Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Emerson's Birth Story, Part Two

If you missed the first part, here it is!

So, I left work that day knowing I wouldn't return for at least twelve weeks and did my best to wrap everything up to make it easier on those covering for me. That night, we had a dinner to attend with our Memphis in May BBQ Fest team, where we excitedly shared the news with everyone that we would be parents by the following Monday. The rest of the weekend, we got all of our last minute errands done: Target, the grocery store, etc., while also trying to take some time to enjoy our last quiet weekend for a while. We took the dogs to the dog park, went out to eat for nearly every meal, and just rested as much as possible.

Sunday night, we went on our last date night for a while (and my last meal for the next 24 hours). We went to a local Italian restaurant, Ciao Bella, where we indulged on bread, salad and some delicious pizza. After dinner, I got some self serve yogurt, as well, since I knew that I would be starving the next day (per doctor's orders, you cannot eat or drink anything after midnight the night before). We both knew we were going to have a hard time sleeping and that we would have to be up early (3:30 a.m.!), so we went to bed pretty early and tried to sleep as much as possible. I was insanely nervous, mostly because I always think that something is going to go wrong when it comes to any medical procedure, so I hardly got any sleep. Regardless, we both woke up the next morning excited and ready to meet our daughter.

We quickly packed the last items into our bags, said goodbye to the pups and snapped a quick picture before leaving the house:

We arrived at the hospital at about 4:20 a.m. and quickly got checked in and taken back to get things moving. The nurse had me change into my hospital gown and get situated on the bed, and then she got my IV started, hooked up all of the monitors, and put in the pitocin drip. It wasn't long before I began to feel mild contractions. The contractions weren't too bad at first, as they just felt like a tightening across my lower abdomen. At this point, it was about 5:30-6:00 a.m. and I was starving and thirsty, so the nurse let me have my first cup of ice chips:

A little while later, my dad and stepmom arrived and joined me and Michael in our room. It was nice to have the company while we played the waiting game! Michael's mom also arrived at some point in there and brought him breakfast from Chick-fil-A, which made me very jealous, since I was starving!

I had been told that my doctor would come in around 9:00 to break my water, so imagine my surprise when my doctor strolled in around 7:00! I was super nervous about having my water broken, but it was actually a breeze and didn't hurt at all. At that point, the show really got on the road and we were well on our way to having a baby. Apparently, breaking your water takes away the "buffer" that eases contractions, so pretty quickly, the contractions began to increase in intensity and by 9:00, I requested my epidural (which I was also terrified of).

After what seemed like an eternity, the anesthesiologist came in and got everything ready for the epidural. Michael and my nurse stood in front of me and held my hands while the anesthesiologist administered the epidural. Due to my nervousness, I tensed up quite a few times, causing him to not so nicely tell me to relax. The worst part of the procedure was the shot they put in first to numb it. Other than that, it wasn't painful, just extremely uncomfortable.

Once the epidural was in, I got a little bit of relief. Before long, though, I began to feel contractions on my left side, so the nurse asked the anesthesiologist to come back in and up my dosage, thinking that I just needed a little bit more. He came back and added more painkiller to my epidural and told me to give it thirty minutes to see if that helped. Unfortunately, thirty minutes later, we were in the exact same place: my left side feeling increasingly unbearable contractions. So, for the second time, the nurse requested that anesthesiology send someone back in to fix the problem. At this point, I was about 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced.

This time, a different anesthesiologist was sent in, which made me happy, since the first one was not so friendly. The new anesthesiologist gave me a dose of what he called "the strong stuff," and told us that if this didn't work, my epidural would have to be adjusted or reinserted. Immediately, I began to panic, as I didn't want to have to go through what thus far had been the most uncomfortable part of my whole day, so we crossed our fingers that it would work . . .

I had no idea that I had so much to say about all of this, so I'm going to break it up into three parts. I'll be back tomorrow with the big finale. If you've made it this far, I commend you! :) 

Emerson's Birth Story, Part One

Well, my life has changed drastically since my last post, in one way for the worse and in one way for the better. On November 7, 2011, my mother passed away unexpectedly, thus explaining my absence from blogging. I have not been able to bring myself to write about it, and I don't know when I will be able to.

On the other hand, another big change has happened since my last post. Emerson arrived! Before I forget too many of the details, I wanted to write her birth story down so that one day she can go back and read about it.

My due date was always January 17, but all along I felt like she would arrive early. Everyone who saw me also seemed to think that I "wouldn't make it" til my due date, as I had been carrying low throughout the whole pregnancy. But each week, as I went for my checkups and we neared January 17, I began to lose hope that she would arrive by her due date. I had made some initial progress early on (effacing to 50% at week 36), but from there, it just stayed the same until week 39. At my 39 week appointment, Michael went with me, as we knew we would be making some decisions regarding induction, as my doctor had mentioned it several times before.

When he went to check me, I was excited to hear that I had dilated 1-2 centimeters, which was enough for my doctor to do a "membrane sweep" (ouch!) and also enough for him to prompt us to schedule an induction. Now, I know many people are not fans of inductions, as they feel that they should let nature run its course and the baby come on its own, but as my doctor explained it, the longer the baby stays in there, the bigger it gets, thus the tougher the delivery may get. So, he had said all along that as long as I was progressed enough for him to break my water, an induction would be a good choice.

After we talked to the doctor, we got the induction scheduled for the following Thursday, January 19, which was the earliest date they had available at the time. The woman who scheduled it let me know that they often had earlier openings come available, so she would call if that were to happen. Once it was scheduled, we called our families to let them know that we would be meeting Miss Emmie by the next Thursday!

Fast forward to the next day -- Friday, January 13. I was sitting at my desk, knowing it would be my last day at work for a while, as I was going to take the whole week off before her birth to relax and get some things done, when my phone rang and I saw that it was my doctor's office calling. I answered and it was the lady who had scheduled my induction, letting me know that my appointment had been bumped to Monday, January 16 and to be at the hospital at 4:30 a.m. I immediately called Michael, who almost dropped the phone from shock and excitement. All of the sudden, we went from having nearly a week left just the two of us to having one weekend left!

This is getting long, so I am going to break it up into parts. Stay tuned!