Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lucy's Birth Story

While Lucy was actually born on the 11th, most of my labor occurred on the 10th, so I'm sharing this today.  

Most of you have already read it, but for those of you who haven't: enjoy! Haha.

Lucy's Birth Story
She's here!!!! I am going to write a very long birth story because I don't want to forget a single detail!

Sunday (the 9th): I was very miserable.  I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing because I itched so badly. [From the PUPPS]  I hadn't slept well in days and just wanted to be DONE.  

Monday (the 10th) at 11:20 Doctor's appointment.  Justin couldn't get off work, so my mom came with me just in case.  We started with an ultrasound, but she was so big that I couldn't make out anything on the screen.  The tech wouldn't estimate her weight, but did confirm for me that she was indeed a girl still!  Next I had my first NST.  It showed me having contractions every 6 minutes.  They just felt like Braxton Hicks to me.  Finally I saw the doctor.  I was dilated to 3, finally! Progress!  I begged her to send me in early, so she stripped my membranes again.  Whew! It hurt!  But she said that doing that probably pushed me to 4 cm.  She told us to go out to lunch then call her and let her know if I was contracting any more. 

1:00 Mom and I went to TGI Friday's.  I kept track of my Braxton Hicks.  They were still 6 minutes apart like clockwork.  Toward the end of lunch I started to notice I was getting crampy and my lower back was hurting.  We walked around Kohl's for a while and I called the doctor.

3:30 Doctor called back and said there were no induction appointments available, but it sounds like I'm progressing and to go to triage!  Mom drove me home and I packed the last minute things waiting for Justin to get home from work.

4:45 We left the house.  I gave Lola a hug and kiss and told her I'd miss her.  She scratched and bit me.  That's her way of reciprocating love.   My contractions started to get a little uncomfortable on the drive to the hospital - just like period cramps.  They were also starting to get a little closer together - 4 minutes apart now.

5:30 Justin dropped me off at the ER.  They asked what was wrong at the front desk.  I didn't know what to say, so said, "Ummm, I guess I'm in labor?"  Haha.  They laughed at me and whisked me upstairs before Justin could finish parking the car.

5:45 We got put in a huge triage room and I was checked.  Still 4 cm. 100% effaced. The nurse told us to start walking the halls.  It was a really short loop and I was barely in pain, so we walked fast to make things get going.  The nurse told us later that all the other nurses thought it was funny we were walking so fast.

6:30 My sisters showed up with Qdoba for Justin.  He ate in the room and they finished walking with me.  Not in any significant pain.  I was worried my whole family was going to show up and they'd just send me home. 

7:30 The nurse found out I was scheduled for an induction the next night and said, "Oh, we'll just admit you tonight."  Woohoo!  We moved down the hall to any even bigger room.  It was great! 

Right away my delivery doctor came in. My doctor wasn't on call that night, but I loved the lady who delivered (Susan VandenBosch).  She checked me.  Still at 4 cm, and decided to break my water to get things moving.  She assured me it wouldn't hurt, but I was a little worried when she came at me with that foot-long crochet hook!  Haha.  She was right, though.  It didn't hurt at all.  The gushing of my water was really gross.  I couldn't believe how warm it was.  It gushed and gushed and gushed. 

Almost immediately my contractions started coming much closer together and becoming more painful.

8:00 The anesthesiologist's assistant came in to discuss my pain management options.  I ordered my epidural.  My nurse (Megan - whom I loved) said I had beautiful veins and started to put in my IV.  She blew the first vein so called the assistant back in.  The assistant blew 2 more before they finally got the 4th one to stick.  That was definitely the worst part of my entire labor.  I was feeling the contractions pretty intensely and they were digging into me with needles.  Not a fan.

8:30 Got my epidural. Amaaazing!  I was worried it would really hurt, but it was nothing compared to the IVs! While I was hunched over more of my water started gushing out - it poured down my legs and pooled on the floor.  Crazy!

9:00 Couldn't feel a thing.  I could wiggle my toes and my legs were tingly, but I couldn't lift them.  I loved it and just felt really relaxed.

9:45 Still 4 cm so they put in an internal monitor and started Pitocin. (Started a low dose, they upped it throughout the night)  They also put me in weird positions to make the contractions stronger. I'd never heard of that before.  Meanwhile, my family (My parents, sisters, and Justin's parents) were playing Wizard [card game].    I was sleepy and happy just to watch.  For the next few hours we all just talked, played cards, watched the Tigers' game, took pictures, and updated facebook. 

11:00 5-6 cm

12:30 7-8 cm

1:00 9-10 cm, lip of cervix.  Megan told me to page her when I started feeling pressure. 

2:00 I felt my belly harden and thought I was feeling some pressure so called Megan.  Fully dilated and effaced. Ready to go!  Our families all went out to the waiting room and Megan started breaking down the bed and pulling out the big lights.  I got a little nervous for the first time.  It was so surreal that what we'd been waiting and hoping for was finally about to happen!

2:05 Started pushing.  I couldn't feel anything.  It was weird to pull my legs back.  My hands could feel my legs but my legs couldn't feel my hands. Lol.  I had no idea what to expect about pushing.  It was not that bad! I just had to pull my legs back, put my chin on my chest and push as hard as I could for 10 seconds.  (Megan counted softly - no shouting like on the Baby Story - which I appreciated!)  Then I took a breath and did it two more times. 

