Saturday, 09 April 2011
As I gear up to once again give birth, I thought it would be fun to reread Hannah's birth story. Oddly enough, I guess I never officially wrote one. I posted a few "in the action" notes on Facebook, but never actually sat down and wrote out all of Hannah's story from beginning to end. So here goes nothing!
Hannah was due on Monday, February 23, 2009. Despite four or five weeks of morning sickness in the beginning, I swear I had the easiest pregnancy in the history of pregnancies. No surprise to me because I had NO signs of labor, my due date came and went.
On Wednesday, February 25, two days past my due date, hubby and I went to the hospital for a non-stress test and an Amniotic Fluid Indicator at 9:00am. The non-stress test showed that Hannah was perfectly happy in there, but the AFI revealed that I had a dangerously low level of amniotic fluid remaining and they admitted me right then and there to begin the induction.
Despite being admitted around noon, nothing happened until almost 4:00pm. I was extremely frustrated that we were kept waiting so long. I had not eaten a thing since 8:00am that morning and they didn't even let me go home to get my bags.
I just sat around for hours with nothing to do but listen to my stomach growl. Finally one of the nurses snuck me a ham sandwich and some jello. If something similar happens this time, I'm insisting that I go home first to get my things (and will totally sneak a good meal in first, even if I throw it up later).
At 4:00pm, the nurses inserted a drug called Cervidil, which is a little tea-bag looking thing that is placed directly in the cervix to begin softening/effacement. I was 0% effaced and only fingertip dilated, so the plan was to give me a 12 hour dose of Cervidil, see how things were progressing, and then give me another 12 hour dose if necessary before beginning a Pitocin drip to induce contractions.
Hubby and I spent a very boring evening in the hospital since all we could do was sit around and wait, so I was given a sleeping pill around 10:30pm in hopes that I'd get some good rest before we started the Pitocin drip at some point the next day. Unfortunately, I was up all night anyway going to the bathroom. I did not have diarrhea like some women, but in hindsight, I can see now that my body was definitely "emptying itself out" in preparation for labor.
Around 3:00am, something felt different, so I went to the bathroom for the 10 millionth time and started to suspect that perhaps my water had broken, but I was so out of it because of the sleeping pill that I aimlessly sat back down on the bed until a nurse came in to see why I had unplugged my monitors for so long. "I think my water broke," I told her, and she helped me get up off the bed to go check.
The loud SPLASH that followed immediately told both of us that my water had indeed broken. The nurse burst out laughing and told me that my fluid level definitely was NOT low after all. I left a trail/pool of water all the way to the bathroom! They checked me and found that I was already 3cm, which was pretty surprising since Cervidil is not actually designed to cause dilation.
Frankly, I don't remember many details from this point on. My contractions started almost immediately after my water broke, were 2-3 minutes apart, and at least a minute long, sometimes with double peaks. I was given some anti-nausea meds because I threw up with almost every contraction, and eventually accepted some Stadol even though the nurse who offered it clearly wasn't a fan because it might make me loopy.
The Stadol helped me relax in-between my intense contractions though, which I think was SO helpful since I really hadn't slept at all yet. I worked through my contractions by rocking back and forth on the bed and swinging/kicking my left foot. I was so focused on swinging my foot through the contractions that I do remember repeatedly kicking a nurse (not hard) when she got in the way while trying to readjust the monitors on my belly. She was interrupting my rhythm!
Around 6:00am, they offered me an epidural and at first I said no, but as the nurse was about to walk out, I had another contraction and changed my mind. After being pumped with the appropriate fluids for 45 minutes, the anesthesiologist finished administering the epidural at 6:50am. After the contractions I had been having, I don't even remember if the epidural hurt. But as the nurses were helping me to lay down from the epidural, I had one last good contraction.
"Did you just push?" One of the nurses asked suddenly. I had to think about it for a second, but yes, yes I did. She immediately checked me and then said, "Oh! Try not to push again for a few minutes. We need to go call your doctor!"
Thankfully, my doctor only lives 7 minutes from the hospital so she was there instantly, but unfortunately, my contractions practically came to a standstill after I received the epidural at 10cm. My contractions slowed to 9-10 minutes apart, so despite the fact that I went from 3cm to 10 cm in less than four hours, I ended up needing Pitocin in the end. I couldn't feel the contractions after I received the epidural, but I could still feel the urge to push.
I was surprised, however, that I still felt "The Ring of Fire" when Hannah crowned. Hubby was holding one of my legs during this whole time, and he says I did reach down to feel Hannah's head and that they handed me a mirror to see her crowning, but I don't remember any of this because I was too busy hyperventilating as a result of the pain and pressure.
Every one told me to calm down and slow my breathing, that she'd be out my next contraction. "I can't!" I gasped. "I have to push now!" And without waiting for a response, I pushed with all my might.
The next thing I heard was the most beautiful sound in the entire world: Hannah's first cry. A few tears of relief streamed down each one of my cheeks and they placed my perfect little girl on my chest.
I felt like I could move a mountain.
Hannah Marie - Born on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 8:38am. 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 20.5 inches long, with a full head a bright blonde hair, just like her Mama.
Now the most beautiful two-year-old I know.