Here is a sweet birth story of a happy Laborlooks mama! We are so excited for her and for her wonderful journey!
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The Birth Story
Our little Ann has been here for just over three weeks now (that flew by really quickly!), and I know there are people out there who would be interested in hearing "the birth story", so here it goes... (this is definitely the long version of the story)
I was getting really close to my due date (May 10th), and was starting to get impatient waiting for this baby to get here. For the past few weeks when I'd go in to my doctor appointments, both the doctors and nurses would make comments like "you're still here? Why haven't we seen you at the hospital yet?" I'd been slowly dilating and was already 80% effaced. After each appointment, it was always, "hopefully we won't see you back here next week!"
My plan was to work up until the baby came, but I finally decided to start my maternity leave on the 9th whether or not I had a baby (and it turned out to be perfect timing!). So I woke up on the morning of the 9th and noticed I felt a little wet, something that hadn't happened before. I started wondering if by chance my water was starting to break (and then my next thought was "seriously, baby? Today is the one day we told you that you couldn't come." - for those who don't know or don't remember, May 9th is Tom's and my wedding anniversary, and we didn't want to share the day :) Oh well, what can you do?). I went back to sleep for a bit longer before getting up to have breakfast. When I got up I wasn't feeling wet anymore, so I just sat down to eat. After the baby wiggled around some, I started to feel wet again. I wasn't totally sure if this was my water breaking, so I called my doctor's office and explained what I was experiencing to the nurse. She said it sounded like I could be leaking amniotic fluid, and recommended we go to the hospital to get it checked out.
Tom and I showered and finished getting everything packed up in case we would be staying at the hospital. I was having some contractions, but nothing more than what I'd been experiencing the past few weeks. I commented that I felt really silly going to the hospital since I didn't feel like I was in labor at all (just walking normally into the hospital and to our room was definitely not how I'd imagined going to the hospital...). It was about 12:15-12:30pm and we got all checked in. Soon a nurse was in to do some tests to determine whether or not I was actually leaking amniotic fluid. The first test was a kind of litmus paper test, where a little strip of yellow gold paper will turn blue if it comes in contact with amniotic fluid. The strip was sort of turning blue, so they decided to do a second test just to make sure. This test is called the "fern test". Here they take a sample (it felt kind of like a pap smear test) and look at it under a microscope. If the cells look like fern leaves, it is amniotic fluid. As they did the fern test, they did the litmus paper test again. The litmus paper definitely turned blue this time, however the fern test came out negative (way to be ambiguous, huh?). So they decided to do a third test (that they almost never have to use) to see for sure whether or not I was leaking amniotic fluid. This test was basically using a long q-tip to collect a sample and then they'd run some test on it to see whether or not there was amniotic fluid present. This test came back positive. So we were going to be staying at the hospital until we had a baby! Since I was still wasn't having regular contractions, they hooked me up to an IV and gave me the lowest dose of pitocin to start things moving along more regularly (it was about 2:15 pm at this point). The pitocin definitely made my contractions more regular, but I still couldn't feel the the contractions very well.
(Here I am after my IV started going but wasn't having hard contractions at all. One of my visiting teachers, Devyn, gave me this gown to wear. Her sister sells these online at laborlooks.com - it was fun to wear something cuter than the hospital gowns (and didn't say "Central Laundry" across it)).
After being on the low dose of pitocin for an hour, my doctor decided to come and fully break my water. They also increased the level of pitocin I was receiving. Well that certainly made my contractions increase! It wasn't long after that when we called my nurse down to let her know that I was ready to have an epidural. The anesthesiologist was there in minutes and put things in place. After a while, I could tell my left side was going numb, but I could still feel everything on my right. They gave me an extra dose of the medicine to see if that would help, and it numbed my right leg, but I could still feel the contractions in my right side. The anesthesiologist came back in and took out my epidural and put another one in a little higher up on my back (he had put it in the lowest spot possible and when we told him I still had pain in my ribs, he realized that it needed to be placed higher). That took away the pain, but since I had so much of the medicine in me, my legs were both completely numb and I couldn't move them at all.
After the whole epidural thing was taken care of, I just laid in bed while eating ice chips and listening to Radio Lab on the computer with Tom. Eventually I was fully dilated and it was time to start pushing (around 9:15pm). At this point my epidural was wearing off enough so I had enough feeling to be able to push. I pushed for about an hour before the doctor came in. I was exhausted and throwing up by this point. So with a little help with forceps and a bit more pushing, Ann was born at 10:30pm, weighing 7lb 8oz, and 20.5 inches long. Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary to me and Tom! I know I'm still adjusting to being a mommy, but we both love her so much and we're so glad to have her be a part of our family!