Friday, January 29, 2016

Heidi's Birth Story

My baby has arrived! Here are the dirty details.  

On Monday, January 4th, I woke up at 1 AM to go pee.  I quickly realized that my mucus plug started coming out.  At first I wasn't sure if it was my mucus plug or my water breaking, since they are both liquidy, but this was sticky and gross.  It was a good thing I had an appointment with the OB at 9:50! After I woke up I started to feel contractions.  I wasn't sure if that's what they were since it was a dull cramping that didn't have a definite start and stop time.  Then they got worse and I realized these are definitely contractions.  I mostly felt them in my back and they were AWFUL... and there was nothing I could do to ease them.  While I was getting ready my OB called me.  He said that he heard from the specialist doctor about possibly getting me induced and we could schedule a day to do so.  I responded by telling him that my mucus plug was coming out and I felt like death.  I also reminded him that I was coming in for an appointment in about 30 minutes.  He said that we will see how I'm progressing when I came in.  I brought my hospital bags just in case.  (The OB had previously told me a few weeks before that women can go into labor when the weather changes because of the barometric pressure and it was raining that morning.) We got there on time and soon my named was called.  He measured me and said that I was fully effaced and 3 1/2 - 4 centimeters dilated and to go to labor and delivery and he will see me soon.  What?! I packed my bags just in case, but I really didn't think I would be going in so soon.  I guess I called it! The OB left the room for a minute and came back and told us that the hospital has been notified and they were waiting for us.  We made the short drive from one parking lot to the next.  Once we were parked my husband called the specialist doctor to cancel my appointment for 11:30.  We checked in at the hospital around 11 AM and we had to wait a few minutes while they got my room ready.

The cup is from the first floor of the hospital.  The front desk had pineapple water and since I didn't eat after my appointment I had to try some of this! It was good!
I'm allergic to latex.
My hands never got swollen to the point of not wearing my ring which was awesome!

(Side note: I made a very simple birth plan and they were very good about following it.  The only things I had on it, since it was my first birth and had no idea what to expect, was immediate skin to skin, baby stays with me, no episiotomy, no C-section or induction unless absolutely necessary, ask my husband if he wants to cut the chord (he might get sick), let the chord stop pulsating before cutting it, and breastfeeding only.  My OB had signed it a few weeks prior to make it "official" and the nurses had to follow it also.)

Once we made it to our room, I changed into a hospital gown.  Is this really happening?! I'm having a baby! After getting dressed, I had an IV and blood pressure cuff put on.  The cuff turned on every 15 minutes or so.  It was awful when it turned on during a contraction! Soon after getting me all set up, my husband left to get lunch at Zaba's.  He knew I couldn't eat at that point so he ate there and was back within 30 minutes.  The IV made me freeze.  I was constantly shivering the rest of the night.  The contractions gradually became worse and almost unbearable.  Every time one started I would close my eyes and breathe slow and deep and think to myself, "I can do this.  I can do this," over and over.  I'm never going to complain about period cramps again.  Soon I had a catheter put in and then I got the epidural when I was around 5-6 cm dilated.   Getting the epidural wasn't as bad as everyone said.  I took a few deep breaths while the nurse held onto me and it was done.  The epidural quickly worked its magic as a warm sensation trickled through my legs and butt as it numbed me.  It was the weirdest feeling! My bottom half was super warm, almost like the feeling of heated seats in a car, and the top half of my body was still shivering.  At least some part of me was warm! By around 4 PM the nurse checked me and I was at 7 cm.  Even though I had an epidural, I could feel that the contractions were getting stronger.  Soon I was at 8 cm and I was feeling pain again so they gave me an epidural booster.  A little while later I was dilated to 9 cm and while she was checking me my water broke.  It felt amazing! Even though my legs were warm and numb from the epidural I could still feel this and it was the best.  I could not wait to take a hot shower!  A few minutes later I was still feeling pain at 9 1/2 cm so I got another booster.  I'm pretty sure there was a third booster in there somewhere but I can't remember.  I made it to 10 cm around 6-7 PM.  You'd think that once you make it to 10 you would start pushing, right? Nope.  The baby wasn't low enough to start really pushing so I had to wait.  Soon I was able to push a little (my husband helped by holding me up) just to try to get her further down.  We progressed a little but the baby would slide back in the second I stopped.  The OB wouldn't come in until she was crowning and the baby didn't want to go past the bone.  Stubborn child! After a few more attempts at pushing to get her to almost crowning, I had to stop pushing all together.  The OB had to do a C-section in another room so I got about an hour to rest.  I told my parents, who were at my house watching our puppy, that they could come see me but the baby wasn't out yet.  (This was about 8-9 PM.) My husband ate at Subway while my parents drove here and we all hung out for a bit.  Soon the OB came in to check on me and discussed using the vacuum to get her out.  I told them whatever it takes to get her out without a C-section I'm okay with it! My parents were still in the room when the OB mentioned the vacuum and my mom said she was worried about the vacuum getting on her soft spot.  I reminded her that the doctors know what they are doing and the OB also explained where the vacuum touches their head and that it is totally safe.  My parents asked the doctor if he thought she would be out today and he said yes, so my parents decided to go back to the waiting room instead of going home.  They were pretty excited.

