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well I need to get this done now before the details get fuzzy! I'm sure this will be VERY long!
ok a little background, to make it make sense. Claire is my 3rd baby, my first son was born at 37 weeks, complication free, perfectly healthy pregnancy and baby. my second was a great pregnancy until my labor started at 29 weeks. I started to dilate at 30 weeks and a couple days later my water broke at 31 weeks. I was 4cm dilated, ruptured, and contracting for 25 days until I delivered my son at 34 weeks. 18 days in the NICU and he has been perfectly healthy ever since.
this pregnancy was very carefully monitored to try and prevent another preterm delivery. I had weekly progesterone injections from 16 weeks until about 35 weeks. I also had cervical length ultrasounds and BPP's every 4 weeks until my 3rd trimester and every 2 weeks after that. when my cervix started to shorten a little early(33 weeks) I was given betamethisone, a steroid injection to help mature Claire's lungs. during this time I was getting nervous about the fact that Claire was breech, but the dr's kept assuring me there was plenty of time for her to turn around. fast forward to about 35 weeks and she is still breech. I start discussing my options with my drs, and am still being assured that she can still turn. I decided to take some action to try and help her. I tried every home remedy there was from stretches and positioning to seeing a chiropractor.
at 35 1/2 weeks I go into labor and dilate to about 2-3cm, but don't progress from there. my dr tells me that if I progress or rupture, I will have to have a c-section, the baby it too small for anything else to be safe. she said she would consider a vaginal delivery if I make it to term and would attempt a version to try and manually turn the baby herself if I get to 37 weeks. at my 36 week appt she tells me that because the baby is still small she is not very comfortable with delivering me vaginally and the hospital is fighting her about it. she said she was still fine with the version, so we scheduled that for monday october 27th, and decided to plan an induction immediately to follow to make sure that the baby didn't have time to turn back around on her own before I went into labor. I had an amniocentesis and BPP the next day to make sure the baby was fully mature and ready to be delivered. She was measuring approximately 5 1/2lbs and was fully mature! we were ready I was to be at the hospital at 11 am on monday.
well monday arrives, I know that they won't let me eat once the induction is started, so I eat 2 pieces of toast at my mom's house when we drop off my son and we head to the hospital. we get there right on time, have to wait a few minutes to get into our room because someone had just delivered and they were cleaning up the room. we get settled into the room and that's about when the #*%! hit the fan. my dr and I hadn't discussed what would happen if the version was unsuccessful, so I assumed that A, it would work, and B, that I had options if it didn't. I assumed if it didn't work that either we could try it again another day, or that we would just wait for me to go into labor on my own, and hope she turned in the meantime. She proceeded to come in and tell me otherwise, very forcefully. basically I got yelled at. she told me that she wasn't very confident of it working, because the baby had been in the exact same position for so long, and that if it didn't work the first time, trying again was pointless because the baby would just be bigger. then she tells me that waiting after that point would be reckless, because we know the baby is mature and ready to be born, and since I am already dilated, if my water broke while I was home I was in serious risk of a cord prolapse, which could potentially harm, or even kill the baby. so! she would try the version, but we were doing it in the operating room, I would need to get a spinal first, to relax my uterus completely, and if it didn't work we would be going ahead with the c-section immediately. I cried. Alot. This was not exactly how I imagined my wonderful day starting off. She left the room so DH and I could discuss what she had said and all I could do was cry. He told me it would be okay, just to plan on the c-section and that it wasn't my fault that it didn't work out, so we just needed to deal with it now. it would be fine and the baby would be better off this way. so we agreed and signed paperwork. then they realize I have eaten, and we have to wait about 5 more hours before we can start. what?!? this has got to be some mean joke. ok, so the anesthesiologist says she will start my spinal at 4:30. I intended to be halfway through labor at that point, not just starting the version. great. so we wait.
