Friday, May 25, 2012

Annelise's Birth Story

I had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday, March 29th.  We had already discussed doing an induction that evening.  Dr. Manas didn’t want me to go too far past my due date.  He did an internal check at the appointment and I was only a fingertip dilated and not very thinned out.  Dr. Manas left the exam room to go call the hospital to see what time I should check in.  He came back in with the bad news that the hospital was full and that I wouldn’t be able to get induced.  He told me to go home and report to the hospital at 6:00 PM on Sunday, April 1st. 

Drew and I went back home and tried to enjoy our last few days before we would become parents.  Admittedly, I was pretty bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to be induced that day.  I had been looking forward to meeting my daughter for so long and now I had to wait even longer.  Before we knew it, it was Sunday and time to head to the hospital.

We checked into the hospital and were immediately taken to my birth room.  I changed into the gown and got into bed.
Since we were the only ones on the floor there to have a baby, (There were a couple of other ladies there for monitoring.) I was bombarded with a bunch of nurses.  There were three nurses and the on-call obstetrician that came into my room and they all started doing something.  One started hooking me up to the monitors, one was working on paperwork, and one was starting my IV.  While all of this was going on, the on-call OB was asking me questions.  I was overwhelmed to say the least.  One of the nurses was taking my vitals and my blood pressure was extremely high.  They were a little concerned since I hadn’t had high blood pressure throughout my pregnancy, but they chalked it up to the number of people in my room and that I was a little nervous.  It came down a little the second time they took it, but they were still going to watch it.

Starting my IV was quite the ordeal.  I could tell that the nurse was either nervous or new as soon as she started.  She began by putting the tourniquet on my right arm and searching for a vein in my forearm.  After a few minutes, she found one and injected the Lidocaine.  As soon as that happened, she lost the vein.  She decided to move down to my hand and began searching for a vein there.  She found one to use, and injected the Lidocaine.  After waiting a minute or so, she inserted the needle for my IV and blew my vein!  I have never had a blown vein before, and let me tell you, it hurt!  A LOT!!!  That nurse gave up at that point, and another came and began to start the IV on my left hand.  She managed to get it in place without any trouble.  Unfortunately, now I was stuck with an IV in my left hand.  I’m left handed.  Big bummer!

After some time, my night nurse, Micki, came in to insert the Cervidil.  She did an internal first, and I was dilated to about one centimeter.  She inserted the Cervidil, and I had to remain in bed for two hours.  The countdown started at 7:50 PM.  At 9:50 PM, after being told I could get up, I sprinted to the bathroom as fast as I could!  A pregnant girl’s gotta pee!  I tried to negotiate getting off the monitors and walking around in the halls for a little bit, but I was told that wasn’t allowed and that I could only travel as far as the cords to the monitors would allow.  It wasn’t far!  I paced for a few minutes, then decided it just wasn’t worth it, and got back into bed.  We watched a little TV and I dozed some.  Drew slept, and noisily snored.

At about 2:00 AM, my contractions started to pick up.  There were some that I would have to breathe through, and some that weren’t painful at all.

I decided that I would get an epidural before Dr. Manas came in to break my water and start Pitocin.  Since it was early in the morning, and that’s when all the surgeries get scheduled, I didn’t want to want an epidural badly and have to wait for it for a length of time because the anesthesiologist was in a surgery.  Drew had to put a mask on, and we both got hair caps.
Getting the epidural was painless, however, it was difficult to sit with my back rolled out for such a long time.  It was also starting to get very warm in my room, so I told Drew to fan me with a folder.  He kept forgetting to fan me because he was so interested in watching the anesthesiologist administer the epidural.  I was thankful that Micki was there to help hold me in the proper position.

It didn’t take long before my entire lower half was numb.  Dr. Manas arrived sometime between 6:30 and 7:00 AM.  He broke my water, inserted an internal monitor, and removed the Cervidil.  I felt nothing!  God bless epidurals!  Pitocin was started around 7:30 AM.

