Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Birth Story...

It's a bit late, but here is Lily's birth story...

It started in October when I went for my first internal exam. The doctor checked me and smiled really big and reported that I was very soft (i'm not explaining that) and I was dialated. She told me I was well on my way to delivery and to take it easy so I didn't start the process too soon. The next several visits, I progressed so well that she only checked me two more times because I was dialated to a 3 and she was touching Lily's head. She didn't want to check me anymore because I still had 3 weeks to go and I was very close.

We took her seriously and I called the family I was working for and told them that I was dialted to a 3. Being that they are both doctors, they told me that I was done working and to stay home with my feet up so the baby doesn't make a surprise entrance. I was so disappointed. I had 2 more workdays left and I hadn't had a chance to really say goodbye to Tim and Juliet. I heeded their advice and counted my work days finished. I was going to stay home and buy us some more time.

Chris was finishing his last semester at school and finals were coming just in time for Lily's entrance. We had planned on Chris finishing his work just before she came, so in an effort to buy Chris some more time, we both agreed that I should do as little activity as possible so Chris could get some extra work done. We were both in the mindset that Lily would arrive any day. Little did we know that I would be waiting on her the whole 3 weeks. Every day, every moment, every pain or movement I thought she was coming. It was miserable. I was so convinced that at any moment my water would break and, because I was already dialted to 3 cm, the contractions would be super intense. I was a nervous wreck.

At my final doctors appointment, we decided to induce. Eventually we decided to induce on my due date so I wouldn't be in the hospital on Thanksgiving and Chris could get the most time to finish his work (didn't finish, but it was a valiant effort).

The night before, November 19, I was so nervous. The night was pretty low key. I watched a movie, "My sister's keeper", finally packed my bag, made some phone calls, and did a lot of crying. I was very emotional. Poor Chris was trying to finish some things for school and I kept bugging him with my hormone induced emotional outbursts. I was most sad that we were no longer going to be just Chris and Jen. I was so excited to meet Lily, but it was the end of an era. We would no longer be just the two of us and I was sad that it was over. The night was sweet. Chris was very gentle and kind towards me and we ended the night falling asleep together and talking about how the Lord had blessed us so unbelievably with this little girl.

The morning came and I was up quickly. We were scheduled to induce at 7:00am. We took a final belly pic and we were off. When we arrived, we checked in with the nurses station in L&D. We were assigned a nurse and she showed us to our room. Everything was happening so fast and I remember feeling a bit dizzy but just pressed on. The nurse gave me a gown to change into and I did. I took off my bra and remember thinking that is the last time I will wear that bra for a long time!! What a silly thought, but even now I miss my bras. Instead of the yucky nursing bras. I got into bed and the nurse hooked me up to the blood pressure machine. She asked me a billion questions that I don't remember and hooked me up to an IV. Just before she hooked me up to an IV, I puked. This isn't abnormal for me. I have a very nervous stomach and I assumed at some point in the day I would throw up. Once that passed, she continued with the IV. She had a really hard time with my IV and at one point she hit a vein and blood was gushing everywhere. I will later tell everyone that even above pushing Lily out, getting that IV was the most painful part of the whole experience. Crazy, huh? They also started the pitocin to get my contractions rolling. It was 8:30 by that point and I was on my way.

The nurse told me to let her know when I was ready for the epidural and she would leave and check me in 15 minutes to see how I was progressing. Literally as she was turning to walk out of the room, I felt a very strong contraction and told Chris to go get her and get an epidural. I had felt enough and I didn't want to feel those anymore.

The nurse called for the doctor and the doctor checked me and broke my water. There wasn't a gush because the doctor said Lily's head was so far down that it was acting like a plug and holding a lot of water in, but my bag was broken. The doctor ordered the epidural and the anesthesia was there within 15 or so minutes. I was so relieved because I was in serious pain. Getting the epidural was what I was most nervous about. I won't go into step by step what happened because it was pretty routine. At that point, I was thinking about how crazy all of this is and I even said it aloud, "this is crazy". Getting the epidural wasn't too bad, just felt a little achy when they put it in. Like a deep pain, but not that bad at all. It took about 10 minutes total. It was about 10:00am.

I remember feeling the epidural pretty quickly and was so happy with what I felt. It was warm and relaxing. I told Chris it felt like I was at the spa. I soaked in the last few moments of being able to feel Lily in my belly. I felt her move around and push her little sweet foot against my right side. I've come so accustomed to feeling it and I got a bit sad to know it was my last time to feel her inside me. Soon, I was numb, but I could still move my legs and feel when someone touched me and pressure. I was happy to be able to move, however akward my movements were. I had little to no control over those movements, but I could lift my legs, etc.

