If this post gets a little quirky or has spelling or grammar errors, please cut me a break. I have a newborn in the house, have had very little sleep (okay that's kind of a lie because so far she has been an easy baby), and have hormones a'raging! (Is that even a word?) As you can see, I'm already a little loopy. I probably should be sleeping instead of posting this but nonetheless here is my birth story...
Most of you know from this blog or my Facebook page that I was expecting. What many of you may not know is that this is my 5th child. My older children are 19, 17, 11, and 8. Since it's been several years since I had a baby in the house, the idea that I was expecting was a HUGE deal. It was a big, huge, ginormous change for my entire family.
My pregnancy was hard because of my age. I seriously recommend having all your kids by age 35 because being pregnant at the age of 37 was pretty crappy. I know, I know. I should be raving about how pregnancy is wonderful and makes you feel like a woman and what not. Well that womanliness made me walk (when I could walk) with so much pain that I spent the last weeks of pregnancy in tears. Every pregnancy book I read said that the baby's head doesn't descend or drop (also called lightening) until right before labor begins. They are LIARS! My baby's head was at -1 for God knows how long and it was the most miserable non-labor pain I have ever had save for that time I got a raging tooth infection.
I am not one of those women that love being pregnant. In fact, I think the whole stork story is rubbing it in our faces. Why can't there be a giant bird that just drops our new baby off when it's time? It would be so much easier and heck of a lot more comfortable. And we wouldn't have to end up looking like this. See below...Okay, maybe I really do think my big belly is pretty darn cute!
Despite being miserable with pain, baby and I were completely healthy up until week 37. My blood pressure suddenly jumped and I was having symptoms of preeclampsia. I never developed preeclampsia but as a precaution my OB-GYN decided it was best to induce me due to hypertension. (On a side note, I know some of you may be going "An OB-GYN? With all your talk about attachment parenting we'd expect you to have a midwife or do a home birth." Well, I would have loved to but unfortunately my insurance insists on a hospital.) In the meantime, I was put on bedrest and my blood pressure stabilized.
I had been preparing for a natural drug free birth but when I read the potential deadly complications of preeclamsia, having a drug free birth was no longer as important as staying healthy (and alive for that matter) for my five children. I also would like to thank my Facebook page fans for scaring the crap out of me. I tend to be one of those people that play down my health issues because I don't want to burden others and can't stand the pity, but I took this episode seriously. In fact, I did downplay the symptoms I had around month 6 when some of my Facebook friends was sure I was developing preeclampsia. What's interesting is that I had symptoms even though my blood pressure appeared fine and their instincts were right. And to think they say you shouldn't ask for advice on the internet...well then again, maybe you shouldn't as you will later see.
I was scheduled to be induced Tuesday morning at 7 am but I started getting contractions Monday night around 10 PM. I stayed home as long as I could and when the contractions reached 5 minutes apart I headed to the hospital. The great thing about being scheduled for an induction already is they let you skip triage and take you right to your reserved room! And I didn't need any medication to help my labor progress at all!
My labor progressed nicely but at 4 centimeters I couldn't stand the back labor anymore and decided to get an epidural. God bless you women that can do it completely natural but I have a very low pain tolerance and am not one of you. I don't entirely regret getting the epidural but I do regret taking someone's advice from Facebook about the use of other pain meds.
The commenter had said there are pain medications other than the epidural that can be used during labor. So I took this advice and begged the nurse for something "just to take the edge off" until the anesthesiologist could get to me. I regret taking this advice because I had a HORRIBLE experience with the IV drug that they gave me. I was given Stadol and it made me drunker than a skunk! I'm talking 1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, Stadol...floor! The room wouldn't stop spinning and every sense that I had was dulled. I didn't exactly feel out of control like women have described, but I couldn't be fully present at the birth. It was like being completely wasted during my labor and IT DIDN'T HELP MY PAIN AT ALL!
Thank God it finally wore off around 8 centimeters! The room slowly stopped spinning and I was able to be fully present for my daughter's birth. The only thing I did regret about getting the epidural is that unlike my other deliveries it didn't wear off right before it was time to push. With those deliveries I was able to feel my baby coming out. This time, I barely felt her coming out at all. This was really disappointing to me.
What's even worse is that the Stadol was possibly the reason my daughter had to spend her first day in the NICU. Little Skylar appeared to be okay but for some unknown reason she wasn't getting enough oxygen. She had to stay on oxygen in an incubator until 9:30 that night. It wasn't just disappointing that I didn't get to bond with my baby in the first hours of her life, it was downright devastating. I only got to hold her for a half hour before she was taken to to the nursery and then admitted to the NICU.
I did a little research after getting home and found this, "If a baby is born shortly after receiving a dose of Stadol or Nubain, its initial respiratory efforts may be weak." My baby's pediatrician said that her lowered oxygen level was just something that sometimes happens. It wasn't at all uncommon...but I will always wonder if it was that IV drug that caused it.
Her only other medical issue is that we had a blood incompatibility. Fortunately, Skylar's bilirubin level was only at 5 (20 is the worst), but on the next day it went up to 7. Her pediatrician had me go in the day after getting home from the hospital to do an outpatient bilirubin test. He hasn't called so far so I'm assuming no news is good news.
Skylar was born at 12:18 PM on January 29, 2013. She weighed 7 lbs 6 oz and was 18 3/4 inches long.
And now, here's what I know you've been waiting for - more pictures!