Hope you all have been enjoying this work week as much as you can. I have truly been enjoying spending time with Baby Layla, and falling more in love with her each day. I'm enjoying maternity leave! Some of you had some interest in learning more about her birth story, so today's Friday post is going to be just that.
When I was pregnant with baby L, I would see birth stories on other mommy blogger's sites and start to read and then get completely freaked out and immediately close my browser! Eek! As much as I want to give you the play by play, I will make it as sweet as possible
**Warning, this post is quite lengthy!!**
I planned to work until the baby came. Which probably was not the best decision, but it ended up working out well in my case. Reason being, I wanted to spend the most of my time off with baby. I knew being home before she came would make me stir crazy as I would be anticipating her arrival every second of every day.
Tuesday afternoon at work I started to feel sort of weird. I noticed I was not being my usual self. I told my sisters and mom that I probably should not be at work anymore, and they told me to leave and take care of myself. The week prior I talked to my boss and told her that I had pregnancy brain x 100. I was forgetting things, and making minor mistakes that I absolutely never do. I was becoming more of a liability than an asset! LOL. Good thing I left that day. I called the nurse line as I was having contractions and timing them and they were pretty consistent for a few hours. They gave me the run down on waiting until they were 5-7 mins apart and lasting 1 minute or so for at least an hour. I heard it before, but when it's your first baby you are always in panic mode. Wondering was that feeling something important that I should be paying attention to? It's really nerve wracking sometimes. All was well the rest of the night and we continued tracking the contractions but they seemed to go and come, so I figured they were just braxton hicks and went to bed.
Early morning normal rush to the bathroom turned into an exciting moment. I felt a gush, saw fluid, and realized it was my water that either broke or was leaking. I woke A up to tell him I think this is it! Funny, because he wasn't in any rush as I was always telling him I thought something was happening all the time. I then called the nurse line to tell them the deets of my morning and they urged me to make my way to labor and delivery! I remember the excitement of that morning! We were about to meet our baby girl! I still wasn't really having any contractions that were painful - just mild ones that pretty much felt like braxton hicks.
We got to L&D and they confirmed, yes that was my water that was leaking. They checked me and I was only dialated to 2cm. They moved us from triage into a labor room to begin the process. I remember our cell phones going wild as we were letting everyone know we were at the hospital! I had to soon give mine to A because I was starting to get irritated by all the texts! LOL. They told me I couldn't eat anything, but since I hadn't had breakfast yet I was able to talk them into giving me peanut butter toast. YUM. The rest of the night I would be confined to ice chips and water.
They decided to give me Pitocin to help get the labor going. My contractions went from non-existent to "I need to punch somebody in the face to feel better." For me the feeling was like the worst cramps I've ever had but also in my back and there's nothing I can do about it. I hated it. A started to do counter pressure in my back, which definitely helped. I yelled at him a few times as he was sending texts while I was mid contraction.
"I NEED YOU TO FOCUS ON MY BACK, PLEASE!"
He got the point. After a few too many of these painful attacks, I urged my nurse to get me an epidural as soon as humanly possible. They checked me and I was dialated to 4cm. It was a go on the epidural. The anesthesiologist came within 10 minutes or so. The process was sort of weird, but I did not care if it was going to rid me of the pain. I didn't feel the needle going into my back, just a slight tingly feeling, and a ringing in my ears at first and then it went away. I soon started to feel numb in my abdomen area down to my knees. No more pain, Yay! After the relief stepped in, I was told to try and rest. They upped the Pitocin to help the labor keep progressing and I tried to take nap.
My family arrived at the hospital and kept us company for a few hours. My nurse checked me again, still at 4cm. No progression. They noticed that there was a pocket of additional fluid from the amniotic sac near the cervix, and we needed to rupture it. They then decided to insert an internal contaction monitor to see how strong the contractions were as we were unsure why it was not progressing. It was now the evening and I had been laboring for over 8 hours.
