Monday, February 13, 2012

Welcome to the Emotional Roller Coaster Called Parenthood…

Well we had quite the week here. This post is all baby related – this will now be the focus of our lives! The next section has a ton of labor and delivery details – feel free to skip to the cute baby pictures at the end instead!

It all started on Tuesday morning. I went in for my weekly sonogram to check the baby’s progress and found out that I had low amniotic fluid levels. They sent me straight to the hospital to get me on an IV.

I was very disappointed to be sent to the hospital before I was really in labor but they said that it was best for the baby. I had also hoped to have a labor and delivery with as little medication as possible but of course they wanted to induce and started me on Pitocin right away. While on Pitocin, they monitor my contractions and the baby’s heart rate at all times. The hospital has several portable monitors but they were all in use so I ended up stuck in bed from 9 to 7 – a very long day for someone that doesn’t sit still often!

By the end of the day, the labor and delivery unit was completely full and they were setting up beds in the hallway because there was a full moon and a low pressure system at the same time – everyone was going into labor! Fortunately I arrived early enough that I got a really nice room with a Jacuzzi tub (which I didn’t use).

Once they took me off the Pitocin for the night, I was able to walk the halls. Many comments were made by the hospital staff that I was breaking the record for each lap I did – I was just so happy to be out of bed that I was practically running the halls.

We were very surprised to see a couple from our childbirth class – Jenny and Johnny. She was much farther along in her labor so we walked with her for awhile and tried to distract her from the contractions (she gave birth to a little baby boy on Wednesday morning).

At 9 that night, they sent me back to bed and gave me something that would allow my labor to progress. I sent everyone (Chris and my parents) home to sleep because there was no reason for everyone to be uncomfortable. At 2:30 in the morning, my water broke. I was definitely not expecting that!

Later in the morning, they put me back on Pitocin but luckily this time I got a portable monitor. I walked the halls a lot that day! However, the baby was turned the wrong way so I was having very bad back labor.

They kept increasing the Pitocin level and I was getting pretty miserable. By 10 pm I was only 2 cm dilated and my back was in agony. I decided that after 36 hours of contractions and back pain, I needed some pain medication (and sleep) or I would never survive delivery. They started me on a narcotic to “take the edge off” but they failed to mention that it wouldn’t do anything for the back pain. It ended up that I was still waking in extreme pain every 3 – 5 minutes.

At this point I had had enough. I wasn’t able to sleep and was so frustrated. I made the tough decision to get an epidural. It did allow me to get some sleep which was a wonderful (and necessary) thing. I awoke after a few hours sleep and called the nurse. It turns out I had gone from 2 cm to 10 cm in a couple hours and it was time to push.

I pushed for an hour and a half before Samantha Marie was born. I still don’t know how I did it but I’m so happy I didn’t end up with a cesarean section.

The next part was really terrible. They were trying to deliver the placenta but it was coming out in pieces. So they gave me more narcotics (for the intense pain) and then decided to give me a DNC. I was losing a ton of blood and only got to hold the baby for a couple minutes before they rushed me to the operating room.

In the operating room I was barely conscious. The procedure took a lot longer than normal because the anesthesiologist decided to up the epidural instead of something more “fast acting.” The doctor performing the procedure was very angry and I ended up losing almost 2 pints of blood because of the delay.

By the time I got back from the operating room I was about as white as the sheets on the bed. My blood pressure had dropped to 66/33 by the end of the procedure so they started pumping IV fluid in me. From the time I delivered until the time they would allow me to hold Samantha again was almost 6 hours – an eternity when you’ve waited over 9 months to meet her!

Eventually they took us over to the Maternal-Child Unit and I was able to nurse and start the long 2 day recovery.

My parents were there for the majority of the labor and got back to the hospital while I was in the operating room. They were very anxious about me but very excited to meet their first grandchild.

While we were in the Maternal-Child Unit we were amazed at how many people needed access to the room at all hours of the day and night. I had just been through over 72 hours of labor and delivery trauma but not a half hour went by that someone didn’t come into the room – nurses, techs, housekeeping, obstetrician, pediatrician, room service, lactation consultants, photographer, hospital liaison, etc., etc. Let’s just say that we were extremely happy to come home on Saturday at lunchtime.

Of course being new parents, we think our daughter is just the cutest baby in the world so there are plenty of pictures!

We think Samantha definitely ended up with our feet – we both have pretty big feet with very long “monkey” toes. Samantha’s feet are also amazing because the top of her foot bends back to her shin. I’m pretty sure this will go away eventually but for right now she looks like she has frog feet.

Saturday was very busy trying to get into a routine. Tons of pictures were taken! We also gave Samantha her first sponge bath at home…despite the picture she actually really liked it! Saturday night was very trying because Samantha did not seem to want to sleep at all – only about 15 minutes at a time. We did work out a schedule so that we all got a little bit of sleep.

On Sunday, we realized that Samantha hadn’t had a wet diaper in a long time. We started getting worried that she might be dehydrated (the hospital is very, very dry). We called the pediatrician and they told us to get to the Emergency Room right away.

At the ER, they decided to take some blood, put her on an IV, and to have me nurse her and supplement with a bottle of formula. They stripped her naked and put her in a gown that was slightly softer than a burlap sack and made for a 2 year old. We weren’t happy about any of this and it was so difficult to see her get poked, prodded, and jabbed.

By midnight, they decided that they wanted to keep her overnight for observation. So we spent another night in the hospital. It was a very cold, dry, uncomfortable night.

Finally, around lunch time today they let us go home. Samantha cried so much while she was in the hospital that she’s now hoarse – her cries now sound so sad and pathetic. Hopefully this next week will be much better for all of us!

Update: Samantha is at home and is doing quite well. We didn't want to frighten anyone!

1 comment:

  1. oh gosh guys! I'm so sorry you had such a hard time! Keep up the breast feeding! A la leche league group is a great place for support. I hope your little lady is doing better and you're able to get in a little rest. Hugs to you all!