Shep's Birth Story

2:42 PM

He's here. And he's been here for over a year now. So I'm feeling pretty on top of it. ;) 

His name is Shepherd D Robertson. We call him Shep.

He was born at 36 weeks and 4 days and came in at a whopping 7 lbs 13 oz, 19 inches long. Possibly the biggest preemie in all the land. 

To make a long story short, I ended up switching OBGYN's at 36 weeks. I had a little bit of baby doctor drama with my old OB (but that is a whole different story, one of which I could rant about for days. Grrrr.) and things felt really good with my new OB, I was so happy I switched. He was a lot more informed on my condition, the proper treatment of it and most importantly for me, took the risks seriously.

Anyway, when I went into my 2nd appointment on Tuesday, May 27 (36w3d) I had an ultrasound to see how big he was and check his development. After the tests were done, the doc came in the room and said we were ready to have this baby. HELP ME. My hospital bag wasn't even packed yet. I was told to report back to the hospital at 4 pm so we could get the show on the road. I called Dan, told him we were having this baby today and to finish up his work and come home! I went home, packed my hospital bag and hurried (waddled?) over to the nail salon to get a mani pedi. This was dumb, I know. I obviously had no idea what having a baby was like but I told Dan I didn't want my feet up in the air all day unless they looked good. So I sat there soaking my feet, feeling so squirmy and giddy. I wanted to tell everyone that walked into the room that I am pregnant, and that I am having my baby TODAY! I got my fingers painted blue for a boy but I can't even remember what colors my toes were. Dan might, because I called him from the salon 3 times to ask him what colors I should get. (I am so embarrassing. That man is the best husband ever.) After that, I met Dan for lunch. Our last date as a family of two. We ate at JCW's and we were so anxious and excited, Dan just kept saying that he couldn't believe it is today. We were having a baby today! An older couple seated next to us, overheard and kept giggling & smiling at us. It was cute. I felt like I was the most special person in the entire world, because I was about to become a mother. A MOM YOU GUYS!!!

We checked into the hospital at 4:00, the nurses got me all hooked up to the machines, gave me all the paperwork to fill out and showed me (Dan) how to work the TV. My doctor came in at 5:30 and put some gel (Prepidil) *up there* to help "ripen my peach" HAHA. I about died. I remember feeling immature & too shy to say that out loud, but in front of the nurses I just pretended like that was a totally normal thing to think/talk about... Because, duh, everyone has a peach that needs to be ripened. But I really just wanted to melt into the bed, thinking about all the stuff that was going to transpire in the next 24 hours, and how many people were going to see my business. The doctor told me that I should have my baby by about 7:30pm tomorrow night, and that if I was patient with him, he would get this baby out without a c-section.

I wasn't somebody that was interested in having a birth plan, I just wanted my baby here safe, however it needed to happen. And let's be honest, when your doctor orders an induction 3.5 weeks early, that's probably a sign that things aren't going to go according to plan anyways. But I did want to avoid a c-section, if possible. For the ridiculously vain reason of not wanting a scar. Which is funny now, because my stomach is so soggy and droopy, a scar would probably just make it more appealing.

After the Prepidil, the contractions started immediately. Contractions feel weird. And since this post is already TMI, I might as well just go all out and say contractions feel like you need to poop. Worse than you've ever needed to poop in your life. It hurts. If you've had a baby, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't had a baby, you might want to stop reading now because this post might scare you out of ever wanting to have a baby. So at 2:30 am, I got my next dose of medicine. Cervidil. That's when shit got real, okay? Holy moly. Contractions are not a joke. I couldn't go back to sleep, so I was just laying there thinking about how bad it hurt. My nurse was checking on me every hour, taking my blood pressure and when she came in at 5:30 am she asked if I needed an epidural. I thought I did but I was afraid of getting an epidural too soon, because I had heard horror stories about having them wear off. (Does that really happen???) Plus, I was trying to be brave. As soon as she left I wished I would have said yes, so I told myself that I can make it another hour and next time she comes in, I will tell her I'm ready. But an hour later, a new nurse came!!! And apparently the epidural was off the table with this new nurse. I smiled and said okay, but made a mental note that I hated this beyotch. (Of course she ended up being the sweetest lady of all time and my favorite nurse, by far.) At 10:30 am my doctor came in to check me and break my water. He told the nurse I can have an epidural anytime, but then he left and she decided I still didn't need it and gave me a different pain medicine. Which helped for about 30 minutes. The contractions came back and the pain was so bad that every time I had a contraction it made me puke, so then the lady who I had proclaimed the worst nurse in the world decided I could have an epidural now. But of course, I really couldn't. 

