Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Day She Came

In honor of Sonya's 3rd birthday I thought I would also share her birth story. You can read Teddy's story here.  Disclaimer there will be some graphic details and lots of birth terminology, so stop now if you are squeamish, and don't say I didn't warn you.  
Sonya's due date was May 3, 2007.  I was scheduled to be induced May 2, 2007 because I had gestational diabetes at the end of my pregnancy.  When you have gestational diabetes the doctors don't like you to go past your due date because of the complications that can arise one being a baby that gets too big, especially in the shoulders.  So I had big dreams of having an all natural birth.  Josh and I took a Bradley Class , I read books, I watched videos, I talked with friends who went drug-free, I did exercises, I thought I was ready.  With dreams of an all natural birth an induction was not out of the question, so I worked on getting the baby out.  I was fortunate enough to start dilating on my own at 37 weeks, so there was hope I would go early.  I had a doctor's appointment on Monday April 23rd and I was 3.5 cm dilated, my doctor and I made the decision to strip my membranes, which he described as "getting mean with the cervix,"  to see if we could possibly start labor that week.  He was "mean" to my cervix and I left the doctor's office 4 cm dilated.  I was hoping for labor to start that night, well it didn't happen.  I walked Tuesday, I walked Wednesday, I walked Thursday and no baby.  Friday came and I walked for 3 HOURS.  I came home rested a while and watched High School Musical.  It was the only movie I had on hand from Netflix, and we did not have cable or TV access at the time, my choices were limited.  I took a shower, ran some errands, and then took another walk with my friend Greta.  I came home and Josh and I decided to go to Nate and Gina's for dinner and a movie.  We ordered Chinese, Kung Pao chicken extra spicy for me, and for our viewing pleasure that evening, Police Academy 6: City Under Siege.  When we popped the movie in that is when the contractions started.  I can't remember the movie at all, not because it was so bad, but  because I was trying to decide if I was having contractions and if I was really in labor.  When the movie was over Josh asked if we wanted watch another Police Academy movie and I swiftly said ,"NO!"  We went home and I decided to go to bed because if I was in labor I wanted to get some rest.  I went to bed around 11:30pm and the contractions woke me up around 1:15am.  I got up and walked around our house for a while and decided this was true labor.  I woke Josh up around 2:30am so he could take a shower and I was going to need some help getting through these contractions in the near future.  At 4:15am my contractions were about four to five minutes apart lasting about a minute each.  We gathered all of our things together to go and then I got nervous, and the tears started flowing.  All of the emotion and fear of becoming a new mom was hitting me, along with pain and exhaustion.  Josh calmed me down and we got in the car and headed for the hospital.
 First, we had to stop at Walgreens for a case of water, I think we both wanted to stall a little.  Then we were off to St. Lukes, and that was one of the worst rides of my life.  St. Lukes is a good twenty minutes from where we live, so doing the math that is about five contractions, well really more than that because I was having double contractions on the way there.  When we finally arrived my sweet husband parked in the wrong parking lot and we walked in circle for about ten minutes, I was really not happy at this point in time.  We got inside and they pushed me up to the L and D floor, where my nurse Stacey met me.  I changed my clothes and was ready to get checked, I was hoping to like 8 cm and 100% effaced, that was not the case.  I was 6 cm, and like 90% effaced.  I knew from my Bradley training that the numbers can't give you a true gage on how fast or slow things can go during labor, but I was still hoping to be further along. I kept laboring, swaying, rocking, moaning, and blowing into Josh's face while chewing lemon lime Orbit gum.  To do this day he can not stand the smell of that gum.  One of the tips in Bradley training is trying to get the bathroom as often as possible because having an empty bladder helps labor progress.  At one point I really had to go pee, and Josh was trying to get me to the bathroom, but I just couldn't make it.  There was no way I could sit down, let alone sit on the toilet.  So I made the decision to just squat down right next to my bed and just pee on the floor.  At the time, I thought it was completely rational and normal to pee on the floor during natural labor, well it turns out it isn't.  Who knew, right?  When my nurse came back in I told her, and she was very kind about what had happened, confused, but kind.
