Sunday, May 25, 2008

EG's Birth Story

1. As a former history teacher I believe in writing things down. This post is long and winding, but it is written for our memories and for EG.

EG's Birth Story
I love my doctor. Have I mentioned that before? When we were approaching our due date of May 12th, we asked about induction. Doctor says, "We know when this baby was conceived, and I don't believe in overcooking babies -- nothing good comes of it. The placenta starts to give out and things go bad quickly. Any date after May 12th is fine with me." We chose May 13th....impatient aren't we....or was it maternal instinct?

We were scheduled for a 11:30 a.m. appointment to start the induction on Tuesday, May 13th. We got up that morning, took the puppy to the kennel, ate a nice breakfast, finished packing, cleaned up the house, and then took the slowest drive to the hospital ever...because we were early.

At the hospital we checked in to labor and delivery and were shown our room. It was a large birthing suite with couch, bed, chairs, tv, etc. I was told to strip and get into the hospital gown with robe...very fancy. We then met the first of our three nurses. Katie was young, happy, and very kind. The first thing she did was the normal health check, vitals, etc. Then we waited on the resident to come and check me out hoping that my cervix had moved up and all they would need to do was break my water.

When Parker the resident arrived, he was a little clumsy to say the least. He fumbled around, checked me out and said he thought we should start Pitocin now. I knew that was not what my doctor had in mind. He, of course, had to call her and ask permission which she denied. heheheh She instead ordered misoprostol to move my cervix. It would take four hours for it to work. tick..tick..tick..tick..

During the afternoon of waiting M and I talked, gazed at each other, laughed, met our new nurse named Renee, and actually read magazines. I was hooked up to a monitor and we could see that I was having tiny contractions that I could barely feel. My mother arrived around 4ish and my best friend L arrived about the same time. My sister also sent tons of gifts and flowers to fill the room with We all visited for awhile and then it was time to see if the drug had worked.

The drug did a good job of moving my cervix, but Parker the resident wanted to start Pitocin and my doctor then agreed. So about 6 p.m. there was a whole lot of hustle and bustle as they hooked me up to an IV, pushed fluids, moved monitors, and checked everything twice. M and I walked and walked around the ward and tried to help things along. The drug caused minor cramping that I thought was pretty easy to handle...until....

8 p.m. the real contractions begin. Ohmygod. I knew they were the real deal when I had to lean on my IV pump and have M push against my back for counter-pressure. Ohmygod. When I was in the middle of a good contraction, I couldn't think all I could do was try and breathe and focus on M's hands on my lower back. Somewhere around this time my doctor arrived and checked me out. She decided to break my water. I asked for the epidural. I was at 4cm. It was time for the drugs. We also had a new resident, Michelle, who was very kind and much smarter than the first one.

I was asked to get on the bed, and after that point I never got out again until it was all over. My doctor broke my water and it felt like warm bath water pouring out of me. However, my doctor's voice was a little distressed when she said, "Meconium, thick and dark." What this means is the baby had been in distress. It could have happened during labor or sometime before -- either way it was time for her to get out. One of the concerns when there is meconium present in the amniotic fluid is that the baby will aspirate the meconium during the labor or birth, so they decided to monitor everything. They attached a heart monitor to EG's head, a contraction thingy to my uterus to measure the contractions, and a blood pressure cup that automatically took my BP and pulse every 15 mintues.

Now at this point I was nervous. I was concerned about the meconium and the moment my doctor broke my water my contractions got even more intense and I started shaking all over. Between contractions I would almost come out of a fog and see what was going on around me, but when they hit again I would just grip the side of the bed and shake my way through it. M was right there applying counter-pressure with every painful contraction.

FINALLY, the epidural was ready. The guy was a real jerk, but I didn't care. He hooked me up and all of a sudden I felt nothing and it felt great. However, I then went numb everywhere....wild experience, but I went hoarse, couldn't swallow, and my hands were numb. They guy didn't believe me. He thought I was nuts. I thought he would take away my drugs, but I had to tell someone that something wasn't right. He turned it off and said he would be back. I had enough in me to keep the pain at bay.

He later returned and cranked the machine up again. I asked about three questions and he said, "You like to be in control, don't you?" If I could have moved my legs, I would have kicked him. Either way, the drugs worked much better the second time and I was sent off to lala land to wait for my cervix to dilate to 10 cm.

So....our final nurse appeared around 11 p.m. Her name was Olga and she was tough, smart, and very good. She had a thick Hispanic accent which took a little getting used to, but she rocked. She watched my contractions and realized that EG was turned in the wrong direction. She put me on oxygen and had me turn on my left side. Sure enough babygirl flipped into the right position. Again, M helped all night. She helped flip me when I had to be flipped like a pancake and asked all the questions I couldn't ask.

Around 1 a.m. Olga told us that it could be about 5 hours until I was fully dilated and I may have to push for about 2 hours due to EG's position. She told us both to sleep as much as possible. I took the advice and tried to sleep. M did not.

The hours between 9:30ish until time to push are fuzzy. I have one solid memory of that time. I remember my M. I remember her sitting there all night in a dark room staring at the monitors like they were the best show on TV. She studied my vitals and EllaGrace's all night for hours and hours. It was the sweetest and most comforting thing she could have done. I was able to relax and know that she was watching out for me and our daughter.

My mother was also there all night. She was very supportive and totally respected our privacy and our experience. She was kind and followed my "rules"...hehehe...and did a great job of keeping my sisters informed. I am so glad she was able to be there from the moment EG breathed her first breath.

