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Saturday, June 7th, I was feeling some contractions. Zach and I went to Wal-Mart and speed-walked the entire store three times and the contractions got really strong and awesome. Went home and they tapered off, so I figured it was not the day and went to bed.
Sunday I woke up, and noticed contractions again. We went for a ride in the car and they became very strong and painful, walked around the mall and it was pretty agonizing and I kept stopping for them. Came home, ate some food and we finally decided to just go to L&D to get checked because they were getting close to 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long. We get in to OB screening, get hooked up, and Zach made me laugh so hard I peed a lot even though I had just emptied my bladder, so I expressed concern that it may have been my water breaking. The nurse says they can't confirm without an exam and leaves to discuss with the midwife.
As we wait, I lay back on the table and talk to Zach. Suddenly, he's staring at the machine and says "Why is the baby's heart rate getting so low? It's almost to 40." I kind of shrug it off and figure if it's a concern, they would come into the room and tell me. Sure enough, the door swings open and the nurse says with some urgency that I should lay on my side. I do, and a second nurse comes in and says "Get her on O2 now." I oblige as they strap the mask on, still calm because I know that it was probably just me being stupid and laying on my back that caused the dip, so I won't lay like that again. The midwife comes in and says that they do want me to go up to L&D for more monitoring, but that she wants to do the internal exam to see if my water broke. She says to roll towards my back, but that there is a rolled up sheet there so I won't be flat on my back. As soon as I move, she stops me and stares at the monitor. The door flies open and there are nurses everywhere and a second bed; they are telling me to climb onto the bed and that we need to go upstairs now. I'm a little freaked but I know Zach is more freaked so I'm trying to stay calm. The move up to L&D is hectic and the nurses pushing me are all breaking into a sprint.
We get into the room, and there are more nurses surrounding me. One starts tying off my arm for an IV, the others are hooking up the O2 again, and suddenly an OB is in my face and says her name and that the baby's heartrate is decelerating and I may need an emergency c-section. I immediately start to lose it and cry, and the nurses all rub my arms and legs and tell me it's okay and to take deep breaths for the baby. I calm down and her heart rate stabilizes. The OB returns and says all looks okay now, but that they want to watch me overnight and decide what to do in the morning. I sign consent forms for an emergency c-section if it is required, and she says if there are no more issues then we will be discharged in the morning.
At some point, while I'm asleep, Ellie's heart rate drops again and the nurse wakes me to change positions. They are concerned because the drops have no rhyme or reason, they aren't happening with contractions or in a certain position. In the morning, the OB that takes over decides that we should induce because, while she is 90% confident everything will be fine if we go home, she doesn't feel that is confident enough. We agree, decide on 3 rounds of cytotec followed by pitocin if labor doesn't start by then. I am miserable.. I wanted to go into labor naturally and didn't want any drugs, but I know that they are concerned for Ellie and I want to do what is best for her.
The first part of my labor is unimpressive. I have to be monitored at all times, but they have wireless monitors that let me move around. The contractions are good but I can usually keep talking through them. I am still 2cm, so they give me a foley bulb and get me up to 4cm. After the second dose of cytotec, they do get more painful but I can breathe through and I discover my favorite focal point is an emergency sprinkler directly over my head. The midwife checks me, and I am dilated to 6cm. She offers to break my water to get labor really moving before we consider pitocin, so I agree and she breaks it. Fluid is clear, contractions are strong, we are good to go!
Except breaking my water doesn't help. It actually almost completely stops the contractions. I start receiving pitocin, the smallest amount which will then be upped by 3 every half hour until my body takes the hint and picks up on its own. Contractions are still okay, starting to hurt quite a bit, but I am able to move around and even get in the tub. For hours, I remain at 6cm and the pitocin goes up more and more. The contractions are so strong that I can't nod off anymore through them, and there are no comfortable positions. Ellie is still up high and my cervix isn't cooperating.
