Ack, you guys. Sorry to leave you hanging! Thanks, Jenn, for updating the thread for me.
Maya Rose was born Friday Sept 7th at 10:13am via cesarean birth. She weighed 7lbs 2oz and was 20 inches long. Here's the birth story!
So Thursday afternoon (9/06) after my membrane sweep I was having very mild contractions that just felt like menstrual cramping. They picked up in intensity around 10:30pm. I tried to sleep but couldn't. I got Jon around 11:30 and he rubbed my back through them. I had some diarrhea, yay. Jon called our doula to give her a heads up. I decided to start timing them around 1am and they were at least 1 minute long, coming every 3-5 minutes. We called my midwife's practice and they told us to come to the hospital. I told Jon that I was pretty sure I'd be getting an epidural, I think because I was scared ... I knew the pain wouldn't be getting any better. In retrospect, I was doing fine handling the contractions, but my fear took over.
We got to the hospital close to 2am. The doula showed up and we got settled into a room. I was 4cm. I had to get hooked up to the fetal monitor, which sucked, because I think the added pressure from the belly band that held them in place made my pain a little worse. I was getting through the contractions alright, though I was still sure I wanted an epidural. My doula suggested waiting a bit, so I did. I labored mostly in bed while being monitored, and that made the pain worse. At one point I went to the bathroom and lost what looked like 15 mucous plugs. Seriously, I couldn't believe the size of what came out of me. I was having trouble peeing, I just couldn't get much out.
My doula and Jon were so awesome. Although I usually wanted to smack my poor doula.... during contractions she'd quietly say "you're doing this for your baby, release the tension in your hands, let your belly do the work" and I just wanted to tell her to shut up. But when she breathed and moaned with me, it really did help to have that to focus on.
I was still asking for medication, and I almost gave in to Stadol, but Jon reminded me that I really wanted to avoid that, so I agreed to wait until the OB from my practice got there before getting the epidural. The happy medicine man even showed up and I had to send him away.
I finally did get the epidural at 7cm, around 5am. My doula told me how great I was doing handling the contractions, but I just wanted to be done with it all. I knew it would be getting much worse before it got better and I felt like I wanted to enjoy the birth and not be so tense and worried about the pain.
Once the epidural kicked in I definitely felt better and relaxed in bed. I was still contracting on my own, but labor slowed down. I started to worry that things wouldn't end well. They started a pitocin drip to move things along. I made it to 9cm and was so happy that Maya would soon be here. Then I somehow went back to 8cm and got stuck there. Also, the monitor kept showing Maya's heart rate slowing down with contractions. They had me change positions and flip sides and that did help. They also had me breathe oxygen and that helped a bit too.
At one point, I could hear the monitor's alarm go off and all the nurses and stuff rushed in and had me flip to the other side, quickly. I got scared... I just wanted Maya safe. Her heart rate had dropped dramatically, but recovered a bit. I was back up at 9cm and the doctor decided that she wanted me to push. I heard the nurse say that she thought I could do it, and that gave me so much confidence. I really wanted to get her out vaginally.
Pushing is HARD. It's exhausting. I pushed through 3 or 4 contractions (I don't know how some of you ladies managed to push for hours!!!), and I was feeling quite a bit of pressure so I was trying to work with that and each time Maya's heart rate dropped. The doctor thought that the cord was probably in a weird spot and getting compressed by the contractions and the pushing. She wanted to do a c-section.
I was really disappointed. My doula was so great, though. She also had a labor where she got an epi and ended up with a section, and she was so calming. I think I might've freaked out without her there. Jon got changed into scrubs and I was wheeled into the OR. I had been shaking for a little while -- I think that's a reaction to the epidural. So, I was still breathing like I was getting through contractions, trying to calm myself down. The experience of being in the OR was totally weird. My happy medicine man was there, though, and he was actually really calming. He upped the dosage so that I felt nothing (before I'd been feeling my legs a little). I was prepped, and Jon came in and they started. I talked to him through it to keep myself distracted. Lots of tugging and pressure, it felt so bizarre.
Finally, I felt a ton of pressure and pulling... and out she came. I could hear her little cries! Jon peeked over the curtain and was crying, telling me she's here. I saw her a little when they brought her to be suctioned and stuff. I was crying, asking if she was ok. She was. I was so happy... so happy. She was so beautiful and alert.
Jon went with her to the nursery to get her vitals done. She got a 9 for each Apgar. I got stiched up and wheeled back into my labor room. I rested, but I just couldn't wait to see Maya.
They brought her back in to me after about an hour. Jon and my doula and the lactation consultant were there too. She was so alert! And was rooting like CRAZY. She kept opening her little mouth and sticking out her tongue. I immediately wanted to feed her. The LC had stepped out for a second so I just stared at her while she was in my arms for a while. My doula was awesome. I can't believe how helpful she was thoughout the whole experience.
I tried to feed her after the LC came back. We hand expressed some colostrum and she seemed interested in that, but it turns out I have pretty flat nipples. Damn nips!! So I used a nipple shield, which worked like a charm.
We got settled in our postpartum room, made phone calls to our families, sent out texts, etc. The next few days are kind of a blur. Her first day and night were difficult. She was adjusting to life in our world, and we were trying to figure out what she needed. She cried a lot and was extremely fussy. Feeding wasn't always easy and she seemed to get frustrated a lot. She kept us up almost the entire first night, and then managed to conk out for 4 hours between 4 and 8am. The nurse told us we'd have to wake her up for a feeding, but there was no way in hell we were doing that.
The next day was great, and the rest of our time there was pretty good too. Maya seemed to pick up breastfeeding pretty well, though sometimes she still gets fussy when trying to latch. My milk came in Sunday afternoon. They were a little worried because she wasn't peeing, but after my milk came in that moved things along nicely. She started gaining weight back on Sunday I think.
We had Jon's parents visit Saturday and Sunday, but no other visitors. Recovering from the surgery has been really difficult for me. Jon has been absolutely amazing. I'm feeding her and sometimes holding her for a while after feedings, but he's doing everything else, and he's SO good at it! She responds to him in such an incredible way.
I just started today trying to wean her off the nipple shield and it's a "1 step forward, 2 steps back" kinda thing. I'm going to lay off the weaning overnight because I really want her to sleep well and not be frustrated and we'll try again tomorrow.
Here's a link to pictures!http://www.flickr.com/gp/13489567@N00/ce6G22