Monday, April 20, 2009

The Birth Story

After a few long weeks of misery and miserably complaining to everyone that would listen, last Wednesday I had decided that if Ava wasn't born that night, I would be asking the Doctor the next day what my options were for inducing labor. I had been walking around dilated to a 3 for a week and was so uncomfortable and done with being pregnant that I had had it. I was carrying a bit larger in the belly than I had for Jasmine and this had caused some bad swelling (again) and lots of pressure on my already soft hip bones. This in turn caused pinching in my lower back and it hurt to roll over when I was trying to sleep. I decided when I was pregnant with Jasmine that the ninth month of pregnancy was designed for a mom not to be nervous about giving birth - as a woman just wants the baby out!
I decided to take a nap Wednesday afternoon as I was tired and Jasmine was down also. When I woke up, it was 6 PM and I could hear that Jasmine was up and asking her dad if she could have some Peeps Easter candy. I too had received Peeps in my basket and thought that they sounded good to me as well. I came downstairs and proceeded to eat an entire row of Peeps. After I finished the fifth and final Peep (I was eating pink chicks in case you were curious), I started to not feel so well. I thought that perhaps five had been too many. I got one of those tummy aches you get when you are a child and have eaten too much candy.
This tummy ache also made me want to stay away from any other food or drink at that time. I kept telling Lorne that I just didn't feel good and he finally decided at 9PM that I should call the Doctor because five Peeps should not have made me feel sick for so long. I called the Doctor on call and she said that it sounded like I was in early labor (at this point in addition to the tummy ache, I had had diarrhea all day and also had some tightening in my abdomen - not painful, just tightening). I thought that sounded funny since my labor with Jasmine had been so different. She told me to monitor the situation and call her back if anything progressed.
I was a tiny bit hopeful so I decided to go take a shower. I had done this when I was in labor with Jasmine too - my thought being that if I was indeed going into labor, I wanted to start the process clean as I knew I wouldn't be so clean when it was over. I took a long hot shower and started noticing some small contractions but nothing major. I got out of the shower and decided to get dressed just in case I needed to go to the hospital and also because I was not ready to go to bed. I also dried my hair.
I sat in the kitchen with Marcia for a bit (time now is about 10:30ish) and chatted with her for a bit and every so often I would have a contraction that was a bit stronger but still nothing I couldn't handle. She decided I should probably go talk to Lorne about these contractions because she noticed that they were pretty steady.
Around 1:30 PM we decided to watch the episode of Lost that had been on that night and Lorne got his watch to begin timing the contractions. Indeed for the entire hour long episode, the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and 45-90 seconds long. At 12:30 AM, Lorne decided we should call the Doctor and also call someone to be with Jasmine (as she was obviously asleep at this time).
Originally, I was going to call my dear friend and neighbor Kelleen to come be with Jasmine but as luck would have it, she was beginning a new job the next day and I didn't want to disrupt that. I also thought about calling my friend Chrissy but she has 3 children and since the next day was a school day I didn't want to burden her with getting 4 kids ready for school. A thought came into my mind (inspiration - I think YES!) and I remembered that my friend Mary was alone for the week as her 4 year old daughter and friend of Jasmine's named Chloe, was in Hawaii on vacation and so Mary had been complaining that she didn't have anything to do. Also, as luck would have it, this also meant that Mary had a carseat available for Jasmine to use and go to school in. I called Mary and she was here like 5 minutes later - amazing speed if you ask me. She was super excited to help and I gave her the instructions while I waited for the Doc to call me back.
The Doc called back about 10 minutes after I called her and said she would meet us at the hospital and that we should come in. I was a bit nervous because I wasn't in too much pain and I was scared they would take one look at me and say, "You aren't in enough pain, go back home until you are in more pain!" so I made the decision not to call my parents until they had officially admitted me.
Lorne was excited and an amazingly supportive husband - of course it helped that we had done this before and he knows my needs when it comes to this type of event. He drove safely and we got to the hospital in record time (as it was the middle of the night and the only time there isn't gridlocked traffic in the DC area!). He dropped me off at the door and went to park the car.