Before the Pitocin was started, Micki was in the room with my new day nurse, Melissa, and they were going over everything from Micki’s shift.  Drew and I were chatting with them also.  I felt something fall off the bed and let them know that something had dropped.  Melissa turned around and said, “Oh my god, it’s your leg!!”  She immediately grabbed it and put it back on the bed.  I had no clue!  I felt nothing!!  It was the strangest thing to not feel it at all.  I realized that I was sitting a little close to the right side of the bed, and I wanted to move more towards the center.  As much as I told my brain to tell my legs to move, there was just no moving them!  It was such a weird sensation!

After that excitement, I decided to take a little nap.  It didn’t last long because Melissa came in at 8:30 AM and had me roll over to my left side because Annelise’s heart rate had dropped.  I laid there for a little bit and it came back up.

Around noon, Melissa did another internal check.  Dr. Manas had told me when he broke my water that I would probably only be about two to three centimeters at that time.  I told him that he was crazy, and that I would be much further than that.  I was five to six centimeters when Melissa checked me.  However, someone (Drew?) overheard her on the phone with Dr. Manas and she said that I was seven.  So, I was somewhere between five and seven centimeters.
During the afternoon, people started arriving to keep us company; Drew’s parents, my mom and sister, and Kristen, our birth photographer.
Kristen immediately started snapping away.  I continued to labor.
Labor was pretty easy, thanks to the epidural, but occasionally I would have to push the button to administer more.  My contractions were close together and pretty strong.
Having a decent contraction
Everybody had a great time watching the monitors, especially Annelise’s heartbeat.  Her heartbeat would increase whenever Drew came into the room and spoke.  She was already a daddy’s girl!
Dr. Manas called to see how I was doing

Around 4:00 PM, I was starting to feel my contractions more, and they were making me nauseous.  I let the nurse know and she gave me something in my IV to help with it.  I ended up throwing up though.  I knew that I had to be getting close to the end at that point.
Dr. Manas arrived around 4:45 PM and everybody got set up for me to start pushing.  I had agreed to allow two student nurses and a student EMS technician to be in the room during delivery.  I started pushing around 5:00 PM.  Pushing was hard, and I got so out of breath.  I could feel immense pressure when a contraction started and all I wanted to do was push.  I got four pushes in with each contraction.  As soon as the contraction went away, I would beg Drew for some ice chips.  It was so hot in that room!
I was having trouble getting Annelise under my pubic bone, and after pushing for an hour, Dr. Manas started telling me that I would probably need some help.  I really didn’t want him to use forceps to get her out.  I was getting so mad at myself and tried to use that anger to push her out, but it wasn’t working.  Drew could tell that I was getting exhausted and told me that I wasn’t a failure if Dr. Manas had to use the forceps.  I reluctantly agreed.  Dr. Manas told me that he had to call some more people in the room, a NICU team and a pediatrician, and to keep pushing through my contractions.  He performed an episiotomy.  I must have made myself mad enough, because I was able to push her under my pubic bone with that next push.
A few more pushes later, and Annelise was born at 6:27 PM.  Dr. Manas made a comment as she was coming out that “she was solid and she might be 8 pounds”.  That’s not something that you say to a woman pushing out a baby!
Annelise was immediately placed on my chest and she was so beautiful.  She was crying as Melissa rubbed her with a towel.  Drew cut her umbilical cord.
Melissa put Annelise in a clean towel and she quit crying and laid in my arms.  I was crying and Drew was teary eyed as we stared at her in amazement.  I remember counting her fingers and toes and saying that she looked just like Drew.
After a little bit, Melissa took her over to the warmer to get checked out.  I got stitched and cleaned up during this time.
Annelise weighed in at 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 ¾ inches long.  She was brought back over to me and I simply stared at her in amazement.
It was hard to believe that she was actually here after everything that we had been through.

All photos, with the exception of the first two, are compliments of Kristen at Photography by Kristen.  


Jessica Keipper said...

Love it!! Leo even more our babies share the same birthday!

Kelly Jean said...

You've inspired me to hire a birth photographer! Where did you find such a thing? Congrats! Pics came out beautifully. What a wonderful way to remember every moment of this miracle.

Tania said...

Kelly Jean - I had seen a few other women have birth photography done, and knew that it was something that I definitely wanted to do. I asked the lady who did my maternity pics if she would be interested in doing it and she said yes right away. I was the first birth photography session she had done. She did such a fabulous job!