the birth

This is extraordinarily long. It’s really for me and for BabyHope someday. I don’t expect everyone to read this.

So on the Friday, January 4th, my doctor checked my cervix and stripped my membranes. I was dilated to 1 cm, 70% effaced, and her head was way low, but there was a band of tissue on my cervix that was probably one of the big problems for my RE with all those IUIs and transfers. We decided to have me go in Sunday evening for cervidil, knowing that if I was dilated more, we’d get sent home.

I was crampy the rest of the day. I went for a walk Saturday and could barely move afterwards. But for some crazy reason I accompanied Mr. Hope to the mall for some errands he wanted to run. I literally made it in the door and to one store and then sat the rest of the time. I had my first “bloody show” experience on Sunday.

We spent most of the weekend tying up loose ends – cleaning, doing laundry, making sure we wouldn’t bounce any checks. We went in Sunday evening, and I was 2 cm, 70% effaced. The doctor on call decided to strip my membranes again. That was rather uncomfortable – after she did it she said, “Wow. You’re pretty tough. I usually do that until my patients yell and scream, and you looked pretty comfortable – so I kept going.” I told her that if I’d known all I had to do was yelp, I would have. Lots and lots of bloody show and cramping after that. I wasn’t sure – and neither was the doctor – if I’d make it until morning.

We went in at 7AM Monday morning. They checked me and hooked me up to the monitors. I was 2 cm and 75% effaced. They started pitocin around 7:30 AM, and I started having regular contractions quickly (that’s what all that cramping was…). My doctor rounded around 8 or 8:30, did a quick exam and broke my water before 9. I was still 2 cm and 75% effaced. She was headed to the office for the morning – we expected I’d deliver around 3 PM, 2PM at the earliest. She expected to be back at the hospital in the early afternoon.

My nurse (who was fantastic) kept slowly upping the pitocin. BabyHope’s heart rate looked great, and I was having regular contractions that were increasing in intensity rapidly. By 9:30, I was having to breathe through them – each one was stronger than the one before, and they were right on top of one another. I asked for the epidural in the middle of one as the nurse upped the pitocin again. I had 3 contractions sitting up while they prepped for the epidural – the anesthesiologist was nice enough to wait through the last one halfway through the procedure so I wouldn’t have to sit so still. The next contraction came quickly and was just as intense. The one after that was back to “crampy”. The contraction monitor got shifted during the epidural and all of a sudden those contractions were WAY bigger on that monitor – I think they had it a little too high for my small belly.

And then I was completely numb. Maybe a little too numb – not sure. I felt great, though. I did a little internet surfing, talked to Mr. Hope, and chatted with the nurse. She checked me around 11AM, and I was 4 cm dilated and “paper thin” in terms of effacement. She left for her lunch break around 11:15 or 11:30 AM.

Of course, as soon as she left, we started having trouble with BabyHope’s heart rate. She was having decels during the contractions – not horrible ones – down to about 90-110 bpm, and they were recovering rapidly. But then the tracings started cutting out completely for 10-15 seconds at a time around 11:45. A nurse came in and spent about 10 minutes moving the monitor around – I told her it was on the wrong side and too high, but she found heart tones and quickly left. And the monitor quickly cut out again – this time for good. No one came in, so we paged the nurses desk because we were a little scared. The nurse came back, looked for awhile, then asked for help from another nurse. Still nothing – they started giving me oxygen and looking for the doctor on call in case. My nurse came back around and suggested they check me – I was COMPLETELY dilated, 100% effaced, and ready to push. And we found her heart rate – just much, much lower than any of the nurses expected.

My doctor was immediately called – it was 12:15 PM, and she was still at the office, but flew out of there as fast as she could while we just waited. I really couldn’t feel anything – maybe the slightest pressure, but so much less than I’d been walking around with for weeks. They stopped the pitocin so I wouldn’t “accidently” push her out.

At 12:45, my doctor bounded into the room, asking, “Did I miss it?” Fortunately, she hadn’t. By 12:50, everyone was ready, but my contractions had slowed some, so they re-started the pitocin at a lower dose.

I could move my right leg, but my left leg was completely useless. I couldn’t even find its position with my hand at times because it was so numb. I started pushing – I have no idea what I was doing. Of course, everyone said I was doing a great job, but how would I know?

They offered the mirror – I initially declined, but then accepted. It was crazy seeing the very top of her tiny head.

I pushed for awhile with each contraction – she was making slow but steady progress until about 1:15 or so. Then we seemingly got stuck. They used tons of olive oil – there was a band of tissue that I just couldn’t get her past – my doctor showed me. BabyHope’s heart rate was still great, so we opted to try for a few more contractions. At about 1:25, my doctor said that it was probably time to do the episiotomy. So I pushed one last contraction, she did the episiotomy, and with the next contraction, BabyHope pretty much slid out on her own.

Her cord was so short – probably due to the single umbilical artery – that they couldn’t even reach my lower abdomen with her. My doctor had to hold her between my legs while Mr. Hope cut the cord. Then they put her up on my chest.

It was so surreal. She was so beautiful – we had waited so long for her arrival. I didn’t even know what to say – I’m not sure exactly what I said. She stayed there for a bit, then they took her to the scales and to see the baby nurses. There was an extra – one from the NICU because of her size. But she didn’t need them at all – her Apgars were 9 and 9.

She weighed about a pound less than we expected – but she is perfect in every way to us. I feel so lucky that she arrived safely.

~ by Larisa on January 16, 2008.

No Responses Yet to “the birth”

  1. It is always so interesting to me to read/hear about other people’s birth stories. Thanks for sharing.
    That stupid pitocin for me was HORRIBLE and I was throwing up in between every contraction. The epidural was such a nice relief and I was able to sleep for 2 hours in the middle of the night. Ahhh…
    Anyway, I’m so glad that BabyHope is safe and sound and with y’all now! 🙂
    In Him,

  2. so happy to read that little BabyHope got here safe and is in your arms…finally.

  3. Wow, what a fast birth! I’m so glad you didn’t have to have a c-section and that you are both doing well.

    How’s the nursing going?

  4. Wow!
    I can’t believe she’s here! Wonderful!

  5. Yay! I’m so happy for you! And no c-section…that’s so wonderful!
    What a great story. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Nothing better than a birth story to bring tears to someone’s eyes!

    Hope you are all doing well 🙂

  7. Congratulations sweetie, BabyHope is beautiful. I had a super fast birth with Norah too, but no Potocin. I had it with Katie and didn’t like it. I’m so happy that BabyHope is here safe and sound.

  8. For such a tricky time of getting her on her way, she sure made for an easy (considering your prediscussed alternatives) arrival. So glad she came so quickly, and so healthy.
    She is so very beautiful!

  9. So sweet. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  10. Thank you for sharing BabyHope’s birth story! What an adventure!

  11. Sounds like a good experience overall.

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