Friday, October 12, 2007

My Birth Story

I've been wanting to write this post for two weeks, but there never seems to be the time to sit down and complete it. This may take awhile, but there are so many details about that day that I don't want to forget.

My parents came in on the afternoon of the 27th, and we went and did some shopping. We bought the swing, took my mom's iPod to the Apple store to be fixed, and probably went other places, but I forget. My sister flew in that evening, and we all met Darren at a Thai restaurant near our house for dinner. After dinner, we went home and my sister tried on my maternity clothes, then we watched some TV. I had a really hard time going to sleep that night, and finally passed out around midnight. I was so afraid to sleep through my alarm, and have my spot at the hospital filled by someone else, that by 3:00, I was wide awake. I was supposed to call the hospital at 5:30 to get a time to go in, and I managed to contain myself until 5:25. I was so relieved that they told me to go in at 7:00 that morning! I showered, got dressed, ate breakfast, woke Darren up, and we left with barely enough time to get there.

Darren dropped me off at the front door of the hospital and went to park the car. I walked into Labor and Delivery, found the correct nurses' station, and they had me fill out a slip of paper explaining why I was there. I thought that was quite humorous! After a few minutes of waiting on a bench with all of our stuff (everything except the kitchen sink, even though we live ten minutes from the hospital), a nurse escorted us to my room. It was so much nicer than the one where I had Zachary; it had wood floors, a cabinet with a TV, DVD player and refrigerator, a sink to bathe the baby in, a fold-out couch, and some other chairs. I changed into the hospital gown, climbed in bed, and the nurses put some monitors on me. After asking endless medical questions, we arrived at the worst part of the process for me: the IV. My nurse assured me that she was the one who everyone called when they had trouble, and it went in without any problems. What a relief!

The Pitocin drip was started around 7:30, and my parents and sister arrived around 8:00. Dr. Johnson came in at around 8:30 to check me and break my water, and I was 3 cm dilated, 90% effaced, and the baby was at -2 station, whatever that means. I thought I was going to climb out of my skin when she started trying to break the water. That was incredibly painful, and I nearly squeezed my sister's hand off. Afterward, that is the most disgusting feeling as all of the water drains out, and it lasts for hours, it seems. Dr. Johnson said she'd be back to check on me at lunchtime, and to get the epidural as soon as I wanted it.

All morning, the nurses kept cranking up the Pitocin level, and I think I dozed for a while. The nurse came in around 10:30 to check on me, and said the anesthesiologist had a C-section at noon, so if I wanted my epidural, I might want to get it before then. I told her that 11:00 sounded good for me. The contractions were increasing, but not getting really painful, but I wanted to make sure I didn't wait and regret it like last time. At around 11:15, the anesthesiologist arrived, and made everyone leave. One of the nurses stayed with me, and helped walk me through the procedure. It hurt when he gave me a local anesthetic, but the epidural itself didn't hurt. I was shaking at this point from nerves, but Erica, the nurse, held my hands and kept me calm. Once the doctor was finished, he put me on a pump and gave me an extra button that I could push for more medicine. I never ended up needing it, which was nice. I was able to move my legs around, but couldn't feel any pain. Afterward, I got a catheter and my family all came back from lunch.

My parents went and picked Zach up from school around 1:00, and Dr. Johnson came in at 1:30. At this point, I was fully dilated, and she sat down on the bed and asked if I was ready. I was thinking this was a rhetorical question; the contractions didn't hurt at all, and she had said it would be sometime around 3:00. All of a sudden, the room sprang to life with nurses getting out medical equipment, wheeling in the warmer and baby scale, and taking my bed apart. We did a couple of practice pushes, and my mom and sister decided to stay in the room with me, along with Darren. Dr. Johnson suited up, and we started pushing. It was weird, because I could tell when the contractions were coming, and knew when to push. With Zach, I was so numb that she had to let me know when to push.

I pushed for about 30 minutes, and all of a sudden there was a baby on my chest! She was covered in all sorts of nasty stuff, so I didn't really want to grab her and snuggle her at that point. Darren cut the umbilical cord, Dr. Johnson sewed me up, and Zoe was taken across the room to be weighed and measured. My dad and Zach came back in for a little while, then everyone cleared out and Darren and I were given some time alone with Zoe. At this point, it still seemed so surreal to have the baby there. At around 4:00, everyone came back in, and Zoe was given her first bath then put under the warmer. Darren and my mom made phone calls, and a couple of friends from work came by.

Things went well with Zoe in the hospital. Darren stayed with me, and we would have to wake her up to sleep. We had great nurses, and the pediatrician came in every day to check on her. Dr. Johnson came back to see me Saturday afternoon, and told me that I could go home on Sunday as soon as Zoe was released.

We didn't have nearly as many visitors in the hospital as I expected. My parents and sister were there most of the weekend, Jamie came twice, and my friend Haley and her mom came to see us on Saturday. That was fine, though, because it seemed like we had an endless parade of nurses in and out of the room, especially on Saturday. The lactation consultant spent most of the afternoon with me on Saturday, because of my concern of my milk not coming in. She brought me a hospital pump, and showed me how to use it.

Zoe failed her hearing test on Saturday, but passed it on Sunday. Saturday night, a nurse took her for blood testing, because her bilirubin level was high. It was still high Sunday when the pediatrician came in, so she told us that we needed to see our regular doctor on Monday, and also take Zoe back to the hospital for blood testing.

We went home around noon on Sunday, and I was so ready to go. I started packing around 9:00 that morning, and got dressed and ready to go. I did enjoy my stay in the hospital, but was ready to be home and have more space to move around.

Zoe came home and was still a good sleeper. I continued to nurse her, along with giving her formula. I rented a pump from the hospital, but haven't been all that good at using it regularly. I still don't have much milk, and it is easier to give Zoe formula most of the time. I still nurse her, but she doesn't get enough from me to sustain her.

After blood testing and a pediatrician visit on Monday, Zoe's bilirubin level was still high. We ended up having to go back to the hospital every day that week, and also getting a special blanket with a light to help get rid of the jaundice. I got to know the receptionist, Audrey the cashier, and Alma the blood lady at the hospital. They were all really nice, which helped a lot. It was hard to rest, since we had to make our daily visits there.

We were able to stop the light therapy on Sunday, and when Dr. Flanagan made his daily phone call to me on Monday, I mentioned that Zoe's urine smelled funny. We went to see him on Tuesday, and it turned out that she had a bladder infection. I spent an hour and a half at the doctor's office, and they collected urine twice, took lots of blood, and cauterized her umbilical cord, since it was still oozing. The doctor sat in the room with us most of the time, which was nice. Zoe is now on amoxicillin, and we are going back to the doctor on Friday for another urine culture.

I finally feel like life is starting to return to normal. Zoe is eating about every three hours, and sleeps well, as long as she is being held. I am trying to keep up with the housework, and have started to leave the house a little more. I am really missing seeing my doctor every week, which I guess is a normal thing. Zach is adjusting to not being the only one, and is getting to ride the bus home from school every day. That's nice, because he gets home much earlier now, and we get his homework done quickly. The best news is that I can fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans! I hope the weight loss continues, without a whole lot of effort on my part!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! Zoe is adorable!!! That's way cool that you are already in pre-pregnancy clothes :) If you are up for visitors, I would love to stop by after work Tuesday :)