Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Emily's Birth Story- Part One: Labor and Delivery

I am back! So sorry for such a long break but life got in the way, again. Many of the posts will be backdated until I can catch up. For now, lets start with the birth of my beautiful baby. 

This was me at 39w4d pregnant.  I was huge and uncomfortable but thankfully I was healthy (for the most part). My lupus was staying at bay and the doctors (both FMM and OB) decided that they wanted me to be induced close to my due date.  My chart had told them that baby was due May 9th but the ultrasound estimated her due date of May 5th. When asked what my induction date should be, I said, May 5th.  I was secretly hoping to go into labor on my own.  About a week before baby was "due", my protein levels had started to rise. I thought it was my lupus flaring up and there was talk of an earlier induction. However, after checking my blood work, all seemed to be ok. Not excellent, but not alarming. The only thing that I had to worry about this time around was being Group B Strep Positive. Which meant that I needed antibiotics once induced and up until delivery.  

Unfortunately, May 5th came and still no baby so we headed to the hospital at 9 AM for my induction. It was baby time! We checked in just after 9 AM.  The nurse (named Emily) was very nice and asked us possible names.  She was quite exited when she heard that if we had a little girl we would name her Emily.  Nurse Emily wrote Emily (JR) up on the board for succeeding staff to see.  Since we didn't know baby's gender, nurse Emily also wrote down the possible boy's name,  Sawyer.  She suggested that Steve get me something to eat before my pitocin was started.  At the entrance to the hospital is Au Bon Pain which is where Steve went the last time we where there.  This time he grabbed this wonderful chicken sandwich from them.  

I started my antibiotics at 10:30 AM and my pitocin at 11:30 AM (when I was only 2 cm dilated).  I was allowed to walk the halls and did so, on and off, for the next three hours. The halls were in a cross shape and we criss-crossed over and over again.  During this time, I was getting some contractions but not nearly as close together as they wanted them to be. One of my doctors (Dr. Mac) came to visit me a couple of times and was glad that I was walking.  I was smiling and pretty happy for those first few hours. 
We passed by a rack of old VHS tapes donated to the maturity ward over the past 30 years.  Steve rummaged through the huge stack and picked out movies that I wasn't too interested in.  Romantic films just didn't do it for me, being where I was.  He eventually came back with one of my favorites, "The Full Monty", which, honestly, I lost interest in pretty quickly.  Since we don't have cable TV at home, it didn't even occur to us to turn on the TV, until Steve hit the TV/Video button by accident.  There we watched "Mike Rowe's Dirtiest Jobs" on and off until the end.

Three hours later (2:30) I was 4 cm dilated and they broke my water.  I remembered that with my son, I had two pockets of water. I told the nurse that and they said that could happen. When they broke my water with Emily, I had a TON of water.  I was encouraged to walk since the contractions stayed consistent with movement.  A short while later, I was checked again and still 4 cm dilated.  She said that I had a small pocket of water and that they would probably break if things didn't pick up. At 4 PM, that pocket of water broke while walking and contractions picked up.  I felt so bad that my water broke in the hall that I asked Steve to go get a towel.  The nurse saw Steve cleaning up the mess and told him it was her job and to leave it for her.

At 5:30 PM, I was 5 to 6 cm and really starting to feel uncomfortable. I wanted Steve to blow up the birthing ball but the cheap plastic pump fell apart.   I was no longer smiling, as the contractions were getting more and more painful.  After three contractions, I told him to leave the ball alone and get me an epidural. 

The anesthesiologist came in and did a great job of giving me an epidural, much better than with my son.  At that time, the anesthesiologist said that my back was too muscular making it difficult to insert the needle.  To this, our current anesthesiologist stated that they didn't know what they were doing.  It wasn't like taking a walk, but definitely not as bad as the first time three years ago.

I took a nap and awoke to a painful pressure. I was actually really confused as to why I was feeling pain with the epidural. The nurse checked me and I was now fully dilated!  It was now 8:18 PM and time to push! They informed Dr. Cortland and we began.  I don’t know why I had thought that the pushing part wouldn’t be painful, but it was. Painful and HARD! I was going purple in the face and pushing with all my might. I remembered the time it took to push my son out and was wishing this one wouldn’t take four hours. With him, he kept sneaking back in every time I relaxed. I did not want to go through that again.  With that fear in my mind, within 30 minutes, Emily was born. My beautiful baby girl came into this world at 8:42 PM. She weighed 1/2 a pound lighter than her brother at 7lbs 15oz and was 21 3/4 inches long.

It was truly such a better experience than my first delivery.  They took precautions to make sure that I wouldn't hemorrhage again, which included giving me two types of medicines immediately after the delivery. The nurse also massaged my belly quite hard to encourage my uterus to continue to contract, that was another painful event.  I will write a part two about our hospital stay and Emily's celebrity TV appearance.