Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cora Lee's Birth Story, Part 1

I can’t believe this was over a week ago! I better write it down fast, as my memories of Cora being born are already being replaced by memories of her doing much cuter things - like blowing through 10 diapers before the morning is complete.

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I went to my midwife appointment Friday morning, which was 6 days past my due date, ready for anything. After the baby passed the NST, she checked me and luckily I had dilated to a “loose 1,” which was progress compared to my “fingertip” the Tuesday before. Not getting our hopes up, we discussed possible C-section dates. After some back and forth, we agreed that if I didn’t go into labor by Monday (9 days past my due date), we would schedule a C-section.

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We spent the rest of the day on Friday doing anything and everything that could possibly induce labor. I chased Ina down the street, ate spicy foods, Dan gave me foot rubs, etc. On Friday afternoon I started to not feel very good and actually took a nap while Ina was napping, which is extremely rare for me. I woke up from the nap and felt a tightening in my stomach that grew more intense and then let loose again. Finally, I had felt a contraction. (I was so excited then to feel them, but soon, not so much.)

Again, not wanting to get my hopes up, we went about our evening as usual. Dan grilled steaks for dinner and we watched the Royals game. Dan’s parents had stayed with us all week awaiting the baby, but his step-dad went home on Friday. Thankfully, his mom stayed. As we were eating dinner I started to feel more contractions. Then, after dinner I saw that I had lost my mucous plug. Now, i know this can happen days before labor, but in my mind that meant this was the real deal. I texted my sister and a few friends and started timing my contractions on my phone.

Unfortunately, Dan wasn’t feeling very good Friday night, so we went to bed early, which was probably a good idea. By 10 PM, I started having contractions every 10 minutes, and they were uncomfortable, but not really painful. I fell asleep until around 2, when a contraction that was more painful woke me up. By 3 AM, they started to get even more painful and that is when the nausea set in.

Every 6 contractions or so I would dry heave from the nausea associated with the pain.  Not so fun. My midwife told me to call them when I could no longer talk or walk through a contraction, and I thought dry heaving met that criteria. I lasted until 6 AM and finally called. They of course told me to come in, if anything to treat my nausea.

Dan took a shower, we took Ina downstairs to spend the morning with Granny, and by 7 AM we were walking in the hospital. The contractions became more painful on the drive in, and were occurring every 4 to 5 minutes. 

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[What a 41 weeks pregnant woman looks like who was up all night hugging the toilet]

We were sent to triage, where I was hooked up to the monitors and gave them all sorts of information. Finally, the lovely nurse checked me and I was only dilated to a 2. Ugh. She told me she didn’t think I was in labor, but would give me 40 minutes to walk the halls of the maternity ward.

I always hear about women having to do this, but what I never picture is how incredibly awkward it would be to walk the halls of a maternity ward looking like a zombie who every few minutes stops to sway and moan in pain. I seriously think I scared a few people. Most of the nurses just ignored me. I suppose they are pretty used to it.

After 40 minutes the nurse checked me again and I was still only a 2. She said I would likely need to go home, but my midwife (who was on call that day) would come see me first. I really didn’t want to go home. I wanted to have a baby. 

When Jeane (my midwife) came in the room, I was so, so happy to see her. She went over my options:

  1. Stay and try to induce labor by breaking my water, which would increase my risk for a repeat C-section. 
  2. Stay and walk the halls for another hour and see if things progressed.
  3. Go home and come back when I was further along.

I chose option 2. While she was in the triage room with me, I had a dry heaving episode. I think she took me more seriously after that. During the next hour of walking the halls, the contractions grew much closer together - like every 2 to 3 minutes. I started dry heaving every 3 to 4 contractions. By the time the hour was over I was convinced I was not going home. Even if it meant I needed a C-section, I was not going to leave that hospital until I had a baby in my arms.

However, another hour was all it took, when she checked me again I was at a 4! Hallelujah! This was true labor. Time to have a baby!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2!

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