Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ellie's birth story

Last year on this day at 3:15pm I had an OB appointment, it was just a normal check up. However, earlier that morning I experienced some cough leaking cough and thought I would call my OB and just give him a heads up. I had done this once before maybe a few weeks prior. The previous time they blamed it on a weak bladder, super. On July 8th at 3:15 I went to the appointment on my own (the ONLY appointment Jason missed) they did their test to determine if I was leaking amniotic fluid and then my nurse practitioner was gone for a LONG time. Finally, she came back in and said she could see something on the slide and she wanted my OB to look at and it would be just a little longer. Eventually both my OB and nurse practitioner came back into the room together...they saw a small pattern that indicated I could be leaking amniotic fluid and if that was the case it could lead to an infection. So my OB told me he wanted me to go to the hospital to the Labor and Delivery floor for a test, just to be sure. He then informed me if it is positive I would be admitted and Ellie would be delivered. That was about the time my heart started to race and my eyes immediately welled with tears. I hugged my nurse practitioner and left as calmly as I could. I was going to go home and pack. I called Jason on my way home and told him we needed to pack and head to the hospital, turned out Jason was already at home, perfect. I call my mom next, she didn't answer. So I called my dad, he answered! I gave him the low down and he said he'd get mom and they would pack and then wait to hear the results of the test and decide when they would make the 5 1/2 hour drive. In my head I was willing Ellie to not be born until they got to the hospital.

Once I got home Jason and I packed, pretty calmly too. We got to the hospital around 6pm (give or take). We were then put in a triage room with another couple who was waiting to go for their c-section, completely opposite emotions going on in that room. We sat in that triage room for what seemed like forever. Finally I was given the test and then had to wait for the results. I text my parents to let them know we were waiting for results, they informed me they couldn't sit at home anymore and were on their way to the hospital. YAY!! That was exactly what I needed to hear. Jason and I were very calm and quiet as we waited. I remember laying my head back and praying to God to give me the strength to get through this and telling him that if this is his timing then I am ok with that. I think I did that 3 or 4 times as we waited for the results. Finally the nurse came back in, it was positive, we were being admitted and Ellie would be delivered that night or tomorrow. It was now about 7pm. 

Eventually we were brought to our room, a large corner room. This room was at the end of the L and D floor, as far away from the nursery as possible. This was purposeful. The timeline gets a little fuzzy now for me. Jason parents got there sometime between the triage room and being moved to our room. One of my best friends informed she was in the waiting room, because she just needed to be there. My parents got there around midnight, I think. Both of Jason's brothers were there, and with cupcakes! Unfortunately, I was informed in the triage room I couldn't eat anything. I was bitter about that for a long time. I didn't even get to eat dinner. When the nurse asked me if I wanted juice I was so exited for something besides water and ice chips. 

My labor was very slow moving, I was having contractions but they didn't feel much more than menstrual cramps, and mild ones at that. Everyone went home sometime in the wee hours of July 9th. Again, my time line is a little fuzzy now so I will do my best to account the events of July 9th. Jason and I did our best to get some sleep. I don't know how they expect that when you're connected to a bunch of IV's and a baby heart rate monitor. Through out the night/morning I think 3 or 4 different machines decided to make awful alarm/beeping noises that the nurses had to come in and fix. Not getting much sleep here. Around 9 or so in the morning on the 9th our parents came back. At some point (could have been before parents came) in the morning my OB came in to "check me" essentially to check  how dilated I was at that point. I believe I was only at 1 or something like that. So he decided to start  me on pitocin, to help move things along a little faster and he estimated I would deliver sometime late that afternoon. My water has not broken at this point. If I continued to progress slowly he was going to strip membranes (break my water). Jason and I were very calm and trying to enjoy the process, as scary as it was to deliver Ellie and know that we would say good bye shortly after, we were going to meet our daughter!

