Monday, October 3, 2011

Miss L's Birth Story

I think that several people have asked for my birth stories and I never got them fully written down.  However, the Lord has really preserved that part of my memory with them through the last couple of years.  Husband fills in some details that I don't remember which makes for a more interesting story.  So, with Baby #3 on the way I wanted to get Miss L and Miss A's story down and then be sure to get #3's down, too.  Sorry, she doesn't have a name yet so she is just #3 for now.

Miss L was born on a Thursday.  Her story really starts the weekend before.  My dad had just left to go back to New Mexico (he wasn't living here when Miss L was born) and Husband's parents had gone to Denver to celebrate an early Christmas with his grandparents.  We stopped by their house to check on something and as we were leaving I quipped, "You know, now that ALL the grandparents are gone something will happen."  It was a joke.  When I said those words I was only 35 weeks and some change.  That Monday I had an appointment with my OB.  They checked me -- "Soft but closed."  Miss L was breech which we had only recently confirmed through one of those fun family ultrasounds.  Turned out that the tech that ran this other business was also the tech at my doctor.  The doctors had been convinced that they were feeling her head when they felt my tummy.  I told them what I had discovered at this "other" ultrasound without giving away that their tech was moonlighting.  They sent me over to ultrasound to confirm for themselves that she was breech.  Sure enough... same tech found the SAME thing.  So, I made an appointment for Friday to talk about my options for turning this baby girl around.

Wednesday night I went to bed without a care in the world.  We were anticipating a friend's Christmas party that weekend and in the middle of lovely Advent celebrations.  Of course the night held the usual trip to the bathroom that began several months before.  Around 4:00 AM I bolted out of bed and to the bathroom.  Thankfully, they are not very far from each other.  I was wet.  What was all this?  I thought, "I have heard of incontinence in pregnancy but this is ridiculous!"  Husband had heard me gasp when I jumped out of bed but didn't think too much of it until I started calling his name.  He came to see me and I was laughing.

"Um...I'm pretty sure that my water just broke."

Not fully awake Husband made a comment about making it stop.  No, once he fully was awake he realized we can't put the water back.  You can make contractions stop but if that water breaks that baby is a comin'!  So, we tried to get ready as we wrapped our minds around the fact that our baby would be coming that very day and NOT in four weeks like we had anticipated.

I decided to take a shower and despite what I knew was coming (surgery) I still had a granola bar before we left because I was that hungry when we left around 5:00 AM.  We had no bag packed (on the list of things to do for the weekend) and just threw some things together.  Of course, we laughed as we called our parents at the crack of dawn.  Husbands parents were in Colorado and were going to try arrange flights to get back ASAP.  My dad prepared to head out from New Mexico and be there the next day.

Just before we left the house I felt a bit of pressure in my low back.  I didn't realize that it was the first of many contractions.  We laughed in the vehicle as I sat on a stack of towels and hurried to the hospital.  Once we got there I was taken into triage only to have them confirm that my water had indeed broke, I was in labor, and an ultrasound confirmed that Miss L was still breech.  With that, they started prepping me for the operating room.  I guess Miss L's heart tones wavered just enough for them to call it an "emergency c-section" but it was nothing like some of the emergencies that others have endured leading up to a c-section.  At this point, my contractions were starting to come more frequently and with more intensity.  I was not a happy girl.  The doctors still wanted to check how far dilated I was -- 5 cm.  Of course at this time they make the comment. "Gosh, if she wasn't breech we think you would have had a great natural labor!"  Thanks.  Not exactly what I wanted to hear right now when that is what I had planned and wanted!  However, I had prepared myself for a c-section until I knew she was turned.  She wasn't and this was the best thing for us.

Husband gets ready for the operating room, too.  They roll me away and tell him to wait in a particular area and inform him that they will come get him when they are ready.  I was not a huge fan of being separated at this point but I understood.  It was kind of funny in the OR and I appreciated the lightheartedness of it all!  The anesthesiologist did a great job.  We laughed that they had to extend the table a bit because I was too tall.  He felt my pain as he was well over six feet tall.  The epidural was painless and took effect fast.  I remember at one point my leg fell off the table -- the surgical assistant was there and caught me.  I laughed because I couldn't help him.  They laughed, too.  One thing I also remember is how incredibly cold I was in that room.  The only time that I was cold while being pregnant!  HA!  They piled on the warmed blankets.

