Sunday, May 15, 2011

Madison Claire's Birth Story

I know I left you all has been quite the week and a half. Spending a week in the hospital is tiring. I have no idea how they expect a person to get rest when they are constantly fussing over you! So is the story of Maddie's birth.

So you already know that my water had broken at 33 weeks 4 days and that the doctors were able to stop my labor successfully and they were getting ready to induce me. So we will start there....

I got to eat breakfast that morning...and even though it was hospital food, it tasted so good. I ate every bit of food...hell I had thought about sending BJ to McD's to get me more! I knew it would be my last meal for awhile. I went with my better judgement and refrained from the McD' belly really was full and I had the thought that I may get sick during labor and that would not be good.

So finally it was time to move from antepartum to L&D. I walked there...which was a big deal since the only walking I was allowed at that point was from my bed to my bathroom. We got settled in and hooked up to the monitors. The doctor came in and we talked about the game plan. He was going to start the pitocin out small and go up every 30 minutes. This freaked me out but I put my trust in the doctors that they know how this med works and if it was too much they would hold the pitocin at that level or back it down a little. I kept saying to anyone who would listen that I intended to go med-free and that it was important to me. One of the nurses actually laughed and said "hardly anyone in this hospital goes natural...pretty much all of our patients get an epidural." I have to admit...this pissed me off a little and when everyone left I told BJ that I was serious about not having an epidural and that he needed to be strong for me and talk me through the rough part once we got there. Mind you...he did not make it to our first lamaze class and of course has never been present for a birth...he had no clue about what was about to happen. lol.

BJ and me right before the start of everything!

At around 12:00pm, they started the pitocin. Within about 45 minutes, I started having regular contractions...nothing awful, I was able to talk through them and sent BJ to get some lunch for himself. I was hungry. For the record...he brought back to the room a soda and a bag of M&M's and a package of Reese's PB Cups. I gave him a hard time and told him he was mean. I so wanted those PB Cups! So I spent the afternoon watching TV...all the baby shows on TLC!...and the contractions kept getting more intense as the hours passed but still nothing that I couldn't handle.

The doctor came in around 4 pm and checked me. I was 3 cm and that ticked me off! 4 freaking hours of pitocin and I had not changed a bit! Ugh! So they kept upping my pitocin...and my wonderful husband took a nap! Yes that's right...while I was dealing with contractions and getting ready to give birth to his first child...he took a nap. Complete with snoring! I was so mad but I knew he had not been sleeping well in the hospital with me. The bed that was provided is not exactly comfortable...hell the actual patient beds are not really comfy. You would think they would have the most comfortable beds ever so that the patients could get a good night's sleep but nope.

So anywho...the contractions definitely picked up and I was no longer able to talk through them. I called the nurse and asked for an exercise ball...she found me one. It was the best decision that I had made all day! I used the ball for a good 2 hours straight...I would sway back and forth during contractions and then resting in between. The nurse brought a was the best damn popcicle ever. And I mean ever. But what I really wanted was a cheeseburger. Damn it I was hungry!

Around 7:00pm, I was starting to get really uncomfortable so I kept changing positions...ball, standing, lying in the bed. Rinse and repeat.

At 8:15pm I had the nurse check me again. It had been 4 hours since my last check...which they were not doing a whole lot since my membranes had been ruptured since Tuesday morning. We were trying avoid infections as much as possible. I remembered what the lamaze instructor had said during the one and only class I attended and all the books I had read...I should progress at 1 cm per hour. I expected to be at least 7 cm by now...I was for sure in labor and things were getting intense. In fact at around 7 pm...BJ had asked me if this had all been normal when I would have gone to the hospital. I told me at that point I would have said let's go.

So back to my cervical check...the nurse checked me and I was at 4 cm. Yep...that's right 4 fucking centimeters! I was so angry at my body. It could not do anything right at that point. How could I be having this much pain and be at 4 cm. My attitude at that point was fuck my life. I got through a few more contractions and told BJ that I was done. I could not do this anymore. I was giving up. He asked me at one point what he could do for me. I told him to stop the pitocin, take out my IV and let's go home. I was not ready and it was too early for her to come. He told me he could not do that. I did not like him very much at that point.

Around 8:40pm I asked the nurse what my pain relief options were at that point. She said epidural (of course) or IV meds. After some discussion I decided to do some staidol. Around 8:45pm she administered the med and it definitely did it's job...I was able to sleep/relax/rest between contractions but still had to go through the actual contractions. BJ said I would pass out inbetween and then during each contraction I would wake up and say it hurt. During one contraction (one of the last before she was born) I told him I was for sure done and wanted the epidural. He told me I could do this and just breathe....and I said nope, no more. Around 9:00pm I had made my mind up...I was done with this whole labor thing and I wanted to be out of pain. I wanted the epidural. The nurse left the room to call the nurse anesthestist.

