On Monday after I wrote my last journal entry, Sean and I went to the hospital with my mom and sister. Monday morning my mother was convinced the baby was going to be born that night or Tuesday morning so she and my sister drove down from Traverse City to be here. It was great to have them here; thank goodness for Mother's Intuition.
I had been having strong, regular contractions since 7:30pm and I couldn't stand it any longer. We arrived at the hospital at 10:30pm. I was taken to a triage room to be evaluated. My contractions and the baby's heart rate were monitored. Her heartbeat was strong and pretty high, in the 170s-180s. I had an ultrasound to check the baby's position and size again and was admitted to a room a little after midnight.
My doctor came to see me around 12:30 and told me that I was still only 2cm dilated. He wanted to break my water, put an internal heart monitor on the baby and start pitocin to get labor going. I agreed so the nurse got an IV ready while the doctor broke my water. The fluid was clear and there wasn't much. It felt like a little trickle of warm water, not the big gush people usually think about when someone's water is broken. After the pitocin was started the contractions got much stronger and closer together. I was so ready for an epidural but after an hour with the pitocin I still hadn't dilated any more. The doctor said he could only give me an epidural if my cervix was changing. So I decided to tough it out a little longer. Just as things were getting unbearable and I asked for something, anything for the pain, the doctor came in and checked me. I was now a good 3-4 and I could have the epidural. Woohoo!!!!
The epidural was SOOOOO nice. It was like instant relief from the pain. I could relax and I even took a nap. We all (Me, Sean, my mom and my sister) slept fitfully for a couple of hours. Around 5am, during one of the checks by the nurse the baby's heart rate had dropped really low and the doctor was brought in and everyone got really worried about the baby. In a matter of seconds the room was flooded with doctors and nurses trying to get the baby's heart rate up. They prepped an OR for an emergency c-sections. I was positioned on my hands and knees, given oxygen and drugs to temporarily stop the contractions so the baby could recover. Her heart rate went back up and the doctor stopped the pitocin for a while to give the baby time to recover. The baby's heart rate would dip every time there was a contraction and with the pitocin the contractions were coming so quickly that she couldn't recover form one contraction to the next. But once the pitocin was stopped the baby was fine.
In the morning, around 7am the doctor came in to check me and I was still at 9cm. He started the pitocin up again and noticed that the baby was transverse. She was still head down but instead of facing my front or back, she was facing sideways. Because I was so close to being 10cm the doctor had backed off on the epidural. The contractions were strong and close together because of the pitocin and very painful because of the positioning of the baby. The doctor said he would give it a couple of hours to see if the baby would turn but if she wouldn't turn then I would have to have a c-section. Around 9:30am the baby finally turned and I started pushing shortly after that. I pushed for a little over an hour and a half and the baby was born at 11:17am. She was a perfect 7lbs 3ozs and 19.5 inches long. It took some time for us to decide upon a name but we finally chose Hannah Elizabeth.
We've been home for a week now and things are going pretty well. Hannah did a great job nursing in the hospital but it took a while for my milk to come in and we've had to supplement with formula. Overall, she is a very happy baby and easy to please. We completely adore her and couldn't be happier.
Thank you for accompanying me on this life altering journey. I have enjoyed writing this journal and hearing from all of you who have been reading it. A special thank you to Maribeth for all of your support and giving me the opportunity to share my pregnancy through this journal.