I am thrilled to FINALLY announce the arrival of our little Claire Ruth, born November 2nd at 3:50am at 41 wks 3 days, after a hospital induction.
As you all know, I had been moping around here for the past few weeks, complaining about how DONE I was with being pregnant! I had been so terribly uncomfortable for the last part of this pregnancy. Also, I had had an unwanted/unexpected induction with DD and wanted very badly to avoid being induced again- I just wanted to begin labour naturally this time. But, after several membrane sweeps and trying all the tricks in the book, three weeks of false starts and increasingly uncomfortable contractions and cramping, labour just was not starting on it's own. I decided to take the offer of an induction because I just couldn't deal with being pregnant any longer!
On Monday I had an appointment at our maternity hospital and was assessed as being 3-4cm dilated and 50% effaced. They decided I could skip any further cervical ripening (gel) and offered to book me in for the following day to be induced. I agreed.
I was nervous the next day, waiting for their call. I really wanted to have a different birth experience than my first. When I was induced with DD it was at 41wks 4 days. I woke up to a terrible headache, went to the hospital and was diagnosed with dangerously high BP. I had hoped for a natural labour and delivery and had quite a bit of anxiety about having a hospital birth. My cervix was barely soft when they started and the induction was not easy. It took a long time on high pit drip for the contractions to become effective and the pain was honestly horrifying. I didn't want the epidural and held out for hours, terrified and panicked. When I finally got the epidural after 12 hours of labour, I dilated to 10 immediately and DD was born after only 30 min of easy pushing.
I promised myself this time that I would get the epidural and remember that I had pushed easily and had a healthy, alert baby.
The hospital called on Tuesday (Nov 1st) and asked us to come in for 6pm. Saying goodbye to DD was so hard, I hugged and kissed her and left her with her Gramma, then cried the whole way to the hospital - I felt so sad that my little baby was about to be a big sister, time goes way too fast!
We arrived at the hospital and checked into the L&D ward. We met our nurse and agreed to having a nursing student and medical student attend as well. We settled in and started antibiotics for my GBS+. Then oxitocin. The first two hours of oxi really didn't do anything - I had some increasingly uncomfortable tightenings but not long or painful. So, we agreed to breaking my water. There was a huge amount of fluid!! Unfortunately there was some light meconium when they did, so I had to stay on the monitors. Contractions picked up right away though and started to come regularly and painfully. I was still only about 4cm dilated at this point.
We passed the time by knitting (me), working (DH) and chatting with our nurses. It was pleasant and comfortable and relaxed. I decided around 11pm to ask for the epidural and was glad I did because the contractions were becoming very close together and very painful. We expected a bit of a wait and were pleasantly surprised when the anesthesiologist arrived after only about 45 minutes.
I love the epidural man.
After the epidural was in, I felt so much better and we rested while we could. I could still get up to walk to the bathroom and change positions in bed. I watched the monitor showing really big contractions one on top of another and was so thankful I wasn't feeling them. After a couple of hours, I started shaking and could feel some pain with each contraction - a painful, low pressure, baby's head. I was checked again and had reached 8cm.
The nurses called for the doctors to be paged since I had progressed so quickly from that point in my first labour. The pressure and pain got greater with every contraction and they checked me again and found I was almost complete, with just a tiny lip of cervix in the way. I felt like I had a bowling ball between my legs, she was so low.
It was then that baby's heartrate started to drop a little with each contraction. They had me switch positions to try and find one that would keep her heart rate up and put me on oxygen. I suddenly started feeling the uncontrolable urge to push with each contraction but they insisted I breathe through them instead until that final edge of cervix was out of the way. Telling a woman not to push has to be one of the most sadistic things you can do, but I trusted them and did my best not to push.
The resisident working with the on call OB arrived just as baby's heartrate started to seriously plummet with each contraction. They paged the OB again and she was 15 minutes away but baby couldn't wait. Suddenly, the room was full of people - the peds team and nicu staff, and everyone was insisting that i push HARD and NOW, no waiting for contractions, no stopping, she had to come out IMMEDIATELY. I could hear the edge of panic in everyone's voices and could hear her heartrate slow down to almost nothing.
So I pushed. And holy hell, it was scary. And hard. She felt huge and it felt impossible to move her. But I knew if I didn't, she was in trouble. I pushed and pushed and they tugged and pulled and finally her head was out. But then I had to keep going until she burst out with the hugest gush of water - everyone jumped back as this giant wave of fluid and meconium covered the bed and floor. It took less than 10 minutes of pushing. They rushed her over to the nicu team and I was terrified. I was so afraid I had taken to long to get her out. I started crying and begging for her to be okay.
Finally, they reassured me that she was breathing and was being suctioned out and then she cried. Everyone was suddenly talking about what a big baby she was, how amazingly huge this baby girl was! DD1 was only 7lb3oz so it never occured to me that this baby would be much bigger than that. They weighed her at 10lb 4oz !!!!!!!! And her placenta weighed another 5lb!!! And I had pushed her out in 10 minutes with lots of tugging from the doctor. I was sure I must have torn badly, but amazingly, I had only two very small skid marks which took a couple of stitches each.
She had been born with her cord tightly around her neck and because she was so big, it was a very tight squeeze and this is what caused her heart to decel.
Claire wasn't breathing well still, even an hour after she was born, she had a lot of fluid left in her lungs and was struggling to breathe. They decided she needed to go to the nicu for observation and it nearly broke my heart. I was still so scared for her.
I got right up and showered and we got ready to check into the postpartum unit so we could follow her to the nicu. I cried when they wheeled me in, to this place I hoped NEVER to go, and saw her in her incubator. They assured me she should be fine but they wanted to make sure everything was okay. We went to our room and slept for a few hours while we waited.
As soon as I was done with my morning checkup, Dh wheeled me down to the nicu and I sat with her. I went back and forth all morning and afternoon, feeding and holding her, coming back for a rest and meals when she slept. I felt so strange - I knew I had a baby but she wasn't WITH ME and she was so much bigger than I expected...it was all very surreal. Finally, in the afternoon, the nicu called up to let us know that they were bringing her back to us. Her bloodwork was fine and she had good oxygen levels and her breathing had normalized. They brought her up to our room and the relief was huge, finally I could start staring at her and feel like she was truly ours.
We are still in the hospital, hoping to go home tonight. DD came to meet her new sister last night and she is smitten. Claire is doing wonderfully well. She is a big, long baby and looks huge and teeny tiny at the same time. She looks like her sister did, just bigger! We are so in love with her.
We`re working on breastfeeding tentitively, after having no supply with DD1. Claire has dropped down to 9lb 13oz, which is fine by our doctor, but she is having wet diapers, which is exciting.
As for me, except for the scary ending, this was an overwhelmingly positive and healing birth experience for me. It was calm and peaceful and not fearful or panicked like last time. I feel great, very little swelling or bleeding. I felt fine physically immediately. I didn't even swear a single time! And when they asked me if I would do it again, right after she was born, I said without hesitation that I would absolutely do it again. It was EASY and fast and I am so grateful for that.
And dudes....I pushed out a 10+lb baby in 10 minutes!!!! WHAT?!
I can do ANYTHING now!
Also, I think it explains how uncomfortable I have been! Uh, no wonder!!
More pictures to come, but here is one of Lila and her new little sister Claire on their first meeting. Lila looks uncertain but she was actually fascinated by the baby and is so excited for us to come home.
Edited by Katico - 11/3/11 at 10:04am