Monday, November 4, 2013

#3 Birth Story.

She's a month old! I wrote most of this a week after Annalee was born, wanting to write all these way-too-many-details down before I forget and it is all foggy in my memory. Some of these birth story details will go in "Annalee's Story" which I'll post on a page on here, a summary of my pregnancy and her arrival (!!) just like I have for her siblings. But for those of you that want details, here you go!

The night before our induction date I barely slept I was so anxious and excited. I called the labor and delivery phone number at 5:45am to get the go ahead that we could come in. Instead I got the "I'm sorry but there is no room in the inn" sort of speech and I was so bummed! I also immediately started asking about my shot which I was supposed to take around 8am that morning and battled my case as to why they needed to fit me in! They told me to wait and they were going to try, and I should hear by 10am. So the next three hours I was all in a tangle, wondering if today would be the day or if it would be tomorrow or the next and wondering if she was going to make it through.

I told Greg to go to work so he went in around 8:30am. I think the nurse called me back around 9:15am with the green light that we could come in! Oh I wanted to hug that lady over the phone! Greg rushed back and we headed to the hospital to deliver our third baby.
It was snowy cold.

We got situated in our room and waited for my doctor to come in and evaluate things. It took him awhile but as soon as we had her hooked up on the monitors, my mind was so much at ease. They had to poke me a few times to get the IV in (bad red-head veins) but I didn't care. I had one last chance for natural labor... I know what contractions look like on paper so I was willing them to be there when I looked, but even I know they were pretty mild. When the doctor arrived and checked me, I definitely wasn't labor ready but enough to start Pictocin (labor inducing drug). They got that rolling sometime around 11am I think.

The afternoon was pretty low-key... I kept thinking we'd have baby that afternoon since that's how it went with Eli but we didn't start at 5am this time plus this doctor was different and didn't do things as quickly. Our nurse was great and we saw her often as she upped my dosage of Pictocin every 15 minutes or so. I didn't start feeling much until mid-afternoon. Everyone that came in said I was smiling too much so I couldn't be in pain. And that was mostly true, but mostly I was just so relieved to be there!

I had to wear compression socks. Here I am so excited to not have to labor with a boot on... and I have to wear old people socks!

Finally around 4pm or so, the pain started coming in much more startling frequency. With both Maelee and Eli, I was given an epidural before any real physical pain started. This time I labored with pain for around two hours, the last hour being really rough. The reason for that was that the nurse told the anesthesiologist that I wasn't in enough pain initially. He then got called to the ER and was tied up there for a long while. Also it was about supper time and we figured I should eat first (after epidural you aren't allowed food). With Pictocin, you go from nothing to WHOA baby really, really quickly and is said to be more intense than natural labor. Greg can attest that I was in pain. The contractions started coming two minutes apart and I spent much of it with my head resting on his belly, holding his hands and using him to brace for the coming wave of pain.

I was scared about doing labor without an epidural if it was going to be that hard for a very long time! So I was all about when the anesthesiologist arrived and got the epidural going. And I can say wholeheartedly that it was the best epidural experience! With Maelee and Eli I couldn't feel anything. My legs were completely numb and I couldn't move them AT ALL. I remember with Eli the nurse telling me when I was having a contraction. I had no idea. And therefore it was extremely hard to push with no feeling!

This time the epidural started working but I still had movement in my legs. I could still feel when I was having a contraction, but they were less intense in pain. We had no idea how long I'd be in labor from this point and the Pictocin was still doing it's thing. I remember telling one of the resident doctors that checked in on me that I hadn't felt any major pressure or need to push yet. I think they checked me around 8pm when our new nurse came on shift and I was around 5cm. I guess you typically go 1cm per hour. Well, I went 5cm in less than one hour. By close to 9pm I was ready to push and I definitely felt pressure. The nurse came in, I told her, she checked and went into overdrive mode! She definitely wasn't expecting me to go that quickly. Our doctor was at that moment in surgery. Not great timing. The nurse first made sure he knew I was ready, then she stopped the Pictocin and started getting the room ready for delivery. The baby nurse showed up then expecting to just drop off the baby cart and supplies... she never left until after Annalee was born!

After what seemed like awhile, the doctor showed up (he let another doctor finish up his c-section so that he could come). He had two residents with him (that I had met previously, nice UND med students). They got all ready, then me all situated, ready to push... aaaand contractions slowed down. Way down. To like every six minutes. And of course I'm having to joke around because there's nothing like being that uh, exposed, to five medical people (doctor, nurse, baby nurse, two residents, and one nursing student - all approved by me to be there) and just be waiting. So they started up the Pictocin again, after a few awkward pushes. And it didn't take long for that to kick in and finish labor!

Again, I loved the epidural. I could feel when I needed to push and once my contractions sped up again, it didn't take very many pushes to welcome Annalee into the world. 10:25pm. I remember watching her come out, alive, and the next thought in my head, which I voiced was "She looks like Eli!" She came right to my chest and I talked to her, welcoming her to the world, calling her sweetheart and rejoicing over her. She cried more than Eli did but was not wailing. They started wiping the white goo off of her and eventually I let the baby nurse take her.

It was a really great experience. Very calming, even with all those people in there. I won't say it was a barrel of fun, but it was enjoyable and pleasant. Not a no-drug, all natural, the way it was designed... but the end result trumps all that. The doctor worked on me, I had one minor tear, while I watched Annalee get weighed and assessed a few feet from me. Greg was right there watching over her, wearing the same sweatshirt he had when both Maelee and Eli were born. I finally told him to get the camera and he took the first photos of our girl as she came back to snuggle with me.

I loved those moments, so precious and full of joy and just like with Eli's birth, a big sigh of relief. She was alert which was fun. We were amazed by her hair, her tongue, and her cuteness, of course. The baby nurse pointed out that she had blisters on her hands from sucking them in utero. She had passed all her tests except her color and her crying weren't as good as they'd like... but that was the same with Eli so I was not worried. Greg was able to text our family and post on the blog. Since it was quite late, we didn't text anyone else but probably should have, there were so many anxiously awaiting her safe arrival with us!

Sucking hard on her hands!

Annalee stayed with us for a few hours. She latched on right away and started sucking (not realizing she had a bad latch and insane sucking ability) and stayed that way for a long while. We then gave her up to go get cleaned up. We rested for a bit and then she joined us for more bonding time. Normally family would have been there, but it was the middle of the night so it was just us three. Very sweet. Plus at Sanford you don't switch rooms once you deliver, you get to stay right there. Nice!

Truly a bundle of joy!
Our sweet girl was born October 4, 2013 and even that is a gift, she has a "4" in her birth date, just like all our other April babies. She was the same length as Eli at 19 1/2 inches. And she was the biggest of all my babies at 7 pounds, 4 ounces.

I can't wait to see how her personality develops (so far, very dramatic!) and what color red this hair turns out to be! Oh Lord, thank you for allowing us to raise this girl of yours.


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