Saturday, June 30, 2012

Delivering my Second Child, Part 2

To read part 1 click here.

My husband, Zack, dropped me off at the hospital at 3:30pm on Monday the 4th and left for a video job.  The job started at 4, and was supposed to be done at midnight.  We were really hoping that I would not go into active labor before he got back.

The on-call midwife for Monday/Tuesday was Deborah, the very same midwife who delivered my first baby.  She came in shortly after Zack left and we discussed my options.  I told her how I had wanted my ideal labor to go if I didn't need to be induced, and she promised to make it as close as possible to that as long as there were no complications.  Next, we talked about which option of induction I would want.  Pitocin, or a pill called Cytotec.  The OB had had talked to week prior preferred Pitocin, but Deborah preferred Cytotec because she felt it would allow my body to labor more naturally.  And after all the horror stories I had read about Pitocin, I was than happy to take option B.

The first Cytotec pill was put in around 6, and I had to stay in bed for 30 minutes so the baby could be monitored.  After that I could get up and walk around, and pretty much do whatever I wanted.  Around 8ish I started having contractions fairly regularly, strong, but not too painful.  Zack's job got done early, and he made it back just after 9.  5 hours after I had been given the first pill, the contractions had just about stopped, so after checking to see how far dilated I had gotten, I was given a second pill.  I was given 3 pills total, but I'm having a hard time remembering when I got the last one.

Deborah came in to see me just before 6 the next morning.  After checking me again, and discovering that I was only 3 1/2 cm. dilated it was time to make a new decision.  Either I could be given Pitocin to get things going, or she could try and break my water.  I choose to have my water broken.  The very next contraction was super strong, I ordered my breakfast.  I wanted to be able to eat before I got into active labor, and wouldn't be allowed to anymore.  However, the contractions were coming faster and stronger everytime so I asked my husband to fix me a piece of bread with peanut butter, (when brought some from home so Zack would have something to snack on).  But I only ate half the slice before the contractions were coming so fast that I couldn't chew and swallow before the next one came!

If you haven't read my first birth story, then it might be time to say that I really don't handle labor pain very well, also that I never actually got the urge to push.

The contractions had become so intense and painful by now that I either needed to get in the jacuzzi right now or be given an epidural.  My nurse, Nina got the tub filled up as fast as she could and she and Zack helped me hobble over to it.  I started feeling like I really needed to go to the bathroom, like really bad, and since I didn't know what that internal urge to push felt like, I didn't know that that was what I was actually feeling.  After I got into the tub I had such a strong contraction that I really screamed loudly.  Both Nina and Deborah popped back in the tub room and asked if I needed to push.  After they explained it was supposed to feel like, I told that was what I was feeling so they wanted to get me out as quickly as possible and check me.  Words cannot explain how disappointed I was when Deborah said 5 cm.  Only 5 cm!!  It had only been an hour since my water had been broken.  The worst part was that no matter how strong the urge to push was, I was no allowed to push.  Being only halfway dilated, I could very easily tear my cervix if I pushed my baby out that soon.

Well, I can honestly saw I tried.  But it was so hard not to push!!  And it wasn't very long afterward when it became so strong that my body kind of took over and made me push.  The first time that happened everything was okay, but the second time I felt the familiar feeling of a baby's head coming through!  I remember screaming out "She's coming! She's coming!"  Zack says I also said, "No, No, No!"  But I don't remember saying that.  Well, it seemed like it Nina didn't really believe me, and it felt like it took her forever to walk over to my bed and lift up the sheet.  But when she did, she immediately exclaimed, "Oh my goodness!  Call the midwife!"  Told you so.  Fully three quarters on the baby's head was out.

I don't know if it's nurse policy, or just something that Nina always does, but she put her hand around my baby's head and found that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.  Deborah rushed in, and after being told what was happening she told mu not to push again until she had cut the cord.  After she had done that I pushed once more and out came my baby.  Deborah quickly put her on a towel and handed her to me.  I told her "hello," and held her for a few moments.  But she was terribly blue, so they wanted to get some oxygen in her as soon as possible.

As soon as the labor was over I felt so good!  And so very different for last time where I was a mental train wreck.  I even had the presence of mind to tell Zack to get my camera out!
Just a few minutes old.
Because she wasn't breathing very well the nurses took her to the nursery so the peds could look at her better.  The doctor told Zack that our baby was stunned, and that's why she wasn't breathing.  The doctor was just about to send her in for an x-ray when she snapped out of it.  Once everything was looking normal Zack brought her back to me.

