February 26, 2013

baby o's birth story

*While I was pregnant, I did my best not to listen to or read traumatic/negative birth stories. I wanted to go into labor with the most positive mindset possible. That being said, if you are like me, just know that I feel very positive about our baby's birth and delivery :)

On Wednesday February 6 I started having contractions that were pretty regular and were mildly painful.  By mildly painful, I mean that the contractions were more intense than I had felt previously in my pregnancy.  I called the nurse midwives that night probably around 7 or 8 pm to let them know that my contractions had consistently been 4-6 minutes apart.  The nurse was nice, but let me know that I was actually not in active labor yet and to call when they were 3-4 minutes apart and when I couldn’t breathe or walk during my contractions.  Since I planned to be completely relaxed throughout labor, I thought it was ridiculous to think of myself not being able to walk or breathe during contractions, but I understood what she was saying.  I went to bed that night, but was still having mildly painful contractions.  Since I was still in pain, I had Luke come into work with me Thursday morning on the 7th.  Luckily he was off of work that day!  I had a meeting at 10a that morning and Luke was so nice to sit in the lobby and wait for me and then sit in my office with me as I did more work for a little bit afterwards. Finally around 12 or 1p, I decided to leave work to hang with Luke and hopefully be somewhere more comfortable and focus more on what was going on with my body.  We walked the mall and went to Chili’s for lunch.  While I was working, Luke had mentioned that we should go to lunch; I told him we should probably save money. My coworker was there with us and mentioned that this would probably be one of the last times we do that without kids. She was so right. I’m so glad we went!  After lunch and the mall, we came home and watched episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  Luke slept through most of it, but I laughed through it. I just can’t get enough of Will Smith…and Carlton!  They say it’s good for you to laugh during early labor.  It produces endorphins, and we all know that endorphins are the best medicine.  Luke had all of the right things planned J
Thursday night around 9p the contractions stopped and I was so bummed!  I was so confused, but more than that was the question, “Do I go to work or stay home tomorrow?” I didn’t want to use up sick time or start my FMLA on a false alarm.  However, the nice thing about the contractions stopping was that I did get some good sleep until 2:30a when I thought maybe my water had broken, but I wasn’t sure.  I called the nurse midwives and told them what happened. The nurse said that it was hard to say if it was really my water breaking or not, but that I could just rest the rest of the night and I’d be fine to come in in the morning and get checked. I started feeling those same contractions again; they were about the same as before, although they did start to get a little more painful- but I could still walk and talk through them. It was a bit of a restless night.

