Friday, June 5, 2009

Before I forget...

When I titled my last post before Lilli was born "Before we meet...part I" I totally assumed I'd be able to do a Part II. I guess I forgot exactly what full blown labor pains really felt like. So, forgive the lack of posting on that particular day. But, even though I didn't get to share my thoughts and feelings on that exact day, I still want to document them before I forget.

I guess I will start with technicalities, then go to the sentiments. Just to keep things organized. I can't seem to keep anything else organized at the exact present moment- so I may as well start with this! :)

I had been having problems with my amniotic fluid levels dropping. When I went to the doctor on Monday May 11th, she almost put me in then. She was very concerned about how rapidly my levels were declining. But I was only 36 weeks, and I was also very sick from a sinus infection. She gave me an antibiotic and put me on semi-bed rest for the week. I had an appointment with the specialist on Friday which she made me change to Thursday so that she could have more time to react if they found my fluid levels low again. She suggested that I bring Jason with me on that day and also suggested that we come with bags packed just in case. They gave me a kick count log, and gave me specific instructions on how many kicks I should feel per day and what to do if I didn't feel movement, etc. I had to log the kicks because that is the easiest indicator of whether or not the baby has sufficient fluid to move around in. It really was an overwhelming time- we had already been through so much. I wasn't about to lose this baby at this point in pregnancy because of low fluid levels.

Now, personally I found it hard to lay on the couch and relax knowing that the baby might very well make it here in 4 days and we didn't have the first bag packed, much less even have a car seat installed. But I was pretty sick from the sinus infection, not to mention that fatigue had totally won over. The whole nesting thing went out the window. The closest I got to nesting was giving Jason a huge to-do list and watching him from the side lines. Which, come to think of it, worked rather well for me. Anyway, we managed to get things done, in between much needed naps.

By wednesday I had been on the antibiotic for 3 days and was beginning to feel a lot better. I picked Bayli up from school, we came home and I helped her with her home work. I started fixing supper and all of a sudden I totally thought that my water was leaking. Knowing that I didn't have any extra fluid to spare I called my Dr in a panic. They wanted to see me ASAP. I was so afraid of being the woman who cried labor- but yet I knew that if I was losing more fluid and it went undetected that my baby would be in a very stressful situation. So I rushed myself to the doctor (Brilliant plan, I know...) and when they did the ultrasound it turns out that the fluid had risen by several points. I was very relieved- and the Doctor that I saw was very pleased, but they still wanted me to keep the appointments we had scheduled for the next day just to be safe.

By Thursday I was done for. I had been counting kicks all week, worried about my fluid levels, etc. I was ready for the baby to be here. I was fearful of making it even another week dealing with all of the stress and pressure we were already dealing with.

We went to the scheduled appointment, and as I lay on the ultrasound table the technician measured that my fluid had dropped another 5 points from the day before. I was so frustrated. My fluid was now at the absolute lowest it could be without causing harm to the baby. To make matters worse, they couldn't get the baby to respond. We spent almost 10 terrorizing minutes, moving me from my right side, to my left, back to my right again- she had the buzzer from the ultrasound machine that she kept trying to wake the baby up with. Buzz, buzz, buzz- no response. I would change positions. Repeat. Nothing. The heart was beating, so was still alive- but the no response totally freaked me out. She got so desperate to see movement, she put both hands on my belly and shook it for all it was worth to try to get this little one to move and do the practice breathing they needed to see. I can still see the look on my husbands face. I was trying to stay calm, so I kept looking in his eyes for strength, but all I found was fear and confusion. I have never felt such pain and fear in my heart before- and I hope I never experience it again. Finally, we were able to see a small flicker of movement and a few practice breaths. Relief swept through everyone in the room.