2:15 Megan said she could see the baby's hair - she marvelled at how long it was. My contractions started to stall at some point.  It was nice because I had long breaks between sets of pushing, but that's obviously not ideal so they upped my pitocin. I never felt overwhelmed. I never felt like it was too hard or I couldn't do it anymore.  Dr. VandenBosch and Megan were so encouraging.  I'm sure they do this for everyone, but they kept saying, "Wow! She's really coming down! You're a great pusher! She's going to be here any minute!" I was also amazed at how great Justin did.  He was so encouraging.  He held my hand the whole time, coached me gently, and actually watched her crown and everything!

2:52 Lucy was born!  Her head came out and the doctor said the cord was wrapped around her neck twice.  Justin and I had a short panic attack before the doctor assured us she was fine.  She resolved the cord issue and the rest of Lucy's body slipped through.  I honestly felt none of it.  I know the doctor was stretching me.  I didn't feel any of that.  I didn't feel Lucy crown, didn't feel any pressure, just felt a tiny bit of relief when her whole body slid out.  It was amazing. 

They laid her on my chest right away and I just watched in awe.  Lucy never really screamed - she just whimpered and squawked as they messed with her.  They finally got her mostly clean and asked Justin if he wanted to cut the cord.  Up until then he had said he wasn't going to do it, but he did! They put her skin to skin on my chest and she immediately opened her eyes and looked right at me.  I couldn't believe how alert she was! 

The doctor and nurses all marveled at how much hair she had.  We weren't surprised.  Haha.  We were surprised by how big she was!  Her cheeks were so chubby!

The doctor delivered my placenta but I purposely did not watch.  Not like I could take my eyes off my baby anyway!  Justin was great and took a bunch of pictures of our first moments together. 

I had a few tears, but none of them were even 1st degree.  The doctor stitched me up while Lucy got weighed.  I couldn't believe it when they said she was 8 lbs, 8 oz!! I was totally expecting a seven pound baby.  I couldn't believe I had pushed that out of me!
Then they asked if I wanted to nurse.  I knew my family was chomping at the bit waiting in the hall, but I wanted to try it.  For some reason I have no memory of her nursing for the first time.  I know we tried, though. 

Then Justin held her for the first time and finally we let our moms and sisters come in (the dads had gone home by this time) while Lucy got her first bath. She was so content and alert the whole time - barely letting out a peep.  The nurse combed back her hair.  It was hilarious!  It was so dark and curly and stood up all over the place! 

Eventually we moved upstairs to our (much smaller) recovery room.  My sisters went to McDonald's to get Justin some breakfast and the nurses helped me breastfeed again. My family left around 5:45 a.m. and we got ready to finally go to sleep.  Justin opened the blinds and we laughed that the sun was coming up as we were going to bed.  Lucy was still wide awake (as she had been since the moment she was born), so we sent her to the nursery so we could sleep for a while.

Since then we've just been resting, receiving visitors, taking lots of pictures, and working hard on breastfeeding.  Working being the operative word.  Lucy loves to suck.  Her tongue is always moving.  She is always rooting.  But she's impatient and hates waiting for anything to come out so gets frustrated easily.  We had a few rough nights but I saw the lactation consultant today and she helped a lot so today has been much better. The lack of successful feeding really affected her weight.  She came home at 7lbs, 13 oz - which is a 9% decrease: too much in the pediatrician's eyes.  So we're going back to the doctor tomorrow.  Hopefully all of today's good feedings will pay off. 

One more thing: since we've been home, I've definitely started to feel the hormone surge in the way of crazy emotions.  I have been crying all night because I'm just so happy.  I'm so relieved that she's here and healthy and perfect.  I can't believe how much I love her already and how beautiful she is.  I'm also amazed at the immense love I feel for my husband.  I've heard people say that and never really understood, but now I do. Justin was absolutely amazing through the whole experience.  He was admittedly not overly interested in my pregnancy, and he knows nothing about babies, so I didn't know what to expect.  But he has been incredible.  He has been my errand boy since I was pretty sore and bed-ridden for a while.  He was super good about getting me water or a blanket or handing me the baby so I could feed her.  He never once complained.  He was constantly asking me if I needed anything.  And I've loved watching him with Lucy.  (I'm going to cry again - lol)  He loves her so much.  He is so sweet and tender with her.  He did great changing her diaper for the first time, has been so encouraging and helpful with the breastfeeding thing, and is the expert at swaddling.  I have loved spending the past few days as a family and am so sad he has to go back to work tomorrow.


  1. I loved reading this again! You had a super great labor. Nathan also didn't plan on cutting the cord but ended up doing it and was the expert swaddler :) That last paragraph totally made me tear up... so sweet <3

  2. I so remember reading this at the time...and I remember seeing the pictures of you playing cards with your family and thinking "What?!" and then going "Oh, right, epidural!" Totally different experience!:)
    And I am still jealous of your pushing time and that with an epidural it can be described as "not that bad" - ha!:)
    Two and a half hours of pushing and then needing them to try to get an IV of pitocin in at the end because she was face up and super super stuck...bad, very bad:)
    Love reading all these posts -- such a great idea to do them as a lead up to her birthday! Can't believe she's going to be one already:)


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