We went a while on this board with no births, now it looks like they're going to happen a bunch at once! Hope to hear you're holding your little miracle soon!
Congratulations Carolyn!!! Due date buddies now birthday buddies!!!!!!!
Kristina, (formerly known as ~Kristina~)
doula and apprentice midwife
Wife to Jesse 8.18.01
Mom to Ayden 12.18.01, Kailey 7.1.03,
Ashlyn 6.11.05, Dylan 9.29.07 & Riley 12.8.09
Best of luck and congratulations!!
I can't wait to hear all about the birth!!!
Due on 12/10/09
It's a BOY!!!
Wow, has it been a LOOOONG week, and it requires a LOOOONG story.
Let me just say, the best laid plans . . . . .
Tuesday morning I woke up at 5am and went to the bathroom. I had some red spotting and a loose bowel movement, so I started to get excited but was too afraid to hope. I tried to sleep a little, and I think I had a few cx, but I couldn't tell for sure if they were cx or stomach cramps. I started timing cx at 6:38am. I decided I better eat something, because if this was finally it, I wanted to keep my energy up. After that I took a nice hot shower and brushed my teeth. Unfortunately, brushing my teeth made me vomit. Another sign labor was starting, I hoped. I laid down on my couch because I just didn’t have the energy for much of anything else. I felt like I had a fever and chills, and I checked my temperature and found out that it was 99.5. I figured I must be dehydrated so I tried to drink as much water and Gatorade as I could. I tried to get a little sleep, and Charlie had taken over the responsibility of writing down the cx for me. I never did fall asleep completely because every time I had a cx, I would just say “okay” to him and he’d write it down. He was sitting on the couch watching TV (or at least pretending to – I don’t think he was focusing on it at all) and I was curled up next to him. At some point I gave up trying to sleep and decided to get the few odds and ends I had left out of my bags put in. By about 9am, the cx were 3-5 min apart, lasting a minute to a minute and a half, and if I was up, I had to stop and relax during them. They soon got closer, 2-3 min apart, lasting a minute and a half to two minutes, and quite painful. After about an hour and a half of that, we decided to go to the hospital. According to the material we studied, based on the types of cx I was having and my emotional state, I should have been in active labor by this point. We wanted to wait as long as possible to go to the hospital to avoid labor stalling and any interventions. We made the 20 minute drive, and boy howdy, were the cx painful while in motion! I have a pretty high pain threshold, and they were knocking me for a loop. I remember telling Charlie that if we got there and I was only at a one, I was going to be seriously pissed off.
We got to the hospital, and the antepartum nurse put me on the monitor and checks me and tells me I'm only at a one and 60% effaced. I wanted to cry - I was so sure I was further than that! She told me she was going to call the doctor, and that he'd probably monitor me or make me walk, and she didn't think he'd send me home because I was contracting regularly and past dates. They monitored me for an hour and then checked again - no change. Are you serious? At that point, I let a little expletive slip. Oops. They told me to walk for an hour, and I walked with a vengeance - down two flights of stairs, up one flight, across the sky bridge to another part of the hospital. I refused to take a wheelchair with me that time. My mother and stepfather had shown up by this time, and they walked with us. We got back, and I was really feeling the cx. They were coming so fast I was starting to have a hard time handling them. She put me back on the monitor for about fifteen minutes. I thought the baby's heart rate seemed fast, but I couldn't keep my eyes open and crane my neck around to look at the monitors, and the nurse didn't seem worried. Then she told me to walk for another hour. I wanted to cry. But I got up and when she brought me the wheelchair (just in case), I didn't refuse it. We made it about fifteen minutes into our walk when I couldn't take it anymore. I would take two or three steps and then have to bend over to get through a cx that would last close to two minutes. I told Charlie to take me back, but every time I had a cx, I made him stop because they hurt too much.
We got back to the room at 4:30pm. The nurse put me back on the monitor, and checked me again. I was at a 2, but I was 100% effaced. I was not happy about the dilation, but I was ecstatic about the effacement. She called the doctor, and I was finally going to be sent to Labor & Delivery. By this point, most of my birth plan had gone right out the window. I had wanted to wear my own clothes and walk around, but I had just put on their gown when I got to the antepartum unit, thinking I would change when I got to L&D, but by this point I could care less about my attire, and the walking thing could kiss my butt. I had hard candy for dry mouth and Gatorade to stay hydrated, and I was drinking the Gatorade and water, but anything else seemed like it would take too much effort. They drew blood for labs and went to start an IV, and I told them I had cleared it with my doctor to not have IV fluids unless necessary, so they just said they'd send the supplies with me because they'd already charged them out.
