Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rachel's Birth Story

Well almost four weeks ago I gave birth to the most gorgeous little girl in the world and I really want to record her birth story before the sleep deprivation erases the details from my memory. lol

To really get the feel for the thing I need to do a quick refresher on Caleb's birth for comparison purposes because the single biggest thing I can't get over is how dramatically different it went and how much better I liked it this time around.

When I had Caleb I woke up at 5:45 am for yet another trip to the restroom, laid back down and had a contraction. But this time, for the first time ever, the contraction hurt. And I was like "Is that what I think it is??" So I grabbed my alarm clock and started timing things to see if I needed to wake people or not. I had 4 contractions and then my water broke! So we headed into the hospital and it was raining that morning so half the valley went into labor and it was CROWDED. So I was stuck in hell (also known as OB Triage) FOREVER.

It took them FOREVER to start my IV and by then I was in so much pain I couldn't hardly pay attention to whatever obnoxious thing they were doing to my arms, which was good since it took them FIVE tries (and one blown vein) to get the dang thing started. Then we had to wait for 2 bags of fluid before they would let me have my epidural. Then we had to wait longer b/c they wouldn't start my epidural until I was in the actual Labor and Delivery Suite b/c its hard to switch beds when you can't so much move your legs effectively.

So by the time I FINALLY got into the room and my epidural started I didn't know I could hurt that bad and not die/lose consciousness. No fun I tell you.

Hours of pain and I only went from 4 cm to 5 cm. But once I got that epidural (which is an invention straight from God in Heaven) and I totally relaxed I went from 5 cm to 10 cm in like an hour and a half!

Then the pushing started. And went on FOREVER. Which was okay initially b/c hell once I had that epidural I can do that shiz all week. But the problem was that Caleb had a 14.5 inch head (95th percentile) PLUS he apparently had his little fist in front of his face. So I had to get a couple shots of pitocin to make me contract harder and pushed for a solid hour to FINALLY get that kid out.

Then the problem was that my body was so exhausted from all that pushing that it didn't want to contract again to deliver the placenta and then contract the final time and stay contracted so I don't bleed to death. So I bled. A lot. It was bad. Not quite blood transfusion required bad, but close. I didn't appreciate just how much I bled until this time when I didn't hardly bleed at all and then I'm like "Oh now I know why they were freaking out last time".

So compare that drama of pain and agony and bleeding followed by MONTHS of God awful exhaustion (that at the time I thought was just normal "I just had a baby" tiredness) to this time around.

This time around I'd been having contractions pretty much non stop for the last 2 months. They weren't productive but they were obnoxious (about a 4-6 on the pain scale usually).

So the hospital finally calls me in for my induction around 4:30 pm (after waiting anxiously alllllll night and day for them to call). And we get there and I walked myself in (no wheel chair required) and we did paper work and a copay and were shown directly into the Labor and Delivery suite. Totally by passed L&D Triage, which is awesome b/c the beds in there are NOT comfy, there's no windows and those rooms are TINY.

I got set up with my IV, which they started ON THE FIRST TRY! Which is nothing short of AWESOME b/c we had repeats of the "get stabbed 3-5 times and they blow at least one vein" experience during my multiple hospital visits for preterm labor so I was very scared. So they get my IV on the first try and b/c I was group B strep positive this time they started me on IV antibiotics. They make you get two doses 4 hours apart before they'll start the pit drip. So the first part was very boring. Just sitting there watching my IV drip.

I will say those antibiotics BURN like fire. Like I called the nurse in a hurry b/c I was like "Is this supposed to hurt or is something horribly wrong??" She turned it down so it was uncomfortable but not omg painful.

So after staring at the IV dripping for hours and having a shift change, my new nurse asked my opinion on the epidural - did I want one and when. My response was "I want it as soon as you can give it to me. I've been in pain for months now and anything you do will only increase that so I'm ready to be out of pain". She looked at me, blinked and went "No problem!" and 20 mins later I was getting my epidural!

I was definitely more aware of the epidural this time. Last time I was in so much agony I didn't so much notice what was going on behind me except he was pushing on my back and that was kinda annoying but otherwise who cares? This time I definitely felt everything but other than the first stick (to numb me) it didn't hurt at all. Was just ... odd. Went in fast and easy so that was nice.

