Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Labor Story

So, I promised and I finally have a chance to share... let me say that this story has a perfect ending in that there was a healthy baby delivered vaginally at the end of it. But, for awhile, it was not looking like it would end that way.

A week ago Thursday, my bag of waters ruptured around 12.30 at night. We headed in to the hospital and discovered that yes, my contractions had started (although they were all over the place and not yet painful), yes, the membrane had ruptured, but I was still just 1 cm dilated with 50% effacement. I was being seen by a resident who wanted to immediately start on a bunch of interventions. When we asked if either mom or baby was in distress, she said no. When we said, "well, if we don't have to go the route of interventions yet, can we talk about other options?" She said, "sure, I'll get you a midwife." Apparently doctors don't talk, they just dictate?? (We were surprised by that, but after we received such wonderful care from the midwives and nurses, I'll never go the OB route again. They were really spectacular!!)

So, we were given the option of me either staying at the hospital or going home and being back by about 7am. At this point, we were afraid about possible infection, plus it was probably about 1.30a. We decided it would make more sense for me to stay and try to get as much rest as possible. The midwife made clear that if nothing happened by morning, we would have to start down the road of interventions.

By morning, I was no more dilated. The contractions were painful, but not bad at all - more like menstral cramps. They told me that they wanted to start me on Cervadil, an insert with a 12 hour cycle. They said for some women, it kick starts them into more active labor. If it did, great. If it started enough things moving but not active, we could talk about the next intervention. If it did nothing by the end of 12 hours, we were looking at a c-section.Hospitals being what they are, I didn't get the Cervadil until about 12n. Because I was on this, they made me have a saline drip and also a baby monitor for her heart and a monitor for my contractions... so, no walking, active labor with showers or hot tubs or anything.

I couldn't even move to get comfortable or sit up in a chair because Chloe was so active the entire time that she kept moving and we kept losing her on the monitor. I was glad she was ok, but frustrated that I couldn't be comfortable at all while I just laid back and waited for the next contraction. They started to get worse thru the afternoon and evening, but still no pattern. My doula (and dear friend Diane) had arrived and was helping Ed take care of me... and gave him the chance to go out and get food.

By 10pm, nothing was happening - still 1cm, contractions, but not on any rhythm. They told me that if nothing was going on by the end of the Cervadil (so midnight), that we'd have to have a c-section as it would be 24 hours from my water breaking. They gave me benadryl in my IV to help me sleep and it hit me really hard and actually scared me. I was afraid something bad would happen, so Ed and Diane didn't get the break I promised them and they stayed with me so I wouldn't be scared. We all tried to get some sleep, but Chloe kept moving, so we'd get to sleep and then 5 min later the alarm would go off and we'd have to find her again. Ed was sleeping on the floor and Diane was in a chair, with her head on my bed while holding the monitor in place. At about 12.30 they came in and said, "Well, this is actually something." My being able to get some rest enabled the contractions to get on a cycle and start to be something. Plus, I think I was at 2cm, so there was some movement that way, too. They said they could give me another intervention with a 4 hour window that would also allow them to introduce pitocin. But at the end of the 4 hours, if we didn't have enough progress, we'd be looking at a c-section.

So, we moved ahead. The contractions started coming really hard and really fast and I was utterly unprepared for how fast it all changed. After about an hour into the process, I was crying and spitting and hysterical... you know, REALLY PRETTY, and couldn't take it anymore. I hadn't wanted an epidural and had said that I might go with morphine or something if needed. But, they told me that the morphine wouldn't help me sleep and the only thing that would do that would be an epi. Because Ed and Diane and I had talked so much about it previously and because I had been convinced that I would have this baby with no problem the way my mom had hers, I was in a really bad way. I needed the epidural and knew it, but felt like to ask for it would be letting down the team. Plus, the midwife that was on shift at that time was very nice, but we didn't communicate well. (The one who delivered us rocked, though, so no worries there.)

Finally, Diane took her aside and said "she needs you to tell her it's ok to have it." Also, Ed looked at me and said "Heather, you're only 1 hour into the 4. After three more hours, if you're not closer to having this baby, they will give you a c-section AND an epiudural! So, have it now and save yourself this agony."

Truer words were never spoken. My anesthesiologist ROCKED. She had the most calming, amazing manner about her and didn't scare me at all. She was really helpful. So, we were all able to sleep and they could position me however they wanted and up the pitocin. I was about 3cm by about 3am.

In the morning, things were progressing at about 1 cm every 2 hours. The midwife who delivered us, Estella, told me afterwards "this was against all odds - everytime I came in here to check you, I told my back up doctor that I was going to finally tell you we needed to have the c-section." But, every time, there was reason to be hopeful, plus neither of us was ever in distress. If there were too many contractions in a row, Chloe's heart rate would decelerate, but it always came back up. We finally sent Ed out for some food for himself. I had been 6 cm at 11.48a and he left around 1.30p.

At 2p, they checked me again and I was 9+ cm and they wanted me to start pushing!!! No one could believe it, I was like "Someone call Ed!!" LOL

He made it back, plus my friend Lucinda had sort of stormed the gates because no one had called to tell her what was going on. So, I had three amazing people in the room with me, plus the midwife and nurses I had come to really trust and lean on. We were the little engine that could - everyone on the floor was invested in us... even if they hadn't been in the room.

