Sunday, March 31, 2019

Jacob's Birth Story Part 2

So after having a bite to eat, the doctor came in to see me, check my cervix, and put in the order for pitocin. That was started at 8am. I was SO READY. It's funny how you can go from total dread (the week leading up to) to being so beyond ready to get things going. I knew it was baby time and so I just wanted to do it already! The doctor said that I could get out of bed as long as the monitor stayed on me, but that once he broke my water, he wouldn't let me get out of bed because of risk of cord prolapse. However, just like with Clare's birth, the amazing nurse, Pam, told me as soon as he walked out, "you can get out of bed! If the monitor comes off, I will come back in and find the baby. That's my job!". She was SO supportive. She also told me she thought I'd have a baby by 11am. I was excited to hear that (because surely they do this all the time and know what they're talking about???) but I was also nervous that we would go way past that and it would dampen my spirits.

Being that I had experienced both a natural birth and an induced birth, I was really afraid of the pitocin. Felicity's labor wasn't a horror story or anything, but MUCH harder than Clare's labor which I consider pretty easy! So I was very nervous going into another induced labor. My doctor had told me to decide ahead of time about an epidural because I tend to labor quickly. I went back and forth for a bit but ultimately decided that, if labor was fast, I wouldn't need one. And if labor was long, there would be time to ask for one later. But I really did not want anything to slow or halt labor, did not want a catheter, did not want to be stuck in bed after, and did not want the risks of the spinal headache or back pain. Those things encouraged me to go without the epidural, though I was open to changing my mind if labor was long.

So anyways, after I started the pitocin, Pam would periodically come in and check on me. I didn't feel much. At 9:10 she raised it to 6. And at 9:33 she raised it to 8. I was having some bleeding, but was just swaying through what felt like very easy contractions. That was the point that I started to get nervous. I asked Steven to google what the top dose of pitocin was and he said it was 10. Well here I was at an 8 and felt good! I was afraid it meant my body wasn't responding to it this time because last time contractions were wracking through my body nonstop! I started to wonder if this was going to end in a csection. I went from worrying about pain level to worrying about even being able to deliver this baby!

But just like that, the contractions picked up. At 9:45 by Steven's watch, I had my first tougher contraction. I remember glancing down at his phone at 9:50 and marking that as the time that it felt tough. And with Felicity, it got hard at 10am, then pretty unbearable at some point until I had her at 1pm. So I told myself "here we go; I can do this for 3 more hours!" because it was still so much easier than Felicity's. In fact, it felt a lot like Clare's labor. At 10:13 Steven noted that I began holding my stomach during contractions. I was still doing my swaying back and forth, but I remember it feeling better to support the weight of my stomach. The doctor called at 10:20 and said he would break my water in 15 minutes. The nurse saw my labor progressing and checked my bleeding again and said she was going to go ahead and check me. At that point she said I was 7 cm and she was visibly excited which gave me the push I needed! She had me stay in bed for the doctor to break my water which was hard, but not as awful as I expected it would be. Dr. G came in and sat on the edge of the bed while I finished a contraction, then broke my water. That was the first time I've had my water broken (I refused with Felicity, and it broke at home with Clare) and was not nearly as weird of an experience as I imagined it might be. So my water was broken at 10:36. He said he would hang out at the hospital for a bit and left the room. Pam was finishing up something and said she would check on my frequently but to let her know when I started feeling a lot of pressure.

About a minute later I said "I don't know if this is the kind of pressure you want to know about, but I'm definitely having some". And within a few minutes from that I said "It feels like I'm breaking in half" which I apparently say every time I am about to birth a baby! Pam said "You know, I'm just going to stay in here", and then stuck her head out and called for the doctor. She checked me and he came in and she told him I was almost fully dilated with just a bit of a lip that could be pushed. I was, at that point, in excruciating pain from the pressure and yelled "get him out!", to which another nurse said "ok, then push!". I pushed twice and Jacob Oliver was born at 10:47am... 11 minutes after being 7 cm and having my water broken. When my babies want out, they want out!

The doctor exclaimed "he's a good size!", clamped the cord, had Steven cut it, and passed him right up to me. That was the experience I didn't get with the girls and I wanted SO BADLY for my (probably) last baby. I was over the moon to have this little guy on my chest! I just kept talking to him and loving on him. After a bit they took him to wipe up a bit more and I let Steven hold him while some of my stitching was getting done, then took him back for some more snuggles. Once the doctor was done, I latched him on and he started nursing right away. I was so in love with this little boy! About 15 minutes later they checked his blood sugar, which is standard when the mother has had gestational diabetes, and that's when our hospital stay took a turn. Spoiler alert: he's fine and perfect! But it took us a couple days of special care nursery to get there. To be continued!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Jacob's Birth Story, Part One

