They say it is common for first babies to arrive late.
Well… August 15th came and went.
Baby girl was over due.
I never pictured her being late. I just thought she would come exactly on her due date. Why wouldn’t she?
Anyway, I had been off work for two full weeks, and everything was ready. My breast pump had arrived, my hospital bag packed, my birth plan written, took a tour of the hospital, nursery ready, car seat in the car. Now, my husband and I were just patiently waiting to meet our baby.
At 40 weeks, I was huge, feet swelling, uncomfortable. However, I still managed to go to the pool, grab lunch with friends… I even had one last dinner at Quarterdeck, a local crab house. I tried to keep moving in hopes to get the labor going.
I had an induction date scheduled for August 24th, 2015 at 9:00pm, in hopes she would be born on August 25th. But I was praying she would arrive sooner than that. The longer your baby stays inside, the bigger they grow. I also wanted to spend as much time with her as I could, considering I am heading back to work in late October.
On Monday, August 17th, my husband and I went to the doctor for a final ultrasound. They also checked my contractions, and fluid levels. Everything was good. The doctor predicted she would come in the next day or two.
That night I started to feel labor pains. I didn’t sleep well, and when morning came I started having contractions. I booked an appointment with my doctor so she could check my progress.
My doctor (Amy Porter) told me I was 4 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. My contractions were 5-7 mins apart. She informed me that I was in the early stages of labor and that depending on my comfort level, I could go to the hospital or head back home to labor. I wanted to spend as little time as possible in the hospital so I went home. As I went home, Dr. Porter called over to Labor and Delivery to update them on my status, and let Dr. Paik (the on call doctor) know to expect my arrival later that day. Porter was confident, that I wouldn’t be going to bed that night with out a baby in my arms.
Around 4:00 pm, contractions were way more intense and closer together. So my husband and I decided to head to the hospital. My mom met us there as well.
When I got to the hospital I felt like maybe I should turn home. I wasn’t screaming in pain like they do in the movies. But I also didn’t want to miss the opportunity to have an epidural if I needed one.
The nurse checked my progress and again I was only 4 centimeters. Dr. Paik came in and told me she thought it was best to labor more at home. Although I was having consistent contractions, she thought I was to calm. She told me come back when contractions are so intense that I can barely walk or talk.
At 10:30, my contractions were consistently 2 mins apart. So I headed back to the hospital. At 11:00 pm I was admitted. I was still only 4 centimeters dilated. I was a little annoyed that there wasn’t any change. I was also starting to get pretty tired. I wanted to try to go as long as I could with out drugs. Plus an epidural is known to slow down your labor.
At 1 AM, I got the epidural. I was laboring in my back. But two hours later I realized I was still feeling pain. At 3 AM, I ended up having a second epidural. Finally it worked and I was able to relax.
My husband was with me the whole time. We decided not to call any other family members. There was no point calling them in the middle of tbe night when I wasn’t having any progress.
In the morning, August 19th, Dr. Porter came in to check my progress. She was very confident that we would have a baby while it was still light outside.
However, at this point I was 5 centimeters dilated. A little progress, but not much. She decided to break my water in hopes to get things moving. A couple hours later she checked my progress and there was little change.
The next step was pitocin. I wanted to try to avoid pitocin because in some cases it can lower the baby’s heart rate, putting the baby under stress. Anyway, at this point I was willing to try whatever to get things moving. Pitocin is used to induce labor, and in most cases it makes you dilate really quickly. Not in my case.
Dr. Porter came in to check and there was no progress. She gave me more pitocin to see if that would help, but it didn’t.
It was then that Dr. Porter asked me, “How big is this baby?”
At 36 weeks, I had an ultrasound that measured all of her limbs. They predicted at that point she was 6.5 lbs. in the 58 percentile. I started to freak out because I still had 4 weeks to go. Babies grow the most in the last month. However, I also heard that those predictions are just estimates that aren’t always accurate.
Well turns out their predictions were right on the money.
The therory behind why my labor was not progressing quickly: The baby’s head puts pressure on the cervics to helps with dilation. Turns out my baby is a big baby. Although, her head was low and in the right position, my pelvic area was to narrow for her head to put pressure on the cervix.
So the next step was unplanned C-Section.
I never ever imagined that I would have a C-Section. It just never crossed my mind. I watched all of the natural child birth documentaries. I always thought I would just have a quick natural vaginal labor.
I was a little freaked out, but something had to happen… I had been laboring for over 36 hours. I asked my husband if he was okay with me having a C-Section, and he said whatever the doctor and I thought was best.
Around 3:30, I texted my mom to let her know, that I was being prepared for a C-Section.
My husband was by my side the whole time. I was freaking out and started to cry. He comforted me and I quickly pulled it together. I didn’t want the stress I was feeling make my baby stressed.
I was wheeled to the operating room. The whole medical team introduced themselves. The anesthesiologist numbed me from the nipples down. They put up a screen so I couldn’t see anything. My husband held my hand.
Finally, on August 19th, at 4:19 pm, I heard my baby cry for the very first time. I immediately felt relief, saying to myself, “Oh thank God!” I felt overwhelmed with love.
Then I saw a glimpse of my baby as the nurse went to clean her up. She was all purple, white, a little bloody. My husband left my side to see the baby and he got some great photos too. My head was turned in the direction of my baby. I could see the nurse cleaning her off. I kept trying to see my husbands facial expression. I kept trying to see my baby. Finally my husband brought our baby girl to me, it was only for a second but at least it was something.
Then we were off to the recovery room. It was there that I was given my baby. We did skin on skin and she latched on. We breast fed for probably 45 mins until we were able to be transferred to a mommy and baby room.
Everything happened so fast. But I’m glad because the quicker I could get my hands on my baby the sooner we could start bonding.
Although, a C-Section was not in our plans, there are some positive things about C-section births. ( I will write about this in my next post.)
And at the end of the day, the most important thing is that both me and my newborn are healthy and safe.
It is hard to believe two weeks has gone by.
Our baby girl, Zoe Annalise Leonard was born on August 19, 2015 at 4:19 PM. She weighed in at 8 pounds 15 ounces, 20.8 inches long. She is the sweetest, most snuggley baby ever. So cute she is always making her mommy and daddy laugh.
Happy two weeks baby Zoe!!
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