Well here I am, writing my last journal entry with a baby on my lap, nursing at the keyboard again. What a blessed position. I look down at this beautiful face, little hands, and perfect ears and I am reminded yet again what a beautiful thing and a true miracle birth is . . .
This was an incredible week and I am not even sure if I can recall it all; it passed so fast and now my pregnancy is all over. It has already begun to blur. I had my usual Thursday appointment (June 19) that showed no progress and I admit, I was frustrated and disappointed. The baby was still high and my cervix was still very thick. I had not dilated any further. I think Max was a bit frustrated as well. He said that if I had thinned at all, he would have been willing to do me on Friday. I wasn't willing to go on Friday though. I still had nesting to do! My NST was great though with lots of baby movement. He went ahead and did another sonogram to check size, (still good) and amniotic fluid (great).
Friday I went and had some pregnancy photos done. They turned out great and I am so happy that I took the time and was willing to spend the money to get them done. I couldn't afford a real sitting and photographer but went ahead and went to Olan Mills. After I left I wished that Stuart had been there so that I could have one done with all the kids' hands on my stomach. So I called and scheduled another appointment for Tuesday. A couple of hours later, I called and rescheduled it for Saturday. Good thinking on my part, in hindsight. The kids had a great time with those and kept coming up with more ideas. I was going to go broke buying pictures at the rate they were going! I did chose one that was sort of artsy looking and had it done in black and white and blown up to an 8x10. Hopefully I will have the courage to hang it up somewhere!
For some reason on Sunday I stopped by one of my favorite nurseries and they were having a huge sale on plants. Naturally, I had to pick up a few (just 25!) more. Then I had to spend Monday morning filling in some pots and reorganizing some containers that I was a bit disappointed in. No more plants before this baby comes has to be my motto from now on! Now I am really nesting . . . another load of laundry, more plants, picking up toys, cleaning out the fridge - all those little things. The kids had a home swim meet on Monday night and I had to judge. Of course it was a long meet; the individual medley and butterfly. Fortunately two of our other team judges stepped in and helped me out so I didn't have to judge the whole thing. But I was still on my feet for most of it - ugh, the swelling! I was so tired by the end of the night and I just wasn't feeling very good. Not sick really - just very, very tired. I had been having contractions all evening but they weren't increasing in intensity or any duration . . . just more prodromal labor in my book getting me ready for the real thing. Michael was on his way home to get packed up to work on Tuesday and I was on my way to CiCis Pizza with the kids for our after swim meet dinner. I called him and asked him not to go to work. I have never done that in 15 years of marriage, but I just wanted him home with me on Tuesday instead of at work. My babysitter for my Tuesday appointment had canceled and it seemed like a good idea for him to take me so that Brig wouldn't have to sit through my NST.
Tuesday morning (June 24) and Michael is insisting that I put my bag in the car just in case Max wants to go ahead and admit me. I cannot fathom that as Max has stated on more than one occasion that he wants to deliver me. I know he isn't on call so wouldn't admit me a day early. I had everything set to go except my hair dryer and contact case, but couldn't pack those things until Wednesday morning anyway. When I got to my appointment, I found out I had already missed it by an hour and a half! I never do things like that, but apparently looked at the time for the prior week's appointment. Ok . . . obviously I am having a hard time focusing. NST is great. In fact I am in and out of the chair in less than 20 minutes. No contractions on the monitor and she was very reactive.
Max comes in asking if I am ready for tomorrow and wants to do one more check to see if I have thinned any or if her head has dropped. He was a bit concerned because I had lost 4lbs from the prior week's appointment. Some was water weight, I am sure. But I had not been eating well as the only thing that had been appealing to me was breads and pastas . . . not great choices for a gestational diabetic. He agreed that her head had dropped some and low and behold, I had progressed to three and was thinning. YEAH! Tomorrow's induction was going to be a bit easier. Max decides to go ahead and "rough my membranes up a bit" to see if he can stretch me a bit more. As he is finishing his exam, I feel some liquid escaping and Max asks if I have been leaking any fluid. Not until now! He claims that all he did was reach up there to push on her head a bit and he can't believe he broke my water just doing that . . . But that is what has happened.