At exactly 9:04pm, I started another contraction...this time I woke up and told BJ that I needed to pee. Throughout the whold labor process I had been able to use the bathroom whenever I needed to so this was a valid request. But I followed that statement up very quickly that I needed to push. BJ freaked. He hit the nurse call button and told her that I was saying I needed to push. She came running in the check me. I was complete (10 cm dialated) and the baby's head was at +2 station...basically just about to come out. She had BJ hit the call button (as her hands were busy holding the baby's head inside me) and got the rest of the doctors in there.

They also paged the NICU team (and as I was told by the NICU nurse a few days later) and told them to come up but they could walk. About 30 seconds later they paged again and said run!

The doctor gave me the okay to push. Two pushes and she was out! Madison Claire was born at 9:09pm...healthy and crying. That was music to our ears since she was 6 weeks early and meant(at least initially) that her lungs were mature and she would not need a whole lot of respiratory assistance. The NICU team did an initial assessment...her Apgar's were 9, 9....can't get much better than that! With in a few minutes they had wrapped her up and quickly gave me a peek at her and then whisked her up to the NICU. BJ went with her...he looked very torn though. I knew he wanted to be there with me but also wanted to go to the NICU with her. I told him to go with her.She is here!

It then took 30-45 minutes to get the placenta delivered. That was so much rougher than giving birth to Maddie. The doctor had to literally put her hand up there and scrap it from the side of my uterus. Apparently it had not received the message that this pregnancy was over! But it did come out and it was intact. They also assesed me and there were no tears! Yay! I got up as soon as they would let me and used the bathroom. A little over an hour after I had her...they moved me back to antepartum. I actually walked on my own! I think I was trying to prove that I was totally okay so that I could go down to the NICU and see my beautiful daughter.

I sent my husband out to McD's for food...they had offered me a dinner but honestly it did not look good to me. I wanted a cheeseburger...and fries. So I ate as quickly as possible and we headed down to the NICU so I sould see my daughter.

She was amazing and the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. BJ had to force me to leave after an hour so that I could get some rest. I could have sat in the rocking chair all night with her. It was instant love and I could no longer imagine my life without her in it. So with out further is my most precious gift.

This was taken about 3 hours after she was born. Not to brag on myself but I look pretty damn good!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Maybe A Baby Today?

No Cinco de Mayo baby girl for us. It is 7 am and still no contractions that mean anything.

The doctor has come in and we have our plan. I love me a plan. In fact I love to have several plans. I am a planner! So here it is...

I am hanging out in the antepartum unit for at least another hour. I get to eat breakfast! Yes!!!! Then we are moving over to L&D. I will get a cervical check and we will then start pitocin. And that is the part that starts to freak me out. I am terrified of pitocin.

I have heard so many horror stories about pitocin and how awful the contractions can be. One of the OBs said at one point "oh it's not a big deal...we can just get you an epidural". Umm...I am trying to avoid that. And of course that sent me into panic...are they just going to do things regardless of what I want?

I had a birth plan before all this happened. And that is now thrown out the window. I wanted to go into labor naturally (hey I did that!!!) and I did not want any meds. I knew I could do it...I had confidence in my body. Until hell broke I am struggling with the fact that my body is not doing things the way it should be. I should not be having my baby at 34 weeks. My water should not be broken. I should not be confined to a hospital bed.

I am afraid for the potential health of our little girl. Things could be great...but then on the other hand they could be bad. We have been briefed by the neonatologist and have watched a DVD tour of the NICU. I feel confident about them and the unit and the care that Madison will receive. But I am still scared.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Long Awaited Update...

It has been for-evah since I wrote a post. I am not even sure why it has been hard to find time to blog. I do enjoy it and it gives me an outlet for all my feelings...but for some reason it has been hard.

So where have I been? What has been happening since I was last on here?

I have been trodding through pregnancy...just trucking along. April was kind of exciting because I had my baby shower, thrown by a great friend...with a bit of short notice. It was very laid back and a great chance to catch up with friends. And of at most baby showers where a big group of women are together...the conversation turned to child birth and war stories. It was so fun to hear what everyone else has been through.

The only bad part of the day was that a tornado hit our area that evening. We are okay but many families lost their homes and belongings. It is a beautiful thing though to see how the military community comes together to help their own. Just simply amazing how we all just come together to get things done.

We had a laid back Easter with brunch at the O'club with friends. And then a little relaxing in the backyard. Exactly what we needed since we had a busy couple of weeks coming up. I spent part of the day thinking about how next year we would have our little girl with us and how I would dress her up and buy her first Easter basket. How we would go to church that day and then try our hands at a little egg hunting. I can't wait to have all of these firsts with her!

We (well mostly me!) went on a bit of a baby shopping spree. I got all the last little things to finish of the nursery so that we would be prepared for our little one to arrive. I got diapers and diaper cream and a changing pad. I got the last couple of decor items I needed. For some reason I was really feeling the nesting urge...I had to get these things done. I knew we would be busy with a trip to Georgia to see my cousin graduate from sub school and then I would be in the last month of my pregnancy. So I pushed to get everything done...

