Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Welcoming Baby - Part 2

Last week I began to tell the story of the birth of my little girl.  Read it Here.
The story of this little girl has been long and confusing. She was planned by God and his hand has been evident in her story from the beginning.

Looking back on the weeks leading up to her arrival I was terribly impatient. I wanted things to happen and to happen quickly. I read up on ways to induce labor and get things going, and tried a lot of them. Walking, Chinese food, spicy food, essential oils, greasy food, sex, reflexology, massage, squatting, and the kids and I even did zumba.

But, thankfully God is wiser than I. Thankfully He has a plan.  And thankfully, He had my little girls life in His hands.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares The Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

The Lord knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile.

Psalm 94:11

When I left off, I was squatting and walking the halls. My contractions were continuing despite the nurse telling me that they would stop since I wasn't in real labor.

I was squatting in my room listening to worship music while waiting for hubby to return with some food. Suddenly I hear a mans voice outside of my room, not my husbands voice. For a second I assume it's just a person visiting in the room next door. But then my door opens and in walks my doctor (at 9 o'clock). 

Thankfully, the aunt of a dear friend was on shift as a nurse that night, she had come to my room with my doctor so he could check on me.  It was hard not to cry with joy as he said that things were progressing and that as soon as they had a room they would break my water and really get things moving.   
Thank God for doctors that keep their word and check on you when they say they will.

Shortly after the doctor left Hubby arrived with my mom following shortly there after.   Hubby, Mom and I tried to pass the time while we waited on a delivery room and we played games, walked the halls and chatted through contractions.  It was really laid back and I was in a much better mood despite the mild to moderate pain. Knowing that she was coming and that I wasn't going to have to wait much longer really helped to lift my spirits.

At just after 11 we were finally taken down to a labour and delivery room.  The doctor came and broke my water, I have had to have this done with each delivery and normally they brake it and I have the baby within an hour.   This time, it hurt when he broke it and there just seemed to be a never ending amount of fluid.  My other kids were so low by that point that they broke the water and barely anything could get out around their giant  little heads.

The pain began to worsen after the doctor left so I got in the tub in hopes it would dull the pain a little. But I didn't last too long in the tub because I was just so uncomfortable and the pains were getting worse.

Now, here is where you need to know some background info.  I have a pretty high pain tolerance for someone who has never had to endure much pain.  I was induced with Little A and was talked into a demerol/gravol mix that made me really tired but numbed nothing of the pains. E Man was delivered naturally, no drugs, no gas, just breathing through the pain (and some groaning and crying).  With E's delivery, my doctor assumed that I had an epidural because when he came in to deliver I was talking and laughing with Hubby and my mom. The dr was shocked when the nurse told him I hadn't taken any thing that they had offered for the pain.

So, back to this time,  I got out of the tub and was in such immense pain that I started to loose it.  I started sobbing and saying, " I can't do this! I don't want to do this!" Which Hubby has heard me say before, twice actually.  Apparently I was saying the exact words I say every time I am moments away from delivery.  So Hubby sent my mom to go and get the nurse, we were about to do this thing.

We were all wrong.

The nurse checked me and I was 4 cm!!

I cried worse at this point and tried to get through the onslaught of contractions while they made me lay in the bed hooked up to monitors again.

"I want the epidural," I managed to say between sobs and a contraction.   "Wait, no I don't"

Contraction.    "Yes! Yes I do want it. I can't do this."

The nurse sent for the anesthetist and Hubby consoled me because not only was I in a truckload of pain, I was getting an epidural and I was having a panic attack in my head as I weighed the risks with the pain.

I felt like a failure. I had done this whole labour and delivery thing twice before and made it through just fine.   I had tossed around the idea during this last pregnancy that maybe it would be nice to have an epidural, see what all the fuss is about and not experience all the pains.  But every time I really thought about it, I knew I probably wouldn't get one, they scare me too much.

By the time the anesthetist arrived I was fully convinced I was making the right choice.  The contractions were just getting worse and nothing was helping me get through them.   I couldn't understand how they were so painful when I was so early in labor.

They made me hug a pillow and arch my back. Told me not to move and they began their process.  While they jabbed me with that giant needle ( I never looked, Hubby did and nearly passed out, he doesn't do so well with that kinda thing), I prayed.  I prayed that God would pause my contractions so that I could get through the epidural stuff without moving.  I prayed that there would be no mistakes and I would be able to walk after.  And I prayed that it would work and that the pain would lessen.

I thank God that he answers prayers no matter how little and silly they seem.

I can honestly tell you I had a contraction as they made me hug the pillow and didn't have another for a good ten minutes. They had been 2 minutes apart.

They finished putting in the epidural and asked me to lay down. Somewhere in all of the needle stuff Hubby and Mom had switched places.  Mom helped me to lay down and as I went down things started to go a little funny.

"Am I supposed to feel it in my head?  My ears feel funny.  My mouth tastes weir...."  And then my eyes rolled back and I was out.

