Friday, January 13, 2012
For my first post of the new year, I've decided to write out my birth story. Or, perhaps, Alice and I's birth story. Certainly, I've had some requests on Facebook.
I'll start by getting in a little bit of back story. That's right - I'm going to make you wait a bit before I get to the good stuff! Many of you might already know that my doctor was concerned about possible preeclampsia. I was diagnosed with gestational hypertension after several erratic blood pressure readings, right around 34 weeks. So I started doing the once a week appointments earlier than normal. There was more testing, and every week I had a biophysical profile done to monitor little MCO's (or the future Alice) movements and the level of amniotic fluid. We got a LOT of ultrasound pics actually. Anyway, because the signs of danger weren't there, my doctor's hands were tied for inducing me immediately at full-term, but she also felt that going past the safest date (39 weeks) would also be a risk; plus, I was getting tons of tests every week and was eventually on bed rest and all that. So, at my 38th week appointment she checked to see how dilated/effaced etc. I was (as is pretty standard). I had only progressed from about 1/2 cm. dilated to 1 cm dilated, and was barely effaced at all.
She thought that unless MCO came beforehand (not looking likely), she'd induce me sometime in my 39th week.
There - back story done. :-)
The Good Part
I made it to 39 weeks, and my doc told us she'd scheduled the induction for the 2nd of January. I'd go in that evening, and "ripen" and then she'd break my water and start Pitocin to get contractions going if I needed it. I should mention here that I was NOT looking forward to being induced. I did not want to be induced, although I was very anxious to meet MCO and to stop having to worry about risks. But I'd heard that inductions can make labor very long, and that Pitocin can make contractions extremely intense, meaning I'd probably end up asking for an epidural before I really wanted one. I wanted to go as unmedicated for as long as possible, in case it ended up slowing down labor.
On January 2nd, I continued my bed rest and tried to relax and not be too nervous/excited/scared....N. went into to work for a half day to make sure things were in order and then came home and made cookies for us to give to the nurses. Yes, that's right, we aren't above bribery. The afternoon seriously dragged on. But and here's the fun part - I was having contractions. They had started that morning, but weren't anything I hadn't had before so I thought it was just Braxton-Hicks or false labor. But they got progressively more frequent and intense, even painful. As we got closer to the scheduled appointment, we figured we'd make sure to mention that I thought I was in labor, but we didn't do any timing or anything until we'd left the apartment to go to dinner. We had a very quick dinner, because the contractions I was having were definitely coming faster and were more painful. Then we headed to the hospital and checked in, filled out paperwork, etc.
Our room was ready almost immediately and I got all ready. The on-call doctor checked, since I'd told them I had been having regular contractions and confirmed it - I was in labor already, dilated to 3 1/2 cm.! No induction for me after all. I was extremely excited, and both N. and I were amazed and happy. After a few hours of contractions however, I was getting more tired and really hurting. I finally broke down and had an epidural after quite a few hours. Pretty proud of myself for waiting so long, actually, but maybe it only felt really long. The epidural made everything easier and both N. and I tried to rest that night - he managed an hour or two of sleep, I dozed off and on, and basically we were just in a waiting game for me to keep progressing - pretty much on schedule actually. Around 3 am or so, it stopped. The next check actually broke my water, so we figured I'd progress more after that but not really. The nurses kept coming in to check on me, of course, and finally the doc decided that I'd start on Pitocin. Luckily, I'd already had the epidural.
When my OB finally got there, around 9, she announced I was pretty much ready to push. They started getting everything ready for the actual delivery and there was quite a flurry of excitement in the room. I was damn nervous about the actual pushing, since the labor had ended up being much easier than I expected (those epidurals are pretty awesome after all). I knew something had to be hard; they don't call it labor for nothing. After quite a few pushes, my doctor announced that I still had quite a bit to do, and left to check up on some other patients while the nurses and my incredible husband stayed with me to keep pushing. All of them commented on how wonderful a coach he was, and he was - it was amazing. I do have to say though, no matter how encouraging our great nurse was, I kept getting annoyed every time she'd say "You're so close - she's almost here!" And then I had to keep pushing. Every time she'd say that I expected the doctors and other nurses to be running into the room, with the baby's head barely getting caught. But no. After 2 hours of pushing, which felt like 20 minutes, I swear!, the doctor was back, the nurses were back and finally when she said, "you're so close" it was true. At 11:09 am, Alice Louise Regan Wyant was born.
She weighed just under 7 lbs. (they rounded it up) and was 20 inches long. They laid her down on my chest with her little hat on, and wrapped in a blanket, and we just stared at each other and at her daddy. I'll never forget that moment as long as I live.
Now, we're home, almost 2 weeks have gone by. I still can't believe that I'm no longer pregnant, except I have the evidence against my chest right now. I've been hit by the baby blues - a lot of crying spells, which is hard for N., I think, and definitely for me, since I feel out of control...but they're subsiding a lot. I'm sad to think I'll never be pregnant for the first time ever again - it was an amazing experience, one I hadn't counted on really enjoying so much as experiencing until the "real" one came along - and I had a husband who made it even more wonderful as the weeks went on. I never expected to like it so much. Despite the stress and worry of the last weeks of my pregnancy, it is one of the times I'd live over again - several times, I think. I am going to miss it and how my husband and I planned for it, and were so excited, and all that. But I now get to really look forward to getting to know Alice - who is helping me type this, by the way, and find out what she's really like. She's absolutely beautiful.
Posted by Kathleen at 11:47 AM