Albeit one of the best blurs of my life, it was still a blur.
Just a warning that this post contains Claire's birth story, so if you're not into that sort of thing, don't read on.
All day Thursday, November 11, I was convinced my water was breaking....a slow leak kind of thing. Finally, at 4:30 I went to the OB because I certainly didn't want to show up at the hospital and not know if it was the real deal or not. The doctor's office was a much better place to make a fool of myself. So, in I went and they did a little swab and told me I had progressed a little from my last appointment, but that my water had not broken.
From there, Greg met me in town and we went to TJMaxx to burn some time before my pedicure appointment at 6:30. After my pedi (in which I told her to definitely rub my ankles...anything to help speed labor), I picked up dinner and headed back to the farm.
Greg and I watched an episode of Big Bang Theory, then got halfway through The Mentalist when we decided it was time to get some ice cream. Greg headed downstairs with the dogs to dip it. That's when the gush happened..........
Thankfully, I was neat about the whole thing and not a drop got on anything but the pajamas I was wearing. G had to put the dipped ice cream back in the fridge to bring me some towels, but other than that, I was neat and tidy during the whole thing. So, at 10:30, we headed to the hospital, calling only my parents to make sure the dogs were taken care of that night and next morning.
So, there I was at the hospital, having contractions every 2 minutes, but nothing was too terrible and I wasn't progressing at all. I worked on the computer, read my Bible lesson, Greg snoozed....anything to pass the time.
Because my water had broken, I had to deliver Claire within 18-24 hours (hospital policy) to avoid infection. After talking to the nurse, she was convinced my water had broken much earlier with a high leak, but there wasn't enough of a sample to turn the swab at the doctor's office.
So, at 6:00 that morning, my OB wanted to start me on the dreaded pitocin. I didn't want to do it, but more than that, I didn't want a C-section, so I had to do something to make progress.
They began at 8mg and worked their way up to 22mg before the pain was so excruciating that G and I started discussing an epidural. Originally, I hadn't wanted to do it, but at 22mg, I still wasn't progressing so we went for it. Our rationale was this:
- I needed to relax in order to progress, and the pitocin contractions didn't allow me a break in between to recover from the previous one. And, I really needed to make progress anyway otherwise the C-section talk would commence.
- If I ended up needing a C-section, I would rather already have the epidural to avoid general anesthesia.
Greg woke up, too and went to the cafeteria and brought his lunch back up to L&D. About that time, my mom came and we chatted for a few minutes then I asked for the nurse to check me again because I thought I needed to push. At that point, I had gone from 7cm to 10cm in 30 minutes. Greg was still calmly fixing his plate and commenting on how good his salad was.
Mom left the room and the nurse got everything ready, Greg was still munching the whole time and I was increasingly saying, "I think I need to push....Greg, tell the nurse I need to push."
When the nurse finally told me I could push, I asked where my doctor was. She told me not to worry, they don't call him until the baby crowns and there is plenty of time for him to get there. I tried to protest, but she said, "Don't worry, I've done this before."
I felt a little silly, but after one push, she was the one scrambling: "Okay, stop pushing!" She hurried to the nurses station to ask if my doctor had been called. The next 10 minutes or so was spent trying to see where he was and if he would make it to catch the baby. He arrived in a hurry and I just had to give one more push. At that point, he calmly said the cord was wrapped around her neck a couple of times, so instead of Greg cutting the cord, he did. That was fine by us as we were more than thrilled with her safe arrival.
Just to prove I'm human, I did have a couple of tears (one from each eye) when they plopped her up on my belly. There's not a word that can adequately describe that moment. We had waited so long to experience it and by far, it was worth all the pain, time, and expense to get to that moment.
This is one of my favorite photos Greg took right after birth. Claire has such long fingers and this photo looks like she's saying "Why is this happening to me?"
She was born on Friday, 11/12 and we were sent home on Sunday.
No one tell Claire her mommy put her outfit on backwards.
Meeting her siblings for the first time. (More on that later).
Then, on Tuesday, we went back for a checkup at the pediatrician. At that point, she was readmitted to the hospital because of jaundice and weight loss. I only took a few photos of this hospital stay because it was heart-wrenching...and I was busy the whole time. We had to weigh her before and after every feeding and I was pumping and adding about an ounce to her regular feedings. Luckily, I had good friends (and my husband of course) to watch Claire around the clock, though. She kept knocking those goggles off her face, so their job was to wash bottles and keep her eyes protected. She's going to write them a massive thank you note after her first eye doctor appointment, I'm sure of it.
We were dismissed the next day, but (whew!) that was a tiring event.
We're now home and happy and doing well. More updates to come.