Jul 29, 2011

Riley's {long} Birth Story

Riley Savannah is here!  She made her appearance rather quickly late Tuesday evening, July 26, 2011.  Here's her story.

I started keeping notes on my phone of the progress I was making back on July 20.  I thought for sure we were getting close!  I was 2 cm at that point and was doing everything I could to encourage this little girl to make her way into our world.  We were just so excited to see her!  We went for two walks a day, I was eating pineapple, sitting on an exercise ball, dancing with Gavin, adding spice to our meals...  So we headed to the doctor on Tuesday morning at 10 and I was sure I was going to be 4cm.

Dr. Schmitz checked me and when I heard him say '2 cm' still, I wanted to cry.  The day before was the first time I actually felt uncomfortable all day, and I was beginning to wonder when my contractions would start working!  He asked if we wanted to talk about an end date, and Jarrod {perhaps jokingly} said, 'Today!' to which Dr. Schmitz said, 'I'm good with today!'  A million thoughts started racing through my head.  An induction wasn't something we had talked much about and in fact was something I wanted to avoid, but now it was being offered and I was getting excited about possibly meeting our daughter.  My big concern was that I wasn't really ready and if we decided to induce my body wouldn't cooperate and I'd end up with a c-section which I REALLY didn't want.  He told us that he could induce us that day or not until the following Monday if it was a route we wanted to go.  I expressed my concerns and he told me that he thought it would be a really easy induction.  He said her head was so low and my cervix was so soft that he thought I just needed a little pitocin to help my contractions really get going.  Then he said, "Let's do this...if there's no room for you today at the hospital, an induction isn't even possible, so I'll call the hospital and we'll go from there."  The few minutes he was out of the room felt like forever and my heart was racing.  

"It's today!"  He walked back in the room and told us the hospital had room for us and we could go on over if we were ready.  Jarrod and I just looked at each other.  He was smiling ear to ear...he couldn't have hid his excitement if he wanted to.  All the positive things were running through my head at that point.  It would be easier to drop Gavin off to Amy now than to unexpectedly go into labor at 2am.  The timing was nice because I knew I'd have Jarrod's help almost all the way up to when my mom got in town.  And I would see this precious girl!  So, we said yes...

We headed home, finished packing up our bags, got Gavin's stuff ready, had lunch and headed to Amy's.  Gavin was so excited to have a sleepover with Lucas. That made dropping him off so easy.  If he wasn't excited, I would have felt bad.  It was, afterall, my first night away from Gavin!  But I'm so thankful we have Amy and Chris as friends...they are fantastic people!  We drove to the hospital and got our room, only to find out that the a/c wasn't working right.  Lovely.  It was like 100 degrees!  But, honestly...I didn't really notice that it wasn't working right.  It was fine in there all night.

The first nurse that came in immediately said, "I'm not going to be your nurse, but I'll get your IV started.  Why exactly are we inducing?"  I think it was her tone of voice, but she immediately got to me and I started questioning our choice.  She went on to tell me how pitocin was a 'dangerous drug' and how I'd be confined to the bed...  As soon as she left the room I burst into tears.  Jarrod was great at comforting me and when Wendy, our nurse, came in and asked if I was feeling apprehensive, he stepped in and explained to her that the previous nurse had made me feel apprehensive by her questions and remarks.  So, we talked to Wendy a little and I felt much better, even if it meant that I wouldn't be able to labor out of the bed like I'd hoped for.  At 2:30pm, she turned the pitocin on.  

5:30pm - Dr. Schmitz came in and checked me and decided to break my water.  I was 3cm at that point.  Him breaking my water felt weird...when my water broke with Gavin I had already had an epidural and I didn't feel much.  Feeling the water continuously leak out was strange.  Jarrod was a great nurse though and helped me change the towels under me when the nurse wasn't available.  :)  At this point my contractions were very bearable, but Dr. Schmitz told me that they would now pick up and his guess was that I'd deliver between 10pm and midnight.  He asked me if I was still thinking of not having an epidural - this was something I'd thrown around during this pregnancy but hadn't told anyone because if I did end up with one (which I expected to) I didn't want to feel like I had failed.  I told him I still was undecided and was going to just see how things went.  He told me that when it was time to push he could be at the hospital in 4-5 minutes, so if I was without an epidural, to just know that he would be there asap!  

Even though Jarrod wasn't hungry, I told him to go out and get himself some dinner at that point.  I was afraid things would pick up and he'd be gone, so I wanted him to go then.  He ran to Zaxby's and was such a sweetheart - he brought me back a cup of their ice, which I loved while I was pregnant!  :)

We killed time during the contractions by watching Ellen, Friends episodes, and Wheel of Fortune.  The contractions slowly got closer together and more intense, but I was still feeling pretty good.

