Sunday, March 25, 2007

L & D

Things have been very crazy since my last entry obviously since now we are parents. I had 2 appointments the week before Adelaide's birth. The last was the Monday before the 42 mark. Although things were encouraging-- 2 cm dilation, 50% effacement-- Dr. Chalasani suggested that we go ahead and schedule an induction for the Wednesday morning, 2 days later. She would be on call all that day and night so she could be there to deliver our little one. Although we hoped to not have to induce, we went ahead and scheduled the induction since things become more risky after week 42.

I still tried more ways to induce but it didn't seem to be doing anything. I was having more braxton hicks contractions Monday and Tuesday but nothing "real." Then at 2:30 am Wednesday morning, the morning I was going in to get induced, I woke up with strong cramps. At first they didn't hurt very much, felt alot like the worst menstral cramps I'd ever had, but soon they began to be painful. I couldn't go back to sleep. Then I noticed that the "cramps" would go away and then come back. I began timing them at 3 am. They weren't regular but they were consistent.

I woke Rocky up at 3:30 and let him know I thought I was in labor. He, half asleep, thought I was joking and that it was just time to get up and go to the hospital. When I said it again he asked what time it was. He began to believe me when I told him it was 3:30. He got up and helped me time them for awhile but I told him to just go back to sleep. I hoped to get some rest as well, but lying down made the pain worse so I just sat in a chair. Around 5 am, the pain got quite a bit worse so I took a bath. After that, I pretty much decided that I would get ready, get breakfast, and then head to the hospital at 7 am as scheduled.

Rocky and I went to Rudy's for breakfast tacoes and then went to check in to the hospital. Contractions began to spread out a bit but were still pretty intense. Once we made it to the maternity floor, we met Eunock our nurse. I was instantly more tense and frustrated with her. As soon as I got into the room I began having a contraction so Rocky told her that I'd gone into labor on my own. Even as I was in the middle of the contraction, she began asking me questions. Then she told me to put on the hospital gown. I told her I didn't want to and she said "you do something for me, i do someting for you." What the heck does that mean? Wanting to pick my battles, I conceded and put on the gown.

It only got worse from there. I felt so proded and poked. It's never fun to have blood drawn, IV inserted, exams done, paperwork filled out. It's especially not fun having it done in the middle of contractions. It made it really hard to relax, the very thing that I needed to do. Just by looking at Rocky he could tell what I was thinking and he made a request for the nurse who had done our hospital tour, but there was no one else available. The l & d floor was completely full.

Eunock immediately started the IV and wanted to start the pitocin. I told her to wait until Chalasani came in since I was in labor on my own. She was seemingly ticked but waited. Chalasani didn't show up til 9:30 am. When she checked me, I was hoping for some serious dilation but she told me I was still a 2 and 80% effaced. Since I was in labor on my own she decided to break my water and see what that would do to progress things. She did that and told Eunock to take out my IV and set me up on intermident wireless monitoring. Once again Eunock griped about the hep lock and wireless monitoring but did it regardless. She also kept saying how she didn't think breaking my water was going to do anything and that she thought pitocin had gotten a bad rap. I really did want to kill her at times.

After I became wireless, Rocky and I began walking around a bit. The contractions didn't get any closer together but they did become more intense. I had 30 minutes to walk around between monitoring. It almost seemed more difficult with the intermident monitoring because I had to be restrapped up so often. Chalasani came back in around 12:30 to check my progress. This time there was alot to speak of-- 4 cm dilated, 100% effaced. I was so pumped. We decided since things were going so well that we'd just continue on without pitocin. Eunock even said she was surprised at how things were progressing.

Between the exam at 12:30 and the next one at 3:30, things got really rough. The only positions I could find relief in were kneeling or being on all fours. I spent lots of time on the couch kneeling on it and leaning against the back. So much for the 2 positions Bradley talks up so much. Those were pretty much unbearable for me. All Rocky's coaching was thrown out the window. I didn't want him to touch me or say a whole lot, but I did want him near me especially to fend off the crazy nurse. The contractions were coming pretty much without break and I was making all kinds of crazy noises trying to help out with the pain. I was also sweating like I've never sweat before. I was pretty much drenched from head to toe from all the hard work.

