Sunday, July 3, 2011

Welcome to the world, Alaina Michelle!

Sweet little Alaina Michelle was born on June 4th 2011. She was 8lb 4oz and 20.25 inches long. She was born at 11:11pm.
I am long overdue in getting this post on here. I've had to type it up bit by bit. Guess I've been a little busy lately! I am going to post the entire birth story, as I use this blog as a way to remember things. So if birth stories are not up your alley, or you don't like hearing all the details, consider this your warning not to read on. Don't worry - it's not too graphic! :) Also, this is going to be a loooong post. Sorry, once again I'm writing it down so I can remember it later.

My due date was June 2nd, and that day came and went. Not surprising to me at all, since Tyler was due on February 23 and born on the 29th. For about a month and a half I'd been crampy (like period cramps) but nothing major. This also was consistent with what I'd experienced with Tyler - and with him the pains never turned into labor.

Saturday morning, June 4th, I woke up and felt just like I always did. I got up and did my normal stuff around the house, got breakfast, played with Tyler and got him dressed for the day. Usually I run to the grocery store on Saturday mornings. My mom volunteered to take Tyler for me while I went, since I didn't really feel like hauling him in and out of the store along with all the groceries at 40 weeks and a couple days pregnant. Bill had went down to his parents house to work on welding some steel for our deck that we are in the process of building.

So, I decided to go to Krogers in Bartonville to get there and back quickly. I got all the groceries and took them home and put everything away and then I ran over to my parents to get Tyler. He and I came home and had super delicious corn dogs for lunch. Haha. We played around our house until it was time for him to go down for his nap, which was around 2:00. I got him into bed without much of a fight. That made me happy because I'd been feeling kind of crampy again - once again, though, it was mainly period type cramps. Maybe a little stronger this time, but nothing regular and nothing too intense.

So, after I got him in bed and situated it was around 2:30 or so. I still was feeling crampy, so I decided that I was going to take a super hot shower because heat usually makes cramps feel better for me. After the shower I felt better. I decided that I was just going to chill out in our bedroom and watch TV at that point. I didn't even bother blow drying my hair. I just propped myself up in bed and watched a rerun of that "The Voice" singing show. Don't know why I picked that! lol! I also finished up crocheting a baby hat that I had been working on. I felt good for a while. Maybe around 3:30 or so I noticed the period cramps again. But still they were nothing major that I even paid much attention to. But, since I was past my due date I called Bill (I think it was just before 4:00) and told him that I'd like him to get home so he'd be there to contend with Tyler when he got up from his nap - just in case something started happening.

Right after I called, Tyler woke up and came into our bedroom. He climbed up on the bed and we watched Thomas the Train together. Bill got home a little before 4:30. Around 4:30 I got up from the bed becuase I felt a little crampy again and went to the bathroom. There was tons of pink tinged mucus. I knew that something was getting started then for sure. Within about 15 minutes time, I was having contractions. I told Bill that he'd better get a shower and get ready to head to the hospital at some point soon. I started timing them at 5:00 and they were 3 minutes apart and about 45 seconds long. I thought maybe that they'd stop or space themselves out. It really was just a shock to me that I'd actually gone into labor on my own! I was very happy. I in no way wanted to be induced again, especially since I was going VBAC this time. I called mom and put her on standby to come and pick up Tyler. I gave Bill a list of little last minute items that I needed in the hospital bag and I told him to get that stuff together and get it loaded in the car. I worked on blow drying my hair (because I had left it wrapped in the towel this whole time), which I did not really feel like doing.

