A Baby Story

What in the world!??  My baby girl is almost 1 week old!

I wanted to write down her birth story before it slips away from my already fuzzy new mom brain.

As most people know, my original due date was 12/26, 4 days from today...Our doctor had mentioned inducing before Christmas if we wanted to but I really didn't want to induce "just to induce."  I was fine with letting Karlyn come whenever she wanted since we didn't have a medical reason to induce.  Well that changed on Monday the 12th when I went in for my 38 week appointment.  I had actuallly been wondering if I had a bladder infection (I know, lovely) and was kind-of in a lot of pain.  Karlyn was also hangin out verrrry low, not helping the matter.  At the doctor's, they told me my protein came back high in the usual urine test.  High protein + high blood pressure can mean preeclampsia which when you're full term, means you go ahead and deliver.  Well, my blood pressure was fine but they still sent us down to triage to monitor me and baby for several hours.  It was kinda crazy - depending on how things looked, there was a chance we would be staying that night and having this baby!  Instead though, I got sent home with a 24-hour urine test to take and return within, you guessed it, 24 hours.  I won't get into just how much fun that was.

The next day was Tuesday and I. was. miserable.  I was hurting so bad and in so much pain.  I headed up to Baylor to return the test and took all my hospital bags with me.  I SO wanted them to keep me and say that it was time.  I did not want to be sent home!  As it turned out, my doctor was off that day so I saw the other doctor in the practice plus my doctor's nurse.  They told me to go back home and put my feet up; they would call me with the results the next day.  Oh my gosh, I balled.  Not in the doctor's office; I held it together till I got in my car and just cried and cried on the way home and in the house.  It's hard to explain what I was going through but the best way I can was bladder infection feeling X 10 plus a very low baby ready to come out :/  My best friend Lindy talked me off the ledge that night and told me this was just one more day for Karlyn to grow and stay healthy inside me.  It would all be ok.

Wednesday the 15th I woke up eager to hear from my doctor.  I knew they opened at 9:00.  I think around 11:00 maybe I got a call from Lisa, the surgery scheduler.  She told me that test had come back with high protein again...mine was 686 and the cut-off number was 100 something!  I did not have preeclampsia but the doctor felt like there was no reason to wait another and just let things get worse.  I needed to show up the next morning at 7:30...they were going to induce!  Oh Praise God, I was so happy.  In less than 24 hours, I would be starting the process of welcoming  my child into the world!

I called Ryan and texted several friends who I had been updating on the whole process and when Ryan got home, we made sure our bags were packed and that we had everything ready to head to Baylor bright and early the next morning.  I ordered what sounded good for dinner: pizza and ceasar salad :)  I didn't get much sleep that night, mostly from the pain.  We woke up on Thursday, Ryan loaded our bags, and I ate breakfast - the last food I would get until Karlyn got here.  I had him take one last living room picture of my pregnant self :>

We got there and checked into labor and delivery and met our nurse Tracy, who we would grow to love!  Tracy hooked me up to an IV for fluids (just water) and strapped the baby monitor things on me to see how Karlyn was doing.  *My doctor had called me on Wednesday and told me that the "game plan" was for me to start on the pitocin once I got there and that later she would come down and break my water.  I really wasn't excited about the pitocin as I had heard several horror stories and had told the doctor that I was hesitant...luckily she changed her mind I guess and when she came down first thing to check me, she decided to go ahead and break my water right then and see where that got us.  She did and then told Ryan and I to get walkin!  Ryan pushed/pulled my IV pole and we walked.  We walked and walked and walked.  The same square-ish loop around l&d.  My contractions actually starting coming soon after her breaking my water - they were surprised at how fast.  I hadn't had Braxton Hicks during pregnancy so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect in the way of contractions.  What would they feel like?

They started out mild I guess but I knew I was having one.  My stomach tightened up but it was not bad.  Every 30 minutes, we would meet Tracy back in our room for her to listen to the baby's heartbeat.  Then off we would go again.  I could walk, sit in the rocker or on the birth ball (exercise ball!), or even get in the tub.  I listened to my iPod some while we walked and that was kinda nice; I could turn up the song during a contraction and try to breathe and zone out.  The contractions progressively got harder and I would tell Ryan I was having one, stop walking, and breathe through it until it was over.  I remembered my in the nose-out the mouth breathing from cross-country and found that to be the best  way.  At my 1:00 pm, my doctor came down and checked me again.  I had come into the hospital dilated to a 3 and after walking for several hours, was at a 4.  Active labor right?  She said I was progressing great and I didn't have to get the pitocin.  Awesome!  Knowing that walking was helping, even though it was getting harder and we were getting tired, was motivation to keep going, knowing I could avoid the meds.

