Monday, April 28, 2008

Georgia's Birth by Mackenzie

Thursday, December 27th
We were slated to head to the hospital at 9PM to start an elective induction. At 5 that evening, my OB called. L&D was PACKED, and she was asking if I could wait until morning to come in to start. I already was so anxious about the induction that I nearly cried thinking of changing our plans. Even with the caveat that I would have to spend much of the night in a triage curtain--till labor started OR a room became available that wasn't needed by someone further into labor--we were ready. That evening, we had a nice dinner and put Clara, our 18 month old daughter, to bed as usual. Then, I packed my bag and off we went. I arrived on time and got registered. Then we headed upstairs to a triage room they were using to start inductions for the night. Apparently, lots of folks were hoping for a tax deduction! The curtained areas were tiny and didn't have TVs. Thank goodness Dan was headed home--the room had a bed and a straight-backed chair, and that was it.

The nurse was great. She got my IV started and took all my info. Finally at 11 or so, the first dose of Cervadil was inserted. I was having sporadic contractions when I got hooked up to the monitors but nothing of note. I also got an Ambien to help me sleep. By midnight, Dan was gone, and I was sleeping. I slept soundly for about 3 hours when the Cervadil wore off. She also inserted the 2nd dose of Cervadil around the same time. By 5AM, I was up walking the halls because I was starting to get regular contractions and wanted to encourage them to speed up and intensify. STILL I did not have a room. Dan wasn't going to come back till I got a room. It just didn't make sense. And I didn't need him any way. I was coping fine--heck, it didn't even hurt!

7:30AM -- I'm finally in a room! And a nice one at that. Pitocin was started as soon as I got to the room. I was READY. Unfortunately, the contractions I had been having fizzled during the transition. Poop. My nurse was Diana. She was great. She kept coming in and jacking up the Pitocin when my contrax would start to space out again. And she even let me off to walk the halls periodically. Whew. I was coping fine.

9:00AM -- My mom and Clara came to hang out for a while. I was having noticeable contractions, but nothing I couldn't walk or talk through. AT all. Dan's mom also came to pick up Clara and take her home.

1:00PM--I hadn't been checked since 3AM when the last dose of Cervadil was inserted. So the nurse checked me. She pronounced me 2cm and 30% effaced. Ummm...I had been 2 and 50% at the DOCTOR the DAY BEFORE. WHAT???? All of this was doing nothing? I freaked out and started sobbing. Hysterically. Then she told me she had to leave to deliver a baby in the room next door. Damn it, I was supposed to be delivering. Not someone else. And nothing was happening. Nothing. I cried on and off for quite a while, and they continued cranking the Pitocin. My OB came to see me because I was so upset. She kept reassuring me that we were not out of options, that we needed to be patient, and that this WAS different from last time.

2:00PM--Finally the contractions were getting a little uncomfortable. My lower back was starting to hurt, so I got on the bed on my knees and draped my upper body over the birth ball. I also had heat on my lower back which felt great. I was able to zone out and relax a bit, though I couldn't quite reign in my emotions. My OB came back to check me, and I was now at 3cm and 50%. A little progress in the last hour. I felt a little more encouraged but still very emotional. We decided to wait a bit before deciding to go forward with the Foley bulb, which was our next step. My OB agreed with me that breaking my water wasn't the way to go yet.

At some point in here, a nurse I didn't know came in because the baby was off the monitor. She just waltzed in the room and told me I needed to sit back on the bed so that she could readjust the monitor. When I sat back, the baby got back on, and the nurse said, "Well, it's fine. Just sit like that." I FREAKED and started sobbing uncontrollably again and threw her out of my room. Dan was apologizing left and right, and my mom was horrified. I was just past coping, I think. All I could think was, "I WANT TO GO HOME!' I missed Clara, I was scared. I just wanted to be safe.

3:00PM--My OB was called back in, as was my original nurse. I couldn't stop crying. I was frustrated and scared. My OB sat down at the end of my bed and asked me what I was so afraid of. She acknowledged that I was having flashbacks and having a hard time dealing with the lack of progress because of my delivery with Clara. And she offered the option of stopping. I felt like I had so much invested already, and Dan was encouraging me to try the Foley. But my OB said that if we got much further in terms of dilation, she wouldn't be able to send me home. She also offered the option of stopping and starting again the next day. THAT I could not wrap my brain around at all. So basically, we could stop and go home OR we could try the Foley and know that we were committed OR we could take a break and try again later.