Apparently, my blood pressure dropped to 60/30 and I went unconscious. They started pumping me full of IV fluids and got me back awake fairly quickly.  They said it was a reaction to the epidural, probably because I hadn't eaten much of anything all day. (Thank the Lord I snuck food after the grumpy nurse took out the medicine)   After they got my blood pressure back up to a good range (thankfully baby did alright during all of that), they started to check if the epidural worked.
Now I can honestly say that I understand why people get them, no more pains, it was awesome.

Then the nurse tried to get me to rest and let things progress.   But honestly, how do you rest after you face your fears and have a giant needle put in your back, then crash and go unconscious, I was so full of adrenaline, sleep was not going to happen.  Thankfully, Hubby did manage to sleep and my mom rested a little while I tossed and turned on the bed and chatted with the lovely nurse for an hour or so.

We stayed like this for a while, Hubby sleeping, Mom resting, nurse checking my blood pressure and the babies almost constantly, and me laying wide awake waiting for baby and praying not to have a csection.  Mom had left the room to grab a drink and use the restroom and I looked at the nurse and said, " Am I having a contraction?"
"But I am now, aren't I?"
"Yes, why can you feel that?"
"Yeah, it feels like as much pain as before the epidural."
"Is it pain or just pressure." She asks as mom enters the room again.

"Pain, and its not going away."
"I am just gonna check you, okay?.....
...You're 10 centimetres." says the excited nurse.
"Shut up! I am not!" I respond laughing.

We woke up the Hubby and the nurse started to ready herself and the room.
The pains got worse and I was kinda surprised I could feel anything.  But she said that feeling it is good and it will help me know when to push.  ( I kinda wish they had upped the dose so I wouldn't feel anything)
"How many babies have you delivered yourself?" I asked the nurse as she tried to ready everything as quick as she could.
"2, and I am not delivering yours." She quickly responded.
"Please, come on, just catch it,  I just need to push!"
"No, Hold it in, he is almost here.  I am not delivering your baby."

She did let me do a "practice push" to see how good I was at pushing but she immediately made me stop and told me not to do that again until the doctor came.

As I began to contemplate just doing it without her and catching it myself, the doctor finally arrived.

A couple pushes and the head was out.

But she was blue and the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, twice.

They told me not to push and it took everything in me not to, her head was out and I wanted her out.
They had to clamp both cords and cut them both before they allowed me to push the rest of her out.
Finally out, they placed her on my belly and tried to rub her. It was like "all hands on deck" as both nurses and myself were rubbing my blue little girl.  Then one nurse scooped her up and took her across to a table and continued to rub her and clear her airways.

My doctor sat quietly trying to bring down the placenta and he left the baby to be tended to by the nurses.   His face was stoic like he was completely focused on his task until the quiet lasted too long for him to bare and he left me to go to help.


A quiet that turned my husband pale white as he collapsed onto a chair, and caused my mom and I to sob as seconds felt like hours.

Then finally the most beautiful sound I have ever heard, the scream of my little girl cut through the silence.  Shortly followed by laughter as she peed all over the table.

Baby Joy (as the kids have called her since last summer) scored 8 out of 10 on her first apgar and 10/10 on her second.   She "fully" entered the world (there was some confusion on when they should say she was born because her head was out earlier) at 5:12 am on February 19th.

After all of the craziness died down and I finally got to hold my precious Joy, the doctor, a christian,  looked at me and my mom and said, "Well, its obvious someone was watching out for you guys." To which my mom replied, "We all know who."

Talking with the nurse and the Doctor and looking at how things played out, we've learned a few things that point to Gods grace and his plan:

1.  Even though I hated it, being overdue was a blessing because I was induced.
2.  Because I was induced, myself and baby were monitored all day.
3.  Likely, the reason I was overdue was because she couldn't drop low enough into the birth canal to help bring on labor. (She could have basically hung herself with her cord if she dropped earlier)
4. We were told that I should have had a cesarian section and even then it could have been iffy.
5. The added pain was likely because her head wasn't low enough to help things along
6. thankfully, I had extra pain because it caused me to have the epidural.
7. Without the epidural I don't think I could have made it through holding her in for so long while waiting for the doctor, or holding her in so they could clamp and cut the cords.
8. Thankfully, we had a nurse that wanted to play it safe and she forced us to wait. (After everything had settled, the nurse looked at me and said, "see thats why I always wait for the doctor.")

God has blessed us so much and has walked us through so much to get to this point.  We are constantly reminded of his plans for us and for our family and each individual child.  His hand is so evident.

Proud Daddy wouldn't leaver her side.
Long fingers and toes. 

Getting examined by her siblings. Her toes were tickled and even smelled by her big brother. 

Little A was so excited to get to hold her and give her kisses.

Only one of us in this photo was very tired after being awake more than 24 hours.  (Hint: Its Me) 

So snuggly and perfect. I am in love. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Welcoming Baby - Part 1

I don't even know where to begin to fill you in on what has been happening to me and my family for the past few weeks. Life has been a whirlwind of emotions and stresses and amazing blessings. 

It all started nearly a month ago when I woke up in the morning feeling the pain of contractions and they were already at regular intervals. I had a doctors appointment scheduled for later that day but I was hopeful that I would be heading in to the hospital to deliver my little one instead.  I gave my mom a quick call to let her know that it seemed like things were starting.  

