Sunday, January 11, 2015

She's Here!

 I can't believe that my little Isabelle is really here. I knew I had been having a lot of signs that she would be coming early but I really wasn't counting on it... I think a big thing that played a part in her arrival was my usage of evening primrose oil. I've read that it can cause premature rupture of membranes... I had a lot of signs that she was coming soon though. I was tired for several days before her arrival, my heartburn was worsening, it kept feeling like she was pushing down, frequent braxton hicks contractions, diarrhea. The day my water broke I took two naps and still had no energy for anything, I started losing my mucus plug and I got really hungry, craving mostly carbs. 
I've decided  that now would be a good time to write my birth story since its still fresh in my memory.
It all started around 10PM on Monday January 5th. I had just sat down on the couch to fold laundry. I had joked with Bryan about wanting to get laundry done just in case I go into labor soon. I hadn't been folding clothes for more than a couple of minutes when I felt a pop and all the sudden water started pouring out of me. I ran to my bathroom and just stood there and called out to Bryan telling him my water broke. He must have thought I was joking, but I sure wasn't! My pants and the floor were soaked!
We started making our calls. I called my doula first to let her know what was going on. We had originally planned to meet at my house so I could labor at home but since my group b strep test results hadn't been released to me yet, I didn't want to  take any chances. We then called our parents and the friends who would be taking care of Bryelle.  I started to get emotional and nervous as we rushed around the house getting everything together. I wasn't ready yet! By 11PM we were packed up and headed to the hospital.
When we got there we met my doula, Sheena, in the parking lot. Bryan went in and grabbed a wheelchair while Sheena and I gathered everything out of the car. Once we had everything we made our way up to labor and delivery. They seemed to be pretty slow because we didn't have to wait to be put into a triage room.
The nurse came in and checked my vitals and got me admitted. They also checked to make sure my water was really broken. Then the midwife came in and went over a few things with me. My GBS results came back positive so it was good I went in when I did. She also had it in the computer that I had gestational diabetes. That kind of upset me because that meant that I wasn't allowed to labor in the tub. My midwife I had been seeing for the whole pregnancy had never diagnosed me but just had me testing my sugars as precaution. It was upsetting... Then she told me that to be able to release my placenta would cost about 500-700 dollars. I broke down. I had been planning on encapsulating my placenta since I had found out I was pregnant, but there was no way we were going to be able to afford it if if cost that much.

After I calmed down the nurse came back in and put my IV in and we were met by another nurse to be escorted to my labor and delivery room.
We ended up with room 5. Now that I look back I wish we would have taken a picture of the room number. When we got in the room  they had me get in the bed so they could get me checked in and hooked up to the monitors for a bit. I can't remember exactly what time we got in there but I'm thinking it was between 1 and 2 in the morning. I was exhausted from not sleeping much the night before and I even had joked around earlier that day, saying how I hope I wasn't going to go into labor since I hadn't slept much. 

Well, to be honest, I didn't go into labor. Not on my own anyways. I tried to get things going on my own but nothing was happening. I was given 12 hours from the time my water broke to try and jump start labor on my own. My doula and I walked the halls two separate times, I bounced on the ball, i stood and swayed. It was no use. They started me on pitocin around 10AM.
At first, the contractions felt like mild menstrual cramps, and then around 1:30 or so they started to pick up and become a little painful. My doula was great at trying different techniques to help me manage my pain. She applied counter pressure on my hips while Bryan ran his hands down my back through each contraction.
Around 2:40PM, the nurses decided that it would be a good time to check and see how much process I had made with the pitocin. They brought in the midwife and she checked me and told me that I was at 3cm, 100% effaced and at a -1 station. I was a little discouraged because with the pain I was experiencing. I thought I would be further dilated than that. After the midwife left, the nurses decided to break down the bed into a chair. They called it the Princess Pose. It forced me to sit up straight with my legs down and I really started to feel things moving along. 
 The first contraction I had sitting like that made me tense up and I almost felt like I wasn't going to get through it. Sitting that way really forced the baby to move down into the birth canal and it was the worst pain I ever felt in my life. As I sat there breathing through contractions, my doula and Bryan sat next to me, rubbing my legs. I also used heating pads on my lower abdomen and back to ease the pain a little bit. The doula gave me combs to hold in my hand and squeeze through contractions. There are pressure points in the hands that release oxytocin. It really helped to take my focus off of the contractions a little bit.
When the contractions picked up even more, just breathing through them wasn't enough. I started making Ah sounds and then when I got tired of that, I started making ooh sounds. At one point I made Mmm sounds. I definitely felt the peak of each contraction and I knew once I reached that point the contraction would soon end. I sounded like a tribal woman making all of those sounds but it really helped. Then, when the contractions picked up even more, I started to tense my arms so I decided to move them up as the contraction got worse, and then bring them back down once the contraction was going away.
After a while, I was starting to get tired. Then I got a strong urge to urinate but when I tried to go, I couldn't. I tried a couple of times, taking a break in between to breathe through contractions, but I just couldn't go. Then I started to feel like I needed to have a bowel movement. I couldn't do that either though. I left the bathroom in frustration and felt like that was my breaking point. I wanted medication to take the edge off. I didn't feel like I could get through without it. My doula asked me if I was sure and I said I didn't know. As I was walking back to the bed, I felt sick to my stomach like I would vomit. I a leaned  against my doula and just did some deep breathing and that feeling went away. Then I got the urge to have a bowel movement again. It felt like extreme pressure. Because they had just checked me about an hour prior, I didn't think i was anywhere close to being able to push but the nurse decided to get the midwife so she could check me again.
The midwife came in around 4:15PM and as I got into the bed and she checked me, she told me I was at 9.5cm. So close! She then told me that baby had  turned posterior which meant she was face up. Not news I wanted to hear. As I got through each contraction I started to feel like giving up again. I was so tired and frustrated and the pain was unbearable. I broke down and started losing my focus and started tensing up and that's when her heart rate started dropping. They rushed a doctor in and the nurses put an oxygen mask on me and had me turn to my side.  I felt like I needed to push so the Dr checked me around 4:45PM and I was at 10cm! He let me push for relief but the baby's heart rate kept dropping. He explained that since she was posterior it was going to be harder to get her out on my own and that I may need the assistance of forceps. This wasn't news I wanted to hear. That meant I would probably need to get medication. He told me my options. I could get an epidural and possibly be looking at a c-section, or I could get a saddle block and use the forceps to assist baby's head down quicker. I decided to go with the saddle block. It took about 5 minutes for the anesthesiologist to administer the injection and it burned! I was numb from the waist down in the front but still felt everything in my back, which was nice because I still knew when I was having contractions. At around 5:05 I started actively pushing. I pushed three times with the assistance of the forceps, and three times without. After those six pushes, Isabelle Grace was born at 5:12PM!  Her umbilical cord was overalled around her body. As soon as they untangled her they put her on my chest. It was a moment I will never forget! I was on such a natural high that I dont remember a whole lot after that.  
All I could focus on was those first moments with my new baby.
I am so proud of myself for accomplishing what I set out to accomplish which was a natural birth with no medication. Although I did get the saddle block at the very end, I know I could have gone without it if it hadn't been medically necessary. I hope someday I will be blessed to be able to experience this again. It was amazing.   

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