Look who’s back! I’ve basically abandoned my blog for the past week, while I’ve done anything and everything I can to simply survive the first week of being a new mom. There are simply no words for how amazingly beautiful yet incredibly difficult this past week has been, and I have so much I want to finally share! This is the first time I’ve felt like I have the energy to even open my laptop, so it’s a big step in the right direction ya’ll! Adeline is officially one week old, as of Thursday. Wow!
Thursday, October 22, 2015
If you’re a devoted reader, then you know that my due date was October 18. You also know that it came and went in the blink of an eye. We went to the Dr that Monday for my 40 week appointment, and found out we were 3 cm and 80% effaced, -2 station, which still meant “any day now.” She did another membrane sweep, but since it didn’t work the previous week I didn’t have very high hopes. We decided to make a game plan in case she didn’t come on her own this week, so we would at least have a date set for her arrival and could relax a little. I always said I was against inductions, until it was my turn to make that call and we were past “due.” To be frank, I was exhausted, Adam was exhausted, and we were both mentally exhausted more than anything. I honestly didn’t have the energy to wait possibly another full week to see if she came on her own, when I deep down believed she just needed a little nudge to get started. We both were more than ready to meet our baby girl, and after progressing for 3 weeks but showing no signs of active labor, we decided it would be best to go ahead and schedule an induction on the day my Dr. was on-call. Looking back, I’m so thankful we did so that little head of hers didn’t get any bigger. (You’ll see why!) Also, since I tested GBS positive, I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get 3 rounds of antibiotics in me before Adeline was born.
So, Thursday morning bright and early we loaded up the car and left the house for the last time as just Adam and Sarah. It was so surreal knowing that the next time we pulled into the driveway we’d have our daughter with us, and life would forever be changed. We got to the hospital about 6:45 AM, got checked into labor & delivery, and put in our room. We met our nurse, and immediately LOVED her. Her name was Melissa, and we are so thankful God put her in our lives that day! She told us she’d had 6 kids of her own, so she’d been around the block a few times. We signed all of the necessary paperwork, put on that sexy robe, and got ready to get started! Side note – I asked her how long most first time inductions take and she said it was really rare to deliver in 12 hours, and that she probably wouldn’t be our nurse at delivery, sad face. (<– keep that in mind!)
We started off with having Adeline monitored, and receiving the first round of antibiotics, around 7:00 AM. (Group B Strep can be passed from mother to baby through the birth canal, and antibiotics are used to help ensure that doesn’t happen. The more antibiotics you can receive before your water breaks, the greater chance you have of the baby being perfectly fine.) After the first round of antibiotics were finished, we started the Pitocin. This was right around 7:30 AM. I don’t remember what “level” we started out at, but I remember being nervous for what contractions on Pitocin would feel like. (You know, since you only EVER hear horror stories about it.) The nurse also checked me and said I was between 3 and 4 cm, and still 80%, which was a great head start! I continued to labor from this time up until when my Dr. came in to break my water. During this time, I honestly felt fine. The nurse would come in and bump up the Pitocin level every hour or so, check the monitor, and see how we were doing. I was able to walk around, pee when I wanted (fantastic!), bounce on a yoga ball, use a peanut ball to help dilation, AND watch an episode of Price is Right. My contractions were not “painful.” They were uncomfortable, yes, and felt like my belly would tighten up hard as a rock, but that’s what I had been feeling for weeks and thought they were just Braxton Hicks. Apparently, I HAD been feeling real contractions the past few weeks, I just didn’t know it. The nurse said I probably just thought they were BH’s because when your water is still in tact, it provides a sort of cushion so you don’t feel them as much. I was thankful for these hours of peace as we were able to have our families come in and hang out, I could nap on and off, and Adam and I could relax and look forward to what was to come. The only downside – I was starving!!!! I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything past midnight, so you can imagine how angry my tummy was.
At 1:20 PM, my Dr. came in to break my water. The nurse warned me that I would definitely start feeling it once my water was broken, and to expect contractions to significantly increase in pain. I had no idea how right she would be. Having your water broken is probably the most disgusting feeling ever. It literally feels like you’re peeing yourself, over, and over, and over again, while your Dr., nurse, and husband are hanging out nonchalantly at your bedside with your legs spread eagle. Modesty = out the window. Within just a few minutes after having my water broken, I instantly noticed my contractions feeling MUCH more apparent. And after just a few more contractions, they were incredibly painful. My Dr. checked me and said I was at 4 cm and 90% effaced, -1 station. Still doing good, but only dilated a cm since early that morning.