When they continued at the same pace until 5:30, I decided to call Sherry (my midwife). I really thought that when contractions started they'd be like 10 or 20 minutes apart, not just 3. So, I called and told her my story. She said to go ahead and time them again for the next 20 minutes or so and then call her back. I did. The contractions were still 3 minutes apart and now were up to 1 minute in length. Bill was keeping Tyler entertained during this time. I also decided that I wanted mom to come and get Tyler because he kept coming out and talking to me while I was timing, and I just knew that I was only going to start feeling even more pressure. Plus, it was time for him to eat and I didn't have it in me to make him anything. So, mom came over and I continued to time. She and Bill were chatting away, and Tyler was all over the place. I finally told mom she had to leave and take Tyler because I just wanted it quiet. I called Sherry back around 6:00 and told her the info, and she said that she wanted me to try to get through a little more labor at home if possible (which is what I wanted too) and that I should call her when the contractions became more intense. She said that we could always go in and get checked and if I wasn't far enough along go back home. I was still able to pretty much talk through the contractions at this point. Bill decided to have something to eat and I just tried to make myself comfortable on our bed with a glass of water (which I had to have Bill get for me) and my trusty heating pad. I couldn't believe it, but the contractions were starting to get really bad really fast. In my mind I was thinking that surely this couldn't be going so fast and that Sherry would probably think I was nuts if I called her back so soon. I toughed it out until 6:30 and then I had to have Bill call Sherry because all I could do at that point was kneel on the floor with my head on our bed. She said to head on in to the hospital!

So began the worst drive into Peoria that I've ever experienced. :) I got my flip flops on, and got out into the garage where I had to pause for a few moments and hang onto Bill while a contraction passed. I got in the front seat after that and off we went. Every bump we hit was awful. But I sure didn't want Bill to slow down. Each contraction took all my concentration. Bill even ran a couple red lights for me. I just remember saying "Oh Lord, get us to the hospital!" It was an incredible amount of pressure.

We finally made it to the ER. Somebody came out with a wheelchair and asked me what I was there for. I told him I was there to have my appendix out. I don't know how I was even kidding around at that point. They wheeled me in and I could barely tell the guy at the desk my name. He kept telling me to breathe through the contractions - ha! Bill got in there at that point with the hospital bag and some lady wheeled us up to the baby floor. Once again, that was a loooong wheel chair ride. St. Francis is freaking huge and has waaaay to many bumps on the floors. :) We got up to the floor, they weighed me and took me to the triage area where I changed and got on a super uncomfortable bed. At that point Bill told me I was having contractions about a minute apart. When we got to triage, the nurse said that Sherry was on her way and that she'd just let her check me for dialation when she got there. When she checked back with us after I'd changed she decided to check me herself because I was obviously quite uncomfortable. I was dialated to 6 cm. Definitely active labor, not that they needed to tell me that. Sherry got there almost right after, and she gave me a big hug and I remember telling her "Oh, Sherry! I feel just awful!!" lol! She said, "well, that's because you're working hard and doing great!"

At that point they wheeled me to a labor and delivery room. All of the questions I was calmly asked when I was induced with Tyler they asked to Bill - thank goodness b/c I wasn't in a frame of mind to answer. They asked me to scoot from the triage bed to the L&D bed and in the process my water broke. No meconium staining this time! They had me sign a few forms - I have no idea what they were. I just scribbled my name as quick as I could. Sherry notified Dr. Gibson that we were there. When a midwife attends a VBAC at St. Francis, there has to be an OB on the floor as well - so that was Gibson that night. Then they started the awful process of getting an IV in. I've never had problems with needles before, but this time it took them four tries to get it in, and it hurt, especially with the contractions going too. I had bruises for at least a week after I got home.

I then decided that I wanted an epidural. I was going to try to go without it, because I was worried something similar would happen as what happened with Tyler. I was dialated to 7cm at this point. Sherry and Bill kept rubbing my legs and my hair between contractions, and I kept sipping water to get through it. I had to keep having one of the two of them tell me when I was at the peak of each contraction. Some were right on top of the other. And every once in a while I'd have one that I could breathe myself through. I was just worried if I didn't go ahead and get the epidural now, that I really want it at 9cm and not be able to have it. I now know that the contractions I was having this far along in the game with Alaina were very similar to the Pitocin contractions I had early on with Tyler. Pitocin is still evil in my mind!