So off I head to L&D, dripping water through the parking lot! A women's worst nightmare! Fortunately it was hot so the drip marks evaporated very quickly! I have to call Michael and listen to "I told you so" as I explain that I am being admitted and he will need to run home and get my bag. I hate that! Turns out my nurse is going to be a friend of mine from Bible Study Fellowship which just makes my day. I know her well and am so comfortable having her there. We decide to wait a while to see if my contractions will get going on their own. An hour and a half later and still nothing. I am not going to sit in that bed, hooked up to a monitor for hours, so I ask if we can go ahead and get the Pitocin started. At 1:35 it is plugged in and about 10 minutes later the contractions begin. I told Tina and Dr. Combs very confidently that we would be done by 6:30pm.
At about 3:45, I ask to get up to go to the bathroom and when I come back I get into the rocking chair. This is how I handled my induction with Brigid and it worked really well. I could just "rock" the contractions away. Michael came in from distributing children at various places at about 3:50, asked how I was doing and started reading his magazine. At 4pm, I realize that the contractions are lasting about a minute each and I am only getting about 30 seconds before the next one comes rolling along and I ask Tina to back the Pitocin down a bit . . . she cuts it back to 10 from 14. She asks if I want her to check me to see how I am doing. It's 4:05pm. I get into bed and she announces that I am at 7cm. Michael by this time is losing circulation in his hand as I am gripping pretty tightly. This is all I want to do, is hold his hand. Don't talk to me, don't touch me, don't rub me . . . just let me hold his hand very, very tightly. He is figured this out after three births. I announce that there is no way I can do this for another 3 centimeters and want drugs. I have another contraction and announce that I am getting ready to have a baby. Tina hasn't even stood up from examining me yet and looks down and agrees. Yep - there is brown hair there, waiting to make its appearance.
She turns off the Pitocin and I now have to wait and blow. Easy when you have an epidural and can't feel very much, a bit harder to accomplish when all you can feel is that baby pushing its way out! But Michael and I start blowing, Tina is paging Dr. Combs, who is very fortunately right next door checking on another woman in labor, and we are off. I blow through what seemed to be ten contractions and Maureen arrives in one more contraction and three quick pushes at 4:18pm - two hours and 48 minutes after starting Pitocin. Michael and I reached down and pulled her up onto my chest together and he actually cut the cord . . . his first! Wow! I could not have asked for anything more perfect birth to end my birthing experiences! I will never be able to put into words the feelings of grace and blessing that washed over me at that moment. God was in that room and I could feel His presence! I looked down at the perfect being in my arms and knew that He was there and He had chosen my family to bless again . . . why I will never know, but accept it, I will.
My recovery from this has been pretty standard. I had the horrible shaking that just doesn't seem to go away. I had some bad clots the first 24 hours that took a while to pass. I also had a second degree tear from her too fast arrival (no time for any massage to stretch that perineum), but that is healing nicely and not giving me too much trouble. My fundus was back to normal the day I went home - testament to all the nursing Maureen did those first hours. Her blood sugar level was very good so she did not need to be tested for that except once.
Getting used to four is an adjustment. Brigid has actually adjusted better than any of us I think. She is more concerned when Maureen cries than the rest of us are. She has shared her thumb very generously although Maureen seems to be less than thrilled with that arrangement and taking diapers to the trash is her job and hers alone! Maureen does seem to sleep so much but I am comparing her to Brigid who never slept at all. Since the day of her birth she has gone four hours at night between feedings, which just seems to be so much to me and can you believe I am complaining! She does make up for it during the day as she wants to feed pretty much every hour.
We are all tired, hungry, worn out and busy trying to maintain our active lifestyle . . . but this is our life now and we are so blessed!
Maureen Lael Bogert Hickey
Born on June 24, 2003 at 4:18pm
Weighing 6lbs 7oz and 20" long