Thursday, May 30, 2013


As I'm told, her hand came flying out first, followed by her head. The doctor said she came out reaching for the credit card. She had the cord wrapped around her neck. The doctor swiftly untangled her, and then her body came out. They put her up on my lap while the NICU nurse checked her out. There she was, my perfect little slime ball. Even though she was average weight for a newborn, I couldn't believe something that big was living inside of me. She wasn't crying, but her eyes were wide open. Even though the room was packed with people, and there was a lot going on, she was only looking at me. She had big beautiful dark eyes that just pierced me as she stared. I was in love. All I could say was "Oh my goodness" over and over. I kept thinking "That was so worth it". For the short minute that she laid on me, it seemed like there wasn't another person in the world except the 2 of us. She was all that mattered in that minute. That is, until they said she had aspirated meconium (her poop), wasn't breathing well, and not pinking up. They swiftly took her away to the warming bed to work on her. But I wasn't done with her yet! Aaron was still standing next to me, he glanced at me, not knowing what to do. He wanted to be there with me, but needed to be with her. I told him to go watch our little girl, and take some pictures for me. 
I couldn't see a thing, and laid there helpless while they worked on us both. They finished up with me, and the doctor left. He gets paid a lot for only being there for 10 minutes of the big show. After they finished checking Lucy, and got her all hooked up with oxygen they brought her bed over for me to say bye to. All I could do was put my finger in her hand and let her hold it. She had a strong grip, and I knew she would be okay. Still, it's not easy to watch your baby get wheeled out of the room only minutes after delivery. The room that only moments before was jammed pack with people, was now very empty. It suddenly seemed like such a big room. There was only one nurse left. I knew I had to keep myself occupied or I would worry too much. I called my dad, who got a little too excited and had tried to call the hospital right as I was delivering wanting to talk to me. I tried to tell him what was going on, but his hearing aid wasn't working so he couldn't hear me. I ended up just texting him. I texted the rest of the family. The nurse brought me some crackers and juice. I quickly ate it. I was starving! I tried to find things to occupy myself as I lay there helpless, waiting for news.
 Eventually Aaron came back and showed me pictures, and said they think she has pneumonia and took her for an x-ray. She was starting to pink up, and looked a little better. He got me some more crackers, then I sent him back to the NICU to be with her. I made some more phone calls, and sent some more texts. After a bit, the nurse helped me into a wheel chair, and took me to the NICU. She was sleeping, she had so many tubes, all I could do was put a hand on her. She had one tube pumping air in, one pumping it back out, so she wouldn't get gas, she had an IV in her hand, 3 cords checking vitals, and another cord checking blood oxygen. I just wanted to put her back in my belly where I could protect her, keep her safe, and give her what she needs. I wanted to make it better for her. The nurse said the x-ray of her lungs looked bad, but the doctor wouldn't be in till later to talk to us. We had to go back up to labor and delivery to get all our stuff moved into the mother baby unit and get settled in. 
I couldn't go back to the NICU till I was assisted to the bathroom 2 times. After that, I was able to walk on my own. Until then I had to lay in bed helpless again as Aaron went back and forth telling me how she was doing. My dad and Aaron's parents got to the hospital about the same time that night around 5 or 6. I was able to walk on my own by this point. We got to the NICU when the doctor was there. He told us she probably had pneumonia, but it's hard to tell with a newborn what is wrong. She had a pretty bad infection though, and that was for sure. We had 3 options to choose from for what we should do at this point. We could have her intubated, that way she could just focus on fighting the infection for now, and not worry about trying to breathe on her own yet. We could give her some medicine that would make her lungs not stick together when she tries to breathe, this may or may not help her. Or we could do nothing and just wait to see how things go. I didn't feel adequate to make a decision like this. I wanted the doctor to just tell us what we should do, that's what he went to school for, right? We asked him what he would do if it was his baby, and he recommended just waiting to see how things go. We had a good feeling that that was the right choice for us. 
After the doctor stepped out, Aaron and our dads gave Lucy a sweet blessing of healing. I didn't think her first blessing would be at the hospital. We left to make sure she got some good rest, and try to do the same ourselves. As we walked out, the doctor was in the hall, he said that giving her a blessing was the best thing we could have done for her, better than any medicine he could have prescribed. I like her doctor. We went back to the Mother baby unit to try and get some sleep. One day and I only got to see my baby for a handful of minutes. I clung to the memory of those minutes until I could see her again. I couldn't wait to see what tomorrow would bring. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Push her out! Shove her out! Way out!

