Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Birth Story

At my doctors appointment on Friday April 23 things were looking similar to what they had been the last couple weeks. My cervix was still basically closed. The doctor said maybe 1 cm dilation. I had started having contractions (probably Braxton Hicks) though so I was happy that things were different even a little bit. We scheduled an induction for Monday April 26. My mom drove down on Saturday and the contractions continued irregularly. We went for Chinese and had a great time. Sunday morning Brady woke me up to have a talk about the hospital and see if I was ready for Monday. While we were talking we timed the contractions and they were 5 minutes apart so we decided to head to the hospital at about 5:30 am.
At the hospital they monitored my contraction and they were indeed 5 minutes apart, but my cervix was still closed. They sent me home and Brady went to work. I tried to fall asleep but the contractions were getting more painful. I decided to go down to the computer and blog about it, but never made it. When I stood up I hear a small pop and felt a trickle, then a gush. I looked at my pants and they were wet and went to the bathroom for further inspection and discovered a lot of blood. I knew my water had broke, so my mom and I headed back to the the hospital at around 9:30 am.
They gave me a test to determine whether or not my water had indeed broken. I was thinking "Of course it did you idiots!" I was right. It had. I was now going to stay in the hospital and deliver. Yay! Finally! We tried to call Brady, but couldn't get hold of him. So the hospital called the pediatric office that he is rotating at and tracked him down.
Contractions continued and continued and increased in intensity. Babies heart rate stayed good the whole time. They continued to check my cervix and not a lot was happening. My doctor was not on call this weekend so I was seen by a different doctor. When she checked my cervix it was so painful. I wanted to die. Also when they would check me there was a lot of blood and they were kind of concerned about it so they didn't let me eat in case they needed to rush to C section. I was starving!!! Brady kept helping me walk up and down the hallway trying to get things going and I kept smelling the food service cart and it was driving me nuts. I wanted fries bad! I also bounced on a birthing ball in my room trying to open my pelvis and get the baby to put pressure on my cervix to open it up.
My husbands parents had started on their way up from Colorado and arrived at around 1. They dropped in and out checking on me. My father-in-law was supposed to teach a lesson in church that day but out of nowhere on Friday someone called and told him that they had a feeling that he might need someone to take over for him. Isn't that cool! My husband and his dad administered a blessing to me. It was beautiful. The in-laws had a hard time seeing me in pain so they didn't stay long each time they visited. Times are approximate keep in mind, but it was around 5 pm when they checked me and I was barely a 2. My contractions had been double-peaking. On the contraction monitor they looked more like plateaus than mountains. This also meant that they were lasting pretty long. So not fun. The doctor said that contractions like that don't do much to open the cervix. They gave me fentinol for pain a couple of times, but all it really did was make me extremely tired. The doctor decided that we should hook me up to pitocin to get the contractions to be more productive. I was thinking "Dang it! Pitocin is the whole reason I didn't want an induction." But it wasn't safe to keep going the way we were going so they started the pitocin. My husband and his father decided to go get lunch at about 5:30.
They put in an IV which felt like crap. They started the pitocin slow and increased steadily. My contractions started to look more normal and increase in intensity. I'd like to take this time to say I hate pitocin! Ouch! Double Ouch! Shoot me now ouch! I tried to endure for as long as I could because I had heard that getting the epidural too soon could slow things down. However, my mom said that with her induction after she got the epidural that is when things started to happen because she wasn't so tense. By the time Brady got back from getting lunch I was in severe pain. The kind that can be compared to getting your arm ripped off by a shark. Time for the epidural. I was bawling by the time the anesthesiologist got there. I was so embarrassed. Getting the epidural wasn't bad. I don't remember it hurting too much, especially compared to the contractions. Brady held onto me the whole time.
It wasn't long before things started to look up for me. I was having contractions but couldn't feel them. They put an intrauterine monitor in so they could measure their intensity since I could no longer tell them. My mom was like "Wow that was a big one!" I was like "Oh really? Didn't notice. I am starving!" Since they had decided my bleeding wasn't a problem and would not likely need a C-section they gave me some graham crackers and orange jell-o. They were so delicious!!
Time went on and the epidural started to wear off a bit and to my disappointment I could feel the contractions coming back. I felt a lot more on my right side. My left was pretty numb. I pushed the epidural control button thinking it would get rid of them, but the button didn't do much. Must not be a very big dose after that initial one. Fast forward a bit and the doctor came to check me again. I wasn't expecting much change and me and Brady joked with the doc that I was definitely an 8 by now. Guess what! I was a 10! She said "Its time to push." It was about 10 minutes to midnight at this point.
The doctor went and got all her tools and started setting up. The nursery nurses came in and started to get the baby station ready. They asked me whether I would like the baby given directly to me or cleaned off a bit. I said I wanted it cleaned a bit. I decided I would like to watch so they pulled the mirror out of the ceiling for me. I was watching the clock and the doctor. She was taking her time and every minute brought us closer to Monday. What day my baby was born depended on her.
Finally she got into position below me, Brady on one side, my mom on the other. I told them when a contraction was coming and she told me to curl up breathe in hold my breath and PUSH! I guess it was a good thing that my epidural had worn off some because I could actually feel myself pushing. My head was killing me and I vomited the orange jell-o after one of the contractions. I must have done a good job pushing because after about 3 contractions I could see a weird wrinkled scalp in my vaginal opening. Awesomely gross and you so wanted to know that huh. But it was weirdly awesome. Next contraction out came my babies head! She looked shocked. The doctor just pulled her out from there. I didn't push the rest out. She was out at 12:07 Monday April 26. I started to cry out of relief that she was alive and out. They clamped the cord and Brady cut it. I heard baby Aurora try to inhale and cry a couple of times and could hear fluid when she did. She didn't look good. She was totally blue. They took her to the baby station and started to suction her mouth and she turned floppy. I am not sure all what happened after that because I had to deliver the placenta. I just know I didn't hear any crying. Brady did not look well, but tried to look calm for me. The nurses then rushed the baby to the nursery and after making sure it was cool with me Brady went with them. My mom stayed with me while the doctor stitched me up a little. Then she went to check on the baby. All the other nurses went as well and said they would be back with news. It was just me and my mom... waiting.
After what felt like forever, and maybe it was, I said "Mom could you go check on the baby and really come back and tell me what is going on?" So she went. I don't remember who all came back Brady, my mom, and either a nurse or my doctor came back to tell me that my baby had inhaled some fluid, possibly muconium, a blood clot (I passed some with the placenta) or amnionic fluid, into her lungs and that the nurses were working hard to get it out. Brady was tremendously worried and left again to go see if he could do anything. He knows enough from being a medical student that her condition was not good. Her first apgar score was a 3, her second a 5. She remained blue and floppy.
I was not feeling well. I indeed felt awful physically and emotionally and any other way possible. But I was calm. I didn't cry. I don't remember all the things they do to you when you finish labor but I know that all their procedures took forever. I couldn't feel or move my left leg. They got me into a wheelchair somehow and took me to my recovery room. They told me I should shower but I was in no mood. I was so tired. Never have a been so tired. Plus how would I shower with a dead leg anyway. They got me into my bed and rested from what I can remember.
My baby was hooked up to an IV put under an oxygen hood and was NPO (couldn't eat anything by mouth) and confined to the nursery. I used a breast pump to collect my colostrum to bring to her once they started to allow her food. I think that I was wheeled to the nursery to see her at least once because I remember watching her fight to push that hood off her head and letting her hold my finger, but it wasn't until about 14 hours after delivery that I got to hold my baby and nurse her for the first time. She was so precious and I was so happy to finally get to interact with her. We had to hold a tube that blew oxygen up to her face while I held her and the the arm with the IV was taped to a cardboard rectangle which made things super difficult, not to mention that I wasn't in the most supportive chair.
I continued to pump colostrum from my room and make visits to nurse her in the nursery. She remained under the oxygen hood for most of our stay at the hospital. They monitored her oxygen saturation. She would do well but then it would get low again and they would have to increase the oxygen. They decided that it was amniotic fluid and not muconium or a clot that she had inhaled. They gave her antibiotics through her IV to make sure she didn't get an infection.
We were worried that she wouldn't be able to go home with me since her antibiotic treatment would last 72 hours and insurance only allowed me two days in the hospital. Luckily, since she was born after midnight, that gave me an extra day in the hospital. On that last day they finally brought her to my room for the first time. She had an oxygen tube in her nose still, but I at least had a better seat for nursing in my hospital bed. After doing an x-ray to check her lungs for fluid and finding none, they said we could go home. Yay!
Life has been pretty crazy ever since. I had no idea that being a mom was this hard and I've even had a lot of help these last couple weeks. I have never been so tired in all my life. I am really grateful that I got off my sleeping pills before she was born. I have been able to nap when she naps for the most part, although it does take me a little time to fall asleep. I have been breastfeeding, but have to use a nipple shield because I have flat nipples. Great huh! Hopefully eventually I will be able to feed her without it. It isn't a very convenient thing to deal with. But, I love her and will do everything to make sure she is happy and as healthy as can be. So far, she is doing great and doesn't have have any lasting effects from her rough start and I am so glad.


