Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Delivery Day- 4 Years, 4 Pushes

So I woke up well rested about 6:30am the next morning and asked Patrick what he had for dinner…LOL! Seriously, I STILL couldn’t tell you what he had. It’s our running joke now whenever I ask him something that I already asked!

Anyway, shift change brought a new nurse, Judy, who proved to be absolutely amazing. She expected Dr. Swaim to show up around 8am, so she gave me permission to take a quick shower. So I did, and then hopped back in bed just in time for Dr. Swaim to get there. As soon as she walked in, she said okay, let’s break your water. Somehow this idea startled me. I didn’t expect to get started that quickly, and the thought that there was “no going back” after she broke the water seemed absolutely overwhelming. She of course just laughed at me. So she took out the Cervadil, and poked around and broke my water. It didn’t take long at all, but what a strange feeling. It was just weird. She said I was 1cm dilated and my cervix was soft (so the Cervadil had done something since I was dilated at all the night before). The fluid was clear (I felt it trickling…again, what a strange feeling), so that was good news. Then she said that we’d start the Pitocin, and she’d be back around lunch time to check on me. Then Judy brought in the Pitocin and away we went at roughly 8am.
Within minutes after breaking my water, my contractions picked up big time. I definitely felt them and they were getting closer, every 3-4 minutes. Soon after starting the Pitocin, I started getting grouchy…LOL! Mostly, I just didn’t want to be touched during the contractions. I talked with Judy about pain options. She said since I planned on the epidural (which again she highly recommended due to the Pitocin, and Dr. Swaim practically required it for me…LOL!), that she would recommend trying to tough it out without the narcotics until it was time for the epidural. I agreed since I really didn’t want anything to make me sleepy and more importantly, I didn’t want anything that would get to the baby.

So we actually moved me to the rocking chair, Patrick handed me my Ipod, and I just zoned out and breathed my way through the contractions. It wasn’t comfortable, but they were certainly bearable. I just didn’t want to talk during, but I was laughing and chatting in between. The rocking chair really felt great, so I highly recommend that. Judy kept upping the Pitocin (I stopped looking, but Patrick kept making joked everytime she upped it…LOL!), and my contractions kept getting closer and stronger. At about 10:30am, Judy decided to check me since my contractions were about 2 minutes apart. I was a stretchy 3cm and almost completely effaced. So she called Dr. Swaim, and she said go ahead with the epidural.

Now that’s what I call service. Within 5 minutes of calling for the epidural, they were in there. Five minutes later they were done. Five minutes later, I was super relaxed. It’s so weird, it feels as if it’s soothing/tranquilizing you, but in fact, it’s just your body’s response to the relief of pain. They had me on my side, and I was completely relaxed. I didn’t nap, but I had some great rest.

A little while later, there was a little concern because we were starting to see decelerations of her heart rate with each contraction. They tried a few different positions, but it seemed to be getting worse. Of course, I panicked. Judy called Dr. Swaim, and they sent over the doctor on call, Dr. Wynn, to come and look at my strip. They put me on the oxygen mask, and after Dr. Wynn looked at the strip and talked with Dr. Swaim, they decided to do an amnio infusion (infuse fluid into the uterus to help move her off the cord if that’s the problem). Of course, everyone tried to calm me down, say this happens all the time, but that if it didn’t resolve soon, then we might be looking at a C-section.

The amnio infusion helped a little with the decels, but they came and went. Dr. Swaim got there around noon, calmed me down, and checked me. I was a stretchy 5, and she was moving down fairly fast, so they attributed the decels to that. A quick emptying of the bladder by catheter (it was really full) and another change in position got them back under control. Dr. Swaim stopped by again later and all was well. She said she’d get an update when they checked me again at 2pm.

After that, we went ahead and sent Patrick to eat lunch while my parents sat with me. We just talked and laughed, and then I started feeling the contractions again. Not pain, but I felt a pushing sensation up and the top of my belly, like something was pushing down and it was in time with each contractions. Incidentally, they kept saying what a beautiful contraction pattern I had. Considering that we were inducing early (37w6d) and that we were worried my cervix would be scarred shut after the cerclage, it was amazing how well my body responded. Shortly before 2pm, we kicked out my parents since Patrick was back from lunch. Judy checked me and said “Oh wow, you’re ready.” I said “I’m what”. She said “You’re complete, you’re ready to start pushing.”

