July 25, 2011

Olivia Marie's Birth Story

In honor of Olivia's 16 month "birthday" on Saturday I thought I would share Olivia's birth story with all of you. Warning: It's pretty boring. Nothing super dramatic, I was blessed with what might very well be the easiest labor and delivery in the history of the world.

Saturday, March 20th
On Saturday afternoon, while having a short visit with the girls at work, I began to have contractions. Though they were not getting more severe they were coming every 4 minutes. I began to think to myself.. "Is this it?" "Is it time?" I called Chance and told him that it was probably a good idea for us to go ahead and head on to the hospital. He got up and began gathering bags, he told me to sit tight and he'd call me when he was on his way. While he was getting ready my contractions stopped- as they had done many times before. I reasoned with myself that there were probably Braxton Hicks contractions, and that I should just take it easy that night. Once I got home, I took a warm bath and did my best to relax. I knew the end was near; but I had no idea it was so close!

Sunday, March 21st
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. Again, I was having consistent contractions. Again, I told Chance that I thought we should head to the hospital. My contractions were averaging one about every 5-7 minutes. When we got to the hospital they hooked me up to all the monitors. While they were monitoring me however, the contractions stopped- yet again. So discouraged and without a baby, we walked out of Labor and Delivery at around 3 am. When we got home I did my best to get some sleep. It was hopeless, I was miserable uncomfortable, it was hot, and Chance was snoring like no other. Around 6 am I gave up and went to lay down on the couch in the study. Finally, rest! I slept until about 11a.m. when Chance came down to check on me. I spent the rest of the day on the couch resting, eating and watching television. I continued to have contractions throughout the day, but they were never consistent enough to cause concern.

Monday, March 22nd

On Monday I had my regular 38 week check up. When I woke up I felt the passage of some fluid. My head started spinning yet again. I began to analyze every wiggle, every ache and pain. This time however I knew I would be seeing Dr. Owens very soon, so I decided to stick it out until my appointment. I let the nurse know about everything that had been going on as soon as we got to the exam room. Upon further investigation we discovered that I was 3 cm dilated and about 90% effaced {I had been 1cm and 70% effaced at the hospital on Sunday.} Given the progress I'd made on Sunday and the passage of the fluid, he thought it best to go back downstairs to make sure that my bag of water had not ruptured. We sat in that hospital room for what seemed like forever. We tried to watch a movie {Role Models} but my mind was spinning in too many different directions to focus on the television. Finally, at the end of a very long afternoon it was decided that my water had not broken; but Dr. Owens said that if it happened again that we were to come straight to labor and delivery for another check. Of course- it happened again. Of course it had to be Monday. {Chance plays poker every Monday night and had already left for the evening.} At around 7pm that night my Mother-in-law Debbi and I headed back to the hospital. We went through the same old tests all over again, sat there for forever; and yet again- nothing. So we left the hospital that night without a baby. Little did I know the next time I visited would be the real deal! When we got home I happened to look down at my phone and saw that my doctor had called me. Immediately I called him back. He said that he wanted to see me in the morning so he could check my progress over night and said that we would discuss inducing my labor on Wednesday, if it was alright with me. I almost laughed at that last bit. I was so ready to meet our little girl, and so ready to get to the end of the l-o-n-g pregnancy road.

Tuesday, March 23rd

I arrived for my appointment at 10 am sharp. I was so anxious to make arrangements for our girl's arrival! She had other plans. When Dr. Owens checked me I was 4 cm dilated and 100% effaced. He looked at me and said "We're going to have a baby today." I thought my head would explode. Naturally, I had come to this appointment alone. I was shaking as I dialed Chance's number... four rings and then voicemail. I called again... same thing. Again... Then I tried the house... nothing. I was panicked when I called my Mom and told her what was going on. She assured me that someone would get in touch with Chance and that he would in fact be there for the arrival of our little one. That was the longest elevator ride of my life, and I was only going down one floor. With a smile I marched into Labor and Delivery and announced to the nurses that I was going to have a baby today!! We began the admitting process and within minutes I was getting cozy in Labor Room 1. I was so excited, nervous, scared, worried, happy and sad- all at the same time. I had been in my room for about 20 minutes when my Mom showed up. She had been at work, but left everything to be there with me. At about 11:30 I began to panic about the fact that I still had not heard from Chance; coincidentally this was around the time that they began my Pitocin drip. Let me tell you that is some nasty stuff! Dr. Owens came to check in on me around noon; he decided to go ahead and break my water {I was dilated to 5 cm at this point.} That's when things really got going; I started to have some pretty serious contractions. By 2 o'clock when the nurse asked me if I was ready for some pain relief I couldn't say yes fast enough. First they gave me Stadol. I should note that I have absolutely no tolerance for medication. I was somewhere between complete oblivion and puking my guts up when the "epidural man" as I called him plowed {and yes, I do mean plowed} through the door. He was loud, crass, and rough- all the things you pray your pain reliever isn't. I was terrified. And then in the middle of my nightmare Chance walked through the door. He immediately came and stood by me through the entire procedure. It was such a relief having him there. 

Then my legs started going numb, and then they started going "dead." Looking back, it's funny really. I had absolutely no movement in the lower portion of my body. Once the medication really set in I was VERY tired. So, as if he were reading my mind, Chance turned off the lights in our hospital room and suggested I get some much needed rest. I napped for about 2 1/2 hours. When I woke up I sent word to my Mom, Gran and sisters that it was OK for them to come back in. Quiet time was over- I was ready to get this show on the road. We sat around and visited. I enjoyed watching my contractions on the monitors. It was funny to watch some of them go "off the chart," but only because I couldn't feel them. If I could have I'm sure I would have felt differently.

Thank goodness, because I was having some aggressive labor! I was having contractions every minute, most of which peaked "off the chart." Dr. Owens came in to check on us as soon as the office was closed, at around 5 o'clock when he checked me I was finally fully dilated. {I say finally- I do realize how quickly all this transpired and how lucky I am that it did!} He recommended that we sit tight and let her make her way down a bit farther. He would check on us in 30 minutes. Those 30 minutes seemed to fly by and before I knew it there he was again. This time when he checked me Olivia was at +2 station; he said he'd be back in another 30. Chance thought he'd have time to step outside for a minute so at around 5:40 he walked outside. At 5:45 however, baby had another plan. Dr. Owens came in and said that he "had a feeling he should check me." Good thing he did, because Olivia was ready to make her appearance. He looked at me and said "We're gonna have a baby!" 

I was ecstatic, then I realized Chance wasn't there. I looked at Lindsay and said "Go get him. Now." She's such a trooper, she took off running! I don't think even a minute passed and they were both back. All of a sudden the room was packed- everyone preparing for delivery. At 5:53pm with Chance at my side I started pushing. I was so anxious that I'd have to push for hours. But I was more excited to meet our little girl. Five or six pushes later; at 6:08 in the evening she was here. The nurse placed her on my chest as soon as she was out. I remember thinking, "She's here, and she's mine." I was so glad to touch her, finally all that waiting for this moment! She was so warm and soft. After a few minutes the nurses took her to be checked. Of course she was perfect. Scored a 9 on her apgar test!

Chance helped Nurse Cindy {who also happens to be one of our neighbors}check her vitals, he even got to put on her first diaper. After she was all cleaned up and ready to love, they brought her back to me and I was able to nurse her for the first time. I'll never forget what it felt like to have her there with me, in that moment. I had waited so long to know what it felt like to be a mommy- and here it was. It was undeniable.

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