I'm starting to get delirious. While walking down the hallway, I notice all the empty rooms that had women in them before. I realize that everyone else has had their babies, that I will never have my baby. I will be trapped to the L&D floor forever, eternally contracting and never progressing. I start to seriously break down and lose it, crying hysterically and unable to breathe. The nurse asks to adjust my monitors and while doing this, a contraction hits and I stand in front of her and sob. She keeps her hand on my stomach as another nurse comes in, looks at the monitor, and tells me to lay on my side and puts the O2 mask on. I'm assuming that this is because I'm getting hysterical and not breathing correctly, but later find out that Ellie's heart rate had gone down again. The midwife rushes in and takes a seat next to me. She gets in my face as I'm screaming and says in a loud, stern voice that I need to breathe for Ellie. She instructs me to growl through my contractions, and when I do it helps immensely. She remains with me, checks me and says I'm at 8cm. She and the nurses watch me non-stop, which I think is to keep me calm but is actually because they are decided whether they need to do a c-section because Ellie's heart rate is falling again.
Very suddenly, Ellie drops into position and I start yelling that I need to push and that there is pressure between contractions. The nurse rubs my arm and tells me that that's my baby, that she is coming. They let me push a few times, and then order me onto my back to start pushing her out. I had gone from 8cm to 10cm in under 10 minutes. I ask to squat to delivery and they comply, removing my oxygen and helping me onto the floor. I lean against the bed, Zach lays on it from the opposite side and grabs my hands.
I am growling and screaming with each push. The pain is intense but I am in the zone, and pushing feels amazing after the few contractions where I couldn't push. I feel the ring of fire and the midwife says that I need to take some deep breaths, to give baby a minute before I push her out and then I push and she is out. They hand her to me and I fall back on the floor laughing and crying. She starts crying immediately, much to my relief, and the midwife has Zach help lift me onto the bed to deliver the placenta.
I'm still not quite all there in the head at this point, and am aware that there is a sense of panic around me. I am bleeding like crazy and can feel just rushing blood between my legs. I get stabbed in the arm with a shot to stop the bleeding, but I barely notice it because I'm staring at Ellie and laughing. I'm aware of someone, maybe Zach, asking what is happening, and the midwife says I'm hemorrhaging. This only makes me laugh harder, and in my mind I just keep thinking "Wow, I'm going to bleed to death now. I worked so hard and now I'm going to bleed to death."
In the end, I did not bleed to death. I lost 800 (something? I don't know what measurement this was) of blood when they are only comfortable with 500. I didn't need a transfusion, but it did give everyone a scare. I didn't tear at all!
For all the concern over her growth and size, she ended up being a bit of a hoss! She was born at 8:29pm on June 10th. 7lbs 12.75oz and 20.5 inches long. She has the sweetest strawberry blonde hair and the softest skin ever. She is basically perfect in every way. I spent the last couple days in a constant exhausted daze, from losing so much blood. I've had trouble talking and focusing, and have been nodding off a lot. Thank goodness I had Zach there through everything, he is the only reason I didn't break down and ask for an epidural or c-section. He kept telling me how great I was doing and even called me a birth goddess towards the end when I was really losing it.
And now... a load of pics because seriously, I can't even handle how precious she is.
In L&D once things had settled down, still on O2.
First latch.. like a pro!
Squeaks and Daddy.. she is so much a daddy's girl already, she loves to just sit and stare at his face.
With Daddy and big brother Bodhi.
All cleaned up and ready to move to the mom and baby floor.
Bodhi getting to hold her.
Curly red hair. It's lost most of the curl since her first bath but I'm pretty sure it will curl once it grows out more.
Skin-to-skin with Daddy.
I love her so much.
Not Ellie, but a funny picture of Brig sleeping in the hospital.
Getting ready to go home.. "I get my muscles from my Daddy!"
Tried to snag a picture of her and daddy sleeping but Zach woke up.
Kitty/Baby nap pile on me.
All dressed up for her first doctor appointment. She's down to 7lbs 3oz but looks perfect!
Sweet little face. I love when she is awake and looking around.
Sleeping with Daddy.
Milk drunk and sleeping on mom.
The picture my mom sent out to my brother... I'm pretty sure this was taken while I was delivering the placenta and right before I started bleeding so badly.