Friday, 13 April 2012
After my first birth, I had pretty much decided how this birth was going to go. Walk into hospital, epidural, baby. I should have known better as a 2nd time mom that nothing pretty much goes as planned, but hey, a girl can hope right?
Delilah was less planned, much like her brother, but that is how her dad and I roll it seems. After the birth of our son Seth, we agreed that when he turned 2 that we would start planning our wedding so that he could be an active participant in walking me down the aisle with my dad. When he turned 2, we picked a date, which was a little under a year out and started planning. We managed to get 2 weeks in and everything was turned upside down.
First, I was laid of my job of 6 years. This wasn’t an indefinite layoff and I was able to get unemployment, but it did come at a pay cut. Not ideal for planning a wedding. Then a week later, my husband lost his job, thankfully, he was able to get unemployment as well. Not a total devastation as we had prepared with savings for situations like this, but still a bummer. We had gone into our wedding planning knowing that we wanted one thing. Small wedding, BIG party afterwards. Something others would remember and talk about for years afterwards. We’d been together for 6 years at this point, so the wedding was more a formality than it was an emotional thing, but we simply wanted to throw and awesome party. Pending the layoffs were not permanent, it looked like we were going to have to scale it down a bit… Even more so a week later when for the second time, I peed on that awkward plastic stick and it proclaimed “PREGNANT!”. Telling my husband was a bit easier this time. We were seasoned in this roller coaster of “oh craps!” that I was hoping that the second time we did this it would be a bit more rainbows and jump up and downs. I should have known better. To shorten the conversation between me and my husband, I said, “So guess what! I’m pregnant!” he said, “Yea I kind of thought so.” That was it. Not much else was discussed at that point, and we went about on our day. We opted that we wanted to go forth with getting married, mostly because I wanted to avoid the “evil eye” that nurses gave my husband and I for being young, un-wed parents and the awkwardness of the “declaration” paper where my husband had to sign off that he was taking responsibility for the child. Nothing makes you feel more like a loosie goosie than having someone vouch that the kid is in fact theirs. 3 months later we tied the knot in a small ceremony and a relatively small but equally awesome wedding and reception with me being roughly 22 weeks pregnant.
This pregnancy was easier. I had a feeling from the beginning this one was a girl because the vomiting wasn’t as violent as it was with my son. I could manage to keep my head out of the toilet much more but generally just felt like crap all day and night. This time it lasted longer too. It wasn’t until about week 18 that it finally subsided and I began to enjoy this pregnancy.
With my son, I had extreme kidney issues that left me hospitalized several times and thankfully with this baby we only had a minor flare up that was able to be managed at home. We weren’t blessed the whole time however as there was a period of 48 hours that our daughter hadn’t moved at all. We tried nudging her, moving her, drinking lots of caffeine and sugar and got no response so we were sent to L&D to be monitored to make sure she was fine. The very second the Doppler hit my belly, she started moving and I knew she was going to be a stubborn one from there on out.
The rest of the pregnancy was rather smooth besides a few ultrasounds because she was measuring on the small side towards the end of the pregnancy and regular NST test because of persistent and extremely strong Braxton Hicks contractions, but she was in fact stubborn. As I neared the end of my pregnancy, no dilation or effacement. My official due date was April 1st and this year Easter was EXTREMELY early. With needing to be induced with my son and going full term, I was worried about the chances that I would go into labor on or just before Easter would be extreme high and I’d miss the holiday with my son. It’s not my favorite holiday; in fact, I’ve already declared that to be Thanksgiving in my previous birth story, but I do love it. My parents always did neat stuff with it and I love to do that with my kids now. My doctor was equally not as thrilled with the prospect of a holiday birth away from her two kids, and given my last induction, we went ahead and scheduled an induction for 39 weeks exactly.
The night of my induction I dropped my little boy off with the in-laws, said my tearful good-byes to him and had my emotional “I feel like I’m ruining his life!” moment. It had been a beautiful day that day, 65 degrees and sunny, but mother nature had other plans for us! On the way to drop off our son, the temperature dropped to freezing and it began snowing and sleeting. In 2 hours we received over 4 inches of sleet and snow and by the time we got on the road to be at the hospital by midnight, the roads were so bad we couldn’t even see the lines in the road or about 20 feet in front of us. This weather change however, did in fact help out a bit. The pressure change was so dramatic that it caused me to start having contraction even before we arrived at the hospital. I remember saying to my husband, “Don’t wreck this truck because I don’t feel like having a baby on the side of the road.”
