Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby Brennan Is Born!

I woke up Saturday and just didn't feel right. I was moody and weepy and way too emotional. I thought maybe it was because Karina was going home. I absolutely adore my step-daughter and love having her here. I decided that, whatever the cause, I needed to listen to my body and my emotions and try to rest. I didn't do very well at it though.

Around 8:30 PM I went to the bathroom, hoping it would help ease the contractions I'd been having. As I was walking back to bed, I felt the familiar pop and gush that meant my water had broken. I went upstairs and told Dominic, who was not surprised. My emotional state had already clued him in that labor was coming.

After our friend Sonya came to watch the kids for the night, Dominic and I took off to the hospital.

The nurses confirmed that my membranes had ruptured, and admitted me. There was some concern that the NICU wouldn't be able to take our baby, which was important since he was 6 weeks early. Lucky for us, they said they'd be able to take him in the morning. So, we stayed at our hospital and didn't push labor to get going. We both tried to get some sleep.

At about 5 am, Pitocin was started. It took time to really get labor going, but Pit is pretty effective, and within a few hours I was starting to feel the contractions. They advanced the medication slowly which allowed me to progress well with labor. We put our Bradley techniques to good use with other techniques that work for us. I knew me. I knew that labor would progress slowly at first, and then rapidly.

After hours in labor, I started to look more like this:

I was tired, and working hard, and despite smiling, it totally showed. I was having pretty bad back labor. I felt all my contractions from the top of my hips in the back and all the way down my thighs. Back rubs usually make me feel better in labor. But this time I found it distracting. I tried to sit up as much as possible to let baby's head push on my cervix, and Dominic would sit at the end of my bed and rub my legs.

My husband, by the way, is a fantastic birth coach. Encouraging and patient, he always knew the right tone to take, picked up easily on my cues, and did everything possible to meet my needs. He also never took offense if I sounded snappy when making a request. Sometimes I have a hard time when in the throes of a contraction, finding a way to politely ask for what I want.

Around 3 pm labor had progressed and contractions were coming much harder. I was having a hard time getting in a good position and keeping baby's heart on the monitor. At which point we elected for internal monitoring. I was now very hard at work, and relying on my training and my husband to get me through each contraction. After each one I reminded myself that I was one contraction closer to the end. It was probably close to an hour later when my nurse said she thought it was only going to be a couple more contractions before I was ready to push. I agreed.

Two contractions later, everything changed. I felt his head come down quickly and the urge to push was overwhelming. While I started pushing, Dominic called the nurse. The contraction ended and the nurse checked me, afraid I was pushing too soon and wanting to be sure I was ready and not going to hurt my cervix. She felt the baby's head and got on the intercom paging my doctor and the NICU team.

The next contraction hit and I pushed. The nurse asked me to stop, saying she really didn't want to deliver a 34 weeker. I tried to pant through it, I swear I did! But my body had other ideas and it was pushing the baby out. I could feel him coming. And frankly, I had lost all control and stopped trying to work against my body. I saw the nurse and Dominic practically jump towards the bed to catch our baby as he slipped out. They put him on my chest and he let out a beautiful lusty cry. Brennan Beren Basso had been born at 4:05 pm.

The doctor arrived and I cut the cord. I'd had a few precious moments with him before he was whisked off by the NICU nurses.

I had made it through just fine, and again, without an epidural. Epidurals can be nice, and believe me, I would have liked one. Maybe it's because I've never had a labor that wasn't either Pitocin induced or augmented. I don't know. But I do know that I recover a lot easier when I don't get one. So, I was very proud of myself.

The NICU weighed him in at 5 lbs. 1 oz. and he was 18 1/2 inches long.

Despite his prematurity, he's strong and pretty healthy. His quick trip through the birth canal meant that all the fluid wasn't quite squeezed from his lungs. But he's been expelling it, coughing it up, and is improving quickly. He hasn't needed to be intubated, but is on a CPAP machine which makes sure that he's taking deep enough breaths.

His breathing is still pretty rapid. But his blood gasses keep coming back great and he's very active. Hopefully I'll get to hold him this afternoon.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. If things continue this well, he'll be home with us in no time. And, as ever, I am so thankful for all of the gifts we've been given, including the love of friends, family, and people who have never even met us, but offered us so much love and support. You all continue to be God's hands in our lives.


  1. Congratulations Anne! He looks fantastic and beautiful. I am betting his time in the NICU will be short.

  2. Congratulations. I am so excited for you. I was tearing up(happy)reading your post today. I tear at happy stuff too. Wow - he looks so sweet. Good size too for him to be early. I love me some tiny babies - they smell so good.

  3. Awww...what a precious baby boy! Congratulations! Praying that you will be able to take him home very soon. I bet your children are so excited that he's here!

  4. Just beautiful he is!! Praying for you Both Congratulations to your family Anne ;D~Blessings Heather

  5. Congrats and love to you all!

  6. Congratulations, Anne! He's beautiful and good sized for his age :) And I love the name!! I hope he is able to go home very soon to settle in with the family.

  7. Congratulations from a long-time lurker! I simply adore his name and hope that you'll get to bring your sweet boy home as soon as possible!

  8. Speaking from the midwife's perspective...he looks amazing! His weight is good! Sounds like your husband came through,,,I know how pit. feels. I am so glad God blessed you and that you are choosing to bring Him the praise and glory!

  9. Congratulations, Anne! I've been wondering how you were doing - now I know! :-) He is absolutely beautiful! Will pray for a quick recovery.

  10. Aww! What a peanut! Congrats! He's beautiful, and I am very jealous!

  11. Congratulations Anne! And thanks for posting all the details--I absolutely LOVE birth stories!! And even though he arrived sooner than hoped, I hope you are enjoying the "not pregnant" feeling! :) As much as I love pregnancy, it's so good to have your lungs/digestive system/energy back! God bless!

  12. Your so blessed. So happy for his arrival.


    Brennan is a GREAT name.

  13. Anne,

    Congrats!! My friend had a 34 weeker, who will be 4yo in November. Amazing little guys.

    I hope this journey through NICU is short, smooth and a time of bonding. :O)


  14. I am so happy for you! Wow, was I surprised to read you had your baby!!! Your picture in early labor looked like your baby was full term. You must have had a lot of fluid.

    I too am praying for him to have a smooth stay in the NICU and come home quickly.



  15. Congratulations! Pitocin with no epidural???? are a soldier!!!

  16. Oh I wish I could give you a hug and that sweet babe a squeeze!


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