Sunday, November 27, 2011

Anna's Birth Story

I wrote this after Anna was born:

Anna Daisy P______
November 19, 2006
8:10 p.m.
7 lbs 11 oz
19 inches long

(Sorry if this seems short, I'm exhausted.) I went in to be induced on Sunday morning 5am. The doctor checked me and I was already 3cm dilated and 80% efffaced, so they broke my water to see if that alone would stimulate contractions, but it didn't. They gave me pitocin at like 8 am-ish. It really wasn't bad at all at first. They checked me, I was still very comfortable and when they checked me I was 4cm and 100% effaced. I actually remember thinking how "easy" it was at this point and the nursing staff was impressed that I wasn't begging for the epidural yet. I asked for one some time later when I was like 6 cm but only because it would take 20 minutes to kick in and I wanted it to work once I was fully dilated. Well, I got the epidural and the first dose did not work at all, I wasn't concerned at this point... then I got the second dose and I was able to sleep a little because it dulled the pain enough... THEN I woke up in terrible pain not 1 hour after the second dose. They gave me a third dose of the epidural and it STILL wasn't working. I was numb from the knees down and my butt was numb (gee, if I were giving birth through my toes it would have been very nice!) The anesthesiologist said that the epidural is equal to ones' height and by then they had given me the dose of a 6 foot 2 inch person! Unfortunately, Anna was also posterior, so I had the worst back labor as well. At last I was checked and I was 9 cm, then they checked me a half an hour later and I was +2. They asked me if I wanted to start pushing and I said YES! I was in so much pain, I just wanted it to end! So I pushed for an hour and I was so exhausted from hunger (I had only had a bowl of cereal at 5am that morning and by then it was 7. I pushed so hard for so long and it hurt so bad that I kept throwing up. The contractions were coming one after another. Finally my OBGYN came in and he said that he would try to use the vacuum to pull her out and if it didn't work I'd need a C-Section. Anna was stuck in the birth canal because of her posterior position and because I was too exhausted to push very hard or very consistently. I was so tired that I couldn't keep my eyes open and I was even resting during contractions. So, finally the doctor put on the pump and I pushed as hard as I could and some time during this the doctor gave me a "generous" episiotomy--I didn't even notice! The vacuum released which made my body pop back, then the doctor put it back on and pulled her out. I didn't even know that she was born until she was put on my stomach. I kept my eyes closed for most of the labor (I was too exhausted to keep them open...) She was screaming and everything and she is so cute. The only thing that hurts is the episiotomy. It was pretty big, too. I asked the doctor how many stitches I had and he said, "We're up to six so far." and he wasn't even close to being done yet!

Anyhow, I'm in a ton of pain and the Percocet only helps a little with the pain, but Anna makes it all worth it! She is so beautiful! She has dark black hair and a poor scabby red mark from when the vacuum popped off. She's just adorable! It was all worth it. I'll just try not to relive that delivery, though!

Anna is a great little breastfeeder, too! She caught on right away and the nurses said that babies who have traumatic deliveries usually don't feed very well, but she caught on right away. I was able to try to feed her just an hour or two after she delivered.


To add to the story, I was 39 weeks 2 days pregnant with Anna when I had her. After she was born, I had issues with the Percocet. At 6 days postpartum, I went into the hospital because of a bowel obstruction caused by the medication. That was fun... not. More like humiliating and horrifying! I think the emotional healing after her birth took the longest. I didn't have a very good experience. I couldn't remember much of her birth because of being so exhausted and it took forever to feel like myself again. I can tell the difference between Charlie and Anna's births. The difference is huge! I was up and walking around immediately. I was able to get up with relative ease after Charlie's birth, go to the bathroom without issue (#1 and #2), go on walks within a few days of birth, go to church 5 days post-birth, etc., etc., etc. I feel like I can be a better mom, although juggling is difficult. I remember crying because I couldn't do anything for Anna for so long except for feed her. I'm glad to be able to have a better experience the second time around, even if it wasn't perfect. Even if it wasn't one of those births where baby and mom both come out unscathed - ah, well. God protected us both times. Both times c-sections were strong possibilities, especially in Charlie's case and both times we were healthy and alive afterward. I'm thankful for that. God is good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just Two

