Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Most Beautiful Thing Happened...

June 25th 2014
Today I had my regular weekly OB appointment. I was 38 weeks along and as ready as ever. I was excited for this appointment especially, because not only was I going to hear Baby G's heartbeat, Dr. Barney mentioned that if I hadn't had this little baby yet, he would "strip the membranes" which sounds incredibly horrific. I think Chris nearly passed out just hearing the words.

We arrived and after hearing her beating heart, he checked the dilation of my cervix. Only a little change. I was a 3.5 almost a 4 (the last time I was checked I was a 3 almost a 3 and a half. Which wasn't that long ago considering I had a TON of false labor contractions sending us to the hospital so many times I was basically on a first name basis with the staff ).  But I was still grateful for the progress. I asked if he'd still be stripping my membranes (fingers inserted just inside the cervix to lift part of the amniotic sack away from the uterine lining in hopes of jump starting labor within 48-72 hours if already in the beginning stages.) Despite it’s awful name, it was not painful at all. In fact I remember telling Chris that I wasn't sure he really stripped anything. Dr. Barney was a little reluctant to do this because he was about to leave on Pioneer Trek and would be unreachable for the next three days. I agreed to it anyway because lets be honest… the last few weeks of pregnancy are miserable and I wasn't completely sold on the idea that anything would actually start this labor! I'd tried curb walking (literally walking the curbs of the sidewalks hoping the uneven steps would break my water) , any and all kind of herbal teas and oils (minus Castor oil… um no thanks!), loads of pineapple, and even…(warning... TMI alert) nipple stimulation (which I found out later takes hours to work if at all). Nothing worked… so why would my membranes being stripped do anything right? Dr. Barney finished and said "Take care, we'll see you at St. Marks in a week for your induction."


Later that night. I was experiencing what I had come to know as "normal" yet painful contractions. They did seem a tad bit worse, however. But I barely had time to really notice a difference let alone track them. Caler was extremely lethargic. He had napped for about 2 hours (those who know him, know that is NOT my boy) and had come down with a fever. Crystal and I took him to the ER. She suggested we go close to St Marks and after finding a closed urgent care, we decided to head straight to the hospital.

He was checked in and getting looked at. He perked up a bit and the nurse joked that it was my turn next seeing as my contractions were growing closer together and gaining strength.

At about 8:00pm, I decided to let Chris know.

When I called he sounded distressed. His truck had broken down and he was on his way to drop it off at his dad's shop.  His exact words... "Don't tell me you're in labor...Of course it'd be today of all days!" We made a plan to have him meet me at my house and we would drive back to the hospital together. He pulled up to my house a little sooner than Crystal and I, in a borrowed Powerline work truck. And he was pretty worried by the time we made it home.

Together we loaded the truck with all of the gear we would need to welcome Sweet baby girl into this world. An overflowing grey and white damask diaper bag, a boppy nursing pillow, a fuscia and grey car seat. And ourselves. And we raced to St Marks as my contractions continued to get closer together and to gain in strength. I was near tears.

When we arrived at 10:45, I walked into Labor and Delivery for what felt like the 159th time. The nurse at the check in desk remembered me (from last week, and the week before that and the day before that and so on…) and handed me the paperwork to be completed and signed. She asked what was going on and I remember telling her "just contractions that make me feel like an idiot for thinking I was in labor any other time". She laughed and I'm sure she was thinking that this was yet again another false alarm.

I knew the drill, we were set up in Labor & Delivery room #7. The room with the clock that Chris hated. It's bright red flashing numbers changing every second. But at least it wasn't the room with the broken chair.

Gohar, our nurse, came in to get me hooked up to the monitors and checked my cervix. After all the painful contracting I was only a 4. But still, I noted the change from this afternoon as progress and wasn't complaining too bad. We would be staying for at least an hour to monitor contractions and note any cervical change. If nothing happened, we'd be packing up and heading back home. Realistically… I thought we'd be going home again.

The monitor dug into my belly with each contraction and it hurt. The hour passed and it felt like an eternity. The unknown was torture. Was I going to meet my baby today? Would I be going home holding my big belly waiting for her to make her eventual debut?

June 26, 2014
At 12:30am, she checked my cervix. 4.5. She seemed a little conflicted as to if the change was big enough to warrant a stay. She needed the go ahead from that night's charge nurse. I felt defeated…. I was positive that we would be going home. I turned to Chris and said "If we are sent home, we aren't going far… we'll be back. These contractions hurt and aren't going away." The Belgian Waffle was our next stop.

She came back with a smile and an IV tray. We were having a baby. On Chris's Dad's birthday.

I re-met that dang Sprite later...

I sent out the text to my family and called Alisha. My person. She said she was on her way and arrived shortly after.

I felt a rush of emotions. I had waited and waited for this day to meet my baby girl and now it was finally here. I was over the moon excited and yet a little scared. Would I be able to do it? Could I handle a natural delivery? What if I had to have a C-section? What if she wasn't ok? It's impossible to explain the rush of feelings of excitement, gratitude, worry and fear that go through your mind when you realize that today you will meet the little baby you've grown in your belly.

