I'm a mother? What kind of craziness is this?
I enjoyed so much capturing all my thoughts during my pregnancy with Natalia, that I thought I would continue on with a baby journal. For those of you who have been following my story, and those who haven't....here is the last episode of my pregnancy journal.
Ok….grab a nice cup of hot tea, sit by the fire, curl up on your couch and get ready to read the birth story of Natalia Jolie (unless you really aren’t interested, and you’d much rather read picture books. In that case, you can skip over to my birth board, cause that's where the pics are.) Sorry this is so long, but this is the story I’m going to put in her baby book, so I want it to be complete.
Most of you know the story of the last month of my pregnancy with Natalia. Basically, there is no story, because nothing happened. 37 weeks. Nothing 38 weeks Nothing. 39 weeks. Nothing. 40 weeks Nothing. 41 weeks. Nothing, Blah. Blah. Blah. I was wondering if this baby would ever even come out. It was Monday, February 7th and I was just praying that labor would start. My doctor’s office had just called and upped my induction to begin at 8 pm on Wednesday, February 9th. I really did not want to be induced because I have heard so many different things that could go wrong if your body isn’t “ready” for labor. But…my doctor insisted, and honestly, I was getting tired of the wait for our baby.
On Tuesday, I began to lose my mucus plug, and I was so excited. I thought for sure that labor was beginning on its own and I wouldn’t have to worry about being induced.
On Wednesday morning I was stoked about going to my doctor’s visit because I had been having bloody show all morning and I was sure something had changed as far as progress goes. Nothing. Still posterior, high, barely effaced and 1 cm dilated. The doctor confirmed my induction for that evening and so we went out walking to try a last chance at getting things going. No luck though.
At 8 pm on Wednesday night, we checked into the hospital The nurse was getting me settled in the bed, and was going to put the Cervadil in. I had planned on getting a pretty good night’s sleep that night, since I didn’t really sleep the night before. The nurse decided to check me one last time before inserting the Cervadil, and whaddya know? I had progressed to 2 cm and 70% effaced, and “not-so-posterior and high”, in the nurse’s words. She said the Cervadil probably wasn’t necessary now, so she was going to let us go home and go to sleep and come back in the morning to start Pitocin, but she wanted to call the doctor to make sure that was okay. Well, she came back, and the doctor didn’t want us to go home. He wanted to start us on a low dose of Pitocin right then!! WHAT?!? So then, like lightning, this other lady comes and starts to jab me with a needle to hook up my IV and I nearly passed out! Granted, this is coming from someone who has never been to the hospital for ANYTHING. I’ve never been hurt, sick, etc…and the sight of my own blood makes me SOO queasy. I felt like such a wimp. They had to hook me up to the oxygen mask and put cold washcloths on my head, all for a dumb IV. When that ordeal was finally over, they told me that I had to stay hooked up to this monitor going over my tummy and this IV machine all the time, so it was such a pain in the butt to be 41 weeks pregnant, and having to pee every 10 minutes, dragging all this stuff with me, to and from the bathroom. Anyways, I laid down, and nearly got to sleep when the contractions started. They weren’t necessarily “painful”, but they were enough to keep me up all night So, needless to say, I was not rested at all for the labor that would follow.
At 5 am, the nurse came in and started increasing the Pitocin dose every half hour. Soon after, the contractions began to intensify, but I coped with them by bouncing on the birth ball (while trying to play cards with my husband), and rocking back and forth while standing. DH kept telling me I should sit down during a contraction, because standing up looked like it was painful, but I had to explain to him that the contraction was kind of like a HUGE Charley horse cramp and you have to move around to work it out. Sitting still just makes it worse.
At 9 am, Dr. Perkins (one of the docs in my group), came and checked me and I was dilated to 5 cm, and she decided to break my water. Let me tell you, that was WAY WORSE than any of the contractions I had experienced, and just the way she kept poking at the bag of waters was totally uncomfortable, and it felt like she was doing something unnatural. The water was very warm and it was a gross feeling to have it gush out of you every time you move. I felt like I was peeing. After she broke my water, I don’t know if the contractions actually got worse, or maybe I had lost my ability to cope, because I was so tense and I was shaking all over. My husband had to get in my face and tell me to calm down. The nirse asked me if I wanted an epidural now, and it would help relax me, and maybe give me some rest. I was so exhausted by this point that I was nearly incoherent, and all I wanted to do was sleep. So, I asked for the epidural, and she said I was lucky because I had the best anesthesiologist working today.
