I've always loved reading these (and writing my own)... Birth stories. The miracle of life. Bringing another human being into this world. Absolutely amazing and truly a gift from God. No other way of explaining it. I'm also amazed and touched by how different my 2 experiences have been. I thought, for sure, that they would be somewhat similar. Since I was induced with Autumn and scheduled to be induced with Kaelyn. However, I learned very quickly that no 2 births, or pregnancies for that matter, are the same.
If you've been regularly following my blog, you've learned that Kaelyn was having some minor issues right around 35 weeks. My uterus starting measuring smaller than it was supposed to be, right around "2 weeks" smaller. My doctor's don't like to go any smaller than that and after 1 month of being that much smaller, they decided to have an ultrasound to make sure Kaelyn was growing. Everything looked normal in my first ultrasound until my Dr. looked at the numbers more closely. They realized that Kaelyn's tummy was measuring smaller than the rest of her body. So then my Dr. sent me to an OB specialist. I went to the OB specialist 3 times to monitor her growth, my placenta and the umbilical cord. He told me that the number one reason why her tummy wouldn't be growing is because of placenta failure. Every ultrasound looked great. Nothing wrong with the placenta and umbilical cord. She was growing, just not as quickly as hoped. However, she was growing. Towards the end of my pregnancy the OB specialist decided that it was best not to go past my due date. Because the risk of placenta failure is even higher and in my situation he didn't want anything to happen to Kaelyn. Totally fine by me.
I was scheduled for an induction on my due date (Thursday, Sept 22nd) at 8pm. I had to call the hospital at 6pm to confirm if they had a room ready for me. Just because I was "scheduled" did not mean that I was getting in right away. I understood that, but I was still hopeful. So I called... and they were busy. So I was asked to call back at 9pm. And I did. They will still busy. Apparently every woman in Grand Rapids went into labor that night. So they asked me to call back the next morning at 6am. Then at 8:30. Again at 11. And again at 1. Did I mention that I had to call back at 4? Things were starting to look up around that time. One woman actually delivered and another one was about to as well. So they told me to call back at 6. I did and they said they would be ready for me around 7:30-8ish :-D YAY!!! Finally. Only 24 hours after I was supposed to be in. It was definitely a rough 24 hours for Jordan and myself. We were on edge, anxious and a little grouchy that whole time. We couldn't really plan anything because we had only a 3 hour period of time in between each phone call. So after a tearful goodbye to Autumn, we were on our way to the hospital.
Let me back track a bit here a second. I started having my own contractions Wednesday before my due date. They weren't regular, but they were painful. Enough for me to notice and even breathe through some of them. I was still talking through them and they weren't consistent, not even for an hour, so I never called my Dr. to let them know. Thursday night I had my first bloody show. It was exciting for me because that meant my cervix was moving. So maybe they didn't have to ripen my cervix at all when I had to be induced. Friday morning my contractions went away. Disappointing. Friday evening they started back up again and I got my next bloody show. So again, hopeful.
Now we're in the hospital. Friday evening (the 23rd). Getting checked in, excited that Kaelyn's arriving soon. Anxious that I'm about to be induced, again. My nurse (who is absolutely amazing) checked to see if I was dilated. She noted that my cervix was a little high and she wasn't quite sure if she could reach it (she had short fingers). So she took the safe route and said that my cervix was closed. Very disappointing. After 2 bloody shows, you'd think that something was happening up there. After a while my Dr. comes in and checks herself. She was able to reach and said that I was already 4cm! NO WAY!!! I couldn't believe it. 2cm maybe, but not 4cm already! By myself. And the contractions weren't even that bad. I was super excited. That meant that we didn't have to ripen my cervix at all. Which meant that Kaelyn was coming that much sooner!
I was starting to contract on my own. They were getting a little more regular so they figured they would watch me for an hour and see what happens then. An hour later I was dilated to 5cm. Woo hoo! Keep 'em coming. My Dr. decided to break my water because my contractions were slowing down a bit. She figured this would speed things up for me. Which it did! Not only that, but they got THAT much stronger. The doctor also wanted to do an internal monitor on Kaelyn since it's easier to really calculate the contractions. And since she was already "down there" breaking my water, she figured to put it in as well. I already knew I was going to have an epidural if I was going to be induced. And since I stayed at 5cm for another hour, I went ahead and got the epidural knowing that pitocin was next.
