Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Birth of Emma Marie

I have a lot of regrets regarding Cooper's birth. Mainly the interventions I allowed that ultimately led to an emergency c-section. With Emma, I wanted to do things differently. I wanted as few interventions as possible, and I wanted to have a drug-free VBAC. Things didn't exactly turn out how I had planned.

Sunday, October 16th I woke up having contractions. No big deal. I had been having (& whining about) them for weeks. Cooper and I went to lunch with my parents, and the contractions continued. We then went to Walmart to get some groceries. After walking around Walmart for 30 minutes I was pretty sure I was in labor. I called home to wake up Jerry (who works 3rd shift) & let him know he probably wouldn't be working that night. We took a walk when I got home, and the contractions continued. I timed them & they were about 4 minutes apart but not particularly painful. Jerry wanted to go to he hospital (an hour away). I knew it was too early but agreed to call my doctor & let her know what was going on. She wanted me to come in. I didn't want to but I figured I would just get sent home anyway so we left for the hospital. At this time I'm still not in much pain.

We got to the hospital about 8 PM. I get put on monitors, and my contractions are now 2-3 minutes apart. And then they checked me. 1.5 centimeters. Yep, that's right. ONLY 1.5 with contractions 2-3 minutes apart. I was not happy but figured oh well, they will watch me for an hour and send me home. I'm hungry anyway. At the end of that hour I was 3 cm. They decided to keep me. No food for me I guess. While my doctor was checking me she thought she felt something below baby's head. She thought it was the cord. Cooper's c-section was caused by a prolapsed cord (every time I mentioned this to a nurse her eyes grew to 3x their normal size). I was terrified. But she concluded, after feeling more (this hurt. a lot.) that it was her hand.

Laboring on the birth ball

We got moved to a room and settled in. (and then we moved rooms but that's not important) In my new room my nurse had a birth ball waiting for me per my request. My contractions were getting more intense at this point but still very manageable as long as I didn't lay down in bed. I had asked for the mobile monitors so I could walk but by the time they were hooked up I was too tired for walking. I sat on my birth ball and was quite content there for most of my labor. Baby was very high so I was trying to bring her down.

Fast forward to the next morning. My doctor comes to check on me. She checks me and I'm progressing, just slowly (I think I was like 6 cm) but baby was still very high. I had been on Spinning Babies trying everything I could to bring her down. She just wasn't moving. So I keep laboring, but we were worried about baby's size and if she was going to fit. My doctor comes back around 11 AM. The baby is HIGHER than the night before. We are all a little irritated with Emma. We talk about it and decide we have 2 options: go ahead and do a c-section or try a little pitocin to see if she will come down. I was very against pitocin because it increases the risk of uterine rupture. The doctor left and let Jerry and I discuss our options. We decided to try the pitocin (slowly) to give us the best possible chance at a vaginal birth.

Kissing Cooper right before surgery

With the pitocin my contractions definitely got stronger. They were a little painful now but I felt like I was dealing well. I sat on my birth ball and groaned through them. If I tried to be quiet the contractions were much more painful. I didn't need any of the tennis balls, rice socks, or massagers I had brought. My doctor came back when we reached the highest we were willing to go with the pitocin. She checked me. 8 cm and baby was just as high and her hand was on top of her head. A c-section was going to happen. I was very upset. She did check me again in the OR just to make sure there was no change. There wasn't. I was prepped for surgery. Including a horrendous spinal block that had me crying for my husband. After I was numb and draped, they finally let him in.  Then the surgery started. This is where things get a little fuzzy in places. Some things I remember vividly and some things not so much. I remember some pulling and tugging. I was terrified of how I would feel about that prior to the surgery (I didn't feel anything with Cooper) but it really didn't bother me. I knew it was just my doctor bringing my baby to me. Then I heard "Oh my goodness this baby is huge Keshia!" (from my doctor). More pulling and tugging then she asks if we want a picture of her coming out (I did but was unsure if my squeamish husband could do it without passing out.) I remember asking why she wasn't crying. (It was because only her head was out) Then the rest of her came out and I heard her sweet cry! All I could say was "she's here! she's here!" Poor Jerry had to sit down a minute after taking my birth pictures for me before he could go to the baby.

