Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Bug!!

One Year. It's hard to believe that after 4 very long, childless years of trying to conceive, of feeling like we were failures, of hurting and pain, excitement and hope, we not only got our take home baby, but she is turning one today.

Continuation from yesterday... They didn't really check me from sometime in the evening on 7/24 until sometime early on 7/25. They knew that I was dilated to 10 before midnight, but the nurse didn't want to check, because she said if she did and told the doc that I was complete she would want to come in and have me push. The problem was that Bug's heart rate kept decelerating. The nurse was hoping the oxygen would help, and I was changing positions what seemed like every minute or so.

Sometime after midnight the nurse checked me and I was complete (as we knew I had been for a bit) and bug was at +2 station. She decided to try some practice pushes to see how we would both handle it. Bug's heart did not take to it well at all! Everyone got a little worried at this point. The nurse said we would labor down for a while longer and see if we could get Bug further down in the birth canal.

Around 2am the doc mentioned possibility of a C section, I said no way unless medically needed. Don't get me wrong, I considered it for a split second. I was so tired, beyond exhausted, and had no idea how much longer I could take this this could take. But, it's not what I wanted. I always wanted, more than anything, to be able to deliver this baby vaginally.

My nurse said she felt that there were still other options. Doc was OK with that and I had the whole floor of nurses coming up with ideas on how to help labor down without Bug's heart taking a hit. By this time the epi had worn off and I was struggling with the contractions. I never felt the urge to push per se, but the pressure was so great that I didn't think I'd ever be able to push Bug out. I didn't even realize at the time that this was transition. For all I know I'd been there for a while, but it seemed so sudden as the epi wore off. It was so tough, and at one point in time I was almost in tears, and didn't think I could do it. Then K really forced me to focus on him and what he was saying, which was when I was able to get above it and no longer focus on the pain. K was using, of all things, surfing analagies to help me put myself above the pain. (no, we are not surfers) He was a GREAT coach and I couldn't have made it through this part without him. Both him and the nurse would stroke my arms or back and help to calm me. They kept a cool wash cloth on my forehead to help the overwhelming heat and shaking. She said this was all normal, it was just my body doing what it was supposed to.

I don't know why I never asked for a redose on my epi, I think by the time I realized what was going on, I was just trying to get through it. But, after quite a while of this the nurse offered to call Anesth and have me redosed. Initially I turned her down, I figured if I could make it this far I might as well keep going. Then, a few more contractions in, I took her up on the offer as I was struggling so hard with the contractions and had been in labor so long (24+ hours at this point). My nerves were shot and I was exhausted. This time my left leg ended up completely numb for a while, but it didn't matter to me - the intense pressure was no longer as painful.

Eventually they wanted to try pushing again as Bug was so low we really needed to get her out. The nurse had put me where my head is lower than my feet to labor down, (I can't remember what this is called) and had me do a test push that way. Bug handled it like a champ! So of course I didn't have gravity on my side ha ha. Hey, I never did like making things easy!

We pushed for just a little bit this way, and the nurse said she could start to see the head, and there was a LOT of long dark hair. We had not found out what we were having, but at this point I looked at K and said 'It's a girl!' He disagreed, thinking it would be a boy (as we had both thought all along). Then suddenly the nurse stopped me mid push and told me that we were done pushing, that I was going to have this baby the old fashioned way and she had to go call the doc. We hadn't been pushing for too long so that was great.

The doc is called and rushes in. Everything seems surreal in those last minutes of being a Mama with no baby to hold. Lights are turned on, nurses and the doc are getting ready. I watch everyone, and feel almost like I'm looking down on myself as they put me up to a normal position and get my legs ready. I can hear the nurse reminding K what to do. He takes over and is holding one leg and my head when I pop up to push. For each contraction I have to take the oxygen mask off before I tuck my head in to push. I can hear someone counting to 10, I'm not sure who it is. I hear someone else urging me to push, telling me that I'm doing good, that we're close. I don't know who this is either. (my mom and C were not in the room)

After each push, I have to put the oxygen mask back on. If I forget the nurse is quick to remind me. Towards the end, in between pushes, I feel God there with me, and a peace that comes from deep within. In this minute, I know that everything is going to be OK. Then everything comes rushing back as we start to push again with every contraction. I hear everyone helping me through it, the counting, the positive words. I hear the doc tell me that she's going to use a vacuum, that my pelvis and the baby's head are swollen, and she wants to get the baby out. I only pushed for maybe a total of 15 - 20 mins, so really just a handful of pushes.

I don't remember feeling the 'burning ring' as I've heard it referred to. Maybe I did and I just have forgotten. I do have a vague recollection of knowing that I'm close, feeling my body opening up in a way that is foreign, but that is it. All of a sudden the pain that I can feel is almost completely gone. The epi is already wearing off again, and I hear the doc tell me that the head is out. I breath deeply, trying to catch the scent of my newborn. I hear them suctioning her mouth and nose out, then they tell me one last small push to get the body out.

