Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Birth Story

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
Today I wanted to write down your birth story so that we'd have a record for when I've completely blocked it from my memory... you know in the case where I decide I want another baby.  It all started on August 17.  We were told to go to the hospital at 7:30 am to start the induction.  Dad and I didn't do much sleeping the night before.  We were up and ready to go very early.  After a quick stop at McDonalds for my last meal, we headed into Salt Lake.  We arrived a little after 7 and got checked in and assigned to the labor and delivery room.  I tested positive for group b strep so I had to receive a couple of doses of penicillin to protect you as you came out.  Around 8 they started me on the penicillin and a slow dose of pitocin.  The nurse Caitlyn was in often, checking vitals and making sure all was well.  She was a really great nurse.  She was also pregnant and expecting a boy in October,  Around 10 she came in and told me the anesthesiologist was going to be doing a c section soon so if I wanted an epidural I should maybe think about getting it now, or I might have to wait a few hours.  I decided it was a good idea to go ahead with it.  To be honest, I was really scared about it.  I'd heard so many bad stories about epidurals gone wrong and the size of the needle... it was nerve wracking.  Caitlynn assured me that the anesthesiologist was the best one in the hospital and it was going to be fine.  He came in and had me face away from him hunched over a pillow.  The good thing was I never saw anything he was doing- including the giant needle.  Dad sat in front of me and gripped my hands. It only hurt for a minute and then all I felt was numbness all through my legs and feet.  After that every time a contraction came I only knew about it because it showed up on the screen.  For the rest of the day we just hung out.  Pam came to visit and Grandma G. came for awhile.  As the day progressed, I was checked a few times and things went very slowly. Around 10 pm the doctor came in and said I could start doing practice pushes. He also mentioned that you had a bowel movement on the womb so the nicu people were going to be there when you were born to make sure everything was okay. With your dad on one side and a nurse on the other, I began pushing. I pushed...and pushed...and pushed...for an hour and a half until I was completely exhausted. My upper back and shoulders were so sore that every contraction it was incredibly difficult to even want to continue. Fundamentally I knew that I couldn't stop, but I didn't want to keep going. The doctor came in again and checked me but you weren't dropping into the birth canal. He went out to consult with another doctor, the resident surgeon, and while he was gone I told Dad that if Dr. Kasteler came back and suggested a c section I'd do it. I didn't want one, had so many complaints about people doing emergency c sections; but at that point I didn't care, I just wanted you out.  Dr
 Kasteler came back and said he thought you were really big and that was keeping you from dropping so he recommended a c section. I quickly agreed and they brought the anesthesiologist in to get me ready for surgery. They wheeled me in and warned me that the operating room was cold. Once we got in there, I started shivering uncontrollably and I couldn't pay attention to anything except the shivering. The anesthesiologist stayed very close and kept the drugs pumping into my system, and he kept talking to me to make sure I was okay. Dad stood on my left side and watched the doctors work. I was completely unaware of everything going on below my sternum. Dad took a couple of pictures while they were working. The nicu people were ready in the nursery next to the operating room and we'd been told that as soon as you were born they'd send you through the window and Dad could go in to watch them. When you came out your umbilical cord was wrapped twice around your neck and you were very small. I heard you cry briefly before you were taken away. The doctor was surprised by your size,  but said that if you had dropped the umbilical cord thing would have been dangerous but since you stayed high you were fine. The doctor said time of birth was 12:50 am. The nicu people took you into the nursery and a nurse took Dad, and they checked for meconium, and got a little bit out, but it wasn't major. When they weighed you, you only weighed 6 lbs 10 oz. You were 21 inches long so super tall but really skinny. They got me all stapled up and Dad brought me some pictures he'd taken of you, but due to the extreme convulsions and the fact that I was freezing, I had a hard time paying attention. I do remember saying that you were beautiful and not at all funny looking. Confession: I was terrified you were going to come out ugly. I was happily surprised by how adorable you were. When I was all stitched up they laid you next to me on the bed and wheeled us back to our room. After a few minutes, we did skin to skin and got ready to try nursing. You latched right on and ate for 45 minutes. It felt very surreal. Around 3, they moved us from labor and delivery into maternity. They told me since you were so small compared to your gestational age they wanted to keep an eye on your blood sugar before you fed the first few times. Each time it came back normal. Realistically you could have had so much wrong with you, but you were literally perfect. We were in the hospital until Saturday night. It's hard to remember the details of our stay, but we had visitors: Grandma G., Grandma Dette, Aunt Pam, Aunt Sarai, Aubrey, Tierny, Aunt Cherie, Dalynne, Grandpa G., Kayla, and Greg. (I think that was all... I'll edit if I remember more.) We watched the Olympics and slept and you ate okay, but Saturday you didn't eat as much as I felt you should, but you were doing good weight wise, so the nurse, Marguerite told me not to worry too much. Also on Saturday you had your first bath. I got to watch and take pictures.  Kayla tried to do newborn pictures Saturday morning, but we kept getting interrupted so we only got a few, but she came again when you were just over 2 weeks old. At your two week doctors appointment you weighed 7 lbs 11.6 oz and were 21.5 inches. You eat well, sleep pretty well, and you keep getting cuter! Now you are 1 month old and you are still perfect and we love you so much!

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