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Entry 12 ~ June 25, 2011
~ She's HERE!!!

Avalan SophiaWOW! What a month! The day after I wrote my last StorkNet journal I began preterm labor. We were in the hospital for the night with three rounds of terbutaline to stop the contractions that were coming three minutes apart. They finally slowed to ten minutes apart and my doctor decided to send me home. I was 2-3 centimeters and 50% effaced at 34.5 weeks. I was told to 'restrict' my activity. Not as harsh as bed rest, but definitely do not do more than was needed of me. So, for the next ten days I stayed put. I just laid around all day long, only getting up to use the bathroom or pick the kids up from school. It was so incredibly boring, but I did not want a preemie baby and was willing to stay still. When I reached 36 weeks I was given the go ahead to resume activities as normal. My doctor said they would not stop labor if it began at any time after 36 weeks. That was a busy week. It was the last week of school for the kids. Owen had a baseball game, Anna had a Girl Scout picnic and bridging ceremony, and Ethan had 5th Grade Graduation. We also had two graduation parties for my niece and nephew. I really wanted to make it to 37 weeks and finally I did! At that point was I ready to get the show on the road.

Kristin with her childrenI had my 37 week appointment and was 3-4 centimeters and 60% effaced. The baby's head was very low. My doctor said she did not think she would see me at the 38 week appointment. The entire week passed and my mucous plug came out, but yet no baby. I was still contracting at least twice an hour every day since the preterm labor episode, but yet no real labor. On the day before my 38 week appointment I woke up feeling like I had a urinary tract infection (UTI). I was peeing all the time and did not feel like I could empty my bladder fully. It was painful. I called my doctor and she called in for antibiotics and said we would test my urine in the morning at my appointment. Throughout the day I was having the regular contractions I always had.

AvalanAt around 2:30pm I called my friend Mary who is a nurse friend at the hospital I deliver at. She also happened to be on her way to work. I asked her about the contractions I was having, about 20 minutes apart now. They were getting very slightly uncomfortable, but not painful. However, I was worried about the UTI (or what I thought was a UTI). She said that indeed UTIs could cause uncomfortable contractions. Around 3:30 the contractions were 15 minutes apart and getting to the point where I began to hum through them as a distraction. At 4:45pm I sent Connors an email telling him that I was humming through contractions and to wrap things up for the weekend just in case. At 5pm I went to the bathroom and had a painful contraction, called Connors and told him "alright, time to come home." He arrived home at 5:20pm and we packed up the kids. We had to stop at my mom's house to let her dog outside (our normal Thursday evening activity). The contractions were now 5 minutes apart and really, really uncomfortable, but not horribly painful. We got on the freeway and of course we were stuck in rush hour traffic. The hospital is a 25 minute drive without traffic. We were going to drop the kids off at my sister-in-law's house; she lives about 5 minutes from the hospital. I told Connors, "Nope! Take me to the hospital first; I hate contractions in the car!"

Avalan under the bili lightsWe arrived at the hospital at 6:40pm and I went up to my room with contractions 2 minutes apart and painful while Connors dropped the kids at his sister's house. My nurse was Mary! My doctor was on-call, yeah! They had my IV ready to go in for the penicillin due to GBS positive. I was 6 cm and 90% and wanted the epidural. Unfortunately my BP was high and they had to order labs. My labs took FOREVER to return. By now Connors has returned and it is 7:30pm. Finally, at 7:40 the anesthesiologist comes in to start the epidural. It was very painful going in! And it didn't work. No relief whatsoever.

My best friend Brenda arrived from Illinois at this time, yeah she made it! The contractions were so intense, so painful and lasting three minutes long each with only 30 seconds of break in between!!! This is the first labor I cried and swore (only twice). I was moaning through every one of them and in the past I am a fairly quiet laborer. The anesthesiologist comes back and gives me another bolus. It's 8:15pm and still no relief. I'm now praying to die. These contractions were more painful than any other previous labor and I was now beginning to feel pressure. The anesthesiologist returns again and another bolus was given at 8:30pm. FINALLY pain relief at 8:35pm! However, I'm now complete and baby's head is about to pop out. My doctor walks into the room, breaks my water, which had yet to break and I gave a half-hearted push and out pops her head. Then one more small push and I pulled her out of me. She is perfect and gorgeous and beautiful!!!!

Avalan Sophia
June 16, 2011, 8:41pm
7 lbs, 2 oz. 20 inches

Gorgeous!

However, her blood sugars and temperature were very low. She had to go under the warmer and they were threatening to take her to the nursery for IV glucose if I did not give her formula due to her blood glucose being so low. I finally agreed and her blood glucose shot up instantly.

AvalanWe went home 46 hours after the birth. The first couple of days at home were great. We had to take her in for a check-up at 4 days old. They tested her bili rubin and it was 17.6. They said they would test it again the next morning. The next day it was 18.7 and she was ordered phototherapy. A small bili board was delivered to our house and she had to be on it around the clock for 48 hours. We only took her off to feed her and bring her in for another bili rubin check at the doctor's office. On the third check her bili rubin was 16.1. They wanted it under 15 before taking her off the lights. Finally it decreased to 14.4 and she was able to come off. It was such a relief for me! I hated not being able to hold her when I wanted. She is looking perfect now and much less yellow. She's eating very well and growing perfectly! At six days old she was 7lbs, 1 oz and just about back to her birth weight. < img src="http://www.storknet.com/journals/images/smile.gif"> I am still battling extreme engorgement, but hoping I am on the mend with that as well.

We are all still adjusting. There have been a few straining moments with the older children since Avalan was born. Everyone is reacting in their own way and we know that this is quite the adjustment period. We hope that everyone will settle into another routine soon. Connors has to return to work on in two days and I am dreading it a bit. My kids are old enough to be helpful, but Connors was a rock star! He helped me so much this past week. Hopefully the future will hold all good things!

Many blessings to all!
Kristin

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