About 2 a.m. Olga came in and I told her that I felt pressure and so she checked me. I had dilated to 10 in about an hour. She was surprised. I was shocked. I wasn't quite ready to push this child out yet. Olga agreed that EG should move further down or else we'd be pushing forever. So, we again waited.

Finally, the pain began blasting through the epidural. M went and told the nurse who said..."Okay, then it is time to push." Holy crap. She had me do a "test push" and she realized that I was going to be able to push this child out in no time. She rushed and called my doctor who was sleeping down the hall and the NICU. The NICU was called due to the meconium. They would need to suction her out as soon as possible.

When it was time to push, the entire room changed. The bed popped apart, these huge leg stirrups came out of nowhere, the doctors appeared, more nurses appeared, and it was very busy. I was just focusing on M and preparing myself for the pushing. My goal was to do everything the doctor said. Which I did. They said push -- I pushed. They said stop and blow, I did. I followed directions. I pushed babygirl out in three sets of pushes. Three contractions and it was done. It took less than 10 minutes and she was here.

She was here and they shuttled her off into the anteroom where they suctioned her. I saw her move across the room and my thought was, "I gave birth to the old man from the Monopoly game." I don't know why I thought that -- I just did. We could hear her crying and I was glad my mother was there to go with her and keep an eye on her. My mother announced she was 7lbs, 5 ozs which is what M had dreamed it would be about a week earlier. I remember M looking so excited and thrilled. I still had a little work to do.

Yes, there is more work after delivery. They pushed everything out of me and banged on my stomach for quite awhile. The beds in those places go through a lot and thank goodness for tons of waterproof pads. I wasn't damaged too much. At some point, they finally brought the baby to us and she was perfect.

They had me try and feed her which went fine. M had some skin on skin time with her. It was all very overwhelming. It was all surreal. It was excellent to be surrounded by lots of love and it was the beginning of the next phase of this journey.


Monday, May 19, 2008

She's perfect...we're still learning

We are home and have been for a few days. Labor went great and will post about that later. Just know that it really does hurt and drugs are a great thing.

EllaGrace has a great disposition. She is totally at peace all day long. Until.....we breastfeed. So far, breastfeeding has been very hard and we are on the cusp of going to formula. But, we haven't decided and are trying to make it work.

She is super sweet and cute....see for yourself...


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

She's here!

EllaGrace arrived at 3:05 a.m. on May 14th. She is 19.5 inches long and weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. She is perfect in every way. E was a rock star! Strong and wonderful. We will write more when we're settled.


Monday, May 12, 2008

nothing yet

We're still here. Hanging out. Watching E's belly. Waiting for our stubborn little girl. Virtually all of E's pregnant coworkers went early. E said months ago she would probably go full term. She's right. Everyday we go to work to hear choruses of "You're still here!"

The house is clean. The bags are packed. We went out to dinner to one of our favorite restaurants. The dog is blissfully unaware of how dramatically her world is going to change. However, we are ready and waiting.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Still here...still pregnant

Our official due date is Monday, May 12th. However, I think today would be a great day for a birthday. I am ready to enter the next phase of this pregnancy -- labor and delivery.

I have been a very gracious hostess for over 9 months. I have not eaten cookie dough, drank too much caffeine, or drank any alcohol. I have slept according to her wishes -- mainly on my right side --- she still doesn't like me sleeping on my left side. I have endured the bladder kicks, the partying at all hours in my belly, and the sweet feeling of her rubbing my belly from the inside out. Additionally, M has done a ton of extra work to accommodate for my condition.

So, here it is. I am over it. It is time for babygirl to make her appearance in a safe and healthy way. I had cramping for about two hours this morning, but then it went away. Doctor told us yesterday that I am still 1.5 dilated, almost fully effaced, and the baby is so low she is about to come out......seriously she is at 1.5 + station. The doctor laughed about how low she is.....

We will continue to is the two week wait all over again......


Monday, May 5, 2008

Day 259

E has played hospitable host to BabyGirl for 259 days. She has taken excellent care of herself, put up with the inner gymnastics and read voraciously about how to be an even better mom. We are both more than ready for BabyGirl to make her appearance, but we also both believe that she is stubborn and will not come out until we send her an engraved invitation.

Spring has sprung and time is going slowly since we can't take long walks or bike rides as we usually would. E passes her free time watching her belly and resting. I cannot sit still and cleaned the basement this weekend for a lack of anything better to do.

People at work keep asking why we don't take the last week off. What would we do? Stare at E's belly? We are committed to staying at work until the last day. We both have all of our work done and spend most of the day answering questions about why we're still at work.

The blog comments have been fun to read, and we are surprised at how many of you are keeping track of us here at the end. People at work are still giving us cute little outfits and gift certificates. We had no idea how many people in real life and blogland would be excited for us. We are very thankful.

So, we will keep you updated and hope there aren't too many more updates...


Saturday, May 3, 2008

39 weeks

Yup - 39 weeks. I am huge. I am hungry. I am somewhat irritating. I am moody. I am hormonal. I am tired. I am driving my sweet M crazy. I am hungry - did I mention that already?

I am also still thrilled to have this little girl inside of me. She doesn't have a lot of room to move around so she just squirms and it kinda tickles. I still love knowing she is safe inside of me and I am as close as I will ever be to her. I am also ready to meet her face to face. I wonder what she will feel like? look like? smell like? The wonder of the unknown....

My last day of real work will by Friday - I am thrilled.

We went to the doctors this week and I am 1.5 cm dialated, 85% effaced, and babygirl is +.5 station -- the girl is LOW....

Any bets of when babygirl will arrive???????????????