Cooper holding his baby sister for the first time

He was making sure she latched right ;)

Then the doctor told me what would make me think about my second c-section in a completely different way. She said "I had to move her hand and the cord out from in front of your cervix." That's right. We were well on our way to another prolapsed cord. If my water had broken, Emma would have been in the same serious situation Cooper had been. I am so, so thankful we decided to have the c-section when we did. I wanted my VBAC so badly, but I wanted my little girl to be safe so much more. And she is. All 9 pounds 3 ounces and 21 inches of her!
Emma Marie
October 17, 2011  12:57 PM
9 lbs 3 oz  21 inches long

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Endless Labor

Yes, I am still pregnant. And, no, I am not happy about it. If one more person tells me I need to be patient I will scream. I am tired, and this is getting old.

I had an appointment with my OB Wednesday. I was 1cm dilated. That is better than the 0 that I was last week so I was a little encouraged. A couple hours after my appointment, I started having contractions. These contractions steadily got stronger and closer through the day, much different than my usual contractions. Usually they start at 6pm in the evenings, stay all night, and then space back out around sunrise. So having consistent contractions through the day got my hopes up. Thursday morning came and the contractions were exactly the same. Thay have stayed exactly the same since. Yep, that's 4 days (and nights) of contractions 10 minutes apart. With no baby to show for it. I'm incredibly annoyed. Also? Today is my due date. I know its not an expiration date and yada yada yada but combined with the endless labor its salt in my wounds. Yes I'm whining. But its my blog and I can whine if I want to. If you would like to see more whining, feel free to check out my Twitter feed. There's plenty of whining going on over there. Especially since its seems like EVERYONE in my Twitterverse has given either birth or congratulated someone else who has this week.  Ok, end rant. I'm off to contract and try to get some rest.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Waiting (& Whining) Game

I am now 38.5 weeks pregnant with baby Emma. She's turning out to be quite the little booger. First she decided at 26 weeks to try to come. Thankfuly she didn't, but I've had contractions ever since, which makes for a very uncomfortable 12.5 weeks. Then yesterday morning she stopped moving at a time when she is usually very active. After 2 glasses of very sweet tea and half a can of Dr. Pepper (which I hate), still no movement. So off to the hospital (an hour away) we go to check on her. She had a few tiny pokes on the way there, but it was still very unlike her and needed to hear her heartbeat. As soon as they put her on the monitors she started kicking like crazy. She hates those monitors so that didn't surprise me. Her heartbeat was "perfect and reactive" and they said she looked great. The OB on call, who I happen to love, said the same thing had happened to her, so I felt better. Still, I didn't feel too bad about it. Better safe than sorry.

And now the whining: My contractions have been playing with my emotions all week. I've been sure I was going into labor atleast 3 times this week, and then they fizzle out. Since I never expected to make it to 36 weeks, I now feel 2 weeks overdue. That makes those episodes of fake labor even more frustrating. I'm so so ready to not be pregnant anymore. So now I wait for Emma to get ready, and hope that its soon! :)

I'm so excited for birth this time. And not just because I want her out. I'm prepared. I WANT natural childbirth (yes, I'm VBACing since Cooper was a c-section). With Cooper I just expected to get an epidural as soon as possible. I never even considered going naturally. I can't wait to hold her and nurse her. Cooper is just as excited as I am to get her out. He literally begs me almost daily to "let her out." Oh, how I wish I could son.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Big Milestone for Baby Emma

Today Emma hit 35 weeks gestation. If she was born today, the chances she could breathe all on her own are very good. There was a time when I didn't know if we would make it to 30 weeks so I'm pretty excited about 35. I've still got some things to do and buy before her arrival. I'd like her to wait atleast a couple more weeks, but thinking about her coming now is a lot less scary than it was at 26 weeks, when she was just barely viable.

I only have one more progesterone shot and I'm pretty excited about that. The medicine is very thick which means a big needle. The shot doesn't bother me too much though; its the 3 days of soreness and 5-6 days of itching that gets to me. But if they are the reason Emma has stayed put, then I am thankful for the soreness and itching. I still have contractions almost constantly. Most of the time they stay pretty irregular, but there are times they get pretty close and regular. The closest they have gotten was 2-3 minutes apart and they stayed that way for a couple hours. I went to the L&D floor to get everything checked out and stop them if needed, but not long after we got there they slowed down to the irregular ones I had been having for 2 months. Some of them can be quite painful, but most are only slightly uncomfortable. Its like being in very early labor for 2.5 months. I believe active labor will be a nice change when it arrives.

Then there is the issue of knowing when it is real labor and not these that I've been having. Usually the rule is when they get to 3-5 minutes and stay that way for an hour you go to the hospital. Well, been there, done that and more and it wasn't labor. It will be interesting to see how that plays out since we live over an hour from the hospital. Hopefully I don't ignore them for too long thinking its nothing.

I have an ultrasound scheduled for next Friday to check size and position. Maybe I will remember to post those pictures!

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