Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nora's Birth Story

I'm trying to make this as detailed as possible because I always regret not doing that with Henry. So, if you're not into birth story details, skip this post.

Everything started early Tuesday morning (June 17). I got up early, as usual, for no apparent reason so I decided to fold some laundry. As I was folding, I noticed I felt a little wet. Was it pee, pregnancy mystery fluid or had my water broke?


I decided to lay down for a bit to see what would happen if I stood up. Sure enough when I stood up (right around 8:00 a.m.), I had a huge gush of fluid. I knew right away it was my water breaking. As we finished packing some last minute stuff we tried to take one last picture with Henry. He was so excited to go to the neighbors that he flashed a smile for one second and got super squirmy. When we asked him for a nice smile he said "no, I already smiled!" So we settled for grumpy and headed to the hospital.



When we got to the hospital (around 9:15), I was immediately admitted. I was having a few contractions but nothing regular or strong. I agreed to a check just to see where I was. I was still at 2.5 cm, 70 percent effaced. However, Nora was still very high and wasn't engaged. The nurse got my IV started right away and got my antibiotics for the GBS started. The doctor suggested we start pitocin to get my contractions going. I set her straight that I was in no hurry and would not accept any medical intervention at this point. 

There was some worry about cord prolapse now that my water broke but Nora was so high so they needed me on the monitors. Thankfully, wireless monitors were available so I could walk around the maternity unit.


And, walk I did. Walk, bounce on the yoga ball, walk the stairs, repeat...for hours. I stopped only to eat and for the occasional break. The nurses were supportive and the doctors left me alone. My mom and Morgan were at my side.


At 8:00 p.m., 12 hours after my water broke, I agreed to another cervical check. I needed to know if something was happening. I knew I wasn't in enough pain to be close, but I had to be moving somewhere. At this point, Nora was lower and I had made it to around 4.5 cm. I was happy I was making progress on my own, but knew it was probably time for medical intervention.


At this point, I agreed to a little pitocin. The doctors thought that maybe a little was necessary to push me over the edge and really get things moving -- especially since I went from 4 cm to 10 cm with Henry in only a couple hours. 

Once the pitocin was in (around 9:00 p.m.), there was a complete shift in my pain and focus. I tried to walk for a bit before the decision was made to up the pitocin again. At this point, things start to get pretty fuzzy for me. The pain took over, made it impossible for me to do anything. I asked to be checked again after I started shaking uncontrollably to see if the pitocin was at least doing something. But, nope, no changes, other than the baby felt lower.

I coped by death gripping Morgan and rhythmic moaning for a couple hours. I don't remember being in this much pain with Henry, but Morgan thinks I was. It was a full body experience that quickly became overwhelming if I didn't stay on top of it. It sucks that pitocin gives virtually no break (unlike natural contractions) and its very easy to just fall apart.  

So, I asked for the epidural. I gave it my all, but just couldn't do it anymore. It took 45 minutes to get the fluids I needed for the epidural. During this time, I had another IV drug (around 11:00 p.m.) to try and take the edge off. That drug maybe took the edge off a tiny bit, while making the entire world spin the rest of the time. But it did help me relax during the 1.5 minute break I was getting between contractions. 
The epidural was eventually administered. Right after, my blood pressure dipped dangerously low and they had to give me medication to get it to come back up. I was still in so much pain from the contractions that I didn't really understand what had happened until after. The epidural felt like it took an eternity to actually start working. It also caused a "hot spot" in my leg that felt like a terrible Charlie Horse. Thankfully, at about 11:30 p.m. it did take full effect and I was feeling significantly better.

Then it just became a waiting game. I was able to get a little rest despite more uncontrollable shaking. However, it wasn't long until I started feeling some back pain and low cramping. The nurses checked me and sure enough I was 10 cm and Nora was at a +1 station. Instead of pushing right away, I decided to labor down for awhile to see if Nora would move down on her own. I honestly have no idea how long I lasted that way, but I don't think it was more than 20 minutes.


I just know I was feeling incredible constant back pain. One of the nurses suggested I see if pushing felt better, and it did. They quickly brought me a mirror and called a midwife in (the on-call OB was in the OR at the time and wouldn't be able to make it in time) to catch the baby. I think I pushed 4 or 5 more times and, with shocking speed, Nora was born! After pushing for hours with Henry, the speed of it all really caught me off guard. It was amazing to not be so physically exhausted that I could enjoy watching her enter the world.



She was perfect. Amazing. Beautiful. Unlike Henry, she made full use of her lungs at birth and was able to stay on my chest following her birth. We did skin to skin for well over an hour as we just stared at each other. Within a few minutes of her birth, she was latched on and nursing like a champ. The joy I felt is indescribable. It was like a huge weight of 2.5 years was lifted from me. And I couldn't help but cry.



Following my hour or so of time with Nora, it was Morgan's turn. He was able to have skin-to-skin time before taking her to be weighed and measured. Finally, she was returned to me to nurse and snuggle, which we've been happily doing ever since. 

7 comments:

  1. I am SO HAPPY for you, Nicole!! Nora is beautiful and you were a rock star. Pictocin contractions are SO much more painful than "regular" contractions - I cannot imagine doing that without an epidural. You look great and Nora is just darling.

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  2. Oh man I am crying! So happy for you!

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  3. Congratulations! So exciting and she's just so pretty!

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  4. Love this. Congratulations friend. All the tears.

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  5. I'm so, so happy to read this story, I hope you are feeling wonderful about your birth experience, it sounds perfect.

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  6. I love this post, so, so much. You give me so much hope that there will be a "Nora" for us, too -- a miracle baby at the end of the hurt. She is just beautiful! You deserve all of this happiness and then some. <3

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  7. I love this post! I am so happy for you and your whole family.

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