My mom was trying to be helpful and supportive but was just a bit too involved in what I viewed to be OUR decision (mine and Dan's), to the point where it was making me angry. So I asked her to leave as well while Dan and I talked. I know that made her upset, but I really didn't (and still don't) care. Dan and I held each other and talked about the situation. I could tell that he really wanted to keep going--that he didn't want to "quit". But he said that the insurance situation and the money didn't matter that much to him, and he was worried about me being so upset. As soon as I knew he wouldn't be disappointed in me, I knew that we needed to quit.

It wasn't 5 minutes after we sent my mom out that she came back in with the doctor. I don't know for sure, but both Dan and I think that my mom tried convincing her to tell us to quit. Because my OB came back leaning much more that direction. That made me a little angry, but since we already had made up our minds, it didn't matter. My OB said, "I want you to have the birth you want, and this isn't it, so I think this is the right decision."

We stopped the Pitocin, and within a half hour, my contractions had stopped completely. It was like I never was laboring--pretty much because I wasn't; the Pitocin was. I was pretty spent, though. Certainly, I didn't have the energy to talk about what had happened. Dan got to deliver the news while I felt sorry for myself for a while.

Saturday, December 30th
What is that? Oh, NO. I cannot be getting strep. But my throat wasn't sore—it was HORRIBLY swollen. I though I was going to swallow my uvula. It was rubbing on the back of my tongue and my tonsils and gagging me! This all happened at 5AM. I started crying and choking, and Dan and my mom thought I was panicking. So they gave me Benadryl and ice, and the Benadryl made me so tired I went back to sleep. At 10AM, it was the same. We headed to Urgent Care where they diagnosed me with an anaphylactic reaction to the antibiotics I was given for GBS. I got a shot of epi, a steroid shot, and a prescription for a course of steroids. Within 2 minutes of the epi injection, the swelling started to recede. NOW.... we waited. I sorely wanted to go into labor on my own. The thought of attempting an induction again was just a bit too much to bear. I had an OB appointment on January 2nd at 40w3d, and there was no change from my final status at my induction. My OB said that she wanted to induce the following Wednesday. I wasn't ready to commit just yet.

Thursday, January 3rd
Dan and I were DTD pretty frequently to try to encourage Georgia to make her appearance, and we did Wednesday night. I was having uncomfortable contractions during the night pretty regularly in the last couple weeks of my pregnancy, so that night I slept in the guest room. That and Dan was snoring horribly! I woke up at about 7AM, having to pee for the 4th time that night. As I sat down on the toilet, I felt a small gush. Definitely not urine! I lay back down in bed, and it happened again when I had a contraction. My contractions were noticeable and about 15-20 minutes apart. I decided to call my mom to give her a heads up; she needed to start planning her trip. During our chat, I laughed and felt another gush. That got all of us moving. We repacked and got showered and called Dan's parents to be ready to come get Clara at the hospital on our call. On our way, we drove through McDonalds for breakfast. No way was I going in hungry!! I was excited and optimistic, as was Dan. This was it!!

I got registered and checked into triage. The nurse was NOT in a good mood. Apparently, the mother of another nurse was killed unexpectedly the night before, and everyone was taking it pretty hard. My nurse was focused on getting through her shift so she could leave to visit her elderly parents. So being the "I-think-my-water-broke" girl wasn't a good thing for me; I was a nuisance. She pretty much started to dismiss me when I answered "Yes" to the "Have you had intercourse in the last 24 hours?" question. We did the 20 minute monitoring thing, and then she took me into the exam room to check me. When she did the speculum exam and said that she thought it looked like my membranes might have ruptured. But she couldn't do the litmus paper because of possible residual semen. So she got the slide ready for the ferning test, and I waited. She finally came back to tell me that she couldn't see any ferning. She even called in another nurse. NEGATIVE. But I had been so sure! She called my OB who instructed them to send me home.

Again, I felt defeated. I KNEW that my water was leaking, but if it didn't show on the test, what could I do? We stopped at home for me to change my clothes and headed to the Newport Aquarium with Clara for the day. All day long, I continued to "drip". I say it was dripping because it wasn't more than a couple drops here and there, but I constantly was wet. I also was seeing lots of "chunky stuff" when I wiped. We had a great day at the aquarium. Clara loved it, and it was SO fun seeing her get so excited.