Throughout the morning and early afternoon many friends and family came to visit and pretty much just hang out until it was time to deliver. The Haven Network was on standby, we had called them the night before saying we were admitted. At some point my contractions started to be a little more real...painful. I was still smiling and talking with people but it got to the point where I was gripping the sides of my bed and having to stop talking until the contraction was over. My nurse asked about the epidural, I didn't want to get it too early not be able to get out of bed. She told me 3 people were ahead of me to get their epidural and that could take a couple hours so she recommended I "get in line".

 I want to guess the epidural people (what are they called?) came around 2pm. The nurses had all of our visitors leave the room. They had me sit up on the side of the bed and hang my legs off. They started to lay out their tools and needles next to me on the bed. I was too scared to look. Jason of course watched the whole thing. Eventually they were ready and told me to hunch over my tummy. They started to feel my lower spine with their fingers and then the woman asked the other one, "can you find a good spot?". I am completely aware of everything going on around me. I am so nervous and sweating. I look down at my toes and remember thinking, I am glad I got a pedicure. One of the women asks me, "have you had issues with scoliosis?" "NO!, I am not level on the bed if that matters!" Oh my gosh! Why would they bring up scoliosis at a time like this? I scooted around the bed until my butt was level, no sheets in the way and I wasn't sitting in a crease where the bed can fold up.  Then the women found a spot on my back and told me to hunch over, pretty much have the worst possible posture you can. Ok, let me remind you of this, I was so full of fluid! My stomach was huge even though Ellie was tiny. There was no hunching over! My labor nurse was so nice and sweet, she talked to me calmly and then gave me a pillow to hug and lean onto, my nurse then pushed my shoulders down for me, ouch! I was so uncomfortable, and they hadn't even started with the needle. Eventually I had bad enough posture they could start. I wanted to cry, it hurt so bad. The blood pressure machine was down by my feet, I watched my blood pressure rise throughout the whole process. They finished with the needle and then couldn't get the tube in!!! They decided they had to do it again down lower. I had to do the whole painful process over again. Finally, it was over.

All our visitors came back in for a little while. Maybe around 3 Jason and I decided we were going to rest and try to take naps. Around 4pm my OB came back to "check me" and decided he needed to strip my membranes. Again, remember I am so full of fluid. My OB sits in a chair and puts on these blue scrub boots that pretty much come up to his knees. Due to the nature of our pregnancy everything was done in one room. So I wasn't wheeled by healthy babies being born. My OB sat on the end of my bed and broke my water...things then turned a little freaky. I was then sitting in a pool and could hear the waterfall of water start to pour off the bed and onto the floor. Oh my goodness! Jason and I just looked at each other like what is happening. Both Jason and I could see my stomach shrinking in size. At one point my labor nurse took one of those pink kidney bowls and started scooping bowls of water off my bed and poured them into the sink. I finally asked my OB if this amount of fluid was normal, he kind of stunned said no. By the end of it, he estimated I lost 3 liters of fluid, 3X the normal amount. He said things are going to move faster now. We had our family in one more time. 

Around 6pm my OB checked me again and said I was at 10 and it was time to get The Haven Network here. I remember throwing my heads up to my face and I started to cry. 9 months of carrying Ellie and now was the time that I was scared to death of. All of our family and friends were waiting in the hallway from 6ish to after Ellie was born.

This picture was taken by The Haven Network when they arrived.

The Haven Network got there around 6:30 or so, and again I started to cry as soon as they walked into the room, they cried right along with me. I didn't take any birthing classes so my labor nurse walked me through it very calmly. I didn't push for long. Ellie was born at 6:53pm. She was cleaned off and a hat was put on her head, she had a partial heart beat at that point. She was handed to me and then our parents were called in. Then very quickly our family friend and pastor was called in to baptize Ellie.

Afterwards Ellie was handed back to me and my nurse checked her heart beat, Ellie had passed away. And we all cried.  Ellie was beautiful. She was 15 1/2 inches long, her hands and feet were large. She weighed 3 lbs and 6 oz.

 I had gotten quite a few outfits for Ellie so we were able to get her dressed and call in all of our friends to spend some time with Ellie.

Jason and I spent another night in the hospital and continued to spend time with Ellie. 

I love talking about her birth story and my pregnancy because I get to talk about Ellie. 

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