Since I was preregistered, I was able to talk to the guy at the desk pretty quickly and he told us to make our way to triage on the thrid floor. I thought this was interesting because I was able to walk there instead of being in a wheelchair like I was when I was in labor with Jasmine.Once on the third floor, they processed us quickly and put us in a triage bed to asses whether or not I was indeed in labor. I was still having regular contractions but dealing with them rather well if I do say so myself - even Lorne was impressed. The nurse checked me and hooked me up to the monitors to watch my contractions and also listen to the baby's heartbeat. She determined I was dilated a 3 and decided I would be having the baby that night. I was so excited and Lorne was too and immediately called my parents. I am sure we were approaching 2 AM at this point. They assigned me to a labor and delivery room and we were taken there. I do believe it was room 316.
Dr. Walker (the first woman OB I have ever liked) was there and she decided that breaking my water would be a good idea. I was also asked at that time if I wanted an epidural and I said yes but that there was no hurry as I was not in debilitating pain yet (my biggest mistake). I was concerned that when the Dr. broke my water it would hurt and alas, it didn't. However, the next contraction I got hurt like I cannot describe. I looked at the nurse and said, "Speed up the saline intake, I need an epidural NOW!"She went out looking for the anesthesiologist and when she returned, she informed me that he had just started an epidural with another woman and then after that he had another mom to take care of and then he would come to me. I looked at her in disbelief and said, "I am third on the list?" At this point, I progressed quickly. The contractions were enormous - I had never felt anything like that before, not even when I was having Jasmine as I had the epidural before they ever got to that magnitude.
I started to get mad and then things got bad. I started cussing at everyone and told the nurses I was going to kick someone's ass if they didn't get the epidural guy in there fast! Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he came in and asked me if I had had a chance to read the consent form (what a laugh) and I screamed, "I consent, I consent, I consent" and the anesthesiologist said, "I guess she consents..." and we began the process of the epidural.
Since they make you sit up for it, it transferred the baby pressure big time into the pelvic region and every time I would get a contraction my body started trying to push the baby out. This made me a bit hysterical since it was completely involuntary and I felt like my body was going to split in two. The nurse had me breathe in my nose and out my mouth and that seemed to help.
When the epidural was finally in, the Dr. said if I started pushing the baby would just come out and I told her no way since the epidural hadn't kicked in yet. She said that she would come back when I was ready and I liked that she gave me that control back.After 20 minutes, I decided I was ready and I apologized to everyone since they had seen me lose control. Not my finest moment I am afraid. They laughed and said they had seem much worse and for me not to worry. I was just a bit embarrassed but I got over it quickly.
The nurse said we would begin the pushing and so she grabbed one leg and Lorne grabbed the other and on the next contraction I started to push. They stopped me before they got to the count of 10 and said they needed to get the Doctor. I couldn't believe it - Lorne said he could see the baby's head. Once Dr. Walker came back in, I only had to push like 3 more times and out she came! I was so shocked because I had pushed for 3 and a half hours with Jasmine and this one came out so fast!They laid Ava on my chest and Lorne cut the cord. It was amazing because they let me hold Ava for like 20 minutes before they took her away so I had some amazing quality time with her. When they took her away to do all the things they do with a newborn, she scored a 9.9 APGAR score - nearly perfect. Then they asked me to nurse her because they thought she had low blood sugar. They also had Lorne supplement her with some formula.After my repairs were made (I got lots of fun stitches), they finally took us to our private room. We had a family prayer and spent a few moments together before the nurses all came in to check on me and all that good stuff.Ava's birth was an amazing experience. It is such a miracle to witness a new baby being born. We are so glad she is here and are so excited to have this new baby girl in our family.


Lourie said...

Oh Sabrina, we must compare notes. So much of this story mirrored my own labor and delivery with Ryan. Except I was not in my right mind to threaten ass kicking if I didn't get that epidural--believe me I wish I had! I did eventually get one thanks to the Colonel! I love what you did. And in all your photos you look fantastic. And Ava is gorgeous

Summer said...

Spread the word: Peeps induce labour!

Dayna Barolin said...

Congrats. Wonderful birth story and I must say that I am lol @ you cussing out the staff. I can't even picture you doing that! I so remember that pain though! Can't wait to meet Ava.