Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Caroline Elizabeth...Her Birth Story

I want to get this down before I start losing the details. In fact, I started jotting some of it down while in the hospital. Bear with me as this is a really long post but that is what happens when you are in the hospital for two days before actually having the baby!

I was warned that being induced could mean a long day(s) and they were right.

At my 41 week appointment my doctor suggested induction because after 41 weeks, the placenta can start deteriorating and fluid levels can start getting low. Both of which can be harmful to the baby.

We moved forward with schedule the induction for September 19. The nice thing about having it scheduled is that I can prepare: Get caught up on laundry, do last minute cleaning, etc. The downside of having it scheduled is that it give me time to think and Google (which is not always my friend). The evening before getting induced, my mind was racing with thoughts of "Did I make the right decision for scheduling an induction? What if something goes wrong? What if I need a C-section?" Between my mind racing with these thoughts and the anxiousness of knowing that we could meet our baby girl very soon, I got about two hours of sleep before going to the hospital that morning.

We needed to be checked in by 6:30 so I set an alarm of 5:30. I did some last minute packing, ate a light breakfast, and we were off.

When I first checked in and was hooked up to everything, I was checked and was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. They started me on cervigel at 8:00 am which is supposed to soften the cervix and possibly help it dilate. Adam and I did a lot of walking around the birth center and I dosed in and out sleep. After about 30 minutes of receiving it, I was definitely starting to feel more lower back and abdomen pain which made me hopeful that it would work.

At 12:00, they checked me and I was dilated to 1.5 cm, still 50% effaced, but the baby's head was lower. My nurse said this was good news and for first time moms, the first five centimeters take the longest to get to.

At 12:30, I received my second dose of the cervigel in hopes it would help soften and ripen the cervix more before starting the pitocin. I was able to sleep for about another hour, walked a half an hour, Adam wanted to take a nap, and so I was left to watching HGTV, and scoping out Pinterest.

At 4:30, I was checked again and had dilated to 2 cm and my cervix had become "more favorable." I was then given Pitocin (which I was completely freaked out by) and away we went. I have read horror stories about how women will get Pitocin and have back to back contractions with no breather because it causes them to come on so strong. I talked with my nurse about this and she assured me that would not happen and that it would probably even be a few hours before I really felt anything.

It wasn't until about 8:00 after gradually increasing my dosage when I finally started to feel some contractions and they were like clock work. It is cool for me to feel them coming on and then looking at the monitor and seeing it adjust as well. These contractions were something I could definitely handle on my own through breathing.

Even though I was having contractions, I was hardly making any progress and at midnight it was decided to take me off of the Pitocin, let me rest, and they would start it back up again at 5:30 am. I really struggled with moving forward again with another round but ultimately decided to.

So 5:30 came, I was given more of the cervigel and we waited to see what would happen. The nurse thought that after that time my cervix had softened more and we proceeded with pitocin around 10:00 am.

Almost immediately, I could feel that this round of pitocin was different. My contractions were stronger and more regular. Every time I was checked, I was progressing as well.

That afternoon, my contractions were becoming stronger and almost unbearable. I asked what options there were for pain management and my doctor told me I could do an IV pain reliever until I reached 4 cm in which I could then do an epidural. The IV drugs I received were awesome! I could still feel the contractions but not nearly like before. The downside to these is that they wear off after about an hour.

Around 4:30 or so I was in the middle of breathing through a contraction and thought I felt my water break. I called my nurse and she checked me. Her first reaction was no, and then all of the sudden I felt a huge gush! As gross as it may sound, that was probably the most excited I have been because however it was going to happen, I was going to have this baby soon!

I eventually got an epidural which was AMAZING! I don't know if I could have done it (I guess I would have had to) without it. I was progressing and everything was smooth sailing. We were determined to have this baby!

And then I hit a wall. I was stuck at 8 cm for about 3 and a half hours and nothing was happening. It was time for my doctor to make a decision: Continue with pitocin or just get a c-section. As much as I didn't want a c-section, I had a few things to consider. During my labor, we actually had to take me off the pitocin because it was stressing Caroline out. Her oxygen levels would drop and she just needed a break. Also, when my water did break, there was merconium (baby poop) in the fluid. This is relatively common as a pregnancy progresses, but babies run the risk of inhaling it the further past term they go. Because I didn't want to put her under more stress and and risk her inhaling the merconium, we moved forward with the c-section.

From making that decision to her actually being delivered was a very quick turn around. She was born at 6:31 am (exactly 48 hours from when we first checked in) and she was, and still is, perfect.

I think the worst part about having the c-section was how doped up I was after but the anesthesiologist did a good job of making that feeling wear off rather quickly. Between such little sleep, the drugs, and being a new mom, it just felt like an out of body experience. Was this perfect angel really ours?

Both Adam and I are so lucky to have such a beautiful little girl. She has already made me experience a love like I have never felt before and I cannot believe we made her. She is simply amazing.

Stay tuned for pictures and what her first few days at home have been like.

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