Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hallie Rose - the arrival

My Account of Hallie Rose - the delivery (warning: may contain graphic "woman" details.)

I had not yet had any false labor contractions (that I could tell) and had had a doctor's appointment on January 3, at which time my doctor told me that I did not look like I would be giving birth any time soon and I could schedule an appointment to have them ripen my cervix if I was worried about going way past my due date (Jan. 5 or 7, depending on which doctor you asked).  I asked when the earliest I could schedule that would be and she said the 15th... and I was like, isn't that kind of way past my due date? So I told her I'd just wait and see what  happened.

The next morning, January 4th, at around 4:30 in the morning I was cleaning up some blood from passing the mucus plug, and bleary eyed, I stumbled back into bed.  As I tried to fall back asleep I noticed that I was having mild, menstrual like cramps.  This is where it begins.  It was a Saturday, which meant it was scrubbing day!  I, however, sat/laid on the couch and read a few books and relaxed.  Throughout the day the pains became more pronounced, and more regular, but I was fairly certain that they were false labor, because the doctor had said I was so far from being ready to deliver.  My mom and Devin kept trying to come up with ways to keep me occupied, as I had finished all my library books earlier in the day.  Some of their activities included: my mom helped me work on Hallie's quilt, Devin took me to the library (at which point it was really hard for me to walk, I should have thought something was fishy then...), I took a bath, watched a movie, ate dinner (Devin had cooked a hen in the crock pot and we ate it with corn and mashed potatoes.  A truly scrumptious dinner.)

Since my mom was staying with us to help out and to be here when the baby came, she spent some time researching to know more about what we should expect.  Around 4:30 in the afternoon we started timing my contractions having been told by the doctor that we were not supposed to call her until the contractions were 5 min apart for an hour.  Well, we timed them for a while, but Devin was busy and mom was studying hard, and I was still not convinced they were real contractions, so we got bored with that and stopped.  After dinner, around 8, I was in the bathtub and thought maybe we should start again, and the contractions seemed to be about 2-3 minutes apart, but I thought we had to wait an hour (to make sure they stayed regular).  So I put in a movie to distract myself.  A little way into the movie I started feeling a pressure on my bum that was unlike anything I had ever felt before, and was completely unexpected.  I tried to ignore it, but it was so strange and startling that I asked my mom what she thought it could be, and she said it was probably the baby's head pushing down on me as she tried to make her way out.  At this point we had tried to call the doctor to talk to her about whether or not I should come in, but since it was after hours we had to call some call transfer thing and we never heard back from the doctor.  I refused to go in without getting the ok from the doctor, because I did not want to go out in the cold, drive all the way there, and have them tell me to come home.  Mom decided she was going to go to the hospital with or without me, because she couldn't take the stress anymore.  So we turned off the movie and got into the cars.

When we parked, I wouldn't get out of the car until Devin called one more time.  At least it was still warm in the car.  My mom thought we were crazy for actually parking, especially since by this point it was really quite difficult for me to walk.  We did get ahold of the doctor this time, and she told us to go right in.  So we walked across the parking garage, through the tunnel, and all the way across the hospital where we found a receptionist on the phone.  She took one look at me, and asked, "Are you Amy Rose?" and I said, "yes" and she said into the phone, "Oh she definitely looks uncomfortable.  We'll get her in a wheelchair right away." and before I knew it I was in a wheelchair on my way up to the room.  They gave my my gown, and I got into bed.  It was 10:15 January 5th.

By this point the contractions were pretty strong, and of course regular.  Mom and Devin did a great job keeping me calm and "comfortable".  The doctor came in to look at me and said if I had my water broken it would help speed things along, and that it would break eventually anyway.  So, she broke my water.  What a strange sensation that was!

Then I started having some really nasty unpleasant acid reflux, and I made the mistake of mentioning it, so they brought me some liquid Maalox. (Liquid medications almost always make me vomit.)  I vomited.  Luckily I mentioned that to Devin too, so he had time to grab a bucket.  Then, strangely enough, the vomiting bothered me more than the contractions had at all, so they put something in my iv to help me relax again.  This was sometime around midnight.  I felt calm enough I even managed to fall asleep for a while.  I woke up an hour or so later, at which point the contractions were fairly ferocious and I focused on the tiles of the ceiling to get through each one.  I was becoming exhausted.  They brought me a comfy rocking chair that Devin rocked me in - that was a huge help in keeping me comfortable.  A few hours passed this way.  I began to feel an overwhelming urge to push again, and in my pain-addled sleep-starved brain I kept thinking I was constipated, and I kept trying to go to the bathroom, but push with all my strength I still could not get any bowel movements to come out.  The next time the nurse came in I complained about this to her, and she went a little nuts.  Apparently, that again was the baby that I had been feeling, and consequently trying to push into the toilet.

I was fully dilated, and the head was showing (why were they not paying better attention leading up to this, I don't really know...) She pulled down a mirror, she told me it was so I could watch my progress, and she quickly gave Devin and I instructions for what to do.  She kept saying she hoped the doctor would make it in time.  I was like, we've been here for hours and now she might be late?  Oh dear...   The nurse told me if I pushed hard I could have the baby in 20 minutes - apparently they only need the doctor in there to catch the baby in easy deliveries like mine, that and to repair damage done to the mother.

Hallie was born 30 minutes later, and the doctor had shown up for the last 15 or so minutes of that.  The pain of pushing wasn't too terrible, until I began tearing, and that part was admittedly fairly awful.  I got pretty scared when I saw all the blood coming out of me, until the nurse reassured me that that was my blood, and not the baby's.  That made me feel better for a second, until I it registered that it was my blood.

Devin cut the umbilical cord and Hallie was taken to a table to get cleaned up (she had meconium completely covering her head down to her neck)  I couldn't hold her yet because I had to pass the afterbirth (which hurt more than delivering the baby).  Then I had to be sewn up, which was not great either.  Finally I was able to hold my baby.  She was born at 5:58 am on January 6th.  I had been awake 25 hours, and was in kind of a daze from the pain and sleepiness.  They moved me to my room, and Devin went home to sleep, then he went to Sacrament meeting, and came back to the hospital that afternoon.  My dad drove down that day to meet Hallie, and Pete and Mindee came up to meet her too.  Everyone said she was so cute.  (Of course they did.)