Sunday, April 17, 2011

Birth Story {Fifteen months later}

Here is my birth story, {almost} 15 months later.  I am really happy to have it all written out for Scarlett to read someday.  I am also sharing some SCARY ugly pictures of myself.  (Thank goodness I don't look like this anymore AND they're really great motivation to sticking with my calorie counting!)  You've been warned... 

We were ready!

The last picture on the right was taken right before we left for my 41 week appt

Monday, January 18, 2010

My sister was living in Texas at the time, but came up to Maine for Christmas and Scarlett's birth, so she was with me as I drove to my 41 week appt for an ultrasound.  (My first due date was January 17, but at my 20 week ultrasound, it was changed to the 13th.) During the ultrasound, the technician explained that the baby was fine, but there was low amniotic fluid and she wasn’t taking consistant breaths. When there are two or more things from a checklist that doctors go by that are not okay, the doctor told me, then they’re likely to induce. They sent me straight to the hospital for a non-stress test and to start the induction process. I wasn’t really feeling nervous at this point because I was too excited! We were driving the jeep and it had really started to snow! We called Tyler on the way to the hospital. He was about a half an hour away and just had to finish up, and then he said he’d meet us at the hospital. Because they made me go straight to the hospital, all of my things were still at the house. (When we had left for my appt, I never in a million years thought that I would have to be induced.  I was 41 weeks pregnant, so I'm sure when I thought I'd be having the baby!) We called my mom to have her meet us at the hospital too.

I had pre-registered the Tuesday before, so when we arrived at the hospital, we took the elevator straight up to the 3rd floor and by 1pm, I was all hooked up to the IV. Having my IV put in was SO painful! An older nurse, Annette, came in to do it. She decided to try putting it into my arm, but couldn’t find the vein. Next, she put the needle into my hand. This time it worked—thank goodness.

My mom and Mary were there for the IV and a few minutes after it was in, Tyler showed up. He had brought me a Subway BMT because that’s what I’d been craving for so long, but it had been off limits to me during pregnancy. He was clearly celebrating just a bit prematurely (Did I mention that we had opted not to take childbirth classes?!  Clearly, someone needed them...!)   I had decided not to take the classes because they seemed too expensive for something that I had witnessed 20 months earlier when my sister had her baby and thought I knew exactly what would happen.  This is not always the case, but luckily for me, it turned out that Molly and I did in fact have similar births.

So here I was hooked up and hanging out in a post-delivery room because the labor & delivery rooms were full while Tyler left to go drop off his IRV (work vehicle) and pick up my car. When he was gone, a L&D room opened up and I was officially registered and given a room. Once I was settled and Tyler was back, Mary went to the house to get our overnight things. It was really a waiting game at this point; my doctor just had to actually start the induction. At 5pm, Dr. Griffin induced me using a balloon thingy (nice technical terminology, huh?!) that was placed in the cervix and began contractions. My contractions were so painful, and I had planned on having an epidural, so as soon as the doctors would let me, I wanted it! Around 8pm, I was 3cm dilated and in quite a bit of pain, so they called Dr. Landry, the anesthesiologist. I kicked everyone (even Tyler) out of the room because I was just nervous about the needle; I didn't want an audience. It was WAY less of an ordeal than I had imagined it to be. He inserted the needle into my back, I felt a painful twinge down my entire right side, told him about it, and he adjusted everything, so that the pain went away. I didn't feel my contractions at all after that!


I labored throughout the night while trying to get sleep. My mom and Tyler both stayed at the hospital and slept in chairs. The night nurse was my favorite, but I cannot remember her name. She gave me my catheter, which I had also been wicked dreading, but it was as uneventful as the epidural!  That nurse just did a really great job of keeping me calm and upbeat – even in the middle of the night!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

By 6am, I was ready to get this whole labor process over with, but Dr. Mullally (the on-duty doctor that day from my OBGYN office) didn’t check on me until 8 o’clock. I was getting restless, but the epidural was doing it’s job, so I felt no pain. I was only 5cm when I was eventually checked, so it was decided that I was going to get some pitocin. We waited and waited until it was finally started. Dr. Mullally came back to touch base and let me know that she had a c-section to perform, but that she would be back later to check me. With the epidural and pitocin going, all I had to do was wait and entertain my guests! My sisters, Molly and Mary, had brought labor essentials (hair clips, chapstick, tons of fashion mags, and candy, which Molly ate!) and we just chit-chatted all morning into the afternoon. The swine flu was causing panic around this time, so the hospital policy only allowed a patient to have three guests at a time and NO children under 16 unless they were a sibling to the new baby.  With Tyler and my mom being permanent visitors, only 1 of my sisters was allowed at a time.  We followed the rules mostly, but as it became closer to delivery, we just broke the law and snuck Molly in! 