We checked into the hospital, and settled into our room. The nurse came and asked the 100 questions they have to ask. Aaron had to answer what he could as I breathed through contractions. Then she checked me, and told me the bad news. "You're at a 2 1/2, maybe a 3. I'm going to call you a 3"  Ummm excuse me? No change? I've been laboring all freaking day and no change? EFF! Thinking back on it now, I figure I was probably having so many contractions with so little progress because of having my membranes stripped. That makes you have contractions, even if they aren't progressive ones. I think I would have gone into active labor that night without it, but it would have taken longer for the contractions to get so close, and I would have actually had progress at that point.
I was trying to have a natural labor. My thinking is that every labor is different, and everyone's pain level is different, how can you know it's something you can't handle if you don't try? I was open minded to the fact that I might end up needing an epidural if things were progressing slowly, but I was going to try and see how it goes. I wanted to see how much I could take. Also, if you know me, I'm a cheapskate. Epidurals cost almost 2 grand! I was definitely going to try and save that money if I could.
The nurse mentioned sending me home, but said she had to go talk to the doctor on call first, which happened to be my doctor. I did not like the thought of going home at this point. If contractions 3 minutes apart are not close enough to go to the hospital, then how was I supposed to know when to go? I labored for an hour or two on the exercise ball they provide. I wish I had brought my own, their's sucked. The doctor came in to talk to me and said I was having too many contractions to send me home at this point. Yes! He also told me that he had a medical conference to attend the next morning, so he probably wouldn't be the one to actually deliver the baby, and the doctor that would was the one doctor I didn't want to. Shucks. I knew he'd do fine, he just kind of gives me the creeps. He reminds me of the doctors on shows like Grey's Anatomy that look like they worry more about their appearance than their patients. Not the kind of person I want staring at my dirty bits. ;)
The nurse came back and checked me, I was at a 4. At least that was some progress. They unhooked me from the monitors, and I was able to wander the halls to try and get things going. While this sounds like a good idea, it's not so easy to go through a contraction while standing in the middle of a hallway, especially with random people standing around watching you. Also not helpful was the lady who was in labor and pushing and screaming as I walked by. Not exactly calming. I switched between walking the halls and bouncing on the ball in my room. It was hard to find something comfortable though since I was having back labor. I was cold and I just wanted to lay down and cuddle up in a blanket, but that didn't help either. The nurse checked me again at about 5 and I was at a 5. Man, things were going slow. She also mentioned that I had a slight fever of 37.4 degrees Celsius (they were only telling me in Celsius, but that's about 99.2 Fahrenheit) when I got to the hospital, it was now up to 37.6. If you get above 38 (100.4 F) degrees it means you have some sort of infection and they have to put you on antibiotics. Now it made sense why I had been cold and shivering all night. They were going to have to keep an eye on my temperature and make sure it didn't keep climbing.
I was having a hard time dealing with my contractions as they got stronger, and I got more tired. I knew I needed to get some rest or I wouldn't have energy to push. The contractions were so close together, and didn't stop hurting in between there was no way I could sleep. I knew it was going to hurt when I went into this, but I expected to have a minute of not hurting to catch my breath and prepare for the next contraction. That was not the case for me. Aaron kept telling me it was okay to get the epidural, which didn't help me to stay strong and do it without. I had a stretch of about 15 minutes of just saying "Ow" over and over and not being able to concentrate on my breathing, and just being so tired I didn't care anymore. I gave in and asked for the epidural. I was scared to get it mostly because the idea of having a huge needle stuck into my spine did not sound fun. I don't remember it hurting much at all though, it just felt weird. He bumped a nerve which sent a "zing" down my right leg making it kick. Felt like I got shocked. I could feel the medicine go through the tube that was taped to me, and into my back. It was all pretty strange. The relief was almost instant though. I never completely lost feeling in my legs, they just felt a little heavy.
I now had one nurse and 2 students check on me every time. I had to be a guinea pig for the students to practice on. How fun! Welcome to the show. They checked me at about 6 and I was at a 6. I tried to sleep, but those beds are very uncomfortable, and the nurses kept coming in every 15 minutes to take my temperature. Every time they came in they told me to get some rest. Thanks for the tip, now if you leave me alone maybe I could! I got maybe 30-45 minutes of sleep in all. They checked me again at 7, and I was still a 6. At 8 I was at a 7, and they broke my water to try and get things going faster. Apparently that didn't work, cause an hour later I was still at a 7. They asked if they could do a Pitocin drip, I said I wanted to wait another hour to see if things started to progress on it's own. That was a good choice, because by 10 I was 8 1/2. Wahoo! Almost there! When they took my temperature this time I was 37.8, so they took it again in the other ear since it was close to being too high. That ear was 38 degrees. dun dun dun. Time for antibiotics. They also had to put me on oxygen, but neither of us can remember why. Being on that oxygen was awful. It wasn't just a slow trickle of air, it was being blasted in my face. I've always had a hard time breathing when going for a ride with Aaron on his motorcycle, makes me feel a little sick. That's how it felt, it made it harder to breathe right, not easier.
They had a NICU nurse come talk to us. Since I had an infection, that meant Lucy might have one too. She would have to go to the NICU to get checked right after birth. It turned out to be a good thing that they were going to be there ready when she was born.
At 11:30 I could tell I was at a 10 because I started to feel a lot of pressure with every contraction. They came in to check me at noon, and sure enough, 10! They had me do some practice pushes with each contraction, then had me labor down for 30 minutes. That was a VERY long 30 minutes. The pressure was so intense with every contraction. I desperately wanted to push and get her out already. I was able to really start pushing at a little after 1. With every contraction they have you take a deep breath in and hold it, push for a count of 10, exhale, and repeat that 3 times. I got very lightheaded and felt like I was going to pass out every time. I had to keep stopping and breath like normal for a minute. I was so dizzy. Probably from not eating or having much to drink since midnight. Nazi labor nurses! ;)  We changed it to pushing just till the count 6 each time. I had a mirror, and I could see her head when I pushed. So much hair! That made me very happy. I pushed till 2:30, then they paged the doctor. He didn't come, and no one could find him. I was worried one of the nurses would have to catch her. He finally got there around 2:40, and I pushed for 2 more cycles of 3, plus one extra little push, and finally she was here!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Leading up to labor