Well, the epidural doctor came in, and I don’t care if you think he’s the best doctor or not….it was still a painful process!! He had to poke me FOUR times because he couldn’t find my epidural space! He kept asking me if I had scoliosis. I’m saying NO!!!!!!! NO!!! NO!!! That was his excuse for not being able to “find my spine”, as he put it. And come to find out, after the 4th try…I didn’t have scoliosis after all! Just as I suspected…
He put the epidural on a really low dose, so I could still feel a little bit of pain with the contractions (more like cramps), and I could completely feel my legs and feet and everything.
The nurse continued to increase my Pitocin every 30 minutes, and Dr. Perkins came in again around 10 to check my progress. I was at 4 cm, and according to the monitor, the contractions were pretty strong. She left.
At 11 am, Dr Morris (another doc), came in and checked and said I was at 5 cm dilated and things were looking good.
Dr, Bray (another doc), came and checked me the next hour and I was at 5 1/2 cm and stretching to 6 cm. She told me it was completely normal for first pregnancies to take a little time, so she said she’d come back later.
After she left, I had another gush of amniotic fluid, and the nurse noticed that it was greenish, which meant that the baby had pooped inside!! AAGGHH!! That’s gross. She said it was “thin”, but it did kind of put a time limit on things in my mind, because I didn’t want Natalia to get sick from it. My mom and my husband also noticed that the contractions were getting a lot stronger on the screen and that the baby’s heartrate was dropping with each contraction. At that time, the nurse didn’t seem too worried. She said it was normal for it to slow down as long as it came back up.
At 1pm, Dr Bray came in again and she said I still hadn’t progressed any more. She felt inside and said that it seemed like the baby’s head was turned sideways instead of face down like it’s supposed to be, and maybe that is why I wasn’t progressing. She turned me on my side and put my legs in different positions to try and help the baby’s heart rate, and to get her head to turn. She also told the nurse to lower the Pitocin dose to see if that would help the baby some. Lowering the dose did seem to help the heartrate, so the
Nurse ended up turning the Pitocin completely off around 3 pm because the heart rate was getting dangerously low. I didn’t know this at the time because I was sleeping most of the time, and it was probably better I didn’t worry about that anyway.
At 3 pm, Dr Perkins came back in and said I was still at 6 cm. She thought the baby’s distress was coming from the lack of amniotic fluid and also the meconium. She thought maybe the umbilical cord was being compressed during the contractions. I knew she shouldn’t have broken my water!!!! So, to fix that mistake, she ordered an amnio-infusion to put water back into my abdomen so the umbilical cord wouldn’t be as compressed as much, and also to thin out the baby poop on the inside so it wouldn’t be as thick. So, I got to get all swollen in my hands from all the excess fluids they were pumping me with. Dr Perkins also ordered for the Pitocin to be turned back on. Fun.
I don’t know if that really helped the baby at all in the way of heartrate, because I was really out of it. They kept changing my position around too, because they wanted to make Dr. Bray happy as well. I told Nick I wished the doctors would talk to each other because they both seemed to have completely different ideas of what the problem was. I almost felt like whatever doctor happened to check me last is whose delivery plan I would be stuck with. It was frustrating.
At 4 pm, Dr. Bray came back in and checked me again. She said I was STILL at 6 cm. And for the first time in my labor, the words “c-section” were needed. It was kind of a shock. She still couldn’t really explain what the problem was, but she thought that it had to do with the way the head was positioned against the cervix. She felt internally and said that she felt a lot of “molding” (conehead), so the baby was definitely trying to get through, but not at the right angle. She was not tolerating the contractions well because her heartrate kept dropping. She told me that sometimes when someone is having a big baby, their body knows it can’t do it at that time, and will stop itself from dilating I had never heard of that before, but what freaked me out was that she said “big baby”. This was the same doctor that 2 weeks before said I was looking at a 7 pounder. Anyways, normally, they would have let me continue to labor, but since Natalia’s stats were dropping, she thought I needed to make a decision pretty soon. She gave me until 5 pm for my cervix to progress.
