warning: longest blog post ever. i don't know why i didn't divide it up into parts. sorry. if you're one of the two people that reads this blog and you're really curious, go fix a cup of coffee and enjoy!
it's amazing that 2 weeks ago (i worked on this post for days) i was heading to panera with my mom and josh to enjoy my allotted "small meal" before going into the hospital to be induced! time is truly flying by and my sweet, tiny baby is growing like a weed! i want to back up and record just how olivia's birth story happened because i'm sentimental and i want to remember these things! it was quite an event!
after eating panera we arrived at the hospital at 7:15pm on march 19th. we did a little bit of paperwork and i got my first hospital bracelet. josh and mom stopped to register as visitors and get their visitor badges at the desk and i got walked to our first room (172) around 7:30, where i got to scrub my belly and put on my oh-so-attractive hospital gown. josh and mom joined shortly and we joked about their "official" visitor badges, which were hand written on plain badges ("visitor room 172") because the machine was down. sadly this was a bit of a theme for the evening. i got my belly all hooked up to the contraction monitor and the baby's heart rate monitor, which were working but the computer screen that was supposed to show the readings were not working. ugh. the nurse noted that i was already having a few irregular small contractions but i didn't notice them. i also got my IV started with fluids. the room was noticeably warm and after the nurse turned down the air several times and nothing happened she eventually decided to move us down the hall to room 173 around 8:30. the evening was off to a great start! at this point i was just hot and annoyed, in addition to super nervous, which was nothing new.
after we got settled in the new room it was finally time to get the show on the road around 9:30, which is about the time i got the cervidil inserted to "ripen my cervix." boy was that
well the contractions continued every few minutes and i continued to grip the bed rails in pain and attempt to do some deep breathing with each one. i can't really remember if josh went on watching wreck it ralph or if he fell asleep. either way, i was kinda on my own. finally around 1:10am the nurse decided to take the cervidil out, saying that it clearly wasn't needed. that was one of the worst parts of the whole experience, but i'll spare you the details. she also upped my fluids and said that should help. not long after i got a second dose of stadol. nothing was really helping and i continued to labor through painful contraction after painful contraction the entire night, each time gripping the bed rails and trying my best to breathe deeply. josh was out and i tried to relax/drift off between contractions, but the night overall was definitely exhausting, painful, and lonely. i could have woken josh up, of course, but i figured he needed to sleep for whatever was ahead. i waited until around 5am to call my mom, knowing that was close to her normal wake-up time. i told her how i had been in labor all night and she said she'd be at the hospital shortly.
around 6 my mom arrived (yay!) and the nurse returned to check my progress. i was 3cm. progress! i was still in terrible pain and the nurse said that another dose of stadol would likely be ineffective and my best option for pain management would be an epidural. i really didn't want an epidural but i also felt kinda helpless to fight the pain on my own. she left me alone to think about it and try to manage the pain through other techniques. with her recommendation i gave the birthing ball a chance, but i felt so exhausted and so much in pain that after i sat on it for about a minute i decided the epidural was my best option. i had anticipated sleeping the night away while my cervix ripened and nothing was further from the truth. i was pooped and in severe pain. around 6:45 i told the nurse i wanted the epidural and within minutes the nicest anesthesiologist ever was in our room getting me all prepped and ready. i was super nervous but she just walked me through the process and in no time i tasted sweet relief!
around 7:45 my doctor came in and decided to go ahead and break my water. this was a complete walk in the part compared to the whole cervidil thing, other than it just feeling totally weird. a few minutes later i got a catheter set up, which was no fun and certainly awkward. fortunately i was in quite a sleepy state at this point. after the catheter i drifted off to sleep and was finally able to get some rest until about 10 when i woke up suddenly with a contraction. mom had been sitting next to me the entire time and was watching me have contractions every few minutes while i slept, blissfully unaware thanks to the epidural. after a couple more sharp contractions (which were uncomfortable but a walk in the park compared to the night i had had) she called the nurse in to report the news. the nurse checked me and reported that i was 7 to 8cm! woohoo! unfortunately i was also feeling terribly nauseous for some reason so i was given something for nausea. a little after 11 i was checked again and i was 10cm! go time!
