Monday, July 2, 2012

Jonathan's Birth Story

Jonathan Daniel Buczinski
Born Friday June 29, 2012
at 11:53 am
9 stinkin' pounds and 14.8 ounces

It's Monday and we are back in the hospital because after J's first appointment we found out that his bilirubin levels are dangerously high. This affords me time to sit, read, think, sleep in the quietness of our hospital room while he sleeps on the bili-bed to bring those levels down. I thought I would take advantage of the time that I probably won't have again to write down a quick recap of last Friday.

Thursday I went in because I thought I was leaking fluid. I was 2 days over do and may have been wishful thinking that he was on his way. It turns out I wasn't leaking fluid (I know, "What was that then??") but Dr. George checked his fluid levels on the ultrasound and they were pretty low. He wanted to induce me. We went the same route we did with Noah and started things off with Cervidil. Chris and I went into the hospital Thursday night and by 5 am the Cervidil hadn't started labor, so they started me on a super low dose of pitocin. 

The whole night was really emotional for me. I wanted to have a natural birth and when they mentioned pitocin I was sure that I wouldn't be able to have one. I was crying and I woke up Chris and told him we should just plan to get the epidural because I wasn't going to be able to do it naturally while hooked up to an IV, etc. I realized that I had really begun to idolize the birth experience that I wanted to have instead of trusting the Lord to bring our son into the world healthy and in the manner that He sees fit. I was sinning and complaining because I wanted a healthy baby, but I didn't want the experience that God wanted for me! I explained that to Chris and then started to find joy in whatever the next step would be because I truly wanted to trust God with the birth experience. 

They started pitocin at 5 am and at about 6:30 am I asked Chris to get up with me and stand by the bed. We labored by the bed for about 4 hours. It's kind of funny how you find a little groove that works for you and you just do it. Chris rubbed my back and had me lean into his shoulder through each contraction. We ended up having these 4 wonderful hours together. Sure, they were riddled with painful contractions, but I was super emotional through the whole thing. I cried in between contractions because I was so thankful that our son would be here soon. I cried because I was grieving the change in relationship that I knew would happen with Noah and I. I cried because I heard the lady in the room next to me screaming as she delivered her baby. I cried because I was so thankful for Chris. I cried because the nurse kept telling me what a good job I was doing. 

When the contractions started getting a lot more intense we asked to use the tub to labor and it took about an hour for them to prep it for us. That hour was a good thing because it forced me to look to the goal of laboring in the tub. I depended on Chris a lot. He read Psalms 32 and 33 to me. I cried to think of God as my strength. I'm getting a little choked up now actually. 

I'm really thankful that those 4 hours were super manageable as far as pain goes. My labors seem to move quick and there wasn't a time during those 4 hours that I considered having an epidural because we were in such a good rhythm and each contraction felt very productive but not yet overwhelming.

Well, it's not called labor for nothing. It can't stay manageable for long. The unfortunate thing for me is that I always demand an epidural when it's way too late to get one. I got in the tub at about 7 cm and I immediately felt an amazing relief. I was almost able to sleep between contractions. I had about 2 contractions this way and then in the middle of one contraction I felt a "pop" and I think my water broke. Suddenly everything was very unmanageable. The contractions were way too intense and everything was moving very quickly. I started to lose it a little... okay, a lot. I was crying and saying that I had made the wrong decision and I wanted an epidural. I said lots of things like, "This is ridiculous! Why are we doing this, Chris?? Natural birth is sooooo dumb." Chris, Mary and Rachel (the two nurses) just kept saying, "Okay, we hear you, now lets just get through this next contraction," and I would say, "Who is calling the anesthesiologist?? No one has left to call him. I'm telling you that I have made the decision to have the epidural," and then more, "Okay, we hear you, lets get through this next contraction." They knew what I knew: that baby was a few contractions away and I would have to get through it. 

We got out of the tub and headed back to the room at about 8 or 9 cm. I stood at the end of the bed and yelled through each contraction and in between I kept saying how dumb it is to not get the epidural and how foolish we had been. Dr. Anthony got there and checked me and said that he was ready to be pushed out!! I was sooo scared that she was wrong and that I would have to push and push. Thankfully, I only pushed through 2 contractions. But it was truly awful. 

Jonathan came out and they put him on my chest. I was way too shook up by the pain of delivering him to even look at him. When the whole universe crashes down on your brain and you think you will pass out from pain, you just aren't all that eager to look at your baby. I kept hearing them say, "Oh my gosh!! He is huge!" Sure enough, he was huge. No wonder it hurt so bad!

It's amazing how quick you can go from the worst pain of your life to so much joy. It was wonderful to hold him and nurse him and in moments our family was changed forever. He is a chubby, snuggly, wonderful little baby that I can't get enough of. It's so fun to see Noah with him. Noah will come up and say, "Hold it?" So he sits and holds his brother before pushing him away and saying, "All done." We have had lots of help with Mike and Debbie here. I'm nervous for Saturday when they leave, but once again I will have opportunity to depend on God as my strength and to be sanctified through the sleeplessness, the chaos with a toddler, the nursing, and whatever else God brings my way. I'm thankful that in this moment I feel ready to tackle it because I know that there will be many moments to come that I don't think I can do it and I will have to cry out to my Rock and my Refuge for help.