Birth Story

Birth of Patrick Braden Robins, September 3, 2010

Written by Laura Nyman

Those involved: Parents Jessica and Braden; Doctors Moralez, Orth, Chambers, and Hamblin; Nurses Claire, Megan, and Leah; Doula Laura; Grandparents Norma and Ward

Patrick had been monitored closely throughout Jessica’s pregnancy because of his heart – Ebstein’s anomaly. He had grown well and had no urgent problems. However, at a 38 week ultrasound on September 2, the amniotic fluid levels were very low. An induction was planned.

Earlier that day, Jesscia had been 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Later that evening at the hospital, she was 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced, and Patrick was at -2 station. The hospital staff decided that a cervical ripener was not necessary; after getting awhile to walk around, Jessica would be started on Pitocin. While walking around, Jessica felt mild cramps.

Pitocin was started at 10:30 pm. When Laura (doula and friend) arrived an hour later, contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and mild. Jessica and Braden were passing the time watching TV shows on the laptop. At 11:40 pm, the Pitocin was increased to 6 mL/hr. Braden was disappointed as midnight passed; Patrick would not be born on “90210.” At 12:30 am, the cervix had moved forward more, but everything else was the same. Braden’s parents arrived from California and visited awhile. After they left, Braden and Jessica both fell asleep. At 2 am, Jessica was awake again. Contractions were 2 minutes apart and 50 seconds long. They had started building in intensity. Jessica worked on some paperwork she had brought from work. (At 2:45 am, Pitocin was at 14 mL/hr.) Just before 4 am, Laura started providing counterpressure on Jessica’s back. Jessica would close her eyes and concentrate on breathing during contractions. At 5 am, Pitocin was increased to 16 mL/hr. The nurse Claire had noticed couplet contractions – meaning one contraction would start to fade but then another would start right away. This can be an indicator of a posterior baby. Jessica tried different positions – kneeling, sitting on the edge of the bed, and standing. At 5:20 am, a vaginal exam found the cervix 2-3 cm dilated and 75% effaced, and the baby had moved down to 0 station. At 5:30 am, Jessica used a hot pack for her lower back while she watched TV again, but then she slept some.

About this time, Braden woke up. The typical scene during a contraction would be Jessica on her side in bed; Laura rubbing her back; and Braden holding her hand. At 8 am, Jessica was 3-4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Braden’s parents had come back to the hospital and were in and out of the room. By 9:30 am, Jessica was into active/hard labor. She was working hard with the contractions, and the TV show was off. (Pitocin was at 22 mL/hr.) Just after 10 am, Jessica needed more for the pain. At 10:20 and 11 am, she got IV pain medications (Stadol). Contractions were 2-3 minutes at this point. The Stadol made her feel loopy and that she was out of the room observing instead of participating. At 11:10 am, Jessica was 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. The baby had moved down more to almost +1 station. Just before noon, contractions were changing quickly. Jessica felt like they were no longer manageable and requested an epidural. Just after this, she felt an urge to push – she started curling in over her abdomen and felt like she needed to have a BM. A vaginal exam, though, revealed that this was a premature urge to push – she was 5-6 cm dilated. At 12:15 pm, the epidural was given, and by 12:45 Jessica was comfortable and taking a nap. At 2:45, Jessica was fully dilated! She was moved over to the operating room. After only a few attempts, Jessica figured out how to push. She pushed for about 15 minutes before Patrick was born – the time was 3:09 pm.

After a few minutes on the warmer, Patrick was wrapped up. Jessica and Braden had a few minutes to see him before he was taken to the NICU. Braden went with Patrick; Laura stayed with Jessica while her tear was repaired. Around 4 pm, Jessica was reunited with Braden and his parents in the recovery room.

We also have a video + photo montage of Patrick’s stay at St. Joseph’s hospital: Patrick Begins on Vimeo.

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