Graham Thomas Salinas was born on 10/4/16 at 2:01 pm. Here is his birth story:
As I completed my third trimester, my team of physicians kept telling me that I was going to have a big baby and that I had extra amniotic fluid, called hydramnios. There was really no explanation as to why this pregnancy turned out this way. My gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia tests all came back normal. The last two weeks of the pregnancy they did several non-stress test(NST) that also came back as Graham was a happy and healthy ‘pudgie baby’.
September 29th appointment they did a NST and stripped my membranes. The doctor told me that I was a finger tip dilated and 50% effaced. I think statement means that I wasn’t dilated at all and she was just trying to give me some good news. She told me that she was going to strip my membranes. It didn’t really hurt. It was just pressure and slightly uncomfortable. Membranes scrapping is suppose to help get your labor going but for me it just cause me to have spotting and that is about it. The doctor explained to me that if the membrane scrapping didn’t work then I would be induced on Monday morning at 7:00 am.
Monday October 3rd we arrived at Wake Med Hospital in Cary, NC at 7:00 am. We were taken back to a room and I was told to take my clothes off and change into the hospital gown. About 30 minutes later, the nurse and doctor came in to talk to us to make sure we were all on the same page.
9:00 am they started me on an IV saline drip and gave me a pill that was called cytotec. Cytotec is suppose to help soften and dilate my cervix. The directions were to take the pill and wait four hours and re-evaluate the cervix then. Four hours later my uterus was contracting but not in any specific pattern and I couldn’t not feel the contractions. So the decision was made to not take another pill and just see how I progressed in another 4 hours.
6:20 pm doctor came in to check me and I was only dilated 1.5 cm and my cervix was now soft but still long and 50% effaced. They collaborative decision was to place a Foley catheter in my cervical canal and distend a balloon to about 3 cm to ‘help’ my cervix dilate. The procedure itself was not that uncomfortable, surprisingly!
8:00 pm The doctor decided that we should start a pitocin drip and increase the dosage every 30 minutes. I did not want to use pitocin but I really had no other choice because I was not progressing like I should! Which was so disappointing!
9:30 pm The foley fell out and at that point I was dilated to 2 cm. Which was disappointing because I have now been at the hospital for a full day. The midwife and I discussed that we can scrap my membranes to help move things along. The scrapping was uncomfortable but tolerable.
12:00 am The midwife checked me again and I was 4 cm dilated. UGH! Seems like I just was progressing at all, very disheartening. We decided to break my water. They used a hook like tool that punctured my amniotic sac. I felt a rush of of warm fluid. With the pitocin and breaking my water, my contractions got so much worse (started active phase of labor). The nurse explained that I needed to try and hold off as long as I could before I asked for the epidural. So I did my best.
2:00 pm I was in excruciating pain! The contractions were SO bad. I felt that I was dying, they were that bad! I asked for the epidural at that point but the nurse told me that the anesthesiologist was in performing a c-section and would come to my room when he was done. The nurse suggested I try a medication to take the edge off called fentanyl, didn’t do anything for the pain except making me sleepy in between my contractions.
3:00 am I finally got my epidural. AMAZING! I slept for the first time since I entered the hospital. To say the least I was exhausted! Because I got the epidural, it was protocol to get a foley catheter placed. I was numb from the belly down so I didn’t care. The nurse checked me and I was 5 cm dilated. Halfway there!!
7:15 am I was only able to sleep for about 2 hours with the epidural. At this point I could feel the contractions, they were not anywhere near what they were before the epidural, but I could feel them. Approximately a 4-5/10 pain scale. It was tolerable but uncomfortable. During this morning visit the midwife decided that we needed to place an ICP monitor inside my uterus to more accurately monitor my contractions. She also decided to increase my pitocin dosage…fabulous! At this point I was ONLY 6 cm dilated but thankfully a 100% effaced. Graham’s head molding and they told me they could feel hair on his head.