While all that was going on, I was actually able to carry on a normal conversation with my midwife as she waited for my placenta to detach.  I was so relieved when she checked my cervix and found that it had not torn!  So basically, it had taken an hour to get dilate 2 cm. and only 30 minutes to dilate the last 5!!  If I had known that it was going to go so fast, then I probably would have been okay without wanting medication.  Here's hoping that any other labors I need to go through will go just as fast!
Finally back in mama's arms.
Oh, and as a side note, turns out that our baby was perfectly healthy, and my placenta looked great.  Deborah had told me beforehand that that was very likely to happen.  But we had to make the decision based on the information we had at the time, and definitely didn't want to run the risk on loosing our precious daughter.  So while I wish I could have gone full term, I am grateful for a smooth delivery and a healthy baby.
Mommy looks so much better this time!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Delivering my Second Child, Part 1

On June 5th 2012 a new little blessing entered into our lives. I've decided that I'd better write down her birth story before any more time passes and I forget too many details. ;-)

Before I can start on the birth story itself, I need to back up and give a little background information.  First off, this baby's due date was actually June 20th!  When I went in for my regular pre-natal check up in the beginning of May I found out that the 1 hour glucose test I had taken last time had come back elevated so I needed to take the 3 hour test.  This was quite a surprise considering that I hadn't gained very much weight this time and didn't have an problems relating to gestational diabetes.  So I took the 3 hour test and it too, came back elevated, though just barely.  And I got the unhappy diagnosis of gestational diabetes.  It still doesn't make any sense to me, especially since my baby wasn't growing super big.
Me at 37 weeks
Later, when I went in the day after making it to 37 weeks, we found out that I needed to have special ultrasounds done to keep track of the baby's weight and growth because of the diabetes.  Usually the midwives would do them twice a week at their office, but since we live so far away from them, the one I was seeing decided that I would only need to get it done once a week if I went to the hospital right then and had a more extensive ultrasound done.  Even though it was late in the day, she called over and was able to get me in before closing time.  After the ultrasound was done, I needed to head back to the midwife office to pick up my appointment card for the next 2 visits plus ultrasound times.  When I got there, the midwife wanted to talk to me.  So while Zack kept little miss Angel Cakes outside to play in the grass, I went in to talk to my midwife once again.

Turns out that the ultrasound showed my baby's abdomen being too small.  About 3 weeks too small.  Very strange considering that the ultrasound I had 3 weeks before showed everything to be perfectly normal.  The reason this could be a problem was that if it was true, then my placenta might not have been working properly.  This would cause all the nourishment that was getting through to go straight to her brain, not to the rest of her body.  The risk was that if the placenta wasn't working right, then it could decide to stop working altogether at any time, meaning we could lose the baby. The midwife had put a call into the OB they all worked under and was waiting to hear back from him.

Long story short, they decided to keep me in the hospital over night to monitor the baby, then give me a second ultrasound in the morning, Friday.  This ultrasound showed the same result as the last one.  Tummy 3 weeks too small.  So it was decided that the safest thing to would be to induce.  Since I was only just barely into my 37th week, and the ultrasound showed that the baby would be fine for up to 4 days, the OB felt it would better to wait until Monday night to begin that induction.  That way the baby would have that much more time for her lungs to mature.

All this was really hard to take in.  I really wanted to have as natural a labor as possible this time around, plus delivering early meant that things weren't quite ready at home for her arrival either.  My main prayer during this time was that the Lord would make me more flexible.

I was told that there were two different types of inducing methods that could be used, an IV drip, or a pill that would dilate my cervix.  The OB preferred the IV drip because if the baby didn't like it, they could turn it off right away, whereas with the pill, once it dissolved, there was no getting it back.

When I got home I asked on a forum that I'm on for some advice for preparing for an induction.  Amongst the replies I discovered the IV drip referred to Pitocin.  Reply after reply told horror stories of Pitocin, and how I would definitely want an epidural.  There where a few ladies who said it was possible to be given Pitocin and deliver without any pain medication, but since I don't have the greatest pain tolerance in the world, I really didn't think it would work for me.

So, Monday arrived, and I got ready to deliver my second daughter...  To read part 2, click here.