Thursday, June 24, 2010

Delivery Story

I always love hearing other womens delivery stories (good and bad), and apparently so does a large chunk of the population, given the ridiculous amount of reality TV dedicated to just that topic. I figured I would write out mine for those of you who would love all the details, like myself. I don't plan to be graphic, but I do plan to give a few details that you may consider TMI. If you don't want to know that much about me, just go ahead and skip this post. That was your warning! Here we go...

At my 35 week appointment, I was checked simply so my doctor could verify that Hailey was in fact head down as she suspected (she had been in the transverse position since about 28 weeks). I was thrilled to have her tell me that, yes, she was definitely head down so I could cancel the sonogram and stop worrying about what would have otherwise been a very possible c-section. During that exam she also found out that I was already 2.5cm/30%. She was concerned about me progressing too quickly and advised that I 'take it easy' so I could let her cook as long as possible.

At my 36 week appointment I had another exam where I was measured at just over 3cm/80%. The doctor told me that she didn't think I'd make it into July! That was definitely exciting, but I still had things on the calendar up through June 20th that I really wanted to be able to attend, plus I wanted to at least hit 37 weeks so she would be 'full term'.

The following Friday (37wks, 1 day) I had another appointment at which point I was measuring 4cm/80% - so I was obviously progressing week to week.

My mom, my sister, and good friend Kelly hosted a 'diapers and wipes' shower for me the next day and after everyone but family had left we all took turns guessing the day of her arrival. I guessed Monday (6/21) partly because it was only a couple of days away (and I was hopeful), but mostly to be funny because I thought that was too early to actually be a good guess. The rest of the guesses filled up remainder of that week, but no one else wanted to guess Monday with me.

Sunday night I took a bath and joked with Frank about how I needed to go ahead and shave my legs since I'd be at the hospital delivering the next day and wanted to be prepared. Again, totally not thinking it was an option since I felt completely normal. But I put in the effort and shaved my legs anyway (anyone who has ever been pregnant knows that it is definitely effort!). Frank and I stayed up talking till a little after ten, and then went to bed but I was never able to fall asleep.

About an hour later, I started getting some mild contractions that just felt like menstrual cramps so I got up and drank some water and then laid back down on my left side to make them stop. Another hour later they were still coming and had increased in intensity to the point where it was too painful to even think of sleeping. By 12:45am I decided it would be a good idea to start timing them just in case so I woke up Frank and asked him to get me my watch, a pen, and some paper. He was too tired to be alarmed, and I'm pretty sure he went back to sleep immediately (lol). I laid there and took notes on the timing of the contractions for about 20 minutes and quickly noticed that they were exactly 4 minutes apart and lasting 60-75 seconds.

The pain was increasing and I started to actually wonder if this was it! I certainly wasn't going to be able to sleep, and I definitely didn't want to go to the hospital looking like I had just rolled out of bed, so I decided a shower would be a good way to be prepared 'just in case', and possibly keep my mind off the contractions. I woke up Frank again to catch him up on the details, and told him I'd let him know if I decided that we should start packing a bag.

So about five minutes into my nice hot shower I look up and see Frank standing on the other side of the glass. It was really comical because he was just standing there staring at me as if that would help him discern our situation better. Then he tells me there is no way he's going to be able to sleep, so he needs a job so he can feel like he's not just sitting around waiting. I didn't have any suggestions since I still wouldn't let myself believe that I was actually in true labor, so he went and cleaned the kitchen while I finished.

After showering and blow-drying my hair (and still unwilling to pack the hospital bag) I did some reading online to see if I could find some information to help me better tell if I was in labor or not. I found a site that said that if it was true labor, then walking would intensify the contractions. So Frank, Maggie (our dog) and I set out for a walk around the block at 2am, stopwatch in hand. I actually felt pretty good and by the time we got home I think I had had only one contraction, so I went back to bed. About five minutes after laying down the contractions started up again and had intensified so I got out my watch and timed them at 3 minutes apart.

