Monday, September 6, 2010

My Labor Day

Here's the story. Brace yourself for a long post. 
Our instructions were to call Labor and Delivery at 6:00 A.M. on Thursday to find out when to go in to get induced. We set our alarms and I made the call. The nurse asked if we could be there by 7:30. Nope. It takes 1 1/2 hours to drive there and we were still in bed. So we were just instructed to go in as soon as we could. So we got up and got ready, I had a bowl of cereal, and we headed to the hospital. 
We arrived around 8:30 a.m. After getting checked in and signing papers we were taken to the room where I would have my baby. By 9:30 they had started the Pitocin. They like to start you out real easy, to mimic real labor as much as possible. So we started with 2 mg and they gradually increased the dosage every half hour. Oh, by the way, I was only dilated one cm when we got there.
They said I was very sensitive to the Pitocin. With just the 2 mg (I could be wrong about that unit of measurement, but I do know it was 2) I was already contracting every 3 minutes. I felt nothing. 
Things were kind of boring. I read some, tried to nap some, looked for something worth watching on tv, made way too many trips to the bathroom, (darn saline!) and felt my bum go numb from laying in bed all day. 
Just before 1:00 they checked me again. I wasn't even dilated to a 2 yet! That's about when they broke my water. 
Right after that I really started to feel the contractions. Ouch! But then...they got better. Anti-progress. I played a card game with Aaron. I dilated to 2 1/2.
They kept turning the Pitocin up. They said they don't like to have it higher than 20 mg. They turned mine to 24. They weren't feeling good, and they were coming less than a minute apart. What they like to see is about three minutes apart with more intense contractions. Argh! I think I may have been dilated to a 4 at this point.
Oh, and I was SO hungry. The light breakfast at 6:30 wasn't really sustaining me. 
Anyway, around 5:00 they shut off the pitocin completely. They planned to let it get out of my system and then turn it back on to a fairly high dosage and try to shock my system. It seemed to work. They turned it to 12 and the contractions really started hurting. Suddenly it felt very natural to breath in short puffs. 
At 6:30, still dilated to 4, I was ready for an epidural. I was going to try to tough it out for longer, but the nurse prevailed upon me to consider how silly that would be considering I knew I would get one eventually. Why suffer when you don't have to? But in that half hour it took for the anesthesiologist to come and numb me up I was ready to cry uncle anyway. The epidural was scary and painful, but it worked. It was weird though, it numbed my abdomen like it should, then it reached the toes of my left foot and worked it's way up my leg. My right leg never numbed though. Everything that wasn't numb was itchy.
Aaron went out to grab something for his dinner. The cafeteria had closed.
The contractions were getting hard enough that the baby's heart rate was really being effected by them. It's normal for it to dip with the contractions, but hers was getting lower  than they liked to see and taking a longer time to recover. But it got better. 
Aaron got back. Around 9:00 I started to feel like pushing might be a good idea. Only occassionaly and not very strong. Our nurse had told us that she was off to deliver another baby, but that she would check my cervix again at 10:30 or 11:00. 
Soon a different nurse came in saying that my doctor called and asked for my cervix to be checked. Boy were we surprised when I was completely dilated! This was at 9:00. Aaron was back. 
(Interesting parallel, when I was in labor with Morgan I got to 4 cm's dilated and stalled. I just wouldn't progress. I got the epidural and then sped my way to a 10.)
We waited a few minutes for our original nurse to come back in. She and another nurse brought in a bunch of baby-having stuff and started setting up. 
Then she said it was time to push and see how things went. If the baby made good progress toward the opening she would call the doctor in. Lydia was still pretty far up. 
I was giddy. I seriously was smiling during my first push. I had to apologize for bad pushing because if you can smile while you do it, you're doing it wrong. But, I did the three pushes for 10 seconds each. The monitor showed how badly Lydia was taking it. Her heart rate  plummeted and stayed under the red line for quite some time. The nurse seemed a little anxious about it. I was anxious about it. She had me roll to my side, since it was a bit friendlier for the baby. She also gave me an oxygen mask to use so the baby could have the oxygen. Then she said we'd wait for a good hour to get the baby all rested and recovered. Okay. And maybe she would make her way down the birth canal a little bit by herself. 
About an hour later the nurse was back and with my doctor. It was time to have the baby. Now, with Morgan I pushed for 1 1/2 hours. I was worried about another long time of pushing. However, it only took pushing through three contractions and she was out! 
They placed a very blue baby on my stomach and started rubbing her down. I noted the umbilical cord was around her neck once. After several seconds, she gave a squawk which started her crying. Crying soon turned her pink. 
She was so cute, even straight out of the womb. 

After we were able to get aquainted for a little while and nurse for a bit, and after I was finally able to eat, Aaron accompanied Lydia to the nursery where they did further tests and bathed her. I recovered a bit and was taken to our post-partum room.
Lydia nursed well. She still does. 
The next day Morgan and my mom came to visit. 
Morgan loved his sister immediately and gave her kisses and touched her head and face softly. 
When it was his turn to hold her he sang Rock-a-by-Baby in a very soft voice. 

We were able to go home the next day. 
Morgan and Lydia exchanged sibling gifts. We let Morgan pick out a toy for Lydia and we got him something from her. We thought that would be a good way to start their relationship. :)
We love her. She has some issues with gas. It kept her awake for 6 hours, screaming the whole time, the first night home. Oh, it was miserable. She went to sleep around 7:00 a.m. and slept for six hours straight after that. We got her some gas relief drops though so things were much better last night. But it still bothers her. 
Most of our clothes for her are way too big. Still, I love it when it's time to get her dressed so we can try new things on her. 

If she's not eating, or crying because her gasiness keeps her from eating, she is asleep. Always asleep. But that's okay. We like to sleep with her. 

We're sure glad she's here.


Megan said...

Congratulations! She is beautiful! Morgan is such a sweet big brother. They are going to be quite a pair :)

A.Lee said...

She is so beautiful and little and sweet! I loved the pics. It's hard to remember my babies being that small--so amazing. She's a doll! Congrats and good work!!! I'm so glad for you only having to push three contractions before she was born (all because you waited patiently)!

Lora Dawn said...

Oh, she is SOOOO cute!
I'm glad the delivery is over - - -and you are both healthy.
Hope she allows you some fine naps.

keith and arianne said...

She is beautiful! Seriously what a cute little one! Glad that the delivery went smoothly, congratulations!

A*Waite said...

THanks for sharing your birth story. I love hearing the details of the miracle of little lives coming here!

I got your book and gobbled it up! Great work, you are a talented writer!

Tiffaney said...

Oh Melanie, she's so beautiful!! Congratulations!!! I love the pictures with Morgan. You can tell he loves his baby sister :-) I hope the gas gets better and you're all able to get some more sleep. Maybe try infant massage too?

Jana Lee Bumblebee said...

Thanks, Melanie. Birthing stories always fascinate me. I think Lydia looks so good in pink. I went back to Other MOthers on the 3rd day of their 25cent sale, but didn't buy anything. Let me know whatever gaps in wardrobe need filled.

Can hardly wait to see you guys next week. The Skype transmission was so poor that Lydia (and all of you) looked like ultrasound faces.

Love, Jana

Lora Dawn said...

Ah, love the details and the beautiful baby girl and all. What a cute load of precious.

Lora Dawn said...

What a fun dress up day for Lydia----errr at least fun for the rest of us. So cute.

The Wilson Family said...

YAY for you and your family! Miss you and am SO HAPPY for you and your family of FOUR! Congrats Mel. You're amazing wife and mama!!