As promised, here is the story:
I haven't had a chance to put it in my journal yet, this little girl keeps me plenty occupied, so this is going to be long and detailed so I can remember it. Sorry if it drags on. I'm going to do this in a few different posts since it's so long. It was a pretty eventful experience. This is the post about the events leading up to labor.

Geez, I've been working on this post for a month now. But it's finally finished!

In February I started having braxton hicks contractions 2-3 minutes apart. I had been having braxton hicks since December, but never more than 4 an hour. We called the hospital, and were told to go to labor and delivery. After a couple of tests, the worst shot I've ever had to stop the contractions, having a nurse who is "cursed with short fingers" (OUCH!) check me (I was 50% thinned), and monitoring little miss for 3 hours, we were sent home with basically no information, and told to come back when we felt like we needed to.... Oh okay..... I had a doctors appointment in a few days, so I just took it easy till then. At the doctors appointment I was 60% thinned. He said he didn't feel like she was going to be premature, but that she would probably come before my due date, but to take it easy just to be safe. I also started weekly appointments at that point so they could keep on eye on us.
I continued to thin more at each appointment, until I got to 80%, then it just stopped. No more progression, despite the fact that the contractions hadn't stopped. I was fine with that, until I hit 37 weeks and it was still the same. I started to worry that I wouldn't progress anymore at all. My mom had to have all c-sections because she was unable to progress passed a thinning cervix. I knew I had a higher chance for c-sections because of this. Before I got pregnant I had convinced myself a c-section wouldn't be that bad, and I would be fine with it if it came down to that. In December my thoughtful brother, who is a doctor, felt the need to tell me how a c-section is a major surgery, and is a bad thing to have happen. Most surgeries now can be done with only small incisions, but you obviously can't pull out a baby piece by piece like you can other things. Thank you kind brother of mine, you know exactly how to calm a pregnant lady's nerves.
At my 38 week appointment I finally dilated to a 1. Wasn't much, but I was happy with it. After this appointment my braxton hicks got quite a bit stronger, to the point of even hurting a lot of the time. I thought for sure this meant progress, and that I would go into labor very soon. Another week passed, and another doctors appointment. No change. Now I was getting pissed. I just kept thinking, "Why are the contractions hurting if they aren't doing anything?" Aaron had 3 use or lose days he had to take by the end of March, we were very hopeful that Lucy would come early and he could use this time off, along with the rest of his vacation time he had saved to spend time at home with us. Lucy was stubborn and had other plans. I was so frustrated that it didn't work out that way, especially since the doctor told me she would probably come before her due date.
On Easter I was helping my nephews find their Easter eggs, which involved going up and down a big hill and steep stairs in my dad's backyard. Somewhere in the process, baby girl finally dropped. PROGRESS! My due date was 2 days later, it came and went with no change. The next day was my doctors appointment. That morning around 8 I finally started to have labor pains. One of the only times in life it makes you happy to be experiencing pain. I went to work, and told them it would probably be my last day for awhile, finally. The contractions continued throughout the day, but weren't close enough to feel like I should be timing them yet. My appointment was at 3, and my doctor said I was at a 2 1/2. He offered to discuss getting induced, but I wasn't interested in more than having him strip my membranes. He said he wasn't sure if it would work or not, I guess it only has about 40% chance of working, and even though I felt like I was having labor pains, he wasn't positive if he would be seeing me in the next few days or not. We made an appointment for 5 days later, he said at that point we would have to start thinking about induction.
We went home and bounced on my exercise ball for a couple of hours to try and get things going. I started timing my contractions at this point, and they were 8 minutes apart, and getting stronger. Aaron rented some movies for me to watch while I labored. We did some pressure points, I did some squats, and kept bouncing on the ball. Willis was very concerned about me, and was watching me like a hawk. He tried to cuddle with me whenever he could. It was funny. He's a sweet puppy. At around 11 my contractions were about 4 minutes apart. We started to get ready to go, ate, cleaned up a little, and made sure we had everything we needed ready to go. We got to the hospital just after midnight, and my contractions were 3 minutes apart and strong.