Tuesday, January 24, 2012

....Is Now a Family of Four

We knew this past weekend was our last weekend as a trio, but we had no idea that Sunday really was our last day as a family of three. I truly thought I'd last until my scheduled c-section on the 27th. I had the week planned out in my head-work my usual shifts and a special Mommy/Avery day on my day off Wednesday. 

Well, someone had other plans for us!

Here's our story.....

Sunday night we went to bed gearing up for work on Monday. I went to bed around 10pm like usual. 

I woke up around 3:30am to use the bathroom (big surprise when you're pregnant!), got back in bed and realized that the baby wasn't moving much. This was pretty unusual since normally when I get out of bed then get back in bed, the baby would be very active. So of course my mind starts racing and I start to worry something is wrong.

I couldn't fall back asleep and then at 4:30 I had a shooting pain across my back that was very familiar. My doc had told me on Friday that she thought the baby was posterior like Avery was and that I'd probably have a lot of  back labor again. As soon as I felt that pain, I knew what it was. I'm sorry, but you never forget that type of pain!

I just stayed in bed waiting to see if anything would happen again and sure enough, about 12 minutes later, I felt it again. I decided to come downstairs and get my iPhone. I downloaded a contraction timer right on the spot to keep track of things. I had another contraction while downstairs then headed back up to bed.

Around 5am, Gabe was semi-awake so I told him I was having contractions. We debated what to do since they were still about 12 minutes apart.

My Mom gets up for work at 5:30am so I knew she would be awake then. She wanted to drive in from Buffalo for the birth so I decided to call her right at 5:30.  Of course she said she'd be on her way ASAP! I ended up calling my Dad too (also in Buffalo) but knew it might be hard for him to get out of work so quickly that day. He told me to keep him posted and if things progressed, he'd try to head out here.

Around 6am my contractions were a little closer-around 8 minutes apart. We both decided to get in the shower real quick in anticipation of having to leave soon. By the time I got out of the shower, they were coming about 6 minutes apart and getting a little more painful.

As I continued getting ready and packing last minute things in my bag, the contractions were around 5 minutes apart. I decided to call the doctor's office and see what they suggested. It was now 7am and we decided to wake up Avery and get her to daycare. I felt awful waking her since we usually let her sleep until she wakes on her own (around 8-830) but we thought it was the best thing to do.

My doctor called me back shortly after 7am and asked how I was doing. I told her the contractions were about every 5 minutes but they weren't super painful. She told me to head to the hospital but that it wasn't a huge rush. She was more concerned about my prior c-section and the risks involved with that.

My Mom showed up at our house around 7:15 and all of a sudden I was like "we need to get going." I could tell the intensity was picking up and knew we had a drive ahead of us. We had to drop Avery off at daycare and then get to the hospital-we were looking at a good half hour in the car.

Let's just say the car ride was horrible. My contractions were coming roughly every 3-4 minutes and were really bad. It was all back labor too. The best way to describe it (sorry this will be TMI) is it feels like you have to have a bowel movement rightnow and you're trying to hold it in. Multiply that times 10 and that's how I felt. Needless to say I was basically climbing out of the passenger seat with each contraction and pounding my fist on the door of the car (yes it's comical to think of now!).

And the worst part? We hit rush hour traffic! It never crossed my mind but there were times we were in a stand still and I was not a happy camper at all. I think by the end of the car ride, my contractions were closer to 3 minutes apart.

So we drop off Avery then head to the hospital-of course I'm still climbing out of the chair and pounding my fist on the door. Gabe called the hospital and asked for a wheelchair to be waiting for us. That was a fun ride too (NOT!). As they're pushing me towards the elevator, one of the doctors from my practice (who I happened to see quite a bit for my appointments) walked by and was like "Hey! Looks like something is going on here! I won't go too far!" (My doctor was on call all weekend and her on call ended at 8am so she did tell me this doctor would be the one on call today). 

We got up to the check in desk and it was now 8am.

They took me to triage and had me change into a gown (seriously-I can't even sit still and you want me to change my clothes?!). A doctor came by to check me and I was 5cm dilated.

The doctor said "So I see you had a prior c-section. Were you going to go for the VBAC or do a repeat c-section?" I was in so much pain that I was just like "I don't care just get it out!" Then they told me that either way it would be at least another 20 minutes to get things started. And I cried saying "I can't wait that long! I can't do it!" And of course they told me I really had no choice at that point and that they were going to call anesthesia about an epidural.

I have no idea how much time passed, but it wasn't long. I all of a sudden felt like I had to push and I told them that. Next thing I know I'm wheeled to another room (a labor/delivery room) and they want me to get out of bed and get into another bed (again, seriously?!). The same doctor came and checked me and told me I was already at 7cm.

I still had a very strong urge to push and they kept yelling at me not to because it wasn't safe. That was the hardest thing ever. I was lying on my side death gripping the bed rails and just moaning/screaming in pain with every contraction. I remember being very hot and very thirsty-they kept giving me cold washcloths for my forehead and Gabe was giving me water throughout. I kept telling them I had to push and so they checked me again-I was 8.5cm.

