Friday, March 25th I woke up with a surge of "nesting"...I scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen floors, vacuumed & dusted the living room and bedroom floors and did the kitchen dishes. My BFF came over in the morning to visit and all the while, DH was calling me on an hourly basis, just to check on me and see if he was "needed". Around 4pm that afternoon, I started getting pretty regular contractions, about 10-12 min apart and lasting anywhere from 1-2 minutes. I tried laying down and resting, even went so far as to take a long, relaxing hot shower, but they were still consistently there, so I knew they weren't BH contractions. Around 7pm I decided to call my OB's office to fill them in on what was going on. Since it was the weekend, my OB's office was not "on call" (more on that later), but I did get a callback from the dr who was, who instructed me to "come in to L& d". So, I called DH at work and told him we were a "GO"!!
Since my DH works about 40min from home, and my water HADN'T yet broken, I knew we were ok to wait, so I got all the stuff together and waited for DH to arrive. Once home, he quickly took a shower and got ready, loaded up the car and off we went to the hospital, where we arrived around 8:30pm. We got checked in, monitors hooked up and they ran the standard intake tests (blood pressure, Doppler, ultrasound, FHR and blood work). By the time all of my tests came back, my contractions were closer to 6-8 min apart, but I still wasn't dilating at all, so plans were made to move me upstairs to start my induction. In the 45minutes it took to get me moved, my blood pressure shot astronomically high, over 210, so I wasn't even in my L&D suite for 10minutes before they came and moved me directly into the High Risk unit, where I would stay until I delivered.
Just like two weeks before, my BP was causing considerable issues. They started me on the anti-seizure meds and hooked me up to monitor my BP. They needed to get me more stabilized, fearing that I could stroke-out during delivery, so they decided to put off the start my induction, until they could safely consider me for a vaginal delivery--if not, then they would perform an emergency C-section. By now, it was almost 2am, my entire support team (my husband, mom, sister and aunt) were there and they all were a bundle of nervous energy. They finally got my BP to an acceptable level around 4am, so they started my Foley Bulb placement, since I could no longer have the Cervidil with the BP issues. After the Foley was inserted, I sent everyone home, including my DH, since there was nothing to do but wait, and if everyone was there---NO ONE (including me) would get any rest. So, after everyone left, I tried to get some assemblance of shut-eye, which was NOT happening and hunker down to wait.
During the night, we found out--much to our disappointment, that on nights and weekends, our practice works with two other groups for coverage. What this meant for us is that there would be no guarantee that neither MY doctor, nor any from her practice would be delivering our baby. Now, at no time during the 9months of my pregnancy did our practice EVER disclose this possibility to me about this possible occurrence. What they did stress to us, over and over, was that we HAD to see every doctor in our practice at least TWICE, in case that my OB was not available, we would be aware and comfortable with someone else from the practice doing the delivery. Logically, this would work, but when we got to hospital on Friday night and found out about this "other" plan, it did NOT go over well, understandably. By Saturday morning, we had found out that, in fact NONE of the doctor's from our practice were "ON CALL" that weekend, so I would be guaranteed that a "stranger" would be delivering our daughter! At that point, I lost IT.....with everything else that was happening, to have this stress added on top was just too much!!
My Foley Bulb came out around 7:30am, so at that point I was 3cm dilated and ready for them to start my Pitocin. My family arrived back in around 8am, which is when the new OB doctor arrived. We asked to have a meeting with her, in which I was very candid and straight---there was nothing against her as a doctor, it was just that I didn't know her from "Adam" and with all of the misinformation we'd be given, DH and I both felt we had been a bit blind-sided by everything. The new OB was so sweet and understanding--she spent about 40min sitting on the edge of my bed, being grilled by DH and family and in the end, she left me feeling so reassured and comfortable! The Anesthesiologist came and discussed my pain options with me--since it was safe, I could still have the epidural if I wanted it, and just needed to let the nurses know when.
By 2:30pm, I was 5cm dilated, 80% effaced at a -2. By 3pm, they decided to break my water and I was ready to have my epidural, so they came and did that, which I SO LOVED--I wanted to KISS the anesthesiologist!! Dilation continued, but slowed down at one point---they were having issues with the baby's HR, which significantly dropped with each contraction peak, so they were slightly worried that I'd still end up in an OR for a C-section. By 6:00pm, I was really starting to feel the "pressure", for which the epidural really had no effect on. In the course of an hour, I went from 7cm to 10cm dilated, so just after 7pm, I was ready to start pushing!
By now, I was exhausted...from my family, to the lack of sleep and the overall anxiousness of the situation, it felt as if I was going to completely shut down. They asked DH to get on my left leg, and my sister on my right. At that point, I said "I just CAN'T do this..." to which my baby sister got right up in my face and kissed me on the forehead and said--"You CAN do this...remember what POOH said--"you're stronger than you think you are". I smiled at her, and the pushing started. I did three groups of 3 pushes and on the 4th push group, she was out!
