Welcoming Walker

This blog post was written on November 2, 2011

Where do I begin?

Last Wednesday (10/26/11), exactly a week from this post, I made an emergency appointment with my OB to come in for some bloody discharge that I was concerned about. On the way to his office, I was experiencing some twitches of pain in my pelvic region but I've always thought that Walker was sitting low. The pain was nothing. I just thought my sweet boy was moving around like crazy.  I went and had an exam. He couldn't find anything that alarmed him and said that everything seemed fine. He told me that we don't want the baby to come right now because he needs more time to bake and development. So he put me on pelvic rest until what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions subsided. On the way home the pains were increased but nothing that I couldn't deal with. Plus, I thought it was because he checked my cervix, which comes with a little discomfort.

I had called R and told him about the appointment and my poor sweet husband was a mess. He was worried like crazy and the worrying didn't stop even after the appointment. I came home and sat down on the couch when I got home and the pain started to bother me at this point. I was bleeding but thought it was from the exam. By this time R was home and he started a bath for me. The pains were coming and going but more irritating than anything. We hung around the house and laid in bed watching TV. I should say that the pains were making it hard for me to get out of bed so we were laying horizontally.

R went to bed and I decided to take a PM to relax myself and go to bed. I went to sleep at about 10:30 and at 11:55 p.m. I woken up from the pains. I should say that I really thought these were Braxton Hicks and I text my sister saying, "I can't believe I thought I could do a med free birth, this things hurt like a bitch!".

I went from hot showers, back to bed, to hot baths and back to bed. I remember timing the pains starting at 1:17 to 1:51. I had 12 pains within that 34 minutes. I googled Braxton Hicks and realized that what I was experiencing was NOT Braxton Hicks. At around 2 a.m. I called Labor & Delivery and discussed my symptoms. I never wanted to be THAT pregnant woman who called about every little thing. She couldn't really tell me much but suggested I call my doctor, who was already on call for the night. I kept reading about Braxton Hicks and they said to eat or drink something. I looked around the house and nothing was appealing to me. I woke R up and told him I needed a cheeseburger and a Gatorade. That man popped up and went along with it.

While he was out, most likely thinking that I was just being really pregnant, the pains were starting to get to the point of no relief. I was pacing back and forth in the living room and at one time I was in the room and fell on the bed with my stomach down and my hips swaying back and forth. This was the only comfortable position. He arrived with the cheeseburger and Gatorade and the taste was horrible. I took a couple of bites, stood up and said, "I'm going to call my Mom and tell her to call Dr. Milner. I think we're going to the hospital".

Dr. Milner demanded I get to L&D. I told my Mom I wanted to take one last bath and she was yelling in the phone to get to the hospital. When we arrived in triage they couldn't pick up my contractions on the monitor and a charge nurse had to pull my uterus up from the outside of my stomach to feel them. She checked me and said that I was 2, in which I replied, "2 what?". I had dilated 2 cm and she could feel his head rolling around. R started crying when she walked out and was scared to death. I was admitted shortly and hooked up to monitors. I had a catheter, IV's, antibiotics, steroids to help his lungs,shots and pills. All were trying to stop Walker from arriving too soon.

Dr. Milner arrived around 7 and checked me, I was at 4 cm.  He took a guess and said that he thought Walker would be here by noon. We called everyone and all of our family rallied around us. At one moment, R and I were alone in the room and we just cried. We told each other that we needed this moment just between us and to get it all out because we needed to be strong for our boy.

Noon came and went and I was still having contractions. Dr. Milner checked me during his lunch break and I was still at a 4. He suggested getting an epidural because it could help slow things down and if he was coming, I wouldn't need to be a full 10 cm to deliver. I broke down and started crying. I have always said that I didn't want an epidural because of the side effects. I know my body and know how it would work. But I did it anyways and things did seem to slow down. The next goal was to make it to 6 p.m. so I could get the second steroid shot that would help his lungs. Dr. Milner came back after 6 to check me and everything had stayed the same. He was optimistic that we had stopped things for now and we would reassess in the morning. I got to eat, another pill to stop the contractions and two Ambien to rest.

At 4 a.m. on Friday, October 28th, I woke up and told my nurse I thought I was leaking. I had a high leak which means that my water had broke but wasn't completely broken. He was definitely coming some time that day.

A lot of this becomes hazy to me now. I do know that there was a complication with my epidural before delivery that made me go crazy. I couldn't move, talk, hear or throw up properly. Everything and everyone was blending together and I honestly thought I was dying. I was looking in my husbands eyes and the rest of the world was disappearing. When my eyes closed the only thing I could see was my brother, when we lived on Cardinal, and the sound of his aluminum bat falling on the concrete by the front door, and him running away. The noise I will never forget. It was so loud and then it was time to push.

I couldn't feel anything. I couldn't even lift my upper body off to push, but when Dr. Milner said to push, I pushed with everything that I had. He said, "okay, half a push" and my sweet baby boy Walker Williams enter this world and let out a cry. I will never forget that moment. Everyone in the room doubted that he would cry and he let out this little itty bitty noise and then was placed on my stomach. He curled up in my hands and was just comfortable as ever. I only had him for a few seconds before the NICU team swept him away and did their thing. He let out another cry and everyone was crying in the room.

Walker Williams Emery was born on October 28, 2011 at 1:19 p.m. He weighed 1 pound and 14 ounces and 13 inches long. Everyone in the room was surprised when they announced the weight and more tears were shed.

When the lactation consultant came in after everything settled down I started to notice that my neck had so much pressure in it that I couldn't sit up straight. I thought my body was tired from birth but by the time they took me to postpartum, I really started to feel bad. I saw Walker Saturday morning before my doctor made his rounds and I told him about the neck pain. He sent an anesthesiologist to talk with me about spinal headaches caused by epidurals. Long story short, I had one. We tried to treat it conservatively with caffeine but there's a shortage and I couldn't get an IV. Did I mention that I also was put on bed rest and wasn't able to see my baby? Sunday came around and it didn't work. I had to have a blood patch procedure on Sunday afternoon, which I still hadn't seen my baby and then I was to lay flat.

Before we were discharged on Sunday night, I was able to see my baby. I made it out of the hospital parking lot before I broke down and started crying.

My birth story is not ideal or romantic or charming. It was hard on me mentally and only a little bit physically. Walker is the sweetest little boy in the world and he's so strong.

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