Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Carmella Joy's Birth Story

Carmella’s Birth Story/Timeline

First off I want to address the importance of not having high/set expectations of how you will deliver your baby. I was gearing up to deliver vaginally and really really wanted to do it naturally (without drugs). I read up on natural child birth, took the class on it, looked into hiring a doula (even though my husband wasn't a fan of the idea) and was trying to mentally prepare for this kind of labor. When that didn't end up being the case for me, I was pretty disappointed and it affected the progression of my labor/delivery.  Because of my history and what happened in my previous pregnancy, my doctor stressed she wanted to be overly cautious and didn't want me to go past my due date. She urged me (and I felt pressured) to be induced in my 39th week. Although I had the opportunity to object, after deliberating for awhile I agreed to set an induction date, and hoped she would just come earlier and on her own. I do regret not going with my gut and sticking to my guns about letting her come when she was ready...but I've learned my lesson for next time (hopefully) and still consider myself lucky to have delivered her vaginally. Plus it's important to remember that in the end all that matters is baby arrives safe and sound. 

So anyway here's how things transpired to the best of my memory...

Sunday 7:30p.m.- Jason & I arrived at Beaumont for my “scheduled” induction to begin. We checked in at triage and were taken to a bed with a curtain. A resident did a quick exam, and told us I was dilated to 2cm by his measure. He then also did an ultrasound to check baby’s size and told us she was measuring about 8 pounds! My reaction was, yeah right, she can’t be that big! He then also proceeded to tell me we probably would be skipping the step of prepping the cervix my doctor told me would happen and going straight to starting Pitocin. I told him that wasn't the plan that came from my doctor and he said you just have to trust us. Whatever Dr. Wu! **Word to the wise, if you aren't comfortable with something the doctors want to do, tell them you need some time before you make a decision so you can give yourself time to process and dont have to make a rash decision.  

9:00p.m.- Next we got checked into a labor & delivery room, got settled and met our first nurse, Jamie. We went over my preferences (from my birth plan) and I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and IV. She also informed me I couldn’t eat—clear liquids only; which was another thing different than what my doctor said and did not make me happy!
10p.m.- They started me on the first oral drug that "ripens" the cervix. The nurse told me I was having contractions early on, but I couldn’t feel them for the first few hours. By what I would estimate was halfway through the night I was having contractions that felt like mild to moderate menstrual cramps. Enough to feel uncomfortable and unable to sleep but not bad at all in comparison to what was to come later. In between contractions I felt the baby moving around quite a bit. Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep. 

~1:30 a.m. I snuck a granola bar out of my backpack because I was starving and I figured I had a long way to go. Jason also brought me popsicles from time to time when he was awake. Not much else to note about that first night into the early a.m. I remember texting my sister-in-law a lot since she was up in the middle of the night with my two week old niece and watching TV ( the Olympics). 
4:00a.m.  Up to just 3cm by this point and Pitocin is started in the lowest dose; Contractions start to get more intense. 
7:30am-The nurses shift change occurred and we met our new nurse Kendel. Not much change in my labor other than stronger contractions due to higher doses of Pitocin. 

8:30a.m.-Labor is progressing due to another increase in Pitocin and contractions continue increasing in intensity and becoming more and more painful; 

9:15 am-dilated to 4cm, serious contractions from them upping the dose; I start to vomit in between contractions which seem to be coming every couple minutes. I ask my mom to leave the room because things are getting rough and having her there makes me feel like I should hold back in front of her, and I can tell it's uncomfortable for her to watch me in this kind of pain. 

10:30am-still at 4cm and contractions are at the absolute worst yet. I try using the bouncey ball and getting in the shower to get me through contractions and hold off on the 

10:45a.m./11:00a.m. After a couple hours of pure hell, I decide an epidural is absolutely necessary and request it ASAP. Within a few minutes of them giving it to me, I feel enormous relief physically and am able to relax. Contractions become practically painless. I also feel woozy and tingly, like how I remember feeling when being on strong pain meds. Like I was almost too comfortable and numb.
11:30a.m.- My parents and parents-in-law come in to see us since I'm feeling well enough for visitors. I try to take a nap but am unsuccessful. Apparently when I was just about to drift off to sleep my blood pressure would drop too low, which would/could lead to baby's dropping as well, so they decided I needed to stay awake. So much for that NAP! 

12:30ish- No change in dilation when they check me. After about 3 hours of what seems like no change or progress, I become very frustrated that this isn't going like I think it should be. It seems like things are not moving in the right direction and to me that felt like our girl just might not be ready to evacuate! I ask the nurse if it's possible to stop all the drugs, wait for them to wear off and take a break so I can eat, rest and regroup. She says NOPE! There's no turning back now...which was a letdown but at the same time I think it allowed me to let go of expectations and come to terms with what was happening in the moment. I had to accept I couldn't control the situation and needed to just let things happen. 

1:30p.m.- Jason leaves to get lunch, meanwhile my water breaks after I change to an upward position (with assistance) in bed.
1:45p.m.-A doctor came in to check on me and baby since heart rate was hard to read and it ended up being because I was at a 10 and she had started to drop into position! I quickly ordered Jason back up STAT. But as it turns out, we had to wait for awhile as they wanted me to feel the urge to push, both during contractions and during the in-between time. 
2:45 p.m.-A midwife stops by and suggest we start doing some practice  pushing...she talks me through some positions/techniques and I start doing some pushing ... which goes well and when they see some forward progression we move on to full blown pushes
3:19p.m. Carmella Joy enters the world and minutes later our lives change forever when we get to hold her for the first time!

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