Sunday, December 27, 2015

Katherine's Birth Story - 4 Months Later

Well I decided that I needed to get Katherine's birth story written down so I wouldn't forget. Although I'm sure I have forgotten some of the small details. Here it is:

August 3rd: I was 37 weeks along and I had my regularly scheduled doctor's appointment. My blood pressure had been a bit higher but not into the "danger zone" of pre-eclampsia. At my appointment everything checked out fine. Since I was so far along the doctor wanted me to come in the next morning for a nurse's check of BP and for protein in the urine.

August 4th: Chris and I's 8th wedding anniversary. I dropped Benjamin off at the babysitter and headed to the doctor's office for my appointment. In my head were plans of trying to tie up loose ends at work so I would be prepared to go on maternity leave. My BP was up over 160 which is definitely in the "danger zone" so the nurse had me lie down for 15 minutes to see if that would help. Part of it is definitely the fact that I had to have it checked so much - I always get nervous and it spikes up.

After resting it was still above 150 but had come down about 10 points. The nurse consulted with the doctor and then came in and told me to head to the hospital for monitoring. RIGHT NOW? I actually asked her that. So I went home to call Chris, call my boss and pack my bags. I knew that I would there was a good chance I would not leave the hospital until I had a baby.

When I checked into the hospital the nurse actually asked why I had my stuff! And it was the same nurse that helped deliver Benjamin. She didn't remember but I did. They started monitoring me and everything was fine for now. My BP was still above 140 but it had come down. I got an ultrasound and everything was fine with baby so I got checked into a room and they decided to do a 24 hours urine sample.

I pretty much texted people and binge watched HGTV all afternoon. It was boring and I kept thinking about all the things I COULD be doing before baby.

About 5pm the doctor came in and said he decided he wanted to induce me since my BP had remained fairly high all day and I was so far along. He said he wanted me to be on magnesium sulfate which in retrospect I wish I would have fought against harder since even the nurses didn't think I needed it and it wasn't pleasant.

They gave me the medicine to start the inducement and Chris made arrangements to stay at the hospital that night. He still had some work to get done the next day so he ended up getting up at about 4am in order to get finished before anything else happened with the baby.

August 5th: I had a pretty restless night - throughout the night my contractions got more regular and I couldn't find a comfortable position - especially with the annoying fetal monitors that always fall off not matter how the nurses jerryrig them up.

They told me they would start the pitocin at about 10am so about 9am I took a shower and I had some contractions in the shower so strong that I had to really concentrate. They were definitely regular and it took a lot of concentration and talking to myself to get through them. I called Chris to see when he would make it back from the hospital. He arrived right before they hooked up the IV.

At this point I should tell you that we went through the Bradley Method childbirth class in hopes of having a natural birth and not being induced. Well the non-inducement birth flew out the window so I was open to an epidural but still hoping to make it through naturally.

The pitocin started and the contractions were still getting stronger and more regular. I could not find a comfortable position besides sitting on the bed and leaning as far forward as I could but that messed up the fetal monitors. I also kept feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom. The doctor came in and wanted to break my water. The nurse and I disagreed since we both knew everything was progressing faster then last time and so we fought for it and the doctor left me alone. I was thankful for a great nurse who wanted to help me have the birth I wanted. I really didn't want to have a monitor put on baby's head like with Benjamin.

About the third time I had Chris helped me to the bathroom I told him I felt like I needed to start pushing. I was already going through the transition stage and even said the textbook line: "I can't do this anymore" so Chris knew I was ready!

He pushed the call button in the bathroom and the nurses came running in to help me to the bed. I was ready to start pushing - just had to wait excurciatingly long for the doctor to get there.

Once I officially started pushing it only took about 3 big pushes. Once for my water to break, once for the head to come out and once for the rest of our beautiful baby girl. I had done it!!! She was born at 11:30 am only 1 1/2 hours afyer pitocin. Crazy. It felt amazing except for the fact that I had a pretty bad tear from everything happening so quickly.

The huge downside to the magnesium sulfate was that the placenta was very slow to come out and I had quite a bit of bleeding. The nurses had to really pound on my stomach and get it out and thankfully it came out right before the doctor was ready to go in and surgically remove it. Getting that out was more unpleasant then the actual birth.

Katherine did great - they put her on my chest right away and we waited until the umbilical cord stopped pulsating before cutting it. After about an hour they took all her vitals and weight. She was born at 37 weeks and 3 days and weighed 7lbs 2 oz and was 19 inches.

She did wonderful except that she had to be under the lights for her bilirubin levels so that was 2 extra days in the hospital where I could only hold her while she was eating. That was torture but we made it through. I have been so excited that she has been doing so well breastfeeding and gaining weight since we had trouble with Benjamin and his tongue tie. She doesn't have one and it's been such a difference.

We are so happy to be a family of 4!

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