So, finding time to write a blog entry with a newborn and a toddler and a 9 year old is difficult. Who knew? I’m taking middle of the night feedings to put together this blog, so bear with me if it doesn’t flow as nicely as others I’ve written.
As Bridgette said, baby Cotton Blossom, now known as Sydney, has arrived! She’s beautiful, and life is certainly different but definitely richer. Here is Sydney’s birth story:
I was pregnant for 41 weeks.
As soon as my doctors talked to me about being induced at 41 weeks if she didn’t come on her own before then, I knew somewhere deep down that she wasn’t coming until that induction date. How did I know this? Because God has a sense of humor, and I was never supposed to be pregnant, so He’s probably up there saying, ‘You wanted this, you’re going to be pregnant for as long as you possibly can be!’
Either way, the night before the induction was difficult and anxiety ridden. I worried I couldn’t do it – couldn’t give birth, couldn’t raise 3 kids, couldn’t go through the baby phase again, couldn’t handle the pain… – you name it; I convinced myself I couldn’t do it. My family talked me down, and I was actually able to sleep some that night. The next morning my husband, mom, and I headed to the hospital at 8:00am for my induction.
After checking in and getting my room (room 9 – which will factor in later on in our story) a resident doctor ended up breaking my water around 9:00am. They didn’t start with pitocin right away because I was contracting too much on my own to justify it, however my contractions weren’t strong enough or doing enough to dilate my cervix any further, so I was put on a low dose of pitocin to begin. I walked around the labor and delivery floor to try and get something going contraction-wise. I sat on the labor ball, but still I wasn’t progressing hardly at all. They upped the pitocin slightly and gave me an internal contractions monitor so they could tell not only when I was contracting, but how strong it was as well. The bad thing about this meant no more walking around, but it was nice to know exactly how strong the contractions were getting, so I could gauge my pain tolerance. They also checked my dilation at this point, and I was only around 4 cm.
My parents, husband, brother, and I were playing games to keep me distracted and entertained. That was until the contractions started getting much worse. Whenever I felt a contraction coming on, I’d start to breathe through it and always ask what the strength was. I wanted to see if I could labor without an epidural. I lasted a decent while, but then I thought, ‘these contractions will keep up and only get worse until I start pushing.’ If I had known I’d be pushing in a few hours I knew I could suck it up, but I also knew I could be pushing much later than anticipated. And I knew that Vincent was coming to see me. I didn’t want him to see me in a lot of pain, especially since me being strapped up to all of the IVs would be scary enough for him.
I opted then to get an epidural. It was around 3:30 when they put it in and the effects were almost immediate. However, it didn’t do what it was supposed to do. My right side was plenty numb, I couldn’t move my right leg which I didn’t like because it made me feel like I didn’t have control of the situation. But I was still feeling pretty bad pain on the left side. The hours from 3:30 – 7:00 (about when I started pushing) were by far the worst part of my labor. Even with the epidural I was feeling pain. I threw up several times, and I probably said some version of the phrase ‘I want this baby out’ realistically about 50 times. My anxiety was getting the best of me, and I wanted to feel better. And I wanted it all to happen NOW.
The doctors never came back to check me, but my nurse was pretty sure I was dilating with the pain I was having and how I was acting. She called the anesthesiologist back to adjust my epidural, although I thought that’s what was making me sick, so I wasn’t crazy about the idea I went along with it because when you’re in that much pain it’s sometimes better to let someone with a clear head make decisions.
Well, sure enough within about 3 hours I went from 3-4cm to 10 cm and ready to go…no wonder I was feeling so awful. The epidural finally started working, and I was ready to start pushing. Bridgette told me before to get into that zen like state I was in while I got my tattoo, so I knew exactly what my plan for pushing was going to be:
1. Get into a zen like state.
2. Make every push count.
3. Rest as much as possible between contractions.
Now, maybe it was bc my epidural was finally properly working, but pushing was actually the easiest part of labor. I followed my own rules, sometimes even taking super mini naps during my rest times, and I pushed for about 2 hours. They did end up needing to use a vacuum but only for 6 pushes to help get her out. Immediately after she was born, she was put under the warmer and the special care team worked on getting all of the meconium out of her mouth/nose/ears, etc. They thought she might’ve pooped while in the womb once they broke my water, and sure enough, she did. (Not very lady like!) Once she was all cleaned up, I got to hold and see my daughter for the first time. All 8lb 10oz and 20.5in of her. She was perfect, and I couldn’t believe she was inside of my body even a few minutes before.
Well, apparently when you’re induced you have to stay on the pitocin for another 4 hours post delivery to get the uterus to keep contracting and start going back to its original size. This was another awful, anxiety ridden time. My epidural was out, I had horrible pain, and I was feeling like I was super out of it – I couldn’t process what people were saying to me and I kept asking the nurses if this was a normal feeling. Everyone assured me that it was. I had lost lots of fluids and lots of blood and put my body through the incredible stress of labor and delivery. I took some Motrin for the pain and benedryl for my anxiety and felt considerably better after the pitocin was finished.
Giving birth is no joke. Recovering from birth with a newborn and a toddler is even less of a joke, but that’s a thought for a different post. For now, enjoy some pictures of my beautiful family. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts during all of my journeys to motherhood. I’m so blessed.
PS – In rereading I realized I never explained the significance of being in room 9. Not that it’s anything super special, but Sydney was born in room 9 on January 9th at 9:09pm. I’m thinking 9 may be her lucky number!