Monday, March 12, 2012

Bubble's Birth Story

Due to popular demand ... and, really, there is also the fact that this is my journal ... here's the story of Bubbles' birth.

[TMI ALERT: I figure that this is my blog. And, well, I can handle y'all knowing what all went on in this birthing experience. If you are weak-stomached or very sensitive ... you might want to NOT read this entry. Just giving you a heads-up.]

Bubbles' gestation, as you already know if you've been reading along for the whole journey, has been ... interesting.  I mean, I had the joy of a kidney stone ... and then there was the whole "I'm breech! I'm vertex! I'm breech again! Hey, you had an external version ... and then I turned breech on you! Next visit I'll be vertex!" excitement ... Yes, it was exciting.

And, of course, it was different from Bruise and Bucket's birth in many ways:
  • Only one fetus in there ... in my GINORM uterus with TONS of amniotic fluid.
    Yup, Bubbles had her own personal Olympic-sized swimming pool.
  • I didn't have preeclampsia this time. Which was LOVELY.
    Even though my feet were NASTY-SWOLLEN. Up to mid-calf.
    And I had elevated uric acid levels and low red-blood cell count ... but, hey! My liver enzymes were NORMAL! WOOT!! ... So I didn't have to be on MagSulfate (I HATE that stuff. You feel like crap. And you have to stay longer in the hospital. *sigh*) this time.
  • Once Bubbles turned and STAYED vertex, I was able to know that I could stay in the labor and delivery room the WHOLE TIME (well, until she was born. Then, since the hospital was still REALLY FULL, we got moved to a postpartum room.
    Seriously, when I say RIGHT AWAY, I mean it. They got me up to pee, cleaned me up (The bed and the bathroom looked rather like cut-scenes from an episode of CSI), and then after we changed my hospital gown, I was wheeled down to our new room.
    Still, that's WAY better than being wheeled, in labor, to the surgical room (JUST IN CASE), having to heft my giant, swollen self -- BETWEEN CONTRACTIONS -- into THAT bed, giving birth, getting BACK into the OTHER bed, being wheeled back to the original L&D room, then trying to pee and almost passing out (and puking. No almost on THAT one.), then laying in bed while hooked up to that MagSulfate drip. Ugh.
  • And there was the fact that last time, I was induced at 36 weeks (due to preeclampsia).
    This time I would have been induced at 39 or 40 weeks ... but I (1) had a little girl that turned breech RIGHT AFTER a version and then (2) kept getting bumped since the hospital was full of ladies whose cervixes actually cooperate with them. *sigh* ... So I was overdue by a week.
[OH GOSH. WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?? Bucket got up to go potty. Then I hear the kiddos freaking out. She had tied dental floss AROUND BRUISE'S NECK.
THE HELL?????????
Michael's dealing with it. ... Sometimes ... I just ... I just don't understand my children.
And it's truly amazing that they are still alive. And not because I sometimes have the urge -- WHICH I DO NOT GIVE INTO -- to gleefully throttle them.
I mean, really ... what if Bruise hadn't freaked out?? He could have been REALLY hurt.
That REALLY ticks me off. I mean ... I am NOT going to break my record of NOT having my kiddos survive.
In the last three years, I've already lost two cats and a hedgehog. That is my LIMIT.]


Okay ... back to the birth story.

So, there I am ... at 41 weeks. Michael and I go in Friday morning to be admitted (FINALLY) for my scheduled induction.
Since, obviously, my contractions aren't doing anything. I'm dilated to 2 cm. Not effaced.
My cervix is soft ... but that's about it.
And, yes, I can talk and walk through those contractions. Even when they're regularly occurring.
(I still don't know if it's just that I have wussy contractions or if I just have some mutant ability where pain doesn't affect me as much as other people. Who knows?)

I get checked in at 9 AM. I'm admitted and hooked up to my IV. Pitocin, saline, and antibiotics are started at 10:40 AM.
(I tested positive for Group B Strep this time. My first words on discovering this were, "Honey, I don't know how this happened. I haven't slept with anyone else. I swear." ... Last I had read, Group B Strep was listed as an STI. And I know that I hadn't changed my partner. And that I could trust Michael.
Turns out that, hey, Group B Strep is part of one's "natural flora" down there. It comes and goes. I just didn't have an active "bloom" last delivery. Who knew?)