well we sit around doing nothing, watching tv for 5 hours. I send him to eat some lunch, and when 4:30 rolls around, there is someone in the OR. finally about 5:15 or so they start upping my IV fluids so I will be very hydrated when the spinal is put in. they get DH his scrubs, my mom comes up to the hospital, and off we go into the OR. kinda scary place! not my first time in an OR, but it's still scary. they put my spinal in, very different from an epidural, it hurt. ALOT. I felt everything she did inside my spine, everytime she moved the tube, it rubbed nerves and shot pain down my right side. I was crying by the time they had me lay down and I started to get numb. it was a really weird feeling. they were going to put my catheter in, and I asked if they would wait until I was all the way numb. they explained that I was going to be able to feel them touching me, but that nothing was going to hurt. not very comforting. but they were right. I felt them putting it in, and touching me, but there was no pain, not even discomfort. VERY strange sensation. then I realized I couldn't move my legs. another strange feeling. DH came in about then and people started filling up the room. the dr came in and so did a nurse with an ultrasound machine. they check the baby's exact position. she puts mineral oil on my belly and starts trying to turn her. I could feel it, but it wasn't uncomfortable. one of the nurses was shocked that she wasn't hurting me until she realized I had already gotten the spinal. the dr was shaking from the effort and the baby wasn't even budging. no change whatsoever. she spent about 10-15 minutes with no progress and just looked at me and shook her head. I nodded and started to cry. DH rubbed my hair and she looked around and said ok! they started wiping me off and moved the ultrasound machine. everybody started moving, some people left the room, and they raised the little panel between me and my belly. it was time to start the c-section.
they spent a couple of minutes getting me cleaned up and getting scrubbed up and ready. I was calm by the time we got started, and it was really strange. I could feel my belly being moved around, but nothing hurt. then I realized I could smell the cauterizing while she was cutting. it smelled like burning skin, but instead of bothering me, it kind of made me excited. I knew they had started and I would hear Claire soon. I heard some suctioning and the dr said the the baby's feet were out. I asked it she was still a girl and she laughed and said she wasn't quite there yet. a few seconds later the nurse said, yup. it's a girl! the dr said ok, her butt is out....ok one arm, one shoulder, the other arm, and then the nurse by my head was moving the drape and holding up my head for me just as the dr pulled Claire all the way out. she started wiggling right away and as soon as they sucked her mouth out she started crying. they held her up for us to see her a little better and then they took her over to the warmer. DH and I were both crying and he kissed me and went over to the warmer where I yelled at him to take pictures! lol. they wiped her off, wrapped her up and brought her to me. I held her and cried and then they had to take her to the nursery. I told DH to go with her and off they went. the anesthesiologist gave me a narcotic in my IV and I dozed while they finished closing me up. somewhere in there I heard my dr say "look how small her uterus is already!" ummm...ok.
so then they take down all the drapes and my gown is fixed to cover me up and they roll me from one side to the other to slide this thing under me. it inflates so they can slide me off the operating table and onto a bed and they move me into recovery. DH meets me in there and they bring the baby in. we oooh and ahh over her for a minute and then I nursed her. she latched on right away and nursed for about 25 minutes. neither one of my boys did that so I was just in awe. when she was done and I was covered back up my boys came in to meet their new baby sister. then DH took them out and went to gather up my things from the labor room because it was time for me to move from the recovery room to my actual room that I would be in. they wheeled me over and DH brought my stuff in. once we were settled into the room, my parents, his parents, and the boys came in to see me and Claire. the grandma's took turns oohing and ahhing and holding her and the boys jumped around and pushed buttons on my bed until I said I was done and ready for a break. everybody was great about it and they were all gone within about 5 minutes. Claire was ready to eat again and the 3 of us spent the next few hours just bonding together.
that is the story of Claire Elizabeth.
Monday, October 27th, 2008
homebirthing, tandem nursing, cosleeping, babywearing, picky vaxing, cloth diapering Christian doula mama