HA! I said I was going to be better about this blogging business. HA! I did have very good intentions and for the record I have been back here to write another entry, but didn't get it finished so it is sitting in my 'drafts'. One day I may resurrect it and post it but if I were you I wouldn't hold your breath!
Anyway....last time I mentioned Hadley's birth story. I have written out most of it on a message board I frequent but since she's nearly 2 months old (OMG!) I probably should get it down once more. I never really did this with Elliot and wish I would have although I do still recall a fair amount about my labor and delivery with him.
So, here it goes folks: (it could be quite lengthy!)
For the last few weeks before Hadley was born I had been feeling miserable. M.I.S.E.R.A.B.L.E. I didn't even know it was possible for a person to feel so crappy and to get so little sleep. Most people looked at me like I was a lunatic when I said I was looking forward to having a newborn & getting MORE sleep. They just didn't get that I could not move and was not sleeping at all.
So with that said I thought nothing of the discomfort I was feeling on October 19. Sure I'd have some more braxton hicks contractions but they had been going on for quite awhile and nothing had come of them. Dr. Shaw had given me hope at my 37 week appointment that I wouldn't make it to 38 weeks. What a cruel joke that was! I was nearly 39 weeks pregnant and literally begging my ever bulging belly to release my baby! Petey & I went to bed around 11 that night like usual but I could NOT get even the slightest bit comfortable. It was even worse than normal which I didn't think was possible but apparently it was. Petey was also snoring like a crazy man which was not helping as I find that to be one the most annoying sounds known to man so I got up & laid down in our office which also has a spare bed. I FINALLY was able to fall asleep some time after 1 o'clock but I noticed that I kept waking up ALL the time. I didn't realize until 4:25ish that I had been waking up about every 20 minutes & then I put together that I had probably been having contractions. (With Elliot all I felt was back labor for the longest time so this was new to me.)
I got up a little before 5 and called my mom to tell her she should probably head to Ames. I also took a shower which felt so incredibly fantastic but the contractions just kept coming and at that point I KNEW I was in labor. Surprisingly I wasn't as ecstatic as I though I would be considering the amount of complaining and begging I'd done leading up to that day! Don't get me wrong I was excited - just not jumping for joy! Petey heard the shower when he got up to use the bathroom & once I told him I was in labor he was definitely awake! I used an online contraction timer to keep track of how long and how far apart my contractions were. It was such a great idea & took the pressure off of us having to do it and keep track. Plus it was very easy to look back & see that things were definitely progressing. A couple of times I thought the contractions were easing up & that it wasn't actually going to happen but sure enough they would always pick up in intensity again.
My mom got here around 7 - just in time to see Elliot getting out of bed. I had a lot of mixed emotions at that point. It really hit me that this was his last day as an only child and my last day "alone" with my little boy. He wasn't going to be my only baby anymore even though he was still a baby. I don't know how to correctly verbalize what I was feeling at the moment. I remember almost breaking down in tears when I said good-bye to him before leaving for the hospital. He had absolutely no clue that the next time he saw Mommy she would have a new baby. He just couldn't comprehend how much his life was going to change & I didn't really feel that that was fair to him but there was nothing I could do to fix it. Talk about a moment of mommy guilt!
We got to the hospital a little after 8:30 & they put me in triage. I was only dilated to 3cm & about 90% effaced. I was utterly disappointed & couldn't believe that that was it. Petey & I walked around for 45 minutes - hour. I had to stop, breathe and rock my way through a lot of contractions. The pediatricians were in the nursery checking babies out so it was really cool to see a lot of new babies. It definitely made us excited to get this show moving along a little faster!
When I was checked again I was about a 4 but still only 90%. Again I was SO disappointed because I felt like those contractions HAD to be accomplishing something more than that. They decided that I was indeed in labor & that they could admit me which was good because there was NO way I was leaving! I didn't actually get to my room until closer to noon. I finally had 'my' nurses too since I'd been shuffling through whoever was free during the morning. Their names were Ann & Andrea & they were fantastic! They had a lot to live up to after my experience in Minnesota & all the wonderful people who take care of me. Before they admitted me Hadley wasn't staying on the fetal monitors long enough for them to get a good reading so I was in a completely uncomfortable position on a terribly uncomfortable bed. I was starting to have a hard time breathing through the contractions & Petey wasn't really able to rub my back like I needed him to.
In my room the excitement of the IV started. I'm terribly hard to poke and actually get a good vein. After a few tries in Minnesota the nurses quit trying & would just call the IV resource team. They even had problems a couple times. Really I need a 20 gauge but they say I HAVE to have an 18 in case I would need blood or whatever. Ugh...I can't even count how many times the stupid 18 blew my vein when it would get flushed during my last pregnancy. I told them all this & that their best bed was to hot pack my arms since there was no IV resource team. They did & still ended up poking me 3 or 4 times before finding a vein that would work. By this time I had been messed with long enough & not able to do what I needed to do to work through contractions so I was exhausted. They offered me IV drugs but I refused. I had them last time & was not interested in them again. Actually I had intended to do this birth as naturally as possible & I had hoped to not use any pain meds. *sigh* that was just one of many things that didn't go quite as I had envisioned ;) My nurses tried to tell me I was doing such a great job at breathing through contractions which I admit I was still at the time but I could tell I was almost done with it. So, I requested the epidural but very reluctantly. It didn't work last time & it SUCKED. I was stuck in a terrible position on my back but still feeling everything & I didn't want that to happen again.