We mostly just hang out (I lay in the hospital bed, getting up to pee, and watching Animal Planet and TLC on TV) ... Not a whole lot is happening.
Mom and the kids came to visit after school ... not that I had a baby to show them. *sigh*

Around 5:30, my doctor checked me again. ... Dilated to 3.5 cm, still no effacement.
WHAT?!?!?
I'd been on that Pitocin drip for nearly six hours!
For 1.5 cm!!
So, she reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeached as far as she could reach to attempt to strip my membranes.
And, golly, but it was very wet ... since, in the process, my water broke.

"Ha! You can't send me home now!" I gloated.
Yes, that was my first thought. That I couldn't be sent home.

After that, the Pitocin seemed to pick up a little more.
I asked for a dose of Fentanyl around 6:30 or so, since I was in a bit of discomfort.
And, really, if I'm birthing in a hospital, I might as well NOT be experiencing loads of pain.
Around 7:30, I asked for an epidural.

It took two tries to get it placed.
That first attempt?
Obviously, we weren't in the right spot ... The anesthesiologist poked the needle in, my right leg swung up and it felt like someone had slammed my calf with electric porcupines.
(By the by, don't you agree that "Electric Porcupines" would make a good name for a band?)
And tears streamed down my face. I don't know that I was in THAT much pain ... but, golly, I wasn't comfortable. And I was TRYING SO HARD to stay still.
But, hey, that second attempt? It was successful.
And I was NUMB from the bottom of my ribs down to my puffy feet. 

So, we just went back to waiting. And waiting.
And I had an internal monitor (to measure the contractions accurately) and a catheter installed ... since, well, I wasn't going anywhere.

There was an episode, I don't remember what time ... maybe around 9? 10? ... where my blood pressure (which was a little high coming in) dropped.
A LOT.
It had gone from around 140/85 down to 110/50.
But, hey, now I know for sure that when I've given blood and started to feel dizzy and nauseated and clammy? That's because my stupid blood pressure just took a total nose dive.
We rolled me over and I held a cool, wet washcloth to my forehead.
I did NOT throw up.
And I started to feel better after a while.

Around 11, just about the time that Michael had nodded off, my contractions were getting stronger. And the magic button (Yes, I had one of those epidurals that you could give yourself a little "sumthin' sumthin'" ... but only once every 20 minutes ... NOT. FREAKING. ENOUGH ... when you needed to take the edge off.) was not doing its job.

I was starting to moan a little. And I woke Michael up around 11:30.
He came and stood by me and held my hand while I curled my (mostly numb and tingly) appendages and gripped the side of the hospital bed and did my yoga-breaths and tried not to moan too much during contractions that just kept coming.

Around 11:40, Bev (my nurse for the night) came in.
"Bev?" I asked plaintively, "I think I may have made a mess in the bed. I'm not totally sure, since I can't really FEEL it ... But I think that I did. And I'm really sorry."
She lifted up the sheets. "Hey, that's okay!" She chirped.

"That means that, yes, I did." I would have hung my head in shame if I hadn't been in that strange, timeless, odd space that I had reached. "I'm sorry."

But she got me cleaned up and checked on me again around ten minutes later.

"Bev? Um ... I think that I feel the need to push. ... And I don't know if I'm supposed to do that yet."
"Do you want me to check you? See how you've progressed?"
"Sure."
"Okay ... Hmm ... Can I FIND the edge of your cervix? ... Let me see if Dr. M is around. ... Hold on and DON'T PUSH YET, okay?"
"Okay ..."

And, THAT, my dears is how I learned that panting? That's the way to breathe and NOT push.

Thankfully, my doctor had NOT gone home. She rushed in, got my legs situated, Bev put an oxygen mask on me, and we got down to business (But not "to defeat. The Huns. HWAH!" ... Yes, random Disney reference).

Bubbles had worked her way QUICKLY down the canal.
We established that I push most effectively when I hold my breath and bear down. So that's what my job was.
Around three pushes got her head out ... and she had the cord wrapped around her neck.
(I had originally asked for the cord not to be cut until it had stopped pulsing. Since the current studies suggest that, by doing so, it can reduce the chances of the baby having jaundice.)
Dr. M cut the cord asap ... after about two more pushes got Bubbles out.

She was born Saturday, March 3, at 12:10 AM.

They quickly moved my pale, little girl (Well, not SO little, I suppose ... She was 9 pounds, 2 ounces. 21 inches long) to the warmer and got her checked out, breathing, and bundled up ... then back to me in minutes where we started breastfeeding.
(My last worry about her birth had been if she'd have a good latch. She does. She's a good eater. When she chooses to finish a feeding. :P)

While Bubbles was getting warmed up, cleaned out (so she could breathe), and tested, I was getting my stitches and chatting (albeit exhaustedly) with Dr. M.

