Postpartum Week Three

I can’t believe it is now July, and our sweet girl has been here for almost three weeks now. I also can’t believe that I have not written for nearly two months now!

My last month of pregnancy was absolutely miserable, and I ended up carrying to 41 weeks gestation. It was a long last month. I was scheduled for induction on June 24. On Thursday, June 20, I thought my water had broken. B and I were at home watching a movie. I waited until the movie was over, and we went to Labor and Delivery. They did a test called an amniosure, which is where they do a swab to determine if the liquid leaking is in fact amniotic fluid. The results for the test were negative, and my water had not broken. They sent us home.

The following morning, I had my normal weekly appointment with my doctor. The appointment went well, and ended with my membranes being swept in hopes that I would go into labor before the induction. I was warned that the membrane sweeping would be “uncomfortable.” If you have never had your membranes swept, it was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. It was horrible, and I was in tears by the time the process was ended.

Following the appointment, B and I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening walking. We went to Bass Pro, Walmart, and several other stores to walk around and try to break my water and induce labor. Around 730 that evening I was exhausted. We decided to go back to his sister’s house and wait a little bit to see if my water would break before we headed back home an hour away. We had been at sister’s house for a whole 15 mins when I again felt like my water had broken. Being the stubborn woman that I am, I didn’t immediately tell B. I didn’t want it to be a false alarm again, and go through the cervical exam again just to be sent home. I told him a couple of hours later, and we went to L&D.

This time when they did the amniosure, the test showed that my water had broken. We were admitted to a delivery room. Now, when we checked in I had this idea in my head that I did not want to have an epidural. My thinking was that women have babies every day without them. I was anxious about the possible complications with epidurals, and anxious about having to have a c section. When we got to our delivery room, I was immediately hooked up to a Pitocin drip. I was in for a long night, and my contractions were getting stronger within a couple of hours. Over the course of the night, I proceeded to empty my stomach of apparently everything. I had several large bowel movements, and I puked three times.

By around 4 am, I had progressed to 6 cm, and my contractions were becoming unbearable. I finally broke down and requested to have an epidural. I was afraid that I had waited too long and wouldn’t be able to have one, but the anesthesiologist was in the room in minutes to get me hooked up.

After being hooked up to the epidural, my body relaxed and I rolled over and slept for a couple of hours. The epidural slowed down any progress that I was making with dilation, but I was no longer in pain and took a much needed nap. My nurses switched shifts at 7 am, and our day time nurse was amazing. It was a long day, and I took several more hours to progress. By about 2 pm on Saturday June 22, I was dilated to 8 cm. Now came the fun part.

I have never been pregnant before, and this was my first delivery. I do not know what is the normal, and honestly I don’t know that there is really a “normal” for pregnancy and delivery. Every woman is different and has a little different experience. For me, once I was dilated to 8 cm my contractions picked up and I was again in severe pain despite having the epidural. The contractions were unbearable. It was so extreme that the anesthesiologist was called back in, and made the decision to increase the amount of anesthetic I was receiving. It took a few minutes, but they did subside enough to be tolerable, if not gone completely.

After 18 long hours, I was finally progressed to 10 cm and could start pushing. My wonderful nurse had to keep reminding me not to push in the last 30 minutes prior to this. There was so much pressure *down there* that I felt like I had to have a bowel movement. I obviously did not, since I had already emptied everything earlier. It was extremely difficult to not push, because my body felt like that is what I needed to be doing. After becoming dilated to 10 cm, the doctor came in along with multiple other staff members on hand for both me and the baby should something go wrong.

I pushed for about 30 minutes. Several things that I noted during the time that I was pushing. First of all, my left leg was so numb that I could not feel it, or move it at all. Apparently it is common with the epidural to REALLY numb one side much more than the other side. It would be almost 48 hours before I could move my leg fully, and closer to 96 hours before my skin didn’t feel numb anymore. Secondly, my baby had been measuring 8 lbs, 7 oz at my final appt. She had a big head, and the doctors and staff were increasingly anxious about how to get her shoulders out after I pushed her head out. Third, I was not a good pusher. I am not sure if it was the drugs or what but I found it difficult to push hard enough to make much progress. As a result of that, baby girl’s head went in and out of position. This caused her to be born with a giant bruise across her forehead, and a burst vessel in her eye.

Although the doctors were nervous about getting her shoulders out, and there had been several whispers about going ahead and doing a C-section if I couldn’t push harder, baby girl was born with no major complications. She was smaller than expected, although her head was huge. She was born at 4:05 pm, measuring 19.5 inches long and weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz.

The last weeks have been quite the adjustment for us, as we’ve moved to our new roles as Mommy and Daddy. We are both unbelievably happy to have our sweet girl here with us. She was worth 18 hours of labor.

Love to all,