24 March 2010

Edward's birth story

Just like I blogged about Sophie's birth story for posterity, I will blog about Edward's. So if you don't want to read about gory details, just skip this post. :)

My pregnancy with Edward went really well, especially in comparison to Sophie's. Other than passing out at Mike's ALS graduation and being taken to the ER by ambulance for dehydration, everything went very smoothly. At my last OB visit, on Wednesday, March 17th though, his baseline heart rate had dropped significantly. Enough to worry Leanna, my midwife. So she ordered an ultrasound for the next morning and told Mike and I to bring our hospital bags because they might tell us to go to the hospital to be delivered from the appointment. If they didn't, then she wanted to induce me the following Monday or Tuesday.

Our hospital bags were packed for the most part, and Sophie's bags were already over at Joe and Michelle's house, since they were going to watch Sophie for us while we were in the hospital. I had a few last minute things to do, mostly cleaning, so I was up late and then Sophie was up a lot, so I ended up only getting about four hours of sleep. I had really wanted to feed Sophie one last time where it's just us, but I wasn't able to because I didn't get up early enough. :( So she ate breakfeast when she got to Michelle's house.

Early in the morning (my appointment was at 0830) I got up, loaded up the car, got Sophie up and ready to go, went and picked Mike up from work, dropped Sophie off at Joe and Michelle's and we headed to the ultrasound appointment. Things looked okay in the ultrasound, but when the doctor came in to talk with us (after much waiting because he was held up at the hospital), he said that I had way to much fluid and they wanted to induce me that day. He said that if my water were to break at home on its own, then because there was so much amniotic fluid, I could either have an abruption, which could end in stillbirth, or a cord prolapse, which could end in stillbirth. Both reasons to get induced. When he said that, I got scared. But I knew it wasn't likely that my water would be breaking within the next hour and the hospital was one block away. They were also measuring Edward to be between 8.5 and 9 pounds, although they said that the ultrasound could be as much as a pound and a half off. I wasn't really too surprised at that because he had been measuring big for a long time.

So we headed over to the hospital to the urgent care to get admitted to start the induction. There were three women who came in just before we did who were in active labor, so it took a while to get back into a room - not that we were in particular rush (I wasn't in active labor or anything). Finally we were taken back to the birthing suite. I was pretty nervous about the induction would go - I hadn't heard anything good about pitocin (the drug used to induce birth). And of course time went on, and I was pretty hungry. Our friend Bryant came to visit and broght Taco Bell - which I ate because I was so hungry, even though I knew I probably shouldn't . . .The nurse came in and said it would probably we a while because they were so busy with woman who were in active labor. So I used that time to take a few short cat-naps.

Around 1700 Anne, one of the nurse-midwives came in and said that because the nurses were so swamped with patients, they were going to wait until the morning to start the induction. They wanted to make sure that they had enough staff to watch the labor progressing. I asked if that meant that we could go home for the night and she said no because I had been admitted for medical reasons. So Mike and I used the night to eat a nice dinner together in the birthing suite and I was able to get a fairly good night sleep. Of course I was woken several times because Edward wouldn't stay on the monitor and the nurse kept coming back in to adjust the monitor. All in all, I was able to get some good rest.

At 0602 the nurse came in to start the pitocin and hook up the IV fluids. I was able to eat a light breakfast. At first the contractions weren't too bad. However, pitocin is started at a very low dose, and they increase they dose at certain intervals - about 15-30 minutes. So the contractions got stronger and stronger. I was glad that I was already dilated to 3cm because then they didn't have to use the cervadil drug to dilate my cervix. I've heard that is also very painful. By 0900 the contractions were pretty strong and I was starting to have a hard time getting through them. Sometime around 1000 I started to talk to Mike about the possibility of getting an epidural. We decided if I wasn't dilated to 7 or 8 cm then I would go ahead and get the epidural. Painwise I felt like I was the point of transition. Soon the nurse came in and we discussed the plan and she checked me and I was only dilated to 6cm. Which meant hours more. I was starting to get to the point where I could not handle the pain - it was far worse than when I was in labor with Sophie. The contractions were stronger, lasted longer and were closer together. (Natural is DEFINITELY the way to go if you can go natually!!)