I was already starting to have doubts about my ability to do this naturally, which according to the Bradley method means you're getting close to transition. Also, I picked this time to throw up the Gatorade and water I'd been drinking. This can be another sign of impending transition, so I thought I could hold out. I was only at a 2, but at 100% effacement, I was hoping things were progressing more quickly than it seemed. Charlie's coaching was the only thing that was getting me through the stupid cx. I would call his name when I started to lose control, and he'd start talking, and the pain would almost instantly ease up. I thought the cx were peaking early because the pain would fade so early, but he told me later that when I would start to feel less pain, the cx were actually still increasing in intensity on the monitor. The Bradley training does work. I got into L&D at 5pm, and thank goodness my doctor was the one on call for the night. He came in and checked me. Right before he did, my water broke (yay for SROM - something that went according to my plan!). He told me I was a 3, 100%, and baby was at -2 station. I knew I had a long way to go when he said how high the baby was. He asked me if I wanted him to manage my labor actively or expectantly, and I said expectantly, and he said okay. He wrote an order for me to be able to have fluids by mouth so I could avoid the IV. The cx kept getting more intense and closer together. There was less than 20 or 30 seconds between them, and I was starting to panic during a lot of them and really depending on Charlie’s help to get on top of the pain. The nurse checked my temperature because the baby's heart rate was too high (170s-180s), and I was warm (99.9), so she brought me popsicles to try and hydrate me and told me to drink as much water as I could.
WARNING: TMI AHEAD - Then I had to pee, so Charlie helped me to the bathroom, where we reached a new point in our relationship. After almost twelve years together, I had to poo in front of him. I didn't feel it coming, because with every cx, it felt like the baby was trying to come out of my rectum anyway! He of course didn't care, and I didn't really either. He helped me back to bed.
The nurse then told me that the baby's heart rate was still too high and she wanted my permission to start IV fluids. I told her if the baby needed it, do it. She had a hard time finding a vein, and I usually have pipelines, so I knew I really was dehydrated. A little while after that, she came back in with apple juice and told me the baby's heart rate wasn't as reactive as they liked, and they wanted to see if the juice would perk it up. Not too long after that, it sounded like the baby's heart rate went down, so thinking it had returned to normal, I asked if it had slowed down because I couldn't see the monitor, and the nurse said it was a deceleration. I asked if it was early or late, and she said it was a variable. I knew that meant cord compression, so I started to get scared, but she was very clam about everything, so I tried to stay calm, too. Charlie told me later the heart rate was dropping repeatedly into the 50s. Shortly after, the nurse put an oxygen mask on me.
A little after 6pm, the nurse called the doctor to come in to check me. I heard him ask for the heart rate strip, and I opened my eyes so I could see it, too. I saw it and said "I don't like that." He said "I don't either." I could see repeated decels, and that is not a good thing. He then checked me and told me I was at a four, and the baby was still at -2 station. He asked me if I wanted a c-section. I told him I wanted to get the baby out safely and if that meant c-section, let's go. He said he was afraid I was going to be hard to convince, and he was glad I wasn't because he couldn't let me go another 6 hours with the baby behaving like that. By this point I was exhausted. I think I had opened my eyes twice during the hour I was in L&D because I was in so much pain and having to focus. At one point I was holding my mother's hand and I could have sworn it was Charlie's! I just wanted my baby to be okay, and I knew s/he was in distress.
The nurses started doing their thing to get everything ready, and I decided if I was going to get an epidural anyway, I wanted something for pain now, so I asked for it. I saw the look on the nurse’s face and realized we were doing this NOW and there wasn't time for anything. They wheeled me into the OR at 6:31pm, moved me to the other table, started my epidural, hooked me up to all their monitors, put in the catheter, had Charlie in with me, started the surgery and had the baby out in 19 minutes. I didn't really realize it was an actual emergency until I got into the OR and everyone was moving so fast. That's when I started to get scared, but I knew that the baby would be out soon. S/he passed meconium on the way out, another sign of distress. I was so glad s/he got out before that happened so there was no risk of aspiration. The doctor announced the sex and that the baby was indeed a toddler and that the cord was around the neck twice. I didn't hear any crying, but then someone said how the baby was alert and looking around, so I didn't panic.
They went to the warmer, and Charlie went there, too, and I heard the crying and started crying myself. I couldn't see much, but I could tell they were suctioning the mouth, nose, and stomach. Charlie was taking pictures. Then I could see the top of the head and how big the baby was. Someone held the baby up and I could see Charlie's chin, and that the baby looked like my father-in-law. They wrapped the baby up, and Charlie brought the baby over to me, and I got to see my LO's face up close for the first time. I was in shock. I was so relieved that everything seemed okay. We got a couple of pics, and then it was time for the baby to go to the nursery, so Charlie went, too.
Then I got the shakes, and the nurse anesthetist asked if I wanted some Versed. A first I said no, but when she told me it was going to take longer to get sewn up than it did to get the baby out, I said yes. It was all I could do not to sit up, or at least try. I DID NOT want to by lying down anymore. The rest of the OR time is kind of a blur (thank you Fentanyl and Versed - you are two of my best pals), and the next thing I remember is being back in the L&D room shaking uncontrollably. I felt like I was having a seizure. I had about three warm blankets on, and that wasn't helping.
