Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Birth of my 2nd Child

Dear Ellie,
This is the story of how you were born. One day you will {hopefully} have children yourself. I was very fascinated with the details of how I was born when I was pregnant. I hope that you feel the same and cherish having this written record of the day from when it was fresh in my mind. I apologize for the poor quality photos, You were born at the beginning of the digital photography age and I was still learning.
Love, Mom
Tuesday, March 23rd I had a midwife appointment. I was still 3 cm and 50% effaced with a posterior cervix. Since my midwife was going to be going in for surgery herself on Friday we decided to try and speed things up a little. She stripped my membranes and poked at them a little. She told me that if I didn't go into labor on my own that night to come back at 1pm on Wednesday.
So I drove out to my parent's house to pick up Anthony. On my way there I had a couple stronger contractions. I could still talk through them so I wasn't too concerned. I got to my parent's and told them what my midwife had said. They had plans for the evening and my Mom wanted to cancel them, but I told her not too. So they went out and I waited for Anthony to wake up. I called Rob and gave him the news. We decided that I would just keep him informed over the next hour or so to see if I was going to go into labor that night. While at my parent's I was spotting and had a very loose bowel movement, but the contraction did not get stronger or closer together. After Anthony woke up we went home and I started finishing things at the house. My parent's stopped by after they had dinner to check on me, and I was about the same so I told them to go home, but we made plans for what would happen if I did have to call in the middle of the night.
When I put Anthony to sleep the contractions started slowing down and I actually fell asleep. About Midnight the contractions started to wake me up again. I got out of bed and went online for a little while and had a large glass of water. I was still really tired so I decided to go lay back down and try to rest. The contractions did slow down again and I was able to sleep.
First thing Wednesday morning I had to call and make an appointment with Anthony pediatrician because I thought he had an ear infection. They were able to get me a "work in" appointment at 10:15am. My Mom met me at the office to help me with Anthony. It turns out that he doesn't have an ear infection - in fact she couldn't find anything wrong with him.
I drove Anthony and I back home. Anthony's babysitter (Justine) arrived at Noon and then a little while later my Mom came to pick me up to take me to my Midwife's office. We got there before 1pm so I had to wait for Annette to get to the office. She had me go empty my bladder and when I thought that I might actually be leaking fluid because my underwear were wet.
They did my regular stats and then put me in a room. Annette came in and checked my cervix, she said I was about a 4-5! She sent me over to Labor and Delivery and said she would see me there in a little while to break my water.
We checked in at about 2pm. I was having regular contractions about 3 minutes apart. After they got a good strip of Gabrielle's heartbeat and my contractions I was able to get up and walk. The nurse said that Annette would be over in a little while because she had another patient getting close to delivery. The little while actually lasted much longer because the other patient did not progress as fast as they anticipated so Annette didn't get to the hospital till after office hours, at 5pm.
She checked my cervix and I was still about 4-5 cm so she broke my water. That was such a relief, there was SO much water I felt a HUGE relief. I called Rob after she left and he had just drove into town so he had perfect timing. My contractions started getting stronger and closer together, even though the monitor was not picking them up as much. Gabrielle's heartbeat continued to look good so after a while they let me get up and walk again. My parent's took Anthony to dinner and Rob and I started walking the halls again. The contractions were getting so strong that I had to stop walking during them. Around 7pm the nurses asked me to go back on the monitors so they could check the baby. Everything continued to look good so they let me get back up to walk. It was after 8pm by this point so my parent's took Anthony home to go to bed. My mom said she would come back after he was asleep.
At about 9pm Annette came back and wanted to check and see how I was progressing. I was about 6 cm, but my cervix was still posterior. We talked about my options and we decided to go ahead and start some pitocin. I didn't want pitocin without an epidural. The nurse came in to start an IV, she missed twice, so Annette came back in to try. She got it the 1st time! They started the pitocin and fluids and they said that the pitocin would take a while. My body reacted very quickly and the contractions got stronger and faster very quickly. I also started having this horrible pressure to urinate during the contractions. I ended up sitting on the toilet because it was the only position that was remotely comfortable  I have very little concept of time from this point. My Mom arrived while I was still in the bathroom. My legs starting to shake uncontrollably and I was afraid to stand up. I also started feeling VERY nauseous so Rob went and got the basin, just in case. Finally Rob, my Mom and the nurse were able to get me back on the bed so they could check me before the anesthesiologist got there. The nurse started to mess with the monitors though so they could get Gabrielle's heartbeat. I was in much more pain on my back and did not want to lay down. At this point I was really losing it - the nurse grabbed me and looked me in the eyes and said "BREATHE" and helped me get through the next couple of contraction. The then anesthesiologist came in. I never did get checked but I was begging for the pain to go away so they started getting everything ready for the epidural. The one thing I did not like was that the anesthesiologist asked both my Mom and Rob to leave. I said okay, but I was VERY uncomfortable with both of them gone. The nurse continued to help me breath through the contractions. They hurt so bad that I didn't even notice the pain of the epidural going in. I was still having the same pressure to urinate during the contractions and even after the epidural was working I was still feeling it. The nurse got the catheter right away to try and see if that helped the pressure, and while she was there she checked my cervix and said I was still about 6cm. The anesthesiologist suggested that I try to get some rest since I had been having contractions all day. It must have been about 10:45pm when she said that and the nurses were anticipating Gabrielle coming sometime after midnight.
**What they didn't tell me at the time was that Gabrielle's heartbeat was really dropping.**
I heard my nurse said that Annette was coming in, and she had the internal monitor in her hand when she sat down. She immediately said we are ready for delivery, I have a head. Everyone was stunned. Annette told me to go ahead and push as she was putting my legs in the stirrups and it felt SO good to push with the pressure. With the next contraction Annette told me to push then had to say, "wait for me to get my gloves on Amber" The next thing I remember hearing was Annette telling me to hold my breath and push. I felt Gabrielle's head come out and then I pushed again and felt her shoulders. Annette didn't put her right up on my chest though. She was born at 11:07pm (less than 10 minutes since the nurse had said I was 6cm) I kept asking for her but Annette was still holding her. I heard my Mom say, "she is so little" and then Annette finally lifted her up enough for me to see her. Annette told me that she had to deliver her through her cord, but that she was okay. Annette was wonderful and let the cord continue to pulse while the nurses helped rub Gabrielle off. After a few minutes she said that the cord had stopped pulsing and she clamped it and handed Rob the scissors. He cut the cord and I just continued to hold and rub Gabrielle as she peed all over! She was so perfect! Her apgar scores were 9 and 10.
After I had delivered the placenta the nurse asked if they could take Gabrielle to the warmer to finish doing her assessment. I said okay. I was able to see her the whole time. She weighed in at 6 pounds 5 ounces (although in the picture the scale says 6 pounds 4.5 ounces) and was 19 inches long. They brought her back and since Rob was on the phone with his Mom, my Mom held her for a little while until he came in. Then he got to hold his little Princess. It was so sweet to see them together. She is the opposite of Anthony. She has straight blond hair and deep blue eyes! She has the longest little fingers! I hope she will be able to play the piano better than her Mommy.
She is doing wonderful and we were able to come home Thursday night. Of course she is a little night owl. She is breastfeeding like a champ though, I am so proud of her. It is such a relief to have her here after everything we went through together. 


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