My dad entertaining Sophie while they were waiting
Once my parents left, the nurse asked if I wanted Pitocin to speed things up.  My contractions were slowing down and it would take way too long for her to come out.  They told me that if I pushed for too long it'll distress the baby and I would need a C-section, so I agreed and they put a small amount of Pitocin in my IV.  Soon there were 5 nurses plus the OB in the room preparing for the baby's arrival.  The nurses rolled tables into the room with all kinds of tools and scary devices.  (My husband later told me it looked like a murder scene!)  It suddenly became very real! They turned off the lights and I started pushing.  After pushing for a bit, the OB used the vacuum to get her head to come out.  When her head was visible, the nurses laughed and said that the baby has my husband's hair.  What does that mean? She's bald? Her ultrasounds, even at 38 weeks, showed that she had hair.  Plus, my husband isn't really bald, he just has super short light brown hair and everyone just considers him bald.  Since we were told she had hair from her ultrasounds, we expected her to have black hair (me and all my siblings had tons of black hair as newborns) because black hair is dominate.  After looking at her we realized she inherited his light brown hair color instead of mine.  Crazy! Anyway, when her head was completely out the OB noticed that the umbilical chord was wrapped around her twice.  He unwrapped it and I pushed a little more and my baby came out at 11:38 PM! Since I closed my eyes during contractions and while pushing, they had to tell me that she was out.  "Amber, open your eyes!" and they plopped a baby on my chest.  I had a baby!

Heidi Raine Frost

My husband and I had previously discussed having him cut the chord and he said he wasn't sure if he was able to do it.  He gets sick when he sees people he cares about in pain.  But when the time came, he was able to cut the chord.  He told me later that the only time he almost got sick was when they were giving me the epidural.

Heidi measured 6.6 lbs and 19 inches long! A cute, tiny baby! Of course at 35 weeks pregnant they told me she was 6.9 lbs but they are usually wrong, obviously.  I tore a little bit and I could see the doctor stitching me up.  I still couldn't feel anything, thank goodness, and it was strange to watch it.  I overheard the doctor and nurses saying that it was only a first degree tear.  They also said that there wasn't really any swelling and that I should heal nicely.  Good! While I was being stitched up the nurses taught my husband how to swaddle her.  I didn't learn until after we got home.

After her bath, it was time to breastfeed for the first time.  She wasn't latching so the nurses offered a nipple shield to get her to latch and she ate! Plus my parents were in the waiting room so I wanted to hurry.

While the nurses were telling my parents they could come in, my husband ran out real quick to get me Subway.  Thank goodness for 24 hour Subways! It was probably 1:30 AM at this point so I was starving.  My husband was holding Heidi when my parents came in and I told them her name.  Heidi is named after my mom's sister who passed away when she was 8 years old.  I've always wanted to use her name as a middle name someday, but it seemed to fit her as a first name.  We didn't officially decide on Heidi until after she was born but I still didn't tell my parents that it was on my very short list of names.  My husband had wanted the name Autumn for the longest time but with her middle name being Raine, after my husband's name, Autumn would be weird.  Autumn Raine Frost... no.  My parents got emotional after hearing her name of course, not expecting it, and they both got a chance to hold her while I lay on the bed still numb.

Hospital Stay
After my parents left, we went to the postpartum room around 3 AM and then my husband went home to sleep.  The nurse showed me how to go pee with the water bottle, pain relieving spray, and witch hazel pads.  They helped a ton! The mesh panties and giant pads were awesome too! The nurse also gave me an ice pack to stick down there for the first few hours and it felt amazing.  I took home some of the giant pads and weird underwear in case I continued to bleed like I was dying.  Every few hours a different nurse came in to ask how I delivered and when I told her it was vaginally she pushed on my stomach to "help the bleeding" or whatever.  I think 4 people came in to punch my stomach within the first 24 hours.  They just wanted to put me in more pain.  It was annoying.  At some point I asked one of the nurses if I could get a stool softener.  The muscles used to push a baby out are the same as pooping and I didn't want to rip my stitches.  I planned on bringing some to the hospital but we forgot to buy them.  I had been terrified of that first poop after birth so I'm glad I asked about it!  I'm so grateful those exist!   It all worked out.  (I even took some when I got home because I was so scared!) My arms, back, neck, and crotch were very sore.  I could barely move anything.  The only part of my body that wasn't sore were my legs, but they were still numb for a few hours.  So I literally couldn't move without hurting.  The nurses had to help me get in and out of bed for at least the next 10 hours or so.  Because I was so sore, I couldn't get up to get to my hospital bag.  All those "must haves" that I brought were useless.  When my husband came to visit I had him get out the treats that I brought and that was it.  I didn't even shower because that sounded like a nightmare since I couldn't lift my arms.  I put pajamas on that I brought and even doing that hurt.  I also had a hard time with Heidi.  When I had to feed her most of the time I had to have someone else bring her to me because getting off the bed was torture.  When she fussed I could talk to her and she went right back to sleep.  That mother-child bond is amazing!