They gave me ice chips, and said if I had bowel sounds and tolerated the ice, the doctor had orders for me to try liquids and then I could move right onto solid food. I was quite happy to hear that, because it was after 7pm and I had thrown up the only thing I had eaten that day. (My in-laws went out and got me McDonald’s shortly after.)
My family told me they had seen the baby in the nursery and what the baby weighed. Charlie called the nursery and was told that the baby would be coming to us as soon as they got another temperature to make sure it was stable since the bath had been given. I found out later that the baby’s temp at birth was 100.4 (and heart rate 180) and that they did the bath so early to bring it down.
All of a sudden I realized the shakes had stopped, and I was so glad. I think I got the baby in my room around 8:30pm but I'm not 100% sure about the time. I held the baby for a few minutes and then we tried nursing. It went pretty well for the first time, and I nursed for about 15 minutes.( The baby stayed with us the rest of the hospital stay except for getting weighed and labs drawn in the nursery.) My heart rate was staying in the 120s-130s, but my blood pressure was okay so they didn’t think I was bleeding. The nurse drew blood for a CBC to make sure I wasn’t getting an infection and to check for anemia. They did the same thing the next morning and the morning after that. I got three doses of antibiotics according to the doctor’s standard protocol, but I didn’t have any infection, so that was it. My heart rate eventually slowed down, but it stayed a little over 100 until Friday.
I got moved to my postpartum room a little before midnight. I had my epidural in, but I didn’t get any IV pain medication after the dose in the OR, and the nurses were pretty surprised I didn't want any, but the pain was tolerable. My catheter came out after about 12hrs, I was up walking after about 16hrs, my epidural and IV came out after about 36hrs, and my milk came in after about 40hrs. We had a pretty uneventful hospital stay. A lot of my coworkers came to visit me, binging gifts of baby clothes in the appropriate color. We came home Friday, just shy of 72hrs after the birth.
I would like to officially introduce my litlle angel, Cecelia Elaine R___, born on December 8, 2009, at 6:50pm. 9lb 9oz, 21in long, 14.25in head, and perfect in every way!
We had a blood type incompatibility, so she had to have her bilirubin levels checked several times, but she never had to go under phototherapy. Our biggest challenge has been breastfeeding. The first night home was miserable because I was inadvertently starving her. When she was still hungry after nursing, I would give her formula, but the lactation consultants at the hospital recommend only giving about half an ounce as a supplement. That was not cutting it. Between an unhappy, hungry baby and her sleep deprived mommy, Friday night was rough. We had a good nap together on Saturday, and I started pumping and feeding her as much as she wanted and things got much better. She was getting quite a bit of formula, but we are slowly weaning that down as the amount I pump increases. She’ll nurse for 30-45 minutes, and then sometimes sleep for anywhere from one to four hours, and sometimes she’ll still want to eat half an ounce to two ounces. We’re working out the kinks. It’s only been a week, so we’ll just keep working it out.
When she’s not hungry, she rarely cries. Even with a dirty diaper, she just kind of acts uncomfortable, but usually doesn’t cry. I think she’s just perfect. Recovering from the c-section has been challenging, but I think I’m healing pretty well. I was actually able to bend over a couple of days ago! I made it 30 years without a major surgery, so I guess I was due. Charlie has been the best husband and father I could have asked for. He gets up to change her and bring her to me to feed her, keeps up with all the laundry and dirty dishes/bottles, makes sure I eat, etc. I am very lucky and blessed.
So much of the experience seems surreal. I remember being in the OR and thinking “Is this really happening? Am I really about to have surgery and a baby?” Looking around at all the people in their gowns and mask was so strange, especially since I’ve been one of those people in that hospital. I could see my doctor’s eyes but not his face of course, and it was reassuring to see someone familiar during the preparation. He has very kind eyes. It was better once Charlie got there, but I didn’t like lying flat on my back with that drape right in front of me. The labor part seems surreal also (probably because I had my eyes closed for a lot of it) but the c-section part even more so. It all feels like a dream, and sometimes when I think about it I cry. Everything happened so fast. I didn’t expect that. I thought I was prepared for any eventuality, but I didn’t expect such a short and intense labor followed by an emergency cesarean. I don’t want to forget any moment, but sometimes it hurts to remember it. I still can’t really believe that this little person is mine. Sometimes I feel kind of robbed because I didn’t get the birth experience I had imagined and hoped for, but the important thing is that I have a healthy daughter. Things could have been devastatingly bad, and I got lucky enough to bring home a healthy baby. I know now not to make plans!
Now that I've finally had time to write and post this, I can go see who else has had their babies! I've been having withdrawals because I haven't had the time or energy to get online. I've missed you all so!
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen - Hebrews 11:1
Me-31 DH-38 - Living with MFI since 10/2004 - Not preventing since 6/2000
BFP after 2nd IUI -> Angel Baby-> Morgan Kinsley-08/15/06 at 9w3d-EDD 03/17/07
BFP after 1st IVF . . . . gave us our earth-angel . . . .
Cecelia Elaine - 12/08/09 9lb 9.1oz 21in 6:50pm