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Monday, March 2, 2009

The Birth Story

I woke up on Thursday, 2/12 at about 4:00 a.m. having contractions. They were coming every five to eight minutes, and this continued for several hours before stopping. I had a 41 week appointment scheduled that morning, so I went to my appointment. The doctor said I was 90% effaced and four centimeters dilated. She stripped my membranes and said that I’d probably have the baby within 24 hours. I had several bouts of contractions over the next few days, but nothing that intensified to “real” labor. At about 12:30 Sunday (2/15) morning, I awoke to contractions. Doug said that I had been moaning in my sleep, and he figured I was having contractions. These contractions were painful enough that I decided to get up and get in the shower – the hot water felt good on my back. Doug began timing the contractions, which were coming about every two minutes. I had to breathe through them, as they were painful. Doug called our doula, Danielle, and she said she’d head over to our house. Doug also called my doctor. She said that labor and delivery was full and to stay at home as long as I could. The doula got to our house, and I continued to labor at home until about 3:30. The ride to the hospital was fuzzy for me, as I continued to have contractions every two minutes. I remember walking from the parking garage to labor and delivery – several hospital workers offered me a wheelchair, but I wanted to walk. I had several contractions leaning up against the walls in the hospital corridor. When we got up to labor and delivery, they completed my registration. (Luckily, most of my information was already in the computer, so I just had to confirm a few things.) Since my doctor knew I was already four centimeters dilated, she allowed me to be admitted without having to go through triage. I was group B strep (GBS) positive, so I needed to get an IV of antibiotics to protect the baby from contracting the illness during delivery. The nurse started me on the first bag of antibiotics immediately, and an intern came to check me. I was five centimeters and 100% effaced. The contractions were still coming every two minutes, which made it hard to recuperate between contractions. After my IV finished, I decided to get in the shower. I had the water as hot as it would go, but I was still chilly. Doug stood in the bathroom and held the shower curtain shut to keep the steam in. I was in the shower for about an hour and a half. I remember coming out of the shower and seeing the sun coming up. At this point, the doctor came in to check me again. I was six and a half to seven centimeters dilated, and the doctor said I probably had another four to five hours to go. She said she could break my water, which would speed things up, but would also make things more intense. I didn’t know what to do. At that point, I lost it. I began crying and saying I couldn’t do it for that much longer. Doug and Danielle got me to calm down, and Danielle told me to just try for another 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, I could reassess if I needed an epidural or pain medication. I agreed to that. I was still trying to decide if I should have the doctor break my water, but I ended up not having to make that decision. I stood up, and my water broke – all over Doug’s shoes! Since my water had broken, the doctor wanted me in the bed. I couldn’t stand being on my back, so I had the exercise ball on the bed, and I was on my knees using the ball for support for my upper body.
The next thing I knew, Danielle told me I had labored over two hours since my water had broken. I started saying that I felt like I had to poop. The doctor came in to check me, and I was 10 centimeters. She told me I could push. I stayed in the position on the ball on the bed and pushed with each contraction. Danielle had me squat backwards with each contraction, as that movement opened up my pelvis, allowing the baby to move through more easily. After pushing like that for 45 minutes to an hour, my knees were getting sore. The doctor had me flip over on my back. She told me that she could feel the baby’s head. She put her fingers in my vagina to help me know where I needed to direct my pushes, which I found very helpful. There was something very liberating about pushing, and I remember thinking that the more I put into it, the sooner my baby would be born. I remember her saying that I had about 25-30 minutes of pushing left, but then I saw everyone (nurses, etc.) coming into the room and them prepping for the baby. The doctor told me that the baby was crowning. I could feel the “ring of fire” I have heard many women describe, but I don’t recall it being as painful as I had anticipated. Next thing I knew, I felt relief and could feel the rest of the baby come out – sunny-side up, which is why I had so much back labor. Someone told the doctor that we didn’t know the sex of the baby, and the doctor said, “Oh – it’s a girl!” Kate didn’t even really cry. She checked out her surroundings and was very alert. Doug cut the umbilical cord, and they put Kate on my chest. She got a 9 on both of her Apgars. Doug went over to the warmer with the nurses and took a video of them cleaning Kate, weighing her, and doing her measurements. She was 20.5 inches long and weighed 8 pounds and .6 ounces. I remember delivering the placenta but didn’t realize that was what was happening until the doctor said that the placenta was out. My placenta had three nodes. The doctor said that my placenta was extremely healthy; however, she said that if she had broken my water, she could have caught one of the veins in the extra nodes, requiring an emergency c-section. I believe there was some sort of divine intervention for my water to break when it did so I didn’t have to make that decision and possibly face a c-section. The doctor stitched me up for about 30-45 minutes. (I had third degree tears.) I tried to nurse Kate after they cleaned her up, but she wasn’t latching. Shortly thereafter, we were taken to the recovery room. We stayed there for about two days, and then we were homebound with our beautiful daughter!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Peanut's Due Date is Here!

