Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Liam Anthony Petras

I have great news! Our little boy was born on November 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm by c-section. He was 8 lbs 1 oz and he is absolutely perfect :)

We are so happy he is here - even though the whole situation was quite crazy and very long.

I went into this pregnancy with the hope that it would be a traditional natural birth. I had a birth plan and I'm going to copy that here so that you can see just how unlike my plan the whole situation was. From the moment we walked into the hospital to register, not ONE thing on the labor side of my plan was taking place.

here's my plan:

Julie Petras - Expected due date 10/21/12
People welcome to attend the birth: Husband- Damon Petras and Mother – Elizabeth (Beth) Schippers
What I would like those involved in our care to know about us:
•I hate hospitals. My mom was hospitalized a lot when she had cancer when I was young and they bring back bad memories.
•I worry a lot and can get anxious.
•Damon is quiet and may need prompting to speak up.
•We want this birth to be as natural as possible with as little trauma on baby and mom as possible.

•I am going to try to labor at home as long as possible but it’s my first birth and I may get nervous and want to come into the hospital.
• I want an active labor
• I want Damon and my mom to be allowed to stay with me at all times.
• I will try to stay hydrated by drinking clear fluids instead of having an IV (Sometimes when I am in pain I can get dizzy or light headed and drinking water helps regulate my breathing)
• Please don’t offer me any medication unless I ask for it. I do NOT want an epidural.
• Other pain managements I will be doing are massage, bath/shower, music, and breathing.
• I would like the lights kept low during labor.
•I would like to wear my own nightgown instead of a hospital gown.
• I do not wish to have the amniotic membrane ruptured artificially unless signs of fetal distress require internal monitoring.
• If possible I want to have intermittent rather than continuous fetal monitoring.


• I would prefer not to have an episiotomy unless absolutely required for the baby’s safety.
• I am hoping to protect the perineum. I am practicing ahead of time by doing Kegels and perineum massage.
• I would appreciate guidance in when to push and when to stop pushing so the perineum can stretch.
•I would like only necessary staff in the room, no students.


• I would like to be allowed to choose the position in which I am comfortable in to give birth and to change positions if I feel the need to.
• I would like the baby to be placed on my chest IMMEDIATELY after delivery for skin to skin contact.
• I would prefer that the umbilical cord stop pulsating before it is cut.
•Damon does not know yet if he would like to cut the cord, please ask him when it’s time. If he says no, it’s ok for the midwife/nurse to do it.
• I plan to keep the baby near me following birth and would appreciate if the evaluation of the baby be done with the baby on my abdomen, with both of us covered by a warm blanket, unless there is an unusual situation. 
•If the baby has to be taken from me to receive medical treatment I want my husband Damon or my mother Beth to be with the baby at ALL times.
•I do not want an injection of Pitocin after the delivery to aid in expelling the placenta unless absolutely necessary.
•We do not wish to see the placenta.


• Unless absolutely necessary, I would like to avoid a cesarean. 
• If a Cesarean delivery is indicated, I would like to be fully informed and to participate in the decision-making process.
• I would like Damon to be with me at all times!
• If the baby is not in distress, the baby should be given to Damon IMMEDIATELY after birth.
• Assuming baby is fine I want to be able to breast feed in the recovery room.


• Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.
• All newborn procedures need to be taken place in my presence and declined if we find necessary. 
• If I cannot be there at all times then Damon will be.
•I would like to wait one hour before the erythromycin (eye cream) is put in. I do NOT want the cream if it is silver nitrate.
•I would like to wait one hour before the vitamin k injection.
•We do NOT want our baby to have a HEP B injection or ANY other vaccinations.
• I would like the baby to room in with me at all times.
• I plan on breast feeding exclusively.
• Do not offer my baby formula, sugar water, or pacifier.
•We wish for him to have a circumcision.
•We are ok with a usual hospital stay of 24-48 hours.

Ok, so for those of you who want to know, here is what happened.

