I've told the story dozens upon dozens of times but I realized I hadn't written it down. Since I'm rounding the corner into labor and delivery for the second time, I think it's about time I jot down F's birth story before the details of the two get jumbled together.
Here we go:
It was a regular old week at the office, working hard for the weekend - you know back in 2008, when I can say I'd blink twice and 11 hours had passed. It was my regular old Tuesday weekly appointment. There were two docs in my office; mine and his partner (whom I adored). This was my 38 week appointment, I was expecting the usual boring pee in a cup, blood pressure, internal - in and out in 15 minutes.
It started out that way...except that my doc was on vacation for the week and I was 4cm dilated, fully effaced and her head was at zero station. In the middle of the internal, the doc so calmly fired off 20 questions, "how on Earth are you walking around right now? This baby is going to fall out of you! Aren't you feeling contractions? What are you doing? You're going to have this baby within the day or so." I nervously laughed because a) hell yes, I was uncomfortable but isn't every 9 month pregnant lady? b) I told her that I was still working and I was headed back to the office, so I couldn't have the baby just yet. c) I WAS ONLY 38weeks!! Aren't all first babies a week or so late? I knew I had 3 more weeks of being miserable ahead.
Since I was already in beginning stages of labor, she suggested stripping my membranes to get things moving toward active and said that she'd see me that night in the hospital. That's how certain she was that I was allowing denial to get in the way of me reading my body signs. The hubs and I walked out of the office shell shocked because it was soooo not the appointment we expected to have. We silently walked to our cars and then I looked at him and said, "holy shit. WE are going to be parents." He told me to call him if things picked up and we both headed back to work.
I made it back to the office and told my boss that I'd be wrapping up the day and be checking out for my leave. She just about flew out of her chair hearing the appointment recap, after all, I was showing no signs of being uncomfortable. Just as the doc expected, I started feeling the contractions right away. I quickly (like in 3 hours) tied up my work loose ends and headed home. I had a hospital bag to pack! We were totally ready. haha
H made it home and at that point the contractions had been coming 4 minutes apart for just over an hour. I had the bags packed and told him if he wanted to shower before he met his daughter that he'd need to get in now. I walked the house and waited for the next 45 to pass before calling the doc. Sure enough, I was sent straight to L&D. Holy crap, I was going to be having a baby.
We were admitted about 6PMish and got hooked up to the fetal monitors and began the wait. Never having the birthing experience before, I don't know what exactly what was to happen next. It was kinda a waiting game, hoping the contractions would pick up. They were consistent and I was 'at about a 5' so I was in for the long haul. My doc came in at about 9PM on her normal rounds to check me. She broke my water since the contractions themselves hadn't dilated me any further along. Now this was something, who knew how much fluid was in there? It was like the Niagara Falls floodgates had been opened. I lost a lot of fluid and then some.
And sure enough the contractions hit harder and faster.
But there was a new obstacle. The baby's heart rate started to drop each time I was contracting. I wasn't feeling pain from the contractions because adrenaline for her health had kicked into high gear.
And this continued until after midnight. The nurses continued to work to stabilize her heart rate during the contractions. My body wouldn't progress, I was frustrated and stuck at 5-6cm.
About 2AM, I was offered pitocin to try and get my body to progress. At the this time, with all the uncertainty with the meds and the lack of progression, I opted for the epidural. This all ended up being executed sometime in the 3AM hour. Hours seem to fly by when you're on someone else's clock. 3AM and less than 2cm of progression in nearly 9 hours of laboring in the hospital - not to mention the 2-3 at home - I was exhausted. The pitocin did it's job by jumping up my contractions. They were much harder and on top of one another but I wasn't progressing and the babe's heart rate continued to drop each time. They backed off the pitocin when they realized it wouldn't jump me to 10cm so I could get the babe out.
5AM and starting to feel defeated, questioning just about everything under the sun. Not a happy place to be when exhaustion and pain had hit all time high. What was wrong with me? I had the easiest pregnancy thus far, why would there be so much going against me in the delivery room. The nurses seemed to be running out of ideas. She had come in before 6AM and said that if I didn't start moving along, I would need to "explore other delivery options." I was vehemently against a c-section and why shouldn't I be? Less than 24hours ago, my doc was explaining how ready my body was and that it should be an easy delivery. This was the polar opposite of that. Unless my life and the babe's was at risk, surgery the very last resort in my eyes.
A light bulb went off suddenly. I knew a L&D nurse - like an acquaintance-type know. I went to HS with her son. It had been over a decade since she had probably heard my name. I was desperate and name dropped. I needed her at the shift change. It worked. I needed someone's advice I could trust, if she told me that my best option was a cesarean then I would try and swallow that pill and move along.
The moment she walked in the room, a familiar face, sent me into tears. Silent sob, tears. She was probably thinking, "oh great, why did I have to work this morning?!"
She was amazing and I recapped the past 12hours of no progress and my thoughts of keeping it out of the OR. I'll never, ever, forget her words to me. It was like sing-song words of the sweetest kind. "Oh honey, I'm an old bird around here. I've got tricks up my sleeve some of these nurses have never seen. I have a less than 5% c-section rate. We'll get this baby in your arms shortly." I fought back tears. I might have even told her that I loved her.
It was 8AM and we were about to start her new plan. She worked with my doc and was to give her hourly updates. She thought that when my water broke the babe's umbilical cord got pinched up against the side of the ute wall causing her heart rate to drop during contractions. Want to know the simple solution to my babe's heart rate dropping for the past 10ish hours? The exact opposite of how this all started. Flushing fluid back up into my uterus in hopes of her repositioning herself.
Wouldn't you know that between 8AM and 11AM I dilated from 6 to 10cm. That's right. Why couldn't someone, ANYONE in the previous 14 hours thought of this?! W.T.F.
The doc waltzed in at 11:15AM & we welcomed our first baby girl to the world at 11:36AM.
A healthy 7lbs 3oz and 20 inches long. She was perfect.
I can't imagine being taken into surgery for such an easy fix. Although I was feeling frustrated, I listened to my body and nothing about surgery made sense to me. Thankfully, I found a nurse who wanted to help me through it. Without a shadow of a doubt, she is the reason I had the birth I did. Even in hindsight and being upset over the hours of unnecessary stress and labor, I was healthy and she was healthy. All was well with the world.
See? Chubby cheeks straight from the womb. 2.5 years later and she's still got 'em.