This past weekend we were productive around the house and then took some time on Sunday to head to the beach for the first time this year. It was a wonderfully relaxing day and just what we needed. We also got maternity photos taken on Saturday...and I can't wait to see them! BJ prepared on Sunday evening to do a field training for 3 days. He was going to be gone from Monday morning until Wednesday evening...and then we were leaving on Thursday for Georgia. So he had to get packed for both trips because he would not have time when he got home. I woke up briefly with him Monday morning and said goodbye.

I spent my Monday trying to treat my sunburned legs...umm yea I got a bit too much sun on Sunday. I ran over to the hospital on base to pick up a copy of my OB records to take on our trip...just in case...and then headed to my first lamaze class. After that I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some vinegar and milk of magnesia for some home remedies to treat my sunburn. I also stopped by McDonalds for a cheeseburger :::hangs head in shame::: which is pretty much my only pregnancy craving. And just because...I also got a cheeseburger for my puppies!

I got home and coated my legs in m.o.m. and chowed down on my burger. I watched some TV and then headed to bed. And then hell broke loose.

At 4:45 am I woke up needing to use the bathroom. This had become a norm for me since Madison had turned head down and was constantly pushing on my bladder. As I swung my feet off the bed and sat up...I felt a gush. I could not believe that I was peeing my pants...pregnancy was no longer fun at that point! Oh and thank God my husband was not home to witness this less than joyful part of pregnancy. So I waddled to the bathroom trying not to pee on our carpet and as soon as I made it to the bathroom there was another huge gush. Embarrassment set in hard.

I made it to the toilet and peed. A lot. And kept peeing. I sat there in amazement that my bladder could hold that much liquid. And did I really drink that much liquid??? But I did go to the bathroom before I went to bed. What the hell was going on? What strange bladder issue was I having?

I grabbed a towel and put it between my legs and let my dogs out to go potty themselves. They must have thought I was crazy for letting them out at that hour. I walked back upstairs and put some clean clothes on. I put clean undies on with a big ol' pad (Thanks to a friend who had given me hers that were left over from the birth of her own daughter a few months ago!) it was soaked within minutes. I used a second one before I even went back downstairs. As I was walking down the hit me. Could it possibly be my water that broke? No way...I was only 33 weeks pregnant. That is way to early.

So here I was soaking through pads, husband not home, and trying to figure out whether or not my water broke. I called my friend Karen (her husband is a family practice doctor and has delivered babies himself) and asked what it was like when your water broke. We talked for only a couple of minutes and she said I will come pick you up. I called BJ and told him what was going on but told him not to leave his training until I got to the hospital and made sure about what was going on. I was still not 100% convinced that it was my water.

Karen got there and we headed to the hospital...I brought nothing with me other than my purse because it could not possibly be something that would require me staying at the hospital. We pulled up and I got out of the car...more gushing of fluid that streamed down my leg. Lovely. At least it was not in Karen's car! So I got wheeled to L&D Triage. I got all settled into a bed and the triage nurse checked the fluid. was water had indeed broke. I was 33 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Definitely not ideal. Amazingly I did not freak out. But the nurse started whirling around...within a minute I had an IV and was getting a shot of steroids to help mature Madison's lungs. The OB that was on-call came in and talked with me. My best option at that point was to get transported to a hospital an hour away from home. But he also told me that my own OB was on her way in to cover the floor and do a scheduled c-section. So we decided to just chill a bit while we waited for her. I had also called BJ back and told hom what was going on...he left training immediately but it took almost 2 hours for him to get there because of the crazy morning traffic to get on base.

My OB came in and she was just as shocked as I was. She had just checked me barely a week before and my cervix was closed tight. She went ahead and checked me...I was dilated to 2 cm. She checked me about 30 minutes later...because I was having regular contractions and I was at 3 cm and she could stretch me to 4 if she wanted to. Not good news...this baby girl was coming. There was a bit of a debate as to whether or not we should still transport. There was a risk that I could deliver while in transit. We decided to go ahead with it because our baby needed access to the Level 3 NICU and the Naval Hospital only has a Level 2. So off we went in the ambulance. The ride was bumpy and I was contracting every 2-3 minutes and they were getting more intense and lasting longer. At one point they turned on the lights and sirens. But we made it with me still pregnant.

I got checked in at the new hospital and the checked me again...definitely 3 cm maybe even 4. They started me on a med to stop the this point the goal was to get me to the next steroid shot and as close to 34 weeks exactly.

So here we are today...I am 33 weeks 6 days pregnant. I have had both steroid shots and they have stopped the med to prevent contractions. We are now in a waiting game. I could go back into labor at any time...but have not as of yet. Tomorrow at exactly 34 weeks the doctors will be starting an induction. This means pitocin...which scares the crap out of me and while they are somewhat vague as to the plan after looks like I will be a mommy to a preemie baby by the weekend. At this point they are more concerned with the risk of infection than her being born early. But I am on antibiotics to prevent infections so that is good.

I am still in complete shock that I will have a baby in a matter of days or hours. I was supposed to be pregnant until June. I was concerned about the fact that I washed onesies that were for a baby 5-8 lbs and thought there was no way she would ever wear them and it was a waste of money. I actually thought that I should return them because of that. I guess not.