Friday, August 26, 2016

Call Me Mom

Clara's entrance into the world was a relatively dramatic one.

It all started on Monday after my 39 week doctor's appointment.  The doctor checked my cervix and it hadn't changed much since the visit a week prior.  She stripped my membrane and we started talking about induction.  Apparently that's just standard procedure, but I felt so defeated.  I was getting so tired of being pregnant.  My back was hurting, I wasn't sleeping, and I had heart burn that would not rest. 

A few hours later, I started having painful contractions. Being a first time mom, I was unsure if they were the real thing or if I was just irritated by the membrane stripping, so I mostly ignored them.  

The next day, they were much worse, but I still wasn't really sure what to do.  I spent some time with my mom and had Taco Tuesday with my family, all the while randomly clutching my contracting belly.  We had a really great night, but I was starting to feel extremely miserable.  My mom suggested we go to the hospital to get checked out, and I was definitely on board. 

When we got there, they hooked me up to all the machines and checked my cervix.  No change since my appointment Monday.  An hour or so later, they checked again and, of course, no change.  They sent me home and told me to come back if my contractions got closer together. 

A few hours later, I was in misery.  I was pacing around our living room every time a contraction hit.  I did everything the internet suggested to ease the pain, but nothing as working.  Eventually I couldn't take it anymore.  Around 2:30 am I called the hospital and spoke to the on-call doctor.  She recommended that I get my "cute little uterus to the hospital"  because it sounded like I was in labor.    
 I woke up Corey, made sure we had our bags and our phone chargers, and we headed out the door for the hospital. Sure enough, once we got there, they checked my cervix and I had dilated to a 3+.  They admitted me and the count down to meet Clara had officially begun.  

I got the epidural very shortly after I was admitted.  I had a little bit of anxiety about getting a needle in my spine, but it wasn't a big deal at ALL.  Getting the epidural made my labor experience so much better than if I'd waited.  The whole morning and afternoon I was smiling, welcoming visitors and in a great mood. 

They started me on Pitocin to help move things along.  Epidurals can slow down the process so Pitocin is how they help labor progress.  Luckily with the epidural, I was able to get some sleep.  Giving birth is hard work, so I'm really glad I was able to take advantage of the chance to sleep. 

After a little while, my cervix was checked and it was discovered that the baby was face up.  When babies are face up it makes it difficult for labor to progress. In an attempt to flip her around, they put this little green ball thing between my legs and had me roll over every 30 minutes or so. 
Looking at this picture I am so glad that Corey went to get a haircut instead of coming to Taco Tuesday.  

A few hours later, they opted to put in an internal monitor to see how strong the contractions were.  When they put in this monitor, Clara's heart rate dropped.  I could tell that my doctor and the nurses were worried.  More nurses started coming in the room and they were paging the anesthesiologist.  They put an oxygen mask on me and started getting me ready to move.  I honestly wasn't sure what was going on.  All I knew was that I needed to stay calm.  

I got stabbed in the arm with a shot meant to stop my contractions and I completely lost it.  My doctor as doing her best to calm me down, but I couldn't stop crying.  I wasn't even really sure what I was scared of, I think it was just that all the medical staff was swirling around me and making me panic. 

They ran me to the operating room, walked me through the C-Section risks and I felt Corey grab my hand.  I couldn't see him, but it was nice to know he was there.  My doctor was yelling at all the staff in the operating room letting them know that we weren't ready to deliver my baby.  They waited about 15 minutes and Clara's heart rate came right back up.  It was a terrifying 30 or so minutes in our lives, but luckily we were able to avoid a C-section and our baby was okay. 

Because they had to stop my contractions, it was like starting from square one.  My cervix was dilated to a 4 and we had to wait until I had 2 hours of "adequate" contractions. 

This didn't happen until around 8:30.  The nurse (third one of my labor experience)  checked me and told me "would you believe me if I told you you're at a 10 and ready to push?"

I didn't believe her and I was terrified.  After everything that had happened, I had basically prepared myself to have a C-Section and was NOT ready to push.  Of course, though, I got myself together and was able to push when the time came. 

I pushed for about 30-45 minutes and then my sweet baby was laying on my chest all covered in goo. I could hardly even believe it was happening.  After 9 of the longest months of my life, my baby was finally here. Please excuse my double chin...

Our first Family Photo

Daddy holding Clara for the first time. 

Labor was hard.  Giving birth is the hardest thing I've done in this life so far, but as I type this and look at my little girl sleeping in her bassinet beside me, I know I'd do it all over again to have her in my life. 


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