Saturday, January 30, 2010

Birth Story Part 2 - The Induction

Birth Story Part 2 – The Induction

I just wanted to start by saying sorry for including so many details in the story below. I am one person that really enjoys the details people include in their stories, as it helps me to compare and contrast against my experiences or helps me when I am researching for my future experiences. So just read the parts you want to and please be patient with me. :)

As expected, I did not sleep a wink the night before the induction. I was excited, nervous and anxious all at once. I kept packing, unpacking and then re-packing my hospital bags (will list what I packed and what I actually used later) all night, watched tv, watched my husband sleep, and read a little. 5am finally rolled around, so I jumped in the shower, did my hair and put on make-up. I figured I would be taking pictures so I wanted to make sure I looked suitable. Plus, I wanted Holly to see her mommy pretty for the first time.

My husband and I left for the hospital at 10 minutes till 6am. We live across the street from the hospital, so traffic and travel time would not be an issue for us at all. Here is a picture of us leaving for the hospital:

We arrived to the labor and delivery wing and was buzzed in immediately. I had pre-registered at the hospital, but they still needed to do some paperwork and create my chart. I was arriving an hour before the shift change, so the employees were a bit tired, but still nice, and in a rush to get things done before the next shift started. 6:10am, after signing a billion forms, I was lead to my LDR (Labor, delivery and recovery) suite by my temporary nurse. My heart was jumping out of my chest by now, I was going to be a mom soon. While I was terrified, I was still very positive. I couldn’t stop smiling, joking with the nurse, my husband, and being as pleasant as I can be. I am always super nice to those who have to stick me with needles. LOL!

The nurse gave me my gown, and lead me to the restroom to change. The gown fit, but didn’t reach all the way around the back to tie closed. Luckily, at 9 months pregnant I had lost any shred of modesty I may have had left. I did put on my new slippers, and was given the go ahead to jump in bed. The nurse went over yet more paperwork, asking about allergies, if I opposed blood transfusions, etc. This nurse was awesome. She was positive, nice, and very helpful. She explained everything as she went along, gave me opportunities to ask questions, tried her best to get me to relax and was just super nice. I was disappointed she wouldn’t be my nurse for the whole day.

The only negative person I encountered wasn’t super negative, but she was preachy and I felt I was being judged for my size. Another nurse came in and was entering me into the computer and asking more questions but focused on my weight and nutrition. This one was asking when I last took my prenatal vitamin. I told her 2 weeks ago and got a lecture about how important it was to take them every day, even post delivery. Little did she know, my doctor didn’t really care if I took them or not because he believed I got all the nutrition I needed from my diet. So I just agreed and nodded. Then she asked me when I last ate. I told her 3pm the day before, and she and the other nurse were surprised. I explained to them that I was told by the Dr. office not to eat after midnight and they said that was wrong. I should have eaten because I would be expending a ton of energy and needed the fuel to keep up my strength that day. Then she was upset I hadn’t eaten past 3pm. Now, I didn’t offer up the truthful explaination of this because it was my stupid paranoia: I was paranoid about pooping during delivery. Even though I lost my modesty, I wasn’t about to have a bowel movement during one of the most important days of my life in front of a room full of people! So I told her it was because I wasn’t hungry after 3pm and have been like that the past few weeks. Total lie!!! I ate all the time. Then she asked me what I ate at 3pm and told her we went to Hooter’s and I had a buffalo chicken sandwich. She was pissy about that too and gave me the lecture again about nutrition. I was eating spicy to see if I could jump start the pregnancy, but that was lost on her. Luckily, she left after this and I didn’t see her again. That was the last negative person I would have to endure during this whole process. After all this discussion, the nice nurse told me It was too late for me to eat now and all I would be allowed to have during this process would be clear liquids, ice chips or jello. I was cool with this, because again, I was thinking no way I was pooping and I was too excited to eat anyway.

Ok, so negative nurse left and they were ready to prep me and start the iv’s. The first thing they did was hook me up to a blood pressure cuff that was automatic. It would proceed to take my blood pressure every 30 minutes. This thing was the bain of my existance during the entire labor process. It pinched like hell when it was expanded. It was the most annoying thing I had to deal with that day, which if you think about it is pretty good. They took my temperature, drew my blood for the maternal blood draw required for the cord blood registry kit and set up my iv’s. They stuck me in the hand, and had me hooked up to the iv in no time. At 6:50am, I was officially hooked up to the Pitocin drip! The other tubes I was hooked up to were some fluids to pump in me to prevent dehydration. She also attached the fetal monitor.  Because I was so round, they had to use two of them and do some playing to anchor them down so they can catch the heartbeat.  This proved to be an annoyance for the nurse the entire day, who was constantly moving the monitor and adjusting it because the baby kept moving or if I moved and needed to change positions. 
At 7am, I met my new nurse and she again was super nice and awesome. She was quiet, but helpful and very attentive. The doctor came in shortly afterward to see how I was doing. They checked my cervix and I was at 1.5 cm. The doctor said he would be back later to see how I was progressing and break my water. They told me to get some rest and relax. By this time, the excitement was pretty much over and I was ready to finally relax. My hubby ran out to get breakfast and I watched some tv, waiting for the contractions to start. I was bed bound, but could get up to use the restroom if needed. I just had to page the nurse so she could detatch me from all the monitors, bp cuff and travel with the iv's. I only did this twice before the epidural.

