Sunday, July 26, 2009

She's Here!

Madelynn Adele arrived Friday evening. She was 8lbs 13oz and 19 inches long. The kids are enamored with her, even Josh, whom we were worried about.

Birth story follows...with all the details.

Friday morning, we went to my AFI (amniotic fluid index) and nonstress test. They were required because I was, at that point, 9 days past my due date. Well, I failed my AFI because my fluid index was less than 1cm. They look for 5cm minimum. That meant two things: she needed to be born asap and, even if the birth center was ok with it, the law prevents them from letting me birth there. The midwife was willing to try natural induction with castor oil and homebirth. However, our home isn't amendable to homebirth at this time, we didn't have a birth kit, castor oil did nothing to induce Josh, and we felt more comfortable just going to the hospital with this issue.

So, the midwife transferred our care to her OB backup and we were given 55 minutes to get from Olympia to Tacoma, stop by home for a few things, and get to St. Joes. We arrived just on time. After making it through admitting, we waited on the delivery floor for a while for a room to be ready. I ended up with my choice of two and chose one that had a little nook in the corner that I thought would be a good place for the kids to hang out. It was perfect as it came with a mattress on the floor as well; we dubbed it "the cave."

We got everyone into the room, completed paperwork, and started the required continuous monitoring. Once that was done, the nurse hooked up the telemetry unit, which allows mom to be mobile while still having continuous monitoring. I specifically asked for it, and used it during labor. Then I ordered lunch (yes, they let me eat!). After I ate and the nurse returned from her lunch, we started the IV, which I'm thankful to say took only one try (it's taken up to 4 tries to get IVs in me before), and started the pitocin on the lowest possible dose. It was the OB's hope that it would only take a little to jump start my natural contractions as I was already 5cm, 0 stations, 50% effaced, and having very mild, irregular contractions.

For the next few hours, the nurse gradually increased the pitocin by .5cc every 20 minutes and occasionally took my blood pressure. I was very relieved that my already almost borderline high blood pressure didn't go up any higher. After a while, she started increasing the pitocin by 1cc every 20 minutes. Finally, they started upping it by 2cc every 20 minutes. Somewhere in there I asked for and got dinner. We got up to 12; the highest they go is 20. So much for my own body taking over. Shortly after we got to 12, my contractions started getting a little uncomfortable. I went for a walk and met the OB, who was working with another mom in another section. She suggested we break my water so we headed back to my room. I was skeptical about that helping since we knew I had VERY little water. She broke it (at 8:00pm) and was hoping to see SOMETHING come out; she got something...very little something. Surprisingly, that did it. Almost right away, my contractions became hard.

I decided I'd rather be up and about so Scott and I started to go walking through the maternity ward. I didn't get far. I got to the nurses station right outside the door and leaned against their counter for a hard contraction. I made it about 2 feet before I had to concentrate on another one. Realizing that I couldn't walk far, I went back my first spot on their counter and spent the rest of labor there. I realized that I was nearing transition, then I really hit transition. Scott calmly stood with me, leaving me alone as I was doing ok and not wanting to irritate me.

It wasn't long before I started losing control and breaking down. It got really bad. I started having to vocalize and started freaking out between contractions because I was dreading yet another. A nurse asked me if I wanted something for the pain but I realized that it was much too late for an epidural and doubted anything else would do any good so I ignored her...besides it was time for another contraction. A nurse asked me if I was ok (I was crying pretty hard and breaking down emotionally between contactions which felt like they were seconds apart). I ignored her as I was a little busy. Scott, on the other hand, realized how close I was to pushing and took a nurse aside to tell her. They ran for the OB then.

Once the OB arrived with her student (whom I had already given permission to be there), she suggested to go back to the room, at which point I vomited in the barf bag they gave me when I asked for it a few minutes early. I stuck my hand out to try to give it to someone and before someone noticed, I had another contraction and just dropped it on the floor. Almost immediately, I grabbed the trash can and dragged it to me to vomit quite a bit more. I always vomit at the end of labor so this was normal for me.

They finally got me in bed. I was not happy to be there because it is much harder to deal with contractions lying down. I got much louder at this point. The OB checked my dilation and called me complete...which I could have told her without the check. They put my knee to my chest and tried to get me to hold it and push. But I didn't want to push so I refused. (I got very obstinate) So, they called for a nurse to help hold my legs. Once she came in, they told me to push. I really didn't want to push and it felt like my body was doing it for me anyway, so I screamed and yelled instead. At some point, my nurse offered me her hand which I took. She regretted that as I hold very tightly. She had to pry my fingers open to lower the head of my bed and replaced her hand with just her thumb so I couldn't hurt her anymore. The student told me that I wasn't pushing but rather talking instead. So, I tried to push while still not wanting to. At some point, I felt that I was crowning and started yelling for them to get the baby out of me. It didn't work; I still had to push. Scott says that they did pull her out quite hard though. It shocked him as with my others, their body slide right out once the head was out, but Madelynn didn't. She was finally all the way out (at 8:57pm) and I was instantly happy. Scott said the change in disposition was instant. LOL

They gave her to me. We checked to see what gender she was as we didn't know going into labor. Once the cord stopped pulsing, they got it ready and helped my 7 year old, Sam, to cut it.
With permission, they took her to the crib to weigh, measure, give vitamin K, etc. to her. Meanwhile, they checked that I didn't tear. I delivered the placenta and they did the uterine massage. The older kids took a good look at her. I nursed her. The nurse helped to me the rest room and got me ready to go to the postpartem room....yada, yada, yada.

How did the kids take it? This was their second birth as Mika and Sam were at Joshua's birth. I had an epidural with him so it was a nice, calm birth. This one was anything but that. Josh slept through it in "the cave". Mika ended up hiding in the cave so she didn't see it, but certainly heard it. Sam watched from a chair with a barf bag in hand as he was feeling sick to his stomach. He was very confused about that so we explained to him why he felt that way. It went well...they all survived. Amazingly, Mika isn't scared away from having kids herself some day.

Once we got downstairs to the postpartem room, the kids all kissed me and Madelynn good night and headed home with dad. We decided it would be best that he stay with them, especially because Josh would need him. They returned the next morning and all took turns holding her for the first time while we waited to be discharged. I went home around 3:30pm.

Overall, it was a good birth. I really don't regret anything, especially since I wasn't surprised about needing to be induced. All four of my kids were planned OUT of hosptial births and three of them ended up in the hospital for one reason or another. I've learned to be ok with that.

Everyone just adores Maddie. Mika always wants to hold her. Sam wants to hold her on occasion. Josh has even wanted to hold her a couple of times but mostly he names all of her body parts and kisses her all over.

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Montserrat said...

HURRAY!!! Glad she's here and you are both doing well. Lovely name too. =)

The Four Week Vegan said...

She is a beauty and while it wasn't the way you planned the birth, it sounds like it went so very well.

Aimee2728 said...

Hi JoAnn! Congradulations... Madelynn is beautiful. I am glad to hear things are going fine with you all. You are a great storyteller - it was tearful to "experience" your day with you. My two births were mostly calm - had epidorals. From Aimee - (met you at HS convention) Didn't want to bother you during pregnancy so now looking forward to talking sometime soon. Take Care

David said...

I am so glad it went well and am eager to see pictures as she grows.