Friday, March 28, 2014

Sophia is here!

Welcome to the World My Beautiful New Little Girl!

Sophia Abbigail Lynnae
Born: 12/13/2013
Time: 3:28 AM
Room: 1313 (yep, 1313, I'm not making that up)
Weight: 7 lbs 9 oz
Length: 20 inches
Eyes: Deep Blue and sometimes Gray
Hair: Blonde, very fair blonde

Sophia's first photograph taken about an hour after she was born.

When I woke up for my third trip to the bathroom on Thursday morning, December 12th, it was around 3:30 am. As always, I urgently had to go! Unlike the rest of the times, I felt water leaking down my leg. Embarrassed, I ran to the bathroom and then noticed that the fluid wasn't yellow and was more than slightly sticky. I felt...ODD, for lack of a better word. I had only been asleep for maybe an hour and a half at that point. I googled "leaking amniotic fluid" and read through some of the entries. They said fluid was clear (check), somewhat sticky (check) and smelled "sweet" (um, at 4 am, I'm not sniffing that).  I cleaned up and had no more leaking while I was cleaning myself up. I put on a pad and went back to bed. Of course I didn't sleep. Half an hour later, I rolled over and felt dampness. I got up, went to the bathroom again. The pad was soaked. Not leaking but wet. It was clear, not yellow and at that point I was awake enough to decide I needed to sniff it (from a respectable distance), sweet...I don't know (maybe).

I consulted Dr. Google a little more. I still felt ODD, a little off. Our as yet unnamed baby girl wasn't due until December 31st. I had never had my water "break" without a doctor helping. All three of the other kids were either born on or near their due date.  I tried counting kicks but that early in the morning she was sleeping. I decided to text Doctor Kim and get a shower. I knew when she woke up she would tell me to go to triage and get checked out. I wasn't sure if at 4:30am I should go to labor and delivery triage or go to the ER. Secondly, I wasn't sure if I should eat and take my insulin or if I should AVOID taking my insulin. I woke Mark up around then because I was worried that taking a shower might start things and I didn't want to birth no baby by myself. I was not having any discernable contractions, just an occasional braxton-hicks contraction.

I worried more than a little bit about leaking fluid because on Friday, December 6th they admitted me to the hospital overnight for low fluid. It seemed like the fluid levels had went back up by Saturday and they were good on Tuesday when I went in for my normal stress test and fluid check. I hopped in the shower. Mark hopped in the shower. Kim texted me back to eat, take insulin & blood pressure medicine, and get to triage as soon as we could. We woke up all three kids, took care of the animals, and headed out. I took my insulin shots at home so that I didn't have to do that in the car, but we decided to grab breakfast thinking it would be faster than my usual egg/sausage/toast that I had cooked for the last three months. Once I take the shots, I need to eat within 10-20 minutes or I get sick from low sugar.

Unfortunately, Frisch's is never the "quick" route. As we were waiting in line, my contractions started being painful. Not unbearable, but enough to make me nervous. I could just imagine my water breaking and ruining our brand new van. How upsetting that would be! I did sit on some towels but I still worried. Frisch's took probably 20 minutes plus the drive there. I felt crummy for the first time that day with low blood sugar. We did finally get food and headed to the hospital.

When I delivered Matthew, his birth was quick and relatively easy. I went in for a scheduled induction (but was already in labor) and within 6 hours, I was pushing. An hour later he was born. The nurses joked about how if I ever had another baby, I better get to the hospital fast because his birth was so swift. Emma's birth would have been quicker even than Matthew's except when I sat up to push, her heart rate dropped. They rolled me over and stopped me from pushing until we could get her heart rate back to a good number and see that it stayed there. It added about 2+ hours to the process and caused her birth to take 8 hours instead of 5 or 6.

These thoughts were forefront in my mind as we sat waiting on egg sandwiches and driving through traffic to get to the hospital. I could just imagine having a baby on the side of the interstate. My poor kids having to help Mark deliver their sister. As this was Thursday morning the 12th, obviously those fears did not come to pass.

We make it to the hospital and snag a wheelchair to get upstairs. Then the waiting begins. By this time, I am absolutely sure that my water has broken and I had to change clothes before we left the house because of it. I have to convince the triage nurses that I have indeed though. By about 11 am, they decide to admit me. The nurse decides to have me walk to my room...ugh. She later claimed she didn't know I was leaking fluid. We are placed in Room 1313 on the morning of December 12th. Heather predicts that the baby will not be born until Friday, December 13th. (I'm still a little bitter about that!).