But Peanut is not! Today marks 40 weeks of pregnancy and Peanut's due date. I had my 40 week appointment today. I am dilated 3 centimeters and am still about 80% effaced. The doctor is confident that I'll deliver in the next week. So now we just have to wait!

Perhaps the most exciting thing about today's appointment was finding out that I've lost three pounds. Losing weight at the end of pregnancy is common because there tends to be a reduction in fluid.

Here's a 40 week picture.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

39 Week Update

We're down to one week until the due date, but Peanut could be born any day! At the doctor today, I had made some progress. I am now between 2.5 and 3 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. The baby is at -2 station. The baby's station tells where the baby's head is in relation to the pelvis, with 0 station being at the pelvis.

Also, here is a picture of me at 39 weeks.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

38 Week Update

At my 38 week appointment, the doctor told me that I am two centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. The baby is still head down, which the doctor confirmed with an ultrasound. And I was glad to find that I hadn't gained any weight since week 37 - woohoo! Thus far, I've gained 28 pounds, which is ideal. Here's the breakdown of weight gain during pregnancy:

Baby: 7-8 pounds
Placenta: 1-2 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
Uterus: 2 pounds
Maternal breast tissue: 2 pounds
Maternal blood : 4 pounds
Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds
Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds

Essentially, I could lose 10-15 pounds before I leave the hospital from the weight of the baby, placenta, and fluids! Woohoo!

The house is ready for Peanut. The nursery is completely done. The glider came last week, and Doug put it together. We got the Pack n' Play, and Doug set that up as well. We also finally got monitors and the diaper bag. Now we just need our baby!

The 29th is my last day of teaching, so hopefully I will make it until then and Peanut will make an appearance soon thereafter!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

37 Week Update

37 weeks is the full-term mark for pregnancy! This means that the baby is fully developed, and I can deliver at any time!

At today's appointment, I found out that I have dilated another centimeter (1.5 cm total) and I am still 50% effaced. The doctor seems pleased with that progress, given that the estimated due date is still three weeks away.

I have two weeks of teaching left, so hopefully I will make it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Updated Picture

Here I am at 36 weeks and five days - two days shy of being full-term!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

36 Week Update

Thursday (January 8th) was my birthday, and Peanut gave me the best birthday gift ever - he or she turned back into head-down position! Looks like our week of trying to coax the baby into position worked. Several times a day, I had to lie upside down (first on an ironing board, but then the ironing board bent, so then on stacks of pillows) to allow Peanut to become dislodged from my pelvis so he/she could turn. I also played an iPod with classical music in my pants - supposedly the sound makes the baby want to turn to have its head closer to the music. I also kept a bag of frozen veggies at the top of my belly; the logic is that the baby wants to move its head away from the cold. These techniques must have worked, as silly as they seem!

At my doctor's appointment on Thursday, I also found out that I am one centimeter dilated and 50% effaced (meaning the cervix is halfway thinned out). The doctor was pleased with my progress and thinks the baby will be born right around the due date.

We now have the carseats installed, the bassinet put together, and the nursery done (with the exception of the glider that we're waiting to arrive via FedEx this week). I made a playlist on iTunes to have in the labor room with me - hopefully the music will help me relax and get into the zone to be able to manage the pain. I still have to pack my hospital bag, but for some reason I keep putting it off.

We need to post a picture but haven't taken one since Christmas. I'm much bigger than I was a couple weeks ago!