Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our birth story

The fun began on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. I was 38 weeks and 2 days.

I was scheduled for my weekly OB appointment and sonogram that day. I was being monitored for oligohydramnios, AKA low amniotic fluid, for a few weeks. (Anything between 10-20 cm is considered normal.) For two weeks I was measuring at a nine. Something my doctor didn't like, but didn't feel it warranted an induction since the baby was doing good. She wanted to keep a close eye on it which I appreciated.

My sister came to get me that morning and took me to get a pedicure and we had lunch before the appointment. I grabbed my "labor" bag just in case, but was sure I was being sent home that day. I wasn't expecting any different.

After a delicious lunch at Red, Hot and Blue with my sis we went to the sonogram appointment first at 2:00 p.m. I had been feeling "off" all day. The sonographer starting measuring and let my sister see how big Aisley had gotten since my sonogram at 18 weeks. We could see her chubby little cheeks. So cute! Then the sonographer said, "What were you measuring at last time?" I replied with nine. She goes, "Hmm..." I knew "hmm" wasn't good. I asked what it was today and she said, "You are measuring at a 5." Well, I knew then that I was having a baby that day. We walked to my doctor's office down the hall while the sonographer transfered the information to her electronically.

My doctor walked in and said, "Well, you are having a baby today!" My sister immediately whips out her phone and starts contacting my husband and our mom. After a quick exam and learning I hadn't made much progress since my last visit I knew pitocin was in my future. This made me sad seeing how Chris and I were preparing for a natural delivery (without medication or intervention if possible). However, the safety of my baby was way more important than some birth plan.

I began waddling down to labor and delivery with my sister. We contacted the remaining people that I wanted to be there.

After I was admitted I was given the beautiful hospital gown that shows all your goodies to the world. I didn't really care since all of my goodies were going to be out in the open for the whole world to see in a little while.

I managed to beach myself onto the hospital bed and got poked and prodded. They needed to take blood, insert an IV, give me fluids and then they started the pitocin around 4:00 p.m. My doctor came to check on me and I was only at a 3 and almost completely effaced. Not a lot of progress. During the exam my water broke. Hopefully after that my body would get the picture and start working with the pitocin. I decided to try and handle the contraction with pitocin without the aid of an epidural. I lasted until 10:30 p.m. I am glad I tried, but honestly after having an epidural, I will probably opt for one if I am ever crazy enough to get pregnant again. It was the first time in months that I wasn't in pain. It felt like a warm bath. Once they placed the epidural they need to place a foley. For this they lay you flat on your back. Well, wouldn't you know that I had my vasovagal syncope and started passing out. My heart beat dropped and so did Aisley's. When I came to, the nurse was shifting me from side to side and I heard the heart monitor alarm going off. (Also, it is still just the nurse and I at this point. Chris, my mom and sister were all outside waiting until the epidural and catheter were placed.) I saw a horde of nurses coming in and asking if my nurse needed any help. She calmly said no and that she was going to do a quick scalp stimulation. I knew what this meant. Aisley wasn't responding to her moving me. Her heart beat wasn't picking back up. I was scared to death. I couldn't lose her. The nurse then reached up inside and tickled Aisley's head. Thank God that her heart beat jumped back up and stayed constant the rest of the labor. She is one tough cookie! Also, at some point during all of this I spiked a fever. They immediately had me on antibiotics. It made labor and delivery even tougher.

My doctor, bless her, came back up around 3:00 a.m. to check on me again and I was still only at a 3. My uterus was not contracting like it should. It was not responding to the pitocin like normal uterus does. Well, of course not. I can't do anything without some level of drama. Why would my uterus be any different? She said she would give me a few more hours and check on me at 7:00 a.m. If I hadn't made significant progress by then, she would need to do a C-section.

At 7:00 a.m. she came to check on me. My sweet nurse had been working her tail off trying to get my body to respond to the pitocin during that time. She was backing off the medicine and then slowly increase it. This went on for those precious hours between 3:00-7:00 a.m. I saw my doctor looking at the monitors and shaking her head. My uterus was still not responding correctly. I knew I hadn't made any progress and that I was destined to have a C-section. Something I really didn't want. However, if it was what was best for the baby, I would do it. She checked me and goes, "Oh my. You are at 8 cm." This was music to my ears. That meant there will still a small chance of being able to deliver vaginally. She let me try to sleep a little while longer and said by 10:00 she was going to check on me again.

At the next check I was fully dilated and ready to push. My nurse was amazing. God provided me at each shift with exactly who I need to get through this labor. I remember being told that it was time to push. I felt the urge, but I just didn't have it in me. I was exhausted. I was done. I told Chris I couldn't do it. I was achy from the fever and just plan tired.

I somehow found the strength to push. And boy did I push. Her head did not want to come out. There was a lot of molding, but that is what their heads are made to do. For a solid hour and half I did nothing but push. And demand ice chips. No breaks. Each contraction. Three pushes each contraction. Full body work out. They don't call it labor for nothing. I was also on oxygen since I continued to try and pass out after each round of pushing. At about 12:15 p.m. I was told to stop pushing and wait. The nurse was calling my doctor. She came in and suited up and told me to give her three really big pushes. I started to push and she told me to stop. I was tearing and I was tearing bad. I did all the "prepping" before. They applied counter pressure. It didn't help. She had to do an episiotomy. I didn't care. I wanted this baby out. I figured I would have either stitches down there or in my belly.

After that it was just mere seconds and a few good pushes and my healthy, screaming baby girl was in my arms. Words can't express the feeling that comes over you. I knew the minute she was laid on my chest that she was my baby. I looked at Chris and he had huge tears in his eyes. Our sweet little family of two just transformed in a matter of seconds to a family of three.

I expected to feel an overwhelming connection to her. I expected to fall completely head over heels in love with her. I didn't expect to fall even more in love with my husband. It was like my heart grew to unmeasurable proportions. Seeing the man I have loved for almost 12 years hold our brand new baby girl that we created out of love is like nothing else in this world. He continues to melt my heart each day.

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