  1. Wow Melanie what an incredible birth story! We had a lot of similarities. Once I got my epidural I went from a 5-10 in one hour. I guess for some people that is just what we need to help us relax a little. Also Hallie swallowed some amniotic fluid/meconium mix when she was born. They had to pump her stomach and took her away from me and she had to wear an oxygen mask that covered her entire face for awhile. It was about 3-4 hours I think until I got to feed her. So I understand the time that passes until you get to hold your baby, it was such a long time and I just wanted to make sure she is okay. I bet you are glad you delivered at a place where they could give her all the treatments she needed, I always wonder why people would deliver at home because you JUST never know what could happen with your delivery. Congrats again and she truly is a beautiful baby! I can't wait to meet her at graduation next year! Congrats!

  2. I am so glad that everything worked out, that sounds kinda scary! She is a beautiful baby, good job!

  3. The things we do to get babies here, right?! Your story sounds similar to mine with Annabelle. Well, at least the aftermath. She had swallowed the meconium though and was in the NICU for 5 days. It sucked. Pumping sucked (I couldn't feed her myself for 2 days). The nipple shield sucked (totally have the same problem as you). But she was so worth it ;)

    I am glad you had people there with you when you delivered. It was 6 minutes until midnight when I had Anna so it was just Ross and I. Ross went to the NICU with Anna, the nurses and doctors left when they were done and I felt SO alone. I remember thinking this is not what I thought it would feel like after I had a baby.

    Good luck these next few weeks. I hope you can continue to get some sleep and rest. It will get easier. Tell yourself that A LOT ;)

  4. Congratulations Melanie! She really is beautiful! I'm sorry she had such a rough start, but I'm so glad she's here and safe! How did you decide on her name?

  5. I loved reading your birth story. Way to go; you did it! I'm so glad she is doing well. I love her name.

  6. Wow I can't believe all the people who had less than perfect births! I had no idea it was that common. That makes me feel a little better.
    We named her after the Disney Princess Sleeping Beauty. Brady wanted to go with Belle, but it was too close to Cabello, our cat's name. Don't want to confuse the poor little guy. Maxine, the middle name, is Brady's favorite grandma's name.