From the previous day’s exam to check dilation (still at 0 cm), I had dilated to 2 cm and effaced 75%. The nurse gave us the option to go home and wait it out or proceed with induction. Since we were already there and the weather was less than stellar to drive in, we opted to proceed with induction. Like my first delivery, we opted for Cervadil to start things along and hoped that it would push the natural labor along even farther to pick up more momentum. This time we had an adverse reaction to it. 1 hour into Cervadil and my uterus was doing constant contractions that were not resulting in any real progress. We removed the Cervadil, let the affects wear off for about 1 hour, and started Pitocin instead. I was EXTREMELY nervous about Pitocin. I’d heard a lot of bad things about it and was pretty against it when it was offered to us but the nurse assured me that we’d start with the lowest dose we could since I was already contracting and it ended up working beautifully. I only spent about 1.5 hours on Pitocin and my contractions were regular and strong enough that they decided I did not need to use it anymore. This was also about the time that I decided that I wanted an epidural. I wasn’t holding out for a natural birth this time. I had accepted my level of “wuss” and signed the consent form the moment it was handed to me and without hesitation. I love my epidurals! The anesthesiologist however was not in as much as a hurry as I was. An hour after I got approval for the epidural from my doctors and still only at 3 cm dilated, he finally shows up and this one I didn’t want to marry at all. He was rude and mean and yelled at me at one point. I’m a woman in labor, cut me a break for moaning and groaning during contractions!
After my epidural was in and had taken affect, my husband decided to run home and check on the dog and the house before things got to crazy and busy. Minutes after leaving, my doctors opt to break my bag of water to keep things progressing along at a smooth pace. My least favorite of my three doctors was the one to do it. She and I had an awkward relationship. She wasn’t very nice, and she was the “new” doctor so I had mental block towards her about being the one to deliver my daughter. The moment she broke my water everything started going crazy. My daughter’s heartbeat dropped extremely low, when they could find a heartbeat at all because the monitors were having trouble tracking her. I heard her mention meconium in the fluid. She attempted to insert a monitor into her scalp to help figure out what was really going on but Delilah was having none of it. Every time that she tried, she moved pulling it out. It was not going well. They had me on oxygen at this point and positioned hoping that it would help her heartbeat stabilize, and as doctors do, they were whispering to each other and the nurses and the moment I heard “c-section” I had a panic attack. I had never had serious surgery in my life and the idea of a c-section was more than I could handle with my husband not being there. I was an emotional wreck. The doctors agreed to monitor it for an hour or two before proceeding giving my husband enough time to get back so that he could be there. During that time her heartbeat stabilized to where it only had mild decelerations during contractions and we were able to proceed with a vaginal birth.
45 minutes after giving me my epidural it wore off. I spent the remainder of the time doing natural labor and the Lamaze I never learned and in between each contraction sleeping. My husband and I both learned a lesson after our first birth experience and I left the gummy worms at home, but at the point that my nurse checked my progress and said I was 9.5 cm and she was setting things up for delivery, I made a point to order myself the lunch that I fully intended to have as soon as I was done. I was STARVING. The nurse found this pretty funny. Apparently it was the first time she ever had someone order food while about to start pushing. (and by the way it was Chicken Fingers, French Fries and a Rootbeer. ) Along with this food order, I was still begging for another does of the epidural, but like the first time, the doctor was taking his sweet time. He literally walked into my room with my OB and gave me another low dose to get me through delivery. I only pushed for 10 minutes and it was just enough time that I wasn’t feeling any pain, only pressure and I got to enjoy the last few minutes of my delivery. The prospect of the recent epidural shot did not stop me from asking my OB to give me an additional local in the case of an episiotomy. Apparently I’m pretty funny person when I’m labor because I had those nurses laughing the whole time.
My daughter came out at 11:33 a.m. (one minute shy of her father’s “lucky time”, 11:34) with the cord around her neck one time. She was 6 lbs, 10 oz and 20 inches long. A dainty little girl.
We both had some issues immediately after delivery. With the cord around her neck, she was pretty blue and I had some bleeding issues after delivery and I was unable to hold her for about 35 minutes until they resolved my situation. At one point, I almost yelled at the nurse to “Give me my baby!”
She was and is a spitfire all right. 2 years later she has learned how to push every button has left with me gray hair at a mere 25 years old; I swear I keep the hair dye industry in business.