We went to an ultrasound Wed, Oct 31 at 9:30 am. During the ultrasound we discovered that Liam didn't have very much amniotic fluid and he wasn't stretching his arms or legs out. He got a 6 out of 8 for those things, and the Doc decided they would induce that day. I didn't even get to go home! We headed straight to the hospital side so that we could register and by 11 am we were in our room. The rooms were beautiful with a giant bathroom with a big jet bath. I was starting to get excited because soon I would hold my baby!
Well, we didn't even SEE the midwife until after 2 pm. It was the one that I really did NOT want.. I felt we never connected and she was just very different than me. She checked my cervix and I was not dilated or ephased
at all and the baby was negative 3 cm. Together we decided she would insert something called prostin to hopefully soften my cervix and maybe dilate me a little. She said we would't see any results for 4 hours so I had a wait ahead of me. All this time I am connected to a monitor to keep track of any contractions I may have and the baby's heartbeat. This meant I was stuck in a delivery bed - which was very UNCOMFORTABLE. It had a split mattress that I kept slipping into the crack of, and it was literally 2 inches thick. My tailbone and hips hurt so badly, I was just miserable. Well, the 4 hours I was told about turned into 14. So, at 4:30 am my midwife checked my cervix again and no progress. She decided to insert another prostin to hopefully get some results. At this point I was so discouraged. Damon was wonderful, he held me while I cried because all this time I was having contractions because of the medicine, but no progress at all. In the morning I was checked again and I had dilated 1 cm. Finally, something!
At 8am a new midwife came on shift (my favorite one!) and my spirits were lifted because she actually took the time to sit down and tell me this could take 3 days...My expectations changed and I decided to just do whatever she recommended. At this point, she decided they were going to manually dilate me by inserting a catheter and trying to stretch the cervix. This lasted about 6 hours and was extremely painful because they kept having to pull down on it to get it to work. All this time, I was having very strong contractions every 10 minutes. Finally, we were done with that and I had gained 1 cm making my dilation a 2. Discouraged, again. 
At this point, they decided I was going to be on a pitocin drip. This is what I absolutely did NOT want! At one point when I was at a 7 on the drip (the goal is a 12) I was having contractions almost non stop. I had a few seconds between each contraction. At about 3 AM, the 2nd of Nov I decided I couldn't handle the pain any more and asked the nurse what she thought of epidurals. She said she had very very rarely ever seen any one on pitocin make it without an epidural and that it was safer for the baby than IV pain meds. I asked if it was to early to get it and she went to check for me. She finally (probably only 5 minutes later) came back and said she had good news. Not only was it not too late but the anesthesiologist was on the floor! Within 10 minutes I couldn't feel my legs. That was a very weird sensation...I didn't like it at all but at least I was without pain. At around 9 am the decision was made to use internal monitoring for contractions and baby so my water was broken. Both monitors had to be done twice because the first attempts didn't work.  
At 11:30 things started to get scary. Liam's heart rate kept dropping from 135 to 100 during contractions. Midwife and nurses rushed in and put me on oxygen, switched me to the other side, and explained what was happening. The midwife then recommended that we have a c-section and the OB was brought in. By noon I was prepped and ready for surgery. Damon sat and held my hand and by 12:22 our little man was born! I was so tense from the surgery that I was kind of in shock and shaking uncontrollably but I remember thinking my heart was so full!
We were then switched to our recovery room and family came to visit. At this point I only had 3 hours of sleep since Tuesday night. 
We were up all that night with Liam waking up choking on Amniotic fluid. (Scariest moment of my life!) It happened almost every 20 minutes. The nurses finally decided to flush out his stomach and it seemed to work. 
We were having trouble getting him to nurse because he didn't understand the suckling sensation. He also started showing signs of jaundice so they ordered labs for blood work. While Damon went with the nurse to get the blood work, I texted my mom and asked for prayers. Because of not feeding, Liam was losing weight so I was manually expressing milk because the pump caused a blister (ouch). When they got back they were so excited because the nurse said Liam suckled on her finger the whole time so we put him to my breast right away and he fed off of me for the first time! We then fed him the expressed milk. His labs came back a little high, so the next morning they ran them again. Because he had finally started feeding, they were all normal except the jaundice one. 
We were kept in the hospital 6 days and my husband was there with me through it all. My mom was there during the labor, and I am so grateful for the support I have! 
We were finally able to leave today. Liam now weighs 7lbs 4 oz but he is gaining now and his jaundice is slowly clearing up. We are so happy to be home and now I'm just exhausted from the whole ordeal. Like I said, it was nothing like what I'd expected it to be but Liam is here and safe and getting healthier and that's all that matters! I love my son and husband and wouldn't trade all the stress and pain for anything in the world because it brought me my baby :) 

I know this is long but I wanted to share just what our expectations can do. I did tons of research and created a plan for what I wanted but when it was all said and done, nothing went the way I'd hoped. Yet, it was fine because the reward was so great! 

We are home. We are happy. We are healthy. We are together! Couldn't ask for more :)

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