Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And now, the story that you have all been waiting for...

A few weeks ago I promised that I would blog about Caroline's birth story. I never got around to it after she was born because, you know, I was BUSY:) It's so hard to believe that she will be one on Sunday. Everyone told me that it would fly by. They were right. Well, here goes with the "infamous" story!

Some of you who have read my blog for awhile will remember that Sean and I decided that we did not want to do an induction unless Caroline was very overdue. We had just heard some bad things about it and decided we wanted to let her come on her own. My doctor was going to be out of town the week she was due, but I was OK with having the on-call doctor since I hadn't had any complications in my pregnancy. I think after reading this you will see why I am no longer ruling out an induction for my next kiddos.

*This is me not long before she was born, large and in charge. Sean told me the other day "you didn't gain that much weight when you were pregnant." Um...OK. If you think 40 pounds is not a lot...*

Caroline's due date (Friday the 14th) passed and nothing seemed to be happening. On Monday I woke up and noticed some fluid and was having a little bit of cramping. Since the doctor's office wasn't open yet, the on-call nurse told us to go get checked out at the hospital. Sean and I got so excited! I got dressed, put on a little makeup and we took some pictures. We got to the hospital and a nurse named Pat was checking on me. She was very nice. (Remember her, she will come into play later in this story!) I was only dilated to a 1 and my water had not broken. She gave me some juice and hooked me up to the contraction monitor (whatever it's called). After awhile she told me that I was not in labor and though she hated to send me home overdue, they would have to induce if I wanted to have the baby that day. I felt a little embarassed about my "false alarm", but I figured lots of first-time moms do the same thing. Sean and I went home and rested for the day.

*I should have known I was not in labor since I had a smile on my face and posed for a picture. There are no pictures of the other trips to the hospital!*

Throughout the week, I was having fairly painful contractions at night, but they were bearable during the day and I was still able to work. By Thursday, they were getting more painful, even during the work day. I went home and Sean cooked us a big meal of chicken fried steak. Yummy! Sean went to bed that night and I stayed up because the contractions were really hurting. I played on the computer and watched TV. They started getting worse and worse and they were pretty close together. I finally went into the bedroom and told Sean that we needed to go to the hospital because I was in so much pain. When we got to the hospital, they put us in the teeniest tiniest room ever. I had a different nurse who seemed nice enough, but she was no Pat. She hooked me up to the machine and gave me a ton of ice water to drink since I was still only dilated to a 1. When she left the room, Sean was watching the machine and noticed that it wasn't registering my contractions. When the nurse came back in Sean told her about it and she made a comment that the machine was making "valleys" instead of "hills." I'm not sure why that did not tip her off to the fact that maybe the machine was not working properly, but it did not. She called the on-call doctor and the two of them decided that I was not in "active labor." So, they send me home with an Ambien and two Tylenol. It's about 4 in the morning.

I get home and am totally woozy from the Ambien. Sean had to dress me in my pajamas because I could barely stand up. Since I'm not "in labor" I wolf down two Pop Tarts and climb into bed. Sean had a SWAT callout that night, so he headed out to take care of that since he figured that I would be sleeping awhile. Wrong. I was in SO MUCH PAIN. I don't remember much of what happened for the next few hours, but I do remember lots of screaming, getting into the bathtub to see if it would take the edge off, and using the bathroom a bunch of times. I remember being concerned when I went to the bathroom because I could feel that she was very low. Sean comes home a few hours later and finds me in the recliner, screaming, half draped in a bath towel. To say that he was concerned would be an understatement. (Also, I found out later that the entire time this is going on, my husband had gone to the Kettle and WalMart. Seriously.)

*It's hard to know which hospital trip this pic is from, there were so many. I'm fairly sure this was "the real thing." I think I had my epidural by this time because I'm half-smiling.*

