Saturday, November 1, 2014

Norah's birth story.

I am so glad that Norah is here and healthy! I'm sure glad that she is cute, because her birth story was quite something! Here is how she arrived:

I had been having random, inconsistent contractions for about a week, but they weren't strong or together. Monday I had contractions about 7 minutes apart for 4 hours, but then they stopped. They started up again on Tuesday, and by 9pm they were regularly 9 minutes apart and strong enough to keep me awake. I was up all night, and after a few hours they were regularly 7 minutes apart, and by morning they were 5 minutes apart. I woke Kley up around 8 and we got ready for the hospital!

We got to the hospital around 9 on Wednesday morning, and were sent to triage (the room where they check you before admitting you). I was only at 1cm, so they had us stay for an hour and a half and walk to see if I progressed. I was still having consistent contractions at 4-5 minutes. When they checked me again, I was still just at 1cm, so they sent us home and told us to come back when contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.

We came home, bummed. In hindsight, it was good that we came home, because it's better to sit on your own couch at home than in a strange room at the hospital if you don't have to be there. Kley went to class, and my mom came over to be with me. I am so glad that she came over, because it would have been miserable to be alone. (I made Kley go to class. Since he is graduating soon, I want him to finish strong and not get behind!) All we did was sit on the couch and my mom timed my contractions, because they were getting harder and stronger.

Kley got home, and we went back to the hospital around 5 because my contractions were really strong and 3 minutes apart. The same thing happened again- they sent us to triage, I was still at 1cm, so they kept us to walk/wait for an hour and a half. They checked me again at 9pm, and I was still at 1cm, so they sent us home a second time with a sleeping pill. They said it was hard to think that the contractions would get worse, but they would and to come back when they were worse. They said the sleeping pill should hopefully help me sleep through the night. (What a joke that turned out to be!) By this time, I was getting super upset. My contractions were so hard and strong, and when they sent us home again I lost it. I'm pretty sure everyone in the hospital (at least the whole maternity floor) knew who I was from my loud wailing/crying.

Also, right before we left the second time, I lost my mucous plug. I will never forget the look on Kley's face when that happened. Lovely!

We came home, and I showered and went to bed. I was able to fall asleep for about an hour and a half, thankfully. Kley said that I was still having contractions in my sleep and it was so strange to watch. I woke up in so much pain and we headed back to the hospital. My contractions were 2 minutes apart and were definitely worse than before. It was indescribable pain. Totally worth it to get our Norah, but it was awful pain. I don't really even remember this part. I vaguely remember Kley trying to find me pants to wear, him calling both of our parents, and that's about it. I don't really even remember getting in the car or getting to the hospital. I just remember lots of pain.

Thankfully, when we got back to the hospital I was at 3cm, and they admitted us right away. I do remember this part- it was sort of like a movie scene. We parked right in front of the door this time, instead of going to the parking ramp, so I wouldn't have to walk as far. We left the car right in front of the door, not even in a parking spot. (Thankfully it was still there several hours later after all had calmed and we remembered we left it.) Unfortunately, the doors were locked, but Kley banged on the windows and made a security guard open it and get me a wheelchair. (I looked like a true mess. The nurses told me afterwards that they started preparing a room for us before they even checked me because I was in such bad shape. Thank you, nurses!) By the time we got to our room it was about midnight.

I went in to this pregnancy and labor with hopes of not having an epidural, but we ended up getting one at 1am on Thursday morning. Sometime in between getting to our room and getting the epidural, my water broke, but I don't really remember that either. By this time I had been having contractions for 28 hours, which is a long time! I am so so glad I got it, because it helped me rest and get energy for the rest of the birth. The contractions were so long and strong; I can't imagine what it would have been like to continue naturally. The epidural was amazing. We tried to rest/slept for the rest of the night. When they checked me again at 5am, I was 5cm, then 6cm at 7, and by 9am I was at 9cm.

By 10:30 they said I was ready to start pushing. When I started, they said there was still a tiny bit of cervix left in the way, so I would have to wait a little bit to let that move. We tried again soon, and then started the long haul of pushing! I pushed for over 3 hours and didn't make much progress.

Honestly, pushing was fine for the first hour and a half. It didn't feel too bad because of the epidural, but then it started to wear off and I started getting really tired. In the end, we ended up using the vacuum to help get her out. I originally did not want this either (they actually offered it to me earlier during the pushing, but I said no), but in the end I am so glad we did it. She had been stuck in the same spot for over an hour.

Once they called for the vacuum, a bunch of people came in. They had extra nurses to help with the baby, people from the NICU to check her (because there was meconium), extra nurses to help with me and with the stitching after. It was a full room! I do remember what was happening, but it was also a blur. Pushing with the vacuum was so intense and I was screaming quite loudly. It was truly an unforgettable experience. I remember one time saying that I couldn't do it, and a nurse with bright blue eye shadow telling me that if I don't push, I would have a C-section- that got me pushing! After lots of encouragement from the nurses and more pushing, she finally arrived at 2:30pm on Thursday! I will never forget the moment she came out- the pain from tearing, to hearing her cry, to being so relieved it was over, and to seeing her for the first time!

Labor was a total of 41 hours. Wow. After she was out, they did all the tests on her and the doctors started stitching me. (Unfortunately, I had a really bad tear- the worst kind, level 4.) The absolute best part was when they came and put her on my chest, skin to skin. It was so amazing and so beautiful to hold this little girl.

Birth is truly a miracle. While my labor was really long and difficult, I would do it again for her. Norah is the best blessing and we are so glad to have her here!

Also, Kley was SO GOOD to me during the entire thing. I can't believe how amazing and supportive he was. He was there the entire time, encouraging me every step of the way. I can't imagine how he must have felt watching me go through that. I am so grateful to have such an amazing partner. He was truly incredible and I could have never done it without him.


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