Friday, May 3, 2013

The Birth of Lil' A....

I know I need to write down a super detailed birth story, so I can remember it (and tell my daughter REPEATEDLY)... but I'm not sure how much I can focus at this point. I did want to get some pictures posted, so there's that...

Tuesday morning was a particularly hard day. Physically, emotionally... it was hard. I did not feel well. Wednesday morning I woke at 4:00 am having contractions. As usual. I woke my husband up, only because he had asked me to wake him early so he could finish grading papers for class.

By 5:00 however, I knew I wasn't feeling right. I hadn't really felt the baby move, and my stomach was almost CONSTANTLY hard. I decided to take the kids to school and then possibly go to the hospital.

I kind of half assed timed contractions while I was getting ready. I showered, fixed my hair, put on a little make up. They were about 10 minutes apart, but it was getting hard(er) to breathe, and I found myself gasping for air almost constantly.

Got the kids to school. After I dropped them off, I noticed I felt like the contractions were much closer than every 10 minutes. I had no idea how close, but I was able to keep driving.

Went to the hospital. They checked me in.

One of the nurses asked, "Are you here by yourself?" I said,  "Yes, I wanted to make sure I knew it was the real thing before I get my husband here." They checked me and I was 3.5 cm and 80% effaced.

Around 8:30 I think was when I got the news that I would be staying and having a baby!!

I called my husband to tell him and since he was on his way to school to teach a 9 am class, he went ahead and went in just to tell everyone. Then he arrived at the hospital.

The doctor started by breaking my water. Things progressed quickly from there.

I knew going into this I wanted an epidural, so I ordered one right away. My poor husband watched while they started it, and it seemed to make him very nervous. It was more uncomfortable than I remember it being the last time. I felt a couple of odd shooting pains. And to tell the truth, the epidural never did give me the all out pain relief I was hoping for. More about that later.

I love large green hospital gowns.

The contractions were 2-4 minutes apart, but they needed them to be closer. So I was given a low dose of pitocin.

I sent my husband home to rest and started to watch Castle.

 Or Firefly.

I think there was a little of both. All I know was there was Nathan Fillion.

I've never had a medication-free birth, so I don't know how bad the worst contractions can feel. But, I do know that I was still feeling them quite a bit. My wonderful nurse called the Epidural Guy back at least 2 times to "top me off". Even then, it just never felt quite right. Although I was numb down there, so I guess that's something.

I think it was around 1:00 when my doctor came by and checked. I was at about a 7. She suggested I tell my husband to start making his way back, especially since I had gone from 7 to 10 with my second baby in a matter of just a few minutes.

I kept feeling like pressure down there. They checked and the baby was engaged. Every contraction was so strong and I felt like she was just going to walk out on her own.

They started to get everything ready:

I knew it was serious when they took the table away that had my computer on it. That meant I had to stop watching Firefly. I remember being kind of disappointed... but then realizing that was ridiculous.

I sent my husband a text. "How close are you? Shit's getting real..." Apparently that sent him into a speeding nervous frenzy.

After that everything happened super fast. I told my husband I wanted to time the pushing, so I asked him to keep track of the time. I started to push. I tried to count them but I lost count. I pushed hard and often- with breaks in between just long enough to catch my breath. I'm pretty sure it was less than 10 pushes. Lil' A was 8 pounds 2 oz and 20. 5 inches long. She was born at 2:05.

I was pushing little heart out and my doctor said, "Sarah, open your eyes and look down." And there she was. My little alien baby. I said "Holy Crap!" and they took her off to get her checked and fixed up.

My husband reported that I pushed for 7 minutes.

Because I pushed so little, she initially had some breathing issues. Lots of fluid. Of course, she cried immediately, which was reassuring. But I watched as they put oxygen masks to her fact and flicked her feet. I have no idea what her Apgar was.

I was able to hold her for a bit before they took her to the nursery:

For the next few hours, she was in the nursery. They were worried about her breathing and her circulation. She had some discoloration around her mouth which made them think she wasn't getting enough oxygen. She also had some mild shoulder dystocia from coming out. It seemed like an eternity before I got her back, and I was a bit worried. But eventually they brought her to me and I was able to nurse her and love on her.

Big brother and big sister didn't make it by until pretty late. Daddy took them to a birthday party they were really looking forward to. So at around 9:30 they showed up.

Very sweet. They approve.

 I chose to have a tubal ligation, and they scheduled it for Thursday morning. Because of this, they left the base of the epidural attached overnight. This meant no shower. It also meant lots of discomfort.

Thursday morning I had my tubal. They knocked me out. I finally got my relaxed, pain free nap. Honestly, I don't remember falling asleep, I just know that the next thing I remember was them waking me and telling me it was all done. And I felt sooooo relaxed.

Once the pain meds wore off it was very uncomfortable though...