Those words sent me into yet another panic, and I was laughing nervously. She went to call Dr. Swaim to say we were going to start pushing. Patrick went to tell our parents to sit tight in the waiting room, that we should have a baby in a couple of hours. I asked Judy how long she thought the pushing phase would take. She said first time moms usually take a couple of hours, but that I looked athletic, so you never know. Patrick got back, and Judy said we’d try a few practice pushes so that I could get an idea of what to do. I think she said we’d try 4 pushes or so. So we got me in position, I asked her if I should truly push as hard as I can, she said yes, and away we went. We’d push for 10 counts, breathe and then try again.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7- STOP!! I asked what was wrong. She said nothing, but that I was an excellent pusher and the head was already there!

Panic sets in…LOL! I thought I had a couple of hours. Patrick looks like an anxious little kid at this point…and worse, he’s staring at the thing poking out of my crotch…LOL! Immediately, Judy gets on the phone calling all kinds of people telling them to come NOW. At this point, they look down there again and say that she has hair….hair…I was bald, Patrick didn’t have much at all, so we were completely convinced we’d have a little bald baby. I started crying, and I just remember looking at Patrick not thinking that this was really happening.

People started running in the room, smiling, and laughing about the fact that it took one push to get ready. Dr. Swaim came running in praising me for being such a good pusher. They turned off my epidural and away we went.

One push….take another deep breath, push again…STOP! Her head was out. Patrick, who I had made promise he wouldn’t look “down there” was looking down there the whole time…LOL! The look on his face once the head was out was amazing…he didn’t see blood and yuckiness…he saw our daughter. One more push, a weight lifted off my belly…a weight lifted off my heart. 4 pushes, and Larkin Clara came into this world at 2:21pm. She started crying immediately, and they put her right on my chest. I just remember staring at that beautiful little baby through my tears. There she was, everything that I had worked so hard for, prayed for, fought for. She was doing so well that they were able to clean her up on chest. She stayed there for quite a while. Her Apgars were 9 and 9, so she was just perfect. She cried, then sneezed, but mostly she just looked at us.

They took her over to finish cleaning her, weigh her, measure her, etc. while Dr. Swaim finished me up. I had a 2nd degree tear from her flying out so fast, but it wasn’t bad. I only lost about 300ccs of blood which was also good since we were concerned about any lingering effects from the blood thinners or my uterus not contracting from all of the traumas of the previous surgeries. Everything went perfectly.

They measured her at 19.5 inches and 6 lbs 2 oz. Dr. Swaim said congratulations and headed back to her office (she left her patients to come deliver Larkin…they don’t do that, they have a partner on call, but if they have a special patient, they make exceptions….sorry to all the people who ran late that day because Dr. Swaim was with me…LOL!).

Once they were done measuring her and footprinting her (they even put fingerprints on Patrick’s shirt…a pink T-shirt I had made that said “First Timer”…LOL), they handed her to Patrick for the first time. As he turned to walk her over to me, he broke down in tears. That’s one of those moments that I won’t forget as long as I live. Later we let all the grandparents come peek in, then I tried to nurse her, and off she went to the nursery. Patrick went with her to video her first bath, etc. Meanwhile, I got to order my first meal! I ordered a cheeseburger, fries, apple pie, and a Sprite…it was good…LOL!

Patrick got back just as they were ready to transfer me to my private room. He went and ran a few errands (paid for the room, grabbed things from the car, checked on Larkin again in the nursery) while I took a nap. The pediatrician came in and said she’d checked her out and that she was perfect. I was so excited when they brought her back to me.

We had lots of visitors and then sent everyone home so we could rest. I was definitely starting to feel everything. Later that night we sent her to the nursery so we could rest a little. Then we had drama. Apparently her temperature was low, so they had to check her blood sugar. Her blood sugar was low, so they had to give her a bottle and put her under the warmer. They had to keep her until she could regulate her temperature on her own for an hour. I hated this because they wouldn’t let me up there to take came of her )the general nursery). I lost it and was crying uncontrollably. Luckily our night nurse was great and told me this was really common and not to worry. A couple of hours later, Larkin was back in my arms thankfully.

The rest of our hospital stay was pretty boring, and we were released 48 hours later with instructions to come back the next day for a bilirubin follow-up (that would be our NICU drama to come next).

Driving home with our baby was an amazing feeling…our dream had come true….finally…

And now some pictures...

Her first picture

The family

Monday, May 12, 2008

Backtracking- My last pregnant day

So let me take you back to Monday, March 31st. I spent the day trying to relax, went to get a pedicure/manicure, paid a visit to Starbucks, took the longest shower ever, and then waited for my parents to arrive. I was supposed to call Labor & Delivery at 5pm to see what time to come in. I of course was an “A” induction, so I got first priority since it was “medically necessary”.

