Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Birth Story

We went into the hospital at 0600 Wednesday morning. I had two doses of cytotec. The doses didn't really work, and my platelet count was 73K so my doctor wanted to get the baby out. They started me on IV pitocin around noon that day. But, by 11pm I had made little progress. I was only dilated to 2, and the doctor couldn't break my water yet. Because of the pitocin I was definitely feeling the contractions, but I could tolerate them. They turned the pitocin off from 11pm to 4am to let me and my uterus rest. It went back on at 4am, and finally at 12:30 on Thursday they were able to break my water. That morning my platelets were 71k. 
The anesthesiologist came in and talked with my about the possibility of an epidural in case I needed it. The nurses said it would be tough to manage labor with IV pitocin going on top of my natural hormones. By about an hour after he broke my water, shit got real. I have never been in so much pain, no, I've never IMAGINED that kind of pain existed. Anyway, anesthesia had said an epidural would be pretty safe and they would monitor me close when it came out for complications. So, at about 3pm Thursday I got the epidural. I labored into the night, still feeling contractions but they weren't so intense. 
At about midnight (friday AM) I stopped progressing at 6cm. The nurse called the doctor and he said if I didn't progress in the next few hours I would have to go to surgery for a c-section because the baby was starting to have some heart beat accelerations showing us she was getting tired. I lost it. I had been laboring for so long and couldn't imagine it ending in surgery. So, my nurse had me (and my numb thighs) sit up and labor upright for a couple hours. The epidural didnt really help at this point because it was mostly pressure. I felt everything in my pelvis. It hurt but I just breathed through it. 
By 3am I was an 8cm, so that meant I was avoiding the c-section. Finally at 5am Valentines morning (Friday) I was almost to 10cm and started pushing. At 6am my doctor got there, and at 6:33 she was born :) The pushing was so tough. Hardest work Ive ever done and by that point honestly I was so tired I just felt like I couldn't do it. The last couple hours were full of tearful moments but I made it. When I did that final push and then she slid of out of my body there was the greatest most overwhelming feeling of joy and relief. I did it! They put her on my chest and my husband and I were in awe of this little Valentines baby. She was finally here!
48.5 hours from admit to delivery. I wouldn't recommend to anyone to be induced, unless (like me) there is a medical reason. It took a long time because my body wasn't ready for labor. I was disappointed that I got the epidural because I had spent so much time in the past weeks preparing to endure labor without one. But, because we augmented with IV pitocin it became unbearable, and due to the longevity of the labor I was simply too tired to endure the pain without some help. I did not have any complications from the epidural, other than that when they first put it in and started the medication my blood pressure dropped, and so the baby's heart rate dropped and they had to give me some ephedrine to get things back to normal. So, there I was, not feeling a lot of pain but feeling like I'd had 10 cups of coffee. 
When I write and read the story back, I realize it sounds horrific. But, it really wasn't. It was the work I had to do to meet my baby girl, and as she sleeps peacefully beside me while I write this, I know I would do it all again to meet her. There is no moment in my life that I can compare that moment to. It was, quite simply, the best day of my life. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Week To Go...

Yep, you read it right. I met with my doctor yesterday and I will be induced on next Wednesday February 12th at 6am. No. this was not a choice I made if you are wondering, that seems to be the million dollar question from the few people I've told. Because the platelets are low, my blood pressure is up a bit, and my placenta is starting to degenerate (not unsafe, but associated with a full term pregnancy) he thinks its best to go ahead to get things started since I will be 39 weeks. My cervix is already almost thinned out and I'm starting to dilate, so I should respond to an induction treatment called "cervical ripening."

Basically, they take a medication and insert it into the vagina near the cervix and monitor you for an hour. Then, once your hour is up, the have you start walking. After three hours, hopefully some regular contractions are starting. If they don't, they repeat the process with a second dose. Hopefully this will kick start you into labor. For me, I really don't want IV pitocin. I think it would make labor too intense and I am going to try and do this without pain medication. (See prior post about epidural and low platelets). So, if the cervical ripening doesn't work, I will just go home and give myself some more time.

