Saturday, June 13, 2015

{the birth}

If you're one of those people who read everything there is to read on pregnancy (like I am), then you know it's pretty common and mostly unanimous that as disclaimer to everything,
"every pregnancy is different."

For some reason I had it in my head that phrase was referencing women in general--that every woman has a different pregnancy from every other woman. As if that's not obvious, I never supposed it could apply to each one of my individual pregnancies--that they would each be different. DUH. 

Well, I am here to say:
EVERY PREGNANCY IS DIFFERENT.

Especially the labor part.

So with Wyatt, I assumed because my body had never gone through a labor and delivery before, that was why I never dilated more than 1cm in a month and why I never had any pre-labor symptoms.

That thought was confirmed by me when, with Logan, I progressed in dilation each week up to my delivery, and went into labor on my own two days early.

But then with this little girl, I was back to square one. The four weeks leading up to my due date, I dilated only 2cm and remained at 70% effaced the whole time. I even had my membranes stripped twice (once a week before my due date, and the other, the day before my due date) and neither time started labor! I didn't even have regular braxton hicks contractions, though, when I did have them they were pretty strong. Overall it was just really depressing. My doctor asked if I was interested in being induced and I let him go ahead and schedule an induction date for her due date, May 12th. At least I could say she was born right on time!

MAY 12th 2015
My induction was scheduled for 9am and my doctor had advised me to call the hospital beforehand to make sure they had a room for me. I was convinced every other pregnant woman would go into labor on that day just to prevent me from having my baby. Thankfully, a tender mercy was thrown my way and they told me I could come in. I spent the morning getting everyone ready and by some miracle we arrived at the hospital early. I say miracle because I was sure we were going to be late and, again, I would miss my chance to have a baby. Seriously. I was super paranoid.
But no worries, they let me in!

Since I've been induced before, this wasn't anything new to me. I knew what to expect, and what I expected, happened. There were a few new twists though--apparently I tested positive for Group B strep, so I had to wait on the induction to start until after I'd had two doses of antibiotics. Also, when I was finally started on the pitocin, and after my water had been broken, and after I received my epidural...it didn't fully take. Getting my epidural this time was a lot more painful than I remember before, and that could be because every other time I was in the throes of painful contractions, whereas this time I knew to ask for it before the pain was unbearable. Anyway, the epidural numbed my entire lower half, like it should, except for one spot on my lower abdomen, right above my pubic bone--where I could feel the contractions most excellently...in a not excellent way. So my nurses positioned my legs in a way they thought would more evenly distribute the epidural, but after 20 minutes, and still no change, they upped my dosage. And after another 20 minutes with no change, they called the anesthesiologist back in, and he gave me some lidocaine.

I was COMPLETELY numb in no time.

SO numb, in fact, I was worried I wouldn't be able to push. My other epidurals left some feeling, enough that I could still feel the pressure from my contractions, but THIS epidural left me dead from the hips down.

My mom and sister joined Jeff and I in the delivery room shortly after my epidural. I should mention that at the time of my epidural (I feel like I'm saying "epidural" a lot and it's starting to sound funny) I was checked and had only dilated to 3cm. This was around 2pm, and so when everyone started sending in their guesses for weight, length and time of birth, the consensus was I'd be there well into the night...

I, on the other hand, knew once I relaxed and took a nap, I'd be ready to push in no time...which is why my guess was only minutes away from her actual birth time, and well ahead of most other guesses. So there.

Back to the real story...
After my epidural was fully functioning, my nurse had me lie on one side with the birthing peanut for an hour and then turned me onto my other side for another hour, supposedly to help with my contractions and to open up my cervix. After that last hour (around 5pm) she checked me and announced I was ready! I was a little shocked and thought she was joking until she told me she could see the head crowning. And then, as she and Jeff were positioning me into the stirrups (because I was numb and couldn't help in any way) we had to stop halfway because apparently Olivia wanted to come out right then and there! She joked and told me to cross my legs to keep her inside. Then she called for my doctor and asked if the doctor on-call was available because I. WAS. READY. Thankfully my doctor's office is right across from the hospital, so he was there in no time. And as soon as he was suited up, I "pushed" a few times (and literally could not feel a thing) and she basically fell out! Olivia May Downs was born on her due date, May 12th at 5:37pm, weighing 8lbs 12oz and 21.5 inches long. She was beautiful and pink and had a head full of hair!

(I didn't tear, but my doctor gave me one stitch to help a stretch mark heal quicker. I didn't have to take any pain medication except ibuprofen to help with the after birth pains, that is, the contractions that shrink the uterus [and they were PAINFUL!]. We only stayed in the hospital until the next night, and had lots of visitors.)







First thing both boys did as soon as they held her was to give her a kiss...



The grandmas are trying to distinguish what features she gets from whom...
...and who knows what Ben is doing.




Oh hey guys! I just had a baby!

1 comment:

Holly Decker said...

you done good, girlfriend.