Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Samantha Birth Story - Part 3 - Labor and Birth!

It was a fitful sleep until about 10am. *Yawn* I wasn’t sure if I could handle another few weeks of this kind of contracting and that little amount of sleep.

So I got up to post on my June board and the contractions starting coming again. I was just trying to work through them – I figured this was all another false alarm. Chris brought me some English muffins while I tried to mess around on the computer.

At about 10:30, Ellie saw mom and wanted to come hang out with me so I headed downstairs and brought my computer with me. I still hadn’t managed to do much more than send an email.

Chris looked at me and asked what we needed to do. I said not to worry – I’d let him know. The contractions were getting worse, but I didn’t want to call out the forces only to find out that nothing was going on. But by 10:45 I knew things were a little different. I started feeling ill and headed to the kitchen sink. I asked Chris to take Ellie out – I was going to throw up. Sure enough, bye-bye breakfast. And while I was throwing up, I felt a gush. I grabbed a hand towel and assumed it was just urine. But then again – it could have been my water.

I told Chris that it could have been my water breaking and headed to the bathroom to pee. No more fluid came out – just pee. So I started to head out of the bathroom to go upstairs for new panties and that’s when things got worse. (Looking back, I really do think that my water broke.) And I told Chris to call in the reinforcements.

He called his sister, Laurie and pretty much everyone else. I just contracted and slowly made my way upstairs to get new panties. Then eventually back downstairs to pack up my computer. Ellie was downstairs watching Leapfrog Letter Factory and enthralled.

Doing those few things took me more than 30 minutes. The contractions were incredible. They were about 3 minutes apart and would peak and come down, but not go away. I would literally only have about 15-30 seconds to be functional – and about 1 minute to be able to talk, but still in some good pain. I was wearing some huge, ugly night gown and my purple crocs – and I didn’t care!

After talking to the doctor, we packed into the car and headed off – very painfully. Just going down our bumpy road was awful. Going through the corners on 285 caused intense pain. Chris was awesome – he helped remind me to breathe through everything. I seriously doubt I would have remembered to if it hadn’t been for him – he was so wonderful.

While driving, Chris called everyone. This was definitely it. I was NOT coming home from the hospital without a baby! He kept telling everyone “Andi has that look – it’s time”. Or “She’s lost that lovin’ feeling” If I hadn’t been in such pain, I probably would have cracked up!

We got to the hospital exactly 12 hours after our last trip there – about 12:00pm. (We were at Swedish the night before and again this time. My doctor wasn’t on call so we had Dr Bowman.) This time there was NO way I was walking up to the room as I had the night before. I could barely breathe through the contractions. But at least the ride was smoother than the right to the hospital!

We got up to the room (room 5 – same as the night before!) and I promptly threw up some more. I heard the nurses rushing around saying “she’s in active labor, let’s get things together”. They had to help me change clothes since I couldn’t even fathom helping myself. These contractions were so different from anything I had with Ellie or earlier. Still coming on top of each other with no real break – I was in pain all the time – just varying amounts.

They got me into the bed and checked me – 3-4cm. No clue how effaced. When I heard that, I made the decision to get an epidural. There was no way I was going to be able to make it for hours like that. Too much pain. As it was, the hour before I got the epidural (I need to ask Chris how long it was – it might have been longer) was excruciating. Unreal. Poor KT was trying to say hi and rubbed my arm or something and I motioned “GO AWAY” to her. I was NOT even close to being interested in any niceties. I only wanted Chris touching me. He was the one I could hold onto and know I was going to make it. My mom helped quite a bit, but honestly, it was Chris that helped me the most.

Finally, the epidural guy showed up at about 1:30-1:45. I had to lay on my side and curl up. Wow. That was tough! When I was contracting (at least two while he was doing this), it was incredibly painful and difficult to curl up. Chris was there the whole time helping me deal. (I think everyone else had to leave the room.) Getting epidural was pretty painful in other ways too – the tube going in wasn’t fun. It hurt like hell and hit nerves a few times. They did numb me for it, but it wasn’t fun. But in the whole grand scheme of things, I was fine with it!

And then life was much better. I could think and move and be aware again. Heaven indeed. I now understand why getting one is such a great thing for most women. (I had such a bad experience with Ellie’s epidural that I was terrified of this one. Well, until it got to the point I couldn’t deal with the pain. Then it wasn’t terrifying – it was just something I was going to get and deal with later.)

I never had my blood pressure drop. They were very aware of what the problems were that I had earlier so they were pretty careful and everything was perfect!

But them my contractions slowed almost to a halt so they hooked me up to some Pitocin.