We waited for the report, then hopped on the elevator to see my OB. I felt certain that these would be the last few hours before we'd get to meet our little one. I knew that when she saw the fluid levels and that when she heard of our harrowing tale from the ultrasound room that she would act quickly. And I was right. She checked me and I was 1 1/2 CM and 70% effaced...which for 37 weeks is moving right along. She was a little concerned about inducing bc of my past C Section, so we talked and weighed our options. At this point, as much as my heart desired a nice, normal birth; I was totally ok with whatever needed to happen because I was so afraid something would happen to the baby. After talking for about 15 minutes, my Dr stepped out of the room to gather her thoughts and pray about the decision to be made. (I LOVE that woman!) And she came back in, calm and totally in charge and laid out the game plan. We were to head straight to the hospital and begin the induction.

By this point it was 5:00 in the evening and we were exhausted and starving. We walked over to labor and delivery and began the process of checking in, starting the IV (Never an easy process for me) and beginning the slow drip of Pitocin. Dr. LaFranca was on call that night, which made things even better in case there were to be any complications or if my labor were to take off suddenly she would be there to handle every thing. I had total peace that we were making the right call and doing the right thing. There was, however, one brief moment when I heard Dr. LaFranca on the phone reserving 4 units of blood in my name and also telling the nurse to have an OR on stand-by just in case as well. Not long after she left my in-laws came up with Bayli to visit us. I had her lying in the bed with me and I thought- is it worth risking this, and the possibility of something happening to me or the baby, and poor Bayli could be left without a mother? But then peace swept over me again. There is always risk; I just had to remember who was ultimately in charge. I knew He would protect us. Even if we would have decided to to a section, there still would be risk.

They ran the Pit from 7:00 until 11:00, then I was able to eat and try to rest. I had contractions on my own until about 1:00 in the morning which were mild enough that I could doze off and on during them. At 1:00 I was finally able to get some sleep until 3:00 when they came back in to start the Pit again. From 3:00-7:00 was still the slow drip, mild contractions that I could sleep through but not able to totally rest.

The entire night I kept thinking about how incredible it was that we had finally made it full circle. We were finally going to welcome another baby into our lives. The moment we had been waiting for would be just around the corner. I laid the entire night with both hands on my belly, wishing and praying for the magic of pregnancy not to end, but yet for it to hurry and end so that we could finally be face to face with the little one growing inside of me. There was so much that I wanted to say that night, but every time I would try to speak tears would flow. I was absolutely in awe. I have never in my life felt the hand of God so firmly in my life. There was peace in our room that night and God's love and power could be felt so strongly upon entering the room. He was there.

At 7:00 am there was a shift change. A sweet little strawberry blonde haired girl named Allyson became my nurse. She was adorable and so supportive of my trying to deliver vaginally. She was a Christian and listened to the story of our years of struggles. She was an absolute blessing to have that day. At one point during the morning she even came to me to pray for her sister in law who was pregnant and threatening to miscarry for the 2nd time. While she was in my room she called her sister in law and told her that she had a patient who was about to give birth after having had 4 miscarriages and numerous complications. She just wanted to encourage her with my testimony. I totally did not sign up for this testimony, but I am honored for God to use it at any given time. What an honor to be in labor for this sweet little baby and have your nurse ask you to pray for someone she loves because she knows that I've been there- and I understand. I totally love God and His plans...He really is incredible.

Soon after my Doctor came in and broke my water. That is where the real fun began! They cranked up the Pitocin because the baby was fine and I was tolerating everything fine. At 9:00 I got the epidural and by 10:30 I was 9 CM and almost ready to begin pushing! I had to frantically call my husband who was taking a coffee break, and also call my dear friend Christine who was to be the photographer that day. Within 15 minutes I was complete and ready to push.

The problem was, I couldn't push because we had to wait for Christine to make it to the hospital. I wasn't having this baby without proper photographic documentation! It took her almost 45 minutes to get to the hospital; during which the nurse took her time getting things set up. Christine finally made it at 11:45, Dr. Lafranca made it a few minutes later and by 11:55, only 4 short easy pushes later, they announced the words we had been waiting to hear!

It's a girl!!

more to come...I promise.