I give them what they ask for, as I feel the exhaustion trying to overtake me, knowing that it's done. I've done it. Then I hear the sweet, sweet cry of our little one, and hear the doctor declare 'It's a Girl!' and the tears come, and my heart melts. Immediately they lay her on me, still covered in everything, and they let K cut the cord. He had said he wouldn't do it, but did it anyways. He said he had to, it was his new baby and he had just witnessed the amazing miracle of her birth. I feel myself cuddling with her, running my hands down her head and body, I look down into those perfect blue eyes as she stares up at me with wonderment. I feel the love swell up inside of me, and the happiness that the birth was so perfect for me. It was like time stood still for that moment, letting me meet my sweet daughter, letting me know that everything I'd been through in the past, it all led up to this. It was everything I ever imagined and more. It was the culmination of the pain, that ended in a feeling that it was all worth it in the end.

When they took her to check her out I couldn't help but keep staring at her. With the birth being so hard on her, she was running a fever, so they had to take care of that. That took about 45 mins, which gave the doc time to deliver the placenta, stitch me up and clean me up. I could feel her stitching me, could feel the needle, but it was OK, I was busy staring over at my baby girl.

They said that the umbilical cord was really long but not wrapped around any part of her, so they thought after my water broke that she kept laying on it and that was why the heart decels. Then when they weighed her they all joked that they couldn't believe how big she was for how little I am (I was 5 foot 106 lbs when I got pg, and was ALL baby). She was 7 pounds, 2.4 ounces, 20 1/4 inches long. My sweet little Bug was born at 4:23am on Sunday, 7/25/10. When they gave her back to me and let me do skin to skin I was in heaven.

Because there always has to be a laugh... K didn't hear them say it was a girl, and as we both thought we were going to have a boy, he thought she was a boy! While they were trying to get her fever down, he made some comment about his boy, and we all laughed as I told him that we had a little girl. He thought I was joking, he didn't believe me, so the nurses moved to let him see her. 'He's missing a penis' he said, we all laughed. He's wrapped around her finger now, and wouldn't have wanted a boy instead of her!

They told me I was smiling through all of labor - and there are pics to prove it (see yesterdays post for one)! They said I was happy, even when I was in pain. The nurse said I was the best patient she'd ever had, and even asked if I wanted to come back the next weekend, for her next shift, and do it all again LOL. I laughed and said thanks but no thanks. She was the best nurse ever - I couldn't have asked for a better nurse. She also told me that if I ever decided to do a drug free labor, that I could definitely make it.

Maybe an hour and 1/2 - 2 hours after she was born, I told the nurse that I had to go to the bathroom. She was surprised that I could feel it already. So she checked my feet, which I could feel everything and move, and then went and got another nurse. They helped me to the bathroom, and gave me the rundown on what to do to take care of myself. Then I peed. and peed. and peed. Apparently, they were right, Bug was blocking my bladder. They have you pee in a container and I filled it up, then had to scoot back and kept going. I think I would have filled it up at least three times. Wow. I know, TMI LOL.

Later that day, or maybe the next? I don't remember... they told me that she was jaundiced and she needed to go under the lights.

So she spent 36 hours in NICU. It was really tough because they had to supplement my Breastmilk with formula. We struggled with BFing due to her lethargy from the jaundice. We struggled with some latching problems as well. But as the days went on it all got better.

She's so very precious, I didn't know I could hold so much love in my heart for one very tiny and sometimes frusturating person!!

Every day I thank God for allowing me this miracle baby. The struggle with Infertility for so many years made me believe it would never happen. But it did, and I have faith that it will again. I can only hope that the second time around is as perfect an experience as the first. That day was like the storm clouds parting after everything we had weathered. All I have to do is look in her sweet face, hear her sweet voice, and I melt all over again. I would die for her. She speaks to my heart everyday just by being there, and being her.

Bug, this last year has been, by far, the happiest of my life. Without you I would be a mere shadow of the person you have helped make me become. Everyday I gain more patience and acceptance at the life that the Lord has carved out for me, because of you.


  1. Ohhh! What a beautiful birth story :) And I love that you put her in overalls - there's nothin' cuter than a baby in overals!! Happy birthday, Bug. And happy 1st mommy anniversary!

  2. Beautiful story! As for the ring of fire, that was the worse ever, so be happy that you forget that :) happy birthday sweet baby girl!

  3. almost in tears, after all that? girl, after 20 hours of labor, i was a puddle on the bed, i was a complete wreck. you did great.

  4. Oh, happy tears! She truly is a beauty. Thank you for sharing this story.