10:30 am I was in so much pain all over my body. I was worn out too! At this point I had been laying on my back or sides for 20+ hours. Adding to the pain was the constant inflation of the blood pressure cuff and the bands on my belly that were monitoring my contractions and Graham’s heart rate. They were wrapped so tight because his heart was way back by my spine so to get a good reading it had to be tight. My upper back was spasming so bad that it made me cry! My mom gave me many back rubs to help alleviate the upper back pain…thank goodness she was there! I don’t know what I would have done without her! The nurse checked me and I was only 8 cm dilated 100% effaced. At this point, in tears, I told my nurse that something has to happen. We have to do something different. I can’t stay like this any longer. She said she would call the doctor and see what my options are and she would also call the anesthesiologist about giving me another concentrated dose in my epidural. The doctor came in and said that I have two options. Since I was not progressing I could possible be forced into getting a c-section. For me this was not an option especially since Graham was doing fine. Last option was to start pushing.
12:30 pm I started pushing even though I was only 8 cm dilated but 100% effaced. I pushed on my left side and also flat on my back. I couldn’t feel my contractions but my upper back hurt so so bad with every push.
2:01 pm Graham is born weighing 9 lbs 7 oz and 23 inches long. It brought tears to both Rick and I. It truly is the miracle of life! He was born kicking and screaming. With his delivery I only tore first degree which is good for how big his was. I only needed a few stitches. I was so thankful he was happy and healthy! I was able to immediately do skin to skin with him and Rick was able to cut the cord. The doctor told us that his cord was shorter than normal but it can be a normal variant. At this point I was waiting for my placenta to detach so I could start getting cleaned up. Usually the placenta is delivered within 6 minutes post delivery. However, my placenta would not detach. The doctor waited 36 minutes and had to make a decision. It was either she removed it by tearing it away from my uterus or I had to go have it surgically removed. Thankfully she had small hands/arms because she literally tore it out of me and I could feel it because the placenta was at the top of my uterus. Which was at the top of the epidural area.
This was my experience. As difficult as it was you are such a blessing! I am so happy to be a mother and I can’t wait to learn and grow with you! I have never known love like this!
I love you so so much!
You love: To sleep and eat. You are just starting to smile, mostly when you are pooping, hehe. You love listening to classical music. Probably because I played it for you while you were in my womb. It is suppose to make you really smart. You are a very good baby. You hardly ever cry! Which makes my job easier. You really loved your baths and you smell so so good afterwards.
You dislike: Being swaddled and hiccups.
Achievements: Your cord stump fell off on day 5 which means you can have a bath. You loved it! You seemed determined to try and hold our head up. You are almost able too but still need support. I am sure next month you will be able to do it all by yourself.
Favorite song: No favorite song yet, but you like to be sung too.
Height: 22 inches
Weight: 9.4 pounds
Head circumference: 15 inches
Looking forward too: You being able to hold your head up. Starting to smile more and make more noises.
One month has gone by and I can’t wait to see you grow and learn. You melt my heart everyday!
I love you,
You love: To be always be looking around (nosey rosey). I feel like you are taking it all in. You will be so smart because of this. You love to just lay on your back on your play mat and kick your legs and move your arms. You are constantly moving, even when you sleep. You are smiling more and more when you are being talked too. You are making more eye contact and responding with coo’s and chatter. Lots of chatter. You are not afraid to fart and your farts almost sound adult like (you get that from your father, haha). You might be mad at me for this one day but I took a video of you pooping…because your face and noises are hilarious! I want you to be able to look back and hopefully laugh too. I am breast feeding exclusively and you love to eat. When you are hungry you suck on everything and anything! You will nozzle and snort with your face planted into whomever chest is holding you. You also love bath time and getting your head rubbed. You even will play with your own hair when eating/sleeping. It is so cute!
You dislike: Still being swaddled and having hiccups. Recently, you will fight us to go to sleep. It is funny because you will be crying and fussing, and then the next second you will be asleep. It just happens so fast! Struggle is real! haha
Achievements: You are only 2 months old and you can already hold your head up. You love to be held so you are standing and your legs are so strong already. I think you will be crawling/walking early. You smile and talk when being talked too. You think it is the funniest thing when I blow air through my lips and touch your bottom lip/cheeks when I do it.
Favorite song: It is Christmas time and you really like Christmas music!
Teeth: 0, you have started drooling more.
Height: 24 inches
Weight: 16 pounds
Head circumference: 16 inches
Looking forward too: Hearing you giggle, you are so close to laughing but I haven’t quite heard it. I also think it will be very shortly and you will sitting up by yourself.
Two months old already!! My how time flies when you are having fun. Graham you are such a pleasure to take care of. You are the sweetest baby! It is my complete honor to be your mother.
I love you,