Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Labor Story

What better way to start this blog that to revisit the very beginning of Lorelai? Here is my labor story....

Matt and I went to Southern OBGYN on Monday, February 2 for my 39 week appointment. Matt had been going with me to all of my appointments since around 10 weeks because it gave him the opportunity to hear Lorelai's heartbeat and to stay up to date on my progress and the progress of our daughter. I'm so lucky that I have a husband that is involved and wanted to be a part of the entire process. My appointment was at 3:40 and it was exactly a week before my due date. By this point, Matt and I both were very tired of me being pregnant and we were just so ready to meet our daughter!

As of my last appointment on January 26, I was 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. We were hoping that I had made some progress from that appointment and that Marie would tell us that we were very close to having this baby!

We listened to the heartbeat and it sounded great, as usual. Then Marie checked me and said that I was between 3 1/2 to 4 cm. Her words were "Why haven't you had this baby yet?!". That's exactly what we were thinking! She asked me if I was dead set on going in to labor naturally, or if I minded being induced. I told her that, by this point, I absolutely did NOT mind being induced. I was ready to get her out! She said that she was on call on Thursday (February 5) and that she would go ask Dr. Swindle if he would let her induce me. He said yes and then she said that she'd have to call the hospital to see if they had an available room for that day. They did! Matt and I were BEYOND excited because we had a concrete date AND we knew that this would mean that Marie would definitely deliver Lorelai. Matt and I both had grown very close to Marie and wanted her to deliver Lorelai if at all possible. This guaranteed that (unless, of course, if I went into labor on my own before then)!

Matt and I were so thrilled when we left! We called all of our family and let them know that they would see a baby by the end of the week. I went to work on Tuesday like normal and, while I was there, I decided that Tuesday would be my last day. I wanted to take Wednesday off of work to enjoy my last day of being pregnant. Matt was going to take the day off, too. This gave us time to enjoy our last day as just "us", to clean our house, to get last minute things together, to take the dogs to the vet, and just enjoy it!

Wednesday night we decided that we would go to church like usual to help pass the time. We also knew that once Lorelai was born, we probably wouldn't be at church for the next 2 weeks, so this gave us the opportunity to see everyone one last time before she was born. I remember being so nervous when we went to bed that night. We had to be at the hospital at 5:00 am, so that meant that we had to be up around 3:30 am to get ready. Since we live 30 minutes from the hospital, we would have to leave by 4:30. That gave us an hour to get up and get ready.

I finally fell asleep after what felt like forever. Matt was snoring away, as usual. Matt has a habit of occasionally talking nonsense in his sleep. Well, around 1:30, I woke up to Matt talking. When I asked him what he was saying he replied with, "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius!". Of course I laid awake for the next two hours with that stupid Earth, Wind, and Fire song running through my head!

We woke up fine and got ready to go to the hospital. We were just in awe that we were leaving our house and would not return without our daughter!

This is our last picture together as a family of two!

We got to the hospital and were escorted up to Labor and Delivery. When we got there, we had to sit down in a little office and answer a million questions, fill out some paperwork, make copies of our insurance cards, etc. When we got done with that, they finally escorted to our Labor and Delivery room (Room 2005)! The nurse gave me my oh-so-beautiful hospital gown and left the room so that I could get changed. While I was changing, Matt decided to take some pictures of the room while he waited. When I got done changing, we took my last pregnancy pictures!

The nurse came back in and it was time to start my IV and get me hooked up to all of the monitors. Other than when I was a baby, I've never been in the hospital before, so the thought of getting an IV was not very appealing! It was almost as bad as the labor! It literally felt like she was shoving a needle the size of a baseball bat up my vein! It hurt TERRIBLY. They also put two monitors on my tummy. One was to monitor Lorelai's heartbeat and the other one was to monitor my contractions.

