Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Labor and Delivery

At our last doctor's appointment on January 4, I was dilated to a 2-3 and having contractions almost every night. Because of this and the fact that we knew the baby was a good size, the doctor said we could induce the following week (at 39 weeks gestation). So, it was decided that she would  make her entrance into the world on Friday, 1/11/13. The night before, Dell suggested we go out for a nice dinner with just the two of us to celebrate the big event. It was wonderful - great service, delicious food and romantic. I was having pretty regular contractions at dinner. Dell was timing them and thought we should hurry up, get home and call the doctor. I didn't want to miss the molten chocolate lava cake. Priorities people! After dinner, we got home and rested a bit, but I couldn't sleep much. I was so anxious to meet her and I had one last blog post I needed to write. So, at 4 a.m. I translated the thoughts in my head to the computer screen and wrote the letter to Dell. Now, I was ready. 

We got ready, loaded up the car and headed out. Our first stop was to the bagel shop to get breakfast for ourselves and delicious cookies for the nurses that would be taking care of me that day. Hey, I'm not above kissing up. Dell ate his breakfast, but I was in a hurry and didn't get to eat mine. This later proved to be a big mistake. I drove to the hospital and sped the entire way. It was fun having an excuse to be in such a hurry and it kept Dell entertained as well. We checked in at 7:30 a.m. and the day officially began.

I was introduced to my nurse, Staci and she started all the paperwork and the IV. I knew she was going to be great, but didn't know at the time just how much I would love having her at my side until later. I was already having contractions before they started the pitocin, which was a good sign. My doctor made his rounds and came to break my water around 8 a.m. It felt weird. Not too painful, but I did feel pressure. The show was officially on the road. The doctor said the baby already had her first poop and he knew that because my water was greenish. This is not good, as it is very likely Nola swallowed some of the meconium and would need extra attention upon her arrival. No matter what, NICU would be here for her delivery and make sure to suck everything out. That was scary and not how I wanted to start the process. But I knew this could happen and wanted to stay positive no matter what. Of course I was worried, but I had to have faith everything would be okay. 

The contractions became more regular and more painful than they had been as time went on. When Staci checked me again, I was dilated to a 4-5 and I was ready for the epidural. I felt like I had experienced labor and knew what it felt like and my body was ready for some relief. My contractions were off the charts, so I was looking forward to that medicine to help ease the pain. My mom and sister left the room and Dell was able to stay in and hold me up while the anesthesiologist administered the epidural. The numbing shot was painful and then I felt warmth and pressure. It was odd, but within about 20 minutes, I was feeling much better. It wasn't long after that when we had our big scare. Staci was watching my monitors and saw that I was having a very intense and long contraction. The next thing I knew there was another nurse by my bed and they were talking to each other. Staci asked a question and then ran out of the room. This is never a good sign. She came back with a shot to stop the contractions. She put that in my arm and turned off the pitocin. After everything calmed down, she explained that I had a 5 minute long contraction and she wasn't sure why. They put me on oxygen and monitored me and the baby very closely. Apparently during that contraction, my blood pressure dropped to something like 70/30 and Nola's heartbeat went from about 150 to 70bpm. These are obviously major signs of distress for both of us and Staci told me later she was really scared. I'm thankful I couldn't feel the contraction and that they acted quickly to make sure everything was okay with us.  They eventually started the pitocin back up and I was able to get rid of the oxygen mask.

Throughout the day, Staci kept putting me in different positions to try and get Nola to turn the right way. She was head down, but still face up and the stubborn little girl wouldn't turn her head. I labored all day and the doctor kept asking about my progress. Not much new to report. I think we all assumed I would be having her earlier in the afternoon since I was having contractions on my own before and was already dilated. Nola had other plans. I was tired, but not really able to sleep. More than anything, I was starving because I hadn't eaten anything since the night before. I think at one point, I threatened to kill for a burrito. Luckily, no one was harmed by my hungry anger. 

At one point during the night, my alarm on my epidural went off. They assured me there was still medicine in there and I should push the button for extra relief. I pushed the button, but no relief came. The dreaded had happened. The epidural had worn off after me being in labor all day. The pain was really intense and each contraction had me on the verge of tears. After about 20 minutes, another anesthesiologist came in and refilled the cartridge and I was feeling better again. I was so worried I was going to have to push through that pain. The entire day, I am happy to say I remained calm and positive. I handled labor and delivery much better than I thought I would.

Finally, I was fully effaced and dilated. It was time to push around 8 p.m. Staci's shift ended at 7 p.m. and I didn't want her to leave. She jokingly said as long as I didn't make her stay until like 10 p.m., she would stay with me and deliver this baby. What a relief! I pushed for about 2 hours. It was hard and tiring, but I did it. Finally, my doctor arrived and said it was time to get this baby out. Nola's heart rate was starting to drop with my contractions and pushing, so we had to move quickly. I was scared, but tried to do whatever I could to get her out safely.  Staci stayed the entire time. I am so grateful to her for that. She was amazing!

After about 20 minutes of pushing with the doctor in the room, he said he was going to have to use forceps to get her out. I knew this was an option and was grateful he was willing to try this before resorting to a c-section. So, he coached me through everything and before I knew it, her head was out (she was still face up). Then, a pause, then her body came out and I heard her cry. I looked over at Dell and he was sobbing saying "That's my daughter. My baby girl. She's so beautiful." It was the sweetest and most perfect moment ever. My mom and sister were crying and Dell cut the umbilical cord. I felt so blessed. I got to see all her hair and it was adorable. NICU took her out of the room and Dell, mom and Starr followed. I finished the rest of my duties and waited to hold my sweet girl. Dell finally came back into the room and let me watch a video he took on his phone of them working on Nola. It was beautiful and allowed me to see her before they brought her in to me. 

The nurses brought her in the room to weigh her in front of me. 7 lbs 14 oz and the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. I was finally able to hold her and get some skin on skin time. It was just Dell and I in the room looking at her and we couldn't believe we did this. It felt amazing. I was just so happy that everything went as well as it did with all the complications. And, in the end, all you can ask for is a healthy baby - we got that!

Thanks again to everyone for their love and support.

She got a 9 and/or 10 on her apgar test, passed her hearing tests and measured a long 21" (I always felt like she was taking up a lot of room in my ribs). She made her entrance at 10:05 p.m. on Friday, January 11, 2013. We stayed in the hospital until Sunday, January 13 and brought her home that evening. 

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