I think the doctor showed up at about 2:30-2:45 to break my water – and she found that my bag was gone! I talked about this with the nurse later and we thought it might have been shortly after the epidural. Later I realized it was probably when I got sick at home.

But when the doctor checked me, I was about 4cm and fully effaced.

So everyone came back in the room – KT, mom and dad. (Chris was there most of the time.) And they proceeded to take “bets” on my contractions. It took a while for the contractions to build back up, but they’d watch the monitor and guess how high the contraction would go… And harass me if it wasn’t above 50. They are so funny!

About 3:45 I started feeling a lot of pressure really low and thought, “I need to get checked – I think I’m close.” Next contraction, same thing. Next contraction I asked Chris to have the nurse check me. She came in at about 4:10 and she looked at me and said, “Oh! The baby’s head is right there – you are 10cm. And the doctor has gone home! You’re going to have to try to wait to push until she gets here.” So she turned off the Pitocin and turned up the epidural and I breathed through the desire to push until about 4:35.

Everyone came back in the room and I told them what was going on…. Then I asked everyone but Chris to leave and we spent a few minutes just with the wonder of it. We were about to have another child!

That short time with Chris is really precious to me. It was so different from with Ellie’s birth. Everything was so rushed and almost scary with hers, but this was so much calmer and I was able to just absorb what was going on. And to spend those few minutes just absorbing the moment before birth with Chris was amazing.

We asked everyone to come back in until the doctor got there. (Mom was going to be in the room for the birth.) And we all just sort of enjoyed those few minutes chatting and wondering and guessing about Baby Dos’ sex! Everyone said boy. Poor baby Dos!

The doctor got there and dad and KT were kicked out of the room and things got set up. It was a little surreal. With Ellie it was CRAZY getting everything together. With Sam, it was much more sedate. They got a mirror set up, the bed broken down, me into position, mom got cameras ready, the nurses got the baby station ready, but it was very calm and done methodically. They asked if I could feel enough to push – and I thought I could. Turns out I couldn’t tell when I was contracting unless my hand was on my belly. Weird.

So we waited for my first contraction and I tried pushing with Chris and the nurse counting. I pushed and the baby moved down quickly. Pushed 3 times….

Break while a few things were discussed. I was busy concentrating so I don’t even know what was going on. (Have to watch the video.) Another contraction and pushing 3 times with baby moving, moving.

I was so afraid of getting an epidural because of losing the feeling. But this was amazing and perfect. I could feel everything. I knew were the baby was and I could tell when I was pushing harder, the baby was moving. But there was no pain. Just the feeling of the baby moving down was incredible….

Then another contraction and push, push, push and I saw and felt the head come out! No pain, just the feeling of it leaving my body…. Mom said, “It’s a big head! It’s gotta be a boy!” The doctor suctioned out the nose and mouth and then pulled the baby out and said, “Wrong! It’s a girl!”

The whole room erupted in laughter and amazement – Chris and I had another daughter! We had no clue…. I was *sure* it was a boy! But the most amazing thing was that there was absolutely no disappointment for either of us. We already had one wonderful daughter – how could another daughter be a disappointment?

They put her on my belly and she was gorgeous! I didn’t think she was that blue, but seeing the little bit of the video made me realize she was…. Not as bad as Ellie, but still not good. Everything was fine, though. They had her with a little bit of oxygen for about an hour or so and she pinked up and was fine.

We, of course, kept getting asked what her name was. We said we had no clue! Chris at one point said to me, “The names that keep popping to the top of my list are Lillian and Samantha.” This amazed me – not 10 minutes before I had been thinking that I loved the name Samantha.

But it wasn’t until later that evening that we finally settled on it for sure. And I love the name!
Since then, she’s been a delight. She looks identical to Chris as an infant – almost in a scary way! She latches well and when she sucks, she’s a great nurser. I doubt we’ll have many breastfeeding issues if things continue like that. (*knock on wood*)

Today was when she met her older sister. Grandma Judy was holding Sam when Chris came in to say Ellie was there… Mom brought her in, unbuckled her and she came in. I think she was overwhelmed by all the people and shyly stood at the entrance to the room.

But the thing that got me was my reaction – I immediately had tears streaming down my face. I missed Ellie so much I couldn’t believe it and picking her up and having her lay her head on my shoulder made me just melt. I am mom to two beautiful little girls. It was so odd being so “into” Sam and just absorbing my new daughter and the feelings I am learning for her and then having Ellie come in and my well known feelings for her just rushing to the forefront. And how those two work together – or rather, don’t quite yet – was wild. The next few weeks are going to be interesting to see how my feelings change and develop – for both of them….

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