Before all of this happened Dr. Gisi, whom I had never met, came in to break my water in hopes of getting things moving along. At that point I was ready for things to speed up so I didn't argue. What I didn't know was how painful that was! It hurt almost worse than actually giving birth which is saying something. He checked me & gave the go ahead for the epidural since that is what I wanted.
I was about a 5 and still 90% right before the epidural went in. When the anesthesiologist got to my room I told her all of my concerns & she assured me it would work & I would be happy this time. I chose to go with it and trust her. I got really nervous about this decision while it was going in - it hurt SOOOOOO bad. I hadn't had any pain last time but this time I was almost screaming. She gave me some more numbing stuff but I still felt a lot of it going in. However, this one worked! It was the most wonderful feeling in the world :) I got the best sleep I had gotten in months that afternoon as did Petey.
Around 3:30-4 (a few hours after the epidural) my nurses checked me again & I still hadn't made it to 6. At this point I remember being scared & afraid they would mention a c-section. Nothing against c-sections but that is NOT what I wanted. I've never had a surgery & the last thing I wanted was having my 'normal' delivery taken from me AGAIN. Fortunately they only suggested pitocin which didn't surprise me & I agreed it was a good idea especially since I already had my epidural. Last time I stalled at the same point in labor but hadn't gotten my epidural yet. I will NEVER go through a labor with pitocin without an epidural! The nurses also said my contractions weren't as close together or intense as they like to see them.
The pitocin was started & right away I could feel the contractions despite my epidural but they weren't overly painful. I used my 'magic button' to give me more of the numbing meds as often as it would let me! We turned it up once and an hour after the pitocin was started Dr. Gisi came to check me & surprised us all when he announced I was fully dilated and effaced. I was shocked at how fast it happened!! Petey & I had just started playing a game of cribbage but we were too excited to concentrate on it anymore. Dr. Gisi said Hadley was still up pretty high so we agreed that as long as I was comfortable we would just let her 'labor down' and when I felt ready to push then we would. Ann, the older of the two nurses, thought Hadley was sitting at a funny angle so she had me try a position she had seen a lot of midwives use called a Texas Roll. It looked completely ridiculous but it did the trick & in no time I felt the pressure and was ready to push! I had been told many times that my pushing would likely last a lot longer than it did with Elliot (10 minutes) and that it would be a lot harder this time around.
I started pusing a little before 6 o'clock. Fortunately I was able to move my legs really well and feel a lot. Just like last time my epidural had all but worn off but I really didn't mind because I was able to have a lot more control. The nurses were impressed with how well the pushing progressed and told me that we HAD to have this baby out before 7 when their shift ended. I ended up doing my most effective pushing on my side. I thought it was going to be completely awkward but it actually worked really well. Ann called Dr. Gisi once and told him he needed to be there soon as Hadley was nearly crowning. Well, she actually did crown with the next set of pushes which was surprising to all of us. I moved onto my back again which caused Hadley to slip back in but it wasn't hard to get her to crown again. At this point Ann was on the phone telling Dr. Gisi to "GET HERE NOW OR I'M DELIVERING THIS BABY!" hahaha....cracks me up to remember it. I was told not to push which was laughable at that point. My body was doing it all on his own & by the time the doctor got there he was only able to barely get one glove on and catch her. Hadley essentially delivered herself & Mommy was so relieved to not have to try and not push anymore! This also helped keep Mommy from tearing at all - I didn't even need a single stitch which was much different than last time!
This time I got to hold my baby immediately. I got to kiss her, check her out, hold her, love and most importantly bond. It was incredible. I had no idea it could be that wonderful to have a baby. I now knew that my fears about not bonding well with Elliot for a long time were true. I firmly believe it had a lot to do with him being taken away immediately and not being held much at all for his first two weeks. It was heartbreaking for me at the time and still is when I think of how much was 'robbed' from me and the most frustrating part is that no one knows why. NO ONE. Nobody can tell me it won't happen again because no one knows why it happened in the first place. It made those first moments with my precious daughter that much more special and oh so precious In fact my nickname for her is 'Precious'. I didn't want to let her go at all for the longest time. I didn't want to miss a single second of her first moments in this world. I only have pictures of Elliot's first moments & they look incredibly painful and stressful. Hadley's first moments were anything but.
We were able to work on breastfeeding right away which I was so excited about. I had every intention of making it work this time and had invested in things I wish I had had last time. I read so many books, articles, personal stories to get ready because of the difficulties last time but it was to no avail. We are not breastfeeding this time & while I'm a bit sad about that I'm ok with it. I refused to be stressed out about something that seemed so trivial in my mind. I was not going to project that stress on my newborn or put her through it too. I had a stressed newborn last time & I was a stressed mommy. It wasn't going to repeat itself and it hasn't and things have been SO much better!
There were so many things about Hadley's arrival that did not go according to 'plan'. Well, not according to my plan at least but in the end I wouldn't trade any of it. She's here, she's healthy, she's perfect and she captures my heart more and more everyday. How in the world could I ever be disappointed in that?!
Anyway...this has gotten too long. I must bring it to an end!