Paul (hubby) and I are fairly certain that we just want two. And to even think about getting pregnant again is a little frightening to me. Thankfully both pregnancies have been fairly complication free (with the exception of having high BP during my pregnancy with Anna), but it's just the delivery part! Both babies have been posterior and have needed to be vacuum-extracted. Charlie had the added fun of having the cord around his neck and shoulder dystocia because of being nearly 10 pounds. And let me tell you, carrying a nearly 10 pound baby was no walk in the park. I had pubic symphysis pain for weeks before delivery and for a week or two after - I'm still sensitive down there. Recovery was hell after having Anna and not too fun this time around, although much better. After having Charlie, the first to hold him was a warming bassinet surrounded by the NICU staff. Thankfully, I got to hold Anna first after having her. The point is, I'll never be one of those two-pushes-and-they're-out ladies. I'll never be a homebirth candidate (not that that's on my list, but still!). I'll never been one of those ladies who goes out and runs a mile a few weeks after birth.

But after having Charlie, the epidural actually worked and I was able to enjoy those first moments of his life, remember them, remember holding him for the first time, cuddling him, remember nursing him for the first time... it was wonderful! The recovery hasn't been too bad, although there have been a few bumps in the road... and I find that I'm sad that this is likely our last baby. I'm sad I won't experience that first moment ever again. At the same time, I don't want to go through what it takes to experience that first moment.

So, here I am. A mama of two. Maybe there'll be adoption in our future, just as I had always dreamed, but for now, it's just the four of us. And there will be plenty of firsts ahead of us... first smiles, first days at preschool, Anna getting married, Charlie getting married, first grandchildren... lots of firsts.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Photos - Anna and Charlie (10 days old)

Charlie is now 2 weeks and 5 days old. He is well over 10 pounds and we'll be retiring newborn clothes this week. (They look so short on his arms and legs!!! Also, they're short on his long torso.) He is a great breastfeeder, just like his sister! I'm so thankful for that. I loved nursing Anna and I'm loving nursing this little guy. :)
Anna just had her 5th birthday party. She got lots of My Little Ponies, Littlest Petshop and Squinkies. She had a great day. We went to the Children's Museum with her and enjoyed her experiencing something new. :)
Anna loves being a big sister. Charlie is crying now, so this was a short update, but here it is. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Charles David, born 11/1/11 at 5:21 PM PST, 9 lbs 13 oz (12.6 oz), 21 1/4 inches, head 15.25, 41 weeks gestation

2:30 AM - Paul (DH) woke me up because my nose was wheezing. I got up, feeling like I had to pee, but every time I sat down, it hurt really badly and my back was hurting. I woke up about every 1/2 hour until around 4 when I gave up and stayed awake.

5:45 AM - Left for the hospital, scheduled induction. My back was killing me, my pelvis hurting. I wanted to kill DH for stopping for coffee.

6:00 AM - Checked in to L&D - it was the exact same room that Anna (our daughter) was born in! They attached the monitors and I was already in labor! Here I thought I was having the most horrible back ache ever (just as it was on "false alarm day", but worse). I guess it was meant to be this little guy's birthday! Contractions were around every 2-3 minutes. I labored on my hands and knees to relieve the pain. I went into the whirl pool until that didn't help any more. I kept trying to go pee, but it was way too painful. DH kept saying, "Maybe you don't have to pee? Maybe he's just pushing on your bladder." Maybe, I agreed.

I was checked and I was 2-3 cm and my cervix was way posterior! What?! I had actually regressed?! How could that be with all of this horrible pain? (I had been 4 cm, 70% for the last two appts and anterior for the last appt.)

