Monday, May 18, 2015

Baby Lilly's Birth Story...

I don't even want to know when my last post was. Did I even write up anything when I was pregnant? Well, who cares now...because I have a darling 6-week-old baby girl. And it's about time I wrote up her birth story before I forget anything else. So here it goes!

Preface: I have this friend in church named Beth. She is one of those super-swet people that everyone loves because she is just so freaking nice. And we found out we were pregnant right around the same time...our due dates a mere 4 days apart. Mine was April 6th, hers the 10th. This was her 4th pregnancy, 5th child as compared to my 3rd. So as we neared the end of our pregnancies, I asked, "do you tend to go into labor earlier than your due date or later?" to which she responded "early." Great. With my track record of 41+3 and 40+3 and having to be induced, I had to come to terms with the fact that she was going to have her baby first. Even though I was due first. It took a few weeks for em to be okay with it. So I also made Beth promise me that she would text me on her way to the hospital. I couldn't bear to find out she had her baby by way of Facebook. So she graciously obliged. But back to me...

Sunday morning, April 5th, (which also happened to be Easter) I woke up around 3 a.m. with some pretty hardcore contractions. They were about 7 minutes apart and weren't too painful, but there was no way I could sleep through them. I kept timing thinking if I hit 4 minutes apart, even once, I was calling the hospital. I was so done being pregnant at this point. But 7 minutes apart, every time, until about 8:30 when I decided to get up and fold the three baskets of laundry in the nursery. And of course the contractions slowed right down and eventually came to a stop. So we went on with our day, finding the eggs the Easter Bunny hid around the house, watching General Conference, the kids getting a sugar buzz from all their candy, braving the SNOW to go to Uncle Tim's and Aunt Elaine's house for Easter dinner, and visiting with all of the Thomas side of the family. I napped a little, too, to make up for the 5 hours of contractions that morning. I guess the contractions didn't completely stop, because I had quite a few while we had dinner with the family and I guess they were painful enough that most of the women (and nurses) in the room made note of the time and duration of each one. But I ignored them...I don't go into labor on my own. I was being induced on Saturday the 11th and that was that.

So when we got home from Easter dinner (I made Zac drive my car because sitting was getting rather uncomfortable and I did NOT want to drive...I wanted to curl up in the seat on my side), we watched some tv with the kids and Zac put them to bed. And then I got the text from Beth. "Hey! I've been having some pretty regular contractions. Heading to the hospital." See? True to her word. That's why everyone loves her. So I wished her luck, said I was having some, too, but not consistently, and jokes maybe I would see her there tomorrow. I pretty much collapsed on the couch and didn't move until I went to bed at 10, still contracting every now and then, but not consistently. My mother-in-law (whom I alerted to the frequent, yet sporadic contractions) said she would have her phone on and to keep her updated. She was sure it was going to happen. I humored her and said I would let her know if anything changed, and went to sleep.

At 1 a.m., I think I almost woke up the whole house with an "AAHHHH!" contraction. That one was a doozy. It took a few more to really wake me up and realize I was having really painful ones again. Not just strong this time, but painful. So once again, I watched the clock as a few more went by. 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 6 minutes, 13 minutes...they were all over the place. But I couldn't go back to sleep and I'm pretty sure my writhing in pain was disturbing Zac's sleep, so I went out to the couch. I tried bouncing on my birthing ball, walking, leaning up against the counter, making a mountain of pillows on the couch to lie on...but nothing was helping with the pain. I texted Jaylene around 3:30 and let her know the contractions were back and freaking hurt, but that I still doubted it was anything to be concerned about since they weren't consistent. I hung out in the living room another hour and a half and got a response from Jaylene just before 5:00. She said she was coming over as soon as Madison was on her way to before-school seminary. I didn't argue. I still doubted I was actually in labor, but if nothing else, Jaylene would rub my back and make me feel better.

But around 5;30, I decided to call the hospital. Just to call and see what they said. Maybe they would have me come in and check me and maybe I made some progress. I was barely at 1 cm dilated and 80 percent effaced at my appointment the Thursday before. So I called and spoke to this really sweet nurse. We chatted for a while...she got my personal info and looked me up, she asked about my other two labors, we talked about how it was my due date, how my mother-in-law was on her way over and she was capable of watching Logan and Kaylee...and I think the best part was how she talked me through the contractions I had while on the phone with her. I couldn't talk through them anymore, so she noticed when I would have one and would just very sweetly coach me through it. After speaking with her for a while, she asked why I didn't want to come into the hospital just yet and I said it was because I was afraid of being sent home and looking dumb for thinking I was in labor.

Nurse: Pregnant women don't look dumb, sweetie. Is your husband awake?
Me: No.
Nurse: Well, do me a favor and go wake Prince Charming up. In the 10 minutes we've been on the phone, you've had 3 contractions you haven't been able to talk through.
Me: Are you sure?
Nurse: I'm sure. You're having a baby today!

