In other news, exactly 4 years ago right now, I was enjoying my first few hours with my first born, after about 33 hours of labor. I'll copy my original birth story below (and you'll have to wait a month for my son's, which was significantly more enjoyable). Maybe I'll add some pictures of my beautiful Monkey later, if I have time between Build-a-Bear and Chuck E. Cheese.
Happy 4th Birthday to my amazing daughter, Kismet!
Welcome to the world, little one
Current mood:accomplishedSo many months ago I ended my last blog with a wonder of how labor and delivery would go, and now, I'm back to tell you. In many, many words. But you must forgive me, as the experience lasted ~33 hours, from the first contraction (that I think counted) to the birth of our beautiful girl, so I needed a lot of words.
After another uneventful OB visit on Tuesday, May 6, at 40 weeks, 5 days, where he once again refused to strip my membranes, Tony and I decided to try a natural induction method a little more involved than walking or eating pineapple, but we weren't quite to the point of Castor Oil yet.
So on Wednesday, we started nipple stimulation with the electric breast pump. I kept up at it at intervals throughout the entire day. It didn't seem to be doing much, but it made me feel proactive, so I kept it up. By the evening, I was experiencing some Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing painful or timeable. So around 10 we decided to call it a night and try again in the morning.
I stood up to the most intense back pain I had ever experienced (up to that point). I made it half way across the room before I thought I would vomit from the pain. I hobbled back to the couch, and Tony massaged the area for a short time and we headed to bed to watch American Dad, and I realized those "Braxton Hicks" were getting a little bothersome, so I decided to time them. I was surprised to find they were about 5 minutes apart and lasting at least 30 seconds. I warned Tony not to get his hopes up, and we discussed going to the hospital. I told him I'd call L&D if/when the contractions were consistent for an hour, and insisted he get some sleep, just in case. I stayed up for awhile, timed contractions at contractionmaster.com and played a little WoW, but it seemed like everytime I'd start a fight, I'd have a contraction, and have to tab out to time the contraction, so that didn't last too long. Shortly after midnight, they were consistently 3.5-5 minutes apart, lasting 40-60 seconds, and about a 3 pain-wise, for over an hour, so I called L&D.
The nurse said to call back if they got down to 3 minutes apart, and increased in intensity, or if my water broke. The next contraction didn't come for 7 minutes, and they spaced out to 7-10 minutes after that. I timed another several, dozing off in between, but they didn't get any closer together. They did keep up all night, though, strong enough to wake me most of the time.
They picked back up in frequency around 7am, coming about 4 minutes apart. Tony and I both called our important people to give them a heads up that it might be the day, and got started with our day. Shortly after I started moving around, the contractions started getting further apart again, and I got paranoid this was one of those false alarms.
We took the puppies for a walk around the park, and the contractions were light and inconsistent, so I got a Slurpee, we came home and tried another round with the breast pump. That got a good contraction going, and then I realized it might be wise to try and get a nap in, as I had gotten so little the night before, between contractions, and I was worried the upcoming night might not be restful, either.
No such luck. Minutes after we laid down, the contractions were back up to 3-4 minutes apart, and hard to talk through. Tony got a few minutes of sleep in before I woke him up with my timing contractions.
I was starving, so we headed to Carl's Jr., for what we thought may be our last indulgent preggo meal. Tony asked what I wanted, and everything looked so good, so, semi-jokingly, I said I wanted a Jalapeno Chicken sandwich, a Guacamole Bacon Cheeseburger, Criss-cut fries and Chili-Cheese fries. So he suggested that's what we get, and we did. We shared our awesome greasiness (the burger and sandwich were really freakin' good), and I timed contractions throughout on the back of a Western' Bacon Cheeseburger coupon. They were about 5-10 minutes apart.
We headed home and hung out timed contractions and soon, my mom and Tony's mom joined us. By 7:45, the contractions had gotten down to around 3-4 minutes apart, lasting 45-60 seconds. I promised everyone that if they maintained until 9, I'd call L&D again. Despite not being able to walk or talk through the contractions, I was still trying not to get my hopes up. You hear all about first time moms being sent home from the hospital numerous times, and I didn't want to waste a trip. And at 7 days past our due date, but with no other signs of impending labor, it seemed too good to be true. Around 8:30, I believe I lost my mucus plug, and I think I started believing this might actually happen.
At 9 I called L&D, and they told me I could come in, and they'd monitor me for an hour and then they'd decide whether to keep us. I packed some last minute things and tried to keep my cool while Tony and our moms did a little minor freaking out.
The hospital is only about 3 miles away, but as we turned onto the main road, the rails came down for a train, and I had to laugh. By this time, I had stopped timing contractions, and all of a sudden they seemed further apart, and again I worried we were on a bit of a wild goose chase.
During check-in I got a few good contractions, and they got us into a room and I got into a gown. The nurse did my first internal exam and announced I was 3-4 cm dilated, 100% effaced and had a bulging bag of waters. I would be staying. It was about 9:30 in the evening on Thursday, May 8.
