The Fertility Carousel

Reaching for the brass ring on the fertility carousel (again!). (Because I already caught the brass ring on the infertility carousel and I want to get rid of it!) Two years of trying to conceive, but I finally got baby E. Now we begin going around and around again. Infertility sucks.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Eloise's birth story

My daughter is a week old today. Her name is Eloise Jane.

She was 8lb 1oz and 21 inches long at birth. She arrived on May 30th at 38wks 6days gestation.

(Isn't she adorable? This isn't even a great picture of her, but the pictures on the other computer and I'm just too tired to get a better one right now.)

I went in to the hospital on Memorial Day to be induced. On Saturday, the nurse had told me that the induction may take several days because they would need to soften my cervix first. Since she told me this after she spoke with the doctor (not actually my OB, but her partner), I assumed that softening was the doctor's idea, but I'm not sure about that anymore.

When I got to the hospital, got into my gown and had my vitals checked, the nurse said, "now it's time for your IV" - what? I asked her why we had to start it so soon and she looked at me concerned and said because I was here for a pitocin induction so of course I needed an IV now... umm wait a minute, my cervix wasn't "ripe" as of Friday, so the pitocin won't work will it? The two nurses in the room agreed that it worked best on a soft cervix and decided to do an internal exam and then call my doctor. My cervix was "dimpled", but not soft, it was also high and long they said. After a call to the doctor (still the partner, not my OB), she agreed and Cervidil was inserted to start softening my cervix. This meant that I postponed having an IV, although I did have to stay in bed for an hour or two after it was put in. It also meant that I had to be continuously monitered, so even after I could get up, I was only allowed up to use the bathroom. Oh, and just to make things fun, I was only allowed a liquid diet. yum.

I stayed on the Cervidil until about 9pm, and then was allowed to eat solid food at 10pm. My cervix was softer, and I had had contractions for most of the day, but not ones that I could really feel. Unfortunately, the contractions were not regular, and I did not dialate.

On Tuesday my own OB was back, and decided to do a second day of Cervidil. She was hopeful that this might make me go into labor "naturally" (well as natural as it could be at this point, she knew I had hoped for a natural birth and was trying to avoid pitocin). Unfortunately, it did not do anything for me - well, I think my cervix was softer, but not as much progress as had been made the first day. Over both Monday and Tuesday I felt some slight crampiness, but nothing that said "labor" to me. More like slight menstrual cramps that you wouldn't even bother to complain about.

So Wednesday morning at 4am, they started the pitocin at a 4 by 4 dose, which the nurse said was a moderate dose, not the lowest they could do (2x2) nor the highest (6x6). I could feel some cramping, but still not bad, still not as bad as the worst mentrual cramps I've had. However, it did seem to start working immediately and the nurse liked what she saw on the monitor. R and I watched a movie and I dozed off. When the doctor got there (around 9am I think), I was at 2cm and she decided to break my water.

I was really nervous about this. I knew that labor often really kicks in after the membrane is ruptured, but it also means that there's no going back. I was not prepared for how much the breaking would hurt. I also wasn't prepared for how I would feel emotionally. I felt like I had betrayed my baby, like I was kicking her out. I just felt horrible. And I know it's irrational and I knew it then, but I just felt like she wasn't ready to come out and here I was forcing her into the world.

The contractions did get stronger after the water was broken. But after a little while, the pain lessened for me, though the nurse said the contractions were still strong. I was sitting up straight in bed, even leaning forward a little, as this was the most comfortable position for me. This went on for a while. At this point I did have an IV of course and was being monitored, but I could still get up and use the bathroom. My blood pressure kept going up and down, so I couldn't walk around or anything.

The next time I was checked, I think I was at 4cm. I still had no pain medication, but was doing ok - actually I didn't even feel a lot of the contractions. However, at this point my blood pressure was even higher and they said I had to lie down rather than sitting up straight. Oh my God, what a huge difference that made!! The contractions were SO much more painful while laying down, I couldn't believe how much worse it was. I used the lamaze breathing that I had learned, but since I couldn't move around or do anything else I had learned, I didn't see the point in doing without pain medicine. I asked for an epidural and they came quickly and administered it. I'm not sure what time of day it was at this point, but they did another internal after the epidural and I was at 5cm. So I was making progress.

However, I was not making "textbook" progress, which should be about 1cm per hour... I finally got to 7cm around 6:30 that evening. However, at 9pm, I was still at 7cm. And I had maxed out the allowed dosage of pitocin. With my blood pressure still being a huge issue, my OB felt it was time for a c-section.

Eloise was tugged out of me at 9:38pm (they had to struggle a bit to get her out, the poor thing was trying to head towards the proper exit!)

She is beautiful and strong - throughout the whole 3 days she had a good heart rate and wiggled around a lot with no signs of distress.

However, we ended up staying in the hospital for an extra day... but more on that later.

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Blogger Shop Girl said...

CONGRATULATIONS on a beautiful, healthy baby girl! I'm so happy for you and can't wait to see some "day in the life" updates :) I'm just thrilled for you.

10:47 AM  

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