She's here . . . she's finally here! I'm going to assume that everyone has read my last journal regarding my need for an induction so I won't repeat those details. However, I will let you know how everything else happened regarding our little one's arrival.
Surprisingly enough, I slept fairly well for about 5 hours Thursday night with few contractions. James and I were told to be at the hospital at 7 a.m. for the induction (which actually began around 8). After being hooked up to the I.V., having my vitals taken and questions answered, the Pitocin was turned on. We had a few visitors by noon, which was okay because I wasn't having difficult contractions yet. Everyone left around 1 p.m. and I decided to go to the restroom. On my way, my water broke and the "real" fun began.
After about 30 minutes, my contractions began getting much stronger. I tried many of the pain relief methods I'd learned in preparation for a natural childbirth. The problem was that I was not allowed to get out of the bed once my water broke and most of the pain relief techniques I'd learned involved me being up and moving about. By 4 p.m., after finding out that I was still only 2 cm dilated, I went ahead and requested some Stadol (I.V. pain relief). I slept for about an hour though not well because the contractions were so strong. For a few more hours after I woke up, I continued to try to deal with the contractions without any additional medication. Eventually, with Pitocin-induced contractions and no water bag, I caved in. I decided that it was not worth the torture just to brag that I did without an epidural. At only 3 cm after nearly 12 hours, I received an epidural around 7 p.m. or so and very quickly fell asleep.
Three hours later, I woke up, likely because of the increased strength of my contractions. I could not feel any pain, thanks to my epidural, but I could feel the pressure of just about every contraction. They checked me and I had jumped to 8 cm, praise God! I guess the medication allowed my body to rest enough to move forward in my labor. From that point on, the rest of my labor was relatively easy and I progressed very well. My nurse told me to let her know if I started to feel like I needed to have a bowel movement and she'd check me again. In no time, I felt that way and after checking it was time to push.
First, let me say thanks to all the labor and delivery nurses out there that take their jobs seriously and treat their patients well. My nurse was wonderful and made the experience so much better than it could have been. My doctor was called after about 15 minutes of pushing because they expected a quick delivery. Sure enough, the whole phase lasted only 30-45 minutes and I barely tore. Only one stitch and that one was on the inside. Hannah Mai had finally joined our world. She was born on May 26 at 2:41 a.m., weighed in at 5 lbs 9 oz, and was 18 inches long. Her cord was indeed very thin and the doc was glad she'd made the decision to induce. However, her first APGAR score was a 9 and even afterwards only dropped to a 7. Unfortunately, after 48 hours she developed a slight case of jaundice and had to undergo phototherapy treatment and an additional night's stay at the hospital. We called her our little glow worm or space cadet. Her bilirubin levels dropped continuously and we were finally discharged around 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.
My husband, James has been a true blessing during this whole process. He was by my side with each contraction, coaching me as best as he knew how. He did all of my counting while I pushed, told me how great of a job I'd done afterwards, took pictures and videotaped the baby as she was being wiped off and went with her to her first bath. He was even complimented by my OB! During our first few nights, he woke with me to help burp her and did most of her diaper changes. He's been such a great help and encouragement. It would not have been the same without him by my side. And how adorable it is to see him talking to and cuddling with little Hannah Mai!
Overall, this pregnancy and birth were an amazing experience. With all of its ups and downs, joys and scares, the end result is the beautiful baby girl you see in the pictures. It's almost unreal that I'm now a mom. Hannah and I have been learning the ins and outs of breastfeeding (though she's a natural pro at latching on) and nights of little sleep. Though I did not achieve a pain medication-free birth, I do not regret it. If my next pregnancy goes a little smoother in the end, I'll likely try again at going natural. This one went just the way God had planned and that's all that matters to me.
I want to thank everyone that's kept up with my journal. It has been a joy for me to share my pregnancy and get comments and encouragements from many of my readers. I pray the best for the rest of you during your pregnancies. If anyone would like to remain in contact with me, please do not hesitate. My email address is email@example.com and soon I'll also be giving updates on our family at jamesandterra.blogspot.com.
Take care (and a happy, joyful pregnancy to you all!),