We are home now and getting used to the new normal. Those last few days of pregnancy I had a terrible time breathing. I realize how bad it was now because of the difference- as soon as she got out, I was able to breathe easier. So, even though I'm recovering from childbirth and surgery, I feel a million times better. I can walk from room to room without getting light headed and breathless. These past few weeks were pretty hard on me.

But it was all so totally worth it:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The one where I curse. A lot.

If bad language offends you, you should probably not read anymore. I'm having an emotional breakdown, so I figured I should record it on my blog and post it for the world to see.


I've been pregnant twice before. I've made it to 39 weeks, 2 days with both kids. But I have never.... EVER... had this many contractions before they were born.

I've had so many "this is it" moments I can't even count anymore.


Yesterday I sat through an hour long meeting timing contractions (and probably frightening co-workers). That's when I decided I think I'm done with work.

However, since I'm not independently wealthy, it's probably very irresponsible to take time off without pay. But at this point it's so hard I don't care.

Of course, I stayed home today because I woke up all through the night with a headache and feeling like I was going to throw up IN ADDITION to the contractions. But then at about noon, they all stopped. But you see- if I had gone to work, I would have had contractions all day. And probably thrown up AND had diarrhea.

I do remember a point in every pregnancy where I completely give up and have a crying fit that lasts for a day and decide I absolutely can't do it anymore. With my son, it happened just before my water broke. Seriously. I was watching fitness infomercials and crying, and then I started watching "The Devil Wears Prada", and crying because they threw the steak away, and I was SO HUNGRY. I stood up, and my water broke.

With my daughter, my dad was in the hospital in another state, and we all thought he was going to die. My family had told me the doctor said I could call him and ask him questions, but when I tried to call him, the receptionist said, "He said anything you need to know your family can ask him. He's not going to talk to you on the phone."

Today was that moment with this pregnancy. This is the best way to describe me right now:
So, I apologize if I've alienated everyone. But I just needed to let it all out. I do have it in perspective, deep down, and I'm looking forward to meeting my daughter. It's just at this point, I'm a) convinced it will never happen and b) concerned that by the time she gets here I will have lost my job, been evicted, and be living in the car I can't pay for.

At least then I won't have to pay $1300 a month for childcare...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eff this ish..

Today I got fed up with the contractions. They got really bad, I called the doctor's office, they said if they continued to go to the ER.

I went to the ER.  They admitted me. They checked me.

After having contractions every day since my last doctor's appointment- on Tuesday- I had progressed ABSOLUTELY EFFING ZERO. Nothing. 2 centimeters, 50% effaced.

I hate everything.

Even though they hooked me up to the monitors and we were able to physically SEE the contractions happening, the nurse explained to me that what really matters is the effect the contractions are having... not the contractions themselves.


So, at 5:15 they told me they would have me walk to see if we could get things going. She said, "You can have a cup of ice and go walk. Don't come back until 7:00- unless your water breaks, you can't walk because the contractions are so bad, or you're bleeding." (Well, she said it nicer than that... but still.)

So I walked.

I really got to know not only the Labor and Delivery unit, but the Post-Partum unit.

I made friends with nurses.

I did walking lunges. (Wow. That's a whole new kind of pain- doing a walking lunge with a baby in your pelvis. Holy crap.)

I walked by the nurses stations repeatedly. By the end of my walk, they all knew I had a 5 year old boy, a 2 year old girl, and was doing my best to get the baby girl out of my body.

I squatted through some contractions, until a nurse saw me and came running and asked if I was okay. So, after that I tried to do it when no one was around. Didn't want to alarm anyone.

I thought about Captain Mal, and applied his wisdom to my childbirth experiences:
"It never goes smooth! How come it never goes smooth?"

I returned to my room at 7, convinced that something had happened, because I was incredibly sore and tired.

Guess what:

NOTHING. 2 cm. 50%.


So they sent me home.

That felt like a special kind of failure. I cried. A lot.

So I get to do this again until May 7. Because I'm pretty sure I can't handle another false alarm, so I'm not going in again unless my water breaks all over everything. I mean, those people on "I didn't know I was pregnant" have stomach aches, and then end up having a baby on the toilet or in the bathtub, right before the act break. But seriously, I'm not going to go through this again.

Oh Tobias. You blowhard.
The plan (as of right now) is as follows:
- Pretend I'm not pregnant.
- Ignore contractions
- Try working out again
- Do housework tomorrow
- Go to the hospital on May 7 and coerce her out.

So don't expect me to be nice. Or patient. Or friendly. And if you ask me "What's the hold up?" (like a co-worker did on Friday) I will probably punch you. And kick you. Hard.

As my son said as we drove to the hospital today: "I know you really want the baby to come out. I mean, that's why you cry a lot and pee all the time, right?"

And just to make me feel better, here's this:
"I'm a leaf on the wind..." Yes I know Captain Mal didn't say that. You want to argue with me?