So, they had the vacuum standing by, just in case, and the neo-natal people standing by, just in case. After 1.5 hours of pushing (and it didn't even feel that long to me) she was born! I remember the feeling of her sliding out and in the next second was processing what happened, looked down and saw her on my tummy and in the next second processed that, and saw her being whisked over to be checked out by the docs. And this is too funny, she was pooping! I just remember a little booty going past me while pooping. LOL

Ed looked elated, Lucinda looked amazed, Diane (a nurse herself) ran over to be with the baby. Ed came up to me and was so happy and proud and I told him to go be with the baby, but he said, "no, we'll see her together." And then I could hear her start to cry and then I started to cry and then Ed started to cry. And after what I thought was about 30 min, but Ed told me later was 5, they brought her to me and she is the most precious angel baby.

The end.

Or I should say, the beginning.

Chloe is one week old today!!

I cannot believe that Chloe is one week old today! This week has flown by and already she has been with us for one whole week... as of 3.22 this afternoon.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Chloe's First Bath

Being a new parent, you discover all sorts of things every single day. Yesterday, we discovered that Chloe does not like baths. LOL

Before we traumatized her:

Beginning to wonder:

"What are you people doing to me NOW?":

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chloe's First Blog Post: Thank You, Aunt Diane

You have no idea how hard it is to get access to a computer in this place! One has to completely tire out the big people in order to even get near it. Luckily, I find that tiring out the big people is one of my best skills. They don't stand a chance against me!

For my first blog entry, I want to say thank you to my Aunt Diane who was with Mommy and Daddy in the hospital for two nights and very long days to make sure that I came out safe and sound. Mommy's water broke late Thursday night and I didn't show up until Saturday afternoon, so everyone was really worried and nervous. I was just timing my entrance!!

Aunt Diane helped Daddy take good care of Mommy and even helped me be born... she said she was sore the next day after all of Mommy's good pushing!

This week, she came to visit me at home to make sure that I'm getting enough to eat and gaining weight like a big girl. She's my personal Visiting Nurse!! The other babies that were born this weekend should be so lucky!

I also want to give a shout out to my other friends and family who visited me in the hospital: Aunt Lucinda who stormed the gates on Saturday to make sure I was ok and was able to watch me be born with Daddy, Great Aunt Joanne and cousin Patti Anne for being my first visitors, Mommy's good friends Melanie and John, and Uncle Chris, Aunt Barb, Mikey, and Nik for having a little party in our hospital room.

Well, that's enough for me... It's about time for me to rouse the big people, so I will sign off for now.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Introducing... Chloe Jean

Saturday, 3.22pm
6 lbs, 7 oz.
19 1/4 inches

Everyone is happy, healthy, and exhausted. xoxoxo

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

38 Weeks: Inauguration Week

This is the week when our world changed and became one in which my daughter will never know a time when someone who looks like her couldn't be President of the United States.

In lesser news, the Eagles lost the NFC championship. What a shocker.

I don't have an Eagles shirt, so I wore my only Philadelphia-related maternity shirt on Sunday to watch the big game:

Back to exciting news: I went to the doctor today and things seem to be moving along... I hope she doesn't keep me waiting too much longer. Although when I called ET with an update, his response was "I need oxygen." I hope he doesn't have a nervous breakdown. LOL. Hang in there, Ed Thompson!!

(Wendy: 1, 50%, 2 - in relation to head)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

37 Weeks: Evaluating Ed's Big Head

Last night, ET and I had a really fun time visiting with his mom (Mom-Mom to be), his sister and great aunt. The highlight was definitely hearing old stories and looking at baby pictures of Ed, Maia, and Evan... but, I was dismayed to have my worst fears confirmed: Ed Thompson had the largest baby head known to mankind. My sympathetic mother-in-law suggested that I embrace the drugs and wished me luck in delivery! LOL

(Wendy: 1)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Almost 37 Weeks: Are we there yet?

Guess not... but, one can hope! I am getting to the point of being SO READY to have this baby. LOL Ed keeps saying, "give her more time to cook!" I'd like to stuff a watermelon under his sweater and then ask him how he feels on the matter.

As an aside, what's your opinion on Tummy Tats? I think they are super fun and Ed thinks they are "distorting a beautiful thing." Man, he is no fun at all!

(and yes, that horizontal line is from my super sized underwear being so tight - sigh.)

Monday, January 5, 2009

36 Weeks: It's official - I have been pregnant forever

And according to the doctor this morning, will remain so for a bit. I have now moved into the exciting world of weekly doctor appointments as we get closer...

After the appointment, I went to Starbucks for breakfast (they sell oatmeal now!) and ran into a couple who attended Prep for Childbirth with us. I spent a few minutes talking with them. Poor things were up all night and had been sent home from the hospital. She was having really painful contractions and some dilation, but no effacement. They were hanging around so she could go have an ultrasound and then are heading home to bed. They are a sweet couple and will be in my thoughts. I could tell they wanted to talk, but also didn't want to scare me! I'm hoping that all goes well and that she has her baby soon.

(Wendy: nada)