I began to start feeling pain again in my back. Oh no, I thought. The epidural is not strong enough? I cannot do this... My sister mentioned it to my nurse when she returned to the room and to my relief she noticed that the IV that was attached to the epi was not attached all the way. It had been leaking fluid and I was not getting the full dose of medicine! Great. The nurse called for the anesthesiologist to return to administer more medication. Ahhh, relief again. I was told to sleep and try and get rest. My mom and sister had to leave to travel to IL for my aunt's funeral. My other siblings stayed to keep me company, but I remember thinking - OMG my mom is not here!
When they checked me at midnight or so, I had finally progressed to 6cm. Yay, I thought. I didn't know what to expect, but I wanted to get this show on the road. I remember trying to push and not being able to feel anything. I panicked, thinking if I can't feel anything now - how will I push when it's time.. I had to relax and try not to think about it. I'll figure it out when the time comes, I thought.
Well the time never came.
The nurse let me know that the contractions were strong enough and close enough and I was in active labor, but for some reason my cervix wasn't opening. The also noticed the cervix was starting to swell and it seemed as if there was something going on with the way the baby was positioned. They gave me a deadline to dialate more or we were going to look at other options.
At this point. I remember praying. I had been talking to Jesus all along the entire process, but now I knew I really needed Him. I needed peace. I told Him that I knew He was giving me my daughter as a gift and that He would not allow anything bad to happen to us. I asked Him to calm my mind, and give me peace. I called A over and we prayed together. I remembered all the things I had talked about to each of you on this blog, about trusting in God no matter what the situation looks like. I knew it was my turn to put my faith to the test.
At 4:30am my nurse returned to see if I had progressed any. Not at all. She called the doctor in, who explained that at this point we were going to have to do an emergency C section to get baby girl out. I started crying. I had not ever planned for one and didn't really know what I would be getting myself into. I knew people thought it was just easier to have a child through surgery, but I had never had a major surgery in my entire life and now I was about to go in within 30 minutes. My mom wasn't there to calm me, and A was just as freaked out and excited as I was. I tried to call my mom and no one was answering. The nurse and doctor started explaining everything to me, making me sign papers, and my mind was so clouded with questions and fear of the unknown. I needed to talk to my mom. I finally got a hold of her. The shortest conversation ever, but I finally felt a sense of calm. Funny how moms can just know what to say to make you feel like everything will be alright.
I felt peace.
5:00am I was transferred to the OR. A would be brought into the room in about 10 mins. I got spinal meds through the same tap as the epidural but they were much more strong. My legs and arms tied to the table, and a vent of hot air blowing heat onto my body to keep me warm. A curtain put up so I could not see any of the surgery. As they started asking me if I could feel any pain, I said no - as I thought where is A!? The anesthesiologist assured me he was on his way in and I looked up and saw his face. I could feel tugging and pulling on me, but no pain. Knowing they were cutting into me and maneuvering things inside made me uneasy.
"Talk to me about something" - I made A come up with a topic to discuss. I could see the fear in his face. Within 15 minutes I heard the doctor say, "Here she comes!" They held baby L up over the curtain for me and A to see. Covered in slime, I saw her little face and thought, "She is beautiful." They took A to help get her cleaned off and grab her measurements. I heard her little cry, and tears fell from my eyes!
"Aww, I want another one!" I yelled out.
Obviously very drugged up. They brought her around and placed her on my chest. Aww, mommy's baby girl! The rest of the surgery took about 45 minutes as they finished putting thing back together in there -_- I started to shake and had convulsions and felt like vomiting. I tried to breathe and keep calm, they explained to me and A with all the drugs I was on this was normal. After they finished, we went into recovery for an hour or so. I couldn't feel anything from the abdomen down and was confined to the bed for the first 24 hours.
Recovery has definitely not been a breeze. But I am on the better side of things now. I think the biggest misconception of having a cesarean is that its easier. The reality is you just had a baby and a major abdominal surgery in one day. And your body isn't naturally supposed to bare children that way. I couldn't use my abdominal muscles for anything and if I did, I definitely paid the price in pain. I couldn't stand up and it was exhausting to take a walk. We ended up staying in the hospital longer than expected. But praise be to God through it all. I have a healthy baby girl, and I am recovering well.
So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me and I'd be happy to answer! It's quite scary going through your first pregnancy and labor, but one thing is certain - It is all worth it!
So cliche, yet so true!
Have a great Friday!