My doctor was out of town the weekend I went into labor, so the doctor on call (someone I had never met, and wasn't from my practice) came in to check me and access the situation, it was about 9am.  I had been checked about hour before that and the nurse told me I was 7 cm.  When I doctor checked me she said I was 6.5 cm.  To quote my now three year daughter, "Whaaaa you talkin about?"  It was like running a marathon and thinking you were at mille 24, but really you are at mile 22.  I was defeated. Along with that crushing blow the on call doc's bedside manor was a little rough for my taste.  I will admit it, I am a wimp.  I needed a doctor who is going to tell what a good job I was doing, coddle me a little, and just be nice.  That being said after she left, I fell apart.  The exhaustion, the pain, not being as far along as I thought, I was done.  Literally I was crying so hard I was drooling, and begging for an epidural.  Josh and I had talked previously that is I asked for drugs we would wait 30 minutes before proceeding with an epidural to see if I could rally.  At this point, my labor had also began to stall because of my emotional breakdown.  The exhaustion had also set in to where I was falling asleep while standing up between contractions.  We made it 30 minutes, but it was time to get the epidural and rest.  Around 10am the anesthesiologist arrived and gave me my epidural, it also took two tries just like my birth with Teddy.  While I was getting my epidural my water broke as the needle was going in my back, it was pretty tough to stay still.  I went straight to 8 cm and was 100% effaced, right after my water broke.  I finally was able to lay down and rest, remember I had two hours of sleep that night and had walked for hours the day before.  Since it was our first baby our family and some friends came to the hospital so they could be there for the arrival.  Josh asked me if they could come in and say hello for a minute.  I said it was OK, but I was grumpy and not in the mood for entertaining, can you blame me.  I did have one condition that no one was allowed to touch me, no squeeze of the shoulder, no wiggle of the toe, no weak hug or kiss...NO TOUCHIE!
 After everyone had there quick visit I rested, and at 1:30pm I was ready to push.  I pushed for about a half hour to forty five minutes, and they checked me and my cervix had swollen to 9.5 cm, the baby was still pretty high in my pelvis and was sunny side up.  We decided to take a break from pushing and I had to lay on my side to try and get the baby to flip, allow my cervix to get back to 10 cm, and hope the baby would move down .  So I rolled from side to side for a couple of hours, and at 5pm we decided to resume the pushing.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  After and one hour and thirty minutes of pushing the baby was staying at a -2 station , and showing no sign of descent.  Basically the baby had come down into my pelvis in with her head on her shoulder so she was wedged and not budging.  There was also risk since I had gestational diabetes we didn't know how big the baby was, especially the shoulders.  So an assisted birth such as forceps or vacuum extraction were not possible.  Then the decision was made, to have a c-section.  By this time I did not care, I was exhausted and ready to get this baby out.  I was wheeled into the operating room tired, crying, swollen, and shaking.

But then everything changed, I heard the words my heart longed for,
"It's a girl!!"

All I could say after the announcement through my tears was, 
"Oh my gosh, I can't believe it is a girl!!"
This was the day my heart changed forever.

She was here.  
The most beautiful, sweet, healthy baby girl in the world. 

 After 23 hours of labor and making me look like this...
  If I could I would still bottle up and sell the joy I felt after meeting this nameless girl, and I guarantee I  would be a billionaire.
Look at that photo...
that is love.

Sonya Catherine Lang
April 28, 2007
7:29 pm
7 lbs 10 oz
20 inches

Sonya you are my first born, my love.
You are my catalyst.
You are my heart walking around in the world.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Happy third birthday my daughter.
I look forward to many more.       


birds_nest April 27, 2010 at 7:56 AM  

I am melting!! You are such a good Mommy!! I totally remember watching you try to walk that baby out :)

McCool April 27, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

Oh - great story! I want to cry right now! Wow, I am amazed at how similar both our stories are! Kudos to you for a fantastic job and Happy Birthday to your little girl.

Cary April 27, 2010 at 4:28 PM  

I love that..."you are my heart walking around in the world"
perfect words


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