As most of you already know Leah Kate P was born on Wednesday 12/9/09 at 6:40 pm via c-section. This is a little post (probably not little, probably really long) about what all took place to get our 8 lb 3 oz, 21 inch daughter here.
12/8 ~ 6:30 pm : After eating a nice dinner at Texas Roadhouse we headed to Clarian North and were greeted by the great staff by name as we buzzed in at the L&D entrance. We were then greeted by 2 nurses one that was just getting ready to be done with her shift but would be back with us in the morning and the other our night nurse. They had me put on the lovely hospital attire (i.e. the normal blue/green hospital gown) and then went ahead and started the port for my IV and I think took some blood, I can't remember for sure. They then started the cervidil (cervix softening medicine), and Adam and I started running through the channels to see if there was any entertaining TV on, we ended up settling on the Butler game. After that was over ,we stuck in "50 First Dates" that we brought from home. They recommended I take some Ambien to make sure that I got enough sleep for my "Big Day" on Wednesday. I took that about 10:30 pm and Adam said I was out in about 15 minutes and slept hard until about 6:00 am the next morning.
12/9 ~ 7:00 am: I was able to wake up and take a shower and order a light breakfast (thank goodness my Dr. allowed this, otherwise I would have been even more insanely hungry by the end of the day). I ordered a bagel and fruit and Adam got this awesome and huge breakfast sandwhich, can't say I wasn't a little jealous!
8:00 am: After 12 hours of having the cervidil in the nurse took that out and checked me. We were all hoping if nothing else I was at least fully effaced and hopefully more had occurred, seeing that I was 9 days overdue, maybe my cervix just needed a jump start. The nurse checked me and was still only 2 cm and maybe 50% effaced, which wasn't horrible but wasn't really a lot of progress from the cervidil. At this point they started the Pitocin and everything was really cool and calm at this point.
9:00 am: My doctor came in and decided to break my water. I was contracting every couple of minutes but they really weren't strong enough to feel or do much of anything in the way of progress. She also likes to break the water a little earlier with post-term babies b/c there is a decent chance that the baby has had a bowel movement in utero since her system was ready to go about a week before. When she broke my water there was a significant amount of meconium in it, so our sweet little girl definitely had already decided to make sure her bowel systems were working. Because of this they started me on something called Amnio-infusion, where they infuse fluid into the uterus to clean out the meconium as much as possible to get it away from the baby and also I believe helps keep infection at bay. This also allowed them to really get a good reading on the strength of my contractions which at this point weren't enough.
10:30 am: My parents had arrived in the meantime, they were trying to beat the weather and hung out with us for a bit. I think my Mom noticed that I was starting to grimace every few minutes and mentioned to my Dad that she thought it was probably about time to leave the room. Within about 5 minutes of them leaving I could definitely feel the contractions and moved to the birthing ball to help cope some and breathe through each one. They were coming every 1.5 to 2 minutes and although they were still not as strong as they need to see them to say they are doing much, I was not able to talk or function much as each one came. Adam was awesome and just kept reminding me to breathe and let me squeeze the bujeebees out of his hand.
12:00 pm: I was checked again and still contracting at the same pace, they were getting a little stronger but still not where they wanted them to be. I was still only 2 cm and maybe had progressed a little in effacement but not anywhere near 100% yet. They did tell me that they were by no means suggesting any pain medication but if I did want and epidural, they needed to know about 15 t0 20 minutes before hand because they had to get a bolus of fluid pumped into me before they could do the epidural.
1:00 pm: I started seriously thinking about the epidural, I was still contracting every 1.5 minutes and I was just thinking that if this continued and resulted in a vaginal delivery that I was not going to have any energy left to push. I felt a little bit of a wimp that I was considering an epi at 2 cm but the contractions with Pitocin just aren't the same as when your body does the process naturally.
1:15 - 1:30 pm: I informed my awesome nurse Sara that I was ready for the epidural and she started the fluids. About 15 minutes later the anesthesiologist came in and Adam had to leave since it has to be a completely sterile environment, so he took the opportunity to eat some lunch. They then began the epi which the anesthesiologist said I was a textbook epidural and that the way it looked everything should start to work soon and I should feel significantly better.
2:00 pm: Adam arrived back to a new woman, it was amazing the difference and so quickly. I couldn't feel the contractions anymore but was able to still feel my feet and move my legs from the knees down. They said this was good for the time it would come to push because it would give me more strength and they just really wanted to make sure I couldn't feel the contractions. Adam and I were able to relax a little bit and figured we were in for a long day at this point.
2:30 pm: The babies heart rate started declining and of course my monitors started going a bit crazy. My nurse came in and asked me to start turning from side to side to just make sure it wasn't a positional thing and that Baby just didn't like a certain position. Her heart rate had gone from ranging between 120 resting and 150+ active to between 80 and 100 bpm. In the midst of this another nurse had come in to assist my nurse and a NICU or Peds doctor was suddenly in my room. After switching sides a number of times my nurse calmly paged my doctor, yet Adam and I knew things weren't quite right. Her office is in the building 2 floors up so she could be over in a few minutes if needed. After she wasn't there fairly quickly the nurse asked them to page her again. In the meantime my nurse had the Pitocin turned off and made the call to give me a short of something that started with a T to counteract the Pitocin and stop my contractions. A few seconds later my Dr. walked in and said she was trying to get an elevator when she got paged the 2nd time and was literally praying at the elevator that God would get one there ASAP. She came into my room and went to try and touch the baby's head to try and stimulate the baby to see if that would get her heart rate up, of course after all the other stuff her heartbeat immediately went up from the 100 bpm level to 130 and stabilized. Feeling less stressed we all laughed b/c it seemed like Little Miss just wanted some attention from the Doc and as soon as she got there the baby completely stabilized. My doctor went ahead and checked me and in the like half hour since I had gotten the epi, my body must have relaxed and the contractions became strong enough to get me from 2 to 4-5 cm in that short time. But it was too much for Baby and she did not respond well. Since we had no medicine at this point to get things moving along we needed to reevaluate and have a strategy about restarting things without bothering the baby and getting her stressed out. My dr was a little concerned that everything had pretty much come to a screeching halt and that my body wasn't doing any of this on its own. She said she would come back at 4:00 pm to check me and they started the pitocin back up at 1/2 of where it was when they had to stop it.
