Sunday 10/18 my water broke while I was at home sitting on the couch. So much for it just being a trickle. I was a gusher. I called the hospital since it was the weekend and they said to come in, but it was ok if I took my time. Took my time? I guess they misunderstood me when I told them that amniotic fluid was gushing out repeatedly, non-stop. So much so that when I was answering the nurses questions after getting settled she said “How much amniotic fluid are you losing with each contraction? Can I put copious? That’s the most the computer will let me put.” My pants were completely soaked.
We got to the hospital about 3pm on 10/18 and I was only at 1cm. Madeleine’s due date was the 19th and she was actually born on her due date at 6:20 am. Good girl!
Thank goodness we played the medical interventions game in my birthing class where we reviewed what all the interventions can be, because every single thing I didn’t want to do – happened. Literally…everything. I was having consistent contractions, including really bad back labor, every 1.5-2 minutes from the time we got to the hospital. It was one contraction right on top of another. The nurse pointed out at that time that it was an unusual labor pattern that usually indicates that the baby is in the wrong position. So she had me walk around the hallways and bend over the grab bars during contractions to try and get the baby to move into the right position. 4 hours later I was only at 2cm, so they started pitocin to get things going. 4 more hours later I was only at 3 cm dilated with horrible back labor. I don’t know how people do it without drugs. Really. I was screaming in pain and crying with every single contraction. We tried changing positions from walking, to the bed, to the birthing ball, to the birthing tub (Which worked best, but eventually became intolerable too). The nurse kept telling me I needed to relax, but I could not relax enough between contractions to make much progress. So, I gave up and asked for the epidural and things finally started progressing nicely.
That epidural. I was freaked out by the thought of it at first, because of the size of the needle and going into the spine and OUCH! But I honestly didn’t even really feel it because the contractions were hurting so dang bad. And I was focusing REALLY hard on not moving when the contractions were hitting as she was putting it in.
I dozed in and out since all I was feeling at this point was the pressure of the contractions and not the pain. Alex managed to get some sleep, too. And then Madeleine’s heart rate had some serious drops. Several times. The doctor told us that if it happened again, we’d have to do a c-section because she was in distress. I was in denial and didn’t think that’d happen, so I wasn’t that worried. But then all of the sudden the pain level went out of control again and baby’s heart rate dropped dramatically and stayed down and in flew 6 more nurses and my doctor. They had me flip to my left side on the bed and I am not sure what all was happening (I was getting a bit hysterical with worry), but her heart rate finally came back up. They did another vaginal exam and I’d gone from 6cm to 10cm in one hour. No wonder the pain level had sky-rocketed from just pressure to feeling like I had no epidural at all. All I had left to lose was the lip of the cervix, so the Dr said she’d let me keep trying.
After 2 more hours – that didn’t open up at all. Madeleine’s heart rate was really high and not coming down, I had a fever of 101.5 and they were seriously concerned about infection, she was facing face up, not down and the Dr. finally said she just couldn’t let it go on any more. It was getting too risky with all the complications and it appeared as though Madeleine couldn’t descend any further. I tried to tell her no, but the worry on everyone’s face when I said that told me I needed to listen to them. The doctor really was amazing at allowing me to go for as long as was safe – and I really appreciate that. At the time, I was incredibly upset about this turn of events. However, I know now that I did everything that I could to get her out naturally. She just didn’t want to be born that way.
So, with me sobbing and Alex completely worried about me and baby M – it was off to the OR. He was such a great support for me and was so fantastic through the whole process. To the point that he was in pretty severe pain from nerve damage from his hernia surgery last year, and he didn’t even tell me!! He’s been awesome post-op as well, letting me sleep while he was on paternity leave. He stayed up all night with baby Madeleine and only woke me up to feed her.
She was born at 6:20am weighing 8lbs 8ozs and 21 inches long. Beautiful as can be. 😀 She was born with a pretty dark bruise above her eye and a red knot/bump on her forehead from where she was jammed into my pelvis and couldn’t get past the bone. That is all gone now, though, as you can tell by the pictures.
The most bizarre part of the c-section is that in my mind what I remember was screaming and crying from the pain. I felt like I could feel every little thing – but Alex said that I was only wimpering slightly. YAY for the ridiculous cocktail of drugs they gave me, I guess. I had been so embarrassed about how loud I’d thought I’d been crying out in pain, so it’s good that it wasn’t that bad.
They had a tough time getting her head out, since it was wedged in there pretty tightly, apparently. But when they pulled her head out and DH looked at her, he said “She’s beautiful!! She looks exactly like you!” and then I heard her cry and I giggled and said “She has such a cute cry!”
The one thing I never realized is how long it takes them to put you back together after a c-section. Wayyy too much tugging and pushing and pulling of my insides – which I could feel. The drugs kept me quiet, but I could still feel it. And then – to my horror – I heard the surgeon say “ok, we’re ready to put the uterus back in.” And in my head I thought “PUT IT BACK IN?? Why on earth did they take it out?”
Alex got to go hold her after they took her vitals and everything. He also got to go show her to his mom, who – bless her heart – waited at the hospital through the night for the entire 16+ hours that I was in labor. Then they went up to the NICU to put an IV in because of my high temp and the need for antibiotics in case of infection. And then, FINALLY I got to hold my baby girl. Heaven, I tell you. I tear up just thinking about it now.
While I was still on a bunch of drugs, but back in my room, Madeleine got the hiccups and I said to the nurse “Isn’t that the cutest thing you’ve ever heard? Little baby hiccups” I don’t remwember that at all, either, but I saw that same nurse on the way out of the hospital to go home and she told me what I’d said and said “you’re going to be a great mom if that’s the cutest thing you’ve ever heard.” We all had a good laugh about it with the other nurses that were there.
Looking back, I am ok with having had a c-section because we are both healthy. She is just a dream of a baby. Latched and feeds really well, right from the very first attempt. Sleeps very soundly and was already back to her birth weight at 4 days old!!! All the nurses and doctors are saying she is the epitome of healthy and I am so thankful for that. And if nothing else, at least I don’t have to deal with hemorrhoids. 😛
I’m so happy to be a mommy. 🙂 She’s just a delight!