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So I've been meaning to write this up to send to y'all, but it's been kind of hard. I'm still trying to process everything and figure out where I am with it... first of all though, our beautiful little Regan Page was born 12/13/12. She weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. We're totally in love with her.
Now to how it all happened... on 12/11 I was 40w, 6d, and had a midwife appointment. At that point I was still soft but long and only a fingertip dilated, I had only been having occasional mild contractions and the baby was still high. I'd been to the chiropractor three times the previous week to try and get her to drop a bit. We went in and unfortunately my blood pressure was elevated. Stacey was out for surgery so we were working with Kattie at the Birth Place at this point. So Adam and I waited while Kattie called and talked to the OB on call at the hospital for a consult. Of course, considering the BP and being a week overdue they wanted me to go into the hospital. Kattie told us to go home and get our stuff because she was pretty sure that they would want to induce me. So we went home, finished packing our bags and did our last minute things at home and went to the hospital.
When we got to Labor and Delivery they put us in a room and checked me (no change) and put in a heplock and started monitoring. That was at about 10:30 am. The OB came in and we talked and the snowball kept building. (I started feeling out of control very early in this whole process and it's one of the things that's been the hardest for me.) They of course wanted to induce and the OB started talking about cytotec. That was one of the things that I'd wanted to avoid and so we asked about cervadil. They inserted the cervadil at 1:00 pm and I immediately started having contractions.
They left the cervadil in for 12 hours and I was contracting the entire time and was starting to feel hopeful that I might be able to get away with just doing that. At 1:00 am on the 12th they pulled the cervadil out and checked me and I was about 1 cm and 30% effaced. The OB wanted to immediately start pitocin, but we said that since I was contracting on my own I wanted to let that go for a while and see if my body would go on its own. So we walked, bounced on the yoga ball, tried to rest. By early afternoon my contractions were getting further and further apart and it was obvious that it was going to take something else. So around 5:00 pm they started a pitocin drip. Time gets a little blurry here... I know that over the course of the next 8 hours they gradually turned the pitocin up and my contractions got more intense. They were having problems with the wireless monitors and at some point they decided that they needed an internal monitor because she was having a few decels that they were having a hard time tracking. Around 11:00 pm we talked and decided to break my water. There was meconium.
The contractions were incredibly intense around midnight and I started to feel the urge to push. I again became hopeful that we might be close to the end... there was no break between contractions and the urge to push was incredibly strong. And then they told me that when I bore down with the contraction the baby's heart rate was dropping and I needed to not push. So I breathed through as best I could and willed my body to not bear down. At almost 1:00 am the OB checked me again and I was only 5 cm and my cervix was a little swollen from the pushing that I'd done. At that point I just about lost it. I'd been in labor for about 36 hours and was exhausted and worried about the baby. So between contraction peaks we talked and I caved and asked for an epidural. At that point I was hoping that it would help the baby if I wasn't bearing down and maybe the rest would let my body finish. So we did the epidural and got me all arranged. The baby was tolerating things fine and I thought that maybe this would do it. And then I started feeling pain again. The epidural had become dislodged and I wasn't getting any relief. The intense, no break contractions were back, along with the urge to push and now also very noticeable back labor. They called the anesthesiologist back and (after what seemed like a VERY long time) they did a second epidural. This one completely numbed me but it at least worked.
Around 3:00 am they checked me again and I was 7-8 cm and everyone was very hopeful. I actually got a couple of hours of sleep. Around 4:00 am I was 9 cm. And at about five they came in and woke me, thinking that it was probably time to push, but when they checked me I was still only 9 cm. The OB came back in and they decided to put in an internal monitor to see if the contractions were actually doing anything at that point. What they found is that my contractions were no longer productive. The OB figured that my uterus was just so tired at that point that nothing was happening. The doc gave us the option of continuing for a little longer or opting for the C-Section right then. Adam and I talked for a bit and it seemed unlikely that things would be any different if we waited another hour. So we cried a bit and then said that we'd just go for the C-Section. So Regan Page was born at 6:21 am on December 13th via C-Section.
After they pulled her out she cried and they took her to the warmer to dry and wrap before they put her in my arms. She was a bit raspy in her breathing so they didn't let her stay with me long and Adam went with her to the nursery while they closed me up and sent me to recovery. I was in recovery for a while before they brought her back to me and she was attached to an oxygen saturation monitor. Again they only let her stay with me for a minute before the nurse said they had to leave. I found out later that she'd turned grey before they got her back and hooked up to the oxygen. Adam sat with her and held a mask close to her face for those first couple hours. So she was stuck in the nursery. I was sent to a surgical room and it took me several hours to get myself up and into a wheelchair so that I could go down the hall and visit her.
They initially said that she just had some fluid in her lungs and that it would clear up quickly. They later revised that to thinking that she either had aspirated some meconium or she had pneumonia, or both. So they put her on iv antibiotics for seven days. All kinds of fun after that... I immediately started pumping (breastfeeding was the one thing in the whole experience that has been easy and positive) to get her as much colostrum as possible. She had a feeding tube for a while and they'd give her whatever I could make and then supplement with formula. That only lasted a couple of days and then I was producing enough to only give her that.
I'd also had some scary blood pressure stuff during labor that made them watch me extra close and I ended up on bp medication after the birth as well. So I was discharged on the 18th but Regan couldn't leave. The hospital has a really wonderful program for the parents of nicu babies and they let us have a room down the hall so we could stay with her. On the 22nd they let her move to the room with us and on the 27th they let us take her home. She's still on oxygen and a monitor, but we're at least sleeping in our own bed. Her lungs and airways are very, very slowly healing and it's going to be a long process to wean her off the oxygen. But she's still nursing like a champ, has gained almost a pound over her birth weight and doesn't at all look or act like a sick baby. She's also very sweet tempered and hasn't been too fussy or demanding. Like Adam says, we're just anxious to get the wireless version!
Sorry that this turned into such a novel... it's the first time that I've actually written out the experience and it's helped to to deal with everything that happened. It'll take a while to process everything and to sort through all of the emotions that I'm feeling about it. It would have been hard for us to think of ways for her birth to go more against what we'd hoped for, but she is here, she's going to be just fine and we wouldn't trade her for anything!