Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Birth Story Week: Baby June part 1

Kiona Sewell Photography

My pregnancy was pretty uneventful compared to a lot of my friends' pregnancies. Besides it taking 6 months to get pregnant and 20 weeks of morning sickness all-day nausea, it wasn't too bad. Yes, I had the typical aches and pains, but those are long forgotten now. I'll tell you more about some of the things I learned while pregnant later, but for now I'd like to share with you the story of how June entered this world.

My mom (Nana) came to stay with us on Sunday, Feb. 16. She was able to take a month to work off-site and stay with us. As it turns out, she has really good timing! Around 1am the next morning, during one of my many nightly trips to the bathroom, my water started leaking. I woke Hubby up and said, "I think my water just broke. I'm going to try to go back to sleep, just in case." He didn't think much of it and fell right back to sleep. I was really excited and anxious for contractions to start, but nothing happened. I woke up a few hours later and we went through the morning as if it was a normal day. I was beginning to think that it wasn't my water breaking, but that I had just peed myself. Gross, right?

We went to Wal-Mart around lunchtime and as we're walking in the doors, it happened again. I told my mom and husband that I was pretty confident that it was in fact my water breaking. But I still wasn't having contractions, so we continued our shopping trip. When we got home, I called Labor & Delivery and told them all the fun details of that morning. The nurse told me I should come in just to be safe.

We loaded the car with all the prepacked bags and headed to the hospital. I was giddy with excitement as I texted all our close family and friends to tell them that this could be it! Hubs, on the other hand, was stoic. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I don't think this is it." was all I heard during the drive. I have a tendency to get my hopes up way too soon and he's the level-headed one.

We made it to the hospital around 2pm. They hooked me up to a contraction and fetal heart tone monitor and checked to see if I was dilated. We worked with the sweetest Clinical Nurse Midwife student who told us I was already 3cm dilated! Soon after that, I started to feel the contractions. Those first few are so fun....until they're not. But while they were still cute, we were getting so excited!

Christina Driscoll Photography

I spent the next few hours walking around the halls, watching the winter Olympics, bouncing on yoga balls, and moving into different positions to help her move further along. Some of the positions that worked best for me were: 1) raising the bed to the highest level and leaning over it, 2) leaning over the bed while someone put counter pressure on my hips, and 3) moving my hips in a circular motion on the yoga ball.

Christina Driscoll Photography

Christina Driscoll Photography

When the contractions became too strong to walk through, I got in the whirlpool. The warm water was definitely a nice relaxation between contractions, but I found it hard to get into a comfortable position during the pain. When I got out 30 minutes later, I was confident that I was dilated to at least 6cm.

Christina Driscoll Photography

After 10 hours of contractions, I decided I needed pain medication. I don't have the highest pain tolerance so I'm honestly surprised I made it that long. Per standard procedure, they checked me before giving me any IV medication or an epidural. When the words "...still 3cm..." came out of the midwife's mouth, I'm pretty sure all the air left the room. You could see it on all of our faces that we were shocked.

Christina Driscoll Photography

Since I hadn't progressed at all, we needed to make a decision between IV meds and an epidural. 3cm is still pretty early for an epidural. I could run the risk of slowing my labor down even more. I opted for IV medication (I wish I could tell you which one. I want to say it was Nubain, but don't quote me on that). When the nurse flushed my IV with saline before giving me the pain med, Aleah's heart rate took a nose dive with a contraction. It wasn't coming back up on it's own after a few seconds, so I got on my left side and was given lots of fluid through my IV at a fast rate (a.k.a, a bolus). Fortunately, this temporarily made Baby Girl very happy and her heart rate rose. Unfortunately, any pain med at that point was out of the question. We needed to figure out what the problem was. Occasional small dips in baby's heart rate could be harmless, but June's heart rate dropped consistently with each contraction.

For the next couple of hours, I repositioned to my left side, was given an oxygen mask, and had many boluses. Each intervention would work for a few contractions, then we'd be back to square one. I then got on my hands and knees to try to relieve the pressure on the umbilical cord (the probable cause of all the decelerations). This worked for awhile but made my arms feel very weak and I wasn't able to hold myself up for very long. Guess that pregnancy arm workout would've come in handy.

There was a short reprieve from the scary heart rate dips, so I was able to get an epidural. Thank God for epidurals. It originally didn't take on my right side, so all the pain was concentrated on my right hip. Once the anesthesiologist adjusted a few things, we were in business. I could now focus on helping my little girl and not be consumed by pain.

I had to get on my hands and knees very quickly once I was numb due to another deceleration. Let me tell you, this is probably the hardest thing I did. Baby Daddy helped hold up my 500 lb dead weight self, which I'm sure wasn't easy. But just like all our previous interventions, this one stopped working, too. The final position we tried was sitting straight up in the bed. This worked the longest, but eventually stopped working as well.

We were becoming very stressed. I started preparing myself for a C-section. I asked the nurse a lot of questions about what would happen should I need one and she did a great job easing my fears. She understood that as a fellow Women's Health Nurse, knowing how another hospital runs an emergency can really keep someone from freaking out. We prayed hard that our baby would be born happy and healthy. We had planned for an unmedicated, minimal intervention, vaginal birth. So far we were 0 for 2. But I wasn't going to jeopardize my baby or myself just so I could have the vaginal birth I wanted.

The midwives and doctors caring for me decided baby and I could benefit from an amnioinfusion. In Lamen's terms, this is "reinflating" the uterus. Since my water had started leaking over 24 hours prior to this point, there was very little fluid left to keep Aleah from resting on her umbilical cord. There was nothing to keep her alfoat. So saline was infused through a catheter into my uterus. Not long after the first infusion started, we discovered our little girl was in fact a water baby. She did tremendously better with the amnioinfusion.

Once the situation seemed to be under control, we were all able to get a few short naps in. Daddy and Nana had been with me the whole time and were exhausted as well. We had all been up for almost 24 hours and had just been through some pretty scary stuff. Those couple hours of sleep did wonders to put us all in better spirits. I did need a few more amnioinfusions over the next few hours, but they all worked perfectly at keeping June happy.

Christina Driscoll Photography

We had more ups and downs throughout the night and early morning. Come back tomorrow to read about June's grand entrance! (It's a happy ending, I promise!)

How did you cope with the pain of labor/delivery?
What planned or unplanned interventions did you need during labor/delivery?

Enter our Birth Story Week giveaway here!

God Bless,

No comments:

Post a Comment