40 Weeks and 2 Days
~ Isabella's Birth Story
Wow . . . once again, birth has proven to be an absolute miracle! Isabella Grace made her arrival into this world on February 7, 2006 at 2:56 PM weighing in at 9 pounds 13.2 ounces and measuring 20.75 inches long. Her daddy, mommy, the doctor, and several nurses welcomed her into the world. She cried for just an instant and then when Brian and I said 'hi' to her she immediately turned her head toward our voices and listened to us. She is just a precious little girl.
So, how did it all happen? Well, I woke without an alarm on Tuesday (2/7) morning. I was scheduled to go into the hospital for 6:30 AM, but I was a little on edge and nervous for the entire process to begin. Granted, I wanted to get it over with, but I did not want the pain that came with it. So, anyway, I woke and took a bubble bath. I figured it might be awhile before I get a peaceful bubble bath again. By 6 AM we were on the road and headed to the hospital. I checked in and they brought me to a beautiful and large birthing room. It had a DVD player, TV, shower, bath, and all the amenities you would get in a hotel room. When I walked in and saw the little baby warmer with baby blankets in the room it caught my breath a little. It was then that it really hit me . . . I was going to leave this room with my little girl in my arms. It was a warm and wonderful feeling.
So, I settled into my room. The nurse started an IV, and they began inducing my labor around 8:30 AM. They broke my water at about 10:10 AM and considered me in 'real' labor at that time. When I arrived at the hospital, I was in labor and had contractions that did registered on the monitor, but they were not close enough or strong enough. The nurse said I might have stayed like that for days. Anyway, by 12:30 the doctor ordered an epidural, but did not want to slow my labor so it was just inserted and a 'test dose' was administered. It was enough to take the edge off the pain. By 2 PM, I was 9 CM. I guess the 'test' dose was enough to bring me from 3 to 9 CM. The anesthesiologist was called and a 'delivery' dose was given to me at 2:30. It really numbed me up. The numbest I've ever been for a delivery. I pushed for 19 minutes and I think the first 15 I was trying to figure out 'how' to push with all the numbing in my system. Then little Isabella Grace was born at 2:56 PM with amazingly no 'damage' or stitches to me. I'm still in shock over that.
Isabella was cleaned up, weighed, measured and warmed. Then they gave her back to me to nurse. She was a trooper and figured it out very quickly. The doctors and nurses cleared out of the room for about an hour for Brian, Isabella, and me to bond. Then they returned to bring me to my other 'hotel room and took Isabella for her first bath.
This hospital truly had it all figured out when it comes to a hospital stay. I had an actual leather bound menu, like in a restaurant, to pick and choose from 24 hours a day. It was a caterer that served us, and not the regular hospital food so the food was great. Then the second night they had a romantic dinner with Filet Mignon, shrimp cocktail, and all the accompaniments for Brian and I while they baby-sat Isabella in the nursery. Isabella even let Brian and I watch a movie on the DVD player before she came back to nurse. To top it all off, I also got a complimentary massage. Yes, it truly was a nice stay. The nursing staff was wonderful. The lactation specialists were truly interested in my nursing and gave me all the support and answered any questions I had. And I saw all the doctors. They all let me know I was being looked after, but the did not disturb me or wake me up.
I got back home on Thursday, February 9. All the kids were excited and all took to little Isabella just wonderfully. They also came to visit in the hospital several times too. Sydney already has that big sister worry to her. If I put Isabella down for a nap, she gets all concerned and walks around yelling "Bella, Bella . . . mom where is baby?" Of course Alex and Maria are wonderful around her too. This is the first baby Maria remembers since she was only 18 months when Sydney arrived and she just loves it. She is there to assist with every diaper change and curious about the 'belly cord as we call it.
This journal is a little delayed because on Monday, February 13, I began to get a terrible headache. I ignored it for awhile, but by Tuesday it was bad enough I thought I'd better call my OB. They had me come into the office and took my blood pressure and drew blood. I got the impression it was probably a bad headache and not to worry. But on Wednesday my doctor's office called and said to go immediately to the hospital. My blood work showed I had pre-eclampsia. I never knew you could get pre-eclampsia post delivery, but I guess you can. They admitted me in the hospital on Wednesday, drew my blood numerous times, and took my blood pressure every couple hours. Because Isabella was nursing, she came with me. And because she was not a patient, Brian had to come with me too. Of course he would have been there anyway, but this time it was mandatory. I was really lucky my mom was still in town for the other 3 kids. I completely scared Brian and my parents. No one is used to me getting sick. The worst part was I only felt like I had a headache. Otherwise, I felt just fine. I was discharged Thursday, February 16, and I still have pre-eclampsia, but my bad numbers are returning closer to normal ranges. So, I am home now and resting and allowing my body to fight the fight. I guess the medicine they give you makes you very sick. So, baring a seizure (which is one of the things they are concerned about with pre-eclampsia), they want me to try to get rid of this on my own. Isabella is a trooper and a very good baby. She is allowing me to rest and is not showing any signs of colic (like 2 of my other kids). I can put her in the bouncy seat or swing and she'll just sit there and look around checking out the world. She rarely cries and is really content.
So, that is all to Isabella's birth story. It was as wonderful of an experience as I can remember with all the other kids. The pre-eclampsia part of the story is a new thing to me, but I am confident with proper rest I will get over it just fine too. I go back on Monday to have my blood drawn once again. I wish all of my readers a wonderful remainder of your pregnancy. Enjoy every minute, even the uncomfortable parts. Because when it is all over, you will join the rest of us in agreeing that it is all worth it and you'd do it again. Good luck and God Bless! ~ Heather Totten