Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Emma is still not born

Edit- excuse all the grammatical errors and sentence fragments.  Just go with it on this one....

Monday night I recieved about two hours of sleep after having intense back labor that would not let me sleep, along with a fussy Eleanor who was having a hard time staying asleep, plus Ernest was up several times.  I believe it was from me getting out of bed, laying down in bed, walking the floors, leaning on the table, up again the walk, trying in futility to get comfortable on the recliner, repeat.  I had not ever experienced back labor before in any of my pregnancies or births.  It was completely exhausting, you can't get comfortable no matter the tricks you try, plus I took two long hot showers with the water on my upper and lower back and emptied my hot water tank twice before calling my midwife.  Out of pure exhaustion I slept from about 4:30- 5:30 and  I was able to wake up Kendall and he rubbed the heck out of my back and I was able to sleep some from 6-7.  I woke up again with severe back labor and some good uterine contractions so we called our midwife and doctor to see if we could come in and recieve Pitocin and get the ball rolling. 
I laughed at myself in the mirror after realizing absolutely nothing I was wearing matched. Whatever, 41 week and 4 days in the picture and excited to go to the hospital.  Look at that belly!

I have had a wonderful midwife who is actually my friend first and my midwife second.  I had no idea of her midwifery background or capabilities until I asked her to oversee my prenatal health for Emma.  Humble is an understatement when describing her Godly character.  She has the biggest smiled on her face when we have our checks and geniuenly enjoys just measuring my belly and listening to the heartbeat, what a blessing!  She said "I'm coming over and we'll go in together" so she showed up before my kids had left to my sister-in-laws and before the doctor had gotten back to me to relay that I could indeed come in for an induction.  I was tired from the get go of this whole adventure yet fet the end of this pregnancy was surely near from the contractions and other signs of upcoming labor.  I was also very much in a state of 'bring on the pain I'm so over this' mentality.

Our kids were picked up, my doctor called back and said to come on in, and we loaded up and headed over to the hospital.  I looked over at Christina, my midwife, and said "I can't believe we are to this point!  I can't believe we are headed to the hospital!"  We were both giggly with excitment, it was pretty cute.  She dropped me off and I headed upstairs while she parked the car, Kendall drove the minivan on his own since we were anxious to get going. 

Resting after some walks and contactions. 
Once upstairs on the third floor of the local hospital we recieved the best treatment anyone could ask for.  Our nurse brought us all ice water and juice, Christina was well recieved with open arms from the nurses (not all midwives are welcomed with such hospitality since you are now entering the official medical world and are on their turf), and my nurse went over what we wanted and did not want during labor, delivery, and applied to our newborn.  No guilt or pressure over our decisions was made and they were very respectable of our privacy and choices.  It was great.
Walking the baby out is a great way to get your mind off the contractions.

Some sweet friends stopped by after their birthing class.  They are expecting their first baby in April and thought to come check on us and "Where's the baby?!"
We hooked up pitocin at 11:00am and started on a very low dosage of 5.  The highest it goes to is 26 and surely we felt we wouldn't need it, we just needed to kickstart this labor and get the ball rolling knowing my body would get the hang of the contractions and take off on it own, then we would take me off the pictocin and I could labor naturally and finish on my own.  Perfect plan.  Well, come 2:00 I'm still not dialated and my contractions are not close enough together or strong enough to be refered to as 'labor'.  We chose to up my pitocin every thirty minutes, have a cervical check every hour to see where we are at in dilation, and Christina, Kendall and I walked up and down the halls of the third floor.  Finally at 8:00 a med student checked me and said I was at a four.  Sweet Jesus that's awesome.  Then at 9:00 I was at a five, wow we're doing great!  Although I was extremely tired I was working on adrenaline and kept walking the halls.  The contractions were 3 minutes a part and slowing me down their deep 'pinch' and sharpness.  "Pressure filled" is another good word to describe them.  At 1:00 we were all delirious with lack of sleep and I fell asleep every two minutes sitting up up, would wake up to breath through a contraction, then fall asleep sitting up while Christina rubbed down my ever swollen saline-filled legs.  My right hand hand had become very swollen from the IV and saline so I had to be alert to move my hands around to reduce the swelling.  In order to put my feet up I had to lean back in the bed but that was utter discomfort during a contraction.   There is no worse place to be during a contraction being confined, whether it is a car or a bed, in my opinion.
Kendall was so sweet and helpful, plus everyone loved his jokes.  He played a great role of "the dad" during our stay.

