Sunday, August 5, 2012

A New Family Member!

It has been over a week since I have posted in here. Of course a lot has happened since then. On Monday, July 30th, at 10 days overdue (7 days overdue according to my original due date, which they suddenly started using), I went to the doctor. It was a different doctor than I had previously been seeing, as mine was away on holidays. The doctor gave me a report that pretty much said there was no way I was having the baby any time soon. I left in tears, discouraged and extremely, extremely uncomfortable. That night, as it would happen, I went into labour.

I don't think I'm going to share the entire labour story in here. I will give the condensed version. I was woken up all night by painful contractions until just before 3 a.m. when I decided to stay awake and start timing them a bit. (I did drift to sleep between them.) They were ten minutes apart. After two hours of this, we called Mike's dad who came to stay with our boys and we headed to town to the hospital. It was confirmed there I was indeed in labour and my water was very ready to break. I was only 5 cm dilated but they figured it would happen very quickly once the doctor broke my water. He did so at 9:30 a.m. Things went downhill from there.

Though my labour progressed in intensity and pain, my body did not progress any further, and my baby refused to descend at all. By 2 p.m. this was cause for concern. We needed to make sure baby was coming out because there was meconium (newborn baby poop) in the water when they broke it. That's dangerous for the baby. Anyway, they got an obstetrician involved and he asked me to get an epidural to see if that would relax my body enough for the baby to get into the right position. Everyone figured once that happened, it would be a speedy delivery. I agreed to the epidural.

Let me just say that my second and third births were done with no epidurals and that is the way I prefer it. I tried one with my first, but it failed, so it was a miserable experience. This time, to my great surprise, the epidural actually worked. It was administered around 3:30 p.m. By then I was in terrible pain, completely exhausted and very discouraged knowing all the work I was doing was not doing a darn thing to bring me closer to birth. The epidural brought such complete relief I was in awe. I finally dozed off a little and drifted in and out of shallow sleep for a while. It was a balm to my body and my nerves. So I understand now those who sing the praises of the epidural. I really didn't want it, but my labour was never supposed to be as long and difficult as it ended up being, so it really was a blessing in the end.

A lot of this is blurred and I don't have my times straight, but here's the gist of the rest. I was told if this epidural didn't do the trick (they used an I.V. to administer oxytocin as well to increase the frequency and intensity of my contractions), I would have to have a c-section. That was my worst fear. (Other than losing the baby, of course.) I was very upset and cried at that news. Every time they came to check on my progress it was the same. I was 7 cm dilated and baby was not descending. At 6 p.m. they agreed to wait until 8 p.m. and then make a decision. At 8 p.m. my doctor returned and I still was between 7-8 cm. The baby had come down a little, but not nearly enough. He decided to give me another hour. By then my epidural was no longer doing anything for the pain and I was in the worst agony trying to make it through the contractions. Just before 9 p.m. I had the urge to push and I told the nurse. I thought I'd be fully dilated for sure and the head would be right there, but no. Still at 8 cm and the baby was high. I was so upset. I just wanted the doctors to return and just do the c-section already because I couldn't take any more. My doctor returned shortly after 9 p.m. and checked me. He confirmed what the nurse said, I was at about a 9. They told him I was pushing involuntarily so he decided to let me try pushing. I cried with relief at that point. I did my very best, at my most exhausted ever, to push that baby out, and I did it. At 9:52 p.m., our baby girl was finally born. Her name is Lauren, and she was my biggest baby yet at 10 pounds, 4 ounces and 23 1/2 inches long. (Oh, and contrary to what one might assume, I did not require any kind of episiotomy, nor did I tear at all.) I could not believe she was that big.

I would have updated all of that sooner, but the day after Lauren was born something went wrong with me. I started having violent, out-of-control shaking along with high fevers. They found out my hemoglobin was down to 76 (normal is 140-160) and I had to have a blood transfusion. That lasted all night the night after her birth. I assumed I would be better after that, but I was not. The fevers and shakes continued. My hemoglobin went up to 92, which was better, but not great. The next day it was back down to 85. It has been a very scary and emotional time as we have tried to get me better and get me home. On Friday we begged the doctor to discharge us as my nurses had seemingly grown sick of me and ignored me all that day. I was not getting any treatment in the hospital, so why would we stay there in extremely uncomfortable quarters, away from our boys? The doctor agreed and I had to return the next day (yesterday) to the hospital for another blood test. I did, and it is now at 86, so very, very low, but I am considered stable, so I am home with my family. I will be checked again Tuesday morning, provided I don't have an emergency before then. I am feeling better, but it is disconcerting to know I am hovering on the brink of needing a second blood transfusion.

Our week has been difficult, but we love our little Lauren. The boys are smitten with her. We all are. I will try to post some pictures of her.

Here's Jamie with his long-awaited sister in the hospital.

And Cody, whose first comment was "I can't believe we finally have our first sister!" Mike and I quickly amended that she was their ONLY sister.

Jamie with Lauren at home finally.

And Micah, adoring her too.

This was taken today when she was having some awake time.

Hopefully I will have more fun posts soon. I will be tired for a long time, so I might be absent some more. But this is our little complete family!


Allison said...

She is so beautiful and perfect Cheryl! I hope your health starts to improve quickly! Allison

Angie Kroeker said...

Congratulations on this big and wonderful event. I am so thankful to hear that she is well and that the birth worked out in the end. I pray you get better soon and that everything comes back to normal for you. Been thinking of you all week. All our love.