Monday, October 17, 2011

She's Here!!

My little girl is two weeks old already, and I'm just now getting around to posting her birth story. It feels like I've known her forever.

She was due last Tuesday, but decided to show up ten days early. At my 37 week appointment, I found out that she was no longer breech. My OB confirmed it with an ultrasound and I was so excited about the possibility of being able to try a VBAC, provided I went into labor on my own before the 10th, my scheduled C-section date. A few days later, I began having irregular contractions that lasted throughout the whole week. That Friday, September 30th, I saw the doctor for a routine visit and mentioned the contractions. She casually said that it could mean something might happen soon, but wasn't overly concerned and didn't check for labor progress.

That evening around 5:30, the contractions started becoming more intense and closer together. Almost two hours later, I decided that these may be more than just Braxton Hicks and called my practice's answering service. While waiting for the on-call doctor to get back to me, I called Gregg who was almost an hour away at a meeting for one of his financial clients. The cell phone reception on his end was very spotty, so I wasn't sure if he could hear me say that I thought I was in labor. I heard back from the doctor right away and told her that my contractions were about two minutes apart and were starting to get difficult to breathe through. She told me to come to the hospital to get checked out, so I called Gregg back and relayed the message.

At this point, I started freaking out. I wasn't expecting her to come for another week and a half, and I still had a lot on my to-do list. I hadn't even packed a bag for the hospital! I didn't know what I should do first and ended up just succeeding in picking up the living room which was littered with toys, brushing my teeth, and getting Colton changed since he had a poopy diaper. I hadn't packed any of my stuff when Gregg arrived home, so I just had him bring my camera and laptop with us in case we ended up staying and having the baby then.

We got to the hospital just after 9:00pm, and my in-laws met us at the ER entrance to take Colton back home and stay with him overnight. They settled me into triage right away and began monitoring my contractions. I tried to get comfortable and remain calm during the next hour. Gregg and I watched some tv and talked a little bit, while intermittently watching the fetal monitor. Eventually, I was checked by one of the residents to see how far along I was, which hurt a lot. It turned out I was only 1 cm dilated and 10% effaced. Sometime in this time frame, my OB showed up. One of the nurses started an IV of fluids and said my doctor would be back to check on me in an hour. By 11:30pm, the contractions were starting to feel like bad period cramps and it was hard to concentrate on anything Gregg was saying.

Just after midnight, my doctor checked my progress again and I was still only dilated to 1 cm and my cervix wasn't softening. The baby was also very high up yet. The doctor explained that she couldn't give me anything to move labor along, since I had had a prior C-section (which I knew). The chance of uterine rupture was too great with the kind of intense contractions pitocin brings on. She basically gave me two options: go home and continue to labor, even though it would probably take another 14 to 20 hours before I would get to 10 cm, IF I even progressed to that point on my own, or have a repeat cesearan. We asked her what her medical opinion was, and she said she thought we should have this baby tonight. Someone else had just gone into the OR, so it would be a little while before I could have the C-section if that's what I chose. She left us to talk it over.

Gregg asked what I wanted to do, and I started crying saying that I wasn't ready to have her yet but I didn't want to go home and take my chances. When my doctor returned, I told her I wanted to have the C-section. I was given something to take the edge off my pain which made me feel as though I was drunk. Then we both filled out and signed a bunch of paperwork, and shortly after 2:00am they brought me down to the operating room while Gregg got into his scrubs. I got helped up onto the table and one of the nurses let me lean into her while the spinal was administered. It didn't hurt nearly as much as it had when Colton was born. The anethesia took effect almost immediately, making me feel heavy and even drowsier. The rest of the next hour was kind of a blur. I know that Gregg came into the room after they had prepped me and put the shield up. He sat to my left, holding my hand. I felt a lot of tugging and pressure as they delivered her and I remember my doctor saying, "Look at all that hair she has!" I was so relieved to know that she was actually, in fact, a girl. I didn't really suspect otherwise, but there was always a chance the sonographer could have been wrong at my 20 week ultrasound.

Rory Lynn was born at 2:51am on October 1, 6 lbs. 12 oz., 19 inches in length. I began crying when I heard her cry. One of the nurses brought her to my side once she was all cleaned up and bundled. After Gregg left to go with Rory to the nursery, the doctor stitched me up and I was so exhausted at that point I kept fading in and out. It felt almost like I was upside down, because of the angle of the table and the drugs they had given me. Once they moved me to recovery, I fell fast asleep. When I woke up, Gregg was in the room and I asked right away how Rory was. Then all of a sudden I had this horrible taste in my mouth, said I was going to be sick, and promptly threw up my dinner from the previous night.

Around 5:oo that morning they wheeled me from recovery to my hospital room, and I got to hold my daughter for the first time. She was perfect and so beautiful. For the next few hours I slept, in between getting checked by nurses and continuing to puke. By about 9:30, Gregg's parents brought Colton in to meet his baby sister. He looked huge to me compared to Rory. My in-laws took several pictures of the four of us and traded off holding the baby. Later that afternoon, my mother and step-father came to visit. Gregg ended up going back home that night to stay with Colton so he could keep his routine the same as much as possible, and after snuggling with Rory for a little while, I asked her nurse to take her to the nursery so I could get some sleep.

Over the next few days, I expected to feel hit by this wave of depression like I had right after Colton was born. But it didn't come. In fact, except for the pain from the surgery (which wasn't nearly as bad as the first time), I felt pretty great. Like I was in love. Everything felt right with the world. My daughter had arrived, safe and sound, more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I felt like our family was truly complete, and that this was what I had been put on this earth to do: give birth to these two precious children and raise them. It's only within the last couple of days that I've experienced the inevitable baby blues. Lack of sleep, emotional instability, and trying to juggle the needs of a three-year-old and a newborn while also trying to not let the house fall down around me has left me pretty spent. I'm also feeling guilty about having, essentially, turned Colton's world as he knew it upside down. For three years, it was just me and him. Now he has to share me, and I hate that.

But I know Rory will eventually be sleeping through the night, Colton will be a great big brother, and I will get a routine down. I am so grateful that my husband took off two weeks from work to be here helping me. He is the most wonderful, amazing man and father. Taking over without complaining household chores and baby & toddler duty. Still loving me fiercely even after seeing all of my organs laid out. Every time I look at our daughter, I know that we created her together. God has blessed us immensely.