8:30 - Given 1/2 dose Phentanol for the pain. Ah, it felt nice.

9:30 - Made wise choice to have epidural. I could tell it was back labor all over again. I prayed the epi would work this time and it did!!! :)

The doctor came in finally and checked me. He was also feeling a posterior cervix and then he thought the baby was breech! He had an ultrasound machine brought in and it was hard to see the baby. He realized the problem and had the nurse give me a catheter. I had over a liter of urine in my bladder! I knew I had to go!!! He could see that the baby was actually head-down, not breech! Whew! I was praying so hard that he wasn't!

After that, the doctor checked me and I was actually 5 cm and 80% effaced! I knew I had made progress!

10:00 - My contractions were alright, but needed to be augmented with Pitocin. Yay for having a working epidural on board! I kept checking the machine to make sure I was still in labor!

11:00 - 6 cm, 80% effaced, -2 station

12:10 - 6 cm still, water broken. This part was hilarious. I had so much fluid that it was gushing out, soaked the doctor's sleeves and the sheets all the way up to my ribs! I had "copius amounts" of fluid, according to the nurse. My stomach actually deflated quite a bit with that. I did not have that experience with my daughter!

There was meconium staining in the fluid. :(

1:00 PM - 7 cm, 90% effaced

2:15 - 8-9 cm, 100% effaced. I couldn't believe how fast this was going!

3:15 - Just a lip of cervix left. They noticed he was ROP (right occiput posterior) and had me start pushing to get him to turn on his own. I pushed like this for a couple 1 hour, 45 minutes. He didn't turn on his own, just a little bit, but not all the way. I had to keep turning from my left side, to the back, to the right because of heartrate decels, while keeping an oxygen mask on. I was praying the whole time this didn't turn into a c-section situation.

5:00 - The doctor came in and had me start actual pushing. I could definitely feel pain and pressure as he moved down the birth canal. The doctor wanted to get him out of there, especially after noticing more meconium. The doctor talked about using a vacuum. I was so afraid of the same thing that happened with DD (Anna), vacuum and gigantic episiotomy. I asked immediately if it was possible to use the vacuum and not need an episiotomy and he said yes. As I pushed, he used the vacuum to turn him from ROP to anterior. Thankfully he did turn with this help! Once the vacuum was on, it only took two sets of four pushes for him to come into the world at 5:21. :) The doctor noticed that the cord was around his neck. Paul said the doctor was sweating as he pried the cord off from his neck. Paul cut the cord and blood sprayed across the room and soaked a nurse. haha :)

He was immediately brought to the pediatric team who assessed him because of the cord around the neck, the vacuum and the meconium. It took several minutes before I could actually see him. But he was a healthy boy. I was shocked at how huge he was - we all were! No wonder I was so uncomfortable. I gave up my evening one-mile walks a few days before he was born - it was just too hard any more. He's doing such a great job nursing! He always wants to suckle on things - his hands, me, or a pacifier. He likes to be warm and swaddled. He has tons of dark hair.He's fine with sleeping in the bassinet as well. He's wearing size 1 diapers lol! He has a little bruise on his head from the vacuum.

I made off with a 2nd degree tear and I'm doing great with 800 mg of Ibuprofen. I feel pretty great, considering. I feel so lucky. It was a great birth and it's making off to be a great recovery! So many things are working better this time around, compared to last. :) So many things could have gone wrong, but didn't. We are very, very blessed. God answered many of our prayers yesterday - from the breech situation to the healing thing. Very blessed!!!

Oh, and Anna loves her little brother so much! She's currently holding him and singing Twinkle Twinkle to him. That's the song I always sung to her. :)

ETA: I had to add that because of his surprising size, they've checked his blood sugar three times! Paul overheard them say, "Everything's OK. He's just a big boy!" haha :)

ETA2: I forgot to add that his shoulders also got stuck when he was coming out. Another "big boy" situation!