They were going to give me Nubain to help with the pain since they didn't know how long anesthesia would take. but for some reason I hadn't gotten it yet. At one point, I heard a doctor ask the nurse, "Did you give her the Nubain?" and the nurse said, "No, I haven't had time." What the hell the nurse was doing, I have no idea! 

Anyways, the anesthesiologist comes up and starts to rattle off some long list of garbage-I didn't hear a word she was saying as I was writhing in pain. Gabe was answering all of her questions and I was just like "Just give it to me!"

Again I told them I had to push and they checked me-9.5cm! At that point they were like, "Sorry, we can't give you anything right now for the pain." I started to cry again (I should say I tried to cry-I was crying but no tears were coming out-maybe from it being so dry in there?). I went through a few more contractions and they decided it was time for me to push (THANK YOU!).

And let me tell you that pushing is not as easy as you would think. There's way too many things to think about....legs out to the side and relaxed, elbows out, chin to chest, push down and not with your face. Yeah, try doing that 3-4 times every 2 minutes or so!

At some point the doctor from my practice showed up-I have no idea if I was already pushing or what, but she did show up. I pushed roughly a half hour and we sort of ended up like I did with Avery-they could see a very small part of the head with each push, but nothing was really happening. I remember saying to Gabe, "I can't do this anymore! I'm so tired." and of course he was like "Yes, you can do it!" When I spoke to my doctor in the morning, she had told me that I got to call the shots as for how long I wanted to push. Basically she said if I hit a half hour and nothing was happening to elect for the c-section. She didn't want me as fatigued as I was with Avery's birth. So at this point, Gabe said to the docs, "Her doctor said to push for a half hour and that's it-if it's not going to happen, we just want the c-section."  The doctor from my practice was basically like, "I really think you can push the baby out-if I didn't think you could, I'd call it but I really think you can do this. I think what we'll do is help you out a bit and use forceps."

So, the forceps went in (yep, not comfortable, especially when they tell you not to push when you're having a contraction) and they said on the next set of contractions that I could push. So I pushed my little heart out and yes there was a lot of pain. They say without meds it feels like a "ring of fire" when the baby crowns and they are right. It felt like someone lit a match to my nether regions for a few seconds.  The only thing I remember is saying "Oh my God it HURTS!" (which Gabe told me after that that's when he thinks I tore a bit).

With a few pushes, I looked down and there was the baby in my doctor's hands! I saw them cut the cord (they had to do it since the baby had a bowel movement inside), then the baby got whisked away to be checked.

She was born at 9:46am. So if you're keeping track, my labor started at 4:30am, I got to the hospital at 8am, the nurse told me I went from 5cm-10cm in 40 minutes and ended up pushing for roughly an hour. Yep, very fast labor...5 hours from start to finish!

After about a minute I was like "wait, what is it?" and the nurse shouted "It's a girl!" I started to not cry again and looked at Gabe and said "Avery was right, that little shit!" and the doctors laughed at me!

At this point they started putting me back together-delivered the placenta (painful again) then I had to get stitches (yep, more pain at times). Because of the forceps, I had almost a 3rd degree tear so it took them a good half hour to get me all sewn up. Gabe got to hold the little peanut and brought her over to see me. I got to hold her once I was all put back together and of course we were immediately in love!

I will say that 99% of the time I was in my own little world. From the time we got to the hospital and through most of the delivery I was just in a zone.  I remember at one point near the end of pushing, I had my eyes closed and just saw darkness and I asked God for help. I'm not a very religious person, but sometimes there's a time and a place for it and I felt it in that moment.

 Gabe was obviously by my side and such a great coach but I think I only looked at his face once and I'm sure it was to cry about something!  I remember squeezing the life out of his hands and wringing the chest of his shirt several times, but really, I was zoned out (sorry honey!). I will say that there was no way I could have gone through all of this without him. I wanted to throw in the towel numerous times, but he kept talking me through it and all I can say is I did it!! I never expected to have a VBAC, let alone a med-free VBAC! I've heard of people doing it, but it never crossed my mind that it would be me.

So, without further ado.....

Please meet Cassandra Grace! Born Monday, January 23rd at 9:46am. She weighed in at 6lbs 10oz and was 19" long.

First photo!

6lbs 10oz

The new addition!

My Mom and the peanut

Proud Grandpa

After Avery got out of daycare, Gabe brought her by for a quick visit. Of course I was nursing her when she got there so I don't think she knew how to react at first.
Avery entering the room

After a few minutes she said "I want to see the baby!" and climbed up on my bed and wanted to touch her and look at her.
Big sister

Our family of 4

All swaddled up!

My Mom and Dad of course were there for the birth. Gabe's parents unfortunately couldn't be there. His Dad recently had surgery so they had to stay home. Of course they got a phone call right away but we missed having them there!

Our friends Richie and Julie stopped by in the evening to meet the little peanut:

And that was the end of day 1!

(I also realized that I never got a belly pic before leaving the house so I don't have any proof of how big I was! I was a little pre-occupied at the time!)

1 comment:

buffalojoe said...

Your voice as a writer has become much more like your voice in conversation. An entertaining and painful (at times) read :) We're blessed to have the four of you in our lives and us four can't wait to have a get together of the Crazy 8's (childhood throwback and at one time - maybe still - your fav number). Sending all the love and hopefully the rest you need...