Soon, the procedure started.  Husband was watching over the curtain.  One time he asked me, "You didn't feel that?"  I said, "No."  "Good," he replied.  I again laughed.  Soon I had to just concentrate with my eyes somewhere else because the tugging and pressure were a lot.  The next thing I know Miss L was out!  She arrived at 7:59 AM, 7lbs 6 oz (at 36 weeks to the day), and 20 3/4 inches long.  She was perfectly healthy!  APGAR scores were as high as they can possibly be without being perfect (we learned that no baby is ever given a perfect score).  Husband's eyes were filled with tears of joy -- so much had happened in the last few hours!  He went with Miss L to the nursery while they closed me up.  I was coming down from my adrenaline rush.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  So, I did.  I realized I could see all that the doctors were doing on the other side of the curtain by the reflection in the surgery light.  The best thing to do was close my eyes.  I got a bit of rest for which I was thankful.

Soon I found myself in a makeshift room just off of triage.  The maternity ward was full and they hoped to have me in a room by evening.  Until then we would just have to wait it out there.  Pastor N was the first person to come see us.  Then family friend KW surprised us but it was really fun to see familiar faces for awhile.  Honestly, it was hard to know what to do with this new baby in this closed off room.  I had leg compression machines on my legs to help prevent blood clots.  I think the lactation consultant visited us.  We mostly just cuddled with our new little girl.  By evening they did have a room for us.  Elder K and his wife came to visit and soon after Husband's parents arrived fresh from Colorado to see their granddaughter.

We were tired and I was thankful that Husband would be staying with me for the night.  We learned quickly that we were not so very good at swaddling and Miss L was squirming out from time to time.  I think I finally just held her on my chest to get some sleep.

The next day (Friday) is spent trying to figure out nursing and healing.  I am hooked up to all sorts of things to help with the process.  What I really want is to be able to go to the bathroom without some big production.  It's a relatively average day.  My dad arrives from New Mexico to meet his first grandchild.

At different points in the night Miss L was taken for routine tests.  I think some of it had to do with how many hours old she was and it happened to fall in the middle of the night.  The nurse was supposed to bring her back at a particular time (early Saturday morning about 1:30) to nurse.  The nurse walked in... no baby.  The first thing out of her mouth, "Everything is fine... but..."  A million things run through my head.  I like this nurse so her concern for me and Miss L are genuine.  She told me how she had been watching Miss L and how she had looked a little "off" and jittery.  She checked her blood sugar and it had tanked... significantly.  She knew that I did not want to give Miss L formula but she was in such a bad place that she gave her just enough to balance Miss L out and then the nurse came to talk to me about next steps.  And thus began a long and difficult road of nursing of which I will not recount here.  I was thankful, however, to figure out the problem then rather than later.  I was also thankful that things had not been worse for Miss L.  And, no, it was not a nurse trying to push formula on me either. 

At that point, on top of everything, Miss L had jaundice.  So much so that they decided she needed to be under therapy lights for 24 hours before they would even think about letting us go.  UGH.  I had a very hard time with this.  She was only allowed "out" for 30 minutes to nurse.  It seemed like 15 of those minutes were used to just get her latched on.  Stress me out.  It was hard for me to want to go see her as there was nothing I could do to help her.  I felt like it was my fault and I had not done all that I could to care for her properly.  I cried.  A lot.  Foolish, now, I know.  But in the midst of crazy postpartum hormones that is where I was.  So, this was the icing on the cake after a fairly stressful night.  Lovely.

After all was said and done we were in the hospital 4 full days (Thursday AM - Sunday PM) and I have never been so excited to go home.  Miss L was healthy and doing well.

Now we had to figure some things out on our own....  ha ha ha!!

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