My contractions continued to get worse and worse, like, I’m talking a level of pain I’ve never experienced before. Holy. Bad words. They were unbelievably painful, I can’t even describe that sort of pain! I’d like to think I have a decent pain tolerance, but contractions on Pitocin are seriously no joke! It was all I could do to get through each one without suffocating myself while burrowing my head in my pillow and breaking Adam’s hand. That pain was insane, absolutely insane. I couldn’t even cry they hurt so bad. It felt like menstrual cramps from Hell, the deepest, darkest, scariest pits of Hell, but each one would also burn in my lower back. A few times I wondered if I was going to throw up during a contraction they hurt so bad. But what made it maybe a tiny bit more manageable was that we could hear and see on the monitor when another contraction would start building, so I could somewhat prepare for a brief second. Adeline’s heart rate would start to increase, then the contraction would start to go up on the monitor, then BOOM I would feel it. At this point they were coming what felt like every minute. Whatever it was, they were very consistent and very close together.
I always knew I wanted to labor as long as I could without the epidural, and I was able to last an hour and a half. I just couldn’t take it anymore! We had the nurse call the anesthesiologist and after what felt like the longest 15 minutes of my life he was in our room. This was at 3 PM. But, getting an epidural is no easy task. First they stand by your bedside while you’re in agonizing pain and ask you a million questions about your family history, then they have you sign a quick consent form, then they have you sit up on the side of the bed, hunched over with your chin to your chest and your back curved, all while trying to survive contractions. I held onto a pillow with a death grip and my face burrowed in it, squeezing poor Adam’s hands to death. The anesthesiologist was super nice, very calm, and I felt very confident in his large needle skills! I remember him finding the spot on my back, inserting some sort of medicine, then the actual epidural medicine, but then having to sit perfectly still for a few more minutes while he finished up. It didn’t hurt at all, maybe a tiny stinging sensation, but that’s about it. I was finally able to lay down again, and within just a few minutes, (maybe like 10?) I felt like a new woman! Oh my goodness, the joys of medical advances!!!!! Why, why, why, why would you deprive yourself of this amazingness. The nurse and Adam kept watching the monitor and commenting on how huge the contractions were that I was currently having, but I couldn’t feel them at all. Fantastic!!!
I continued to labor with the epidural for about another hour or so, feeling much better and able to have family come back in and say hi. Sometime between 4 and 5 PM, the nurse came in to check me and see if we had progressed any. (Reminder, at 1:20 PM I was a 4 and 90%.) So, she starts to check me and gets really quiet. I instantly thought, oh great, nothing has happened and I’m going to be so discouraged. Well, then she says, “Umm, now I’ve been wrong before, and I’m going to grab another nurse to double check, but I think you’re at 9 cm, almost 100%.”
I think Adam and I had a brief panic attack. We were about to have a baby. Like for real. FOR REAL about to have a baby. We both asked her, “Soooo, what does that mean?” to which she replied, “It means you might have a baby by dinner time!” Remember her saying she probably wouldn’t be there still for our birth? We had proved her wrong!
She had another nurse come in and check me, and she said the same thing, 9 cm, almost 10, and 100%. Things were about to get real! The nurse had me sit straight up in bed, so gravity could work a little, and helped me use a peanut ball (a weird shaped yoga ball) to help with the last bit of dilation. She said if I felt ANY pressure, urge to push, or pain down there, to let her know immediately. Maybe 20-30 minutes later, she came back after I told her I had felt some pressure, kind of a weird pain in my pelvis, and she said she wanted to check me again because the pain I was feeling was probably Adeline moving further down the birth canal. She checked me and immediately said she could feel her head, and that she wanted me to try a couple practice pushes to see if we could move her any. After 2-3 practice pushes, she had already moved enough for it to now be time for REAL pushing. This was at 5 PM.
