Mom, he's a moose. Those are the only words I remember telling my mother on the phone after my son Zachary was born. I couldn't believe that he weighed in at 11lbs 2oz and measured a whopping 23 inches. He was born after an induced labor just 3 days after my due date.
In answer to the question on eveyone's mind, yes, it was a vaginal delivery. Did they know how big he was? How come they didn't do a c-section? Did they do a sonogram before he was born? Answer: I do not know.
I'm sharing my story, not so that you all think that I a super women, but to encourage all of the other expectant mothers out there to follow there instincts.
From the moment I found out that I was pregnant, my mind started to wander. I was constatnly worried. Was everthing going to be O.K. Maybe I felt this was because I had lost a baby through miscarriage one year before. My husband kept trying to assure me that things were going to be fine this time, just as they has been with my daugter Katherine 3 years earlier, but that didn't seem to ease my mind. Before my first scheduled appointment, I had started bleeding vaginally and thought, Oh no, here we go again. I later found out that this had just been a result of pushing too hard in trying to have a bowel movement. Now imagine freaking out everytime you had to go to the bathroom for the next 9 months.
By the time I had finally felt comfortable going to the bathroom, I had hit the middle of my second trimester . By this time my stomach had really started to balloon. I found some sollace is the fact that my AFP and sonogram came back within normal limits, but I still had trouble accepting that my pregnancy was moving along normally.
By the time I hit my 3rd trimester, I was down to counting the days to my due date and counting the number of strech marks that began appearing all over my body. My 3 1/2 year old kept asking "What are all of those boo-boo's all over your body, I don't like them." Neither do I, I said at the time. Little did I know, they would be the least of my problems.
By the time I began my weekly visits to the doctor, which in my case began around the 32nd week of the pregnancy, my only question to the doctor was, "How big is this baby?". I could barely move. Maternity clothes began to feel tight. All I wanted to do was get this baby out. Week after week I heard the same news. No dilation. Baby hasn't moved down yet. I kept asking my same old question. "How big is this baby?" It actually became a joke in the OB office that I was attending. They shrugged it off and I actually began to believe them. That everything was going to be fine.
My last OB visit was a day after my due date. My doctor graciously gave me the option of being induced that weekend. I could hardly wait. I knew that it was almost going to be over. The birth process with my daughter went pretty smoothly. 12 hours of labor and 3 pushes and she was born. All 6lbs 15 oz. of her. The doctor told me this one was probably a bit larger, between 7 and 8 lbs. Yeah right.
The induction started at 7 a.m. Sunday morning. That Pitocin is a nasty thing. The Epidural started around 10 a.m. Who knew that putting in that catheter hurts worse than being stabbed in the back with a knife and who knew that the epidural counter acts the pitocin. It became a battle of the Pitocin vs. the Epidural. I was on mega doses of both.
Finally we got to the point of pushing. I had practiced, I was ready, I had been through this before. No hours of pushing for me. Well, after an hour of hard, really hard pushing, the doctor finally popped his head it to ask the delivery nurse how much longer she thought it would be. When she said at least another half hour, I thought I would die right there on the table. I was delerious with pain. Who thought things could only get worse from there. After about three more rounds or pushing the labor nurse went running from the room. I couldn't believe that they were all abandoning me. She did come right back with the doctor following behind. When he grabbed the forceps I thougt, this can't be happening, but I would have done anything at this point. I could feel my perineum being cut. O.K., there would be a few stiches I thought. Well the head was delivered with no problem, but why wasn't the rest of him following. Get anesthia, get pediatrics, PUSH they were all screaming at me. I started to black out, I couldn't believe that my nighmare was becoming a reality. Finally, with my knees wrapped around my ears and after being torn from front to back my son was finally born. I couldn't really see him. He looked pretty blue. He was surrouned by people and there I was torn literally in two. After being given oxygen, it was hard to believe that he actuallly had apgars of 9 and 9. He was healthy and everything was fine. Thank GOD. I learned later that he had something termed shoulder dystocia. In some cases the baby's arm is fractured in order to get them out or sometime they have to fracture the mothers pelvis. I'm so lucky that he did not end up with something called Erb's palsey. This is something that happens when the ligaments of the baby's arms are stretched so much that the baby actually loses use of the arm .
Now, Zachary is almost 4 months old. He weighs 19 lbs and is 26 1/2 inches long. My hemrhoids have healed and I can now go to the bathroom on my own. I can walk, I can sit. Things have healed with time both physically and emotionally.
All I can say to those of you who have premonitions, follow your instincts, insist on tests. Who knows, maybe if I had insisted on a sonogram, we could have induced earlier or scheduled a C-section. I know, my son and I were the lucky ones, but I wouldn't wish this kind of delivery on my worst enemy.