Sunday, October 7, 2012

Maggie's Birth Story

Let me just preface this by saying it includes all the nitty gritty details so read on only if you like the full story!

So Maggie’s birth pretty much didn’t go as I anticipated.  One thing I learned from my 2 previous births was that nothing will go like you expect so Maggie’s arrival wasn’t too different in that respect but I said I would avoid certain things at all costs and of course that isn’t what happened either. All that being said she had a wonderful birth!

I worked the weekend before she was born, 4 night shifts in a row, which everyone thought I was totally crazy for doing.  I figured at least if I was working I would be keeping busy instead of focusing on how uncomfortable I was and the longer I worked the longer I get to spend at home with her.  I felt like if I didn’t work I would be wasting my maternity leave, but as long as she and I were healthy I didn’t want to be induced.  So Tuesday morning rolled around and despite feeling lots of early labor symptoms since Sunday I still wasn’t in labor. I was scheduled for the post-dates testing Tuesday morning so my mom and I headed to the clinic for an NST, U/S, and a visit with the midwife.  The u/s went well – I had tons of amniotic fluid so no worries there- and the NST went ok.  It wasn’t the best NST ever but there wasn’t anything non-reassuring about it. Then I had the appointment with the midwife and she checked me. I was 2cm dilated, long and the baby’s head was at -2 station.   So basically at 41 weeks they offer induction, which all along I said I didn’t want but at this point I was really done being pregnant.  I had been vomiting and had terrible GI symptoms and as I told the midwife I kept feeling like I was on the verge of going into labor but I hadn’t quite reached the tipping point yet. So we decided we would do a couple doses of cervical ripening with misoprostol and if that didn’t work I’d go home and await spontaneous labor but we’d avoid any “big guns” (i.e. Pitocin).

So from the clinic we walked over to Labor and Delivery where my good friend Melody awaited us. We got started on the paperwork and she put me back on the monitor. I had my blood drawn and they started an IV. Funnily since my appointment the week before I had actually lost weight- 6 lbs total- and then they had a really hard time getting an IV started.  It took 5 tries to get an IV so that gives you an idea of how dehydrated I was at that point.  I was actually already contracting on my own at this point but very irregularly and some of them I wasn’t even feeling. So I got a dose of misoprostol and did my 2 hours on the monitor where I continued to contract every 4-5 minutes.  After the monitoring time was done my mom and I went for a walk and checked out the gift shop.  We headed back up to my room and I figured I would lie down for a bit before it was time for the next dose of miso and before Frank arrived with the boys.  Frank had worked that day and then gone home to feed the animals and pick up the boys.  He was bringing them to the hospital so he could be with me and then my mom could take them home.  I’d been lying down for maybe 15 minutes when I felt a pop but then nothing else so I thought, “well that was weird.” Not long after that I rolled over and felt a gush of fluid and thought maybe my water had broken but when I got up and went to the bathroom nothing else was leaking so I figured maybe I just peed myself.  Anyway I sat on the toilet for a while to see and nothing else seemed to be leaking so I got up and then the huge gush came! I guess her head must have shifted when I moved as soon as I stood up all that lovely amniotic fluid we’d seen on u/s came pouring right on out. As it turned out she had meconium stained amniotic fluid so the time had come for her to be born.

Not long after my water broke the contractions seemed to pick up.  They put me back on the monitor to see if I could have another dose of miso but I was contracting too much on my own to do that so we decided to let labor progress on its own.  So I paced around the room, rocked on the ball and then got in the tub as the contractions continued to get longer and closer together.  After a few hours I was really hurting and decided I wanted something for pain. Dr Bulley came and checked me and I was 4 cm dilated, 100% thinned out and the baby’s head was at -1 station so in a couple hours I had made some really good progress but I still had a ways to go.  We went back and forth about pain relief options.  I was worried about getting an intrathecal because I had such issues after James was born but I wasn’t really sure I wanted an epidural but I didn’t think that nubain was going to help enough to get me through.   So the anesthesiologist came and we talked about it and in the end I decided to go for the epidural.  So I got my epidural and it was wonderful! I had excellent pain relief and despite having a numb feeling in my butt I had really good motion and was able to move around freely in the bed.  The monitors didn’t even really bother me because I wasn’t really in pain.  I could still feel the contractions but it was more of a pressure feeling.

Maggie weighed 8 lbs 4oz and was 20.25 in long
Since I had an epidural we did lots of position changes and rolled side to side to help the baby come down evenly.  My doula, Janet, did counter pressure as I lay on my sides to help open my pelvis.  Within a few hours I was feeling a lot of pressure with contractions and then I started throwing up- classic sign of transition for me- so the midwife checked me again and I was complete. I labored down for a little bit and then started more actively pushing with the contractions.  At first the pushing felt good but soon enough I started to feel the burn.  I’ve got to say that the epidural was wonderful for the labor pain but it didn’t help at all with the pain of pushing! As I was pushing I was trying different positions to find one that felt better and ended up on my hands and knees.  I could feel her head moving down with each push and then sliding back in when I stopped pushing.  It was seriously frustrating!  I wanted to push because I wanted to get her out and have this over with but at the same time it hurt so much I didn’t want to push either. It was as she started to crown that I really lost it.  I just felt like I was going to split in two and she still wasn’t going to come out.  I was totally convinced that she wasn’t going to come but Frank, Janet, Rebekah my midwife, and Mel my nurse kept encouraging me to keep going.  I don’t think I could have done it without their help.  I was very lucky to have such a great team with me. So after 38 minutes (which seemed like much longer) of pushing, Maggie made her entrance at 1:28 a.m. on September 26, 2012. Once her head came out she just slipped the rest of the way out in another gush of amniotic fluid- unlike her brother thank goodness who has very snug shoulders! I flipped back over into a sitting position and ripped off all the belts and monitors and she came right up onto my chest. She had the cord wrapped around her neck a bit so she was a bit stunned when she first was born but wide awake and alert and looking around. At first I couldn’t tell if she was actually breathing she was so quiet but she was! She stayed snug skin to skin with me while I delivered the placenta and they checked me for lacerations- no stitches needed thank goodness! Once her cord stopped pulsing I got to cut it (Frank had no interest…) and she actually started nursing right away smart girl!

We stayed in Labor and Delivery until our recovery time was up and then moved out to our postpartum room. By then Maggie had fallen asleep so we all crashed.  Frank got up to go to work in the morning and I took the best shower of my life, even in the tiny cramped hospital bathroom! My original plan had been to go home that day but in the end we decided to stay one night and take advantage of the room service and that way we wouldn't have to come back to do Maggie's PKU testing. She passed all her tests with flying colors and was nursing well so we brought her home the next day!
Bringing Maggie home- September 27, 2012

1 comment:

Renee Anne said...

Hooooooray! She's gorgeous and alert and home :)

When Little Man was born, I took full advantage of the fact that our insurance would cover 4 days (I had a c-section, though). I also let the nursing students take advantage of me (translation: I let them use me to learn things).

I hope everything continues to go well :)