We walked and walked and walked... the familiar halls of the hospital. We noted not to go into the main hospital as we would not be able to get back into Labor and Delivery without walking out through the ER..... yeah, we'd been through this a few times before.
I forgot my slippers....

The contractions got worse. And worse. And I couldn't breathe. I felt like the world was closing in on me. I couldn't catch my breath from the last contraction before the next one started. I cried and screamed and moaned. It hurt. My sweet nurse pushed on my knees and I was rewarded with a few seconds of relief. But it returned. And then it came again. During a moment of clarity, I realized I wanted an epidural. I needed the epidural. So I waited until my next contraction dissapated to ask my nurse for one. I wanted her to know that it wasn't in the heat of the moment. I really wanted the relief, despite what my birth plan demanded.  And in that moment... Eff the tub!  
At around 3am and dilated to only a 5, the most amazing man entered my life. The epidural man. By this time the contractions were coming so hard and so fast I literally couldn't tell when one stopped and another began. I was beyond delirious, climbing almost out of bed trying to escape. It didn't work. He pulled the tray in front of me and placed a pillow on top and told me to lay across it. As I did he began to explain the risks to the procedure and I felt like screaming at him to shut up and stick the needle in my back. I didn't. I just nodded and waited for him to be done talking. Chris and Alisha stood on either side of the tray to assure its stability. He began. It failed. I felt pins and needles all the way down my left side. He started again. Blood. It failed again. Chris fainted. Literally… He fell backwards into the chair and the nurse rushed to his aid. Another nurse came in while another went to go get him juice. The anesthesiologist tried again. This time he said it worked. I trusted him. And in twenty agonizing minutes, I finally felt sweet relief. And I confessed my undying love for that epidural man.

It didn't last. I could still feel the entire right side of my body. And pretty soon half of my body was experiencing about 80% of the pain.  I cried and when it got worse I screamed. It was then that I met the Dr who would be helping me meet my sweet little girl, Dr. Erica Faircloth. She noticed my discomfort and had another epidural man come in to rescue me. The epidural wasnt working like it should have been. My right side wasnt being medicated. It was un-numb. Before I knew it, I fell asleep …. Mid sentence. I fell asleep. I was relieved of pain and sleeping comfortably. This seemed to be a cycle of repetiveness…. Cry, scream, medicate, sleep and repeat. About 100 times all while being turned on my sides with my leg up, in a failed attempt to move her to anterior.

At 5:00 am my water broke and I was dilated to a 6, but labor felt like it was slowing down. Despite the slow progress, pitocin wasn't suggested. I was contracting on my own. I was proud.

By this time I also had had several new nurses, my current nurse Karla checked me. Not much progress was made. I labored on. The Dr. came in and felt where the baby was. She was posterior (sunny side up) and turned a bit to the left side. After she tried turning the baby without success, she asked about my previous babies birth weights… she suspected the baby might be big.

I labored all night and all morning only making a bit of change here and there. By 9 or 10 that morning I was a 9, I was a 9 for awhile. By noon they were worried. And by worried I mean Dr Faircloth said she was checking on a patient and would be back in five minutes to prep for a c-section. And I didn't care. I was so uncomfortable, delirious, and just plain out of it. I wanted to feel better, and mostly… I wanted to meet my girl. I wanted her safe in my arms. I wanted to breathe her in and know she was safe.

Dr. Faircloth came back and checked me. It happened so quickly. I mean… quick. Stirrups were flying out, my legs were being guided in them, and the next words I heard were. "Ok. Kristal. You're ready. Let's try to push".

I pushed once and they told me her head was right there. They put a glove on my hand and I got to feel her little head. Her beautiful head full of dark hair. It gave me motivation and I tried to push again. Her head came out in that push and it gave me even more motivation to push. I was so close to meeting my beautiful baby girl. But there was a problem. Dr. Faircloth told me to stop pushing. Her shoulder were stuck. My sunnyside up girl was still turned a bit to the side and she was stuck. They asked nervously again about the weight of my other babies. Before I knew it the room was flooded with nurses and Dr. Carlton (the dr who delivered Caler, and who saw me fairly frequently during this pregnancy with hospital visits). I had a nurse on each side of the bed with me, kneeling and pushing all of their weight on my belly. Pushing baby girl down and hopefully out into the world. Dr. Faircloth knew it wasn't working. I could push all the day long but baby girl wasn't budging. In quick genius, she reached her arm inside to help this little one move her shoulders. And it worked. They were free. And at 1:08pm Genevieve Gracelyn Roylance was born.  My precious baby girl was placed on my chest. Skin to skin I met my baby. My baby girl. This girl who I'd prayed and hoped for and wanted. So wanted. I fell in love again, just as I had two times before. My heart grew. This girl is perfect. She is perfect and I sobbed as I held her to me. I never wanted to let go.

The nurses exclaimed of her size. And I just thought… "you guys are crazy".  I snuggled my girl close to my heart as the cord we shared pumped. And then it stopped and Chris took the scissors.

Although the delivery was a difficult one... I wouldn't change a thing if it meant not having this little darling in my life... Welcome to the World my Evie Grace.
Three words for you my love, Birth... Nailed it!