Sabo, are you on Facebook?
Hi ladies, thanks for the congrats! I'm copying and pasting here, sorry for the length.
As of my home visit with the midwife last Friday, my blood pressure was beautifully low. On Saturday morning, I started having on and off contractions that came and went for 5 days. Wednesday was my next appointment with the midwife and my blood pressure was suddenly very high. We discussed the options but the basic gist of it was that we needed to check and see if it was stress-related or metabolic (pre-eclampsia), so after a quick trip home to pack up a bag, we met Eileen here at the hopsital for a non-stress test, bloodwork, and further blood pressure monitoring. The NST was perfect--I was contracting a ton (still not painful), baby was tolerating everything just right. Bloodwork was mostly good, but the final result came in not so great. The verdict was that even if we went home that night, we'd probably need to deliver with Eileen at the hospital instead of home because of those blood pressures. When my final blood pressure reading came back even higher than any of the others had been, it was clear that the problem wasn't just stress-related and baby's/my health required action.
So. We talked about starting Cervadil overnight so I could try to get some sleep (it was midnight by this point), but Eileen checked and I was already 3-4 centimeters and 70% effaced, so Cervadil was out. Since I knew I wouldn't sleep anyway, we decided to start Pitocin right away instead of waiting till morning. Eileen didn't think it would take much at all to get things going because of how regularly/closely/strongly I was contracting (even though it just felt like stronger-than-normal BH, not like "labor" to me), so at 1 am, we started it. It was pretty surreal--I sat on a chair first, then a birth ball, with the lights dimmed and we watched the monitor show each increment of Pitocin increasing the frequency and strength of the contractions, but I was barely feeling anything more than I had been! This kept up until they hit level 9 on the Pitocin (started at 1), then Eileen came in (she had been sleeping to make sure she was fully "on" whenever I wanted her there). This was about 4:30. We sat around and had just decided to do one more exam to check dilation when I felt/heard ("heard" internally, it seemed!) this weird crunching against my cervix. I said, "Um, the baby just did something...like broke my water?" It was funny because there was no fluid leaking out, but we did the exam and some trickled and I was at 6 cm. I got back onto the birth ball and holy amniotic fluid, Batman--it POURED out across the floor.
This was 4:45 am. I *finally* started feeling some degree of "pain" during contractions at this point, and got off the birth ball to find a more comfortable position during contractions. Standing and swaying worked for a bit, and then standing in between and squatting during contractions felt good (that's what I did with Lucy). We kept joking that I should deliver at 5:22 on 2-25 so I needed to hurry up, but I started pushing around 5:15 and missed my window! Eileen was awesome--the nurse told me not to push until we knew if I "could" and Eileen kind of said very gently that we'd trust my body to know what to do, so I had no further internal exams. When the nurse kind of wanted me to get up on the bed, Eileen said she was perfectly okay with me delivering off the bed if that's what I felt I needed to do, so I kept with the standing/squatting routine. My leg muscles were shaking like crazy so I finally said I'd try kneeling on the bed and holding onto the completely vertical side, which is how I stayed and continued to push. At one point, I wanted to try to turn around because my leg and arm muscles were turning into jelly, but the contractions were too close for me to get myself turned. I had kind of forgotten how intense pushing is!
So, at 5:47 am on 2/25/2010, Caroline Alison made her way out! I was not a happy camper from the time she was crowning until she was out, because I felt like I was tearing *upward* and that was freaking me out, but Eileen was using warm washcloths and compression to help me stretch and I asked her to shift them to where the pain was. After half an hour of pushing, it was suddenly just...done!
She weighed 10 lbs 6.5 oz, 20.75" long with a 14.25" head circumference (Lucy was 9 lbs 13.3 oz, 20.5" long and 14" head)--and I didn't tear *at all.* I didn't get my homebirth, but I seized the "biggest baby on both sides of the family for at least 3 generations" title without any pain medication, tearing, or episiotomy. The nurses were (surprisingly!) very easy to dub her a "non-sep baby" (non-separation) and she remained naked on my bare chest until we were ready to check for tears, then they weighed her and gave her back! She nursed like a champ and stayed with us every minute until last night. She's currently in the NICU with an IV for blood sugar issues but is still nursing wonderfully, her blood sugars have been perfect (since she was first admitted, even before the IV!).
I have to say our experience at this hospital has been LIGHTYEARS different from when Lucy was born. The nurses have been fantastic, everyone has been great about pretty much everything. My blood pressure is still wacky so they're ordering an EKG for me now, but everything seems to be fine. I'm hoping we can get home tomorrow (nice birthday gift!).
Unfortunately, her urine output has been "low" so they want formula supplements after I nurse...and at this point, my goal is to get us out of here as quick as possible. At the rate she's been decreasing on the IV, it'd be Sunday before she's discharged, but if we can up her blood sugar just a few points each check and get her urine output up, it'd be more like noon tomorrow, so I'm pumping after each session in hopes that my milk will come in faster, but allowing the formula feeds to try to get her out of there. It's not ideal, but we're working with what we've got so we can go home. I miss Lucy like crazy!