As I began my day and started to get ready to head to the doctors office, my contractions stopped. I was more than frustrated. I was hopeful though, that the doctor would at least tell me that I was progressing and that things had started.  The doctor was kind and said that likely I was right and that things had started. "Your labours normally progress pretty quickly after a slow start," he said as encouragingly as he could. 

Shortly after my doctors appointment my parents arrived. They spent the day with us and we had a lovely time. But, to my further frustration, things never really got started again. My parents went home, though they were both concerned that they would leave and then things would begin and they would miss it. 

This starting and stopping went on for days. Then it just stopped all together and I felt totally normal. Tired and cranky, but normal. 

My doctor scheduled an induction for February 18th, 9 days after my due date.   I hoped and prayed that I wouldn't make it to the induction, and that our baby would make her appearance beforehand. 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4:6-7

I tried to cling to this verse but honestly, I failed.  The night before the induction I lost it. My poor husband.  He did his best to console me and try to bring me back to sanity, but I was freaking out about everything. I was terrified.  

I have been induced before, with Little A, and it was horrible.  Thankfully, with Little A, my body took over since I was already in early stages of labor on my own (the doctors decided to induce anyway to hurry things along). 

This time, I knew what to expect, and I was not excited.  I was lying in bed sobbing.  I was afraid that they would start the induction (they often use a drug put directly on your cervix (thats what they did with Little A)) but that it wouldn't work the same and I would spend the entire day in the hospital to have nothing happen.  Then they would start again the next day with an IV drip of pitocin, which I have been told is horribly painful. Most women who are induced end up in so much pain that it makes even the most die hard natural labour fan choose an epidural.  

And, I am terrified of epidurals!

In my downward spiral of freaking out from fear, the next step from being induced is an epidural, and the next step after an epidural is a c-section. And, for me, the only thing scarier than an epidural is a c-section (I have never broken any bones, or had any surgeries, the only time I have ever been in a hospital is for delivering my babies). 

Anyway, after loosing my marbles before bed, I fell asleep with a tear soaked pillow and tossed and turned the whole night. 

The induction was set for 7:30 February 18th.  That morning, my son woke up crying for me at 5:00 and after that I could not get to sleep again.  

We went to the hospital and were taken to our room that we would be in for the next few days.  We then had to sit and wait for the OB/GYN to show up to get things started.   He came by 9:30, stuck the induction stuff in and then left.    I was then hooked up to a monitor for a few hours to make sure my body didn't react badly to the medication.  
The top is the baby, the black thick
lines are her movements, and the
bottom is my contractions.

The monitor measures my contractions, the baby's movements, and the baby's heart rate.  After the first 2 hours of monitoring, I was allowed to walk the halls and sit in my room. They hooked me back up to the monitor about every 45 minutes for 20 minutes or more. It was incredibly boring. 

With Little A, my induction started at 9 and I had her by 4.  So that was what I was hoping would happen.  It did not.  

I sat and walked and then was monitored, sat and walked and then was monitored.  And I was only allowed to have clear fluids, so I drank water and ate jello and popsicles. It was a very long day. Hubby was entertained by the Olympics on the 8 inch television and we tried to nap and play card games. 

Finally around 4 o'clock my doctor came to check on me.  I knew what he was going to say.  I had been having barely any contractions all morning so I figured, likely nothing was happening.  
This is what happened to my contractions
 right after the doctor adjusted things
His response actually surprised me. Apparently the medication they had put in that morning wasn't working, it had shifted and wasn't in the right spot.  He adjusted things, said he would be back at 9 to break my water and then left. 

After he adjusted the medication, my contractions became much more consistent and painful.  There was a constant pain in my cervix that didn't let up between contractions. I was finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Maybe now that things were actually in the right spots, my labor would take off like with Little A and I would have my precious baby in my arms before midnight.  I was very hopeful. 

At 7, my hopes were dashed.   A very grumpy nurse barged into the room and told me she was going to check me. She was short with me and very gruff.  She checked said I had barely changed since my doctor had checked and that if I didn't progress more by the time she came back in half an hour she would take out the medication and not let me continue. 

She came back in a very short half hour, checked me and aggressively pulled out the medication. 
I was shocked and kind of angry.  I told her that my doctor said he would be back by nine to break my water and I asked what he said about taking out the medication.  Her response was, " I don't care. I just had four women come in in labour and I don't have enough beds for them let alone you. So we will be stopping wether he wants to or not."  She told me I would likely have a few more contractions but that I was not in real labor so I should just stop and go to sleep, they would start again tomorrow. Then she was gone. 

I was heart broken. I did not want to have had that whole day of being in the stupid hospital be for nothing.  I was starving so I sent Hubby home to grab some food for me and to have some himself.  While he was gone my frustration with the grumpy nurse increased.  I decided that I didn't care if she wanted me to or not, I was going to have my baby tonight. I was going to prove her wrong.   

So I started walking the halls hoping that she wouldn't come out and get after me and when I was back in my room I would squat and get into labor progressing positions.  I did whatever I could think of to keep my labour progressing.  

Now I must go, My adorable little girl is no longer sleeping.