We walked throughout the afternoon, I sipped on juice to get some hydration and sugar, sat on the ball, tried the tub...got kind-of clammy and overheated in there and decided that wasn't gonna work.  I was getting tired.  The contractions were getting harder to get through.  I was trying to find the best position to get in.  While we were walking, leaning against the wall was my choice and in the room I was trying different things...they kept getting harder and PAIN MEDICATION finallly started to cross my mind.  My "birth plan" was to go in and see how things went.  I wanted to avoid medication if I could but I wasn't 100% against it if I decided I needed it.  Around 5:30 I was dilated to a 6.5.  I asked my doctor how much longer she thought it would take to get to 10 and she said 3 hours.  Our nurse said she guessed maybe 1.5 to 2.  I decided I wanted an epidural.  Ryan asked me several times if I was sure...Yes, I'm sure.  I felt good about it and I honestly didn't know If I could go another several hours.  I was tired, weak from no food, and hurting.  I didn't know how much worse the contractions were going to get; they were already bad!  I wanted some help.

Our nurse made the call and THE MOST WONDERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD besides my husband :-) came and made the pain go away :>  Seriously.  Yes I was nervous sitting there hunched over knowing a huge needle was going into my back but I didn't care at that point.  As soon as it took effect, I knew I had made the right decision.  I felt happy and could smile!  Ryan invited our moms back into the room and we sat and chatted for an hour or so.  They could see the contraction on the screen getting STRONG but I was just fine ;)  I will say that I think I had a very good epidural experience.  Apparently there were 2 anethesiologists on staff and my nurse, knowing I was on the fence about one anyways, requested the one who gave more moderate doses and didn't leave you dead-legged for 3 days afterwards.  I had no headache side effect and even though it took away the feeling, I could still move my legs and my self in the bed.  The nurses were impressed at how I could move afterwards!  My doctor told me if I was going to get an epidural, I did it the right way...by progressing on my own first and then getting it towards the end.  Because of that, getting it didn't slow things down.

About an hour and a half after that, I started to feel naseous and like I might throw up.  The doctor checked me again and said I was at a 10.  It was go time!  I pushed for 1 hour.  I couldn't really feel to push but I was able to do it anyways.  Does that even make sense?  Ryan stood right by my side the whole time and the best part was that I was actually able to smile and be excited about what was going on, thanks to the epidural.  It was hard yes, but the hour went by quickly and at 8:35 PM, Karlyn Kaye Ivey entered the world!  12 hours from the time we had started, my little girl was in my arms and crying :>  It was amazing!  She is amazing!

My husband was amazing too.  I have to give him props.  He stood by my side the entire day, walked with me, encouraged me through each contraction, told me to breathe, and told me how great a job I was doing.  He blew me away with his support.!

All in all, it was a great experience.  It hurt and was hard and I didn't know if I could do it, but then I did!  Our nurse and my doctor were so amazing.  There are no words to describe the way I felt when they set Karlyn on my chest as soon as she came out and I kissed my daughter on the cheek.  My daughter.  I have a daughter!

December 16, 2010 will forever be a special day.  And now we have our little early Christmas present :> She's laying down with daddy right now :)


Heather said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I've been dying to know the details but haven't wanted to call in case you were getting some (I'm sure much needed) sleep. I'm glad you're not beating yourself up about the epidural (I totally did at first, but it was SO worth it), and I'm so glad you were able to go without the Pitocin!! Ugh, that was my nightmare. But I already told you that. :) Oh, and the nausea! They let me eat a popsicle while I was in labor since it had been SO long and I was starving. Let's just say that I will never eat a rainbow treat again because I definitely threw up multiple times. Barfing + labor is not a good equation.

Sounds like you had such a great experience, and I'm SO proud of you! (And Ryan for being such an awesome support; not all guys are like that. Mine is a good one too though, just for the record, lol.)

Karlyn's adorable! I can't wait to hear more about your new life as a family. You're a MOMMY! What a great Christmas gift. :) Love ya!

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun said...

I loved reading your story. How great that you missed having to get the pitocin. And yes, I loved how after the epidural I could actually pay attention to the labor and the whole experience. I know I'll be getting one this time!

Rachael Weeks said...

Aw, reading this made me tear up! I'm so glad you had such a great experience, and were able to skip the Pitocin. That stuff is NO FUN! I loved my L&D nurse too. They have got to be the most wonderful and caring people in the medical field. I'll never forget Brandi, the nurse we had when we had Makayla. She was amazing. So glad you got the epi! I was on the fence about getting one, but after I decided to get mine, I was in Heaven. And since I ended up having a c-section, it was nice the epi was already in place and they just had to up the dosage to get me numbed up. Can't wait to see you again and meet Karlyn. Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hattie said...

Hey! This is Bailey234 on Oxygen. I've been thinking about you a lot and wondering how things went. I got an epi this time too. I guess my hospital offers them now. It was HEAVENLY! Sounds like you're doing ok. No baby blues, right? I was kinda worried because a lot of my friends suffered from PPD, but I was fine with my first and again this time. It's much better when you can enjoy your new baby. Congrats!!

Becky said...

Wonderful birth story!! I am so happy for you! That's awesome about being able to skip the Pitocin, too. Definitelydefinitely do not beat yourself up about the epidural, those things are there for a reason. I love that the staff let you walk and move around - my induction, I didn't get a chance for that. Sounds like you and Ryan really nailed that whole "team" aspect of labor...it helps so much to have a supportive and involved partner. You did great, just like I knew you would! She is beautiful, just beautiful. Y'all have a Merry (Baby's First) Christmas!!

Jess said...