Thursday, March 31, 2016

Samantha's Birth Story

On March 11th, I had my 40 week prenatal appointment. It cracked me up when the nurse told me "You're 40 weeks and three days along, okay?". I (not) jokingly responded with "I'm painfully aware."  I was due for a NST (non stress test), which monitors baby's movement and contractions, and a biophysical profile, which is an ultrasound to check on baby's activity, fluid levels etc. My OB was also going to check on dilation and effacement, to see if I'd made any progress since my last appointment. My sister in law came along to keep me company, which was great and very much needed! As far as dilation and effacement went, I was still just a fingertip dilated and still only about 80% effaced like I was at my last appointment. And unless I was laughing, Samantha wasn't very active during the NST. I felt a couple twinges, that I wouldn't have really called contractions, but they were just barely popping up on the paper. Everything looked okay on the ultrasound, but she was again not very active, just sucking on her fingers. One of the things the doctors want to see is the baby practice breathing, which she didn't during the ultrasound. 

After this was all done, the doctor came in and said that I am to go to the hospital tomorrow at 4 PM and I said HANG ON. What? Why?? He said that because her activity wasn't where he'd like it to be, he wanted to induce me the next day. Um - could you not have just initially said that?! I had made it pretty clear a month or so prior, that I did NOT want an induction unless absolutely medically necessary. I tried to argue with him (as kindly as possible), asking lots of questions, which led to him finally explaining everything I mentioned above. Basically, I didn't have much choice in the matter and my gut told me I needed to just leave it in fate's hands and trust my doctor's judgement. After he gave me my paperwork and left the room, I had a meltdown. My biggest fear with the induction was that it wouldn't work and lead to a c-section. If you know me, you know I'm terrified of surgery and the thought of a c-section scared the living crap out of me. And especially after having such laid back and relaxed midwives during my pregnancy with Vince, it had been a bit nerve-wracking that I'd felt more like a chart than a pregnant woman with my OB. 

Thanks to my sister in law, I calmed down, took a deep breath and we decided to go run a couple of errands. I was having some light contractions and they seemed to have a pattern, but I could walk, talk and drive through them, so I didn't pay them much mind. When we got back home, we decided to order some Olive Garden for dinner and I took some time to make a couple of phone calls, to let family know what was going on. I was starting to lose bits of my plug, which excited me, but there was no "show", like there was with Vincent, so I didn't get my hopes up. While eating dinner, the contractions picked up a little and they were getting hard to talk through. I put Vincent to bed and hopped in the shower afterward. I decided to try and go to bed early, since I knew I'd likely not be getting much sleep for a while after that! 

Well, I never went to 11:30, I started having some ass kicking contractions. I had to moan through them. I started timing them. First 8 minutes apart, then 6, then 4, then 2, lasting about a minute or more. After about half an hour of these, I woke up my mom and husband and told them that we needed to go to the hospital. My sister in law immediately came over to stay with Vincent. By the time we left the house, the contractions had been two minutes apart, lasting a minute for over an hour. We got to the hospital just after 1AM. I was admitted immediately. My nurse checked me and I was 5cm dilated!! Woohoo! I was in so much pain, that I asked for the epidural pretty quickly, since I knew I was progressing fast and it takes a while for them to actually get it ready. The only way I was able to get through the contractions without losing control was to moan or weirdly breathe through them, grab onto either Mike or my mom's hand and stare them dead in the eye. Later they both told me that I looked like I wanted their death! xD

Nurse waited to finish placing my IV, because I was in the middle of a contraction!

These were the only photos my mom was able to get of me in labor, because of how quickly everything happened!
A little while later, I had the nurse check me again as we were getting closer to time for the epidural. I was 8cm dilated. Knowing I was most definitely in transition with the contractions helped me a little, because I knew it couldn't get worse than that. Shortly after, my nurse had me sit up and face Mike, who was sitting in the chair next to the bed, because the lady administering the epidural was outside. I had a very strong contraction and had to hyperventilate through it. Mom and Mike told me to breathe slowly and I found myself telling them "STOP. TELLING ME. HOW. THE MOTHERF*** TO BREEEEATHE." and I screamed. The nurses came running in and out of nowhere, I felt this wickedly strong urge to push. My nurse told me not to push, but to lie back; my doctor was almost there. I told her that I couldn't help it - my body was pushing on its own!! She checked me again and sure enough - Samantha was crowning!! At that point it was clear that my doctor was not going to make it in time and the nurses would have to deliver her and my plans to get the epidural flew right out the window. I freaked out badly. 

My nurse was an angel sent from heaven! She got right up in my face and said "Hey! Stay in control. You are doing this. Your body is doing this. I am right here and we can do this together!" I needed to hear that coming from her SO badly. I guess it was different hearing it from her, because she was my nurse, I felt she had everything under control and she had authority. (I wish so badly we had taken a photo with her - I absolutely adored her and am so thankful for her!) There were probably about 6 nurses total in my room and around my bed during the delivery. One was holding an oxygen mask up to my face and I remember mom asking if I wanted my glasses off. I said NO, otherwise I wouldn't be able to focus on anything! They had me lying completely flat on my back as well and didn't want for me to be in any other position, because they'd lose the heartbeat on the monitor. It was SO hard for me to push in that position - I wanted so badly to squat or be on my hands and knees, but it just wasn't possible at that point. It is honestly really hard to say exactly what time anything happened, because it was all so fast. Mike and my mom weren't watching the clock either, so it's really all just a guesstimate! But my mom is guessing I pushed about 10 times before she was born.

