04 February 2007

Ollie: A tribute

In honor of his 3rd birthday (holly cow, how'd that happen?) I have gathered a few, well okay, alot of photos.
And, the following is the detailed story of his birth.
Short version: Ollie Isaiah Rayburn. February 10, 2004. 7:39 AM. 5 hours of labor. No drugs. Trouble first day of birth, but now everyone is healthy and happy. Read on if you want to know the details. Most of you already know a lot of this story, in bits and pieces, and I thought I would write it here to put everything together. I also want to commit it to memory just as it occurred, and writing it now will help me do that. For about a week before Tuesday, February 10, I had been feeling extreme pressure in my pelvis. Now I know that this was contractions, but at the time, I thought it was just normal aches and pains of the baby. I expected that labor would feel completely differently. On Monday night, Evan and I went to bed at around 11:00. He usually stays up until around 3, and we rarely go to bed at the same time. But, Monday night we did. At around 2:30, I woke up in horrible pain. Pressure. Enough that I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I paced the floor. Evan awoke and asked if “it was time,” something he had been doing with every moan and groan for the past two weeks. I replied, “I don’t know.” I decided to jump in the shower thinking that if I was in labor, I wanted to be clean at the hospital, and I had heard that the water would relieve some of the pain. While in the shower, the pain continued. It would briefly subside for a couple of moments, certainly not vanish, and then return in a wave. This happened several times. I jumped out of the shower, and grabbed the phone having decided to call the Mid-Wives and just check see. (Evan awoke again briefly to chastise me for taking the phone into the shower. I ignored him.) I couldn’t understand how they would know if it was really labor or not, and I felt like I would DIE if she told me to stay at home for a long time. Liz finally returned my phone call, and calmly told me that I was in labor, and to call her back when we felt like it was time. She gave some suggestions to cope with the pain, and sounded sleepy and in no hurry to get things moving. My contractions were about 10 minutes apart and it was only 3:00. When I went to the bathroom, there was blood in my urine, and I called Liz back. I made Evan get out of bed, and he began to prepare. We hadn’t gotten everything completely ready, and he was a little frantic. He took a shower, tried to eat something, gather our bags (3 back packs, plus the birthing ball), and take care of the dogs. The whole time I was chomping at the bit trying to hurry him along. He wanted to stop for gas, and I was sooo relieved that none of the places on our route were open. We arrive at the Emergency room of Vanderbilt at 4:00, and I had a contraction right when I walked into the lobby. I could barely get the words out, and I kneeled backwards on a chair while answering questions. The nurse that wheeled me to the 4th floor reported that my contractions were 3 minutes apart. At around 6:00 I began to push. The time flew by, and the pain seemed like all one contraction. At some point I was offered a mirror so that I could see the head coming out, and I accepted. What a cool thing to watch. My mom, Evan, Liz, and a couple of wonderful nurses kept telling me what a good job I was doing. They told me how and when to push, and held my legs back for me. At some point Liz informed me that we should do an episiotomy. She said that she recommends maybe one a year, but that he was having a little trouble coming out. I agreed, of course. At 7:39 on Tuesday morning, Ollie Isaiah Rayburn was finally born. He was a little blue when he came out, and I didn’t even know to be worried. Liz kept the whole situation very calm. My mom grabbed my hand and started praying, and so I started praying, too. I hadn’t heard him cry, and he wasn’t on my chest, where I had planned on him being right after he was born. Thankfully, this only lasted a couple of seconds, and he began to breathe, and I was able to welcome him in my arms. Soon after the birth a surgeon came to stitch me up. I had a fourth degree tear that was in an L shape (down and through). He asked me if I wanted a little morphine and lyticain for the surgery, which I greatly accepted. I was able to breast feed after the surgery. It was beautiful and powerful, and the best thing that has ever happened to me. After I was moved to the post-partum room, a pediatrician came to tell me that the baby had some problems. (A mother’s worst nightmare!) She said that he had a heart murmur, that he had turned blue while sucking, and that his oxygen distribution was irregular. We could visit, but he could not leave the nursery. I had to relate this to my husband as he had gone home to get clothes and tidy up for the arrival of his family from Indiana. Ollie was moved to the NICU later that day and many tests where done on him from an Echogram (?) to x-rays. The cardiologists, the next day gave him a clean bill of health, and he was returned to my room a healthy baby boy. The prayer chain had been started when we first found out about any problems, and I firmly believe that this is what helped the problems just go away. During the night, as I was about to go to the NICU to feed him, I lost several huge blood clots, and the nurse was nervous. Elaine was summoned and she decided that I needed a D&C which would clean me out, as some of the placenta was still inside of me and my uterus had not moved back into place. They administered pitocin and suggested an epidural (how ironic that I made it until after birth for both). Actually they gave me an anesthetic, and I was knocked out for the surgery. Evan was really worried, and I was more worried about him worrying than I was worried about myself. The next day after the surgery, I was very anemic, and was given a blood transfusion of 2 pints. I was very swollen, and attached to the bed with tubes and wires of all sorts. A friend stopped by to visit, and while I was talking to her, I realized that half my face wasn’t working properly. I told a nurse, and Margaret came to inform me that I had Bell’s palsy due to the swelling. I couldn’t use the right side of my face. I was huge. I hadn’t been permitted to take a shower after 2 days. But, my baby was healthy and I was able to breast feed, and I was ecstatic. (I had been unable to the first night of his life because I was in surgery. I spent all night feeling lonely for him, and my arms felt so empty). On Friday morning, we were permitted to leave. We were very excited, and glad to be leaving. Ollie had a little jaundice, and we had to return the next day just to have him checked, and thank goodness it had lessened. I was sentenced to yet more bed rest to allow my bottom to heal and my blood to return to normal. Now, three long weeks later, I have lost tons of weight and swelling, my palsy has all but disappeared, and Ollie is gaining weight and has a beautiful color like babies are supposed to. We both feel great, and are adjusting to each others sleeping and eating patterns. The doctors and nurses at Vanderbilt were AWESOME. I cannot sing their praises enough. They were professional and caring. They were on the ball. My labor nurse even called a couple of days after we had been home to check up on us. They really impressed me with their care, and I would recommend them to everyone. I am thankful that I had such a wonderful team to help with the birth of our child.


lulu said...

ohhh, little mama. this three year old angel boy is growing up so fast. he is so beautiful. full of life and wonder. every moment i've been able to spend with him is a joy i cannot put into words. i love him dearly and can't wait to see him today, the beginning of his fourth year to grace this earth, and the hearts of so many.

i enjoyed each and every photo, and your heartfelt blog. it's a stellar tribute to ollie. i think he is some kind of wonderful. i see in him an old soul, looking at the world through fresh eyes. he is
unique ... like his mama.
gentle ... like his mama.
smart ... like his mama.
funny ... like his mama.
beautiful... like his mama.
full of goodness ..like his mama.
creative ... like his mama.
true to himself ...like his mama.

thank you for bringing this beautiful boy into the world, and into my life. he is a blessing.

happy birthday ollie rayburn.
i love you.

Mariposa said...

Such kind word wu-wu. Thanks.