Friday, January 4th
I had a chiropractor appointment in the morning and then an NST and ultrasounds for fluid levels in the early afternoon. Poor Dan was alone with Clara all day, though that was NOT the plan. The specialist where I had to go for the monitoring appointment was a zoo! I waited nearly an hour for the NST and then another 45 minutes, at least, for the ultrasound. Georgia passed the NST with flying colors in the minimum amount of time. The fluid levels on u/s looked great. I found it a bit interesting that the large pockets were up near her feet while the pockets nearest my cervix were barely measurable… The tech was chatty, and at one point said, "Wow, that's a chunky baby." She also commented on her head measurement and took and compared several to find the "best" one, saying, "I like this one the best, but it makes her even BIGGER." HUH??? She was estimated to be 10lb, 7oz!!! The tech said that they tend to overestimate, but she thought the baby safely would be 10lbs. DOUBLE HUH??? I was floored, especially since I measured correctly or a week or 2 behind all along.

I had tons of errands to run to prepare for my mom, sister, and the kids to arrive. Groceries, Target, belated Christmas gifts. As I was walking through Lowe's, I felt a BIIIG gush. Nice. More leaking. I also started to contract a little more frequently. But my water wasn't broken! And there was NO WAY I was going back. I called lots of people during my errand running to let them know about the ultrasound. I also called my OB because I was freaked out and wanted her thoughts. But she was gone for the weekend, and her partner said nothing wouldn't keep till Monday, so they just put a note on her desk. I wondered how the size estimate would change things… I was doing some last minute cleaning things including bathing Clara, and my pants were soaked. I changed into pj pants and soaked through them too. Still, I wasn't going back to the hospital just to be sent home. My mom and sister and kids arrived, and we chatted. My sister was bound and determined that I would have the baby that weekend. I wasn't so sure. She (being a former L&D nurse) thought that my water WAS broken and it was just a matter of time till labor started. But she also kept talking me through the possibility of a c-section to get me used to the idea.

Saturday, January 5th
We had grand plans to do SOMETHING, but the day got away from us. Kids with different nap schedules will do that to ya! I was having contractions all day. They actually hurt a little bit but weren't very close together at all. I was pretty uncomfortable all day—achy and sore and feeling pressure. And I continued leaking like Friday night. My sister kept trying to convince me to go in to the hospital. We had invited Dan's parents for dinner, so I wasn't even thinking about it till then. We had lasagna and had a lovely meal. The whole time, my sister kept hinting that I should go to the hospital. I didn't want to go until I was in labor. No way I wanted another false alarm!!
After Dan's parents left, I fell asleep on the couch. Waking up a bit more rested, I talked with Dan, and we decided that with Clara in bed, we should head in to L&D just to be safe. The timing was perfect, as everyone would be sleeping—no need to worry about having someone to take care of Clara! We got to L&D at about 10:30. I was contracting every 10 minutes…and after all the tests, YEP!!! MY WATER WAS BROKEN. (Well, duh—it had been that way for 2 ½ days…) The nurse (who was wonderful) put in a call to the on-call OB, and we waited. At first, he said that he would give me 4 hours to go into more regular labor on my own and then start Pitocin around 4AM. Then I brought up the fact that my ultrasound results were not yet in my chart. The nurse relayed that information to the OB. Dan and I talked a lot in that time about a c-section and my feelings about it. I didn't know what the OB was going to say, but I knew that my worst nightmare would be to be induced with Pitocin only to end up with a c-section after hours of labor and pushing.

The nurse came back. The verdict? The OB on call thought it wise to schedule a c-section. In his opinion, any baby with a predicted size of over 10lbs is a risk. So we were on the schedule for 8:30AM!!! I was moved into a room to be monitored for the night—with NO sleep aids, since this OB didn't believe in them. The nurse I had was awful. She put my IV in a horrendous spot on the back of my hand, and when I asked her about the c-section, she really didn't know and gave me a worst-case scenario. But perhaps the WORST part was that the entire time I'd been there, I hadn't had anything to drink (now over 2 hours), and only by asking for a drink did I find out that I was on strict "nothing by mouth" orders till after the c-section. I was so thirsty I cried! Dan offered to sneak me some Gatorade, but I decided to tough it out.

Sunday, January 6th
I woke early, partly because I was contracting a leaking everywhere, and partly because I was excited (and nervous!). I brushed my teeth and washed my face and combed my hair and sorely wished for a shower. My new nurse came on at 7—she was fantastic and really walked me through all that would happen. Dan and my mom and Clara arrived a little before 8. I was soooo happy to see them, particularly Clara. It's crazy how much I miss her when I'm gone overnight. At about the same time, the nurse anesthetist came in. He really put me at ease, providing me with more information about what would happen. And he was CUTE! I told my mom we should take him home; Dan didn't think that was such a good idea! At about 8:15, I took off my pants and put on another hospital gown. I drank the sour stuff, and then, we walked to the OR.
The OB surgeon met us at the nurses' station. I had never laid eyes on him before since he merely shares call with my OB's practice; he has his own practice. From what the nurses said, he's very well respected. He introduced himself to us as the name of my regular OB and we laughed! He went on to say that he'd "always wanted to try one of these c-sections", keeping the mood light. I liked him immediately. He walked the whole way to the OR with us. Once there, Dan went to change into scrubs, and I put on a funny cap and followed the scrub nurse into the OR.

