Even as i begin to type this I am tearing up. It has been an emotional season in my life.
I have so much to be grateful for. My baby girl is the biggest blessing of them all. But i will get back to her in a minute. Let me try to be chronological in my update.
On Monday night, July 18th, I got a phone call around 8pm from the hospital L&D. They aren't ready for me yet. Apparently a lot of women were going into labor in this miserable heat and there wasn't a bed for me yet. So they said they would call again later. Originally i was expecting a call between 5 and 7 pm. My finally counter-offer was accepted, my house had sold and I spent the latter part of Monday walking through houses that were potential homes for us. Despite my health being at risk, I knew I was headed into the hospital soon. I think the walking helped.
Just as I was stepping out of the shower, around 10pm, we finally got the phone call - "We have a room for you, Please come in" So we packed up our stuff and left. Mom was already here so she was holding down the fort.
I arrive and we are immediately put into our room. They set me up on an IV and a fetal monitor and the doctor came in. Since I was worried about the comment the doctor made to me about having a c-section if my cervix was not cooperative ( since i was neither dilated or effaced), I spent the days between my appointment working on changing that. I ate spicy food to the point of stomach ache, I used the natural cervix ripening method (aka semen) to my advantage, I went in for massage on my labor trigger points, and I spent that day prior to entering the hospital walking around houses, none smaller than 2500 sqft. So When the doctor checked me, I was happy (no ELATED) to hear that I was 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced. Had I not been scheduled for induction, Sloan would probably made her appearance by the weekend anyways.
The original plan was cervidil, but since I was 70% effaced (Effacement is the thinning of the cervix, the cervix has to both THIN and SPREAD (dilate) ), Cervidil would have been silly b/c i was already effaced, so they went with a more natural approach, a FOLEY BULB. Which is basically this "thing" they put inside your cervix and fill it with sterile water that will fall out once you get to 3cm. So then basically I just went to bed. Rick was snoring his cute little head off and I was left to my contractions. I had contractions all night. I wasn't on any drugs, just a natural method to try to get you to dilate on your own.
About 5:45am the nurse came in and started a low dose of pitocin. She then readjusted the foley bulb to make sure it was in there good. An hour later she came back and said she needed to readjust it again. I asked to use the restroom first, and as i stood up, it fell out.
The doctor came in to check me, clearly I was at least 3cm. No, I was 4cm. Rick was downstairs getting breakfast. She said effacement was the same, but I was 4cm dilated, and she was going to break my water. I was nervous but said ok. She broke my water and it was so weird. This flush of warm water flowing out of me. I sent my mom and doula a txt, i think it was time for them to come it. It was about 830am. Contractions started picking up, I was still on a lower dose of pitocin. The pain was maneagable. Here is where things get a little fuzzy. They checked me around 10am and I was only 5cm dilated BUT i was 100% effaced. The contractions were getting stronger and I started having trouble breathing. They were about 90 seconds apart but my BP was very high. The nurse kept trying to get me to breathe b/c my BP was going up so high and I was hyperventilating. I tried to push through it but at some point I was panicing. I was having double peaking contractions and I was bawling b/c the pain was so bad and I just could not breathe. I got to the point where I asked for an epidural but as the guy came in the contractions were one on top of another and I could literally feel the head pressing down. I wanted them to check me before they gave me the epidural but at that point i was exhausted from the lack of oxygen to my body and I took it. I know I wanted to go all natural and I tried really hard. I am not sure how i feel about this right now. Am i a failure for not being able to push through it even with pitocin induced labor? I dont' know. I suspect that around 1045am, the time I took the epidural, I was 10cm dilated BUT I needed to calm down. So I took it. I was able to gather myself and I was still feeling this pressure so finally I asked the nurse to have the doctor come check me. The nurse really wanted to check me but I wanted the doctor to do it so i waited until 12pm to get checked again. In the meantime I was able to regain some energy, drink some ginger ale and ice, and enjoy the moment.
At noon the doc comes in and checks me, Yup, i was 10cm dilated, it was time to push. I told her, I can feel the head. I think she is coming fast, the nurse (not my fav person) was like honey this can take hours, I blew her off. The doc leaves and they get me ready for pushing, legs on stirrups, and we talk about how i am to push. Yeah Yeah I get it. To me it seems intuitive on how to push through my vagina. Just a hunch. So we get ready, At 12:24 I push once and guess what?? The nurse is like OH the baby has crowned.
HUH? so i was right. yup. One count them ONE push and the head came out. I reached down to feel her soft head. It was so weird and I made mom look. The nurse presses her button and calls the doctor in. So in the meantime I have to breathe through these contractions (which was MUCH easier with the epidural) and just wait for the doctor. Four minutes later the doctor comes in to ease this baby out. So I push three more times. We did this to prevent the amount of perineal tearing. (which was NONE :)
So finally SLOAN comes out. What a relief. It felt so great when she came out. Her one hand was reaching up near her face, her other hand was (GET THIS) pulling on her umbilical cord. She wanted to bring it with her. What other toys did she have. When she did that I tore a little inside the vaginal wall but nothing to cry about. What a blessing!!! by 12:34PM After 10 minutes of pushing (4-6 of which were spent waiting for the doc to get in and set up) I had my precious baby girl!
I was a little disappointed that I took the epidural. I really wanted to go all natural, and I firmly believe that Sloan was ready to come out right then and there, but i was able to enjoy pushing her out, I was able to enjoy the final moments before she arrived, and now it is all in the past. I love her so much i cannot explain this overwhelming love I have for her that only another woman who has labored and brought life can understand. She is precious and grows more and more beautiful every day. I look forward to our future together!
Our first family photo a few hours later
Just before we left the hospital on Thursday
We have had a lot of scares and struggles since coming into the world. Please keep Sloan in your prayers and I will try to update very soon. At first she had trouble clearing her lungs and turned purple a few times, fotunately I caught her and all is well, her Xrays (yes baby had xrays prior to being a day old) look fine. Now she is struggling with elevated Bilirubin levels and her weight loss has been a bit much, so we are driving to the doctor and hospital every day for weigh ins and blood work. Today we get a "bili blanket" and will go back to the hospital in the morning for more blood draws and another weigh in. I am exhausted and stressed and we are in record heat levels around here. This has been quite taxing on me and my body and I am grateful that my mother has been here to feed me and keep up the house this week. I am looking forward to a week alone with Sloan where we can focus on sleeping and eating only but that is so far away right now. I am frustrated and scared and while I know that everything will be ok, this has been so emotional and I just hope that we get through this part soon so we can enjoy being home and together.
Sloan has dimples in both her cheeks, so far her eyes are VERY blue, and she has very long fingers and toes. The hair on top her head is blond and the sides of her head are light brown. Her lips are full like her momma and she is the sweetest baby I know (so far). Keep us in your prayers. WE have not had a full day home since we left the hospital and we just want to be home to rest. Fortunately my milk has come in as of yesterday so her weight should be picking up soon.