7:30pm - our new nurse came in to introduce herself.  Her name was Lesley, and though she was quiet, she was very sweet.  She checked me at that point.  3 cm.  Still.  I can't deny I was disappointed!  But, she reassured me that I was making progress and would get there soon since the contractions were getting stronger.  Jarrod's boss showed up briefly because she'd heard I loved the ice and brought me more from Zaxby's.  Isn't she sweet?

8:15pm - I pulled out my iPhone, which I had downloaded an app to time my contractions the week before, and started timing the contractions using it just because I was curious.  They were coming 2 minutes apart at that point.  

8:30pm - Lesley checked me again, and I was 5 cm.  She told me that 5 cm was the hard part and things would pick up.  

8:45pm - I decided to get Fentanyl pain meds in my IV to see if it helped before resorting to the epidural.  She came in just before 9 to start that.  I didn't feel a difference in the contractions, but I was drowsy for the minute or so between contractions.  

9:15pm - I told Jarrod I thought I needed to push, so he grabbed Lesley to check me and I was 8cm.  She told me she thought I'd be pushing withing 30-60 minutes.  

9:25pm - I REALLY wanted to push, so Jarrod grabbed another nurse from the hall, who checked me again and said I was completely dilated.  She said she'd go get Lesley.  I was in a lot of pain.  All I kept thinking in my head was how I didn't know how I would be able to do this without an epidural.

9:30pm - Lesley came in and told me she'd called Dr. Schmitz and for me to breathe through a few contractions while we waited for him.  I really wasn't sure how I'd be able to do that without pushing.  She got everything set up in the room and Jarrod was wiping my face for me with a cold washcloth.  

9:40pm - Dr. Schmitz was in the room, had his scrubs on, and had my bed all ready.  He asked me to push one time, and he and Jarrod could both see her head already.  He told me to rest until my next set of contractions and said I'd have her during that set!  When it was time, he told me to let go of the rails of the bed (which I was gripping) and hold on to my legs.  So, I was pushing again.  I honestly felt like I wasn't pushing well.  With Gavin, I felt like I could focus my energy better because I wasn't feeling all the pain.  This time, I was screaming so much that I didn't feel like I was being productive.  But everyone was very reassuring and kept telling me I was doing it right and that she was coming.  I remember telling Jarrod I didn't know why I'd decided to do this without an epidural!  But, I looked down and could see her and it made me push harder (and scream louder!)  And, there she was!  At 9:49pm, after just a few pushes, she was out!  7lbs 15 oz and 19 inches long!

I got to hold her a little and Jarrod cut the cord, and while he went with her over to the warming table, I delivered the placenta.  I don't remember that part at all with Gavin, but I actually had to push this time to get it out and saw it as he moved it to the table.  So strange!  Dr. Schmitz examined me and said I didn't tear so I didn't need any stitches.  I was so happy to hear that!  

They brought her over to me a little after 10 and we did skin to skin contact and I was able to nurse her immediately.  We had some time with her until about 11:20pm when they came to take her to the nursery for her bath, etc. while I got cleaned up.  I was actually able to walk to my post partum room!  They finally brought her back to us around 1:30am (wearing the sweetest little purple hat!) but around 2:30 they took her temperature and decided she needed to go back to the warming table for a little while because her temperature was a little low.  They brought her back to me around 5:30 to nurse her and told me to hold her skin to skin for a while to help her temp, which I did for about 3 hours.  

The second night at the hospital (we stayed a little longer since 24 hours later would have been after 10pm when I got released), Jarrod actually stayed at home so he could get Gavin to sleep. I nursed Riley around 10 or so and then took her to the nursery so I could get some sleep.  They brought her to me to nurse around 2 and then when I woke up at 6 I went back to get her.  They told me she'd had a rough night with lots of nasty diapers and crying so they thought maybe I'd eaten something that she disagreed with.  I am hoping she doesn't have a sensitive stomach.  

We were released by 8am on Thursday morning!  Pictures to come.  :)P


Amy said...

Congratulations! I love reading birth stories!

Not Your Mama's Martha! said...

Awwww, congratulations and a very speedy recovery!!!

Katie said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!


Meagan said...

Yay! What a great birth story. I'm so happy you had a great experience and without an epi! Way to go...I love that you walked to recovery. So awesome! Hope y'all are adjusting well at home!

Danielle said...

Congratulations Jen, Jarrod and Gavin!

She is beautiful and I love the name.

I'll be getting in touch with you soon ;)