How surreal! There I was, WALKING into the OR where my daughter would be born! I climbed up on the table, and a few people introduced themselves to me. The double-checked my identity and the procedure. Then, a nurse asked if I was getting my tubes tied. NO WAY!! The LOVELY NA came back and did the spinal. MUCH better than the epi. One quick, burning prick for the topical anesthesia, and some serious pressure (and zinging down my right leg) for the spinal, and WHAM! The numbness started! The staff described it as feeling "cold", and man, did it ever! A big, grey haired older lady nurse helped me to lie down. They put my arms out but did not tie them down and put a pulse ox on one hand and a BP cuff on the other. Before I knew it, the doctor was there, along with a resident who would be assisting. But WHERE WAS DAN? I started to freak out a bit because it seemed that they were going to start without him. That I could not have handled. But he got there just in time and sat right over my left shoulder, holding my hand.

As soon as the procedure started, Dan stood up to watch. He watched the entire thing. The surgeon and the resident talked the entire time, so I had some idea of what was going on. I felt fine! There was much debate in the operating room as to how big the baby would be. No one believed she was a 10lber. Most people were guess 8lbs, including the surgeon! The resident warned me that I would feel a lot of pressure and pushing—and her head was out! Then, the surgeon, "Well, maybe she IS big." More pressure, and I felt them pull her out. Relief, just like when you've pushed the baby out. And I saw her face from the nose up over the drape. She was SCREAMING as they took her to get cleaned up; she screamed the WHOLE time. There were bets being placed the entire time until they weighed her. 9LBS, 8 OZ! The nurse weighing her asked Dan how tall I was because she couldn't believe I'd had a baby that big in there. My response? THAT'S IT?? I said, 'What? All this for nothing?" The OB surgeon said, "Well, you saved yourself 12 hours of agony." Nice. He and the resident worked on stitching me up. While they were doing so, Dan brought Georgia over to see me. I barely remember seeing her because I felt really odd. I had a strange, burning pain in my sternum and was starting to get lightheaded. The NA told me that the pain was referred pain and that it was nearly over. Dan and Georgia sat next to me till I was finished, and then he took her to the nursery. At the end, The OB surgeon, "Well, your bladder and rectum thank you for having a c-section." I guess he thought we made the right decision after all!

The first few minutes of recovery were sucky. I felt tired and dizzy and kinda out of it. In hindsight, I think that was from the megadose of morphine they give you right at the end of the c/s. Quickly, I felt better. My mom came in to see me, and then Dan did. Soon, the nurses brought Georgia from the nursery. Her blood sugar was fine—they would have to keep checking due to her size—but she was having a bit of trouble keeping her body temp up. So after I nursed her, she would have to go back to the nursery for an hour to be monitored. She latched on right away, and she was an awesome nurser! I was so glad to have her in my arms within less than an hour of her being born! She was beautiful and chubby and so sweet.

When I was ready to go to my room, the nursery nurses took Georgia back. Then my nurse cleaned me up and moved me to my room. It wasn't long till I was ansty for my girl, and just in time they brought her back to me. She got to meet her sister and her cousins and Ga (my mom) and Grandma and Grandpa (Dan's parents). Then, Dan and I got to spend some quiet time with just Georgia. I was on such a high that I couldn't sleep, even thought I was tired.
While I was on fluids only for 6 hours after her birth, I was ready to EAT! Dan's parents brought subs around 6PM, and I ate an entire footlong chicken philly AND a large caramel frap from Starbucks plus fries. MMMMM!!!!!! By 3PM, I was sitting up on the side of the bed, and by 9PM my catheter was out, and I was walking! The only thing I'd change? Asking to do 'kangaroo care' instead of having her go back to the nursery for the body temperature issues. I was just a bit too out of it to think of that at the time. Overall, my c-section recovery was a breeze! But next time we're trying for a VBAC. Just so I can say I've done all 3!

Georgia Elaine's birth day was January 6th, 2008 and she weighed in at 9lbs, 8oz. She is the second of what Mackenzie hopes will be a number of children to come.

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