We started the pushing process, Adam on one side and my sister in law (who’d been in the room all day photographing our experience) on the other side. It wasn’t long before we’d made some good progress, and Adeline was definitely on her way. Pushing was tough, so, so tough, because every push had to be hard enough to be “the last one.” I pushed so hard, and knew it was going to be the most exhausting part of the day. By about 7 PM I was STILL pushing, with all my might, but Adeline was turned sideways and wouldn’t quite rotate her body around enough to get any further. Throughout this time, I could feel her in my belly as she moved further and further down, and I could feel more and more space being made between my belly where her bottom was, and my rib cage. It was such a weird feeling! Finally after several more rounds of pushing, she turned and was good to go. Around this time, we were close enough that the nurse wanted to make sure my Dr. was in the room, so a few minutes later she was there and I felt much more at ease. I kept pushing and pushing, so hard, throwing up three different times (miserable!!), and feeling so weak and exhausted between each push. I was getting ice chips between pushes, and a cold rag on my forehead to make sure I didn’t pass out. It was so hard! Pushing that long, and pushing so strongly – there are no words for how exhausting that was. We eventually got Adeline down far enough, but now she was stuck right at my pelvic bone, and couldn’t quite make it over it. She would move down with each push, but then either move back up between pushes or not move at all. She was essentially stuck, with her head fully visible to everyone in the room. Everyone was raving about seeing her hair, talking about what color it was, and how much there was of it! I could even see it between pushes, and that definitely helped motivate me to keep going. After being stuck for almost a solid hour, I finally got her to budge, and after one more round of the hardest pushes of my life, my Dr. pulled Adeline out into this world and she was placed immediately on my chest, crying the most beautiful cry I’ve ever heard. She was born at 7:45 PM, and was absolutely perfect.
I will never forget the moment I saw Adeline being pulled out and handed to me. It was surreal and so perfect, so emotional. She was mine, and we were finally getting to meet face to face! I hope I can keep that memory engrained in my head forever.
My Dr. delayed the cord clamping for several minutes before cutting it, and proceeded to get me put back together. Me and Adam were so in awe of those first few minutes of Adeline’s life, I barely remember some of it. After I was all taken care of, my Dr. and the nurses had to push on my belly to make sure it would clot and to make sure everything that should have come out, did, and I think this was the second most painful part of the day. Oh my goodness, it hurt SO BAD each time they’d push on me. I was grimacing and almost crying for the first time all day in pain. It. Was. So. Painful.
We were able to have alone time with Adeline before they cleaned her up for about an hour, and I was able to nurse her for the first time. Not gonna lie, she was covered in gross baby goop, but she was still so beautiful and so fresh! Eventually the nurse came back to put her on the warmer, which she loved, and get her cleaned up and ready for a quick little rinse off in the sink. This was at 10:20 PM. Seeing how proud Adam was during these moments was so sweet. He would not leave her side, and was so instantly enamored and in love with his sweet girl. He had spent all his energy cheering me on throughout the entire day and being my cheerleader during pushing, and now he was still staying strong and making sure Adeline knew he was there.
After a little while, they gave her back to me, all bundled up, precious as could be. We spent a good while just the three of us, then let family slowly trickle in to meet their newest granddaughter. I was so beyond tired at this point, but still loved every second.
Once family left, we hung out for a bit while the nurse took her footprint, did whatever else (honestly have no idea, shot maybe? eye ointment?), before getting ready to head to our recovery room. By this point it was probably close to 1 AM, and by the time we got settled in our recovery room it was close to 2 AM. We sent Adeline to the nursery so we could both get a few hours of sleep, and I’m so glad we did! A few hours later the nursery brought her to me to feed her and I remember thinking that wow, it wasn’t a dream, I really did have a baby!
I think that about wraps up her birth day! Besides the day I married Adam, it was the best day of my life. We couldn’t have asked for things to go better, and I think the day went perfectly. It was tough, it was really tough, but it was also beautiful, and perfect, and raw. We are so in love with our Adeline, and seeing Adam become a dad has made me fall even more in love with him. We were very blessed to have a safe and healthy delivery, and for that we are so thankful. Our sister in law was able to capture our delivery beautifully and I can’t wait to share all of those images with you! I’m SO glad we had her photograph our day, we will cherish these photos forever!
I’ll share more details of her first full day, and first week eventually. Time to rest and go love on my most precious blessing.