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Stephanie's Pregnancy Journal

Birth Story
~ Welcome Brynna!

Stephanie and BrynnaSim, my mom, Owen and I all loaded up in the Jeep at 6:20pm and headed toward the hospital. We looked like we were going on a weeklong vacation from all the bags. I wanted Jeffery to be able to be there too but we gave him the choice between going to the races and being there for the birth, and he chose the races (since he'd get to see his sister soon anyway). The four of us went up to the fourth floor, and the nurse lead us to the labor and delivery room. They had me pee in a cup, and took my information, since the doctor's office never sent over my pre-registration paperwork I'd turned in. They hooked me up to the monitors for the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. The nurse said my doctor would be there in about an hour to insert the pill that ripens the cervix. She scared the heck out of me when she said that I would then be sent home for a day or two before they took the next step, likely a second pill. I thought I was having a baby then! Luckily, my doctor arrived and reassured me that I was not being sent home and was having a baby that night.

Brynna and her brothersHe checked me before the pill was inserted and said I was still about 3cm and 85% effaced. That was at about 8pm. My doctor said that as soon as I was having regular contractions he wanted the epidural done, and he would break my water after that, since things tend to move along faster after the water is broken. He estimated we'd have a baby around 2 or 3am. I felt the first contraction at around 9pm. I called my friend Calonda at 9:30, and let her know I was feeling some contractions so she might want to come to the hospital, since she lives an hour away. Sim, my mom and Owen were all in the room, and we were just hanging out, snacking on Fritos. They found the movie The Incredibles on TV, which I will now forever associate with my daughter's birth.

mommy and daddyAround 10pm, the contractions were starting to get a bit uncomfortable, but I wasn't timing them, and they just made me cringe a bit. I walked around the fourth floor with Sim and Owen a few times, and that made the contractions not hurt at all. The whole experience was a lot more hands-off than I was used to. The nurse just came in about every half hour to hook me to the monitor again and make sure everything was okay. Sim, Owen and my mom continued to be completely engrossed in The Incredibles, and completely ignore the uncomfortable pregnant woman.

At about 10:30, my doctor came to check on me and looked at the monitor for contractions. He was a bit surprised, as was I, that they were coming every two minutes. He said it was time for the epidural. That made me a little nervous since I wasn't in a lot of pain. When I've had them with the boys I was in enough pain that I didn't even think about it. I was also started on the bag of Penicillin due to the Group B Strep. The anesthesiologist came in at 11pm and gave me the epidural, and my mom and Owen left for the waiting room. I was kind of glad, because without the distraction of the movie and Owen, maybe Sim would remember I'm in labor. There was a lot of pressure, but the epidural didn't really hurt. She said she gave me the lowest amount of medication, and I could press a button every 20 minutes if I wanted more, and the machine would dispense it. I've never had that kind before. This epidural wasn't nearly as strong as I was used to. It took the edge off of the contractions, and my legs felt a little wobbly, but I still could've probably walked.

BrynnaI let the nurse know I felt a lot of pressure on my tailbone. She asked if it felt like the urge to push, and I said I wasn't sure. She called my doctor, who was supposed to be there about that time, but he didn't come in the room until about 11:55pm. By that point the pressure on my tailbone was pretty severe, and I had pressed the epidural button once. The last few minutes were really intense.

My doctor checked me (for the first time since before labor had started) and declared I was at 10cm and ready to push. He broke my water then. I asked for Calonda and a very sleepy Owen to come back in first, and three pushes later, at 12:01am on June 28th, my daughter made her entrance into the world. Brynna Peyton Skye weighed in at 6 lbs, 12oz and was 19.5 inches long. She has a full head of hair and is absolutely beautiful.

BrynnaSim cut the cord, like he did with the boys. I'm not quite sure what happened, but right after that there was a lot of blood; the doctor and the floor were pretty well covered in it, but other than the doctor saying "sorry" no one seemed too bothered (except Sim, who looked a little shocked, and my mother, who looked like she was going to faint when she came back into the room a few minutes later.) My doctor said I had a first degree tear, and the cord had been wrapped around her neck, but everything was fine.

Brynna nursed right away and was very good about it. The nurse that was in the room let me know later that she's never had to deliver a baby, but she was afraid she was going to have to deliver mine. The hospital stay was fine, and Brynna was completely healthy--the only small thing was that her frenulum (the thingy that connects your tongue to the bottom of your mouth) was too short and at the very front of her tongue, so I had to take her to the pediatrician the next day to get it clipped. They said if we didn't it would be hard for her to eat, and painful for me, and also would cause her speech difficulties later. She ended up also needing to go to the pediatrician two other times that first week for weight checks, since it was dropping too much. We had to switch her to formula since I was apparently not producing enough milk.

BrynnaI felt physically good after she was first born, but had a bit of a case of the baby blues for a couple of weeks. I was surprised at that since I was fine after Owen was born, but I've gotten through it and am feeling great now. I'm sure the fact that my cat disappeared while I was in the hospital made it worse. It seemed to get better when I started getting out of the house or accomplishing things in it, like rearranging my kitchen cabinets.

Brynna is getting more animated by the moment, although she still sleeps most of the time. At almost four weeks old now she's waking up about twice every night, and one of the times stays awake for a couple of hours. I think maybe waiting four years between kids might be too much for me since I seem to have forgotten everything. It is so nice to finally have my little girl, and the boys have been great with her. Jeffery's behavior otherwise has left a lot to be desired, but they both adore their sister. Owen calls her "Cutie-pie." I even managed to venture out with all three of them yesterday for a vacation Bible school picnic!

Thank you for following along this journey with me. It's been exhausting, but definitely worth it, and my family feels complete. Thank you especially to Maribeth, and all the people who were kind enough to email me along the way!

~ Stephanie

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