Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Birth Story

Day 14

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since Sofia was born!  In many ways, it feels impossible that so much time has passed and yet in other ways, it feels like a million years ago that it all happened.

On August 17 (37 weeks, 5 days) at about 4:45 am, I felt what i thought was a kick/gas combo.  It felt like a little explosion down in my belly.  I had been awake and I doubt it was strong enough to have woken me if I'd been sleeping.  I thought that perhaps I needed to visit the bathroom and as i was walking, I thought I peed (how do you spell that??) myself which was weird because I didn't think I had the urge, but crazier things have happened so I didn't question it.  When I sat down in the bathroom, it was very obvious what had occurred.  I was WET!  And it had a faint pink tinge to it.  I couldn't believe my eyes!  This was it, it was happening NOW. 

I took some deep breaths (but I was already shaking) and called out to Russ.  I called his name a couple times and then said "We have something here!"  Isn't that the oddest choice of phrases?  I don't know where that came from.  He came to the bathroom and I told him my water broke.  We just sort of looked at each other like "OK, now what???"  I called the dr, got the answering service and one of the drs called back within 5 minutes.  I told her my water broke and she said I should go to the hospital.  I had not experienced any contractions, but she felt there was great evidence that the baby was on the way.

Next step was calling my parents who live 8 hours away.  Our hope was that they would get there in time for the birth, but I was worried.  I called, waking them up and shocking my mom.  They immediately went into pack up and get out mode and were on the road within 45 minutes or so.  At this point, I knew I had 24 hours to get her out and I wanted to stall to give my parents more time.  I told Russ that while I wanted to get to the hospital, I wasn't in a big hurry. 

At this point we started gathering things to bring, although I was already packed and pretty much ready to go.  I also jumped in the shower so that I could be clean and shaved for who knew when my next shower would be, right?  Russ had to take care of some logistical things like moving my car out into the street so my dad could park in my spot.  He also decided that now would be a good time to eat 3 hot dogs.  WHAT?  Yeah...he knew it was going to be a long day and I was impressed that he thought ahead to eat since some days he eats nothing until 9 pm.  I thought 3 hot dogs was a little excessive, but who am I to judge? =)

Have I mentioned that once I had the initial break, it just kept flowing and flowing and flowing?  I'd sit on the toilet for 10 minutes and be sure it was done, then get up to get ready to go and within 30 seconds of standing, it would come pouring out again leaving puddles on the floor!  It was a lot!!! 

Finally it was time to go down to the car.  Remember I live on the 7th floor of a high rise condo.  Russ was going to meet me in the front of the building so I didn't have to walk too far.  I rolled up a wash cloth and stuck it in my panties (was wearing a dress) in an attempt to make it down there dry.  No such luck.  In the elevator with 2 of my neighbors, I feel it start to drip and by the time I got off, i was leaving a trail through the lobby!  Great.  We had a waterproof pad ready to go in the car, but I leaving puddles everywhere!

We got the hospital in 10 minutes or less and went right up to labor and delivery.  Still no contractions so I was really calm and ready to go.  They hooked me up to the monitor and we knew that the baby was doing well.  I told them that I was supposed to have a c-section but that maybe I could try laboring (???) and they said they'd wait til the dr came and checked me out.  I was honest and said that I really wanted my parents to be there but that top priority went to making sure baby girl came safely.

They checked my fluid to be sure it was amniotic (gosh - what else could it have possibly been???) and reported that my cervix was barely 1 cm.  No progress since the Friday before.  My dr came in and said her head was up pretty high.  She said I could labor and they could try pitocin to get it going.  I was not a fan of that idea.  In my mind, I felt like we could start labor that way but wouldn't we just end up doing a c-section anyway??  She felt that it would likely be the case - remember they still thought i had a giant baby in me.  She said we could wait it out and see if labor would start naturally but that we'd lose our place in the c-section schedule and that could mean we wouldn't get it until really late if we ended up needing that which we probably would.  She also told me that it's safer to do a c-section without laboring first so that the uterus doesn't get "tired" and make me bleed too much after. 

It seemed pretty clear that we needed to go ahead and just do the c-section.  By this time, my parents were about 5 hours away and I thought maybe they would schedule it for the afternoon and just maybe they'd make it.  I called my parents and explained the situation and that it was very possibly they would miss but that we'd try.  They agreed that getting her out was the way to go and aside from my parents not being there, I wanted her out ASAP.  So we told the dr to go ahead with it, not knowing when we would be scheduled for the procedure.