After she put in my IV and monitors, she went ahead and checked me. I was at 4cm and I was already contracting! I could not feel my contractions at all, but they were there. At 6:45, the nurse came in to start my pitocin. Pitocin is the medicine used to actually induce labor. The nurse let us know that Marie was usually in between 7:00 and 7:30 and that she would break my water when she got there. Right around 7:00, I started to feel my contractions. On a scale from 1 - 10, they were only a 3 or 4. At this point, I felt like I was ready for anything and that I could really do this! Marie came in right around 7:15 to break my water. They take this hook (it looks like a crochet needle) and literally just break your water. She warned me that it "would feel like you are peeing on yourself" and she was absolutely right! After she broke my water, she took a little heart rate monitor and attached it to Lorelai's head. She explained that this was more accurate than the monitor that was on my belly. We found out later that this monitor was actually screwed into Lorelai's head!

Immediately after my water was broken, the contractions became more painful. Lorelai also felt different in my stomach. She was not moving around as much, but I could tell that her cushion was gone. To pass the time, Matt and I were watching old re-runs of Saved By The Bell and I remember asking him in between contractions if that was really the cast singing in the "Zach Attack". He laughed and said no.

When the initially asked me how bad my pain was on a scale of 1-10, I said a 3-4. After they broke my water, my contractions started getting more painful. They eventually got to be around 6-7. This is when we decided to go ahead and put in the order for the epidural. Christine (our nurse) came in after a little while to let me know that there was an emergency C-section going on and that my epidural was going to be pushed back some. I tried to make it through the pain, but it really started to get unbearable. She said that she didn't know how much longer it would be and she suggested that I get some Demerol. I didn't really want to, because I knew if I had Demerol in my system when it came time for the epidural, they wouldn't give it to me.

I waited another hour or so and decided to go ahead. My epidural STILL wasn't there and I was in a LOT of pain. They just injected the Demerol straight into my IV and I could start feeling the effect immediately. I remember the room spinning and just feeling really "out of it". I can't remember what I was talking to Matt about, but I remember that he asked me a question and when I answered, my speech was slurred. Even in my drugged up state I remember thinking "Whoa....these meds are really strong...". They told me that the Demerol would just "take the edge off" of my contractions. Well, it didn't. It made me feel REALLY good in between contractions, but the contractions were still every bit as painful.

I kept asking about the epidural, and they just kept telling me that it was coming. After a little while, they told us that there was ANOTHER emergency C-section and that my epidural was going to be pushed back AGAIN. This is where it all becomes blurry for me. I know that the Demerol was wearing off, but I just was in an out-of-body place. It felt like I was just in this dream world, but in a lot of pain. I felt like the contractions were non-stop because they pretty much were. At this point I was about 8 cm.

Finally, the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epi. They made Matt leave, which we were prepared for. I thought that would bother me, but I was just so ready that I didn't care. I honestly do not remember feeling a thing when it came to the epi. I think that I had just been in so much pain for so long that any size needle wasn't going to hurt. I laid down after they were done and I remember asking "when is it going to work?". They said that it wouldn't take effect immediately, but that each contraction would get less and less painful. They were right. After about three contractions I couldn't feel anything.

What was weird to me was that I COULD feel my catheter. The nurse that put it in was a trainee, and I honestly think that she put it in wrong. If I couldn't feel my horrible contractions, but I could feel the catheter, something isn't right. I kept telling them, "It feels like I need to pee!" and they kept saying "You are peeing". I don't think they understood what I was telling them.

Not long after that, I just completely conked out. Matt woke me up at one point and said "Can you feel your contractions" and I answered, "Am I still having them?". That's when he said that they were one on top of the other. They checked me and I was at a 10, but the right side of my cervix needed to move out of the way a little bit more. They told me to lay on my right side and they checked me again after about 10 minutes. It was show time!!

