Welcome Baby – A Labor and Delivery Story December 15, 2008Posted by Tori in Childbirth, Introductions, Pregnancy.
Tags: Introductions, Labor and Delivery, Moms, Pregnancy
We welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world on Monday, December 8, 2008. Cadence Laurelei arrived at 12:17 PM after about six hours of labor at 7 lbs 11 ounces and 21 inches. This was a very wonderful birthing experience, which was beyond what I was expecting.
At my 39 week appointment, my blood pressure was up and my urine was showing a little protein, both signs of pre-eclampsia. My doctor decided to give me a couple of days to go into labor on my own, but scheduled me for another appointment on Friday to check my numbers again. She knew that I really preferred to go on my own if possible and my symptoms weren’t serious yet. On Friday, there was no protein in my urine and while my blood pressure was up a little, it was still in the normal range. The doctor told me that there was no need to rush for an induction, but after some discussion we decided that the following Monday was a good day to be induced provided I didn’t go on my own over the weekend.
I kept expecting to go into labor any minute, but on Sunday night, I realized it was not going to happen on its own. Mind you that I’m afraid of induction because I’m terrified of having to have a c-section, so I was pretty nervous. We took our older daughter over to my parents’ house to spend the night, finished packing our bags, and tried to get some sleep. The alarm went off at 2 AM and the day started entirely too early. Per my doctor’s instructions, I forced myself to have some breakfast and we left the house around 4 AM to arrive at the hospital by 5 AM.
Once we arrived, we were given a room and the nurse came in to start paperwork and IVs. In a funny little twist, the nurse I had upon arrival was the same nurse I had the night after I delivered Piper. When I had Piper, she was on her first night back from maternity leave after having a little girl that she named Piper. As we got talking, the whole thing spilled out. She even remembered what room I was in and said she still tells the story to this. After a little difficulty finding a vein, she got my IV going and a little after six, my pitocin started.
I started getting some regular cramps, but I wasn’t too uncomfortable. They upped my pitocin every half hour, but I wasn’t feeling anything that was worse than what I’d felt in the last few weeks of pregnancy. I was nervous about the pitocin, too. It seemed that everyone I knew thought pitocin was much more horrible than natural labor. Shift changed occurred and I got another really nice nurse.
My doctor came in around eight to check me and break my water. It took her two tries because it seems my bag was tough. After that, my contractions began to get increasingly painful. I didn’t really watch the clock, but I think sometime between nine and ten I requested my epidural. I could make it through the contractions if nobody besides the husband was in the room because he was quiet and I could go into a focused, quiet place during each contraction. When the nurse or the doctor happened to be in there, it was hard for me to reach that place, and I desired to be comfortable.
The epidural wasn’t like the completely numbing one I had the first labor. I could freely move my legs and feel the pressure from the contractions but none of the pain. My torso was pretty numb, but that was the only place I couldn’t feel very well. I commented on this to the nurse and she said it was a different drug that focused more on the sensory and less on the motor. Much better, really.
Baby Cadence decided to be difficult and not sit in one place for monitoring, so the nurse hooked up an internal monitor. My doctor was in and out for the next couple of hours, which was a new experience as well. Last birth, that doctor didn’t show up until the nurse called him to look into something. The nurse had positioned me on my right side for awhile and I was resting comfortably. She came in at some point to turn me to my left side, but Cadence did not like that position and started having decelerations. The nurse turned me back to my right side and gave me oxygen. I focused on taking deep, slow breaths and see how much pressure I was feeling and where I felt it at.
Just before the nurse came in to check me again, I started feeling very low pressure at each contraction. The nurse checked me and decided to start setting things up for me to push. As she was looking at the fetal heart monitor strip, the doctor came in to see if it was a good idea to take lunch. Cadence had been having several decelerations, so they wanted me start pushing right away. My doctor kept saying that we were almost there and she really didn’t want to take me back for a section if she didn’t have to. She did a physical check and determined that the baby was not far enough down to use the vacuum, and she started stimulating the baby’s head because she said some babies like that and respond really well to it.
So there I am pushing at each contraction and my doctor stimulating her head between contractions. The only bad thing was that one of the few places the epidural left me completely numb was a place that left me completely unable to tell if I am pushing the right way or productively. My husband, the nurse and the doctor are coaching me through each contraction because while I am trying to push properly, I have no idea if I really am or not. Finally, with my feet sitting on the flat part of some stirrups while still trying to be mostly on my right side, I figure out that if I put a little bit of pressure in the stirrups with my heels, I can push effectively. Cadence makes her entrance a few minutes later, her arm up by her head as she comes out.
I couldn’t tell you how long I pushed for because the need to get her out became urgent, but I’m thinking it was 20-25 minutes tops. After I delivered, Cadence and I were doing fine. She nursed very well right after delivery and I surprisingly didn’t even feel very sore or anything. We left the hospital 48 hours later and have been doing pretty darn good ever since. She’s an aggressive nurser and I feel pretty good.
My husband was right though. I’ve been trying to do too much too fast and I finally realized that last night into this morning. Taking it easy has been the plan for today and probably tomorrow as well. Right now big sister Piper is holding baby Cadence on the couch and they both look really comfortable. Piper’s been trying really hard to take this change well, but I know it’s hard for her. In a week, she seems to be adjusting well. We’ll get it all figured out.