Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Madelyn's Birth Story

Nick and I spent our last weekend without children walking. We walked in the woods by our house. We walked our neighborhood. We walked all over Target - several times. We walked the mall. Nick was bound and determined to get this baby out! I was overdue and one of my doctors had already uttered the I word...induction.

Well all the walking must have worked because at 5am on Monday morning I had my first legitimate contraction. Yahoo!! At this point, the contractions were about 30 minutes apart and I fell asleep between them. I woke up around 7am and told Nick I thought I was in the beginning stages of labor. As we got Ben ready for school, we talked about whether or not Nick should go to work and decided - we probably had awhile so he might as well go. Plus, he would be home around 1pm anyway so it wasn't a long time that he would be gone. I called my mom later that morning and let her know what was going on. She confirmed - yup - it's labor but we've still got time.

I spent the day clipping coupons and cleaning my house. Basically, I was doing everything I needed to get done to feel organized and to pass the time. Nick got home around 1pm and we decided to go walk some more. The contractions were about 10 minutes apart at this point.

At 3:30pm we walked to pick Ben up from school and as we were walking, I noticed the contractions were coming faster. I told Nick we should start timing them and they were coming about 3-5 minutes apart. I was still having the random 10 minute interval here and there which was definitely throwing off the count. We got Ben back home and worked on homework. The contractions were getting to the point that I had to stop what I was doing when one came on. I kept telling Nick that I felt it in my back more than anything. Ben got picked up at 6pm and we kept riding the contraction train.

Finally, by 9pm we decided to head into the hospital. The contractions were still 3-5 minutes apart but the intensity had definitely picked up. We got to Triage and after an internal we found out I was a whopping 1cm dilated and 90% effaced. Are you freakin' kidding me!! The doctor said, normally they have patients walk the hospital but because we lived so close to home, we could head home for a few hours and come back later to see if I was progressing.

We headed home around 11pm and I spent a lot of time in and out of the shower. I knew I needed to sleep but the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart which doesn't leave much time for a nap. My back was killing me and I was only comfortable standing, which didn't help the sleep factor.

At one point, I was sitting on the birth ball in the shower and letting the hot water just pelt my back. I was trying to lean against the wall and nap but just as I got comfortable the hot water ran out. Go figure!

I got out of the shower and Nick warmed up a heating pad. I sat on the ball, in my bathroom and leaned against Nick while he held the heating pad to my back. We had given up on timing contractions but they were probably 1-2 minutes apart at this point. It was 3am.

I told Nick, I couldn't sit at home anymore and we decided to head back to the hospital. After another internal we learned I was 3cm dilated and still 90% effaced. I wanted to cry! It had been 12 hours of regular contractions and I had made it 3cm. The nurse then asked if I still wanted natural childbirth. I thought about it and realized, there was no way I could have the energy to push if I didn't find a way to sleep. I told her, no - I am going to get the epidural.

Once I made that decision, I couldn't get the epi fast enough. We still had to get up to my room, get the IV, wait for the doctor. Finally, he arrived! Now those who know me, know I am petrified of needles. I have to say, the epidural - not that bad! The little needle they use to numb the area kinda hurt but the botched IV job the nurse had performed earlier hurt way more! The epidural does require a cathader - not fun! After the epidural took effect, I was in heaven. I could carry on a conversation and finally nap! Granted, it wasn't the best sleep of my life since nurses and doctors kept coming in to check on me but I managed to snag 15 minutes here and there. Oh, by the way - it is now about 5am on Tuesday morning.

Sometime later on Tuesday morning I got another internal. 6cm!!!! Nick had asked earlier if any babies are ever born in the afternoon as it seems most kids come in the middle of the night. I told him, at this rate we might have one of those mid-afternoon babies. Not so much.

At this point, the order of things get a little blurry for me. I remember being stuck at 6cm for the better part of Tuesday afternoon. Sometime during this, I spiked a fever, my blood pressure got wacky and my oxygen levels went high. I was told by the doctors that they were concerned I had gotten an infection during labor. I now needed 36 hours of antibiotics and the baby was going to require 36 hours of antibiotics after birth as well. I really wanted the baby on my chest immediately after birth and they assured me that the IV could be placed while I was holding the baby.

Several more hours go by and I'm still not progressing. The baby's heart rate is a steady 140bpm but they kept losing it with the monitor. They were also having a hard time finding my contractions with the monitor as well. It is now Tuesday evening and the doctor suggests breaking my water to get things moving. Alright doc - go for it.

After my water was broken they kept checking for meconium. They didn't see any right away but it showed up an hour or so later. There went immediate skin to skin. The baby now required a pediatric team in the room to make sure nothing was swallowed and all was okay. I was really bummed but the safety of my baby was more important. Plus, if all was good, I would have the baby quickly after delivery.

I was able to dilate to 9cm fairly quickly after breaking my water. It was now 7pm on Tuesday evening. I got a couple more checks between 7pm and midnight and seemed to be stalled at 9cm. At this point, the doctor first uttered the nasty C word. C-section. What I absolutely did not want to have happen. She told me that they were concerned that I had been in labor for over 24 hours and my uterus was basically working like crazy. I agreed to start Pitocin and was given a midnight "deadline". At my 12 o'clock check I was 10cm!!! Time to push!!

Oh I forgot to mention - during all of these checks I am learning the baby is sunny side up. Back labor - fun! Also, it was going to be harder to push the baby out - sweet!

I started pushing at midnight. At 3am - the baby had not moved. I was so completely exhausted, I realized there was no way I was going to be able to push this baby out and agreed to the c-section. I am pretty sure there was more going on than I knew about because there was a team of doctors ready to go.

I was moved into an operating room while Nick changed into his gear. I was numb from my waist down but I remember my arms being numb as well - although that wore off quickly. There looked to be about 20 doctors and nurses in the room which made for a crowded space.

Nick said I had already been cut open when he walked in which freaked him out a bit. I remember being so exhausted I thought I was going to fall asleep and miss the birth of my child! I managed to stay awake and at 3:24am I heard the screams of my baby.

Nick peeked over the curtain and announced - IT'S A GIRL!!!

I had been talking about wanting a baby with a lot of hair so several of the nurses made a point to tell me how much hair she had. I was also told she looked like a huge baby! I thought I was dealing with 13 pounder the way the nurse was talking. Not so much. Because she came out screaming and pinked up right away, they knew the meconium was a non issue. I got to see her and then they took her to hook up the IV while I was getting put back together. At this time I remember being incredibly thirsty and still exhausted. I would fall asleep and then wake up begging the anesthesiologist (since he had the joy of sitting by me head the whole time) for water. He would remind me that I can't have water in the OR and I would fall asleep again. This went on several times.

I was wheeled to recovery and I finally got my water - it was amazing! By 4:30am on Wednesday morning, I had Miss. Madelyn in my arms nursing away.

Madelyn Violet Barish
11/17/2010 @ 3:24am
8lb 9oz 21.5in


amw said...

holy crow! you are a trooper! miss madelyn owes momma BIG time for her entry into this world. i maintain that she just REALLY wanted to be born on the 17th. :) glad you made it through and i hope recovery is going well. happy holidays with miss Mads (or, i am also considering Mad-let. like chucklette but this way it incorporates her middle name too.). love and congrats again!

Georgette said...

Eek, I just saw that you had updated! I'm so proud of you - you handled everything beautifully!