So, around 9:00 and in between 7 and 8cm the nurse anesthetist came. I think she may have floated in on a fluffly cloud like a little angel with a needle. Bill had to leave the room, and I had the oh so wonderful task of trying to sit still through contractions while she shoved the needle in my spine. That made me as nervous this time as last. Sherry kept me still and let me lean on her and held my hand. It took just a little bit to kick in and then the world was a different place. Ah, relief. But, even at that, the epidural didn't take on the right side, so I had pain but it was now more bearable. They tried to have me lay on my right side to allow gravity to help the epi, but it just didn't work. We now talked for a little bit with the nurse and Sherry. I was comfortable. It was about 9:30, and Sherry had to take a quick call, and then she was going to check me in an hour to see what I was dialated to. She ended up checking right around 10:00 and I was already at 10cm, and she said it was time to push! What a happy feeling that was. I was feeling pretty good, and the baby was doing fine in there. Completely different from Tyler's situation.

Sherry started off having me push from a side lying position. Pushing on your back is one of the worst positions to push from. A lot of times it doesn't allow the baby enough room to fit through the pelvis and can cause distress. It also is a bad position to lie in while laboring because it can cause the baby to turn posterior. So we definitely weren't going to push from that position. So we pushed on the side for a bit. Then we moved the back of the bed up so I was almost in a sitting position, and was able to push almost from a squatting position. That worked really well and the baby was making progress that way, so we stuck with that. It was good that the epi didn't fully take because I could totally tell when I needed to push. But at the same time while it was somewhat painful to push, the epi was in effect enough that it was not miserable. Sherry also had the mirror out and in place so I could see everything that was going on. I never thought that I'd be one that would want to see that, but it was so, so cool. And I'm SO glad that I was able to watch. I think it helped encourage the pushing. At one point Sherry could see the top of Alaina's head. She had me reach down and touch her. Weird, but very cool.

So, we continued pushing. Bill was holding one of my legs, and the nurse was holding the other. Sherry was holding warm compresses & putting gel on the perineum so I would hopefully not tear. It must have worked because I only needed a couple small stitches. I looked down at one point, and I could see the entire top of her head. It wasn't long, and all of a sudden her head came out and I could see her little face! It was absolutely amazing to see that happen! I was overwhelmed with happiness. Another push and she was out. It was 11:11pm - I'd pushed for just over an hour, but it seemed more like 15 minutes. Bill and Sherry lifted her right up on my chest where I wanted her. I loved her the minute that I saw her, all wrinkly and wet and brand new.
They cleaned her off and did quite a bit of the post baby stuff right on my chest while I held her skin to skin to keep her warm. She had her eyes open and she just was looking at me the whole time. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, and I was so thankful that I got to have a VBAC and that Bill got to be there with me this time around for the whole thing. We left the cord be for just a bit and then Bill was also able to cut it.
Sherry worked on delivering the placenta while I held Alaina and we looked at her and talked to her. It seemed like it took just a bit to get it out and the bleeding to stop. I did end up having some Pitocin at that point to help stop the bleeding because it wasn't stopping on its own. I didn't care at that point becuase I was on a major baby high. Plus, it didn't hurt with the epi in place. At this point they took Alaina for just a few minutes to weigh her and look at her under that little warmer thing they have in the room. Then they gave her right back to me.

Sherry was examining the placenta, and she said while it was normal, it had a different shape to it, and that is likely why the placenta previa took so long to clear. I am SO happy that it did, because the whole birth experience this time was just amazing and I am so thankful that it was something I was able to experience. I really did not want to have a repeat c-section.

After that, everybody left and we had alone time with her. I was able to breastfeed her, and that went well. I think I'm still on a baby high after the birth.

Looking back, I still am just amazed by the whole experience. It is something that I would do a hundred more times if I could. And now we have another beautiful little baby in the family to love and enjoy as she grows.

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