Monday, 20 January 2014

Isla's Birth Story

Well, the weekly updates stopped because Isla made her debut on January 10th, 18 days early!! She was 5lbs and 11oz, 20in long and sunny side up! If you care to know more, her birth story is below.

At midnight on Friday morning, I woke up to go to the bathroom and noticed that my underwear were wet. At the same time I looked down and saw clear drops of fluid running down my leg. Bewildered I wandered into the bathroom and evaluated the situation. My water had broken. In the middle of the night. Like in the movies. Our birth class instructor said sometimes urinary incontinence occurs towards the end of pregnancy so if you aren't sure if you've peed your pants or your water has broken, just see if it smells like pee. Well, it didn't.

I paced around for a couple of minutes, then woke Neil up. I got my, "Honey, it's time!" moment. After he woke up enough to realize what was going on, we called the labor and delivery number at the hospital. Since my water had broken, we were told to take showers, pack up and come in, even though I wasn't feeling contractions. In a daze, I took a warm shower and then started throwing together my makeup bag. Neil hadn't packed his bag since we weren't expecting our little girl for another few weeks, so both of us were throwing things in and trying desperately to remember what else we needed. I started feeling sick around this time and promptly threw up everything I'd had for dinner. After I'd finished and started feeling a little better, we packed up and headed for the hospital.

It was a dark and quiet drive at one in the morning and we were still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that we were about to become parents! Neil thought they might send us home, but I knew that once my water was broken, there was no turning back.

We arrived at the hospital around 1:30am and checked in at emergency. It was completely empty and the staff at the desk were expecting us. It was all very calm and peaceful. We were moved to a triage room in labor and delivery where we met our first nurse, were assessed and learned what would be happening. My blood pressure was fairly high and I had gotten a headache so they were a little concerned I might have some preeclampsia developing, even though I'd had no signs of it at my checkup only two days earlier. They took some blood to check and monitored my blood pressure. They also placed an iv because I was group b strep positive. My blood pressure eventually went down enough that they stopped worrying. I think I was just so nervous and anxious! We then met with an ob/gyn resident who did an ultrasound and found out baby was face up! This meant my labor and delivery could be significantly more difficult if she didn't turn by pushing time. They were hopeful she would though. They also felt my stomach and thought Isla was about 7-7.5 lbs.

I was taken to my delivery room at that point and given my options to get contractions started since they were still not really going. I was offered pitocin or a breast pump. I was also told that due to the group b strep and my water being broken that if I hadn't progressed by around 4am, they would start pitocin. I opted for the breast pump and wanted to do things as naturally as possible, for as long as possible. After just a little time using the breast pump, the contractions came thick and fast. I started out not being dilated at all and was at seven centimeters by about six or seven am, I lost track of time as the pain was incredibly intense. The pump caused some very intense contractions, I had at least one that was four minutes long. I also had terrible back labor because of her position. I labored naturally, albeit in agony, until I hit those seven centimeters. At which point between throwing up and making sounds I didn't know I could make, I chose to get an epidural. I had really hoped not to need one, but I was at the point where I didn't know how I could continue without one. Shaking and incoherent, I had Neil tell the nurse we were ready for the epidural and she said she thought that it was a very good idea. I had a little pain relief in my iv to take edge off enough that I could sit still for them to put it in.

After the epidural was in place, I was still in a lot pain but it was reduced enough that I was able to settle down. Around 10 or 11am the pain was amping back up and I was ready to start pushing. We were told it could take up to three hours for a first time mom. Well, it took me four. I was exhausted after three hours and kept thinking that I didn't know how I could do this any longer. The midwife was very reassuring and kept having me feel her head which would give me enough of a boost to keep going. When we hit four hours though they started suggesting we use the vacuum to help things along. When the doctor came in to explain it though, we made just enough progress that the midwife told me just a few more pushes and sure enough, she came out, face up, to greet the world at 3:14pm!

Isla was placed on my chest immediately and had a big bruised cone head from her position but was healthy and here!! I had no tearing and needed just a few internal stitches so we were surprisingly well despite the difficultly of the labor. Neil cut the cord and we enjoyed a few hours of family time before we were wheeled to our recovery room. After nine months of pregnancy and about 15 hours of labor, we were a family.

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