Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Eleanora's birth story

I beat the odds and made it to 34 weeks.  So I was started on pitocin at 34 weeks, October 16, around 7:45 am.  I expected it to take an hour or so for the pitocin to make any contractions start.  We started at 4, increased to 8, 12, 16, and finally 20.  I was shocked to be that high.  Nothing impressive happened.  So I went walking.  Dave wasn't being helpful at all, so I called my sister-in-law Brooke to come help me.  She was like my doula.  My nurse was also extremely helpful.  Contractions started showing up while I walked, but still weren't painful.  Finally at about 11:30 my dr showed up, and for the first time in my pregnancy, checked my cervix.  I was almost a 2, 80% effaced, and -1 station.  Not that great.  So we kept going.   

I sat on the ball, but baby had some dips in her heart rate, so I laid on my left side for awhile.  Contractions appeared decent, but I fell asleep, so not that hard.  I sat on the ball for awhile, but the contractions disappeared.  We got permission to go as high as 30 on the pitocin.  I laid back down to see if the contractions came back.  They did.  Dr. didn't want to raise the pitocin higher than 30 without seeing the true strength of the contractions.  So they inserted an internal contraction monitor.  It must have been between 2-3:00 at this point.  Still no pain.  I again fell asleep.  My nurse walked in and said she was shocked I was sleeping as these contractions were plenty strong based on the pressure on the internal monitor.  I guess that was my hypnobirthing techniques making themselves useful.  So no increase of the pitocin.  I was totally pain free.   

The contractions were only 2 minutes apart which scared me.  That is a short break, I was worried about wearing out.  After awhile in bed, I was kind of bored, and I was feeling the contractions a tad bit more, so I decided to get in the shower to mix things up.  I sat in the shower, in heaven with hot water running on me.  I was seriously loving life then.  I had some bloody show, and actually quite a bit of it, but baby was doing great.  Some time around 5:00 I think, the comfort was disappearing.  I was making the deep noises with my contractions, or doing long breaths.  I wanted to be checked to see if I had made any progress, and if it was safe to get comfy again in the shower.  I was a 3+ and still 80%.  I was pretty disappointed.  I got back in the shower, and we started doing some back counterpressure.  That helped a lot, but I was wondering if I was too tense sitting on the shower chair, so I filled up the tub.  I laid in this tub for awhile, and felt like it was better for relaxing my pelvic muscles, but I couldn't get the counterpressure on my back.  So I went back and forth from sitting and laying.  I was pretty uncomfortable at this point, and definitely wearing out from the frequency of those contractions.  So I asked for some fentanyl.  

 I got a half dose of fentanyl put in my iv, and I was in a happy place.  I ate a popsicle, and relaxed in the bath.  My vocalizations were quieter, I was much more comfortable.  At 20 minutes from the half dose, I asked for the second half.  I never made it to my happy place the second time.  I got out of the bath about 20 minutes after that second dose to be checked.  I said if I wasn't 6, I wanted an epidural.  I had contractions very close together, so it took awhile before she checked me.  She finally got me down and checked and I was 6+ (she called it 7 because my husband told her to round up) and 100% effaced.  I was thrilled, I knew it was extremely close and I would make it.  I told her to call the dr.  With the next contraction, I cried and declared that the dr wouldn't make it.  I was panicking.  He lives 10 minutes away.  By the time she called the dr and the pediatrician (attending the birth because of the prematurity), the NICU nurse, and the Respiratory therapist, she walked back in the room and I told her the drs wouldn't make it.  It had been about 3 minutes since the cervix check at 7 cm. She turned around to call the dr and tell him to speed a little.  I flipped out.  I had to push!  She tells me not to push and to "hee hee hoo".  There was just no way.  I thrashed back and forth and screamed "I can't!" during that contraction, I tried so hard not to push, but I finally lost it.  I pushed once, took a breath, and pushed again.  Nurse turned around to get gloves on and the baby fell out on the bed.  Getting that head out is the best feeling for me.  Pushing doesn't hurt, it relieves the pain!  The pain was in trying to hold back.  The nicu nurse had gloves on, so she came over to guide the baby out, onto the bed (the bed wasn't broken down, and I was still completely flat on my back from being checked.  So I couldn't see a thing over my knees.   

The first thing I did was apologize to my nurse.  I felt so bad, but I just couldn't help it.  The labor and delivery nurse was now gloved up, and took over clamping the cord.  Dad cut the cord, and baby had even cried a few times during the process.  She was taken right over and oxygen was put over her face.  Her apgars were 4 and 8 I think.  She weighed 5 lbs 8 oz and was 19 inches long.  It was 7:53 pm.  When she was all cleaned up they bundled her up in her special blanket, and told me to snap a quick picture and then she was out of there.  She wasn't breathing well, so she couldn't stay in my room. The dr came running in, and I told him to hurry cause I was about to push out the placenta and it was hurting.  It felt so good to get that out.  I had no tearing, and since I wasn't numb at all, I was able to get into the NICU to see the baby pretty quickly.  She had a cpap on, but by morning she graduated to a nasal canula, and by 24 hours old she was breathing on her own.  She was nursing every other feeding, and doing great.   

The last pregnant selfie I'll ever take.
My 20 seconds to hold her in the delivery room

First time holding her in the NICU
The next day

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