Sometime in the 1100 hour the anaesthesiologist came in to do the epidural. That was unlike any feeling I've had before. I could feel the cathetor going into the epidural space - it wasn't painful, I just felt the pressure of it. I hated that feeling! It was terrible! Within 3 contractions though, I couldn't feel the pain anymore. It was really weird to not feel the contractions. I was just sitting in bed, going through labor - not feeling it. I could still feeling Edward kicking really high up (he hadn't come down yet) - so it was weird to feel that. Several times I had to ask if I was still having contractions, which the nurses assured me that I was. I was able to rest a little bit. Christine and Linette also came to visit me, which was really great. They were great support.

Because I couldn't feel the contractions, there really wasn't any need for Mike to support me like he did when I was in labor with Sophie. That was weird because I wanted him to. Going through labor with Mike when I had Sophie was such a bonding experience with Mike. We didn't have that bonding experience the entire labor and delivery with Edward (yet another reason to go naturally). It also very weird to try and try to move my toes and to not be able to . .. the message just wasn't getting through.

Shortly before Christine and Linette left, Leanna, my midwife, came in to say that they were going to check me and possible break my water. I was dilated to 8cm, so she started to break my water. I did have a lot of amniotic fluid. However, breaking my water really stressed out Edward. So much so that a nurse rushed in to say they were going to do an amnioinfusion and give me water back. Her words were "He doesn't like losing his pool, so we're going to give it back to him." Edward had already been pretty stressed out by the drugs - his heart dropped during every contraction. He was being monitored very closely by my midwife and the nursing team. Several nurses were in and out during the latter part of my labor. A short time later, I have no idea of the time, Leanna came in and said she wanted to start pushing. Several other nurses came in to help, since I couldn't hold my legs myself because they were dead weight (from the drugs). Two or so hours of pushing, Edward hadn't dropped down into the birthing canal, his heart was still dropping every contraction and he was apparently turned so that he was facing the wrong way (up I think, instead of down). After all of this, Mike and I talked and decided we would do a C-section before Edward got too stressed out and we got into an emergency situation. Leanna agreed that this was a good decision and said that the strength of my contractions alone should have been enough to deliver him without me pushing and said C-sections had been done in lesser situations that this. She did roll me over on to my hands and knees, which if you are numb from the waist down in incredibly hard and precarious situation to be in. She was hoping that this would turn Edward.

About an hour or so later Dr. Crouse came in to go over the risks and benefits of a C-section, which are numerous and incredibly scary! I decided that it wouldn't hurt to have one more check. So she checked me and Edward had turned and come down. She said to try a few pushes to see what his heart did, so I did a few pushes and his heart rate remained stable. So she called Leanna and the nurses in and we decided to try pushing again. It was very difficult to push when I couldn't feel if my pushes were doing anything, or where Edward was or if I was even pushing in the right direction. It was very demotivating for sure. With Sophie I could feel everything and was able to rely upon my own body to tell me when to push. With Edward, I had to rely on Leanna telling me when to push based on what hte monitors were telling her. It was very weird. It was still really hard work. He was definitely going to be a big baby! Part way through my labor, Dr Crouse got off shift and Dr Gazzaniga took over. (I had previously worked with her husband Dr McMeekin.) Mike helped encourage me and I was pretty aware of my surroundings until the last half when I was so tired I just kept my eyes closed and had to put all my effort and concentration ito the effort at hand. Two really hard hours later, Edward arrived!! And he came out with hand up by his face and the cord wrapped tightly around his neck. That was really scary because it looked so tight. He did make some noise and they took him over the baby station to work on him. My placenta did not tear, which I was very thankful for and was deliverly successfully.

A little over 12 hours from the beginning, Edward arrived and weighed 8 pounds even and was 21.5 inches long. Leanna was amazed that his arm hadn't broken when it went under the pubic bone and said to expect bruising from his wrist to his elbow - which he had a little of. I had had a tremendous amount of swelling in my lower legs and feet from the IV fluids and the epidural drug. That did go down in an hour or two after giving birth though.

All in all, it was not as good as an experience when I delivered Sophie. If you can go naturally, it is definitely better to go that way. However, if you have to be induced, get the epidural!

Introducing "Little Man"

"Little Man" has arrived!!
After a great pregnancy and making it to 40 weeks and 5 days, Little Man has arrived!

