Wednesday, July 20, 2011
My baby girl will be one tomorrow. I really am having a hard time wrapping my head around it, I mean - where did the last 356 days go?? So in honor of her birthday, I'm gonna do it - recap her birthday.
Honestly I didn't think I would, I've always loved reading other people's but always thought for me it's a little TMI (and beleive me, I am all about TMI). But I'm putting my birth story out there, because I don't ever want to forget about it, afterall it was single handedly the most profound experience of my life.
So here goes.....
Let's back it up a bit and start at my 39th week appointment which was July 14th.
I guess it's important to note that up until this point, I've made no progress whatsoever. No dialation, baby hadn't "dropped" down - nada.
So doctor begins doing his thing, checking my cervix, feeling around & then the look.
The look that says "I'm so sorry, your 39 weeks pregnant, it's 105 degrees outside - I know you are so over this but sorry, no go." He didn't actually say that but if I could have read his mind, my guess is that's what he was thinking. So he goes onto mention, that baby is not progressing or making her way down, most likely due to size - he has a sneaking suspicion that she's a big girl so he orders an ultrasound to check on her weight and make sure fluids are all ok. He proceeded to tell me, basically at this point if she's 8 pounds or more, they want to schedule a c-section as soon as possible for her safety and mine.
I have to be honest, this was a little shocking to me - so much so that I just sat there - with my legs spread open, and cried. Not to say I didn't have it in the back of my mind that yeah, the chances were pretty high that I'd probably have to have a c-section, but still I thought there was some chance that I would be able to have this baby naturally. So after I got myself together we called to set up an appointment for an ultrasound. The next day we went, had the ultrasound and discovered little miss was approx 8 pounds - right on the border of to do a c-section or not!
After speaking to my doctor, he advised he would like me to try to go into labor naturally - this would make the c-section a little easier, so our plan was to wait it out a few more days and if nothing happened by my 40 week appointment we would schedule a c-section then.
Another weekend goes by and no baby. Tuesday, July 20th was my official due date and my 40 week appointment. I was unable to see my regular doctor, but met with his wife, who after checking my blood pressure (which was a little elevated) and cervix (which was still closed) - decided to send me over the hospital to check on baby, and monitor my pressure for a few hours. Everything was fine, my pressure came back down - baby was doing fine - no signs of distress. So I was released to go home after a few hours, with orders to return at 5am the next morning for my C-Section. It was finally happening! I was going to meet my little girl in less than 24 hours! My husband and I went home, and rushed around like crazy trying to get everything ready. That night was a long one, I think we both managed to get an hour or so of sleep, between all the excitement and the nerves (mine mostly!). We finally got up around 4am the next morning, packed up the truck and made our way to the hospital.
The drive there was a hazy, I don't remember much other than feeling super anxious. I'd been waiting 40 long weeks, and truthfully a lot longer for this moment, and it was finally happening in a matter of moments.
We get to the hospital, check in - get undressed, prepped for surgery, and before I knew my anthestiologist came in and explained to me what I should expect. He was the sweetest man, and totally set my mind at ease. Finally around 7:00am I was wheeled to the OR, where I would receive my epidural, and meet my girl. Within a few minutes the nurses began to prep me for my epidural, and before I knew it I was being numbed. I have to say one of my biggest fears leading up to delivery was the epidural, I had heard such horror stories, and honestly it wasn't nearly half as bad as I thought. After my epidural, the nurses helped me move onto the operating table, and inserted a catheter (fun times)! My OB I seen the day before kept telling me "make sure they do the catheter AFTER your epidural, the nurses will bitch and try to deter you, but hold your ground". Boy was I glad I did! I didn't feel a thing! While the doctors were getting ready, I remember saying out loud "where's my husband, please don't let him miss this" and before long he was right next to me holding my hand, and asking me what I wanted to eat after the baby came out!
Everything from here on out is a blur, I know my husband was let in the room around 7:30am, and at 7:41am our beautiful girl was born. At 9lbs 4ozs and 21 inches long she was a big girl! Hearing her cry for the first time, was without a doubt, the most incredible sound I had ever heard in my life. I was so releived, that she was here and ok, I cried & cried, and then cried some more. I just wanted to see her, it felt like an eternity, and I remember asking my husband "Is she ok? Where is she?" finally the nurses brought her over to me. Seeing my daughter for the first time is a moment I will never forget. She was perfect in everyway! In that instant, I finally understood what love was, people could tell you but until you experience you really can't even begin to wrap your brain around it. The nurses swept her away, to clean her up, do all her measurements, apgar. I was able to see her a few minutes before my husband and her were wisked away to the nursery so the doctors could sew me back together! Honestly, for me this was the worse (up till now) part. Although I was numb from the waist down, and I really didn't feel anything - I did feel so much pressure. I felt like someone was standing on my chest. I remember telling the nurse "I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack, is this normal?". She assured me it was totally normal, mostly from the doctors have to for lack of a better phrase - put everything back in. At this point I threw up a few times, which they said also was normal, I guess from the epidural. I just couldn't wait for it to be over. And I wanted to see my baby. More than anything that's all I kept thinking.
Finally, what took like forever (but was really 45 mins or so) the docs were done and I was being wheeled to recovery. When I got there, no one was around - my family ditched me for breakfast! Seriously?? Thanks! But before I knew it the nurses were coming in with my girl! I finally got to hold her. I remembered being so shocked that they just left her with me, I remember thinking "Wait, is there a book to go with this?". But there wasn't. We started to nurse, and Sophia took to it like a champ. Those first 12 hours after Sophia was born were hazy. My family was there, hubby and the kids, my sister in-law; who stayed with me all day.
I honestly don't know what I would have done with her!! I had a rough time later that day after hubby left to get some sleep, eat and shower. I couldn't move much and breastfeeding took a turn for the worse. Sophia was hungry! And I wasn't producing a lot of milk. My sister in law changed her, feed her and cheered me on, when I needed it the most. Not sure I would have gotten through that day without her!
I have to say, even though I had a rough few days, recovery wise, being super duper emotional, and having little meltdown my second night in the hospital, the staff was amazing. I seriously could not have asked for better l&d nurses, and my doctors. They were incredible. I want to kiss them everytime I see them. After all, without their help, and support I wouldn't have my little miss. Grateful doesn't even begin to describe it.