It wasn't long before we had quite the entourage. My mom, Tony's mom, my sister, Tony's dad and step-mom, my brother, my 2 aunts, my grandma and my mom's best friend all showed up, and most of them stayed for the duration. The undying hostess in me still feels bad I wasn't more of a conversationalist.
I labored on the on a birthing ball for a while, with my mom and Tony as my immediate support. Tony talked me through the contractions and my mom rubbed my back. I had been experiencing some pretty intense back labor, and it was only getting worse.
After a while (they took off my watch for an IV site, so I lost all track of time after we got there), the nurse told me I needed to walk around, as our little one hadn't moved into place yet and I wasn't progressing as fast as she'd like. So we walked the halls a bit, which I really wasn't enjoying, so I put my master plan into effect. I puked, and they let me go back.
Despite my efforts, there didn't seem to be any position that made the contractions any less intense on my back. I kept thinking one position would feel better than another mid-contraction, and I'd try and I'd be very wrong. I couldn't take anyone touching me back anymore, so massage was out. I got an ice pack, which helped a bit, but I could only keep it on for about 20 minutes at a time. At this time, whatever time it was, I was so exhausted I could only imagine laboring in bed. Occasionally I'd fade out between contractions.
At some point, the nurse did another internal and announced me a "stretchy 5" which didn't seem like very much progress from a 3-4, but right after she checked me, my water broke. Not in a big flood, like in the movies, but in small gushes with my contractions, such that I had to ask to be sure my water had, in fact, broke.
I continued to progress slowly, and the nurse ordered me into the shower in an effort to make the baby drop and speed dilation. She told Tony to keep me in there at least 45 minutes. The warm water wasn't so much helpful during contractions as it was different, and, for a while, I appreciated the change up. But I was still starting to lose it at the peak of the contractions, which seemed to last so long. I wanted to sob, but the effort and breath that would require was too much.
While the shower helped her drop, I was still only dilated to a 6, and the contractions, while losing absolutely none of their intensity, started to get a little inconsistent, up to 6 minutes apart (at the time, I was immensely grateful for this short lull, during which my exhaustion would occasionally overwhelm me, and I would fade out for a short time). This wasn't helpful to my labor, so the nurse strongly suggested we try some Pitocin. Despite my desire to do this drug free, I felt I needed some help at this time, so I reluctantly agreed. Since, at this point, I was actually starting to think a C-Section wouldn't be so bad (something I am ridiculously personally averse to) I also reluctantly requested something for the pain. They started the Pitocin, and gave me Fentanyl, which the nurse said would not take the pain away, but would take the edge off. She also said it may cause dizziness and drowsiness. I welcomed anything that would be different from the current excruciating pain.
The Fentanyl was perfect. The dizziness never came, the drowsiness helped me doze off for moments in between the increasingly frequent contractions, and it didn't make the pain disappear so much as it made the peaks of the contractions just a little lower, like they had been a little earlier in labor. The pain was still crazy intense, but I no longer felt lost in it.
A very short time after the Pitocin was started, I felt the urge to push. Only I didn't recognize it at the time. I fought it through several contractions before I told my mom it was feeling different, and she got the nurse, who announced me fully dilated.
She called the dr., set up the table and told me the steps she wanted from me for effective pushing. She let me push through 3-5 contractions, and brought over a mirror so I could see Kismet crowning. The dr. was still taking his sweet ass time getting there, so she told me to stop pushing. I cannot accurately describe what a torturous command this was. At this point it was no longer an urge to push, but a need, like an immensely painful reflex. I did my best to oblige, but a team of nurses was preparing to deliver her all the same. The dr. made it, barely, and commanded me to push. A few pushes, less than 10 minutes, and a second degree tear later, and Kismet Ember was born, at 7:07am on May 9, 2008.
They put her on my chest, briefly, while Tony cut the cord. She had apparently inhaled some fluid on her way out, and was a bluish-purple, but I hardly noticed. All the books said she'd look weird, so I just assumed that was part of it. She wasn't breathing like they wanted her to, though, so they took her over to the warmer and worked to get her to use her lungs and suctioned her. I didn't realize there was an issue until later. I could see them working on her on the warmer (while I got stitched up), but I thought it was all normal stuff. Regardless, I didn't appreciate how long they kept her away (Five, maybe ten minutes? I don't know, too long.). Eventually, they brought her back to me, and she latched onto my breast like a champ. It was at this point that Tony pointed out that our amazing daughter was extra special: she's missing her pinkie on her right hand. It just looks as though she wasn't supposed to have one.She weighed 7 pounds, 12.8 ounces, and measured 19.75 inches. I attribute the perfect shape of her head to the swiftness of her delivery once pushing started. Her Apgar's were 7 and 9, and she's currently a happy, healthy two-day old. We were lucky enough to get home last night in time to spend our first Mother's Day in the comfort of our own home.