Here are his stats:
Little Man was born on
19 March 2010 at 1813 and was
8 lb even and
20.9 inches long.
He has dark brownish eyes (like his Daddy!) and thick, sort of wavy black hair.
He was born at
OU Medical Center Women's and Children's Hospital in
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and
was delivered by Leanna Harkess, CNM, and Catherine Gazzaniga, MD.
He does look like M, and a lot like Butterfly as well. :)
We've had a few issues in the hospital, which I'll post about in another post.
I have more pics, but they are on my camera and I don't have the camera cord with me, so I can't post them at the moment. (We're still in the hospital . . .)

06 March 2010


I know it's been a while since I've blogged . .. but life is, well, it can be quite busy at times. I have wanted to write, but it's hard to find the time.

I am now 38 weeks pregnant, tomorrow I will be 39 weeks pregnant. My midwife didnt' think I would go past 37 weeks, but I have. And Little Man is estimating between 7.5 and 8 pounds in weight, as of 5 days ago. It was by physical exam, not ultrasound, but even ultrasounds can be inaccurate up to 50% of the time.

It is pretty weird that I am pregnant at this time of year for the second year in a row. Two Thanksgivings, two Christmases, two New Years, two Valentines Days in a row being pregnant. I guess it really hit me when I learned about the Baby Expo coming up at the Cox Convention Center. Last year I had really wanted to go because there are a lot of brief learning seminars, tons of give aways of products and tons of free samples. Well, it happened to fall when Butterfly was about 9 days old and I was just too tired to go out. So I thought, "Well, it's an annual event, I'll just go next year." I wasn't planning on about to give birth a year later . . . again.

This pregnancy has definitely been different than my pregnancy with Butterfly. The main thing is that it has been a lot healthier - no abruptions, no early term labor, nothing major happening. It's been a good pregnancy. The end is really different too. With Butterfly I was in early labor for 3 weeks with contractions every 6-11 minutes, around the clock for the entire 3 weeks. With Little Man I have plenty of contractions, but they are inconsistent and sometimes not even one for several hours. And only a few of them are extremely painful like they were with Butterfly. I think this labor will be completely different too. I am a bit anxious to see how things go. I'm almost more nervous in a way than I was with Sophie. Having given birth once, I know what I can do, because I have done it, and than I can birth a 6lb 12 oz baby. Can I birth a bigger baby?? How will it go? How will it start? How long will it be? I know I just need to put my total trust in the Lord. I should quote Prov 3:5-6 to myself often. Multiple times a day.

I also wonder how it will be with two babies. Butterfly is 11 months old right now and won't be 12 months until March 26th, 12 days after my due date. She has become extremely clingly, mostly when we are at home. She is still very independent around other people and in exploration, but at home, she just wants to be held and give hugs and snuggle. I love to snuggle with Butterfly (she's a great snuggler), but I won't be able to do that all the time after Little Man is here. Does she know that? I think she does. I know it will be hard, but I don't know exactly what it will be like. I know there will be fun times, especially as they get older. I am planning on wearing Little Man a lot so I can be hands free but have Little Man close to me. In some ways I guess I am mourning the time I have left alone with Sophie. I our snuggles in the mornings when I give her her bottle and being able to pick her up whenever she wants for a minute or two of hugs before she goes back to playing. I know the dynamics are changing, I guess I just don't know quite what to expect or how it will go. I am extremely thankful that Ruth is coming down for a few weeks to help out. Butterfly really loves her Grandma and Ruth loves her, so I really think that will help make the transition a lot easier for Sophie, as well as for myself. We will have to see how it goes . . .

In other news, Mike made rank on Monday, the 1st! I am so proud of him! I was able to go to his promotion ceremony and I actually got to be one of the two people to pin on his stripes. Pinning on is done by punching the stripes onto the arm of the uniform. I'm sure my punch was a lot easier than the other guys! It's a military thing. . . . Mike didn't complain about it though. I don't think that counts as spousal abuse . . . There were about seven or eight other airman getting promoted as well, and they had to quote the Airman's Creed together, and Mike was by far the loudest of all the airman. He really shouted it out with great confidence - I was quite impressed! I do have some pics that I will post at a later time. Joe was able to come as a guest as well, I was glad that he was able to be there for Mike. He seemed to be quite shocked at the amount of militariness that the 3rd Herd has . . . I'm not sure how they do things over in AWACS . . . lol .. .

I should probably get off the computer and head to bed . . . Good night all. :)