We arrived at the hospital just after one and Samantha Ruth Neergaard entered the world 1.5 hours later at 2:39 AM! She weighed 6lbs 8oz, was 19 inches long and her head circumference was 34cm! The nurses whisked her off pretty quickly - it was all extremely chaotic, since my doctor wasn't there. I remember stopping the nurse who was about to cut the cord and telling her to let Mike do it. It seemed like forever before I was able to hold her, but I knew they were trying to properly suction her out and make sure she was okay first. I was MUCH more aware of birthing the placenta this time around, since I had no epidural. Because of my history after Vincent's birth and having lots of clots left, I was given pitocin and the nurse reached in to pull out clots, while pushing on my abdomen very hard. It was SO painful, but I knew it was necessary to help avoid another infection and D&C. It was beyond me how much came out after the placenta!! Meanwhile, my doctor walks in and says "Okay, are we ready?", then hears Samantha cry, looks over and goes "Oh..." xD I was in so much pain, but internally, I was laughing hard! It was absolutely priceless. So he basically arrived just in time to stitch me up, shake my and Mike's hands and tell us congratulations. I can't help but chuckle every time I think about it! I had a second degree tear, which I really didn't notice getting during pushing. (As a matter of fact, I don't really remember feeling the ring of fire either) I received a numbing shot before getting stitched up, which helped tremendously with the pain and I hardly felt getting the stitches.

Samantha was crying something FIERCE during most of the process, until Mike was able to hold her. It amazed me how loud and demanding her cry was!! I remember Vincent's being so tiny and polite. Not Samantha's. Her's screamed "HELLOOOO HERE I AM! FEED ME." As soon as she was placed in my arms for the first time, it was beyond clear to me that she wanted to nurse. She latched immediately! xD Well hi, nice to meet you too! Here's some dinner! I was given some pretty hefty pain medication afterward, which nearly knocked me out as I was trying to use the restroom - I had to lean forward and touch the floor to get the blood to rush back to my head! Once I was finally able to use the bathroom, I was taken upstairs to the maternity ward, where we stayed until we were discharged on Sunday.

Samantha's weight dropped down to just a smidge under 6lbs by the next day, so they kept us another day, to try and get her weight back up. They were going to have me supplement with formula, so while my mom tried to get her to take the bottle, I pumped to make up for the formula feeding. I was able to pump enough to give her the breast milk instead of the formula! It turned out that the reason of the significant weight loss was because of a bad latch. Which made sense, because I was cracking and bleeding and nursing was SO painful - completely different from how it was with Vincent. When trying to give her a bottle or a pacifier, she would gag and spit it out immediately. She wasn't latching deep enough when she nursed either. After a couple of good, solid meetings with the lactation consultant, some bottle feedings and pump sessions, we were able to fix the latch issue and she jumped back up to 6lbs 2oz!

Sally, one of my favorite nurses during our hospital stay - she was so incredibly sweet and helpful with Samantha and very emotionally supportive. She was able to get Samantha to finally take her bottle and helped me find a good way to keep her awake through feedings. Despite having other patients to tend to and other things to do as well, she always took lots of time with us and made sure we were well taken care of! :)

Here are a few more photos of our hospital stay:

Proud daddy! <3

First time she took a binky, which was a huge deal after having issues with gagging!

Vincent meeting his baby sister for the first time! <3

Proud big brother!

She kept leaning forward while I gave her kisses - it was so, so sweet!

We were finally able to go home on Sunday at around noon. It was wonderful to be back home with Mike and Vincent again! It was SO hard to be away from Vincent for so long, even though Mike and our family brought him to the hospital several times to visit. I had never been away from him for so long and it was hard on both of us. But, I will say that I had fantastic experience at the hospital where I delivered and I loved each and every one of my nurses!! Since I've been home, I've gotten two calls from the nursing staff to check up on me and answer any questions I may have. I've felt so cared for through this whole process and if we decide to have another baby down the road, I am most definitely going to deliver there again!! 

Finally home! Exhausted; but home! :D

The first two weeks back have been going great! I have been so thankful for my mom, who has been an incredible help to me, especially with Mike having to go straight back to work the day after we were discharged from the hospital. I am also beyond thankful for my sister in law, who cared for Vincent the majority of my hospital stay and has done everything in her power to provide help and support these past several weeks. I unfortunately ended up having to have another D&C about a week postpartum, like I did after Vincent was born and she stayed with me at the hospital, while my mom was at home with the kids. I know it sounds very cliche to say, but I am so incredibly blessed to have such a loving and caring family and sweet babies! My heart is truly full. 

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1 comment:

Leah |