As she was getting the placenta (and lots of membrane) out, somehow my left foot felt REALLY strange. Like COLD ... So I sat up a little and took a look.
It appeared that, as she squeezed the cord, it had gushed blood all over my foot.
I pointed out that my foot was covered in blood. Dr. M was all, "Oh crap! I can't believe that I did that!"
"Aw, how about you get the other one ... so they'll match."
Yes, that's my post-birthing sense of humor. I get a little punchy, obviously.

Then, after a go at nursing Bubbles, Bev escorted me to the bathroom (and I dripped all over the floor on my way there. Yes. I have no pride.), where I actually PEED and passed gas ... as opposed to last time where I couldn't even make the fifteen-foot journey to the toilet. And I puked from the effort of TRYING to pee.
(When I got to the postpartum room? I totally went poop. ALL BY MYSELF. And it wasn't scary like last time. I knew that I could do it and not rip out my stitches or anything. AWESOME.)

I was given 600mg doses of Ibuprofen ... and I was GOOD. I had to be on the Pitocin drip until the morning. Then I got to be FREE from that IV stand (which made all my bathroom trips SO much easier).

I don't think we got ANY sleep, really, that first night. Not because of Bubbles (well, okay, a bit because of her), but more due to having to move rooms in the middle of the night, having nurses come in to check Bubbles' and my vitals ... Yeah, it wasn't very restful.

Saturday morning, I got a shower before Mom and Dad C came to visit. That helped me to feel a bit more ... human.
Then, Mom and the kids came by to meet Bubbles.
Most of the rest of the day was just spent waiting for Bubbles to have the pediatrician check her out (which ended up happening LATE, while we were sleeping and Bubbles was out, hanging with the nurses so Michael and I could get some sleep). My vitals were looking better and better. And I was feeling fine. I didn't even need any ice packs this time.

Sunday morning, Michael left to get ready for church (he had a lesson to teach). And Dr N (from our kids' pediatrician's clinic) came to check out Bubbles. It was nice to see him. He used to be the the high councilman for our ward when we were in the University wards. And ... well, there is a tenuous relation. (His uncle married my Pop-pop's [grandfather's] niece, if I'm recalling this all correctly.) Regardless, it's always nice to see him.

Thankfully, both he and my doctor gave the okay for Bubbles and me to be released that day. This way Michael would be able to bring me home. And he did. With the kiddos.
And we got home, got unpacked, and had some family come to visit ... And I could tell when I was getting really tired --- Because my stitches would start to get REALLY sore.
Sore enough that the Ibuprofen and the Dermoplast were just not cutting it. Oh well.

The first night home with Bubbles was ... not very restful.
She was having issues with gas.
So, as I've mentioned Mylicon drops are a REALLY GOOD THING to have around.
She's still having some issues, but nothing near as horrendous. 

Her umbilical cord fell off yesterday. It's hard to tell if she'll have an innie or an outie ... But I'm thinking it'll resolve to be an innie.

We went to church yesterday. She slept nearly the whole time. Which was pretty nice.

Okay ... I'm getting REALLY TIRED now. We went up to a friend's to do some newborn photos (and some pictures of Bubbles with us as a family and with just the kiddos). Then we headed back home in awful traffic and rain. I'm so glad that Michael drove. I ended up falling asleep for about the last 20 or so minutes. I felt bad, since I'm sure that Michael's just as tired. Poor man.

Wish us luck (and say your prayers, if you're the type inclined to pray. I'm not going to make you do anything that you're not comfortable with. Because I love you so. No, REALLY.) that we can start to get Miss Bubbles on a bit of a routine. ... I mean, I already feel tons better than I did after I had Bruise and Bucket ... and, to be completely honest, taking care of a singleton? WAAAAAAAY easier than doing it in tandem ...
But still, I'm looking forward to when, a few months down the road, Bubbles sleeps for longer stretches during the night.

Oh! I am not trying to brag here ... maybe this is totally normal for mothers of singletons?
The swelling in my feet is nearly completely gone! (Wearing tennis shoes for a day seems to have helped kick the puff to the curb!! YAY!!) ... I keep looking at my left ankle and noticing how SKELETAL it looks compared to how it looked two days ago.  ... Oh, metatarsals, tibia and fibula ... How I missed you!!
(*sings* Reunited and it feels so good!)
And I'm able to fit into my pre-pregnancy pants. I sport the new-mom muffin top when I wear them ... but there is the fact that they fit about four days after giving birth. I was rather shocked.
(I still wear my maternity pants, though. Because they're COMFORTABLE! ... But I have some extra options now. Which is nice. ... And I can wear my tights again! That made getting ready for church so much easier.)

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