My parents arrived about 4pm. I called the hospital at 5pm only to be extremely frustrated to hear that they were swamped, and I should call back at 7pm. Didn’t they know I was an A induction? ; ) My parents and Patrick were tickled at my frustration of course. So we watched a movie and I finished my labor playlists for my Ipod. I called back at 7pm, and they said they still weren’t ready (I was starting to get upset). This time they said that they would call me when it was time.

I became completely convinced that they were never going to call. I resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to wait another day, and we sat around watching Dancing with the Stars (I never watch that show, but it was entertaining and distracting). Patrick on the other hand had gone from being calm to being extremely anxious…sort of turbo nesting. He was all over the place, putting batteries in everything imaginable. When he came downstairs with the swing (still in the box), we couldn’t help but laugh. As he was putting the finishing touches on the swing, the phone rang. It was time! They asked if I could be there by 9:30 (it was shortly after 8:30), and I said we’d leave right away.

I did my best to scoot everyone out of the house, while annoying them all, only to discover that neither of the cars had gas…LOL! I swear we could not get to the hospital fast enough. I was convinced that they were going to give away my room…LOL! Patrick just laughed and tried to keep me calm.

They got me settled pretty quickly because they wanted to start the ripening right away. We did the paperwork including putting my fingerprints on the birth certificate (I cried of course), started my IV, and then put in the Cervadil (boy, that wasn’t pleasant). I was settled in by 10:30. Then they came to “give me something to help me sleep” (under Dr. Swaim’s orders). They said it was Ambien. I’d had it before, so I thought that would be nice to help me relax. However, they gave me TWO Ambien. Within minutes, I started feeling something. Patrick had gone downstairs to get some dinner (no one wanted to eat in front of me since I’d only had clear liquids since noon and couldn’t eat again until after I delivered), so I was with my parents. I got TOTALLY loopy with the Ambien…apparently it was hilarious. Mom even tried to get Larkin’s name out of me, but Dad stopper her…LOL! I was highly entertaining, and the pictures of me at this time are hilarious (I’ll see if I find one to post). I was completely drunk, and when Patrick got back, my parents headed home to watch the dogs. Patrick took a little video of me in my drunken state…boy was I funny. I apparently asked him no less than 5 times what he had for dinner. I was also completely mesmerized by the monitors, so everytime the screen saver came on, I made Patrick get up and fix it (I had been having contractions randomly throughout the evening so it was fun to watch). Finally, Patrick refused to get up again because I needed to sleep : ( LOL! So off I dozed, I don’t even remember waking up during the night when they checked my blood pressure and stuff. I’ll continue tomorrow with delivery day!!!

Here are some pictures!!
This is the shirt I made for the hospital. Final pregnancy stat: 33 lbs gained

This is us right before we walked out the door to head to the hospital.

And the fingerprinting at the hospital.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!!!

I know, I know, I really need to get back to work on updating this blog. I’m happy to say that we’re slowly getting into our own groove, and we even made it out to our first lunch with friends today! My goal next week will be to post everyday complete with pictures to catch you up!!! Hold me to that!!!

For now, just a quick note on Mother’s Day. What an amazing day it will be this year. Mother’s Day was always a fun day before we started this journey. Ever since we were newlyweds, I’d usually get a Mother’s Day card from the cats along with a Starbucks giftcard…occasionally the dogs would chip in too ; ) The first Mother’s Day after we started trying to have a baby, all of that still happened, along with a card that talked about how soon I’d have a real Mother’s Day. After that year, Mother’s Day was not so happy anymore. We found it best to just ignore the holiday completely. Poor Patrick never knew exactly what to do or say on that day. As the timing worked out over the past 4 years, I was never pregnant on Mother’s Day (and even managed to miss it with this pregnancy). Most of the time, I was still very raw from the latest miscarriage…most of the time, I spent the day crying (and usually the preceding weeks were no fun either with all the Mother’s Day commercials). I guess not all that much has changed because I’m still crying at all the Mother’s Day commercials…just for a different reason.

I think it’s finally hit me that I’m a mother. I had Larkin in her sling while I put away laundry in her room this week. I was playing one of the CDs my mom had bought her, she was sleeping soundly cuddled against me, and I was packing away her preemie clothes she had grown out of already…and it really hit me. I started crying uncontrollably, but they were all tears of joy.

We made it. I still remember every detail of every bad day, every bad result, every painful moment…but it was all absolutely worth it. Every dirty diaper, every hungry tantrum, every sleepy morning…and every smile, every laugh, every gurgle, grunt, sneeze, hiccup…I’d do it all again in a second…and maybe someday I will.

So Happy Mother’s Day everyone. To those with children to hold…and to those with the hope that someday it will finally be their turn.