At 3:30, I was expecting big results after all my hours of laboring, about 13 at this point, but was disappointed to hear there was absolutely 0 progress after 3 more long, difficult hours. At this point Chalasani recommended starting the pitocin since things were going so slowly now so we agreed. Eunock hooked it up as I kneeled on the end of the bed and held Rocky. There began to feel like there was no break at all in between contractions. I was in pain consistently. I began telling Rocky I couldn't do it. He kept encouraging me that I could and that I needed to relax. I couldn't relax. I just held him tighter and at one point I bit Rocky's neck. I think it was around that point that Rocky started to realize I was serious about getting an epidural. After waiting it out a while more, I asked Rocky to get me an epidural.

About 15 minutes Dr. Dill came in to give me the epidural. It couldn't have seemed like a longer 15 minutes. Eunock curled me up into a ball and held me while Dill inserted the needle and catheder. I didn't feel much but a leg twitch when he inserted it. i didn't instantly feel relief but it came very quickly. I was very surprised by the effect of the epidural. It didn't completely take away the pain but made it bearable. I had the epidural set on the lowest possible setting so I could still feel every contraction. I was able to rest a little bit now though.

I was on the epidural for about an hour, it was around 5 pm, when Eunock decided to check me herself. She asked me how far along I wanted to be. What kind of a question is that? Of course I wanted to be there, 10 cm. I really didn't expect what she said next. She called Rocky over to see Adelaide's head! The hour of being on the epidural sent me from a 4 to a 10! There was a little lip left at that point but she told me to start pushing whenever I felt pressure. So around 5:15, I started pushing and a mere 35 minutes later I was holding my little girl.

The bed was in a sitting position and with each contraction, Eunock would hold one leg up and Rocky would hold the other. I would also pull my knees and neck in. I'd pull in 3 breaths and push through each of them. When the nurse originally asked me if I wanted the mirror I wasn't so sure, but now I'm so glad we got it. It helped me have incentive to keep pushing especially when I could see Adelaide's head and it was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen.

Once again I was amazed at how much I could still feel. I was able to move my legs entirely on my own and I could even feel the nurse cleansing the area with antiseptic and even knew when I pooped the table. Ick! Not like I cared at that point though.

Chalasani came in to check on me around 5:35 and just stayed since things were progressing so quickly. it was amazing to see her change from cute office outfit to baby delivering outfit in like 5 seconds. She used olive oil to massage the area and help minimize tears as she went. She was great at encouraging me to push through the pain-- the ring of fire as she called it. I could definitely tell why. Things happened so fast it was hard to take it all in. Next thing I know Adelaide's head was coming out and Chalasani asked me if I wanted to help pull her out. I reached down and caught her shoulders as they came out. Immediately I pulled my girl to my tummy and held her. While we were staring at her, Chalasani clamped the cord and Rocky got to cut it. What an amazing experience!

Afterwards, Chalasani asked me if I felt disappointed in my decisions and I didn't know how I could be. I think my decisions were wise. It seems like the epidural was just what I needed to get my body to relax and get things going. With everything going so smoothly I couldn't complain, that's for sure.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yesterday's Visit

The visit to the doctor yesterday was not quite as encouraging as I had hoped but thankfully Adelaide's still as healthy as ever. I had to have an ultrasound done and a non-stress test (NST). The ultrasound showed that the placenta looked fine, there was plenty of fluid, and Adelaide looks like she's around 7 lbs. 2 oz according to the measurements (of course the sonographer said that could be off by a pound or so). We got to see her face which looks like she's got my big baby cheeks. Unfortunately the pictures aren't very good or I would post them.