A medical student checked me around noon and told me that I was 8cm. I had been checked less than an hour earlier by the nurse and had been told that I was 6cm, so I found it very hard to believe that I had dilated 2 cm in less than an hour, so I asked the nurse to check me again. Sure enough, I was right! I felt so discouraged because even though I knew it couldn’t happen that quickly, I still had felt hopeful that it may have. I asked to not be seen by that medical student again as she had done other things that were rubbing me the wrong way all morning, the incorrect cervix check was all I could take!

Around the same time that this mishap had happened, the baby’s heartbeat started to drop. Since I was on an epidural, I could barely move, so two nurses came in to roll me into different positions that the baby “liked.” A HUGE concern for me all along had been that they wouldn't like the fact that I couldn't move because I was so numb and would turn down my epidural, so while they were rolling me around, I tried to use my mind to remember how my legs would feel moving and then try my hardest do those movements, so the nurses didn't realize exactly how numb I really was!  I was FREAKING OUT about the erratic heartbeat; I really thought I would be forced into an emergency c-section.  (But I was so uneducated, what did I know!?) Tyler had gone out to the waiting room to see his parents (only 3 visitors at a time...his parents were not in the top 3) The nurses gave me an oxygen mask to wear that just made me worry even more. It was a terrifying half hour, but finally her heartbeat regulated and was beating at a normal rate. Phew! I was crying because the nurses had even called Dr. Mullally to check out the situation.  Once Dr. Mullally arrived, she checked the situation on the monitors and told me that everything was okay.  She was so calm and sure of herself - it made me feel so much better that she wasn't concerned about the baby.

I felt my water break around 2:30pm and by 3pm, I was fully dilated and ready to push! My mom, Mary, and Molly stood behind the curtain, but stayed in my room.  I had really planned on having at least my mom in the room for the delivery, but that was when I thought my modesty would be out the window.  In my completely numb state, I was not about to flash my lady bits and hairy legs to anyone who wasn't necessary.  (In my defense, I had not been planning on having the baby so soon.  The plan was to shave for the poor delivery nurses!)  Behind the curtain, my mom and sisters were giggling and having a party, so the mood in the delivery room was very happy and excited!  Tyler and my nurse, Tammy, each held a leg.  We had to watch the monitor to tell if I was having a contraction (they MAY have been catching on to how completely numb I was by this point...) and I pushed with all I had.  My sister, Molly, had pushed for 30 minutes with her baby, so I was out to beat her!  Unfortunately for Scarlett's head, I ended up pushing for an hour.  At 4:01pm, Katie Scarlett came out!  Dr. Mullally put her right on my chest. I just stared at her, taking her all in, talking to her, and describing her features to my family through the curtain.  Tyler kept asking the nurses and doctor if I was alright - I think the amount of blood he saw freaked him out a little!  Scarlett was crying when she came out, but once I started talking to her, she just stared at me and made the funniest face. I felt so much relief and I was just so happy that she was here.

After I delivered the placenta (It's very really weird looking; I asked to see out of pure curiousity!), I was stitched up. I told Dr. Mullally not to worry about using a numbing shot (AFTER she already had...clearly still numb from my epidural) though I'm not sure what I was thinking because the epidural was wearing off and recovering is the worst part of the whole experience!  My mom had tried to warn me, but I was too freaked out by the thought of the "ring of fire" to care about the aftermath...little did I know...!

I tried nursing for about an hour. Scarlett never latched on, but at least we did get skin-to-skin time. Then my mom and sisters came in to see her. They helped me gather my belongings and carry them to my recovery room while Tammy brought me to the bathroom.

Once I had gone to the bathroom and Scarlett was all wrapped up after having been weighed, measured, and checked out by her pediatrician, Dr. Stone, we made our way to the recovery room. Tyler, Tammy, Mary, Molly, my mom and I all walked together. Mary & Molly left, though, to go get me some much-craved Subway turkey subs while the rest of us got me settled. 

Auntie Mary & Katie Scarlett!
Auntie Molly & baby Scarlett

grumpy old man.

After everyone left, Scarlett and I got into bed (Tyler was sleeping on the pull-out couch - lucky guy!), and I looked down at my swaddled grumpy old man baby and couldn't believe that she was all mine and that the nurses were just leaving her with us!  It was the most surreal, wonderful feeling in the world!  We left the hospital on Thursday, January 21, 2010.

The day we went home!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! Especially the brand new Scarlett pictures!! After my labor/epi fail, I kind of hate you more re-living that day!! I just want to post my own so you easy birthers give me some cred.

    Also, the bulb thing was a Foley Catheter... Welcome.