The nurse told Chris and I to get some sleep. She turned off the lights and we both laid down. Chris couldn't sleep, so he said he was going to go for a walk. I tried to sleep, but I started to feel really really warm. I threw the blankets off of me, but I was still warm and getting warmer. I sat my bed up and looked around for a fan. I guess I thought it would be like on an airplane where you can point the vent at your face, but no dice. I called the nurses station and asked for a fan or for my room to be cooler. They said ok. About a minute later, I was not only feeling warm, but feeling nauseous and I called the nurses station again and told them I was about to throw up and need someone NOW. My nurse rushed in and handed me the thrower upper thing and I did my thing. While I was throwing up, she called the nurses station and ordered something rather assertively. Chris walked in at that moment and that's when the action happened.

The nurse had to put in an internal monitor onto Lily. I didn't know this at the time and had no idea what was going on. She gave me some oxygen and told me to breathe deeply. She was so calm that I was never worried, but then she told another nurse to page my doctor. I freaked a little at that point. She explained that my contractions were too close together and the baby might not be getting enough oxygen because of that. She said that the pitocin had kicked my body into high gear and my body was contracting all on its own and the pitocin was just hindering it. They were monitoring the baby very closely and rolling me back and forth. The doctor came in panting and rushed to my side. This was when I REALLY freaked out. When the doctor is rushing to me. She looked at the monitors and took what seemed like forever, but was probably 2 minutes and said, "ok, let's just slow down". She explained what was going on and she said the baby's heartrate is fine and never dipped once. She said the baby is responding well to their actions and my contractions, so everything was going to be fine. She also said that if I had any other doctor, they would have rushed me to do a C-Section but because she waited to see how the baby did, I could continue on course. I was very thankful!! The doctor checked me at that point and I was at 7 cm.

By noon, I was at 9 cm and at about 1 or 1:30, I started pushing. I pushed for about 30 minutes and the nurse paged the doctor to come, but she was delayed and we had to stop pushing and just wait for her to come. I knew I must be close if 1) they paged the doctor and 2)asked me to stop pushing to wait on her.

We waited and finally she came. The doctor explained that my water was tinted which means that Lily had pooped and she could have possibly swallowed some of the fluid. She said the NICU team would be in here to suck out any of that fluid and just in case there are any issues due to that. I pushed about 5 or 6 more times and Lily was here!! At 2:37pm. The doctor assured me that she looked great and that she had probably pooped when my contractions were so close, so she didn't spend too much time in that fluid. The NICU team worked on her and cleared her. We have a video of her taking her first breath and literally turning from blue to pink. She was perfectlly healthy at a whopping 7lbs. 9oz.

The nurses cleaned her up and Chris brought her over to me quickly. She wasn't crying at all. I couldn't stop smiling. I kept giggling because of what had just happened. I was elated!! Finally we were able to hold our baby girl!!

We had our first attempt at nursing just minutes after she was born. It went so smoothly. She was hungry!! She latched on right away and nursed for hours. Little did I know that was the begining of a love/hate realtionship with breastfeeding.

We are so thankful for God's perfect timing in the birth of our daughter. We know, despite what we may see or feel about that timing, that Lily was a blessing by the Lord and a lesson that the Lord provides for us in everything. No matter what the situation, He is always on our side and from God comes every good thing.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and cheered us on in our pregnancy and delivery. We were blessed beyond what we ever expected through friends and family. Without your sweet words, gifts, and support we wouldn't have been able to feel the full blessing from the Lord that day and continue to.

5 comments:

moe said...

love your honesty and realness--i felt like i was there with you the whole time :)
racheyb

Tracy and Adam said...

Part of that made me think, "I don't think I will enjoy being pregnant. Or giving birth." But by the time I got to the end I was in tears and so happy because it's so beautiful! Thanks for sharing. :-)

kuliejellogg said...

Thanks for posting and sharing your story! Does it already seem like a long time ago but also still just like yesterday?

Jen said...

Tracy--to be honest, I didn't really enjoy being pregnant. It was hard for many reasons. I can see now it was totally worth it, but it was really hard.

Melissa said...

I love you and Chris and Lily. Thanks for sharing all of this. Thanks.