LC’s Birth Story, Part III

September 10, 2011 at 7:44 am | Posted in Family, Life | Leave a comment
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When we left off, I was getting checked into the hospital.  Things went pretty quickly from here.  Before I knew it, I was stripped down and into a gown, getting an IV (honestly for a needle-phobic like me, this was one of the worst parts of the entire labor and delivery), and the nurse anesthetist was on her way in to discuss giving me an epidural.

I mentioned before that I didn’t really have a birth plan. Based on discussions with my mom who has worked as a labor and delivery/nursery/postpartum nurse for almost 20 years, I felt that the best thing was to go with the flow.  Everyone’s labor is different, and I knew that personally, if I get my mind set on something and it doesn’t work out the way I want it to, I don’t handle it very well.  My mom had four natural deliveries (with two babies over nine pounds!), so I felt that I should be able to go natural, too, but at the same time I felt that if pain relief would help me relax then there was nothing wrong with that. The only things I felt strongly about were not wanting a c-section (but I knew it was a possibility) and not wanting an episiotomy. [Does this sound judge-y of women who have a birth plan? It’s not meant to be, only that for me I’d be setting myself up for disappointment if I made a too-detailed plan].

When I was admitted, the nurse checked me and I was dilated four centimeters.  I was progressing at about one centimeter per hour.  The nurse anesthetist was great about going over the pros and cons of an epidural with me, and after some hemming and hawing (the girl across the hall wasn’t having one!) I decided I’d like the pain relief.  My main worry with the epidural was the needle slipping or something while the anesthesia was being administered.  Thinking about it actually makes me feel sick and faint.  So let’s just skip to the part where I tell you that about an hour after being admitted, I was signing a waiver and getting a big dose of pain relief. [So, the epidural: I’m a needle wuss–for blood draws I always ask for the butterfly needle–the kids’ one–and I just couldn’t look at it.  But I don’t regret getting the pain relief one bit.]

The rest of my laboring went by rather easily.  Around 9 am, my sister had to leave to catch her flight.  W wanted to drive her to the airport, but at that point I was already dilated to 7 cm, so the nurses told him there was no way he was leaving!  W called a cab to pick her up and she was off.

The anesthesia from the epidural slowed down my progress so I was given pitocin, and by about 10:45 am it was time to push.  45 minutes of pushing and one episiotomy later, and LC was here, born at 11:31 am.  When it came down to it and my doctor told me he was going to give me the episiotomy, I didn’t even care.  I just wanted to meet my daughter.

First family photo and the quick look I got at my baby

But this wasn’t the end.  While the nurses cleaned LC, they suctioned a lot of fluid from

her lungs, probably aspirated in the birth canal.  Her color wasn’t good.  Someone let me look at her for a hot second before whisking her away to go under the oxygen hood.  W followed her to the nursery where she was weighed and given oxygen.  My epidural had been turned off during labor but was turned back on again after (why??) so I was stuck in bed unable to move from the waist down.

After some time under the hood, she still wasn’t improving or breathing well on her own,

so my sweet labor and delivery nurse came in to tell me that they were transferring her to the NICU, and that it would be several hours before I could even go see her.  It was then that I had a major breakdown. I just bawled.  I knew she was being taken care of, but I hadn’t even had a chance to hold her.  I had barely even gotten to look at her!  I had had a totally normal pregnancy, so why was this happening to us??

The story of her time in the NICU will have to wait for another day.  For now, a couple pictures. I love this girl.

Getting oxygen

Under the oxygen hood

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