The nurse checked on me constantly. She was in the room every 15 -20 minutes reading the monitors, checking my blood pressure results, seeing if I was contracting etc. I wasn’t contracting so every hour they kept upping my Pitocin dosage. By 10am, I hadn’t had any contractions. The doctor came back in and checked on me. I was dilated to 2cm. They decided to break my water, up the dosage of the Pit and see how I progressed.

Well, I started feeling the contractions about 10 minutes later. They started off slow, the pain not unbearable. It was like stomach cramps, but totally okay. About an hour later, they were intense and by 11:30am I was in major pain! They were coming every couple of minutes and were so tight, intense, and painful. I was squeezing my husband’s hand by this point and was sweating a bit. The nurse did my cervical check and I was at 2.5cm. I told her I was ready for the epidural now. I was in extreme pain. She put in the order and about 20 minutes later the doctor arrived. By this point, the pain was crippling and I was crying. Big fat tears streaming down my face. They asked my husband to leave and the Anesthesiologist proceeded to do his thing. They had me sit on the bed, with my legs dangling off the side, had me hug a pillow and bend forward to expose my back to the doctor. The nurse held my shoulders while I hugged the pillow. They told me to be as still as possible and then they started. The Anesthesiologist talked through the whole procedure, but I can’t remember what he said. It was over in no time. I didn’t really feel it. I think it was because the contraction pain was so terrible that anything else in comparison was nothing! A few minutes later, I felt a warm tingling feeling in my lower half.  I never lost feeling in my legs or feet but was certainly numb to any pain.  From that point on, I felt nothing.  No contractions.  I was in heaven.  I fell asleep and napped for the next three hours.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Birth Story Part 1

Birth Story Part 1 – Last 4 weeks of pregnancy

Week 36 –

Up to this point, I have been lucky enough to have a complication free pregnancy. For the past week, I was experiencing more Braxton Hicks contractions, and they were getting stronger. My weight was up to 348, and the doctor hadn’t harassed me about it at all. At this visit, we did my last ultrasound, confirmed it was a girl; she was measuring well, with the exception of her legs. They were measuring in the 4th percentile, but he was never able to get great pictures of her because of my belly fat. I wasn’t overly concerned about this, but yes, the thought did run through my head that I was growing her wrong… LOL! The hubby was there to calm me down and talk me through it. Her weight was estimated at 7lbs, 2oz and the doctor thought she would weigh close to 8lbs at delivery.

After the ultrasound, I had my first cervical check and YIKES did that hurt! I can handle my annual pap exams with no problems, but this was unbearably uncomfortable. Maybe because she was sitting on my bladder so much or I was swollen but I was extremely sensitive for this check. I actually screamed in the doctor’s office and nearly jumped off the table. He checked my dilation and did the Strep B swabbing. I spotted and was feeling raw for a few days afterward. On the plus side, I was dilated to 1cm, the baby’s head was down and we were looking good for delivery.

The doctor said my cervix was ripe and we could induce if I wanted. Medically, he was concerned because women of my size typically have a more narrow cervix and birth canal which makes vaginal deliveries more complicated. I guess the excess weight makes those uterine walls cave in. Also, judging from my reaction at being checked for dilation, large baby 8 lbs or more would be very difficult for me. For the non-medical reasons, he would be out of town on my due date, and he knew I had family coming in for Christmas, and induction would be more convenient for both of us. I jumped at the opportunity to have her earlier. I was so over being pregnant and really wanted to have her when my family arrived. We settled on December 14th as the induction date. I would be at 39 weeks at this point and my mom would be flying in on December 17th. I would be home from the hospital by then. He told me to do lots of walking and have lots of sex to see if I can start labor naturally before then. I would see him two weeks later.

Week 37 -
Went to JCPenny Portrait Studios to have my maternity pictures taken.  My husband is awful with the camera and I wanted some nice belly shots.  They did a great job.  I had an 8x10 collage done of our shots, had them converted to black and white and framed them in her room.  Here are a couple of the pictures:

Week 38 –

I was working 12 – 14 days at this point since I was being induced a week early. Other than the usual fatigue, baby on bladder, going to the bathroom every 5 minutes, I was doing well. The baby was feeling heavier, and having a lot of contractions, but they were still infrequent and not close enough together. I was convinced I was going to have her before my induction date. I was still very hungry and was eating everything in sight. At this visit, I hit over 350lbs, but we don’t know by how much, because the doctor scale only went up to 350. He didn’t mention anything about my weight gain at this visit either. According to their records, I gained 32 lbs for the entire pregnancy. At my first visit, I was 318 and now hit at least 350. At this visit, he checked the heartbeat and offered to do another cervical check. I was feeling like the baby was going to arrive any day now, and was curious to see if I dilated anymore. So only caving to curiosity did I agree to the cervical check and it still hurt like a muther! Surprisingly I was still only at 1cm, but still good to go for my induction, 5 days later.

That was my last doctor visit pre-delivery. I was told to show up at the hospital’s labor and delivery area at 6am for induction. The nurse told me not to eat after midnight the eve of the induction. The doctor didn’t mention anything to me about this, but I listened and did as I was told.

Tomorrow – Birth Story Part 2 – The Induction

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Had the baby!

Hello Blogger World!  Sorry I have been MIA for so long.  That last month of pregnancy was crazy busy, and the delivery and post partum have been overwhelming, but in a good way.  I will be back and posting my birth story shortly.  Thanks to those who have sent me emails and well wishes. 

Holly Noelle was born 12/14/09 at 5:35pm, 7lbs.3oz, and 18 3/4 inches long.   More details to follow....