I initially was not a fan of my anesthesiologist. He came in right as I was sitting up and getting into position for the epi, during which my blood pressure cuff got twisted on my arm and then immediately started to inflate and then b/c it was twisted it did that thing where it blows up great big, starts to deflate, gets an error, blows back up, starts to deflate, error and then blows up again. By the 3rd time with it twisted and cutting into my arm I was like screaming in pain and ripped the damn thing off b/c the nurse wasn't fast enough hitting the abort button.

Well the doc walks in right as I rip the cuff off and starts lecturing me on how I have to leave the damn thing on and if I don't leave it on I don't get my epidural. I was less than pleased to be lectured like a small child. I tried to explain but he just kept chiding me and I'm like "I will happily keep the damn thing on for the whole time, I just need it straightened out so its not cutting into my arm!!" He calmed down after a bit and we got along by the time he was finished. Actually kinda liked the guy once he stopped lecturing me.

I got a really HUGE bruise from that damn cuff. Like 3 inches wide by 7 inches long on the back side of my arm. I should have taken a picture. It was epic. Every nurse who saw it over the next couple days when they would check my vitals freaked out over it.

But that was pretty much the extent of my trauma this time around, so really I can't complain too much.

So once we got the epi in place, they started the pitocin and they came in and broke my water and stuck a intrauterine contraction monitor in there - not the kind that sticks to the baby's head, but something that looked like a long plastic zip tie strip b/c they were having a hard time getting my contractions on the monitor with the belly band. I didn't feel a dang thing so I was cool with it. They also stuck this big rubber peanut ball between my knees to keep my legs apart to help the baby descend which was new for me this time around. It worked, for the record.

An hour later the nurse came in to up my pit again and I asked if she was going to check me (I was at 4 cm when it started) and she said no b/c my contractions weren't that impressive on the monitor yet. But she said to call if I felt a bunch of pressure or anything. So about 10 mins later I was feeling LOTS of pressure so I called the nurse and she came into check me. And this time instead of being 4 cm and -2 station, I was at 9 cm and 0 station! The nurse was like "You weren't kidding when you said you go fast!!"

So they called the doc and let things keep cooking in the mean time. I started to have some discomfort, like period level crampiness in the midsection at one point so they pushed the button to give me a bonus shot on the epi. Worked great.

It was an interesting experience to have labor but no pain this time. B/c while I was finally pain free for the first time in months, which was absolutely lovely, I could tell I was still in labor b/c man did I get TIRED and rather shaky. I'm like "I might not feel it but my body is definitely still working b/c something is wearing me out".

They started doing all the final count down preparations and kept a very nervous eye on my south end b/c apparently they could all see her head crowning but they weren't quite ready yet (it was midnight almost and they had to wake my poor doc up). Once everything was in place and I got the go ahead I pushed one time and she all but fell out! I only needed one stitch this time "for cosmetic purposes"!

Compared to pushing for a solid hour and ripping to kingdom come and getting a million stitches, that was AWESOME to push ONCE and tah dah!

Rachel did have the cord around her neck twice but the doc got it off super quick and she cried right away, nice and loud, which is always a welcome relief in a delivery room. She looked great but was a little blue initially but she pinked right up and had 8/9 apgars which was way better than Caleb's inital scores so that was another relief.

My biggest problem was that I was shaking uncontrollably after I had her. I was fine, I just couldn't stop shaking. Side effect of the meds plus the trauma of delivery. No biggie.

So having gone into labor naturally one time, and having an induction the second time, I have to say I am 100% in favor of my induction. I LOVED skipping the pain entirely and this delivery went SO much better. I do think it helped that her head was 2 inches smaller and she was a whole pound lighter than her brother, plus it was my second kid.

The most amazing thing to me tho in all of this was how much better I felt (and continue to feel) after having her. For starters all of my horrible pregnancy symptoms (the heart palpitations and nausea) are GONE and I actually have a surprising amount of energy. In talking with other women who hemorrhaged (or people who had friends who hemorrhaged) - I think it was actually the almost bleeding to death thing the first time around that made me a zombie for months after I had Caleb b/c I feel shockingly good this time around and I'm just plain grateful!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, Ami! was hoping you would be willing to answer my quick question about your blog! My name is Heather and my email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)