As soon as she left the room, I put on my brave face (and oxygen mask), until my mom asked me how I was doing. She has had 5 kids, and 2 of them were c-sections so I knew she knew how I was feeling. I broke down. I started sobbing uncontrollably and shaking so badly. I just kept saying that I didn’t want a c-section. I didn’t want a c-section. My mom kissed my head, and told me it would be okay, and she left me with my husband. He came to my side and told me how proud he was of me for all the labor I had endured today for our baby. He said that God could do a miracle right up to the last minute, like he did for Abraham and Isaac, and even if we ended up having a c-section, we were in God’s hands and there was reason behind it. I knew he was right. He prayed for us, and for Natalia, and for peace with the whole situation, and I felt better. I was still just so shocked. My whole pregnancy had been picture perfect, and to end like this just seemed wrong. I was still hoping in my heart for a miracle, but somewhere, deep down, I knew that I needed to prepare myself for the c-section.
Later, Dr. Bray came back, and there was still no progress. After that, everything was a whirlwind. Later, my husband told me that Natalia’s heart rate was getting very low on the screen (but I didn’t know it at the time). The room filled with people. They were poking me and prodding me and shaving me, and adding medicine to my epidural. I started to shake again. Then, they took me down to the OR, and Nick wasn’t around I started to get a little afraid, but I just kept praying. I kept telling the anesthesia lady and the doctor that I wanted them to pinch me SEVERAL times before they started cutting. I was so afraid I would be able to feel the pain of the knife cutting me. Finally, Nick came back in, and sat at my head. He asked me if I was afraid. I told him no, but I really was on the inside. I asked him if he was praying. He said he has been the whole time. He told me again he was proud of me and he loved me. The whole time that we were talking like this, they had already started cutting, and I didn’t realize it, thank God. Finally, Dr. Bray told Nick to stand up if he wanted to see the delivery of his baby, so he took a pic with the digital camera (sorry, that one is not included). I kept saying, “Is she out? Is she out?” Finally, I heard a cry, and some muffled coughing, and then more crying. Nick told me she really was a girl, and I started crying. I was trying to hold back the tears because my oxygen mask was on kind of tight and the water was getting built up in there. Nick was so excited, he kept running back and forth to check on me, and then go take another picture. I had to finally tell him to GO TAKE PICTURES!! They brought her over to me to see her, and kiss her. I couldn’t believe that she came out of me! She WAS a big baby (for a girl). She was 8 pounds 15.4 ounces, and 21&1/2 inches long. They sent Nick with her to the nursery, and they sewed me up. I was so exhausted from not having slept for 2 days that I fell asleep in the OR, and again in the recovery room. They wouldn’t let me see Natalia for about 2-3 hours because I was recovering. I remember when they brought me up to the mom & baby room, I just kept asking where my baby was. Finally they brought her to me, and she is so beautiful. I thought she would look like me, but honestly, most of her features are her daddies, and they look so beautiful on her. I can’t believe I’m a mom.
So far, recovering from the c-section has been really rough. On the first day, they made me stand up to walk to the bathroom, and blood gushed EVERYWHERE, and I mean EVERYWHERE. I nearly fainted again, and they had to pull the blue “Help me” cord in the bathroom, and the lady came running and said “Do you need the ammonia?!” Like I said, I’m a wimp with blood. My incision hurts really bad, and again, it’s probably because I’ve never been hurt before, but it is very hard to deal with. When the doctors said they were discharging me on Sunday, I was glad to be going home, but I was scared to go home because of my incision. Every step I take is painful. My husband had to lower our bed so I can get on and off it without screaming in pain. I can only sleep on my back, and I can’t even lift up my beautiful baby I feel bad because I want so badly to take care of her and be her mommy in her first few weeks of life, and instead, I’m stuck taking care of myself and having other people do things for me. I guess the good part of the c-section is that I didn’t have to worry about getting any tears or episiotomies, but I do have to have staples in my stomach, that I am so afraid they are going to bust wide open any minute and my bowels are going to come spilling out all over the floor. It has even been hard to breastfeed because this is the 5th day already and my milk still hasn’t come in. Poor Natalia barely gets anything when she nurses, and then she just cries because she is hungry. We ended up having to supplement until my milk comes in, which of course makes me feel like I’m failing somehow, even though I know I’m not.
So…all in all, I’d have to say I’m “learning to be content” whatever the circumstances. I know that’s what I need to do. I won’t say it is easy. It is very hard. Everytime I start to get a little sad about everything, I just have to go look at Natalia and that beautiful face and that cute little smile she gives us when she has gas. I know it is all worth it. I love her more than anything. The end. And the beginning....