Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Birth Story

I had best get this all written down for the sake of history at least before I forget. It is amazing how quickly you forget about labor after the little one arrives. I think it is because you are so very in love with them...or maybe it's because you're just to exhausted!

I had been having small contractions on and off all weekend. More than anything they were very frustrated because I wanted to be in real labor, everybody was calling hoping I was in real labor, but I was not. And there was nothing to actually do all weekend, so we just sat around and waited, and waited, and waited.

Monday afternoon I went to my 41 week appointment. Dr. C was out so her colleague Dr. W saw me. It was the same old song and dance as previous appointments but now I was further dilated to about 3 cm. Dr. W stripped my membranes again only she was way more extreme than Dr. C. By the time I got home at 3:30pm contractions were much stronger than before and getting closer together.

Jeramy and I decided to go to labor and delivery at 6:00pm. Much to my dismay I was still only 3 cm dilated and that did not change even after an hour of walking. They just were not close enough together or strong enough the nurses said. What scared me more was how horrible the contractions were. I asked if they could send me home with something to alleviate the pain, but Dr. W who was on call that night wouldn't allow for anything but tylenol. So they sent me home and expected to see me in the morning.

That night was horrible even after a couple tylenol PM. Contractions were about 10 minutes apart. So all night I would sleep for about 7 minutes, have a killer contraction for about 2 minutes, and then fall asleep in the next minute. Jeramy went to bed to catch a few winks, because I figured he would need the energy. By morning the contractions were still further apart than the L&D nurses wanted (2-3 minutes) but I just couldn't handle the pain anymore. After swearing that I'd never be one of those wussy woman screaming in pain like I'd watched on all those baby shows the week before there I was. When Dr. C's office opened, I made Jeramy call them and explain my situation. They said if they contractions were that painful to go to L&D. We arrived at 10am, and I was at 4cm so they admitted me. The next words out of my mouth were "can I have my epidural now?"

I got a room and the anesthesiologist arrived around 11:30am. Jeramy held my hand as they had me curl up in bed like a shrimp and insert that big needle. The whole procedure was nothing compared to the contractions, and because the contractions were so far apart I only had one during that time. I remember thinking this will be the last contraction that I feel as it passed to keep me motivated and focused. Within minutes my legs were tingly and I was happy. Soon after Dr. C arrived, broke my water and I was at 5cm.

A couple hours later I was only at 6cm so they started pitocin. I was shaking from the epi but was happy to deal with that over the pain. All day they had problems picking up my contractions with the monitors and eventually they put in a device to monitor them from within. Even with the pitocin they weren't very strong. Plus Jillian was sunny side up (which was what was causing that awful back labor), and she was not turning despite many hourly position changes. Later then ended up turning off the pitocin because her heart rate kept going up on it. At that point I was at 7cm and still now showing a regular contraction pattern. Plus I was now running a fever. Around 7pm, the nurse mentioned the words c section and soon after the on call doc, Dr. H was discussing that very option with me.

In the end we decided to go for it. I was worn out from a night of labor without sleep and an afternoon of unrelentless shaking. It seemed like there were so many factors against a natural delivery, although the official reason given for the c section was lack of progress after 24 hours of labor and fetal distress on pitocin. We had to wait in line for a couple hours for an open OR, but around 9pm Jeramy was suited up and they were rolling me back.

It was so strange to be on the operating table. I wasn't afraid of the surgery, but it was strange to be awake for it. What would I feel? They turned up the epi and my legs got really warm. They called Jeramy back even before the drop cloth was up. Things moved fast and before I knew it they were tugging Jillian out. I heard the words "wow, she has a big head" (so much for the u/s tech's reassurances on that front) and apparently she was wedged down in my pelvis. Then all of the sudden there was the weirdest release of pressure and Jillian was out. They gave us a quick look over the drop cloth and then began suctioning and suctioning and suctioning. She'd swallowed a lot of fluid, and was spitting that up for the next day or so. Jeramy and I just looked at each other with tears in our eyes. She was absolutely beautiful. Finally they gave her to Jeramy and he brought her to me. I couldn't hold her of course as I was still shaking from the epi. She was amazing.

Finally they got me all stitched up. That took much longer than the getting her out part! They had Jeramy push the baby's cart and they pushed me back to the room. Along the way we passed the waiting room where tons of family and friends were awaiting a glimpse of our new little girl. Back in the room there was all sorts of stuff that had to be done from more cleaning to weighing to warming, etc. It seemed like forever before I got to hold her.

Sorry for the long-winded and not particularly well written story. I just wanted to make sure I got these fleeting memories written down while I still had a chance. So far being a parent is amazing and stressful and fun all wrapped up into one. I just can't believe that Jeramy and I have come together (with a little help of course) to bring this beautiful little being into existence.


s.e. said...

Your story was beautiful and awe-inspiring. You once again have shown your strength and I am so glad you have little Jillian in your arms. She looks so precious!

I hope these next few weeks are everything you dreamed they would be.

Poltzie said...

While it's not what you wanted it still sounds wonderful! Congrats again and again!

jenn said...

I agree that while it may not have been your dream birth- Jillian decided she needed out- finally! She is beautiful & I am so happy for you!

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

What a beautiful birth story. She is just precious!

JamieD said...

I am glad to hear you are home and all is well!

She is beautiful!

Amanda said...

Not exactly as planned, but what really goes as planned in life. ;-)

She is absolutely beautiful and I am so happy for you all!!!!

Ann said...

It sounds like your experience was as traumatic as mine. Despite what everyone says, they really underestimate just how bad labor pain can be, don't they? I'm so sorry you had to go for so long without pain meds. But congratulations on your beautiful daughter!

kcmarie122 said...

Thanks for sharing your story. And even though it didn't go as you'd probably planned, you still got your beautiful baby girl out of the deal! Ha Ha!


Jewels said...

It is amazing what we create isn't it?
I love your story, I have tears. From the pain of contractions and frustration of labor progression to the Big Head, I relate so much from when I had my son.
You will love looking back and reading your story, although there was pain, frustration, fear and exhaustion, it’s the most amazing experience; I can’t wait to do it again.

Barb said...

So glad things are well.

Kelly said...

Wow, what a story! You sure went through a lot but what a prize at the end!!! Miss Jillian is adorable. Heal well and enjoy every moment:)