Makena Leilani Adelle was born at 7:18pm on Saturday, March 26th weighing in at 5pounds 14ounces and 20 inches long
The room erupted in joy and (from what I was told afterwards, because I was SO overwhelmed), when she came out she was facing my mom, aunt and DH with eyes WIDE open and smiling. DH cut the umbilical cord and they laid her on my chest--she was SO tiny--much smaller than I expected, so I was a bit overwhelmed with everything that was going on. They collected our Cord Blood and proceeded to work on me a bit, while DH and the nurses took baby for her cleanup and processing. I had a slight tear, which required two stitches, and with the epidural, I did not feel a bit. They had a problem with my placental delivery, so that took a bit of time and was quite discomforting, having them press and squeeze on my abdomen, but finally they were able to get it out. My uterus contracted perfectly, so they were really happy with that. AND, the biggest joy---they let me EAT, which was so great, considering the last food I'd had was Friday afternoon, around 4pm! My sister when to RED ROBIN for takeout and the rest of the family stayed and took tons of pictures. DH's mom and SIL came in to see the baby and they were just in LOVE with her! After my sister came back with the food, and everyone ate, they let our new family get settled in for the first night. Since I was on the anti-seizure meds, we could not be moved directly into the post-partum unit, so we had to stay in High Risk until Sunday. The good news is that they let Makena room in with DH and I, rather than being taken to different floor for the first night. They tried to have me breastfeed, but due to flat nipple issues (which did NOT resolve even with the initial pumping attempts), we had to resort to formula feeding.
Overnight, they continually monitored both Makena and I for issues with blood sugar and my BP, both of which CONSIDERABLY improved once the baby was out. By morning, they had me off the anti-seizure meds and up walking. I was able to eat breakfast and then they moved all of us up into our post-partum suite. By then it was 10:30am, and I knew that my DH was exhausted beyond belief. I told him to go home, nap & shower and come back later in the afternoon. Since it was Sunday, there would be nothing really for us to gain by him being there at the hospital all day, since they have no classes or maternity services on Sundays. The only thing that I did get to do was a one-on-one session with my nurse, who instructed me on how to bathe the baby. Other than that, both momma and baby slept most of the day.
Sunday evening DH was back to spend the night, and we had a few rounds of visitors. Early Monday morning, we received a visit from our Pediatrician, who also happens to be our family doctor--baby was checked out and released to go home. By Monday, her weight had dropped only to 5pounds 9.5oz. My other docs came and released me for discharge, we just had to wait around for a lactation consultant to come by and meet with me. While waiting, the baby's professional photos were taken, right there in our hospital room! I'll be posting them later in the month, once we get the CD from the shoot. The lactation consultant came and talked with me about the problems I am having with my nipples (one is slightly inverted and both are very flat and do not stay erect), so I've opted to skip BF'ing and instead just stimulate my milk by pumping and then bottle-feed with my breast milk, if it comes in. In the meantime, we’ll continue with the formula that she's been on since birth. After all of that, DH took most of our "gear" down to the car and pulled it around to the hospital's main entrance, for my discharge. Just before the hospital's escort service came to take us downstairs, Makena decided that she needed to EAT and right then and there! So, we had to stop, unpack the baby from her car seat and get her fed. By the time we were done, we had to wait another 20minutes for escort to come back to get us. By that time, both DH and I were antsy to get HOME with our baby girl, and we finally made our way downstairs. They started to take me out through Maternity, when we told escort that my husband was at the main hospital entrance---OOPS--they conveniently forgot to instruct us that all delivery discharges are through Maternity, so DH was going to have to go and get his car and come to the Maternity entrance to pick us up. So, while they wheeled me and the baby to Maternity, DH went to the front entrance of the hospital, where he found they were just getting ready to tow our car from the entrance loop---GREAT!!
After commandeering our vehicle, he drove over to Maternity; loaded us both up in the car and home we went. It's been a whirlwind of the last few days---lots of sleeplessness and fatigue, trying to get Miss Ladybug on a feeding and nap schedule and most of all, just trying to stay sane! We've had visitors every day, although we have instituted a visitors schedule (nothing before 2pm or after 8pm) and we've been inundated with offers of food and help if we need it, which we're taking advantage of, as needed. We have our FIRST pediatrician visit this morning, so we'll be happy to get that under our belts! Pumping has bit a bit of a challange--I'm getting just a tiny bit from my right side, and my left (the one with the problem nipple) is sore and nothing is getting expelled yet. The plan is to continue this until the end of April, when my pump rental is up, and see where we're at before I extend the rental contract.
Without FURTHER ADO, meet Makena Leilani Adelle --