Little by little my nurse starts coming in with things for us.  The scrubs for Russ, a cap for me... I see she's now wearing little booties over her shoes.  I'm like "Um......are we doing this soon???"  In a word: YES.  I looked back at my phone and saw that I spoke to my parents at 9:41.  Well, I was in the operating room prepping by 10:15!!!!  They got us right in!  And that was a good thing because it meant I had no time to get nervous. 

Except for that I was totally nervous!  Shaking like leaf is more like it!  I was told we would do a spinal/epidural combo.  The spinal provides the major stuff but then the catheter is left in to provide me with continuing pain meds.  In case I hadn't mentioned it before, this procedure is what I was most afraid of.  And I'm not saying it hurt...it really didn't.  Pain isn't the word.  But i hated it.  I felt like it took forever and I just wanted to cry.  I know it was just nerves and it honestly wasn't pain but just an uncomfortable feeling that I never had before.  And I thought it would take like 2 minutes and it felt like it would never end.  The nurses were so sweet, holding my hand and I kept grabbing them and apologizing.

Once it was in, they layed me back and I literally was shaking so hard you could see my movement.  Was it cold?  Yeah, but this was more than shivers, I was a wreck.  Thankfully the nurse told me that once the spinal hit, I would feel like I couldn't breath but that it shouldn't freak me out, I could still breath even though it felt like  a truck sitting on top of me.  She was right!  All of the sudden, I felt like I couldn't feel myself breathing and had I not known to expect that, I would have hyperventilated for sure.  Instead I just took deep breaths that felt shallow and tried to relax.

Then Russ came in the room and the procedure started.  They started poking me to see if I could feel things.  Some things I felt, but it wasn't pain.  They kept asking "Is it PAIN?" and I'd say well...no.  But I figured numb is numb and I should feel anything.  Regardless I did not feel the cut and that's all that matters right? 

There were like 15 people in the room and I really wish someone had thought to tell what they were doing.  I would have liked a play by play, but that didn't happen.  When the time came, the nurse said OK, lots of pressure now.  At this point, they pushed so hard on my abdomen (right below my breast bone), I thought for sure I'd be sore for weeks.  They literally squeezed her out like a tube of toothpaste.  Lots of pressure and then a "There's a face..." and before I knew it she was out and we heard the cry and they brought her over to the warmer and started cleaning her.  I could barely see her out of the corner of my eye, but she was there!!!  Safe and sound.

After what seemed like forever, they finally brought her over to me for a 5 second peek and then whisked and her daddy off for tests and stuff.  Now it was time to put me back together.  They mentioned that a sedative would be given after birth to relax me during this part.  I was definitely in and out but it sure felt like it took forever.

Next thing I knew I was in recovery and feeling nauseous.  Does anyone remember the one thing I wanted to avoid on this day?  Yes, it was feeling sick to my stomach.  Well, no such luck.  I threw up pretty quickly and that lasted all day.  Gotta love dry heaves.  Ugh.......  But I had my baby girl there and she was healthy (practically perfect APGAR of 9/9 whoot whoot!). 

I know there's more to tell, but this has been a long post, don't you think?  I'll fill in more details another time.  Specifically how awesome the whole hospital experience was.  It was like being at a resort.  Sort of.

As I sit here (on my first day home alone with Sofia!), she is starting to get restless, so I gotta go be a mama.

Watch for the next post where I must talk about the hormone plummet and how I'm dealing with that!  Man, I cry a lot.  Until next time....


  1. What a beautiful story - I love all the details like the water breaking and leaving your snail trail on the way to the car. It seems like everything was in slow motion for you. Was it really taking forever or did it just feel that way?! Sorry your parents didnt get to be there for the delivery, but glad they were there shortly there after. Little Miss Sofia is beautiful and I'm not surprised she was nearly perfect! Good job momma bear! You did it and your little lady is here, welcome to the world little Sofia! xoxoxoxoxoxox

  2. I didn't want this post to end!! But I did crack up about the water leaking through the lobby. Bet the custodians wondered what in the world THAT was when they found it!

    I hope you're feeling better with the hormones soon. I ABSOLUTELY know how you feel and it is no fun whatsoever.

    Let's talk soon when you're settled and I'd love to plan another visit soon. I won't sneak in on you this time though. I'm sorry about that!

  3. WOW! Great recap!!! Amazing experience isn't it...when you see that baby for the first time!!!

    Tell me about the hormone plummet!!! So many tears here too!!!


  4. Love this story. Thank you for posting it. I can't believe Sofia is 14 days old already.

  5. You totally kicked my butt at telling your birth story! Nice job. I'm so excited for you all. It's so much fun how many of us went through this together!!!

  6. I got teary eyed reading your post. What a blessing Sofia is to your family. Can't wait to read more. You'll have to post more pictures so we can see that cute litle face!