As many of you know, I was past my due date and the doctor wanted to schedule an induction. I told her I wanted to go for the later option and give Claire as long as possible to come on her own. So we scheduled the induction for Tuesday, August 5, at 8:00 pm. I would go in for a cervical ripening agent that often causes contractions to begin as well and if contractions didn't start from that I would get Pitocin the next day. Needless to say, I was praying none of that happened and that Claire would come on her own.
However, Monday came and still no baby. I was schedule to have a non-stress test that day to make sure she was doing okay. Dr. Williams came in to read the non-stress strip and furrowed her brow. We went into the next room and did an ultrasound. She said that Claire had some very concerning decelerations in her heart rhythms and that the amniotic fluid was a little too low. Thus, she told me we needed to get admitted right then. And added that they were going to hate her over in labor and delivery because she had admitted a couple others just before that, plus was making a long night for herself.
So I was admitted, hooked up to IV fluids to pump up the amniotic fluid and then they decided to hook me up to Pitocin to see how Claire would handle contractions. Everything actually seemed okay. They took me off the Pitocin and gave me the cervical ripening agent (cytotec) to get things started. I didn't know if it would actually start contractions but at 4:20, about an hour after, I really started feeling the contractions. About 3 hours later I was in excruciating pain and barely making it through each contraction. I was progressing slowly and kind of stuck at 6 cm. They were noticing decelerations in Claire's heart again and when they broke my water they saw meconium mixed with it. After that my urges to push became more than overwhelming and I knew that I had to get an epidural in order to resist pushing and to help with the overwhelming pain. It ended up being the best choice I could make at that point because my cervix had actually started to swell at that point, from the involuntary pushing and they were talking about wheeling me out for a c-section. Getting the epidural was really tough because I had to sit on the edge of the bed, completely still and slouched forward for 10 minutes while experiencing the most intense and awful contractions every 30 secs to a minute. My awesome nurse, Jean, got me through those 10 minutes.
The whole process leading up to this I was supported and loved by my wonderful friend, Karyn, my mom and my amazing and devoted husband. Chris was the single most wonderful force in my life at that point. His love, words of encouragement and strength, despite his own struggle in watching me go through alll of that were beyond amazing! They all encouraged me, massaged me, and supported my decisions.
In the end, I pushed Claire out in an amazing 15-20 minutes worth of contractions. The doctor told me I HAD to get her out on that last contraction. And I had to do it all laying completely on my right side because if I layed in any other position, Claire's heart rate plummeted. They realized that the cord was wrapped TIGHTLY around her neck...twice. And my first viewing of her she was blue and limp. However, they got her over to the warmer bed and she pinked right up and screamed and my heart just soared. She was born at 11:03 p.m. on Monday, Augustu 4, 2008.
It was all a huge blur. I had some massive bleeding afterwards but it didn't really concern me because I knew Claire was okay. My poor husband though had just watched the crisis with his baby and then had to watch them crank clots out of me (TMI, I know!).
And here we are now! Claire is almost 2 weeks old and has gained 8 oz...almost to her birthweight now! We're figuring things out slowly but surely! And we love love love our little baby girl to pieces.