Thursday, October 11, 2012

Juliet's Birth Story

My due date was September 19, and I wasn't surprised when the day came and went without our baby's arrival. I went on several looooong walks trying to get things going, but all it did was make my pelvis ache so bad I could barely move around.

On Friday September 21 we went to my 40 week doctor's appointment. In the waiting room before the appointment, I told Jed that there was no way I was going to book an appointment for a 41 week appointment, and if Doctor Nance asked me to, I would have some stern words for him.

Once Doctor Nance checked me,  I was still only dilated to a 1 and 60% effaced. I was feeling pretty down because I had been doing all I could think of to get my body in gear. Jed told Nance what I said in the waiting room, and Nance pulled out his calendar and said, "Let's make some plans." He said that he likes to induce on Sundays, but that Sunday was going to be the Brigham City Temple Dedication. I told him, he could just go to the 9am session and meet us at the hospital after. He laughed and told us to go in to the hospital on Saturday night so I could get some medicine inserted into my cervix to help it ripen overnight. He then told us that at 7am on Sunday, we should go in to L&D and get some pitocin started.

I was so giddy as we finalized our plans to bring our daughter into our world. I couldn't stop smiling and looking at Jed. I had been really resistant to the idea of being induced, but based on some family experiences and my worrywart nature, I felt really good about getting the process started as soon as possible. I just wanted our girl here safely as soon as possible.

Saturday, I slept in, took a nap, did some laundry, and got our little home ready to bring a baby home. Before going to the hospital, Jed and I had a little date night. We did some last minute shopping for baby stuff, had a delicious dinner at Carrabba's, and even stopped at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some dessert. We then rushed to the hospital and checked in. Our nice nurse, Jamie got the medicine going and finalized the details of our birth plan. We waited a hour or so and headed home.

It was a surreal feeling. I told Jed, "the next time we make this drive, we will have our baby with us." I can't remember the rest of that night, but we knew we needed our rest because we were going to have a long day on Sunday.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 5:30am and got ready. I felt silly curling my hair and doing my make-up, but i knew I would look exponentially worse by the time the baby came, so I wanted to start the day looking at good as possible, so maybe I wouldn't look AS bad later on (didn't really work, haha). Strange logic? I think not...

The hospital called and told us we could come in early, if we wanted, and we made it to the hospital around 6:50. We checked in and made our way up to L&D. I can't help but refer to the word surreal again. It was very surreal.

We monitored the baby and made sure she was doing well, then they started the pitocin around 7:45. The contractions started soon after, but I only felt my tummy tightening up, and nothing painful was happening yet. After the Brigham City Temple Dedication, Dr. Nance came in (around 11am) and broke my water. I was at a 2 at that point, and I have to say that feeling all of that fluid come out of me was very uncomfortable. I had to buzz the nurses a few times and ask them to bring in more towels/pad things. At one point, the fluid had dripped off the bed and onto the floor. Anytime I moved, water just gushed out. I hated that feeling. A lot.

The contractions intensified from that point, and by 1:00 I was using breathing techniques to get through them. It wasn't horrible, but I had a feeling it would be soon. The nurses kept asking me if I wanted my epidural yet. I didn't feel like I was in enough pain to get it (for some reason, I felt like I need to experience excruciating pain first... silly me). I decided to have the epidural around 1:30, thinking that the contractions would get worse very quickly.

My fear was that once I got the epidural, the contractions would slow down and become irregular. After I made the decision to get it, I started second-guessing myself, but the Anesthesiologist drove all the way down just for me, so I decided to do it then after all. Once it was time to actually get it, I started getting really shaky and nervous, something I was not expecting. Jed held my hand and stood right in front of me to help me stay still during the contractions. By this point, my mom was there with us, so she got to watch the big needles go in. I didn't even look at them, so I am still oblivious as to how big they were.

I felt relief pretty quickly, and I was so glad that I chose to get the epidural when I did. The scariest part of my entire L&D story is that after I got the epidural, my and the baby's heartrates dropped, so they had to put me on oxygen and insert some medicine into my IV to wake the baby up a bit. I was trying so hard not to cry because I was just thinking of the worst case scenario occurring  I'm sure this was nothing to the nurses, but i was kind of freaking out. I put on a brave face and kept the fears to myself.

After 30 minutes or so, everything was perfect. I was talking, laughing, enjoying my time with my mom and husband. Unfortunately, after about an hour and a half, I started feeling all of the pain on my left side. I can tell I was having back labor, because I was have excruciating pain in my abdomen and back. I was even more nervous because i could feel everything "down there," so I knew if something wasn't done, I would feel this baby come out. Only my right side was numb, and it was getting miserable. I was pumping as much epidural medicine in as possible, but my left side would not get numb. The Anesthesiologist even came in and juiced me twice... but to no avail. At this point, I was bawling my eyes out and with each contraction  I was having to put 100% of my focus into getting through it. The Anes. tried pulling out my epidural line just a bit to get it centered, but that didn't work either. After about an hour of my writhing in pain and trying everything possible, he decided to totally pull it out and redo the epidural.

That's right... I got two epidurals.

I felt almost immediate relief. I was so glad that I had decided to do that, because honestly, I felt from some of the people there that I shouldn't get the second epidural and just suffer through. Unfortunately, I still was only at a 2 or 3, so I knew I had a long road ahead of me, and I didn't want to be 100% miserable and exhausted when it came time to push. I definitely made the right choice for me.

Around 5 or 6, they checked me again, and I was finally at a 4. They said that I was in active labor and I should start dilating at least 1 cm an hour. I was prepared for several more hours, and I was feeling pretty good. I could feel the pressure of each contraction, and it was very interesting to see the intensity of each contraction because I had an inter-uterine monitor.

