Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lexi's arrival

This post is going to be more of a personal journal about Lexi's birth that I'm happy to share with you. However, I won't be censoring myself when I write about childbirth and breastfeeding and everything that goes along with it. I'm letting you know now so you can stop reading if that makes you uncomfortable.

Last Monday was my last OB apt and he offered induction. It is something I really didn't want to do again, but he assured me that because I was already so dilated, it probably wouldn't take much. He called the hospital and scheduled us for a midnight induction on December 1st. Her due date. We only told our parents and decided to let everyone else be surprised.

We drove to the hospital Tuesday night and I had three really rough contractions in the car on the way there. Once they got us into a room, they were coming every 3-5 minutes and were not lacking in intensity.

My 40 week picture (in between contractions of course!)

Instead of starting the pitocin, we walked the halls for an hour and I was then checked to see if there was progress. I was more effaced, but not much more dilated. So we started the pitocin on low and my contractions took off.

At 5am, I was checked again and there was still no progress and I was tired, anxious, and frustrated. The anesthesiologist suggested an epidural so I could rest. Before she even got there I was shaking. It was a miserable part of labor for me. I had the epidural and I'll never forget she told me that I had "crunchy scar tissue" in my back from the last epidural. Ughh. Despite that gross bit of news, this epidural was awesome. My entire abdomen down to upper thigh area was completely numb, but I could still feel and move my legs well. I seriously think I could have walked around if that was allowed.

At 5:45am, the in-house OB and nurse were checking me and I told them my left arm was numb. Specifically, my left hand. My nurse looked at me with wide-eyes and asked the OB if she thought my left eyelid was drooping. They agreed it was, and the RN ran out of the room to call the anesthesiologist. Apparently they were quite concerned. The anesthesiologist knew right away that it was Horner's syndrome. A rare side-effect of the epidural, but nothing to be concerned about. It was annoying to not be able to feel my hand. I was just concerned that I wouldn't be able to hold the baby when she was born.

Around 6:45am, my blood pressure dropped (76/40) and I was light headed, and vomiting. They stopped the epidural for a few minutes until they could push fluids and get me more stabilized. At this time, the bed was rattling so hard from my shaking, I had an oxygen mask on, and bucket under my chin. I was then notified that they had stopped the pitocin because the baby was having late heart decels. I was still contracting on my own every 4-5 minutes.

My OB walked in around this time and I remember him reassuring me that I'd be more comfortable before long. I told him, "I don't care. I can take it, just make sure my daughter is okay." I didn't even make eye contact with him, my eyes were glued to the heart monitor and I was focused on taking deep breaths from the oxygen mask. He explained his plan to get myself & baby stabilized and labor back on track. It worked. :)

At 7:15am my epidural was turned back on once I was pumped full of fluids and my blood pressure was back on track. The shakes were mostly gone, and they scheduled to rupture my water at 8AM. I was resting comfortably and baby looked good.

At 11:30am I was 7cm dilated and at 0 station. They turned the pitocin back on and I labored in and out of sleep. I finally convinced Mike that I was OK, and that he should rest too. I think he rested for awhile, but I mostly remember him sitting next to my bed. My OB came in my room and asked how I was feeling, my answer was a smile.

Around 3pm, I was having intense pressure with each contraction that I couldn't help but push with. The nurses weren't responding with the call light so I sent Mike out to find one. When he came back by himself I don't remember my reaction but I'm sure it wasn't very nice. He turned back around and found someone. Thankfully it was an RN, and not a custodian. ;)

They had me practice push and called my OB in right away b/c I was able to move her down quite a bit. OB came in and we got down to business. Then, baby's heart rate dropped and wasn't coming up much. He called in the pediatric team and we went from having just a few people in the room to about a dozen. They suspected she had a cord around her neck. They slapped the oxygen mask on me between contractions and I pushed with everything I had. I cannot tell you the horrible feeling of not being able to push out my baby on my own, especially when she needed help. My OB got my attention, and told me she would be fine. He put the forceps in place and reminded me we did this together and she would be here within the next contraction. Once again I pushed with all the energy I had, so he wouldn't have to pull her. They told me to stop pushing, the head was out. My first thought was, "really? That was NOTHING compared to Natalie's head!" LOL. (I was told later on that I have a very prominent tailbone, which makes it very difficult for me to push past that point...who knew!?)

There was no cord around her neck (she was probably laying on it) and as soon as she was out, my OB dismissed the pediatric team. She was healthy, turning pink, and was put on my chest right away. The range of emotions cannot be described here. It's just not possible. Everything we've gone through in the past THREE years came back to the surface. Hearing my healthy baby cry in my face was the most powerful trigger to my emotions than I have ever experienced. I wept...and wept. I couldn't even see her clearly.

They took her over to the warming table and Mike took these pictures:

She hated her first mini sponge bath. This was torture to hear her cry and not be able to soothe her:

After she was cleaned up, I was able to nurse her for the first time and we were in awe. Just as we were with Natalie.

I was anxious to get to my postpartum room so I could be free to move around and get settled in:

I was looking forward to seeing Natalie ALL day while in labor. I thought about her non-stop and was so excited to get to hug her when she walked in the room. This is the first time she got to hold Lexi:

Our family of four:

1 comment:

For Crying Out Loud said...

What an amazing birth story Sarah! You are so blessed! Congratulations!!!