8 lbs., 4 oz. and 19.75 inches long
Because I had gestational diabetes (GD), my doctor did not want me to go much longer than 39 weeks of pregnancy. So I was scheduled for an induction on Monday, January 25, 2010. We checked into Labor and Delivery at St. Francis Hospital at 5 a.m. and Libby was born at 7:04 p.m. So, without further ado...here's my recollection of her birth story.
Day before the induction. I spent a lot of time meditating and visualizing a safe and happy birth for me and for Libby. I did have some anxiety about what was to come the next day and let the tears come freely. I got a massage that evening and slept more soundly than I had in months!
3:30 a.m. - awoke...showered and had a light breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast.
5:00 a.m. - report to the hospital
6:00 a.m. - I changed into my birthing attire...a cotton sarong (bought a few yards of fabric, washed it and my mom finished the edges with the sewing machine) and a hook-front, cotton tank bra (similar to a sports bra...it's by Leading Lady® ). I was adamant not to wear the scratchy hospital gown. I hate wearing nightgowns and wasn't going to do it just because I was in the hospital! Once I was changed, the IV was inserted and the Pitocin started. I was at about 2 cm dilated.
7:30 a.m. - Mild contractions started and the doctor ruptured my membranes. It was the oddest sensation ever...warm liquid just gushed forth. I was up and laboring on the birthing ball, standing over the bedside and getting counter pressure on my back from my mom and doula. They had me sit on the bed in a "throne" position (the back up as high as possible and the foot of the bed dropped down so I could sit with my feet on the lower portion.) I breathed through the contractions as they came and chatted when they weren't there. We had mellow music on in the back ground and the mood was light.
12:00 p.m. - Contractions had increased in intensity and I was having tons of back labor. Baby was obviously still face up. I was checked and thinking that by now I surely must be closer to 5 cm. They said 3 cm and 80% effaced and I was pretty upset that this is all I had progressed. They increased the Pitocin and I started to cry and express my doubts about being able to continue without pain medication.
3:30 p.m. - I was laboring with intense contractions. At this point they were 60-90 seconds long and coming every 1-2 minutes. I had my eyes closed and asked that the overhead lights be turned off. I was sure that I must be close to 5 cm by now! I was checked and told that I was 4 cm and still not very thinned. The contractions were becoming unbearable because my legs were spasming with each one. So as I was trying to relax and breath my legs were clamping closed and almost "seizing"...I was shaking uncontrollably.
4:15 p.m. - The next 45 minutes (between 3:30-4:15 p.m.) was rough. Despite doing my best to stay with my breathing and coping techniques, I couldn't get on top of the contractions because my legs were just taking over my body and not allowing me to relax. After much struggle, I finally begged for the epidural. It seemed like an eternity before I got it. I worked through another 15 minutes of hard contractions and then I finally got it. I have to say, it wasn't scary like I had imagined and it felt like a dream...my legs stopped quivering enough for me to sleep for an hour. I got to hug J while they inserted the needle and later he told me that he almost passed out from watching. I felt instant relief.
5:30 p.m. - After an incredibly deep sleep, I was finally 7 cm and fully dilated...my legs still continued to tremble with every contraction, but I felt no pain! My upper body started shaking though with each contraction so I still knew when they were coming!
My mom, husband and I just before pushing began.
My husband and doula watching the baby being born. They were both tearing up!
7:04 p.m. - Libby was born! They put her on my chest immediately and within minutes she was latched on and nursing. She knew exactly what to do. It was amazing.
From here the details get very blurry for me. I had a very tough 3rd stage and lost a lot of blood. They worked on me for 45 minutes. My placenta came out swiftly but with some was retained (doctor doesn't think so) or a piece of my uterine lining came out with it. Apparently there were buckets of fresh blood being removed as well as being mopped off the floor. I remember none of this (no one was panicked or saying things that sounded urgent). I do remember the look on our doula's face and that my mom and Joseph took Libby to the warmer and were tending to her. Now I know they were distracting themselves from seeing me bleeding. I am fuzzy on these details but there was my doctor and the nurse, both inside of me with tools scraping my lining and massaging my uterus. It was very intense and it made me projectile vomit (imagine the Heimlich from within)! My blood pressure dropped to 84/43. They administered some shot of medicine in my leg and I heard the Doctor say, "800 of Cytotec"...
Anyway, long story short...they got my uterus to finally tighten up. It took about 45 minutes - hour. After that I am not sure what happened. I did have Libby back on my breast. And then I slept, I think. I awoke and the epi was out, etc. I am not sure how long that was...it was around 9 p.m. or so. I did have one fainting spell in the bathroom but other than that, I was stable and pretty much "back to normal" by 11 p.m. I had a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries! After 12 weeks on a low carb, GD diet, they were especially delicious!
So in the end...I was incredibly grateful to be in hospital. I did have the vaginal birth I wanted and labored without pain meds fror 12 hours. Ultimately, the epidural was the right choice...it allowed Libby to be born quickly and also enabled me to get through that horrible stage three scenario. Had I not had the epi I would have been rushed to the OR and fully sedated. And had they not been able to stop the bleeding my doctor said the only option was to have my uterus removed! Very scary stuff.
But all in all...I have no real memory of that and I feel great. Libby is so wonderful...she's been a fantastic nurser since the first minutes of life and has basically taught me what to do. J has been so hands on with her from the very beginning and we're making a great team.