Around 8:00, they checked me and I was at a 9, almost 10. I couldn't believe I had dilated so quickly! I was so excited, and they called the Doctor to come in and see if I should start pushing or let the baby descend by herself for a bit.

He came in around 8:15, checked me, and pulled up the stirrups, saying it was time to push. Jed had just left to move the car, and I was freaking out because this was go-time! Jed came back just in time and was surprised to see the bed transformed and everything in place. At this point, my mom stepped into the hall.

I was still expecting to push for at least an hour, maybe two (they say 2-3 hours for your first is average), so I was SHOCKED when after my very first push the doctor told me that this would not take long at all!

Jed was holding one leg, and our nurse Natalie, the other. I was very surprised to see Jed watching EVERYTHING and don't tell him I told, but his eyes were rimmed with red, and I knew that even though we were having very different experiences, this very special for both of us.

After only 3.5 contractions and 10 pushes, the doctor shouted "Stop"  halfway through a push. I did... and he easily maneuvered our baby girl out! At 8:39pm, our girl was born. I only pushed for about 10-15 minutes! I got pretty emotional, and while I didn't cry-cry, I was definitely teary-eyed, and so so so mesmerized by this beautiful little girl with dark curls and wide eyes.

They suctioned out her tummy because she swallowed a ton of fluid, cleaned her up, measured and weighed her, and I finally got to hold my little girl (I was kind of peeved that they kept her for so long-- almost 10 minutes).

Her little eyes were open and she seemed so alert. She wasn't even swollen or squished. She was so beautiful and perfect. I didn't know what to do with this precious little girl, so I just held her, told her I loved her, and we looked into each other's eyes.

After a few minutes, I nursed her for the first time. It is such a miracle how babies know exactly what to do. She latched on like a champ, and our feedings have been great ever since.

Things got a little blurry after this because I was so focused on the baby. My mom heard the entire birth and saw them place the baby in the warmer thing as they checked her, so she immediately started making calls to all of our family to tell them that our little girl was here safe and sound!

Jed held the baby, as did my mom. We took a bajillion pictures, and about an hour later, my oldest sister Jordan and her husband came to visit. I was so glad they did.

I kept telling the nurses that I don't think it's fair to have a baby in the evening. You don't want to go to sleep because all you want to do is stare at your new little bundle of joy. We didn't make it to bed until around 2am.

I want to make a special point of sharing how amazing my husband has been. He was the most amazing and supportive cheerleader at the hospital. He made me laugh, allowed me to make my own decisions without judgement, catered to my every need, and didn't even make fun of me when I peed my pants a few times in the first couple of days after birth (anyone else experience this? haha). During those first few rough days home, Jed was taking care of my every need (cooking, cleaning, running to the pharmacy, running other errands, watching our girl when I have other things I need to do). When we were preparing to leave, I got choked up thinking how daunting of a task this would be without a husband to hold my hand through it all. I feel so blessed to have a happy marriage to bring this special child into. It reaffirms to me the importance of the family unit, and why God puts such an emphasis on maintaining families. It is divine.

 I feel extremely blessed because I feel that my induction went as smoothly as possible. From when I arrived at the hospital to when Juliet was born, only about 13 hours elapsed. I was prepared for a much longer ordeal! I almost feel guilty at how easy/painless my labor and delivery were.

Surprisingly, my recovery has been the hardest part of this entire birth process. I had to get some stitches and they HURT so bad the first few days home (I overdid it, even with all of the help I had). I definitely shed a lot of tears because of the pain, but we've had a lot of help, and I even caved and took some pain medicine to help. I guess I am a wimp. Luckily, things are better now, and I can focus on snuggling and taking care of my beautiful little Juliet!

We are so blessed to have such a special spirit join our family. It has been such a joy to get to know her more and explore our relationship (because it changes so much from in the womb to outside of it). We love her more than we could ever imagine.


Ari and Josh said...

You are so brave and strong and blessed. I'm happy for you, congrats :)

Godfrey's said...

Awww I loved your story! That was very special. Congrats on your wonderful little girl! You two will be fabulous parents!

Casi Bludorn said...

Loved your story (which is saying something because I normally hate birth stories!) And I love baby Juliet! So glad she's here!

D & A said...

I loved reading this. Juliet is absolutely beautiful. Btw, Imy epidural wore off on my left side too.

kaylie jean. said...

Congratulations, Adrianne! This is so wonderful. I am so happy for you guys! You will be amazing parents!

Christine said...

Absolutely beautiful, I got a little teary. Congratulations on your darling girl!

Laney said...

Congrats! I love reading birth stories! Very sweet. And... Aren't you so glad you're not pregnant anymore?! By the end, I was so sick of it and I wasn't having those horrible gall bladder attacks you endured. P.s. I'm feeling ya on appreciating people who post late night for us mommas.

Andrea said...

Yay! Love this. I think your use of the word surreal is RIGHT ON. I got so giddy with Jasper when it was time to go to the hospital. I was super scared with Mags. This time around I want to try and be as alert and aware of everything as possible, since it MIGHT be our last.

Oh and you're definitely not alone on peeing ;)

Sending you both lots of love & hugs!

Roz said...

Beautiful story, Adrianne! You & Jed handled everything so well--you make a great team! I had some strong fear going, but kept it to myself like you did. I loved your laid-back doc & getting to be close by during the pushing & delivery. It was the best birth experience I've ever had, ha-ha! Thanks for sharing your story. Love, Mom