Call me crazy, but I STILL was afraid to go to the hospital in the middle of the night just to be sent home again, so I called the Labor and Delivery line and talked to a nurse. After telling her my situation she assured me that they would keep me, so Frank and I started the scramble to pack everything we would need. I threw on some make-up while Frank collected our things, and then we dropped Allison's monitor off at a neighbors house. By 3:15 we were on our way!

When we got to the hospital I still wasn't feeling too bad, but the contractions were still coming. We signed in and were put in the triage room in the L&D department, with a very spunky nurse. She joked that I must not be in labor since I was still smiling (not funny!). I got my IV, the lovely hospital gown, and the two monitors that they strap to your belly. After a quick exam she said I was at about 5cm/100%, and I reminded her for maybe the third time to go ahead and order my epidural. She said it was on it's way soon, and that she'd have us transferred to our own room shortly.

We were left in the triage room for a while, and during that time my contractions got a lot worse. At first I could only tolerate the pain by sitting up in the bed and breathing through the contractions, but there was eventually so much pressure 'down there' that that was not working either. I decided I'd rather be standing, and I needed to pee anyway, so I took off the monitors around my belly (half hoping that would set off an alarm and get my nurse to come back) and headed for the bathroom. Once I got back from the bathroom my contractions were around 60 seconds apart and VERY VERY painful, and I was panicking. I was literally shaking from head to toe - barely able to stand but in too much pain to sit, and I lost the ability to control my breathing so I was taking very short quick breaths. With still no sign of our nurse I started crying and I begged Frank to go check on our room and the epidural because I had already felt WAY more than I had planned to for the delivery. I was terrified that the baby was coming too fast and I would lose my opportunity for the epidural and be forced into natural labor.

The nurse came back and helped me walk to our room around the corner and she gave me some pain meds (not sure what) that would take the edge off and also help with my anxiety. She kept trying to get me to slow my breathing because she was worried I'd hyperventilate. I could feel the drugs kick in pretty quick, but the pain was still way too intense for me. Thank goodness it was only another five minutes or so until the wonderful anesthesiologist showed up. Just like with Allison, the epidural was administered with virtually no pain. That was around 5am, and I was resting comfortably by 5:30. Another quick exam showed that I had only progressed to 6cm at that point. I couldn't believe all that pain only got me 1 measly cm!

I was exhausted and, with plenty of drugs, was definitely in the perfect state for a nap but my mind wouldn't turn off, so I ended up watching the History channel instead.

The next few hours went by pretty quickly, and I don't remember many specific events. I know they gave me some pitocin when I hit 8cm to get my contractions to get closer together, and around that same time my doctor came in and broke my water. She was confident that that would take me the rest of the way to 10cm very quickly, and she was right!

The next time they checked me I was ready to push, so they called my doctor and started getting everything set up. I warned my nurse that not only was I an excellent pusher (lol) but that my last baby came out quickly and I would expect this one to do the same. She still wanted me to start pushing before my doctor got there, so I pushed for about 5 seconds and her eyes got really wide and she told me to stop or else she'd be delivering the baby! My doctor flew in the door and sat down to finish the delivery. I asked her if she wanted me to push and she just laughed and said something like 'well I guess you can, but you could also just sit up and she'd fall out!'. So I pushed for another 5-10 seconds and Hailey was born! The doctor said that was literally the easiest delivery she had ever done. Don't hate me!

Hailey cried immediately when she came out, and she looked just perfect! She didn't even have much of a cone head. They let Frank cut the cord, and I got to hold her while they toweled her off.

Other than the terrible pain at the beginning of labor, I definitely got my wish of a wonderful and easy delivery. The recovery this time has also been great - even better than last time. I feel like I'm already almost 100% back to my old self.

I hope this satisfies the curiosity of all of you who want to know the 'whole story'! Sorry it was so long, but I wanted to write this for myself, too, so I don't forget the details with time.


The Shackelford's said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing and it's good to know others have easy deliveries too :)She is too cute!

Miss Mommy said...

Hey! Thanks for all the details!! I am wondering if you just took your monitor with you when you walked around the block...? ;)

Conceita said...

Awesome Job! Can't wait to meet the new little one:) I am also an excellent pusher! I can't figure out how people find it hard to push....