Thursday, August 4, 2016

Claire's Birth

At 37 weeks when I last updated, I was extremely nervous about the upcoming birth of our daughter.  I had met with so many wonderful people who had sat and prayed with me including my sister-in-law and some of my colleagues.  Today I decided it was time to share her birth story so that some day she can come back and read about it.

On a Friday in early July, I had concerns that I might have ruptured, but kept doubting myself.  It had been going on for at least a day, and I just kept telling myself that it was probably normal.  I expressed some concern to Andy, and he insisted that I call the nurse line.  They said that I needed to go in to labor and delivery to be checked, but that our regular hospital was not taking patients and that we would need to drive to another hospital about 45 minutes away.  Andy started putting the car seat and bags into the car, and I teased him that we wouldn't be needing those because I thought they would turn us back home.

We got checked in and were eventually given a room for processing.  They ran the test to see if I had a rupture which the nurse said would take 5 minutes.  After about 2 minutes she said, "And sometimes, we know right away."  She said she would continue to wait the 5 minutes, but that it was already showing that I had ruptured and was leaking amniotic fluid.  "You are a keeper," she smiled and looked at me.  They kept taking my blood pressure as it was abnormally high at this time due to being told that I was going to be admitted.

They took us to our labor room and then brought me some food as it was to be my last meal for awhile.  They started me on a milder induction medication which I can't remember the name of anymore.  I was to take a small pill every three hours.  I went ahead and started to try to get some rest, but was awoken at least every hour, sometimes more frequently, to take my blood pressure and temperature.  In the morning, I still was not contracting very much at all.  The nurse informed me that the doctor would make a decision as to what to do next by 11 AM.  I was worried and requested to go walking to see if I could help things along.  The nurse unhooked me and put a belly monitor on and I started down the halls.  She stopped me after we made one or two rounds and told us that she needed to check me as it seemed that I was contracting....a lot.  I didn't feel it at all.  She had me sit in the very uncomfortable bed for about two hours while she monitored my contractions.  She told me that they were rolling contractions and that they were going to stop the medication and give me fluids to see if they could slow them down as they were too close to each other.

Eventually the contractions calmed down and became "normal" enough to go out walking again.  I rotated between walking and the birthing ball all day, but still did not feel any hard labor.  By that evening, the doctor came to visit.  She broke my water as it appeared that it had not fully broken yet.  This started labor going much quicker but still not quick enough for the doctors there.  The doctor wanted to start me on Pitocin, and I kept telling the nurse that I didn't want it and that labor was starting to intensify.  The nurse sent in other nurses to try to convince me otherwise.  I was very emotional during this time, and eventually agreed as it was getting late into Day 2.

I made it a few hours on the Pitocin before the fear of trying to push with 3 days of no sleep and no food crept up on me.  I knew the pushing was the hardest with my other daughter, and I didn't know if I'd have the energy.  I eventually ended up asking for an epidurral.  The doctor who administered it made sure that I knew that there was a "paper thin" space where the needle needed to go and next to it was another "paper thin" space where it could all go wrong.  Talk about nerves!

I tried to get some sleep after this, but it was pretty difficult knowing what was to come.  At about midnight or 1 AM, I started to feel a lot of pressure and told the nurse.  She checked me and said that I was only dilated to a 6.  I was started to really feel the pain.  The charge nurse came in a few minutes later and I was screaming by then.  She also checked me and said that I was an 8 within those minutes.  They both left and came back just minutes later as I was really screaming in pain, and they checked again and I was complete.  They called the doctor in and had me start pushing.

I wish I could say that this is the point where I pushed once and Claire just came right out.  But that didn't happen.  It seemed like I pushed forever and the pain was so intense.  At one point, Claire's heart rate dipped pretty low but I didn't know it.  The nurses had heard through tears many times over the past few days about how I didn't want to be left in the dark as that happened with my first birth, and so they did say, "This baby has to come out now," and "You need to get this baby out."  I was so exhausted, and everyone was screaming at me.  It felt like I was pushing for hours, but it was really only half an hour.  There were moments when I laid back and just nodded my head back and forth like a toddler saying "no".  Eventually after many pushes, Claire came out screaming.  The sound of her cry made everything go away.  They put her on my chest briefly and then took her to the table to make sure that she was okay.  She was returned to me shortly after for skin-to-skin and nursing time.  It was so beautiful.

She is a healthy baby girl and all of my fears of ending up back in the NICU or ending up with a C-Section were gone.  God gave us a beautiful baby girl and no matter the course that we charted to get her, we are so in love and so grateful.