Wednesday, May 11, 2016

annarose's birth


I have sat down many times to share this story, and each time I felt hesitation. Either it was too wordy or too sappy or too technical. So I am just going to type, try not to over think it, and see what comes out.
I was feeling pretty good late in my pregnancy, aside from moving slowly, sleeping troubles and horrid heartburn. The baby (we chose to not find out the sex) was head down, and at my 38 week appointment, my doctor said I was about one centimeter dilated. I now know this is meaningless, really, because a woman can be a little dilated for weeks. But at the time, I was thinking labor would happen soon. I just had a feeling, that although I was due June 3rd, that I was going to have a May baby.
On Sunday, May 24th, I started having some mild contractions. They were not consistent or particularly strong, but I was hardly able to sleep that night. Things continued to become more consistent and stronger, until my water broke at about 8am on Tuesday morning. I called the hospital, got ready, had something to eat, and we headed to out.


I never wrote out my birth plan, apart from jotting down a few things and discussing them with my mom and husband. The general plan was to have only necessary interventions, and I was aiming for no epidural, but was open to my plan changing. I am going to try and keep this brief, as I know I can get wordy and a lot happened. Of course a lot happened, I birthed a person!
First, my nurse could tell from the looks of things when water broke that there was meconium in the fluid. It's not unusual, but means that the baby is at risk of swallowing it, which means the little one would require more suctioning after birth. I was maybe 3cm dilated when I was admitted, less if the doctor was checking. Nurses are a little more generous with their checks. I let them know my intention of no pain meds, and I felt very supported. I was so grateful to have wonderful nurses and doctors. Later, after about 14 hours of back labor, baby facing the wrong way (got her to move, hooray!), many trips in and out of the bath tub, and no epidural, the on-call doctor checked me and I seemed to be stuck around 6cm. She saw how hard I was working, and with not much progress to show for it. We started a little pitocin, which my body responded well to, and a couple hours later it was time to push! At some point during pushing, it was clear to the staff that I had grown a big baby, and as delivery grew closer, more and more nurses and staff came in. I think there were about a dozen of them. I was pushing and pushing, and hardly any progress. We had a complication called shoulder dystocia, when the baby's shoulder is trapped in the mother's pelvis. Sometimes, doctors have to break the baby's collarbone to get them out. It is a scary complication, so don't over google it. I'm glad I didn't know much about it until after she was born.





The doctor explained to Terry that there may not be time for him to cut the cord, and that's what happened. After 3 hours of pushing, when I felt AnnaRose be born, the doctor quickly cut her cord and passed her to the respiratory therapist. I was asking, boy or girl, and they were working on her. It was scary, but I was so blissful and relieved and was confident she was getting good care. After what seemed like forever, we learned she was a girl and heard her little cry. And she indeed was a big baby. Almost 11 pounds! I couldn't wait to hold her; while I was being patient, she was failing her APGAR test, and they were concerned about some possible nerve damage or broken bones from her being stuck in my pelvis and the aggressive delivery. It was about 4am, and they hurriedly held her in front of my face for thirty seconds before taking her to the NICU for observation. There, they found another complication: low blood sugar. Meanwhile, I was having a hell of a time with a postpartum hemorrhage. Seriously, are we done with trauma yet? A few hours later, I headed to the NICU to really meet my daughter. I have never been so happy, tired, joyful, grateful and hungry all at once. We nursed and snuggled from less than an hour before I had to go move to the mother and baby room. I told AnnaRose I'd see her soon. At that point, I didn't know when.


After I got settled into the mother and baby room, I kept asking everyone to bring me my baby. And finally they did. They wheeled her in around noon, fresh from her first bath. What else can I say, she's a miracle and so worth everything. I will say that I still struggle at times with the trauma we experienced in those first hours and days. It is hard to have a nurse feed your baby before you get to try, and it is hard to watch your little one's foot get poked every few hours and hope she passes her blood sugar tests (she didn't). On Thursday, at one day old, she was admitted into the NICU to work on getting her sugar up. And that's a story for another post.
If you're still reading, thank you! If you are a mama, have you written your birth story?