point my contractions were coming every 15-20 minutes. We were keeping our families informed with our progress but like the doctor said, we werent banking on anything. I had a massage scheduled for 2pm and even though they were getting stronger and stronger I decided it would be nice to still go. I had 4 contractions during my massage and I fell asleep twice. I was so relaxed and I have a feeling that was the break of the dam. By the time I got home again they were 8 to 10 minutes apart. I tried to take a nap with Ryan knowing that those days were numbered. I skipped work that night as they were getting stronger and stronger. I had a hard time relaxing and keeping my breath even. At 8pm I called my parents to head down they had a 3 hour drive from Seattle, and this was it. Contractions were 5 to 8 minutes apart so I took a nice shower, shaved my legs, and packed the last few items into our hospital bag and waited for them to arrive so we could leave for the hospital. A few hours later we called hubs parents to have them come over and sit with Ryan because I couldnt wait any longer.

I told myself all the way to the hospital I was only dilated to 1cm because I didnt want to be disappointed but the pain I was feeling was real and it wasnt going away. We checked in easily and sure enough-- dilated to a 1 but 80% effaced. I had made some progress but not nearly enough. The hospital wasnt full so they said I could stay and walk the halls for a while to see if things changed. Knowing we were far off from the actual delivery I sent hubs home to get some rest/take care of Ryan because I knew he would be up and missing me. My mom stayed with me and it was perfect, she was such an amazing birth coach having gone through the same thing 5 times. She was so watchful of me and would rub my forehead and my back during each contraction, making sure I said focused and didnt lose my breath. I could not have gone through this experience without her. She is now required to be at all future births. (and take pictures, she took all of these for us) I really thought that I would make it farther into labor before I got an epidural but I am glad I didnt have to. The doctor on call gave me the okay at 4am only dilated to a 3 and the relief was so sweet.

I labored the rest of the night and all day without much rest however. I was very nauseous and threw up tons, I also had a nasty headache and was feeling really gross all over-- almost flu like. At one point they turned off my epidural to see if that would help with the promise of turning it back on in a few minutes. I went 2.5 hours without because the anesthesiologist got stuck in surgery. It was so painful and made me more sick. Hubs came back later that morning after he had gotten Ryan up and settled in with papi for the day. It was great to have him and my mom there supporting me through this. I dilated slowly, about a centimeter an hour or so. I didnt want pitocin unless I had to and since I was moving along, just at my own pace, I was allowed to continue on. I am sure the OB would have liked to send me home but since I was already numb I was there for the long haul and for that I was grateful. A little after noon I felt a tiny trickle- my water had broke a bit but it didnt tear through the whole bag. The OB came in a while later and finished it up. The next thing I knew I was dilated to a 7, and then before I knew it a 9.5. I had read a lot about the benefits of letting the baby labor down as far as they could on their own and since I had a great epidural that was something I wanted to do. It made sense to me, as my baby had already wanted to do things in his own way, in his own time.

I was fully dilated for about an hour and kept feeling him inch closer and closer with each contraction. It wasnt like anything else in the world. It amazing knowing how close he was to actually being here. My nurse told me to give her a heads up when I didnt feel the pressure let up between contractions. At 4:50 pm that happened. After one practice push she told me that as soon as my OB came in we would have a baby! My nurse and the baby nurse started getting things set up, my OB suited up as we cracked jokes and shot the breeze. My contractions never got closer than 5 minutes apart so like with everything else we just had fun and took our time. Earlier in my pregnancy we joked about how I was only going to push for a few minutes-- this being silly because I knew most first time vaginal birth moms can push for an hour or 2. Once he said he was ready to go I lost all control of my emotions and started sobbing. I was terrified. I was scared to push and have this little person come out of me. I was scared to have another newborn as the last one was so difficult and pushed me to my limits, I was scared to be a mother to two children. Whether I was feeling confident or not everyone in that room helped me muster enough courage to push.

Pushing was the greatest thing. It wasnt scary like I thought, it wasnt hard either. I was able to peek down over my shrinking belly and see our little ones head emerge, hair and all! I would have a push then have to wait a few minutes til my next contraction to give it another go. It was slow coming yet again and it was weird to have to him just sitting there so close. The baby nurse kept oohing and ahhing because he never showed any signs of distress he was completely calm the whole time being squished. I only had to push 5 times and then I witnessed one more of my greatest moments ever. My little peanut floated out with ease and into my arms.

He cried for a few seconds and then looked up at me with his big dark eyes and we both melted instantly. He was so peaceful and so happy. I was surprised how clean he was, hardly any baby goo on him at all, he looked so good. I asked them to delay cutting the cord and they did for about 20 minutes. It was great to just have time with him and letting him get used to this big bright beautiful world for a bit. They were able to clean him off a little and check his stats without rushing him away, he didnt need any suction or assistance at all. My boy was here and he was ready for it! I loved our last few minutes of being physically connected. This little guy had grown in my body for the last 9 months and here he was, ready to be on his own. It was bitter sweet. Daddy cut the cord when the time came.

He started rooting around for my breast within the first few minutes and like his brother latched perfectly the first try. I laid and nursed him while my husband and I exchanged loving glances and I was stitched up a bit. I had a second degree tear. Both grandmas were there for his birth as well. Our room was over flowing with love at that moment. I felt they all had a hand in his safe arrival and I was so grateful to share that moment with everyone that was there. Of course nothing with us goes off without a hitch- a few minutes after he was born the power went out! The back up generators switched off and on a few times then things resumed back the love fest that they were. (we also had a fire drill at the same time my nurse call button on my bed broke, it was kind of crazy!)

From the start of my first contraction to holding Weston was 29.5 hours. I was more than ready to be off the epidural and moving around. It had been 13.5 hours since I was hooked up to the IV.  I was so grateful to have a successful VBAC. My labor and delivery went so well I really have no complaints. Sure it wasnt perfect, its still called labor. I was sick and throwing up, hubs couldnt be there the whole time, I ended up with quite a few stitched despite my doctor doing a great job stretching me, but I felt strong and empowered overall! I was able to care for my son and myself with out much pain or discomfort after delivery. We opted for a 24 hour discharge and by Thursday evening, December 30th we were at home with our proud big brother, soaking up this family of four thing.

Weston is the perfect baby. He rarely cries unless being changed or touched by someone with cold hands. He shows no signs of jaundice, he poops and tinkles like a champ, and he is an amazing eater and sleeper. He is in love with Ryan and visa versa. We are so happy and content as we ring in the new year. We have so much to be grateful for. We love our little guys and our life together.

Happy new year.

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