Those wafer rolls were amazing! I'm so glad I brought those!
The bathroom was close but so far!

Since I had to stay at the hospital at least 24 hours after Heidi was born, they took my order for meals.  The morning after she was born they just brought me one of their breakfast options since I had her so late in the night and couldn't make an order.  The rest of the meals they took my order which was kind of fun.  At this hospital they give the mom and one other person a "celebratory" meal for either lunch or dinner.  Since my husband had just arrived (about 9:30 AM on Tuesday) we decided to do it for lunch.  It was delicious! The other meals weren't bad either.  It was nice not having to cook or to have my husband run out and get me food.

I wish I could eat this every day!
Because of the diabetes that I had while pregnant, various nurses came in to check Heidi's blood sugar before she ate for 3 feedings.  If the numbers were low enough (to compensate for my tendency to have higher numbers), she would have to stay at the hospital longer.  The first time they checked it was on the lower side but the next two times were within range.  Thank goodness! I did not want to stay longer than I needed to.  I also had to feed her more frequently than the recommended 2-4 hours because they wanted her blood sugar to be stable.  I was told to not go past 2 1/2 hours and it was hard.  She slept longer than I anticipated and she did not want to wake up most of the time.  I was eventually able to get her to wake up and eat.  

When a nurse came in to check on me she asked if I wanted the lactation consultant to come in.  Yes, please! In a few minutes the lactation consultant and her intern came in to help me with breastfeeding.  They taught me the football hold and I know it was the best position for someone who was lying down and could hardly move, but it was still difficult to get her in the right spot.  I'm pretty sure I did it wrong as soon as they left but she ate! I don't use that hold anymore.  Also, I no longer needed to use the nipple shield after they came in to help.  Using the shield is hard! I had to use it by myself for two feedings and it was so hard to balance that thing on me and get the baby there to eat - I was still getting used to holding a tiny newborn! Anyway, I'm so glad she learned to latch without it! She's an amazing eater now!

My husband was changing Heidi's diaper and as he reached for another diaper, she peed ALL OVER the bed!
The OB with Heidi!
When Heidi was 24 hours old, they had to do an all-over checkup on her.  So of course it was around midnight.  Not that I was sleeping with how often they came in to check on us for other things.  They had to take her out of the room to do it and I think they asked if I wanted to come (I can't remember) but I was so exhausted I just stayed in my room.  She dropped to 6.2 lbs, which is normal to drop weight so I didn't worry.  She almost qualified for having jaundice and I'm so glad she didn't.  If she did, along with low blood sugars, she would've had to go to the NICU.  A few hours later she had a hearing check.  Different nurses were coming in every few hours to check my blood pressure and temperature.  They also came in to check the baby's temperature and other things.  My husband came over during the day to hang out with us.  He got to spend some alone time with her while I went to a mandatory discharge class that basically tells you to make sure you change their diaper and feed them.  At the end of the class we were all given diapers and wipes so that was nice.  (We also got whatever diapers and wipes that were left in my postpartum room! And 4 booger sucker things!)  The pediatrician came in at some point to meet Heidi and I.  On some of the paperwork we had to fill out I wrote the pediatrician's name down (I had previously checked to see if our insurance covered him) and since he works at that medical center, he came in to say hi.  He said she looked a tiny bit jaundiced but that's normal and then he told us to schedule an appointment with him as soon as we got home.  Wednesday morning we I had my breakfast and then a nurse came in to tell me that we will be discharged soon.  I called my husband to let him know and he was already on his way to the hospital.  We had to wait for a few hours to be discharged because the nurse had to go check on a few more moms and it took forever.  Heidi was all dressed and ready to go, my stuff was packed, and we were hungry.  I didn't give the cafeteria people a lunch order because I didn't think we would be there for lunch.  Then my husband told me Heidi was hungry and that was it.  I had my first break down from sleep deprivation.  I was going on 2 1/2 hours of sleep from the last 48 hours.  I've been sleep deprived before but not like this.  I put my head on the counter and just cried.  I wanted to go home.  Of course I fed her even though I was still getting used to it.  Then of course a doctor comes in to ask how we are doing.  I gave him straight forward answers so he would leave.  After he left the nurse finally came back and we could leave.  I had to be in a wheelchair to get to my car (they do that for everyone even though I was better at walking by then).  We were discharged on Wednesday around 11 AM - 48 total hours at the hospital.  Now on to real life! 

Going home!

Our matching wristbands
Pink egg roll!
Sophie loves her already!
Two and a half weeks later at her newborn photo session!

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