Monday, July 18, 2011

Elliott Zachary has arrived!

Our little one has finally arrived!

Elliott Zachary Yinger, boy wonder.

Quick stats:

Elliott Zachary
Born: Friday, July 15, 2011
Time: 9:05 am
Weight: 7 lbs, 9.5 oz.
Length: 21 inches.

Birth story (may not be for those on the fence about child birth...)

As you know, we were over due.  One week after our due date, we had to go into the doctors and to the hospital for a series of "overdue" tests.  We had an appointment for a non-stress test, ultrasound (to check fluids), and OBGYN on Thursday, the final appointment being the ultrasound.  Our midwife, or at least one of the ones in our practice, said the full moon would bring the baby, because she has seen the hospital just go crazy with babies on the nights around full moons.  Right, I thought.  Once you hit a certain point, you begin to think you will be pregnant forever.  Between the appointment and the tests, Jason and I went for lunch.  I had pizza and root beer, but if I knew what my day had in store, I would have chosen something better for you!

The non-stress test went well (he moved 14 times in 20 minutes), but at the ultrasound, the tech thought our fluids looked low.  She went and checked with the doctor, who told her to admit us to the hospital and send us upstairs to Labor and Delivery.  Ready or not, it was time to have our little boy!  About 30 minutes later, we were in our room and settled.  I needed an IV for fluids and Pitocin (although the stress of a surprise induction was already putting me into contractions), but that was our first bump in the road. They had trouble finding a vein for the IV line, which resulted in 6 sticks and the anesthesiologist inserting the successful line.  He was brought in because after 2 unsuccessful sticks, the nurses thought it would be nice to bring in the most acclaimed needle-inserter in the department.  He was even nice enough to numb me before each stick (one of those lidocaine sticks resulted in a blown vein too!).  He was a really nice guy and a very skilled doctor (and since I was getting an epidural, it let me get to know him and feel comfortable with him).  My nurse for this shift, Jenna, was AWESOME and when she left, I was actually pretty sad.  She was really keeping me up.  However, one of my favorite midwives came in, so I felt a little better.

The parents and siblings all mobilized quickly and were in Philly with us by about 8 PM.  If you don't already know, J and I are from South Central PA, so it's pretty impressive that six adults went from getting the news to being there for the long haul in 5 hours.  While my parents and sister were in the room visiting, my contractions went from very mild (more like gas pains after a big meal) to unbearable.  They left and let me breathe through my pain for a while.  I knew I was only 3 centimeters too, so I had a lot of pain to go before pushing.  After 45 minutes or so, J reminded me that because it was the night shift, I might have trouble getting my epidural if the doctors were occupied with a C-section (which was entirely possible; it was crazy busy on the L&D floor).  He went out to see if Daniel (the anesthesiologist) was available, and thankfully, he was.  The epidural, which I feared as much as I looked forward to it, was so easy.  Daniel and the doctor overseeing him were pros who made the pain med experience pain free.  I was feeling better and sleepy soon.  I knew that I needed to sleep well because I had a big job in front of me.

The next 6 hours or so were just really me, J, and Sarah (my sister and labor buddy) chatting and sleeping.  I laugh so much when the three of us are together, so my spirits were high.  The doctors came in and checked me every couple of hours and I was making awesome progress (about 2 centimeters every check).  They also re-took blood (from my more cooperative veins that don't allow IV's) for labs that came back abnormal (it turned out to be lab error, but better safe than sorry).  I slept a little here and there and my mom visited again at one point as well.  Jill, J's mom, wanted to, but just about the time my mom left so Jill could come in, my contractions were getting really strong.

About 4 AM, Elliott's heartbeat spiked and stayed high, prompting concern from our doctors and midwives.  Sure enough, I had a fever, which lead the medical team to the conclusion that the amniotic fluid, which we thought was intact, was infected because it had broken at some unknown time.  Oddly enough, when his heart beat went up, I wasn't initially concerned because his heart monitor had trouble staying on him.  I was 9 centimeters, so they really encouraged me to prepare for labor soon and lay off my epidural button so I could feel contractions better (I actually used very little epidural in the end, but they wanted my pushing to be effective and efficient).  At 7 AM, the doctor checked me and I was ready to go: 10 centimeters and truly effaced.

Because of the infected fluid, the doctors were only going to allow me to push for about 2 hours before taking me in for an emergency c-section, which I did not want.  So, as long as my pushing was super effective, they would find a way for me to deliver vaginally.  I pushed really well, so around 8:30 AM, I was told they would use a vacuum to assist him out and avoid a C-section.  Hooray!  However, because of our condition, I would not be able to hold him right away and he would spend some time in the ICN (Intensive Care Nursery).  Oh well.  It's for his health.  Soon, there were (no exaggeration) 2 doctors, one midwife, 3 nurses (including Jenna, who had come back for a new shift!), and 2 pediatricians in the room (not to mention Sarah and J), ready to spring into action.  I pushed until 9:05 AM when they pulled him out via the vacuum.  He cried right away and looked awesome.  They took him to be checked and I finished the delivery with ease.  Sarah and I cried, and J cut the cord, and everything else happened smoothly.

His APGAR scores were 8 & 9 (for color), as his extremities were a little grey at first.  He was so good looking that they did let me hold him for a while and let his grandparents and uncle meet him before taking him upstairs to the ICN.  He has now been there for three days, and he should be able to come home Monday.

Me and my "bunny." (It's the year of the Rabbit!)

I couldn't have done it without the support of my family, especially Sarah and J, who were awesome during the pushing.  Sarah kept a tight hold of my hand, got me water, and kept my hair out of my face, while J helped hold a leg back and hold my hand.  Nurse Jenna was also amazing and without her, my midwife, and Dr. Wu (who was the doctor that told us to expect Elliott), I would have almost definitely had a C-Section.  We're thrilled things went so well, considering the circumstances, and I'm proud of myself for actually doing it.  I'm home now, trying unsuccessfully to sleep, and I hope I can bring my "bunny bunny" home in the morning.

If you made it to the end, thanks!  If you skipped ahead to find out the exciting conclusion, I don't blame you.

Pirate baby!
 - J & M.