Wednesday I woke up around 3:30am and then woke up Andy by saying, “Oh no, oh no, oh no.” My water had broken. We called Jim, our next door neighbor, who graciously came over in the middle of the night and slept on the couch while Sophie slept upstairs. (The next morning, Jim’s son, Billy, watched Sophie as Jim had to work. Billy was so great, taking Tucker up with him to get Sophie once she woke up so she wouldn’t be afraid.)
We called our parents and our wonderful doula, Donna Luggen. I started feeling contractions once in the car and upon admittance I was 3cm dilated. My parents arrived around 5am and they, Donna and Andy were with me in the labor room as we all thought I had awhile to go. We found out Sophie was allowed in the family waiting room so around 7am my dad drove to Fort Thomas and picked her up.
By the time he returned I was struggling with the contractions and barely getting a break between them. I had given myself a shot of Lovenox at 11pm the night before Therefore I had to have blood work done to determine if my blood was too thin for an epidural or c-section. While we were waiting for blood test results no one checked my dilation out of concern that it would make me progress quicker than they could get the test results back.
Finally Donna convinced someone to check my dilation and to my and everyone’s great surprise, I was complete (which made me feel better about how I was struggling through those contractions!). Everyone was ushered out of the labor room, including Andy who had to dress in scrubs, and I was rushed to an operating room. We had hoped Donna would be able to join us in the operating room but only Andy was allowed to come.
The anesthesiologist was uncomfortable with my blood test results and wouldn’t agree to an epidural. So he gave me what pain medicine he could through my IV including propofol and ketamine, which, looking back, I almost wish I wasn’t given. Because of the drug I was extremely out of touch with what was happening. I’d fall asleep between contractions and then wake up, totally confused as to where I was and what was happening. All I remember were lots of people in blue scrubs (Andy said it ranged from 15 to 17 people), bright lights and the words “push! hold your breath! hold your noise!”. Andy said he had to remind me every time I “woke up” what I needed to do—breath, push, count to 10, breath, push, etc. As such, I become quite panicky and was not the poster woman for natural childbirth—there was a lot more yelling than controlled breathing going on in that room. I was so happy to have Andy’s hand to squeeze.
Eventually, though, the propofol and ketamine began to wear off and I had a better understanding of what was going on around me (in other words, I realized I was having my babies!). I began listening to Andy and did a (somewhat) better job of controlling my breathing (and yelling). After about an hour of pushing, Owen was born at 8:27am. James, who was breech for most of my pregnancy, flipped head down at some point during my labor but then flipped again—and the cord was caught around his neck. So with the (quite uncomfortable) help of my OB, James was born breech at 8:29am.
Both boys were sent to the NICU—Andy immediately went with them. Once Andy returned with an update, my dad went to the NICU with Andy to meet the not-yet-named Owen and James (while my mom stayed with Sophie). And then, as soon as I was able, I went with my mom and Andy (while my dad stayed with Sophie) to meet my impossibly small yet impossibly beautiful sons—and I finally got to hold them for the first time.
Owen Oscar Uhl (Baby A)
born: 8:27 a.m., Wednesday, May 19, 2010
weight: 4 lbs., 15 oz
length: 18.3 inches
James Orion Uhl (Baby B)
born: 8:29 a.m., Wednesday, May 19, 2010
weight: 2 lbs., 13 oz.
length: 15.3 inches
“Every child begins the world again…” —Henry David Thoreau