Saturday, November 15, 2014

Welcome to the World Baby Batty

I have not blogged in the last year between taking a writing class, volunteering again as the kids Flipper rep for swim team, and being pregnant. The whole being pregnant thing made me so tired.  I think it's my advanced age. I hit advanced maternal age status with this pregnancy or as my doctor wrote on my health summaries "elderly." Bah. Elderly. This "elderly" woman ran 2 half marathons last year.

It was fortunately a fairly uneventful pregnancy. The first trimester was hard between the exhaustion and the morning sickness, but after the morning sickness subsided it was the easiest of my four pregnancies.  I ran up through my 7th month of pregnancy and walked until the very end.  I was definitely more tired this time around, but with the kids being older and being in school and with the help of some friends, I was able to nap often.

Hubby and I were thrilled to find out we were having another girl. Heck, we would have been happy to hear we were having another boy. We were just flat out happy.  But having 2 boys and 2 girls is kind of cool.  Everyone has a partner and there are two of each.

Just as with the other pregnancies, I was not dilated or effaced until I actually went into labor.  The OB tried to strip my membranes and she said I was too high and I wasn't open. No surprise.  I was kind of hoping with all my walking and running that I would be more "ready" but my body decided that yet again my water would break at home. I am part of the 15% whose water breaks before labor. However, I have been really lucky that each of three times that my water broke at home, I happened to be in the bathroom. With Buggy, my water broke in the hospital while I was in labor. So not bad, right?

On Friday, October 17th I was having date night with Mr. Bananas. Hubby and the big kids were at soccer practice and Mr. Bananas and I were watching UP for date night.  Halfway through the movie at 6:15pm I went to the bathroom and my water broke.  So there I was stuck in the bathroom with a three year old in the next room watching a movie. I called him to bring me my cell phone. He did and said, "Are you coming out Mommy." "Nope, Sweetheart. Mommy is going to be in here for a while."

I called the doctor's office and the advice nurse asked me the routine questions. Since I was not freaking out, my ruptured water was clear, and I was not in labor it was pretty straight forward.  They wanted me to come in.  I called Hubby and asked him if he was ready to have a baby. He said "Yes" left the big kids with the assistant coach to finish practice, and he came home. In the meantime I called my parents to pick up the kids at practice and to pick up my youngest who was home with me.

Last pregnancy picture before going to the hospital
While I waited for my folks I finished packing for myself and packing for the kids to stay with them for the night.  My routine before going to the hospital has always been to take a shower and take pictures of my big pregnancy belly.  It's easy to do when you are in the middle of labor. With 3 of the 4 I was not in labor. I even did it when I was in early labor with Buggy.  However, this being our fourth baby my husband was nervous about us making it in time. He finally got me out of the house 2 hours after my water broke.  We did stop by my parents house so that I could kiss the big kids.  Buggy was nervous and gave me lots of hugs and kisses before I left. I felt it was important to see the kids before I had their sibling.

On our way to the hospital the contractions really started hit and they were strong.  At one point traffic was at a stand still and we became nervous. But we made it to the hospital by 9 o'clock. The poor receptionists saw me coming in and immediately went to get a wheel chair.  I desperately had to use the bathroom again and waved them off.  When I made made to the receptionists they asked if any one was there to help me. They were relieved to hear my husband was parking the car and would be in shortly. I made it to labor and delivery and by 10pm the doctor saw me. I was already 4cm and 50% effaced. Much  further along than I had been with any pregnancy by the time the doctors saw me.
I had waited to contact Hubby's sister and my BFF J who were going to coach me through my labor. I waited so long because depending on the room availability I have had to wait, sometimes for hours, before I was taken to a Labor and Delivery room.  I didn't want them to have to wait with me for hours. But once we were settled we let them know.  I had asked Hubby's sister to join us for this experience because 1) she was awesome in helping me when Mr. Bananas was born and 2) we named our newest daughter after her.    I had asked my BFF J to join us because she was studying to be a doula, she was already a L&D nurse, and I just thought it would be a blessing to have her join us.

L and J helped to bring this beautiful baby into the world
One of a woman's most vulnerable moments is when she is in labor and delivering a baby. You are in pain, you are gross with sweat and blood and possibly other bodily fluids, and you may not be in the best mood.  Pick your coaches wisely.  For me, I knew that my husband and his sister could communicate effectively and they each provided comfort. L. having delivered 5 babies herself knew what I needed without asking.  Hubby can read me pretty well and can also provide me comfort without me asking. . And J. having delivered 4 babies herself and having helped in countless deliveries being as an L&D nurse and having known me for the last 18 years (what?!?) knew me really well.  I knew I had an excellent coaching team when my contractions became strong and I stopped chatting, they also stopped chatting and each person either rubbed my leg through the contraction, gave me breathing advice, and one person provided a hand for me to push against.  I never had to ask for just about anything.  They could just read me and provide me some type of comfort or encouragement.