4:00 pm ~ The doctor came back to check and there was still no progress from where I was before and she was really getting concerned that my cervix was not effacing and just did not seem to want to get out of the way. Also they measure the baby's position in stations and she had been in a -1 station with zero being engaged and the +'s meaning she was moving through the birth canal and she was actually moving backward and was now a -2 station. This really puzzled my Doctor and she said while things were calm lets just talk about a c-section and that it might be something that needs to be considered if we don't start getting contractions at the strength we need them or if my cervix continues to stay unchanged. I went ahead and signed the needed consent for a c-section and then she said should would be back in a couple of hours to check one last time and then we would make the call.
4:00 to 6:00 ~Adam and I talked and at this point we both were getting to the point of just wanting to meet our sweet baby and didn't want to just keep pushing nature if that wasn't the way she was meant to come out. My doctor, who also attends my church, just put it this way. God is always in control of every single little life and the way they come into to the world and we would all like to see that happen as naturally as possible, but he has given her the knowledge of being able to perform a surgery and when the risks of continuing to wait start to outweigh the risks of a c-section then she is thankful for her knowledge and training to be able to help get this little life into the world. I luckily had gone into the entire situation knowing that flexibility was going to be my best friend and a "plan" was going to be my enemy. I have watched too many of my friends experience all different kinds of labors and deliveries and didn't want to feel like I failed at this b/c it didn't happen the way I "planned" for it to. I just wanted a healthy baby at the end and if a c-section was how that needed to happen then so be it.
6:00 pm ~ My doctor came back in to check me and still no progress from earlier. She said at this rate I could stay pregnant for another 7 days but at what point do we just make the call to get this baby here safe and sound and make sure I'm as healthy as possible. We all agreed that a c-section was the direction we were going and the whirlwind of prepping began. Adam made a mad dash to the waiting room to inform our parents what was decided and that we would be in the OR within the hour.
6:00 to 6:20 - Everyone was coming in and out of my room to cover all of the bases of things that needed to occur to get me ready and a different anesthesiologist came in to give me a larger dose of the epi as I no longer wanted to be able to feel my feet or anything else from the top of my abdomen down :) My nurse Sara was amazing and made sure we always knew what was going on and what the next steps were. My doctor, who has an almost 6 month old baby, said she needed to go pump b/c when my baby was born and cried she would have major "let down" and I would probably prefer that she was concentrating on my surgery and stitching me back up, I agreed :)
6:10pm: Everyone was ready and they wheeled me back to OR. Adam had to stay in a little recovery waiting area while they prepped me. The anesthesiologist did a little test with a needle to make sure that I was totally numb, which I was and then gave the go ahead to prep. At this point the big blue drape went up and my ability to know anything that was going on with the actual surgery was completely gone. Adam was then brought in and my doctor arrived. Everything was set-up to go.
6:30 pm: They started surgery and it was the weirdest feeling b/c I could feel the sensation of what they were doing but I had no pain. They kept me somewhat informed of what they were doing and Adam later told me he watched some of the surgery (mainly post arrival). With his medical background (animal not human) surgery and stuff fascinates him more than grosses him out so he probably thought there was a little bit of a coolness factor in being able to watch the surgery.
6:40 pm: I could feel them pull her out and immediately heard the first whimper and then an all out cry. She let us know right away that she was fine with a great pair of lungs. NICU was brought into the OR in case there were complications with her breathing from the previous BM she had in-utero but she was soon okayed so they began bulb syringing and cleaning up our little miss Leah. Soon after this, the nurse told us that she was 8lbs 2.5 oz and 21 inches long. They flashed her behind the drape really quickly immediately after she was born but then Adam went and took some pictures as they were cleaning her up and brought them over to me so I could get a better idea of what my sweet baby looked like. We then announced to the room that her name was Leah Kate and got many compliments about the name. Everyone was commenting about the amount of hair that she had, which didn't really surprise us given the full heads of dark hair that both of us have.
7:15 pm: I was taken back to our recovery room with Leah in my arms and Adam went to the waiting room to share the news about Leah to our parents who were patiently (not really!) waiting for her arrival. Adam came back to the recovery room to get settled and have a chance to bond with our girl for the first time together as a family of three. My doctor stopped by and gave me a huge hug and said everything went perfect, she then offered to help me get started with nursing, she currently has a 6 month old that she is nursing so her real life experience and knowledge was very helpful. Leah did awesome and latched on perfectly right away< she has made breastfeeding so much easier than I expected.
8:00 pm: Our parents came back and got to meet Leah for the first time, which initiaed her into the world of camera flash like the amount at a professional photo shoot :) The nurse then offered to give her a bath since I still wasn't able to get out of bed. Leah screamed pretty much the entire time and Grandpa Love videotaped the whole thing. The part that took the longest was washing her hair, imagine that, but she actually stopped crying and enjoyed getting her hair washed. Then our parents left for the evening and Adam gathered up all of our things to move to our new postpartum room by around 11. Leah actually was very nice to her new parents and took a nice long 2 1/2 hour nap in her bassinet so that we could catch some sleep as well from our long but very amazing day.
--> Keep posted for continued updates on Miss Leah and the new adventures yet to come