After the sono, I went into the NST room. It was nice and comfy. I sat in a recliner with my feet propped up. They hooked me up to an external fetal monitor and gave me OJ to get Adelaide moving. I just sat there and pushed a game show like buzzer any time I felt her move. Rocky and I just sat there for about 20 minutes while the machine recorded Adelaide's heartrate and my contractions (of which there were none). The nurse came in and said the strip couldn't have looked better. She was very reactive which means her heartrate goes up when she's active and slows again when she's chillin'. The doc said this means she's still thriving from the placenta.

All that was definitely good news. The not so encouraging part was when they did my exam. Since I'd lost my mucous plug last week, I was hoping that I'd be dilated a bit more. However, Chalasani said I'm still just dilated to a 1 and that my cervix is not favorable. The problem with this is that if that have to induce (which is becoming more and more a likelihood every second) that they'd have to not only put me on pitocin, but they'd have to get me on a cervix ripener first. This would mean all night on that drug and then potentially all day on pitocin. Definitely not ideal especially for the birth plan. The doctor said it would probably be a very long and hard labor. She didn't beat around the bush at all.

So that's definitely the discouraging part. Making a decision about when to induce, if we should wait it out, what drugs to use, etc. I'm definitely still hoping that things happen on their own but am beginning to give up hope of that. The doctor did strip my membranes yesterday which combined with sex (yes, this is what she told us) will soften up the cervix. It works about 50% of the time anyway. She almost didn't do it cause she didn't want to hurt me, but I told her to try it. Why not? It wasn't really bad at all, like a really uncomfortable annual exam. She said I was tough and that she was surprised it didn't bother me more.

Chalasani was very encouraging. She said she'd pressure us if she felt it our decision thus far wasn't a good one, but she feels confident in us waiting since Adelaide's so healthy. I've got to go back in on Friday for the same tests. If everything looks the same, it sounds like she's gonna want to do the induction on sunday night. This is where we'll have to make a decision-- hold out against her wishes hoping that things will progress or just go with it. It looks like Adelaide's size isn't going to be the issue. She's most likely around 8 lbs. right now.

Right now we're researching induction medications. The one Chalasani recommended isn't approved for induction so that freaks us out a bit and once it's given there's no turning back (unlike pitocin which has a 10-15 minute half life) so we're trying to figure out which would be best. We are major dorks but just want to do what's best for all of us.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Another Sign

So I know the 1 cm dilation on Wednesday wasn't a whole lot to get psyched about but tonight after a late night walk around the neighborhood, I went to the bathroom and. . .a glance into the toilet revealed my mucous plug aka bloody show. Pregnancy is gross. Even the terms to describe this snot like blob are gross, but I never thought I'd be so pumped to see something (or show Rocky something) so disgusting. Probably the grossest thing is that Rocky was on the phone when I made him follow me into the bathroom and he gave Matt Banks the play by play. Now Matt thinks we're crazier freaks than he already did. The mucous plug-- I know it doesn't mean labor's coming tonight or even tomorrow but it does mean more things are happening so that's encouraging to me.

I'll take any encouragement at this point because everything's been a bit discouraging. Even the check out lady at HEB last night made me cry. She told me that I wasn't gonna have my baby any time soon so I shouldn't get my hopes up. She said I didn't look like I'd dropped at all. I wanted to punch her. Rocky restrained himself from some comment about a cashier giving medical advice. Remind me not to give my input to women who have gone past their due date. No one wants to hear what worked for you or how I should walk more (like 3 miles a day, what I've been doing, isn't enough). The only advice that's been good is to take my mind off of the situation. In fact I plan to follow that advice right now with a foot soak and a movie.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

40 +

Yesterday was the due date so I was very anxious to see what the doctor would have to say at this appointment. dilation? effacement? induction?

News was somewhat encouraging. I am still looking healthy-- good blood pressure, ok weight gain, no swelling, etc. I am measuring smaller than I did last week which the doctor said means she's making her descent, that her head's furthur down that it was last week. I also asked her how big she thoguht the baby is. She mashed around a bit and said she thinks she's between 7 1/2 and 7 lbs 10 oz. We'll see how accurate her estimation is very soon.

