Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Thea's Birth Story

June 21, 2015 was my due date for my baby, and I had tons of dreams throughout the pregnancy that I would have her early so that's kind of what I expected. On June 4, I started having regular contractions that were about 7 minutes apart and lasted all day and my midwife thought I was in labor so I went down to L&D to have a non-stress test and figure out what was going on. Turned out I wasn't in active labor so I went home and the contractions stopped that night. Nothing ever happened after that, despite my best efforts to try every option to naturally induce labor, so my midwife scheduled the induction for June 28, 2015.

The night before we went to a wedding reception for one of my childhood friends and then went home to get a good night's rest (right). The next morning we checked into the hospital and the nurse started a medication that was supposed to prepare my cervix. I started having cramping and contractions so a few hours later, the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural for pain control. It didn't actually work very well, so after six doses of medication (which all went into my left leg) he had to come back and take it out, then put it back into a different spot in my back. That one worked and the next few hours of contractions were much more manageable.

At that point, my contractions weren't hard enough to help me dilate (I was only at a 4) so the nurse started me on Pitocin. That's when things got scary. With every contraction, my baby's heart rate would drop so they worried that she was on her cord. They moved me around in all different positions to try to get her heart rate under control, but it just wasn't working. They stopped the Pitocin and let me rest for awhile to see if I would contract on my own, but it still didn't happen and I wasn't any further along. The nurse started Pitocin again, but we had the same exact result.

I remember this moment very clearly because Chris, me, and the midwife were watching Celebrity Family Feud and she turned the TV off to discuss options. I immediately knew what was coming and started getting really emotional but she explained that I wasn't far enough to start pushing, and they couldn't risk the safety of the baby by continuing to give me Pitocin. So they called the OB/GYN doctor who was on call and he was there within about 15 minutes. He came in and talked to me for a few minutes and then they wheeled me into the OR.

The anesthesiologist gave me some more medication through the epidural so I would be numb, but I could feel something sharp when they started, so he gave me another type of medication that was more of a sedative and after that things went fuzzy. I remember Chris saying, "it really is a girl" when she came out and I remember the doctor bringing her around to show her to me and I knew her and I remember the nurse commenting on how long her eyelashes were. Other than that, it was a blur and I couldn't keep my eyes open. I woke up in recovery to a nurse pushing as hard as she could on my stomach (worst part by far), which she continued to do several times in the next hour, and that I could barely stay awake.

Chris came back and forth from recovery to the nursery and told me details about my sweet baby. I couldn't hold her because I was so sleepy and out of it, so I worried I would drop her. A few hours later, they took me into our room and brought her in to me so she could nurse. It was really hard and painful, mostly because of my incision, so that experience was tough.

Having a c-section wasn't my plan but it turned out that she had her cord wrapped around her neck and body so she never would have been able to come out on her own. I am glad that we made the decision to go ahead with the c-section, even though the recovery has been really hard. It's amazing how I have already forgotten some of the pain and struggles associated with healing from a c-section, but I guess if you could remember the birth (no matter what type), no one would want to have another baby!

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