Friday, March 23, 2007

Emily's birth story

Finally, I've typed it out. It's long, be warned.
Also, be warned that her birth was far from "natural" which I know is a bit upsetting to some of you, but it worked for us. She's here, and that's all that matters.

The decision was made between the peri and OB to induce at 37 weeks.
I was scheduled for induction on March 1st…37 weeks and 2 days. On March 1st the hospital was totally full, probably the result of the full moon. No room for inductions. I was rescheduled for March 3rd. I was disappointed, but not too bad. After all, this bumped me back to 37 weeks and 4 days, closer to 38 weeks than before.
My friend and her daughter came over Friday night and spent the night with us. She would stay throughout the day and watch the kids for us. Matt and I got up bright and early Saturday, dressed, and said goodbye to the kids. I was my usual nervous, yet totally excited, self.
On our way to the hospital, the moon was still up. It was 6:30, starting to get light. The moon was huge, and full. It looked like we would drive right into it. I said that hopefully it was a sign of good things to come.
As soon as we got to labor and delivery, we were taken right to our room. A million questions were asked. I would have thought they would have had all these questions in my chart from the doctor. At any rate, after they were all answered, the dreaded IV placement started.
The IV was probably one of the worst parts of the day. It took several tries, and lots of digging around. Inevitably, I would jump while they were digging. The nurse then said, “you jump and it makes the vein blow” HOGWASH!! If it were good placement, there would be no digging. The third nurse was finally able to get it in. I was so glad to have that done and over with.
I was checked then, and told my cervix was shut, and about 50% effaced. What a bummer. I had always been dilated by this point in my pregnancies before.
At that point, they started monitoring me and baby. Her heartbeat was way down on the left side of my abdomen. All of a sudden, there was tons of movement, and her heartbeat was gone. It was found up on my right side, much higher up. The nurse called the doctor who ordered a sono, to make sure she hadn’t turned breech on us.
Thankfully, she hadn’t, but it was discovered then that she was posterior. Not wanting to relive the pain I had with Zachary, I started to consider having an epidural. I was nervous though, that it would make me too numb, and if she had a hard time coming out, I wouldn’t be able to push well.
The pitocin had been started probably around 8:00, and the contractions were coming. They were never very long, but slowly increased in intensity. The doctor then decided it was time to break my water. I told her she couldn’t, because I wasn’t dilated at all. She checked me and said I was 3-4 CM. She broke my water, and it was all nice and clear. However, Emily was still pretty high up, so the nurse told me I couldn’t sit up.
This scared me badly. I knew the pain would increase in my back, with her being posterior. I remembered wanting to be in any position but on my back with Zachary. I decided on the epidural.
At noon, the anesthesiologist came and gave me my epidural. It was a really good epidural. It took the edge off the contractions, but I was still able to wiggle my toes and lift my legs up. I knew I was in for a long haul, laying on my back, unable to move.
Around 3:00, I was still 3-4 CM, and things started to get scary. With every contraction, her heartbeat would drop down into the 60s and 70s. We could watch the mountain on the monitor go up with contractions, and watch her line go down right along with it. They started rolling me from side to side. Just about ever contraction would bring a change in position. The nurses would rush in and say, “quickly, roll over” This is easier said than done when you have an epidural! I was checked again, and still 3-4 CM. I got really scared. I knew they wouldn’t let this go on forever before I would need a C-section. Having a C-section is one of my biggest fears in life. But at the time, I was more concerned that they wouldn’t do one soon enough, and that we would lose her. My best friend, Michelle, called around that time and Matt told her I was really scared and what was going on. She tells me that phone call took place at 2 her time, so 4 our time.
I started to feel the contractions more. At first it was pressure. Then it was pain. And lots of pain in my back. I asked for more drugs. I was starting to lose it. The fear and pain was too much. I was crying with each contraction. Looking back, I should have known something was happening. I started crying when I hit transition with Zachary, and that’s what was happening now, I just had no idea. They told me I couldn’t have any more drugs because we needed to get the contractions to do something. The whole time the contractions were never longer than 40 seconds long, and 2 ½ minutes apart. I knew nothing had changed, but I asked them to check me. I needed to know if there was any change. I needed to feel like I was making progress so that I could gather myself together and get through the pain.
The nurse checked me and said I was an 8. The doctor came in and asked if I was a loose 8, and if I could just push through it. I was freaking out, thinking of pushing while I was only an 8. She checked me and said, “let’s just have this baby” I told her no way was I pushing. I knew it was going to hurt like the dickens, and I wasn’t ready for that. I had another contraction and remember the doctor telling me to get on top of the pain, and the next contraction we would start pushing.
After that contraction, Matt asked if he could video tape, and they said not the delivery, but afterwards he could. He went to the corner of the room where my bag was, to get the camera as the next contraction came. He was busy digging through the bag while I was contracting.
The pressure was incredible and I started telling the doctor, “she’s in my butt, she’s in my butt” I knew she was coming soon, and I kept thinking that if Matt didn’t turn around, he was going to miss it. The doctor lifted up the sheet and said, “ why yes she was, there’s her head”
Matt turned around and looked and said, “holy cow, there’s her head” This is actually my most vivid memory of the whole thing. I don’t think I will ever forget the look on Matt’s face or the sound of his voice.
I thought they meant she was crowning, or that they could just barely see her head, but no, it was all the way out. Another contraction came and she slid the rest of the way out. I never pushed once. There was never any time to take the bed apart or anything. She was just there. We joke that she just walked right out. I had no tearing at all. She was born at 4:40 PM. The actual delivery was the easiest by far.
Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist had returned and started giving me more drugs in my epidural, as she was coming out. Matt told her I didn’t need it, but she said I would need it for stitching that was done. But I never had any. I was so dead in my legs after that, that I couldn’t move them for hours. It was horrible. I wish she had never appeared.
The best part of the delivery, by far, was how pink she was, and that she came out screaming. The relief was huge.
Later on that night, the nurses came to give her a bath, and didn’t bring her back. When I asked what was going on, they told me she would have to go to the NICU because she was grunting with her breathing, and her sugars were really low.
I was completely devastated. She spent the night in the NICU, but was then able to come back to be with me the next evening. He sugars had gone up, and her grunting stopped. The next morning, her bilirubin was checked and it was found that she had jaundice, and needed to be under the bili lights. Thankfully, the lights were portable, and she was able to stay in my room, under the lights. It was so hard to see her lying there when all I wanted to do was hold her. She was under the lights for 2 days, and finally released from the hospital. She was six days old when she came home.
She is such a wonderful baby, and the perfect addition to our family. The boys are all so in love with her. Even Zachy does better than we ever suspected.
How blessed we are.

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