When I went in for my 36 week appointment, my blood pressure was up. I didn't think a ton about it because I was feeling stressed, and just chalked it up to that. However, when I went in for my 37 week appointment, it was even higher. My induction was set for 39 weeks and 4 days, which I was really happy about, because I was pretty sure he would come before then anyway (which is what happened with Clare). However, the doctor walked in that day and let me know that my uric acid was up the week before when he checked my blood work. He explained that, exactly like when I was pregnant with Felicity, these were early markers of heading toward pre-eclampsia and it would be safest for everyone, me and baby, if Jacob came out at 38 weeks. For some reason, this absolutely blew my mind. Even though this was the chain of events for Felicity, too, I had naively assumed it would not happen again this time. He set the date... come in on March 6th, Ash Wednesday, at 7pm after eating dinner at 5pm. I text Steven to let him know, and called him and my parents once I left the doctor that day. I was such a bundle of nerves!!! Knowing the date made it so real, and my parents and Steven had already planned for the 39+4 induction, so I felt pressure (from myself, not them!) knowing they had to change all their plans. I had a good cry on the way home so I could keep it together in front of the girls. We explained to the girls that the baby would be there in a week!!!

To say I was a mess for that week would be a massive understatement. I wanted so badly to avoid an induction and wanted him to come on his own. I knew it was unlikely given that I was only in my 37th week, but I was diffusing and bathing in clary sage like crazy. I was short with the girls and just struggling so much with my own feelings and emotions.... until the day of the induction. I woke up that morning with SO MUCH peace. I think knowing there wasn't anything I could do to change it, removing that element of attempted control, helped me a lot! Steven was off that day and my parents were heading to our house. We had a really lovely morning with the girls. We didn't do anything special, but we were all in great moods and I felt like we really just enjoyed our last day as a family of four. It was everything I needed to be mentally and emotionally ready to go in for the induction. My parents got there and we all hung out until about 5 when Steven and I were going to head to dinner, and my parents were taking the girls to eat and go to the hotel. And that's when my precious 5 year old lost it. I think it all hit her that I would be gone and that big changes were happening. She sobbed and clung to me, and I cried quite a bit, too. It was so hard! Thankfully my mom text me soon after with picture updates of how much fun they were having. But man, that was so hard on my mama heart!

Steven and I went and had dinner at Chipotle, then ran to Dollar Tree for toothbrushes. I finally remembered to pack toothbrushes for the girls, but did not pack one for myself :). Then we headed to the hospital. We were super early so we just drove around for a bit before heading in. When we walked in, we told the security guard we were going to registration for an induction. He said he needed to call them (I was pretty sure he didn't need to....), and fumbled around with papers for a bit. I told him they were expecting us, and could we just head back? Then he fumbled with maps and couldn't find registration. I told him we knew where it was :). Poor guy. We headed back to registration and had to wait a bit. We saw signs saying children under 12 couldn't visit the hospital which gave me about an hour of panic because I had told the girls they could see me every day! I don't mind the policy during flu season, but was just bothered that no one warned me so I could prep them!

We headed up to L&D after I got delivered and a nurse took us into Clare's birthing room, L&D #3. I took that as good "mojo", being that her birth was so easy. The nurse did not seem personable to me, which made me nervous, because we've only ever had AMAZING labor and delivery nurses there. I really wanted that to continue. But thankfully, she warmed up pretty quickly... maybe was just overwhelmed when we came in? Either way, I was glad to see her warm up to us! The room was sweltering when we got in, so we asked her to lower the temp. I was sweating soooo badly under the gown and sheets! It felt so gross. I got the gown on and waited for our OB to come in. He came in later on and checked me and said I was 3 cm. I had been 2cm the week before and he seemed pleased. He placed cytotec and said I could take something for sleep if I wanted, but it was up to me. He offered me ambien or morphine. I declined both because I knew there was a chance I could go into labor that night and did not want to be feeling the effects of the medicine. That was potentially a mistake because that night was very hard! Now I know that the cytotec was working, but I also had a headache. I asked the nurse if I could have something for it, but she could only offer morphine because that's what the doctor had written an order for. I declined and just got through it, but I was contracting on and off, feeling some pain in my cervix, and my head was hurting. I woke Steven up once but otherwise let him sleep because I wasn't sure what the rest of the night (or the next day!) would hold and wanted to make sure one of us was well rested. I got a few cat naps but between being uncomfortable and the nurse needing to fix the monitors and check blood pressure, I only slept about 2 broken hours that night.

The next morning, I was over it and READY! They were supposed to bring me breakfast at 6, so at 6:30, expecting it would come at any point, I sent Steven to the cafeteria to get himself something. He came back about a half hour later and still no food for me. The nurse checked me and I was 4-5 cm, so the cytotec had definitely helped (it did nothing for my cervix when I was induced with Felicity). After a bit he asked if they were bringing me food before the pitocin got started. The night nurse and the day nurse, Pam, who was about to take over, sort of hesitated and looked at each other. The night nurse said "I'm going to let you make that decision". Turns out they were worried about me throwing up in labor because I was already almost 5cm. However, sweet Pam took pity on my and went and got some options from the staff room... some applesauce, cereal, and juice. I was nauseous because it had been 14 hours since I'd eaten and I still technically had gestational diabetes at that point! So I ate a little but that almost made me feel more nauseous so I stopped. Luckily it hit my system a bit later and I started to feel SO much better, and wasn't even noticing my headache anymore!

Stay tuned for more...