February 22, 2009
That date and the previous two days were quite an adventure. I went into labor sometime on Friday, Feb. 20th, just feeling a constant pain but not thinking much of it since I'd felt something similar before. So, I didn't actually figure out I was in labor until early Saturday morning when my water broke and I decided to start timing the increases in pain from the base constant pain I was already feeling. At 2 minutes apart I decided to wake my husband up and call the midwife.
The midwife wanted the contractions to last at least a minute though that didn't take very long. The midwife arrived around 2:30am, not that I was aware of the time at this point. Around dawn I'd made it to 5cm dilation which is what I was really hoping she would say when I agreed to the check. The whole time I was most comfortable in a kind of kneeling head down position (like the Yoga Child position, oddly enough) At the next check I'd made it to 9cm with a cervical lip. After trying a number of different things including holding the lip out of the way and pushing, and the water birth tub we discussed transferring to the hospital. The midwife wanted to do so because my blood pressure numbers were rising and I wanted to do so because it'd been probably 24 hours of constant pain without the relief of between contractions I understand happens more normally. I never do anything normally!
Car ride to the hospital was fun, I somehow managed to slow my contractions down a bit so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. It also helped that I know the route we took very well so I was actually fairly aware of where we were at any given time. Arrival at the hospital was amusing too. What a sight I must have been. I'd chosen to wear one of my SCA tunic gowns because it was the roomiest thing I had. Surprisingly I even managed to sit in the wheel chair and get a ride to Labor & Delivery. I'm told my driver was so quick my support team (husband, midwife, midwife student) had trouble keeping up with him.
Labor & Delivery was great overall though it'd have been nice if my veins would have cooperated with getting an IV in. Ended up having to use my only good blood draw vein in my lower arms. *sigh* That created issues later but also an opportunity to meet the phlebotomist from the Belgian Congo after the baby was born. I think it took 3 nurses and a lot of bruising to get the IV in, then I got the epidural and some pain relief. The docs confirmed the 9cm dilation with a cervical lip from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock. Oh sooooo close!
I also had some breathing issues and had an oxygen mask on to help.
I agreed to pitocin to speed up and strengthen the contractions knowing that the epidural slowed things down. With the exception of the baby not liking my blood pressure response to the epidural, baby was a trooper throughout! After a couple different position tries and an attempt be the docs to get the cervical lip out of the way, C-section was discussed. The biggest concern being my blood pressure and lab results being unclear as to whether I had pre-eclampsia or not. I agreed to the C-section around 8pm and pitocin was discontinued. Due to the non-emergency nature of my surgery and the OR being used for a more emergency situation, plus the anesthesiologist not being available due to someone else's epidural, we didn't actually get into the OR until right around midnight. In the meanwhile we did have a very brief visit from Justin's parents. They ended up waiting in the waiting room until the surgery was over.
Babies are born quickly once in the OR, it's the stitching up afterwards that takes a while. More breathing issues so more oxygen mask, but this one did not want to stay on! Justin sat next to me until the doctors popped the baby out (did you know they are kinda popped out by pushing on the areas around them?) It's a girl! Justin went with the baby, while I continued to hang out while being stitched up. The nurse said she could delay her vital checks so Justin returned next to me. Just in case baby's body temp were to become an issue I asked that Justin get skin to skin with her. It was really frustrating not to be able to really see her at the angle I was at, nevermind touch her with my arms stuck on the OR table!
Eventually, we got to go back to the L&D room and be attended by a great nurse. The peds were worried about diabetes because she was only 6lbs 0oz at birth which is considered a risk factor being small and her blood sugar at birth wasn't where they like to see it. Ummm, yeah, Justin and I are small, her size at least shouldn't be an issue. But we got her latched on as best we could with a sleepy baby who missed out on an immediate post-birth latch as would be best practice. I agreed that she get a bit of glucose water in the hopes that it would increase the likelyhood of a good blood sugar number for the docs. That done, we got to marvel over her and ponder what we'd name her since we'd been unable to settle on a girl name ahead of time.
Date of arrival: 2/22/09
Time of arrival: 12:27am
Weight: 6lb, 0oz
Height: 18.5 inches
Maman to Mlle. C born 2/22/09, Due with #2 at the end of May 2013