Monday, March 15, 2010

The Best Thing I've Ever Done

Written by Shannon Leigh

Monday, March 8th I was 11 days overdue.
Looking back, our little bundle was well worth the wait but at the time I was pitiful & huge.

I had a slew of emotions those last few weeks ranging from anger, exhaustion, frustration and finally contentment. On Monday I was feeling pretty content (by the grace of God). I knew my doctors wouldn't let me go past 42 weeks so the day was near and I decided to enjoy the last few days with Matt since everything we knew as a married couple was about to change.

I needed to get out of the house so I decided to meet Matt for lunch. After lunch I headed to Wal-mart to do the FINAL shopping trip before the baby came. I walked around the store for over an hour and made sure every thing on my list was in my cart. After Wal-mart I headed home and decided to clean the rest of my house, specifically the kitchen (Matt has very high expectations, especially for the stove top). For the rest of the afternoon I cleaned the kitchen- spotless. At about the time I started to wash the floor I started feeling kinda funny. I was thinking I was having contractions since they were pretty painful and they were coming about 5 minutes apart. Matt decided to work late that night to wrap things up before the baby came so I called him to tell him I thought I was having contractions but to not rush home. About an hour later, I was finished with the kitchen and the contractions were still coming so I decided to take Izzy for a walk. I REALLY didn't want the contractions to stop and I figured being active was the best way to keep them coming. By the time I was walking Izzy I wasn't able to walk or talk while having a contraction so I called Matt to tell him that this was IT. Luckily he was on his way home.

When Matt got home we packed the rest of our bags and headed to the hospital. We figured that even if this wasn't "real" labor they wouldn't send me home since I was 41 weeks and 5 days pregnant (at least we were hoping). We made a pit stop at Dairy Queen to get Matt something to eat (I'm pretty sure I ate more than half of whatever we got and I'm glad I did, I needed my energy). We made sure to get to the hospital by 8:00 p.m. because the front doors lock at that time and we would have had to go through the ER. Matt was concerned that we'd get charged for an E.R. visit (go figure) so we walked up to labor and delivery.

We checked in and they started monitoring me right away. I was definitely having contractions but only dilated to a 2. The nurse said she'd come back in about an hour and see if I had made any progress. She came back 45 minutes later and I was dilated to a 3! Halleluiah, I was making progress and we were officially admitted! Around that time little Ruby's heart rate was really high (like in the 180's). The nurse and my midwife suspected the high heart rate was because of dehydration so they started an IV to pump me full of fluids. That seemed to do the trick because within the hour her heart rate was much more reasonable.

Around 11 pm my midwife came in and I was dilated to a 4 and unbeknownst to me she stripped my membranes to "get things going" (OUCH). After that the contractions really started picking up and it was the perfect time to use all of those "breathing" techniques I learned in my birthing classes. Too bad I couldn't remember any of them. At around 12:30 a.m. I was definitely ready for an epidural and requested one from the nurse. The nurse told me that there were two c-sections in line before me and the anesthesiologist was busy. I would have to wait. THAT was not the news I was hoping for. The very sweet nurse went ahead and set up all of the equipment in my room and told me it could be another hour or two before the anesthesiologist would be available. My midwife came in around 1:15 and said she was headed in for c-section #2 and that it would be at least another hour before I could get my epidural. I was pretty bummed, not to mention in excruciating pain at this point. Luckily for me, about a half an hour later the anesthesiologist came in to brief me before he went into the c-section and since the equipment was already set up he very quickly gave me the epidural! I was so grateful for that sweet little nurse that had everything already set up. Matt said that the anesthesiologist wasn't very nice but I didn't notice a thing...

At around 2:oo a.m. the midwife came in and broke my water, or what was left of it, I should say. Apparently she had punctured it while stripping my membranes. We were instructed after that to get as much sleep as we could. They wheeled in a sleeping chair for Matt (which he struggled with for quite some time) and both of us tried to get some zzz's. We didn't have too much luck sleeping especially when I had a stupid blood pressure cuff that would automatically go off every 15 minutes. I'd say the entire night we MAYBE got an hour and a half of sleep.
Around 6 a.m., my other midwife who just came on call, Cathy (who happens to be English and awesome), told me I was dilated to a 9!! I was ecstatic. I couldn't believe we'd be having this baby so soon! She also informed us that the baby definitely had hair, which I was also very excited about. Around that time I started to REALLY have the urge to push. I kept telling the nurse "I'm pushing and I'm not meaning to." I didn't know this at the TIME but my epidural was pretty much gone. Around 7:30 the midwife came back and said it was time to push! My mom had come to the hospital and was expecting to stand outside while the baby was delivered but she was in the room when it was time and the nurse asked her to come and hold a leg. Again, not knowing that my epidural had run out, I really didn't care WHO was in the room and I was actually really glad she was there. I was pretty nervous/excited and in quite a lot of pain. So there I was doing the hardest thing I have EVER done in my life. They had to give me oxygen because apparently I was holding my breath for too long because I just wanted to keep pushing!
I remember asking how long I was going to have to push and they said probably about an hour. I was determined to get this child out of me sooner and gave every single push the most strength I have EVER given anything in all my life. Not having much pain medication probably helped with that too. The cheering on of my husband and mom was also really encouraging and I was SOO glad they were there. Within 30 minutes our sweet little baby was out and I was so happy!

Matt got to cut the cord and Cathy asked him "ok Daddy what is it?" and Matt in a panicky voice said "I think it's a girl..." It was hilarious!
She had had a bowel movement before she was born so they weren't able to give her to me right away. They had to suck some junk out of her lungs first (Matt did this when he was born too). After a few minutes I got to hold her for the first time and I was in HEAVEN. She was just perfect and well worth the wait!
She had super long and skinny legs and a head full of long dark hair. Her skin was super dry which apparently is common in post due babies and her hair was super long in the back. Her fingernails we crazy long too. The first time she looked at me I absolutely melted. I loved looking into her eyes and knowing that she was mine forever.
I'm so grateful to the Lord for making the labor and delivery so smooth and bringing baby Ruby into the world perfect and healthy. Our lives will never be the same and we are so in love with our beautiful baby girl.


Unknown said...

Oh Kitty, it seriously sounds like it couldn't have gone any better :) Even the epidural, had you gotten it any sooner, it would have just worn off even quicker!! Thanks for sharing!!! I do need to meet this little one before she gets too big! Amy and I were talking about planning a trip sometime!!

Leslie A. said...

Awesome story! A few things made me laugh...Matt being worried about the ER charge and him saying he thought she was a girl. Too cute.

A few (well more than a few) things I could sympathize with....mainly that blood pressure cuff. Death to that!! Hated that thing.

If you ever bring her to IUB, please let me know or make sure Tanya calls me.

Really happy for you!!!

Nicole said...

YAY! so fun to finally meet you and little Ruby- even if it was during her little photo shoot! So glad everything went well! Enjoy these nice days!

Calamity J said...

Thanks for sharing your story Shannon! I'm not kidding when I say that I was sitting at my desk frantically checking for updates :) Its nice to see what I have to look forward day, of course. Let's just get married first, right!

So excited for you and your sweet family :)