Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lady's Birth Story

We have our little Lady.  She is perfect and beautiful, and we just love her to little pieces.
She was born June 6, 2014 at 7:22 p.m.  (She shares a birthday with my sweet niece.)
7 lbs. 1 oz. (same as Gunner.  Same as me, too.)
19 3/4 inches.

So, here's how it all went down.  It's more for me to remember, but I feel it's beautiful enough to share.  Lots of details here.  Forgive me.  I believe birth stories are all about the details.  For me, every moment and every detail of these few hours make the experience special.

My due date came and went, and with it my anxiety grew.  The time we had so carefully planned out was passing.  My mother in law was only in town for a few more days.  Spiff had taken some precious time off, and would soon be on call again.  My doctor had stripped my membranes twice, but although I was dilated to a three, nothing was happening.  No contractions.  No progress.  I felt physically fine, until I woke up the day after my due date to find that the baby had Dropped! in a serious way.  I was immediately more uncomfortable, waddling around with very swollen feet.

All the sudden, I wasn't so fine with staying pregnant.  We needed this baby to come out!  We all knew it, but I was definitely feeling the pressure of "performing".  With the end of pregnancy, I had reached the end of my little rope.

I went to the doctor two days after my due date.  She came in with an induction date of the following Thursday (one week later), which happened to be Spiff's next call day.  She asked how my hubby's schedule was, and I immediately broke down.  I sobbed at her, telling her how nice and free he was until that possible induction date.

She was amazing and took immediate pity on me.  Since I was past my due date, the baby's head was down and engaged, and I was then dilated to a four, she said it was safe and offered to break my water and commit to having a baby that day.  I gratefully accepted, and we went ahead and did it.  I will always be grateful for a physician who understands our crazy life and how precious his few days off were to us.  And as much as I had hoped to go into labor all on my own, I realized with this third baby that my body just doesn't do that.  I have had to have pitocin-induced labors with all of my kids because of long, stalled labors.  My body was ready, but I needed some help and was happy to accept it.  (9:30 a.m.)

I called Spiff and we met at home.  My mother-in-law took over the boys (so thankful for her!) as Spiff and I gathered our things and headed to the hospital.  Once at the hospital (11:00 a.m.), we were immediately checked in and placed in an L&D room when we told them that my water had broken.  From there, it took them several hours to determine whether or not it actually was broken (there were some tests run to check for leaking amniotic fluid) and debates as to whether or not to start me on pitocin, since I wasn't really having contractions.

Time passed, and eventually my contractions started on their own.  The staff eventually decided to start pitocin to get the contractions coming faster and closer together (3:00 p.m.).  Then we waited.  Spiff and I sat in our little room, hanging out together, watching movies.  It almost felt like a vacation since we didn't have our boys with us.  It was really nice and felt special to me to be alone together as we waited to welcome this new baby into our family.  I will say again how grateful I am to Spiff's mom for watching the boys so we could focus on the baby and know the boys were well taken care of.

My contractions started coming harder and faster, and I asked for my epidural (5:00 p.m.).  I love me a good epidural.  That thing was amazing.  It was extra nice that my anesthesiologist husband was there to talk me through the whole thing.  I'm so glad I got it so that I could relax and rest, while still feeling enough to feel pressure during contractions.

7:00 p.m. rolled around.  Shift change for the nurses.  My nurse, who had been with me all day long, was getting ready to head home.  She brought her replacement in to give her my information.  I knew it was a busy time and that everyone was distracted, BUT I had started to feel a lot of pressure.  Trying not to make a big deal of it, I told Spiff.  Then I told the nurses because it started to feel like a big deal.  My nurse paused her hand-off summary in order to check me and said, "Oh, you're ready to go!"  Then she decided to stay late from her shift to help me have my baby.  What an awesome lady!

Labor is funny for me because there is so much waiting around and quiet undisturbed hours, and then when it's Go Time, it's like a whirlwind.  All the sudden, the room is filled with people and I am surrounded by people manipulating my body and coaching me through the delivery.  Spiff was on one side of me, the nurse on the other, and my doctor and some other people were there to deliver the baby.  By 7:10 I was pushing.  Five contractions later, our little Lady was born at 7:22.

It was the smoothest, easiest labor and delivery I have had.  I didn't tear and had no stitches, which made a world of difference in my recovery.  Our baby girl was tiny and perfect.  She immediately wanted to suck and suck on her hands, and we noticed that she snorts when she cries.  The nurse stamped her tiny footprints onto Spiff's arm.  I loved watching Spiff hold our little daughter.  I'm not sure I have ever seen him look so happy.

We were both pretty immediately enamored with this little sweetie.  We're happy she's healthy, relieved that she made it safely into the world, and grateful that she's a part of our family.