My right hand was extremely swollen, and my socks left rings around my ankles.
I fell asleep, and at 4:00 my doctor came in and checked me.  After much deep deep reaching and several jokes about feeling my teeth, he gave me the most diasppointing news of my life- you're only at 2.  What. the. heck.  Apparently, the nurses and med student had been feeling the front of my cervix, which is extremely thinned out and feels like a bag of water.  When they seperate their fingers to know how dialated I am, their fingers were feeling uterine muscle and the 'lip' of the cervix.  You can feel the babies head, what feels like a bag of water, and even the babies own 'soft spot' due to the cervix being so thinned out.  Amazing, just not the right spot.  The true opening of the cervix is located in the back of the uterus and starts to move forward and easier to get to as labor draws nearer.  My cervical opening was still further in the back, and still at only a two.  When he told my nurse I'm still at a 2 her jaw dropped.  HOW?  I've been walking for hours, on the highest level of pictocin, have three minute a part contractions, yet I'm only at a 2?  What about all of the mind numbing labor, and back pain, and and and.  Nope just at a 2. 

Now my options were 1. start a new bag of pitocin, 2. go home, 3. have cesarian section.  Well, plan 3 is my emergency escape route and Kendall knows to only give the okay on one if the baby or myself are in emminent danger or distress.  And I don't want to go through another bag of pictocin.  I just don't wanna.  I'm tired.  I'm sore.  I haven't had a good rest or meal and would bring everything I have to the table to walk all day again today plus push out a big ol' full term baby.  My legs and arms are already so swollen with saline.  I've been on three rounds of penicillin to counter act any positive group b-strep found in me.  Our prenatal has been completely done at home so we started the penicillin 'just in case' it was positive.  Although I avoid antibiotics as much as possible 'in the real world' I felt that one round wouldn't hurt, no biggie.

After choosing to come home, a decision supported by Kendall, my "Whatever you want is fine" guy, and Christina, who had stuck it out with us in the hospital and in a daze of her own, I had complete peace.  I wanted to cry.  My nurses had set up everything for delivery and layed a blue cloth over it all, but the neat delivery bags used by doctors and nurses had be opened and layed out.  There was a bassinet waiting outside my door with a teeny tine newborn diaper, hat, and tape measure waiting for Emma to use. Every time I walked by my own room I thought "I can't believe I'm going to have another baby!  I can't believe that bassinet is for me!"  There were two newborn babies in the nusery that we cooed over on our walks.  And yet we left empty handed with our sweet nurses saying the hope to see us later today or tomorrow.  We have scheduled another potential induction for Monday.  My doctor had let us know Friday we could try, but I declined it.  Monday sounded better in my world.  A week of not thinking about it, of just living like normal and baking cookies with my kids and cleaning my bathroom sounded so much better.

Thoughts of disbelief mixed with 'now what?' floated through my head.  I'm supposed to have these three minute a part contractions and not be in labor? How am I supposed to take care of my kids on these contractions?  I'm supposed to live a normal life after a full day of intense mental focus and physical discomfort only to end in utter disappointment?  And what am I going to tell Ethan who has been asking if I could 'just let Emma out already' for days and days and days.  Christina told me later in privacy, it's okay to have a meltdown with Ethan and cry, it's okay for him to see diasppointments happen.  We are heartbroken, however not broken.  We will have a baby.  We will have a baby that is gifted to us.  I know too many mama's who have one or none and only wish to walk my shoes but can't due to physical inability.  I can still feel little (well, not so little, she's a bit over the eight pound mark and beyond full term) Emma rolling around in my belly.  I drank apple juice in the hospital and within five minutes we could hear her hiccuping on the monitors.  We even got it on tape and hindsite I'm so glad we did.  In the end, this baby will be born.  Whether she wants to or not, she has to be born. 

I am starting to wonder if she's going to be one of those thirty year old adults still living in their parents basement, though.