Part of me hopes that my some miracle I go into labor between now and next Wednesday. I want this baby to come in her own time. But, the bleeding risk remains and if the platelets fall further I am putting us at risk for bleeding after delivery. I don't want that either. We did an ultrasound yesterday and she looks great. She measured 6 pounds 11 ounces. At 39 weeks she will be considered a full term baby.

I have been doing a lot of reading, and talking with some friends regarding natural child birth, and the more I learn the more passionate I am to go through the labor process without medication. One thing that I have been told and read over and over again is: "trust your body. Let go, give into the pain and let your body do what it knows to do." That is the truth isn't it? I mean, we were MADE to do this. Women have been giving birth for years and years. But, I started really thinking about this idea of "trusting my body" like if my body were a friend or family member. Like it was a relationship that I had with someone. Me and my body, are we BFF's? Has she let me down?

The short answer is no, she hasn't.

My body stood by me when I was born into this world. All my tiny little parts worked together to make my existence happen. She was there when I took my first steps, and fell down, and ran into a sliding glass door to give myself a black eye growing up. She fought every cold, flu, strep throat, ear infection and who knows what else I exposed her to as the years pressed on. When I tried marijuana, alcohol, and even <cringe> ecstasy in my teen years she did not fail me. She got nauseous but she did not fall apart. My body carried me across the stage at my high school graduation, she kept me awake, alert and healthy through college. She gave me butterflies through my first love to my true love, she protected my heart as it healed after relationships that didn't work out. My body continued to thrive as my first pregnancy failed, and she stayed stable through my surgery. My body kept my heart beating, my lungs breathing, and my consciousness intact as I layed eyes on my deceased sister for the first time. She kept me afloat as I somehow gathered up the strength to speak at my sisters funeral. She kept me cool and calm when I met my daughters and brought them home. She has been abundant in carrying this pregnancy for me.

My body has never failed me yet. Why wouldn't I trust her? Why would I doubt her ability to do one more thing that she was made to do.

I am not going to. I can do this.

I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:12-13

Saturday, February 1, 2014

It's February!

Wow, February 1st. I cannot believe it. Our daughter is due THIS MONTH. 19 days until her date to be exact, not that I am counting on it, I recently read only 3% of babies are born on their due date. So she will be here sometime this month, I'm sure. Who knows exactly when.

If my platelet recheck had dropped yesterday she was going to come out today. But, luckily, they are not changing. They are still low, but they haven't fallen further. I am currently full of 81,000 platelets. The epidural is still questionable, but I have had some great support given to me by good friends and am feeling more empowered to experience birth naturally. I. Can. Do. It.

We just got home from a picnic at the park thanks to this weird 60-70 degree northern California weather. I have never had a picnic on February 1st before and it was quite a treat. I definitely feel like I'm "nesting" as I turned "doing the dishes" into removing everything from the kitchen counters and scrubbing them. I plan to clean the fridge later today too. All in good time between playing with the girls and getting my feet up. It is amazing how tired I get after one little task.

In the midst of platelet worries I got to spend some time with friends last week. One day a pedicure and lunch with two great girls, and lunch with another the next day. It was a delight and I felt spoiled. Baby girl is still getting gifts so there is always something to wash and get put away in anticipation of her arrival.

Contractions are happening all the time now. Some are painful but most are not. I am 75% effaced, which means my cervix is almost all the way "thinned out" and Dr expects I will start dilating soon. My hope for the end of this pregnancy is that labor begins when my body is ready. I hope the platelets continue to hold (we're checking them weekly) so that she can grow until she's ready to come out.

Other than that, I'm just trying to enjoy every moment of her moving and hiccuping inside me. I definitely think I will miss being pregnant. I have enjoyed it, even with its odd symptoms and bumps along the way. Creating a human is truly an amazing thing and I am so blessed to of gotten the opportunity. A few friends have announced their pregnancies recently and I find myself both relieved that I am almost done but envious at the journey ahead of them, it is… oh so special.

A friend sent this to me in light of my very near journey into mothering a newborn, and I love it. Click hear to read.

Yep, just used the wrong form of here but the kids are yelling at each other down stairs so I'm just going to publish… haha.