The news of the day is the mega snow storm that is about to hit. The headlines for the day are here. Nothing too big, a lot of complaining about Obamacare and some chatter about football. The weather has been so snowy and this weekend was lining up to be even worse. While we were still in triage, Heather shows up having taken the rest of the day off from work. Mark's mom is on her way. We just start getting settled in. Still not really having much in the way of contractions, but I'm hooked up to monitors and they get the IV started easily.

Mary eventually takes Matthew to her house and Heather and Emma hang out for a long time. It becomes obvious that baby girl is not in a hurry to come out and they start Pitocin and eventually start a glucose drip because my sugar is playing roller coaster since I can't eat but I took my insulin. Mark and the girls go down and enjoy a quick buffet of roast beef, mashed potatoes and all kinds of other goodies.

 I eventually convince the girls to go home. My parents come by after work and are disappointed that there's not a little pinky to cuddle. We promise to call them when she shows up and they head home as the snow begins.

We spend much of the day trying to rest and dealing with contractions. I'm thankful when they start the epidural. I had this secret fantasy that this delivery would be so quick and easy that I would deliver naturally without the epidural. 2 hours into real contractions and I'm talking to the nurse like a junky... "So, how long does the pain relief guys take to get here once we decide it's time for an epidural?" "Huh, depends on how many other mommas are asking at the same time? How many women in labor do you have right now? Wow, the snow is making everyone nervous and they're all coming in 'just in case'?"  "Alright, call him. Seriously, like right now!" Although I had a tremendous amount of trepidation about the epidural, everything went smoothly and I was very glad for the competency of the anesthesiologist.

Dr. Kim stops by at some point to let me know she is available when I'm ready but that she is going to sleep for a while since I'm not ready to push. Time passes, my sugar keeps going down and I keep sipping juice and getting glucose. I can't have anything else because if I should need anesthesia, I have to have an empty stomach.

Sometime before the nightly news, we start pushing. It's quiet. It's calm, just Mark, the nurse, and Dr. Kim. With the other kids, there was nervousness. There were other people in and out of the room. There was a discord or buzzing. With this birth, it was very quiet. Peaceful. I tried to focus and kept my eyes shut for much of the pushing. My pain was controlled well but I could still feel my legs and had control enough to move legs around just a bit.  We passed midnight and I may have cursed Heather's name slightly.

We pushed for what seemed like hours and I could tell that she wasn't coming out. My little sunny side up girl was stuck. What happens when babies are face up is they get stuck with their head at an angle that won't allow them to pass through the birth canal. Dr. Kim tried several types of manueverings to turn baby girl so that she would slip out. None of them worked. around 3:00 am, she has the come to Jesus meeting with me. "So listen, here's the deal. You've been at this a while and you're getting tired. We have a couple of options here. We can keep pushing and hope for the best but the baby's getting tired and you're getting tired and I don't like those odds. Second, we can prep and head for the OR. If you are too worn out, your water has been broken for most of 23 & 1/2 hours and we really like to have the baby out within 24 hours of it breaking. Or, we can use an extraction device. I prefer the forceps. I think we can maneuver her under your pelvic bone and get her out very quickly with them." We quickly talked over the options and decided on the forceps. The idea of recovering from surgery with a nursing newborn is just a nightmare in my mind. Dr. K has the nurse call anesthesia so they can top off my epidural because she's a wonderful doc and she didn't want me to feel the whole "giant salad tongs going into my hoohaa" thing.

We were ready to go quickly and it was very surreal. I could feel Kim slipping the huge forceps in one at a time. I could feel them turning the baby, not quite all the way and finally just ducking her under my pelvis and popping her out. It didn't hurt at all, but I could feel it. I know with the previous deliveries this was a different sensation.

They threw her up on my chest and I took an active role in cleaning her up and in the forceful rubbing that gets a baby breathing on their own. She took a few seconds and it was more than a little scary. I was thankful that her head was not super pointy as Heather's had been after a forceps delivery. With Emma they had used a vacuum extractor to pull her under the pelvic bone so she had a lump shaped like a dixie cup for a little while. Overall, she had a round little noggin.

Baby girl was finally here and although her apgar scores weren't great, she was breathing and healthy. She weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 21 inches long. We had some wonderful time with just the three of us. We decided that the middle of the night was a wonderful time to have a baby. I immediately put her to the breast knowing that if my sugar was roller coaster-y all day that hers was as well. We had great skin to skin time without worrying about who was about to walk in. As much as I love our family and friends, it's very difficult to have the door opening every 10 minutes while you're being sewed up from delivery and trying to breast feed the tiniest baby you ever remember seeing.

The sweet nurses felt bad for us being so hungry and brought us plates up from the 3rd shift lunch buffet, so at 4:30 in the morning we were scarfing roast beef, turkey, dressing and all the fixings.

We marveled at our beautiful new girl. She was and is so pretty. More later on the loop she threw us for.