Upon the not-so-fun internal exam, she passed along the news that I'm now dilated to 1 cm! It's not much I know, but it's something. She decided to mildly strip the membranes to try and get more activity going so we'll see. She said 50% of the time it helps progress labor. Not really any effacement to speak of as of yet but she said really dilation's the most important thing.

So I guess Rocky and I will keep doing what we've been doing-- walking 3 miles a day, some bedroom recreation, some drinking of herbal teas, etc. We've got an appointment sort of set up next week for Tuesday but hopefully we won't have to use it. Actually they had a very difficult time setting me up at all so maybe that's a sign. If I haven't delivered by then, they'll be doing a sonogram and a non-stress test where they monitor Adelaide's heartbeat for 20-30 minutes. From there they'll determine whether or not I come back later, check in to the hospital immediately or whatever. I'm still really hoping that 1 cm dilation turns into 10 all on it's own and I won't have to worry with any of that other mess.

Due Date, Smue Date

I know that every one says the due date is just an ETA for a baby, but it was still a bit disappointing I gotta admit when yesterday came and went with no little one in the picture. It's really funny how a week or so ago we weren't so ready for the big day, but now it's almost all we can think about. Now the room's ready, the bags are packed for the hospital, the car seat base is in the car, the calendar's free and clear. We are just so excited to meet our daughter (and get the uncomforts of pregnancy out of the way too). I know the transition's still gonna be a shocker, but it's a shocker that we are now welcoming.

Thank you all so much for continuing to pray for us and care for us. We are going to the doc today to see if there's any progress happening. Standard policy is that we'll now have 2 weeks before we have to have a scheduled induction. Pray that it doesn't come down to that. Pray that nature will take it's course soon. My doctor's even on call all weekend so that's nice too.

We will definitely keep you updated when the labor day does come. The hospital has free wi-fi of course so Rocky plans on emailing everyone at least once while we're in the hospital.

Monday, March 05, 2007

So ready!

About a week ago when people asked me if I was ready, I'd say "I guess so." Now I don't know what I was thinking! I'm so ready to have this baby. I still don't think I've got it so bad as some others do during their pregnancy. I'm still pretty much sleeping through the night. I've only got to get up a couple of times to pee and take heartburn medicine. I'm not too uncomfortable. I'm still getting around pretty dang well. I've been walking about 30 minutes to an hour every day. Just yesterday I surprised Rocky by hopping in the Bronco unaided. However, with each passing day I know little Adelaide's not quite so little and each ounce she gains is one more ounce that I'm gonna have to squeeze out (I know that sounds so gross).

Rocky and I are trying everything the professionals (and not so professionals) say works for inducing labor, but nothing is going on so far. I've been trying raspberry leaf tea and just today started these weird herbal drops my neighbor gave me. Rocky and I have been extra friendly with one another-- wink, wink. And the list goes on.

Our daughter has been packing quite a punch recently too. Alot of her recent movements were more like squishes and shifts but in the past week or so I've got some swift punches to the cervix. Yikes. I try and get her out with intimidation--"you come out here and I'm punch you back." One second thought this may be keeping her in.

The weirdest things going on are crampiness and um. . .now, I'm getting even more personal. . .poop. I have gone through these bouts of what feels sort of like menstral cramps (or what I assume cramps feel like since I've never really had to deal with them before). The other night Rocky and I went out to dinner and I couldn't even enjoy my amazing meal with all the pressure. OK, so I still enjoyed it a bit. Now, on to the poop. I'm normally not a regular kind of gal, but in the past week, I've been going 2, 3, 4, 5 times a day.

The doctor says both these things are normal. Sometimes contractions feel like cramps and often our bodies will prepare for labor by purging the system. That was exciting news. Other than that though there haven't been changes at all.

I'm really looking forward to meeting our little one now. It's so amazing that I have a person inside of me. I'm so interested to see what she looks like. What color eyes will she have? Will she have hair? Will she look asian at all? Will she have my nose? What will her personality be like? Will she be easy going right off the bat? It's so fun to speculate.

I know this is the longest post ever but so there's so much I'm thinking about. Hopefully my next post will be post labor and delivery!