This is where I finally broke down. Waiting for the epidural. I was on the edge of the bed, and I broke down in tears. At first I wasn't sure why. Jordan was great at comforting me and not pushing me for answers. But once I calmed down and thought about it, it hit me. The stress and anxiousness of the 24 hours before, the fact that I was about to get an epidural (I hate needles) and the realization that Kaelyn was coming, soon, just flooded right through me. It was so overwhelming. Now mix those emotions during a contraction, while getting an epidural that was WAY more painful than I remember (apparently it was hitting a nerve before the medicine went in) and ugh, I was a wreck. Jordan even had a hard time calming me down. As much as I love the epidural, that was definitely not what I remembered.
So now the waiting game. I got my epidural around 12:30am Saturday (24th). I figured another 6 hours before we got to meet Kaelyn. We we really hoping to have her before the shift change (at 7am) because again, our nurse was wonderful and she really wanted to be there for us.
Around 2am Kaelyn started having some difficulties. After almost every contraction, her heart rate would drop. Sometimes dangerously low. We did a lot of turning from side to side on my part. Trying to make things comfortable for her. Each time I turned it would work for a while. But eventually she fell back into that pattern again. My Dr. first suggested stopping pitocin all together. They wanted to give Kaelyn a break from the intense contractions. Not that it mattered to me, because I wasn't feeling them at this time ;-) However, shortly after that my Dr. decided to replace some of the fluids back into my uterus to make her environment more comfortable for her. This definitely made an improvement. However I did not end up getting much sleep at all. I was constantly looking at the monitor to see if Kaelyn's heart rate would drop. I was so nervous for her and even more nervous that I would have to have an emergency c-section to get her out (definitely wasn't part of my birth plan). However, my nurse reassured me that it's not a constant pattern and only if her heart rate didn't come up would they have to do an emergency c-section.
They actually ended up not giving me pitocin again after that. My uterus was contracting on its own at a very steady rate again. Around 3:45am I was checked to see how far dilated I was. 6cm and 100% effaced. I was now getting more excited that things were moving again, but what happens next was a complete shock to me...
Right around 4:05am I was again, watching the monitors and noticed that Kaelyn's heart rate dropped really really low. I tried turning to my side as much as possible. The next contraction it happened again, only with a lot of pressure down there for me. I didn't think twice about it. I was more concerned for Kaelyn. The nurse quickly came in and suggested checking to see how far dilated I was... 10cm... I couldn't believe it. Completely dilated and her head was in the +2 position. She asked me if I was feeling the urge to push and I told her that I was. So my nurse called the Dr's while I'm fighting with all my might not to push. Once they're starting to set things up they have me give a practice push. Next thing I know I hear my nurse yell "STOP!" and Kaelyn's head was already half way out. So now I have to wait again, for them to finish setting up while Kaelyn's head is chillin' there. This to me was insane. I told my nurse that my goal was to push Kaelyn out within an hour. Since I pushed for almost 3 with Autumn. I definitely did not expect to have her head halfway out with only one push. This was at 4:15am.
Several pushes later (even one where I rubbed her head, hehe) out came her head. Not to mention all of the fluid that they were giving to her came out too. It literally sprayed up the left side of my face, over my pillow and onto the wall. Like someone took an 8-10oz glass and threw it at me. Haha. Everyone in the room said that they've never seen that before. It definitely threw me off guard and I forgot that I had to push the rest of her body out...
4:36am. My world stops. No words in the world can describe this feeling. You think you don't have enough room in your heart for more love once you've had your first child. But somehow, there's a way. Kaelyn is now laying on my tummy, crying her sweet little cry and I just melt. Nothing else matters. She's here, she's crying, she's healthy and I love her. Jordan's and my world has changed. We couldn't be happier. Here we are seeing our second baby girl for the first time. We are in love.
She's not much different than Autumn. Doesn't cry much. Once she's placed on the table she stops crying and starts looking around. So sweet. She's a tiny 6lbs 7oz and 19.5 inches long. I'm honestly in shock. I couldn't believe that she was there within 15 minutes of me pushing. Not to mention that I was only dilated to 6cm less than an hour ago. It took me quite some time to actually grasp the idea that she was actually there. Even when I was holding her. It all happened so fast! We did our skin to skin time and she was rooting like crazy! Nursing came without a problem once again and she's growing wonderfully.
We were able to go home a day early. I felt absolutely wonderful (even though I did tear my cervix really bad and had a 1st degree tear as well), but I felt like I almost didn't give birth at all. Minus the numb butt from the hospital bed. Kaelyn was doing great as well and both my Dr. and the pediatrician on call was comfortable with us going home early.
Now we are here. Family of 4 and we couldn't be happier. Autumn is adjusting, as any 2 year old can. She gets mostly jealous at night when it's mommy and her time (bath time and bed time). But within a couple of weeks, I'm sure it won't even matter any more. I didn't get much pictures in the hospital. Because I left my camera at home. But enjoy (for now) a few of my favorite pictures from the day we came home.