Thursday, August 25, 2011

Welcome Baby Corbin!

Well, it has been almost three months since Baby Angel arrived...June 24th to be exact. Corbin Cole Willoughby joined our family at exactly 4:00 PM at a whopping 9 pounds, 2.5 ounces and 22.5 inches long. While his birth story isn't as long as Paxton's (it's all relative, right?), we still wanted to remember how our sweet baby boy entered the world so as any good modern family would, we are blogging it.

Five long days past his due date, Baby Corbin decided it was time. At 4:00 in the morning I woke up feeling the first signs of contractions. I'd been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for months, but I knew these were different. It didn't take long for Brad to wake up and realize what was going on. He had been a little on edge too. Every time the Braxton-Hicks started, we'd both wonder if this was really it. I told Brad I was pretty sure this time, it was really it. We rejoiced because this happened to be the one morning (ever) that Pax decided to sleep in past 6:30. This gave us a chance to get our things together and make a plan. By the time he was up, we had showered and had our hospital bag ready to go. By about 8:00, Pax was on his way with Grandma and we were going to wait it out and see what would happen.

We started by calling our most amazing doula, Kayti Ricker. Her advice was to take it easy, cook some breakfast, and just hang out until the contractions got bad. Well, it didn't take long to realize that I was in no mood for breakfast. In fact, I wasn't even capable of cooking breakfast. Brad decided that we should go to the hospital because I was probably farther along that I thought I was. I kept protesting because I remembered going to the hospital after 24 hours of labor with Pax and being only 2 cm. I couldn't imagine that I had progressed very far after only 4 hours. So after another a call to Kayti and a call to the midwives, it was decided that we would head in. Apparently, Brad's descriptions of me during contractions (and Kayti hearing me in the background) was enough for them to decide it was time.

We drove to UCSD and made a couple calls/texts on the way. When we got there, I surprised myself by accepting the wheelchair at the emergency entrance. A little different than my entrance with Pax where I went to the parking garage and walked all the way in myself. By the time we got up to our room and Rebecca Lesser, the midwife on duty, came in to check me, I was at 5cm! I was so happy I cried. I thought "Yes! They aren't sending me home!"

From this point on, I progressed about a centimeter an hour. They checked twice along the way and things kept moving. The contractions were definitely intense and things seemed to be happening quickly. We spent the next few hours in our hospital birth center room this time. With VBAC's they make you stay in the standard labor and delivery rooms because they want you to be monitored the entire time. I do have to say that the monitoring was by far, the most annoying part of the process. Every time I moved the wrong way or tripped on the cord, the nurses would have to come in and reattach everything.

Things went pretty smoothly until I was almost fully dilated. Just as it had happened during my last labor, they discovered that there was a lip of my cervix that needed to be reduced before I could dilate to 10 cm and start pushing. The midwife was finally able to remove it and I was now ready to push.

The next issue that arose was the position of the baby. While we had all thought that he was face down, it was starting to seem like he might be sunny side up (like Paxton) which is not at all ideal for delivery. Two midwives and an OB all tried to determine his position, but no joy. They even brought in an ultrasound and tried to look while I was pushing, but they still couldn't figure out exactly how he was coming out.

After pushing for well over an hour, I started to get discouraged because it didn't feel like I was making any progress at all and it was reminding me so much of my labor with Paxton where I pushed and pushed for hours. I decided that it might be time to try an epidural and I told this to Brad and Kayti. More than anything, I didn't want another cesarean and I thought if this would help, let's do it. After a conversation with the nurses, we came up with a plan. We decided that we would bring in the head midwife and have her take a look and see if she could determine if I was actually making any progress at all when I was pushing and get her feedback. From that point, if it still seemed like nothing was happening, we would try something else. Even though I was just feeling ready to be done, I agreed to have one more opinion.

As soon as the head midwife came in, things started to turn around. She had me change position a few times and the nurses had a couple tips for pushing (one of them being push for a count of 10...seems simple, but it was hugely helpful) and suddenly there was progress. I kept pushing and just as I thought Corbin was about to make his entrance, it was clear something was wrong. In seconds, the OB rushed in to assist. Apparently, Corbin's shoulder was stuck under my pubic bone, an emergency situation called shoulder dystocia. Luckily, the OB was able to manually move him and get him out. Everything happened in a matter of moments and as terrifying as it was, I am so grateful for the resources available at UCSD.

Once he was delivered (and yes, sunny side up), I saw him for only a brief moment before they whisked him to the other side of the room. In the midst of the actual delivery, the room filled with probably a dozen people. It felt like the entire pediatrics department had arrived. Because his heart rate had been dropping during the last few contractions and he came out a little blue and didn't breathe right away, they wanted to give him oxygen and make sure his color was okay. They also wanted to run some precautionary tests in the NICU so they sent him directly there. I got to see him for another few seconds before he was gone. I was incredibly disappointed that I didn't get to have skin-to-skin time with him right after birth, but I was so grateful that he was okay and that Brad would be with him.

About an hour and a half later, they decided that I was stable enough and ready to go to the NICU to see him. I had thirty minutes with him before there was a shift change and we had to go to our hospital room. Unfortunately, the results from the blood test weren't back yet so they wouldn't let Corbin come with us. I was not excited about leaving my baby again, but I was thrilled that I had been able to hold him and nurse him. Brad and I went up to our room and a couple hours later, Corbin finally joined us for good! While there had been a few hiccups in his arrival, we were so happy to have a healthy baby in our arms.

That same evening, Paxton arrived at the hospital in his new "Big Bro" shirt, along with both of his Grandmas and his Papa, to meet his new baby brother. This was one of the sweetest and most memorable moments of my entire life. He was absolutely thrilled to meet Baby Corbin and kept saying "be gentle with Baby Corbin" while he kissed him and patted him on the head.

We can't even begin to explain how much our life has changed now that we are a family of four. It is truly amazing! Everything is just more...there is more happiness, more tears, more chaos, more joy, and so much more meaning. Our lives are so much richer watching things through the eyes of our little ones. We are so blessed to have welcomed sweet Baby Corbin into our family and we can't wait to see what the future holds for him.

1 comment:

  1. Merrillee - thank you for sharing your birth story! I know it must have been so difficult to not have him in your arms right away. Now he is there and all is well, (or all is more!). So happy for all of you! Love you guys!



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