The two nurses said that we would do some initial pushing to see how I would do before we took the bottom half of the bed off and got out the stirrups. They explained how to push and told me to give it a go. I remember that for the first 2 or 3 contractions, it felt like I was going to poop on them. This has been one of my biggest fears the whole time and I did NOT want it to happen. They said I was doing great and went ahead and took off the bottom of the bed and got everything ready. I probably pushed for about 45 minutes before they went to go get Marie (my midwife). I knew once Marie came that it was really close to the end. Everyone was really encouraging and kept telling me what a great job I was doing. The epidural took the pain away from my contractions, but I could still move my legs and such. It felt like it does when you get your mouth numbed to get a filling. You can't feel a whole lot, but you can tell when you're touching your face. That's what my legs felt like. That was good because I couldn't feel pain, but I could feel the pressure to push.

I liked that because they were not telling me when I needed to push, I was telling them. After about 20 or 25 minutes of pushing after Marie got in the room, she said that she needed to go put her boots on because she felt like the end was going to go fast. Matt said that they looked like waders. :)

I remember thinking that it was so odd. In the movies, the woman just pushes and pushes and pushes. Well, in reality, you only push when there are contractions. In between contractions, you just rest, but you don't take your legs out of the stirrups. That was weird to me. Especially when Marie would prop her elbow up on the edge of the stirrups and I could see blood all over her gloves. I would tell her that a contraction was coming and then we'd get to work.

Then Marie said that it was time for her to get dressed. I knew then that the end was near! I pushed for about 15 more minutes before she told me that if I pushed one more good time, she would be out. I pushed as hard as I could and that's when she said that the head was out! I couldn't see anything and Lorelai wasn't making any noise, so I just waited. She told me to push one more time really hard and I could feel Lorelai's shoulders coming out. This, for me, was when I felt all of the "burning" that people talk about. I said "ow, ow, ow" but then it was instantly over. Marie pulled her out and put this perfect baby girl on my stomach.

I looked at Matt and we both just started laughing and crying at the same time! I would look at her and say "I love you!" and then I'd look at Matt and say "she's so beautiful!" I remember that was all we could say over and over and over. They took her over to her station to check her out and Marie started to stitch me up. During the labor, I saw Marie getting some tools out, so I knew she had cut me. While she was stitching me up, I was just watching Matt over at Lorelai's station with her. I just kept saying "she's so beautiful!" about 200 times. I had heard that I would have to push again to get the placenta out, but that didn't happen. I remember feeling that it was taking forever for Marie to stitch me up, but then I realized that she was really taking her time to do it well and that made me happy. While she was stitching me up she rested what was left of the umbilical cord on my stomach. After she was done stitching me up, she just tugged gently on the cord and the whole placenta just came out. Surprisingly, that was just as much of a relief as giving birth was.

That's when Matt brought Lorelai over to me and I finally got to really hold her. We held her and talked to her and told her how much we loved her. I wanted to nurse her before we let anyone in, because I wanted that to be one of the first things that we did with her. I felt it would create a good bond, as well as hopefully getting us off to a good start with breastfeeding. She was a little champ and knew exactly what to do!!
Then, we sent Christine out to get my sister. We knew that if everyone came in at once that my sister would get pushed to the back. We didn't tell her that we were going to do this and I think it surprised her. She came back alone and we let her spend about 20 minutes back with just us and the baby. Then we let our families back (all 6 parents) and the chaos began. I just remember that I felt so out of it (from all the drugs) and that I wasn't happy about how they were just passing her around. I wanted to be holding her and I was afraid that someone was going to drop her. That part of the experience couldn't go by fast enough. Finally everyone left and it was time for Lorelai to go the nursery to get checked out. This was also when they had to get me ready to go to post-partum.

It was hard, and it wasn't fun, but it was so worth the result in the end!

Lorelai Rebecca Mullican

February 5, 2009

7lbs 3 oz

19 3/4"


Matt and I talked about it and thought that it would be a very good idea to start a sort of "baby blog". We know that Lorelai is going to grow so extremely quickly and we want to be able to remember all of the little things that happen in her life along the way. We've decided to keep this blog as a way to keep a record of her life and our new life with her. Hopefully, this way we'll be able to keep track of all the little things that might get lost with time. Happy reading!