Introducing Simon Wenjie Chung

Birth date:  March 2, 2010

Time:  3:46pm

Weight:  8 lbs, 12.8 ounces

Length:  21.5 inches

Location:  Kaiser Permanente Redwood City

I started to have contractions on Monday, March 1st around 4pm.  After our lunch at the Boxed Foods Company, I spent the afternoon walking around downtown doing a bit of shopping for myself and for baby.  I got some great deals on some baby clothes at Old Navy.  When I came home, all of a sudden I started to have lower back pain.  I didn’t think much of it since I thought it was from being on my feet all day so just decided to rest.  Eventually though, I realized it might be contractions so gave Kaiser San Francisco a call to ask them what I should do.  They advised me to stay at home and wait until the contractions got closer together and more regular, at least every 4 to 5 minutes.

I was able to have dinner around 7:30pm before the pain became worse.  Most of the contraction pain was centered in my lower back and it was terrible!  I had Ron give me back rubs which helped a lot.

By the time it was ready to go to the hospital, Kaiser San Francisco Labor & Delivery was fully occupied so they referred us to Redwood City.  When we arrived in Redwood City, I was dilated to ~5 cm so still had a ways to go to before I could start to push at 10 cm.  Things did not quite go as planned as the baby had a few scary moments with dropping his heart rate and I almost had to have an emergency C-section twice.

The first time I had just had my epidural placed so was at least getting pain relief and wasn’t feeling the contractions.  During one particularly strong contraction as I was lying on my right side, the baby’s heart rate dropped from the 150s to 90s for more than 3 minutes.  All my IV lines and monitors were unhooked and I was rushed into the Operating Room (OR).  I was given additional medication into my epidural line so that my entire lower body was numb and I couldn’t move my lower extremities.  I started to have terrible chills that I couldn’t stop.  My belly was exposed and slathered with iodine and they were going to perform a C-section.  But during the gurney ride to the OR, baby’s heart rate started to recover and it eventually stabilized as we were waiting in the OR.  So they decided it was safe and wheeled me back into the room.  It was about 3am.

So we waited again, I was still having chills from the anesthesia but at least I wasn’t in any pain so was able to get some sleep.  As the higher dose anesthesia wore off, my right side started to hurt quite a bit, almost unbearable.  Since baby’s heart rate dropped when I was moved to my right side, they propped me up so that I could only lay on my left side.  Epidurals work by gravity and since I couldn’t turn to the right, no medication was reaching my right side.  The anesthesiologist tried a few different things with higher dose medications and changing medications but nothing really was working.  So they wanted to attempt to turn me on my right side… and I was very hesitant but in a lot of pain so tried it.  Within a few minutes, baby’s heart rate dropped again into the 90s and I was rushed into the OR just in case.  But once again, his heart rate stabilized and we went back to the room to wait.  At this point, it was around 10 or 11am and I was still only dilated to 7cm.

Since I was given more medication in my epidural, I was again very numb so the pain on my right side was virtually gone.  I was able to nap again for a few hours.  Around 2 or 3pm, I started to run a fever of 100.3 Fahrenheit.  The doctors decided to start Pitocin (oxytocin) to see if they could speed up my labor as I was now stuck dilated at ~8cm.  I was starting to have pain again on my right side and didn’t know if I could handle the stronger contractions that the oxytocin would cause.  Then suddenly, baby’s heart rate dropped for no reason and took more than a minute to recover.  I hadn’t moved and it wasn’t during a contraction.  So after talking with Ron, we decided to deliver baby via C-section for his safety and for my comfort.  I didn’t know what effect having all these heart rate decelerations would have on his health and didn’t want to risk finding out.

So now that the C-section was planned, I felt a bit more calm although I was still scared.  Ron sat right next to my head the whole time and Simon was delivered safely.  The entire staff of Labor & Delivery did an excellent job in addressing my needs and giving me all the information I needed in order to go ahead with the C-section.  The anesthesiologists were great in trying to find a solution to relieve my pain and weren’t going to give up.  Since I was so exhausted and medicated, I don’t remember everyone’s name, so just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone at Kaiser Redwood City for their great care.

I also want to say thank you to my wonderful husband for breathing with me to help me focus during each contraction and calming me during the entire experience.

Our families came to visit a few hours later.  Here are Simon’s proud grandparents.

His precious little wrinkly hand.

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