Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Baby Story and the First Two Weeks

Wow!  I have suddenly found myself this afternoon with two free hands:)  So I figured I'd give you an update.
Firstly, thank you one and all who prayed and remembered me during my labor and delivery on the first.  I know it was thanks to the enormous amounts of grace that I had such a smooth labor and delivery.  I was trepidatious heading into an induction, but I gave it all up to God, and of course, everything turned out just fine.
Mike and I did everything we could to induce naturally (EVERYTHING:), to no avail.  It was a confusing and exhausting time.  I had three false labors the week prior and lots of signs that I was in labor, but I wasn't progressing.  While I came to expect the false labor, I did not expect a false induction!  I went in on the Thursday before Gabby was born and the Obstretrician had changed his mind about inducing me that day.  He didn't feel comfortable doing that and wanted to wait and see through the weekend.  *sigh*  When I left that appointment he told me I was about 3 cm's dilated and about 60% effaced.
I came in Monday morning and when the midwife checked me she said I was a cent. and a half dilated and only about 50% effaced.  I almost cried as I asked her how I could go backwards.  She told me the measurements were all subjective and not to be too upset by it.  *Yeah right!*  She put me on pitocin at 9 and came in again at noon to check me, and told me I was 3 cms (for real this time:) and about 90% effaced.  She broke my water and told me there was a lot of fluid between the baby's head and my cervix, and that now my contractions should be more productive.  She came in again at about 1 in the afternoon to put an internal monitor on Gabby and told me that my cervix was posterior so it made it difficult to get the monitor on.  I had not changed since the last time she had checked me. 
My girlfriend came with her son (my Godson) and was such a blessing.  She led Mike and I in the Rosary, and they worked as a team to relax me.  My little Godson was cooing and babbling away in the corner, and when I looked over she was holding him and nursing him.  It was so helpful to me, to hear the noises of that precious little one, and to see a mother in action.  It helped motivate me to get my baby out so that I could do the same!  For any non-first time mother who could not do a home birth, I would recommend the experience if its offered to have a newborn infant in your hospital room.  Rather than be distracted by the sterile sounds of a hospital, I was comforted by the sounds of a beautiful baby.  My girlfriend ended up having to leave around 3 (I think?), but was such a help while she was there.

Mike was also amazing!  He was able to get me so relaxed during a contraction that I let go of everything.  I was able to enter a quiet, peaceful place, while my body worked.  I was also able to pull out of it in order to talk to the medical staff or to change positions to help labor.  He never left my side, and he actually worked to go into the same state with me so that we could labor together as he coached me through each contraction.  I remember at one point beginning to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work my body was doing.  I didn't know if I could handle the pitocin the entire time, and was feeling a lot of doubt that I could make it.  Experience kicked in and I remembered that all I could do was to take it one contraction at a time.  It was then that I began to hold my prayer sacrifice intention in mind and a picture of our Lady of Fatima and that helped me to get through the afternoon.

My midwife came back in around 4:30 and offered to check me.  I was hesitant to have her check me, as Mike and I were in such a good place for laboring, and I didn't want to get doubtful again due to "lack of progress" or something else.  Mike was feeding me ice chips, and my midwife got me some ginger ale.  I began to feel nauseous and kept turning down the ginger ale.  I felt that I was in need of some pain meds and began asking for an epidural.  I thought if I could relax enough to doze for a little while I could make the end of my labor and be okay.  The mid wife consented and told me to empty my bladder before the anesthesiologist came.  I went to the bathroom and could not get myself to go (although at that point I had an urge to go the other one!)  I reached down and thought to myself that Gabby was crowning, but again, I doubted myself and didn't say anything to anyone.  I had some more contractions in the bathroom and the nurse helped me though them while Mike talked to the anesthesiologist who had come in.  Mike sat in the chair across the room while the nurse held me up for my epidural.  I had some intense contractions through the epidural, but Mike was able to coach me through them from the chair and I was able to breathe through them.  The last contraction I had while sitting on the bed, I thought for sure I was feeling the need to push, but I didn't want to say anything again, just in case it was the drugs' interaction with my body and not my body.  The anesthesiologist told me to lie down on the bed and that in 10-15 minutes I wouldn't feel pain anymore.  I didn't think I had 10-15 minutes but again, I didn't say anything to anyone.  The nurse was cleaning up and Mike was standing up to talk to her.  On my next contraction I told Mike I was pushing.  I saw his face from across the room go pale and heard him crying "I see a head!!"  The nurse broke into action and yelled to the intercom "I need help!  I need help in here!"  The anesthesiologist, who was standing next to me to make sure the meds were kicking in, jumped almost onto my night stand.  My midwife appeared from nowhere, threw on some gloves and caught Gabby as she came the rest of the halfway out!  I set a new hospital record that day - shortest epidural time of 4 minutes!  Gabby came into the world so quickly and unexpectedly, no one was ready.  The bed was not even down, the bassinette was not set up, nothing was ready for her.  They laid her on my stomach right away, and I stared at her for the first minute in disbelief, like "she's here.  I have a baby?"  then "I have a baby!"

Gabby is a great baby!  She nurses like a champ and sleeps great.  
We co-sleep, so I'm not exactly sure about how long she sleeps v eats at night.  But she went in on Monday for her appointment.  Her Doctor was very pleased with her progress.  She went from 7 lbs 15 oz at her last weigh in to 9 lbs 1 oz on Monday.  She's so calm and peaceful, a bundle of joy for our entire family.  The children all love her, and Mary is so excited whenever Gabby is awake and she can giver her baby sister "hugs".  It's the beginning of a beautiful friendship!:)  The boys are all really good with her too.  Lucas loves to hold her, and Philip likes to kiss and love her too. 

We're all resting well at home.  Mike has been a Godsend and has been able to take time off, to work from home, and to work half days to help me with all my appointments and whatever else we need.  Thanks to everyone who has helped us in the past couple of weeks.  Thank you one and all for the prayers and good wishes.  This has been the easiest transition for a baby that we've had so far!  Know that as we continue to settle into a routine and get back into our school year, you are in our prayers!

Patty and Gabby:)

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