He calls the on-call doctor (a different one from earlier in the morning). I am immediately not impressed by him when he tells Sean harshly to "put me on the phone." Um, yeah, I would have called myself if I WASN'T GIVING BIRTH IN MY LIVING ROOM. He finally gives us the OK to go back to the hospital. It's about 11 by this time. We check into the hospital and by the grace of God, my nurse is the glorious Pat. I was so happy. She checks me out and says "Yep, you're in labor!" Ah, the words I've been waiting to hear. She tells me I'm almost at a 3 and calls the doctor. He refuses to let me have an epidural until he checks me out, but OKs the Stadol. She brings in the Stadol and I'm at a 5. In walk my parents. I have no idea how they knew I was in labor, but I find out later that I talked to my Dad on the phone that morning. I have no recollection of that conversation at all. Finally, the doctor OKs the epidural. I start to get worried when Pat tells me that she is trying to flag down the anesthesiologist. Things were progressing so fast and I was super worried that I would not have time for the epidural. Luckily, I got it and it worked perfectly. Whoever invented those is an angel. The doctor comes in and makes some comment about how "It's good we sent you home this morning because blah blah blah...". Obviously I tune this ridiculousness out. I slept for an hour or so and Pat checks me and I'm at a 10. The doctor comes in again and asks me if I want an episiotomy. I tell him to do whatever, he's the expert. I pushed for maybe 10-15 minutes and she was born at 3:45! Yay!

*I had to post a picture with at least part of nurse Pat in it. I wish I'd gotten one of her face. She was such a wonderful nurse and took great care of us!*

*Me and my precious angel. She was so worth it!*

*Sean, Caroline, and the musical balloon that took weeks to deflate. We had 2 of them!*

Caroline was perfectly healthy and oh-so-cute! We spent the night celebrating with family and catching up on sleep. The neonatologist checked her in the morning and said she was healthy and we could go home as soon as we wanted. I was a little bit nervous because she was born so fast after we got to the hospital and I had needed an antibiotic for Group B Strep. Sean and I had planned to stay 2 nights in the hospital, but there was a serious shortage of rooms and I got a "roomate" the next day. As much as I loved hearing her yell on the phone and have her kids repeatedly peek through the curtains at me as I was breastfeeding, we decided to head home 24 hours after Caroline's birth. I could not get out of there fast enough. I was so ready to leave the hospital that I didn't even dress her in her going home outfit or have her "official" hospital picture taken. I got myself ready to go while Sean, Tara and my Dad got Caroline ready. That might explain why she was wearing no socks.

So, that's the story! I'll post some pictures soon of her big 1st birthday party this weekend!


Marcia said...

I had heard bits of pieces of your story, but never the whole thing. Thanks for taking the time to share the whole thing. My induction went great, but you have a much more fun story.

what other color cast would I choose? I sure didn't want the maroon one she offered.

yes, we do need so see each other again soon. maybe when our life gets back to normal we can come visit. i'd invite you to see us, but we barely have room for ourselves.

Becky at "Cheese My Head" said...

That's a whopper of a birth story! I laughed out loud when I read the doc on call asked to talk to you on the phone. He's lucky you didn't hurt him.

Anonymous said...

Reading this cracked me up - I can just hear you saying it in my head, and I can't help but to giggle audibly. Oh, and my advice about the first birthday gift is to save your money until she's old enough to realize she's being gypped - stick with something small and cheap. I'm sure you won't do that - we didn't either with our first kid, but you get smarter the next time around. Surely you've bought her something by now, but no worries - Christmas is in a few months and you can stiff her just as easily then. Take the money you WOULD spend on Caroline's Christmas present and go out to eat, instead. (She'll never know!) :)

~Gretchen~ said...

They sent me home with an Ambien as well. It was the most horrible thing they could have done for me because I woke up in sheer terror and panic every six minutes all night long as I had back labor and her little baby skull was pressing on my spine with every farking contraction. It was much easier the second night of labor when I was drowsy but not knocked unconcious between my six-minute apart contractions.

(You know how they tell you to go to the hospital when your contractions are 5 minutes apart for an hour? Mine were six minutes apart for 42 hours and they kept sending me home. They were about to send me home again when my water broke and they sped up to 5.5 minutes apart. At 46 hours, they offered me an epi. I offered to put it in myself.)

But I do want to give this encouraging tidbit--second babies are soooo much easier. 5 hours instead of 52. 2 pushes instead of 2.5 hours of pushing.

Michelle said...

Hi, I read Annalee's blog and was cruising through her blog list. Once I stopped on your's, I noticed that you live in CS. So, I felt the need to comment. My husband and I were born and raised in Bryan, so CS is like our home too! We moved from there about six years ago. Miss it!Great place to live!
Your daughter is a cutie!