Sunday, 8 February 2015

A Birth Story: Little Lady

Well, our Little Lady is finally here! I realized this morning that I needed to write the birth story down soon so that I don't forget any of the little things. Until I was pregnant with Sprout I never cared to read birth stories, so, I apologize if this is just blah for people as it once would have been for me. You folks might want to haul down to the end where the insane amount of pictures are located.

At about 37 weeks I was more than ready for this baby to get here. I was getting so huge it hurt my skin just to get up from where I was sitting; sleeping was impossible; my hips were killing me. Contractions started on Friday, January 23, but they were incredibly sporadic, and they never hurt. They lasted all weekend coming anywhere from 5-20 min. apart. I did get a couple of 5-6 hour breaks in there, and it was a good thing as the contractions were exhausting even if they weren't painful. At my doctor's appointment on Monday (exactly 39 weeks) my doctor said I was dilated to a 3 and scheduled me for an induction on my due date the following Monday in case the baby did not come on her own during the week. (We were all getting a little concerned about size at this point.) It was an enormous relief to have the induction scheduled as I was sure my skin was going to rip right in half, but I was also a little terrified of being 'forced' into labor. My contractions continued all week long, but Thursday night, at about 10 pm, they started to feel stronger. I stayed up all night timing contractions and they were NEVER regular - they remained anywhere from 5-20 minutes apart, but they got quite strong and painful. At one point I did have 4 contractions in a row that were only 2 minutes apart, and that put me in full panic mode. It was a little after 5am on Friday, January 30. I woke up Mr. Mitchell, called our neighbor to come stay with Sprout, and got myself dressed.

We arrived at the hospital and discovered I was almost at a 5. They said I could get an epidural right away if I wanted, but I decided to wait and see how I was doing. After one more contraction I decided I wanted the epidural immediately. I was incredibly nervous about this as my epidural failed last time and I ended up experiencing natural childbirth. I was reassured by several nurses that the anesthesiologist that would get me set up was one of the best they had ever seen. The anesthesiologist came in and was very cheerful and personable and helped me feel a bit more at ease; despite this I missed about every joke he cracked either because I was too nervous or too tired to catch on. Mr. Mitchell had to be my interpreter many times when I answered a question in all seriousness when it was clearly a joke (ex: Do you wear dentures?). Mr. Mitchell was my literal anchor as the epidural procedure was performed, and before I knew it I was lying back feeling warm and numb. I was told of a few side effects that could happen and then was left to rest. I started to feel super weird and thought it must just be how the epidural feels, but then Mr. Mitchell asked how I was feeling. I realized I was feeling nauseous and told him so. He said, "How nauseous?" I answered by throwing up all over myself....four times in a row. It was humiliating! The nurses had to come and clean me up and I couldn't really help since I was numb. I apologized over and over, and Mr. Mitchell kept telling me it was no big deal, but it was still embarrassing. After that process was done we were pretty well settled in and just waiting for our baby to arrive. It was about 7:45 am. We made our phone calls to parents and then settled in for a nap.

At about 9 am my nurse came in and said that they were going to give me Pitocin because my contractions were still incredibly sporadic and sometimes very far apart, and I had not progressed much since being admitted. They also broke my water at this point. We heard this and figured it would probably be early afternoon before it would be time to push. Not so. A little after 10:15 am I started to feel a bit of pain and let my nurse know. She did a very quick check and said, "It's time. Let's call Dr. Jones." Whoa. It was happening right then. I pushed for about 20 minutes, they had to give me an oxygen mask for the baby (sooo claustrophobic), and I was threatened with a vacuum (as opposed to forceps as last time). They gave me an episiotomy, and the baby was still stuck. So, they did end up using the vacuum. At 10:43 am our Little Lady arrived and they placed her right on my tummy. I was so happy to have her here that I may have cried a tear or two. After I got to gaze at her for a few moments the nurses took her over to get her cleaned and get everything checked out. I stayed where I was and got stitched up. I only got a second degree tear this time, and I didn't feel a thing. The whole experience was somewhat similar to last time (oxygen mask, baby too big for mommy, etc.), but it was so much more peaceful with the working epidural. I was able to relax and focus and was so much less exhausted after the baby's arrival. It was amazing.

Mr. Mitchell stayed with me for a few hours as the epidural wore off and I figured out how well I was able to move around and function. He then went to pick up Sprout and brought him over to meet the newest munchkin of our family. Sprout was very curious about the baby and even more curious about all of the equipment around the room. He didn't last very long before he was taken home with Daddy. I asked Mr. Mitchell to stay the night at home so that there was as much normalcy as possibly, and so that he had the energy I would be lacking.

Because of the baby's weight and time of arrival they decided they needed to watch her blood sugar levels, and they didn't like what they were seeing. At about 9 or 10pm I was told that if her levels didn't pick up she would have to be placed in the NICU. Not a huge deal, really, but to a tired and hormonal mother it seemed absolutely horrible. I called Mr. Mitchell to let him know and then we just waited. A big part of the problem was that Little Lady was so sleepy she would not eat, and because she wouldn't eat her blood sugar levels dropped, and because they dropped she became more lethargic and sleepy. It was a vicious cycle. The nurse and I worked really hard to get her to wake up and to stay awake while eating, and at her final test at 1am she passed! I was very relieved since she had done so poorly on all of the others. The poor little girl had her heels pricked so many times it made me want to cry. That was the only time I regretted asking Mr. Mitchell to stay with our boy.

My healing this time around has been so much better. Again, I think having a working epidural has a lot to do with that since there wasn't really any trauma involved this time. I haven't been as sore, I have had more energy, and I feel so much more physically capable. The worst has been my tailbone. During delivery I felt a snap in that region, but I didn't think much of it. After a day or two of having severe pain upon sitting down and trying to get up I realized that that pop had probably been my tailbone doing something it shouldn't. I did feel a pop there again when I was getting off of the couch the other day, and it has steadily been feeling better since then. I think I must have dislocated it or something - if that's possible - I don't know much about tailbones.

I am hoping to get birth announcements out soon, but I'm still debating on whether or not to purchase any of the newborn photos taken at the hospital. Until then, I hope these pictures suffice.

Last belly shot - 38 weeks. I had been crying right before the
 picture and Mr. Mitchell neglected to mention my running eye make-up.
Just waiting for little lady to make her debut.

She and her brother make the same crying face.

First day home:

Little Moments:

He is always trying to snuggle and/or kiss her whenever he can.
She is so beautiful!

First sponge bath at home.
We are just loving this baby! She is the loudest sleeper and pooper in the world, but she's so much fun to watch - even when she's doing nothing.
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