I had gone into this delivery thinking that without a doubt I would an epidural. Whereas I had gone into the first 3 hoping to deliver without being medicated.  I never got very far. With Boogie I was on pitocin, 5cm, and exhausted by the time I asked begged for an epidural.  I had been in labor for about 24 hours and couldn't do it any longer.  With Buggy, her labor was only 12 hours by the time I delivered and I had gone 3 or 4cm by the time I asked for an epidural.  I think the same was for Mr. Bananas. I remember the nurse becoming frustrated because I kept unhooking myself from the monitoring strap to use the bathroom which was just about every contraction. She finally said, "If you are going to get the epidural, can we go ahead and do it? You keep undoing the monitoring strap and I'm almost off shift." So I did.
A most excellent coaching team.

 When I was told that I was 4cm and 50% effaced with Batty I still felt pretty good and in control so I held off on asking for the epidural. I had plans to walk which were nixed because the doctor was concerned about cord prolapse since my water had broken. She was going to allow me to bounce on a ball, but by the time the birthing ball came in I was in too much pain through each contraction to want to get off the bed.  By 11pm I finally asked for an epidural.  By 11:40 I started wonder where it was.  I got off the bed to use the bathroom with Hubby's help. Unfortunately, while I was sitting there I told him I felt the urge to push. My husband is pretty calm through my labors, but at that moment he opened the door to the bathroom, walked out, and looked at J. He was very concerned about my urge to push.  J. came in and said, "What's wrong?"  I complained that I was having trouble urinating and that I felt the urge to push.  She said the baby might be pushing and blocking the path. With their help I came back to bed.  She left the strap off and the alarm to go off so that a nurse would check me. It took some time for the nurse to check me. By that time the contractions were very strong and long.  She checked me and I was 8cm and still high. I thought for sure they would make me labor longer so I asked about my epidural.  She said she didn't think it would come in time.  I looked at L. and said, "I cannot do this" and she said, "Yes, you can, and you already are."  My poor L&D nurse was being berated by her Head nurse about why they didn't call the doctor in sooner.  They started to prep themselves for my delivery. I know I asked L. and J. several times what we would do if the doctor didn't show up and they kept saying they would deliver the baby for me. Here's the thing, there is no doubt that they could have done it, but I know how messy delivery is and I kept looking at their clean clothing and thinking, they cannot get messy in this, their clothes look too pretty. But I knew they would have done it.  J. told me that I was going through the hardest part right then with the contractions. Then L. looked at her and said, "Well except the ring of fire." J: "Right, the right of fire."  I knew I was going to have to push soon because I felt that ring of fire as they were discussing it.  That freaked me out a little.

Here she is:
8lbs 12.6oz
21 inches
By the time the doctor showed up, there were 4 nurses in my room, plus my coaching team.  Do you know that it is really difficult to keep your legs loose and to the side during a contraction without an epidural? My doctor kept pushing my legs down saying, "Loosen up, loosen up."  I was like, what? Loosen up? Do you know how much this hurts????  They had me grab my own legs to push.  I know that I had my eyes shut for most of it. I was asked by one of the nurses to stop yelling. Later, L. and J. said that the nurse was trying to concentrate the energy into pushing.  At one point the doctor asked me to stop and take two slow breaths.  I did, eyes tightly shut, and later I found out that the cord was around Batty's neck and she needed me to stop pushing so that she could safely remove the cord.  I think in 3 pushes my beautiful baby was out.  They put her on my chest, whipped her off when she hadn't cried yet, but as soon as they did, they gave her to me.  Hubby cut the cord, I delivered the placenta, and the doctor stitched me. Here, I delivered this beautiful 8lb 12.6oz, 21 inch baby at 12:22am without medication and I completely balked at the numbing shot before I was stitched. Ridiculous.  But I think that my nether regions had been through so much trauma, the thought of more, no matter how minor, was too much for me to bear.  To keep my mind off the stitching and lidocaine shot, J. showed me the pictures she had taken. It was perfect. Just the distraction I needed.  I couldn't stop shaking after everything as the hormones were leveling out.  I finally managed to get off the bed to try to use the bathroom. I left bloody footprints and it looked like a scene from The Walking Dead. Seriously, delivery is a messy business.

My poor baby was so bruised that her cheeks were big and purple.  She would have probably weighed around 9lbs but she pooped her way out into the world and it was a lot of poop.  She was so chunky and had a great head of hair. And she was perfect.

As the nurses cleaned up the mess and debris, the doctor left to deliver another baby, as my coaches were winding down from the high of having helped deliver a baby, I was in awe. I was in awe that I delivered this beautiful baby.  I was grateful for L. and J. helping Hubby. I was in awe that I did something that I never thought possible and delivered a baby without being medicated.  I always wanted to be able to do an unmedicated birth and wasn't strong enough or felt I could handle the pain enough.  It was an elusive club and I was in awe of the women who were able to do it.  Especially my sister in law and best friend. They made it look so easy.  But I did it and with my last delivery I joined the "Ring of Fire" club and it was amazing.

Welcoming Baby #4 to our family

L. with her namesake.