Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Baby Dragon

Hello everyone. Last I wrote I was, for the first time in a total of 8 pregnancies 6.5 months along. Now, as I write this time, I have my baby in my lap at ~7 weeks old. 

I gave birth to a beautiful, happy, healthy baby GIRL. In all honesty, we did cave and "peeked" at what baby was in a very late ultrasound around 7 months along at the beginning of May - but we kept it secret, haha. I had such a late follow-up ultrasound after the typical one at 5 months, due to a low-lying placenta. We wanted to see if it was pulled up with the further expansion of the uterine muscles. Why? Well, if the placenta had remained "low" - which means down by my cervix - I would have been subjected to a Cesarean birth to avoid the major risk of hemorrhage that would have been caused by the placenta separating from the uterine wall as my cervix thinned and opened (dilated). Thankfully, baby's head was lower than the placenta which confirmed that the placenta indeed was pulled up and no longer low and a major risk. Which also meant I was free to birth vaginally. 

I debated between (and compared) two birthing classes: Hypnobirthing and Birthing From Within. In the end, Birthing From Within won out - and matched our schedules better. Before we knew it, the class began and then ended. I look forward to our post-partum gathering.

How'd the birth go? In short, here's my birth story:

Just shy of my baby's "due" date, at my weekly follow-up visit, my blood pressure spiked - and with how very, very swollen I was those days, I ended up having pre-eclampsia. To avoid eclampsia, my doctor sent me in to be induced. She wanted me to start with pictocin, but in speaking with her she agreed to let me start with a "ripening" agent called Cervidil. I was 85% effaced (thinned), and ~1.5 cm dilated. Was I happy about being induced? No. Do I have any regrets about how my birth went in the end? Nope. I'd do it all over again. I'm glad that I was able to avoid eclampsia and the accompanying emergency Cesarean birth that would have followed.

In the end, the nurses I had at St. Mark's and my OB were all wonderful. My neighbor was equally wonderful in coming over to assist my husband in giving me a blessing - because I was stressed and nervous... etc - so many emotions! Then, my dear friend a physical therapist came that night and gave me a long full body message. I am eternally grateful for her. I entered laborland shortly thereafter (~2 hours later) stress and tense free. After 8 hours, they pulled the cervidil (took the medicine away), because my body took off and labor was full on. I was 100% effaced and 3-4 cm; they thought it would take 12 hours and then would start pictocin (artificial oxytocin) to get contractions going. The entire time I and baby were monitored. They did let me off the monitors to use the jetted tub for coping technique for ~1 hour or so. In the next 4 hours after the medicine was pulled, I went from 3/4 to 9-10 cm (which is fully open/dilated). At the 12 hour mark, my OB came in. She was happy for me, and was a great support. She did break my water - as it had not yet broken, even though I was already starting to push. I was ready, it was time, and I knew it. It was interesting the change from laboring to open, to birthing (pushing) - I had a renewed sense of energy - which was a good thing. It took 1.5 hours to birth my baby. She came presented vertex (facing sideways). In the end, she kicked me and it helped propel her out. It was intriguing feeling her body being born - after her head had been born. Hubby cut the cord, helped the nurse wipe her off, held her and then laid her on me - skin to skin. She was wide awake, looking at me, and sucked her thumb - all while my OB stitched me up from a tier 2 tear.

No, I didn't stare at the clock a lot - maybe in the beginning, although after awhile the clock didn't make sense since labor has it's own clock. I know about how long everything took since my hubby took note of when the induction began and when baby was born - he slept most of the night - although he did do what he could to support me every now and then during the night (which thankfully ended up being short - though at the time, I didn't even notice in the shift from night to day except for the change in nurses).

All in all, labor and birth lasted a total of 13.5 hours - thank heavens! It was short, quick, intense and incredible! I did not take any pain meds until after birth - I birthed my baby with absolute minimal intervention. I praise God for it all.

Yes, she's a redhead just like me & her daddy's beard. : ) She was little - at 6 lbs 10.6 oz, 18.5 inches long. She had a lovely round head, lovely hair, and dark eyes (now that her eyes are no longer glassy, it would seem they are mix of my & hubby's eyes - I call them Brown Hazel). She's an absolute doll - and still is. I love her smiles. We call her our Baby Dragon. 

The fist picture is her brand new (within her 1st week). The second is her at ~6 weeks old.

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