In the morning, we got all of the last minute things packed and in the car.  We took pictures of my belly before leaving for the hospital. I just remember thinking, “This could really be it! Please don’t let it be a false alarm!”  Luke and I went to the hospital at 10a. We would have gone in at 8a, but the nurse midwives office didn’t open until 9a.  When we got there I didn’t realize that they actually check me in Labor and Delivery, which is open 24/7. Duh! It worked out well though because that was less time that I was in the hospital. We parked the car in the very back of the parking lot since they never have parking close to the entrance (the walking was good for me right?).  When we stepped into the hospital I started having a contraction and didn’t want to grimace or look like I was in pain in front of all of those people. So, I made Luke stop with me and look into a window of a little baby shop they have right at the entrance of the hospital and I made him act like we were window-shopping until the contraction was over and I could walk normally again and proceed to Labor and Delivery. Ha! He was a good sport.
The girl in Labor and Delivery at the desk was so nice! I remember being slightly embarrassed to have to say, “I think my water broke, but I’m not sure….hahahahehehehe”.  I didn’t want to be THAT person who comes in for every little thing thinking she’s in labor. The nurses were so great though! They got me into a room with a Jacuzzi tub like we requested. The nurse’s name was Cathy. She was really nice.  She checked to see if my water had broke. They use 2 methods. One is where there is a piece of paper that is supposed to turn colors if it broke and they also look at stuff under a microscope as well.  She told me that the paper didn’t turn colors, but that she’d double check under the microscope just to be sure. I was bummed. I kept thinking, “Great, it was totally a false alarm!!” But, Cathy came back in to tell me that she wasn’t sure why the paper didn’t turn colors, but my water had definitely broken.  We were there to stay and weren’t going home without a baby! Yay! Time to text people at work and let them know to start the FMLA and P.S., I won’t be in today (or for the next 8 weeks)! 
The nurse midwife on call that day was Angela. She was someone I had never met before, which made me a little nervous, but holy cow how did we get so lucky? She was absolutely amazing!!  I was actually her only patient in labor at the time so I got lots of quality time without having to share her with other pregnant ladies. She was amazing. The nurse midwives aren’t like doctors where they come in last minute to deliver the baby and leave. No, she stayed and hung out, talked with us, made sure I was feeling good, etc, etc. Did I mention that everyone was totally on board with our birth plan and did everything they could to make sure things were how we wanted? I knew they would be like that, but it was a relief to see it play out. Angela helped me through contractions, which were slowly but surely getting more painful (but I was totally still keeping my cool).  She knew where to push on my knees and hips to relieve some of the pain and was able to show Luke as well. Angela even did a few laps around the halls with me at one point when I felt like walking.  Seriously- she was great and so attentive to Luke and me.  She even gave Luke an hour break to go and get lunch, which was something I would have never thought about.  I loved being able to use the birthing ball! For whatever reason, that is where I felt the most comfortable.  I loved being able to use the tub as well. The bed was actually the worst place for me to be.  Every time they had to monitor me I just wanted to cry because I couldn’t get any relief for my contractions on the bed for some reason.
Being excited that we were there to stay :)
At 12p, Angela checked me and told me I was dilated to a 4.  She said that was good, but I was hoping to be further along than that.  I had already felt like I’d been in labor for 2 days since the contractions started on Wednesday. I continued to wait it out.  Finally, hours later, I started sobbing through contractions.  My body didn’t want to do it anymore.  I was exhausted and tired of hurting.  Angela checked me again around 4p, still dilated to a 4, but maybe getting close to a 5… What was my body waiting for?  And I guess so much for being completely relaxed and calm through my contractions.  Haha! I definitely wasn’t walking during my contractions anymore.  But I was still talking- however only barely. The only words coming out of my mouth during those contractions were, “I’mgoingtodie.I’mgoingtodie.I’mgoingtodie.” Finally, through tears, I asked for an epidural at 6p.  I was either going to do this in pain or do this in no pain, and I chose the “no pain” route.  I had wanted so badly to give birth naturally, but my body needed relief.
The anesthesiologist came in, had me sign my life away, and told me what I would feel as he was giving me the epidural.  I still don’t know what the epidural looks like and I don’t want to.  All I know is that he was great and didn’t hit a nerve or anything.  About 5 minutes later I finally felt relief!  Of course I didn’t love being confined to the bed, feeling the need to roll over to my other side every 10 minutes with help from the nurse, or having a catheter in order to keep my bladder empty, but it was worth the relief my body felt!  I am grateful that I waited a long time before requesting the epidural too; it had been great to be up and moving around for as long as I was. For the next few hours I was finally able to relax and I even slept!! Everything felt so peaceful.  The only pain I felt after the epidural was my stomach shrinking because I was so hungry!  It hurt…a lot.  Luke got me the ice chips with syrup. Yum.  I chose the blue kind, which turned my mouth and teeth blue. Real classy.