So I woke Zac up, got dressed, Jaylene walked in the door, and we went to the hospital. The 6 minute ride there was awful. Who knew a car could be so uncomfortable! I was pretty much moaning the entire time. Freaked Zac out pretty bad, (Keep in mind my other two labors were scheduled inductions, so this was all new territory for us!) We got to the hospital and parked and I headed toward the doors while Zac got my bag. At one point I kind of doubled over in the parking lot and eventually grabbed onto a handicapped parking sign. I had figured out that upright was the best way to handle a contraction, but I usually needed support, too. This became a  recurring theme through the rest of my labor.

Inside the ER entrance (it was just after 6 am, so it was the only way in), the receptionist just smiled as we made our way past her and I said "I'm having a baby." I wasn't in the mood to stop and chit chat. I knew where I was going and to hell with anyone who got in my way. As we moseyed on down the corridor to the elevators, one nurse asked "Sweetie, do you need a wheelchair?" to which I responded, "No sitting." and kept walking. Or waddling, I guess.

We made it to the second floor where the nursing staff was ready and waiting for us. We went right into a room where I got changed and we waited for the Calvary...basically my midwife, Jessica. She got there around 7 and checked me...I was 6 centimeters dilated so it was definitely happening. She suggested I labor in the tub for a while since I was refusing pain meds. I agreed, so they filled up the tub and I got in. It was such a great relief that I was mad at myself for not thinking of it while I was at home! I honestly don't know how long I was in there. Frankly, most of the details and time gets a bit hazy here. I had a nursing student check the baby's heart rate every once in a while. I complained about my awful heart burn and they brought me a shot glass of something sour that knocked it right out, they put a hep-lock in my hand (which I begged them not to, but it's hospital protocol), Zac texted my mom and told her if she wanted to come she should, I said "Hypnobirthing is stupid and doesn't work," Jaylene texted Zac to tell him the kids were off to school and asked if she could come to the hospital, and then things started to feel different in my pelvis so we called the nurse. She had me walk back to my room to be checked and I had to stop a few times down the hallway because the contractions were really awful. When I got to my room, my midwife checked me and said I was at an 8. She also said she could feel the cushion of fluid right there and if she broke my water, I would be done with this whole laboring nonsense in about 10 minutes.

Me: Right, but once you break my water, it's going to hurt.
Jessica: Breaking your water doesn't hurt.
Me: No, I know. But the contractions are going to get a lot worse. And they already hurt. And I'm tired.
Jessica: Okay, but it will be like 10 minutes of intense laboring and then it will be over with.
Me: Okay, fine.
Jessica: On an unrelated and unprofessional note, did you watch Scandal this week?
Me: No, sorry.
Jessica: Okay, try and catch up on it while you're recovering.

So she broke my water. Oh, Jaylene was there at this point. My mom was still MIA. I didn't want to stay in bed because lying down was the worst and I needed to be standing...So I got back out of bed and had a whopper of a contraction. Thankfully Jaylene was there, because I grabbed right onto her. I think I was trying to put her in a choke hold, but she had the advantage of not being in pain or pregnant, so she just held onto me and helped me work through it. That happened a few more times before my midwife said, "Okay, how are you going to push? What position do you want to be in? Because it's go time."

I thought about it for a second and said "I don't know. I don't care. What's easier for you?" Because as I was thinking about it, I realized I never had an option before. With Logan I had an epidural and didn't feel a thing, so they positioned me. With Kaylee, she came so fast, my doctor wasn't even there. I also started to freak out at this point because I realized I never learned how to push. Again, with Logan, I couldn't feel anything and I don't really know how I even pushed him out. And with Kaylee they were all telling me not to push and she came out when I rolled over. So at this point I was in full-blown panic mode (i.e. Transition) and kept saying "I don't want to" and "I can't" and "I don't know how."

Jessica: Pushing is just like pooping. Pretend to poop.
Me: I don't want to poop!
Jessica: You won't poop. There isn't anything in your rectum.

She lied.

But I pushed once. And then I pretty much gave up.

Me: I can't do this! I don't know how! I don't want to!
Jessica: One more push, Sarah. The head is right here.
Me: I don't want to!
Jessica (though it may have been Jaylene): You hate being pregnant, right? One more push and you won't be pregnant anymore!

And that was all it took. Baby was out and crying and everything looked great!

She was born on her due date at 10:06 am weighing 9 lbs 2 oz, 20 3/4 inches long.

We waited for the kids to get home from school to see her before we named her, so when Zac brought them to the hospital that afternoon, we all agreed on Lillian Danielle.

The last 6 weeks have been pretty great as far as Lilly is concerned. She is a good sleeper, a great eater, and really isn't too fussy. She prefers to be held, but isn't above the rocker or the lounger. She sleeps 4-6 hour stretches at night most of the time and is starting to smile when she is awake during the day. We love her to pieces and really can't imagine our lives without her!