Monday, February 17, 2014

Emma Lynn's Birth Story

We are still busy here adjusting to life with 3 kids but I wanted to try to write this before I forget it!  Thinking back on all of my labors and deliveries they just seem so surreal.  It seems like that is the way it is for any big event for me, my graduation, my engagement and wedding day.  I know they happened but when I think about an event like these it seems almost like it was a dream.  That's how it was again with Emma Lynn's birth.  It's not so dream like that you forget the pain but so surreal that I think, did that really happen?  I don't know what women are talking about when they say you forget the pain.  I haven't so far.  Maybe with time the memory of it will fade a bit but I am not counting on it.  It's painful but the Lord is gracious and brings you through it, that's what I say!
Okay, now to the story.  My due date was on January 12th and not much was happening to make me think I was going into labor any time soon.  This was devistating to me considering I was preparing for the baby to come for a few weeks already.  I always think I am going to be early and I never am.  I was told at my 40 week appointment that I could go one more week and then we would induce on January 19th if I was still pregnant.  One night that week I had contractions for about 4 hours and was sure this was the real deal.  The pain never progressed and I feel asleep and the contractions left.  I woke up discouraged and went for a long walk.  In all this waiting that seemed like FOREVER it was good for me to see yet another thing that is clearly out of my control.  With each passing day I was more aware that God would bring this baby into the world when He thought it was best and I could either be discouraged or take joy in that.  I tried to choose joy but it was not always easy.  I did get to enjoy good family time as we were laying low waiting for the big event.  Sunday came and I was a little in disbelief that it was looking like I would be induced.  When my doctor told me that on Monday I listened to the details but in my mind I was thinking, that's not going to happen!  So when Sunday came I was a little bummed but grateful that we would meet our baby soon.  We went to the hospital around 7:30pm to start the process.   I was told that they would give me a medicine that would get my cervix ready and we would spend the night in the hospital that night letting the meds do their thing and in the morning if my cervix was ready then they would start me on pitocin.  We met our nurse as soon as we checked in and I was so thankful because I could tell right away the Lord had answered my prayer about giving me a great nurse.  She was fun and good at explaining things and super encouraging.  As we were getting settled in for the night she explained what she was going to do with the medicine to get my cervix ready and how I had to try to not move much for the first 2 hours.  She also told me that sometimes with just this medicine alone labor would start.  I tried not to be very hopeful about that because nothing had really gone according to plan so far so why would that?  Andrew was getting comfortable, eating his snacks and reading.  We had an awesome room with a great view.  I was watching Downton Abby and trying to get comfortable in the lovely hospital bed.  By the end of the 2 hours I was pretty uncomfortable and thought I might be having some contractions but for some reason it was hard to tell.  I had an IV in and the baby monitors on so I just felt like I was just more uncomfortable than anything and ready to be able to get up.  I got up by 11:15pm and I think it was before midnight that contractions hit me and I mean they hit me.  It was not a slow progression like I had with my other labors it was hard and painful contractions right away.  When I realized I was definitely having contractions I told Andrew that there was not way I could lay in bed and that I had to get up and walk around.  My nurse got me all ready to do that when I realized my whole body was shaking because of the pain and I could barely walk.  Back into the bed for me!  My nurse checked me and I was at a 4.  Before she gave me the medicine earlier that night I was only at a 1.  So within about 2 hours I had gone from a 1 to a 4.  She asked if I wanted the epidural.  I told her yes but I feel like a whimp because this was the earliest I have ever gotten it.  Usually I am at a 5 or so.  She said not to worry about that because it is not so much that I am at a 4 but that I was progressing fast.  I am so glad I listened to her because I had not idea how fast things were going to go.  I got my edidural, praise God, before 1am sometime.  The anithesiologist was great but I was not getting the relief that I had in the past with the epidural.  I always describe the epidural to other women like you are sitting in a jacuzzi when you first get it.  These was no jacuzzi feeling.  It helped but I was still feeling extreme pressure.  He kept working with me but didn't want to give me too much to affect my blood pressure.  Finally he asked my nurse if there was a position that we could put me in to help with the pain.  She said nope, we just need to get this baby out!  I agreed but didn't think that would be any time soon.  I was wrong.  She said that my body was probably just progressing too fast for the epidural to keep up so she checked me again.  I was at an 8!!!  I had never progressed this fast so we were a bit in shock.  Shortly after that around 2 something she told me I was almost ready to push.  I was again taken back by those words and told her I was not ready.  Well ready or not a little before 3am I began to push.  Poor Andrew was by my side getting a little queasy because it had only been a few short hours ago he was laying back in his recliner, popping in the trail mix I had bought him and now he was helping me get in position to push.  He got it together and stayed strong for me though:)  So now comes the pushing.  I hate pushing!  I always fear this part because I always tear and I always know, even with an epidural that there is going to be some severe pain, really the worst pain I have ever felt in my life.  I am just being honest!  At the same time, I was ready to meet this baby and see if it was a boy or a girl.  Also, I know this is the only way out, push and be done with labor and delivery.  As the baby was coming out, she got stuck in the birth canal because she was so big.  My doctor had to be careful to manuver her just right and get her out but this also meant for me having her half out and having to wait for the next contraction to push her all the way out.  That has happened each time with all 3 of my kids and that is where the worst pain ever comes.  The only good part is it does not last long!  She came out and right away I knew something was wrong because she was not crying and they did not lay her on me.  At the same time I did not have much energy to be too worried about it because I had just pushed a big baby out.  They took her over to the nurses right away and I told Andrew to go with her to make sure everything was alright.  It was at that time that my doctor called the baby a "he."  So I asked if it was a boy and he said, "oh, I forgot to look."  Then one of the nurses working on our baby yelled out, "no, it's a girl!"  We had waited this whole time to have the big moment of finding out what the baby was but it all got pushed aside when we realized she was not crying or breathing well.  The nurses got her to cry but she had swallowed stuff when she was stuck in the birth canal and you could hear it in her every time she breathed.  They kept working with her for about an hour in our room to get her cleared out and then decided to send her to the NICU to work on her more. By 6am we were in our recovery room and Andrew and I were looking at each other and Emma Lynn in shock thinking, did this all really just happen?  For being a week overdue we were grateful something went fast! 
We praise God for another little girl.  Andrew was hoping for a boy but he got over that fast.  I told him now he has another little girl to love and protect.  Sadie Jane and Drew think Emma Lynn is the greatest thing ever but wonder why she sleeps all the time.  I know they can't wait until she can play with them.  We are excited to be on this adventure with a family of 5!