Our hospital room (this is me before wanting to die and before the epidural).
At 7p it was time for nurse midwives’ shift change.  Our new nurse midwife there for the night was Dee Dee. We LOVE Dee Dee and were so happy that we would be getting another fabulous nurse! Right when the shift change happened, apparently a lady came in dilated to a 6 and had the baby right away, so Dee Dee had been doing that right before she came in to see me for the first time.  I was SO jealous of whoever that lady was! She was done just like that! And here I was, still stuck in the bed (although still feeling really good).  At 9p, Dee Dee checked me again.  Still dilated to a 4… Kill me now.  What was my body doing for real? I had been having contractions people, painful ones, and my body was still in the same place?  This is why I didn’t have them check me earlier in pregnancy; I get my hopes up too fast.  
Dee Dee sat back and told me that my body was taking a long time to progress.  Once your water breaks, you are at increased risk for infection to enter your body and reach your baby.  So, if your body doesn’t progress on it’s own or with other measures, they typically have to deliver the baby by C-Section if so many hours pass before your body delivers the baby on its own. Dee Dee told me she knew that I wanted to have the baby without any medication if possible, and that I could still try and do that, but that she would really recommend Pitocin to start helping my body progress so that we didn’t get ourselves into a situation where we had to start talking about a C-Section. I made a promise to myself that I would be open to whatever the nurses recommended once I was in labor regardless of what was on my birth plan, and I was totally on board with the Pitocin if that was what she was recommending. I trusted her.  We started the Pitocin and I did feel the contractions increase in frequency, which was a good sign.
After receiving the Pitocin, I didn’t see Dee Dee again until about 12:50a.m. when she came in to see how far I was dilated.  During that time, Luke and I just talked, but mostly I slept.  The nurse continued to monitor my contractions and at one point I could hear her feet in the hall, running towards my room during a contraction. I got really nervous and wondered what in the world could be wrong. Luckily nothing was wrong and she was just trying to make it into my room in time to feel my stomach during the contraction to see how hard it was, but she missed it.
When Dee Dee came in to check me, I prayed that things were moving along. I was feeling more pressure lower down in my body than I had felt before, so I was hopeful. Dee Dee checked me and I held my breath waiting to hear what she had to say. I really did NOT want to hear the word C-section again.  Dee Dee looked at me and said, “You are ready to have this baby!” My baby was at a +3! Yay! Dee Dee mentioned that she was just hoping that I had progressed to a 5 or a 6, but was so happy that my body had done what it needed to do. No C-section! Yay!!  They got the mirror for me so that I could watch. Everything was in its place and the nurse and Dee Dee coached me through pushing during each contraction.  It took me a minute to figure out how I was supposed to do the breathing while pushing.  They had to show me 2 or 3 times, lol.  I could feel the pressure, but still no pain.  In hardly any time at all, we saw the baby’s head emerge and I couldn’t believe it.  So there really was a baby in there! It’s still so unreal to me that my body could make this baby.  I pushed when they told me to push and eventually, at 1:31 a.m., this sweet little baby came into this world.  And, because I couldn’t feel any pain, I didn’t even break a sweat. I joked with Luke that I could do this for my day job!  The delivery was amazing. It was just the 4 of us in that room. Things were so calm.  It wasn’t like you picture where the doctor is rushing in and there are nurses all around and everyone is frantic and the mom is screaming.  It was just quiet and calm and I loved it.  Dee Dee kept telling me how amazing I was doing, which regardless of if I was doing amazing or not, it made me feel that much better about myself and the labor and delivery.  Baby girl was born and it was amazing to be able to witness it. Luke also said that it was amazing for him to watch her come out and be born. She was just a perfect little girl!

She still makes this face at me when she's mad.
Neither Luke or I had a big AHA moment when she was born. I think reality was still setting in.  But it sure was special when she was brought up to my chest and I just got to hold her seconds after being born. I just kept thinking…”We did it. This baby is here and she is healthy.” It’s all I could have asked for.  Luke had a really cool moment when I was breastfeeding her for the first time right after birth. He came over and brushed the top of her hand with his finger. When he did that, she opened up her hand and grabbed onto his finger and held it.  Who wouldn't love that? 

Our baby wasn’t named until Sunday afternoon, more than 24 hours later!  Sorry baby! But we are happy that we decided on a name that fits her! 
She is so sweet and cuddly, which I feel like is every mom's dream, so I'll take it!
Baby O doing what she does best!

February 19, 2013

welcome baby girl

Baby O finally arrived!  

February 9, 2013
1:31 a.m.
8 lbs 3 ounces 
 22 inches long (what?!)
 40 weeks
Sometimes I just look at her and hope that she is getting everything she needs.  She is the most precious babe and is changing and growing so much each day.

We love this little girl.