Friday, January 4, 2013

Baby Flobee's Birth Story, part 3

 You can read parts 1 and 2 here and here.

We last left off at 7 a.m., but with most labors, things started to slow down after the epidural. But it was all good because I was in no pain and started to take small naps since I had no pain. The feeling was numbness, from the hips down. Mostly in my toes, I couldn't feel anything in the toes. Since my water broke, and there was a LOT of fluid, the nurses had to keep changing the bed pads under me.

They had to roll me to one side, lift of the pad, roll me to the other side, lift up the pad and then I had to try to lift up my butt to get it out. That was always funny ... I tried to make light of everything because you don't have much else during this time. Throughout the day, the nurses would move me from side to side to get the baby to move into a better position. And they also had me wear an oxygen mask for precautions. It wasn't comfortable, but the more oxygen I had, the more the baby had. (I am sure there were other reasons and maybe they were kept from me!)

I will say that every person who came into the room commented on my gown, "Is that your own gown?" "When did the hospital get new gowns?"

At 9:45 a.m. I was 5 centimeters only and they checked with my midwife about starting Pitocin to  get things moving. At this point, the cervical checks were welcome and not a problem because I couldn't feel a thing! At 11:15 a.m., I was 6 centimeters, the contractions were stronger and two minutes apart, but I still couldn't feel anything. I was still resting comfortably.

Around noon my midwife came in to check on me and said to up the Pitocin level around 1 p.m. I am still comfortable and now recognizing my contractions on the monitor. They were not as strong and as regular as they wanted them to be, but we were still making progress. At 2 p.m., they came back to check me and I was 9 centimeters.

Something hit me at this point (why at this point I don't know!) that there is no going back. There was no going back 39 weeks ago, to be honest, but I started to get emotional and cry. I was wondering what kind of mom I would be, I was thinking back on my life up until this point without having a little baby, how my life would be ... it was just a whole mess of emotions at this point.

I was also giving myself shots of the epidural when all of the sudden an alarm went off! YIKES! My epidural had run out. That is the worst thing imaginable. They called someone to come and refill it, they did and all was well again. Until the alarm went off again! I was so worried it was too late and I was stuck without my dream drug. I wasn't. They fixed it. 

At 3 p.m., the nurse came in and did another check and said, "Oh the baby is right there. Let's call Angela." I knew that any minute we would start the pushing and I'd be a mom any time now. Angela came in and around 3:30 p.m. we started pushing. They would give me up to three hours to push, but in my head I thought it would take like five minutes ...

All day the nurse kept saying, "Wow this is going to be a big baby. This may be a 10 pounder. Wow, I hope you can get this baby out." So in my head I knew that we were in for a challenge, well we knew that all along.

The nurses "teach" you how to push, this is where the epidural is NOT a good thing: I could barely feel anything. Yet alone how to bear down and push like I am having a bowel movement. My legs, or as I called them "sausages" were feeling realllllly heavy. I was supposed to hold my knees back and keep my elbows out and push with the contractions. The hubs had one leg and my mom helped to hold the other. I started to feel some pains on the left side, so I knew when the contractions were coming.

The hubs was coaching me to push, which was great for maybe the first of the three-push cycle. I was getting distracted. Focusing isn't my strong point. While pushing, they could see and feel Flobee's head, which was covered in hair. At one point they offered to pull her out by the hair. Haha. I couldn't get all three pushes in each cycle to be effective. One was good and two weren't, so it was one step up and three back. at 4 p.m., the doctor came in ....

I knew that he'd be there in the event we needed a C-section. I could see him and Angela looking at each other after almost an hour of pushing. He then got in front of me and tried his luck too. And then he nodded to Angela. I thought, "oh no! here it is ... the C-section."

Now, let me state this: I was ready, willing and able for whatever needed to happen for a safe and healthy delivery. I didn't want a C-section only for two reasons: diabetics have a harder time recovering from injury or surgery and hubs only had two weeks off, I didn't want to spend five of 14 days in the hospital. I wanted to be home with all of us.

They offered me the vacuum. I pictured "whooooooozzzzzzzzzzzz sshshshshshsshsshhhhhhhhh plop" and a Dyson wand or something. They told me they can vacuum and the worst that would happen is the head would be a bit cone shaped, but that happens with a vaj delivery sometimes anyway. I asked for one more chance to push, but I was spent. I couldn't do it even with one more push. In the instant I said "OK," a team of about 10 or 12 were in the room with the tools needed and I got to sit out one more contraction. I still had to push, even with the vacuum. My legs were propped up, the nursery nurses were there telling hubs what would happen (the golden hour: skin-to-skin, nursing-- unless anything was wrong and they needed to further examine the baby). I was prepared either way: for the golden hour or for them to take the baby away because I am diabetic and we knew there could be blood sugar problems.

I felt the next contraction coming, I did my first series of counting to 10, then a second and a third. They told me to keep going and on the 5th time I felt some sharp pains in my stomach and could feel this little life being pulled from inside of me. And just like that, there was a baby on my stomach.

I didn't think to ask what it was, I was just in shock. I couldn't believe that we had done it, that there was no C-section and there was this big baby with a full head of black hair right there. When we did ask, "What is it?" Angela said "It's a toddler!" She said that she wanted me to see what it was, they peeled back the towel and there was my little Harlow. It's a girl. I cried happy tears. The hubs cried and kissed me. My mom cried and kissed me and then everyone left to go make phone calls! Ha, welcome to 2012.

 My fluffy peanut ... she was so puffy with fluids, too. We knew she had hair from the ultrasounds, but were not expecting her to come out with a wig on!
She didn't cry right away and I heard the nursery nurse say, "We need to take her. Her sugar is 33." They toweled her off, weighed and measured her while I delivered the placenta (that was more painful than birth!) and then I did get some time with her before they took her to NICU for a feeding. Her first meal came from a bottle and was formula. It was needed in this case for her sugar and I didn't care, as long as she was tended to. And she was, her daddy took care of her.

Meeting my girl. 
I stayed in L&D for about 2 1/2 hours and until the epidural wore off. She was in NICU for about three-four hours.

Part of post-partum recovery is being able to pee on your own. Twice.The first time I went, I asked the nurse to come with me. Good thing or someone would have had to pick me off of the ground like a heads-up coin. Some blood clots gooped out and I almost passed out. Oh, I guess I should have inserted a "TMI, this will be gross" warning. Consider this your warning. Blood clots happen, you still leak fluids and I was as puffy as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I didn't end up taking any more pain meds, not even once. I didn't find the recovery to be painful at ALL! I did not like the post-delivery uterus compressions, but even that wasn't so bad.

Harlow Olivia was born at 5:02 p.m. weighing in at 9 lbs., 5 oz. and was 22 inches long. I had almost two feet of baby inside of me. 

So that takes us up to about 8 p.m. on October 17. We stayed in the hospital for 46 hours after her birth. We were spoiled, I loved being served three meals a day, I loved having a few visitors, I loved being waited on, I loved having help with the baby and I loved the relaxation; the calm before the storm.

All in all, I have a GREAT delivery. I was very lucky because it could have ended up awful. But my team and the medical team did a great job working together to make it smooth and pain free. Being diabetic and pregnant is not easy, so I am very grateful! The staff at Centennial Hills Hospital is AMAZING. They made the experience so great. My midwife, Angela DeTie of Women's Specialty Care, is a lifesaver. She was fantastic and I wish I could still schedule monthly appointments to go see her! 

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