around 11:30 i began pushing, which was a pretty interesting experience with an epidural. i could feel my contractions but they felt more like dull cramps than sharp pains, so i really had to pay attention to my body in order to capitalize on them. i tried to listen to everything the nurse said and channel my energy into pushing instead of screaming or tensing my legs or whatever, which some friends had suggested. everyone said i was doing well and time passed rather quickly actually, considering it didn't seem like long before my doctor came in at 1:15 to see how things were progressing. she said i was pushing well but my progress wasn't great, so she would let me go another 30 minutes and then see how things were going. at 1:45ish she returned and not much had changed. i was doing good but the baby just wasn't moving down like it should. at this point she suggested a csection, and explained that i could try for another 30 minutes but she didn't really want me to push more than 3 hours because it stresses the baby too much. i remember crying and feeling so disappointed because i thought i was doing good but it just wasn't enough. i didn't really agonize over the decision though because i really like my doctor and trusted her judgment, and i didn't want to risk harming the baby. so csection it was!
this part was especially scary because everything happened so fast. they brought in the hospital garb for josh and a special shirt to wear under it incase he wanted to do skin-to-skin with olivia. my mom snapped a few pics and comforted me as i cried over having to have a csection. a little after 2 i was wheeled out of the room and down to the OR. they kept josh out of the room while they moved me onto the table and got me all prepped. the room was cold, bright, and full of people who were all nice but so covered behind surgical masks that i didn't feel any less terrified. finally they let josh join me and we tried to chat while everyone did their thing on the other side of the curtain. after quite a lot of tugging and pressure and moving around my insides we heard the most wonderful sound ever at 2:33pm - our precious baby screaming her little heart out! it was wonderful! josh got to join the nurses while they cleaned her up a bit and then they brought her over and put her on my chest for some skin-to-skin with momma! i cried over how beautiful she was and how much i loved her. the only upsetting thing was that i could barely hold on to her because one arm was strapped down and the other had a blood pressure cuff that tightened every couple minutes. after several minutes i started to feel bad and i was worried my baby was going to slide off my chest so i told josh to do skin-to-skin with her. i started to feel worse so i told josh to tell a nurse, which he did but i didn't think he told the right one so then i tried to yell "i don't feel good." two seconds later i had a little vomit bucket next to my face and i was throwing up - laying down, with vomit running down the side of my face. awesome. i started to feel very dizzy and nauseous, and josh was whisked away with olivia to the nursery.
the OR recovery room sucked. i continued to feel dizzy and nauseous and more drugs were administered for the nausea. i was in a crazy room with nurses and post csection moms everywhere, we were all just divided by curtains. i was told in my half-aware state that i could get to a regular room once i could lift my knees up a certain amount so i immediately starting working on wiggling my toes and moving my legs. i was frustrated because every other mom i saw had her husband and her baby with her and i had no one. the mom right next to me had her husband, baby, and a lactation consultant helping her nurse! not fair! apparently i was surrounded by a heartier group of women that didn't get as sick as me. boo. i asked about my mom coming to be with me but they said only the support person with the matching hospital bracelet could be back there, and since josh was with olivia in the nursery i was screwed. i so badly wanted to know how my baby was. my doctor stopped by and offered some comfort, saying that everything had gone well and that olivia was turned sideways so the csection was definitely the right move. yay for that! i was told around 4 that they would be working on getting me out of there soon, but then i continued to lay there with little to no attention for quite a while. finally they cleaned me up and got me all suited up in some fancy mesh panties. sometime around 5 i finally got wheeled down to my recovery room where i saw my mom in the hall with a bunch of our stuff. yay! once we got in the room she mentioned that olivia weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces like it was information i knew, and i cried telling her that i had been all alone and i didn't know a thing about my baby! she then told me that she was 19 and 3/4 inches long. finally josh came in with olivia around 5:30 and our little family was together!
olivia, you made quite the entrance! we are so thankful for you and thankful that, even though things were crazy, we had a great doctor that we could trust to get you out of me in the way that needed to happen. your dad and i love you SO MUCH and we are so excited to be your parents!
|dad ready to go!|
|first picture of our baby girl!|
|me finally getting to see olivia!|
|trying to do skin-to-skin before getting sick|
|what a proud dad!|
|nana meeting her grandbaby :)|