The anesthesiologist came in and saw that my blood pressure was high, and it was getting higher by the minute, because hello, how the heck was I supposed to calm down? He ordered some blood work to make sure I didn't have a problem that meant I couldn't get an epidural, I don't know what it was, I just heard the possibility of no epidural. Sometime during this mess, all of a sudden I looked up and I had 5 or 6 nurses working frantically on me, pushing on my stomach. I heard one of the nurses say the word "resuscitation" and I literally thought I was dying. I was just staring up at the ceiling, and everything was fuzzy. and oh my gosh, I was in so much pain. I was laying there, thinking this was the end (I know, so dramatic... but I'm being 100% serious.) So I was laying there, thinking about Dan being a widower, when I realized they were talking about resuscitating MY BABY. I wanted to start screaming, "Just cut me open and get him out of there!!!" But I guess the nurses were already thinking that was going to happen because they took away my ice water and told me not to eat or drink anything. I'm not 100% clear on the details but apparently Shep didn't like having my water broken, and his heart rate dropped, so they had to put my water back in? I seriously had an IV going to my LADY PARTS. It was so weird. Basically it felt like my water was breaking continuously for the next 6 hours. I finally got my epidural, and everything was right in the world. No, I didn't look at the needle, I don't ever want to see one. 

I calmed down, took a nap and at 4:15 pm I felt him coming. I called the nurses, they said I was at a 10 and NOT to push. I'm sorry, What!? I've been waiting for this to happen for 23 hours now and now I have to hold him in? Are you kidding me? Having a baby is SO much different than they show in the movies. So anyway, they started getting things ready while we waited for the doctor to get there. The nurse brought in a mirror, so I could see the birth... I took one look and made her take it right back out. Uhhh... Yikes! Now we're just chillin' in the room and my awesome husband decides we need some music to pass the time, and puts on Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It." No, I'm not kidding. So we had a little dance party right there in the delivery room. It was kind of hilarious. The nurse came back and to do a few practice pushes, and I did 3 before she yelled at me to stop. Soon the doctor, along with about 20 other people came in the room, the doc took the end off my bed and cranked it up to eye level. (Oh my gosh. Mortifying.) I pushed through 3 contractions and he was out! Dan cut the cord, they took Shep over to be weighed, measured and wrapped up, then handed him to Dan. He held him for about 10 seconds, passed him to me, I held him for another 10 seconds, and they promptly took him over to the corner of the room to examine his lungs while they sewed me up. We knew this was going to happen, since he was delivered so early. He hadn't cried or made a sound yet, but pretty soon he started crying and it was the sweetest little sound I'd ever heard in my life. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. 

Shep's lungs were underdeveloped and he needed to be monitored on CPAP so they took him down to the nursery pretty quick. Everyone followed to watch him through the window but I stayed put for a minute until the nurses came to help me into a wheelchair. If I'm being honest, I was secretly grateful for that time alone. For some reason, I felt really scared. I was scared that I was a mom now, I was scared that my son wasn't breathing alright, I was scared that somehow it was my fault for delivering him early, I was scared that when I saw him for the first time that everyone would be watching me through the window. What if I didn't love him the way you are supposed to love your child, and everyone could tell? It was all just so new. It all felt really foreign and just weird. I just sat in the hospital room thinking about everything that had happened, and was about to happen. When I felt ready, I called the nurse and told her I was starting to feel my legs, even though I had been able to wiggle my toes for a few minutes now. I was wheeled down to the nursery, saw our families and waved a little, then they wheeled me into the Level 2 Nursery and he was there. In a diaper, wearing the CPAP mask, hooked up to so many cords. It made my heart hurt to see him hooked up to all those machines, but I smiled and pretended I was happy because everyone was looking. I couldn't hold him, but I remember feeling the need to check every inch of him. I did, and he was perfect. So, so perfect.

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