Thursday, July 28, 2016

Katherine's Birth Story

Yesterday my sweet Katherine Charlotte turned four months old, so I think it's time to share her birth story.  This will be one of a two-part post because I suffered from some pretty intense postpartum complications and I'm actually not quite emotionally ready to share that story yet. I've been wanting to share the details about Katherine's birth, but every time I go to start, all the memories of the complications return and I end up writing nothing. I spent the morning yesterday taking Katherine's four month old photos and decided it's time to at least share her birth story! 
So here goes! :)
On Saturday, March 26, I woke up and went to the gym for my usual cardio routine. Later that day, my mother in law came over to babysit Elizabeth so my husband and I could have one last date night. We had a wonderful date night --dinner at BJ's at the local mall and then we walked around because hey -- they say walking brings on labor! As we were eating dinner and walking around, I had been having contractions, but nothing out of the ordinary and nothing that made me think anything would be happening that night.  
Date Night Ready! 
Once we got home and I got ready for bed, I could tell something was different.  The contractions were coming closer together, close enough to where I wanted to start timing them.  Once I told my husband this, he was basically ready to jump right to the hospital. I said no, that I wanted to get some sleep.  I went to our bedroom and laid down and he said he'd come back in about 20 minutes to see how the contractions were doing. (He didn't want to take any chances as with our first daughter, we got to the hospital and I was already 8cm dilated and basically almost ready to deliver the baby). 20 minutes went by and they were still close together, so he firmly said "we're going to the hospital, I'm calling my mom to come watch Elizabeth". After packing up the my purse and saying goodbye to Elizabeth (I went into her room, grabbed her from her crib, and kissed her goodbye). Luanne, my mother-in-law came over and I quickly told her that we'd be back shortly because I was convinced I wasn't in labor. Labor denial strikes again! 
Last bump pic!
When we got to the hospital, I was checked in triage and I was only 2 cm dilated. I asked the nurse if I could walk the hallway to try and bring on more dilation and they said absolutely. So, my husband and I wobbled up and down the hallways for hours until it was time for them to check me again.  I was still only 2 cm dilated, but the nurse felt that I was in active labor and didn't want me to leave.  They hooked me back up to the fetal monitoring machine and it showed some mega intense contractions, but honestly, it wasn't painful at all. 
 Sleeping. Typical guy.
After some more monitoring, I asked if I could walk again and they said yes since my water hadn't yet broken. By the time, it was probably after midnight. After more walking, the contractions got really long and really close together so we went back to the triage room and I was checked again and was 2.5cm.  The nurse had already called my OB and they agreed that I shouldn't leave to go home.  They agreed to send me to a delivery room and we were on our way. 
 I hit 10,000 steps! :)
Once we got the delivery room (around 3:45am), the nurses explained that the OB wanted me on Pitocin to help bring more contractions to help me dilate. I begged them not to give it to me. With the exception of the epidural, I didn't want any medication. I lost that battle! I was hooked up to the fetal monitor again and the nurse had a feeling that my baby wouldn't respond well to the high dose of Pitocin the OB recommended so with the OBs permission, they decided on a lower dose.  Anesthesia came in to do the epidural and it was a painless procedure, as it was for my first pregnancy. I didn't have any issues and it brought immediate numbness to my lower body and I was loving it.  The only downfall was that I could obviously no longer get out of bed. 

 All ready for my baby!
They kept having issues with the fetal monitor machine and the nurses questioned the position of the baby and mentioned that she thought the baby was breech. They requested for an ultrasound, which made me so nervous because I didn't want to have to have a c-section.  The ultrasound technician quickly came in, did the ultrasound, and thankfully baby was in the perfect position for delivery. 

What seemed like hours went by and I was slowly dilating. Around 6am, the nurse came in and frantically told me to get up on all fours. I had no idea what was going on, my husband was sleeping in the chair next to me (typical, lol), and I screamed for him to wake up.  All of a sudden, what seemed like 20 people came rushing into the room, including an OB (not mine).  They quickly broke my water, gave me room oxygen, and kept telling me to breathe in and out.  Apparently baby's heart rate plummeted to dangerous levels and me changing positions was to try and help.  After they broke my water (and wow did I have a lot of fluid... it was actually gross because it just kept pouring out), they decided to attach a fetal scalp electrode to the baby's head to more accurately measure contractions and heartrate. At this point, I was sobbing because I was so scared.  I thanked the nurse for having a suspicious idea to decrease the Pitocin because had I had the original strength, I don't even want to know what would have happened.  Once baby's heart rate was normal again, they stopped contractions with medicine as well as stopped my Pitocin drip. 

After a while, they resumed Pitocin and my baby and body were finally reacting fine.  My OB Dr. Stine came in and told me that they are monitoring closely and that their goal was to have a safe delivery, which quite possibly meant needing a c-section. With tears in my eyes, I told him I understood and that I just wanted my baby out safely. 
Thankfully, around 11am, I was dilating normally (thanks to constantly re-positioning with the big yellow peanut between my legs, haha) and we were well on our way to having a baby! I remember feeling so much pressure down there and I kept telling my husband "wow, for some reason, the epidural is wearing off". I pressed the button to get more medicine but it wasn't doing anything.  Once the nurse came back in, I mentioned it to her and she was like let me examine you.  Good thing she did because in a matter of 18 minutes, I had dilated from a 6 to a 10 and baby's head was like right there! 
She quickly paged my OB (who was across the street at the other hospital) and it's a good thing she did because the second he arrived back in my room, I told him I had to start pushing. With about 10 minutes of pushing, our sweet baby was ready to come out! As soon as the baby's head was out and the shoulders, he asked me if I wanted to pull the rest of the baby out and I remember saying "me!??! really!?!?" and he said "absolutely!" so, I reached down there, grabbed the baby's shoulders, and out baby came! We didn't know the gender, so the doctor had my husband look and I remember him saying "it's a girl" and my eyes immediately filled with tears.  To be honest -- the entire time I was in labor, I didn't think ONCE about the gender. It was such a traumatic labor that I just wanted a healthy baby. 
 Pure, raw emotion!

To my request, I wanted immediate skin-to-skin. With our first daughter, the cord was wrapped around her neck to she had to be taken away immediately to have her vitals checked. But this time, I got to hold my sweet Katherine Charlotte, who was just perfect. I remember holding her and just crying because I was so relieved she was healthy.  I had a minimal tear so as the nurses were cleaning her off, my OB stitched me up, and before I knew it, I was sitting up, holding my sweet baby girl! 

So, at 1:48pm on Sunday, March 27th, we delivered a healthy baby girl -- Katherine Charlotte. 6lbs 5 ounces, 19.48 inches long. 

I loved being pregnant. I love every second of it. But holding my sweet baby in my arms is even better! The love I have for my Katherine Charlotte blows my mind. She's my little baby bunny and I love her to itty bitty pieces!

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