{ birth story }

this is my birth story, {FAIR WARNING : it's graphic } as written to my cousin Sarah via email in September 2006 ... just 7 days after Cullin was born :

Cullin Riley Lawhon arrived at 5:57 AM in Summit County, Colorado. He is 5 lbs 4 oz and 19 inches long, very strong and has quite the set of vocal chords.
Cullin at BirthBen and I went to a wedding in Beaver Creek/Avon. Drove up Friday afternoon, and attended the Rehearsal Dinner. Juliet and I decided to go back to the hotel early because we were tired. I tried to go to bed but never really fell asleep. About the time the rest of our party came back to the hotel, I was feeling some cramping, but thought it was just that as my OB asked about cramping at my weekly appointments, I figured it would go away. I had never really asked what exactly a "contraction" felt like (silly girl). Ben came to bed around 1AM or so and fell right asleep. I was up and down for the next couple of hours with cramps. Around 3AM, I decided to phone the on-call OB just in case and she informed me that I was having contractions. By this time, they had gotten stronger. She indicated that they could go away and that it may be more likely that they would go away if I got back to my normal elevation.

I finally woke Ben up and told him how I was feeling. As we were discussing what to do, the contractions got much stronger and we packed up as furiously as possible and got in the car, thinking we were going to Boulder. We called the on-call OB in Boulder again for a consult and she called us right back and said we should get to the nearest hospital ASAP. Everything got really intense at this point, and I had begun to feel a little "pushy". As we were flying down Vail Pass at 90mph, Ben called 911 and they directed him to the nearest hospital which happened to be Summit County. I was "holding him in" at this point (I think it was around 5:30AM and it was tough to get from the car inside). Once we were right inside the door, I dropped to all fours and used all of my might to hold the baby in, probably scared the others in the waiting room. They got me upstairs and I had barely climbed onto the bed when my water exploded everywhere. They checked my cervix and I was 10cm and 2+ station - time to push - (duh, I had been telling them that). Everything was a little hectic. With my arms draped over the back of the bed and on my knees I gave two little pushes and then the OB showed up. They insisted I had to turn over on my back, but I refused. Two more pushes and he was out! Official birth time was 5:57AM

Now comes the scary part ... he was blue and as I am expecting the baby on the chest scenario, his cord was cut and he was whisked away to a table where several nurses surrounded him and wouldn't tell us what was going on. I guess we finally figured out that he wasn't breathing on his own and they were close to intubating him, but didn't. Anyway, he was taken away and hooked up to oxygen and other things while I delivered my placenta (which was FAR worse than the delivery of the baby – I had done the whole thing without drugs and THEN they pushed Pitocin without my consent). Ben went with the baby and I was alone to be stitched up, though I had minimal tearing. They called Flight for Life and decided to transfer Cullin to Children's Hospital in Denver because they have a Level 3 NICU, whereas Summit County was only a Level 1 hospital.

Luckily they decided he was stable enough to go by ground rather than helicopter. I pretty much demanded to be discharged quickly so that I could go with him and Ben followed the ambulance in the car. We arrived at the NICU in Denver and he was already doing much better. There were a couple of concerns with his clotting and why it took him so long to breathe. We spent 4 long days and 3 long nights in the NICU. The nurses were fabulous and all in all he was the least of the
sick babies in that facility. Most of the ones there had been there for weeks, and months. It was still an emotional rollercoaster and a rough start to Cullin's life but we are all well and good now and that is what matters. Soooo happy to be home and healthy!!! We are in love with this little boy!

The most amazing part of it all is why he was born 3 weeks early ... Ben's dad died exactly 19 years earlier to the day, so we believe his grandfather sent him early to remind us of just how precious his life is.
LifeBirdDog3 Comments