Monday, March 7, 2011

Ansley's Delivery

Here's kind of a no hold's barred, long version of how Thursday's induction went.  I'll say now that it really was a really great labor / delivery minus the last 3 minutes or so.  (Well, 3 minutes and then after her delivery I guess haha.)
So here it goes:

We received the phone call at 5:08 from Dr. Schneider on Wednesday saying that we were inducing on Thursday morning.  (You'll see how awesome this is and what a God thing this was later.)We were supposed to be there at 8:00 a.m., which Aaron joked that was 'too early'.  (Too early, my rear end, I'm in pain here ;) 

We finished Wednesday night getting things packed up, making plans for the next couple days, and mentally preparing.  (Labor and delivery are completely different the second time around.  You actually have a vague idea as to what to expect.)  I also had pretty consistent contractions on Wednesday night for several hours.  Made for not much sleep for Momma. 

I got up at 6:00 a.m. to get a shower, get ready and eat breakfast.  Aaron got up at 6:30 to do the same, and by 7:15 we were packed, loaded and at my parents to drop off Bryton.  We took a quick "last time as a family of 3" picture, and off we went. 

We got checked in at registration, they sent us up stairs, and in minutes we were in a birthing room.  (The same birthing room that Bryton was born in exactly 2 years and 4 months prior.) 
We spent the next couple of hours getting questions answered, the IV inserted, my platelet level taken (praying for an epidural this time), and getting checked.  I was dilated to a 3 on arrival and having consistent contractions still!

Pitocin was started at 10:00 a.m.  10:00 - 11:00 wasn't too bad, but not long after 11:00 contractions were coming quick and hard, taking my breath away and making me unable to speak.  The pain continued to get worse and worse, contractions coming just a minute or two apart.  It was time to see about the epidural.  (And I made certain I didn't get the walking epidural this time!)

Come to find out my platelet levels had fallen to 104,000 (down from 119,000 from Monday!).  Platelet levels have to be over 100,000 to have an epidural.  Phew, just made it.  Had I not gotten in when I had, there's a great chance I wouldn't have had the option for an epidural. (We'll see why that's so important later.)

I checked out at a 4 at about 12:15, and about 30 minutes later my new favorite person was coming in, my anesthesiologist.  (Love that guy!)

Not having had a 'good epidural' (to say the least) with Bryton, I wasn't really sure what to expect after the insertion of the epi.  I had the 'procedure' itself down, just didn't really know what to expect with the effects.  (How long it would take to kick in, etc.)

Let's just say after about 4 hard contractions during the epidural (which makes it interesting to say the least), as I was turning to get sat back in my bed I noticed the monitor which was still showing the same hard, timely contractions that I'd been having before, and I didn't even feel them!  Oh my goodness, this thing was magic! 

Aaron walked in as my new favorite person was leaving, and laughed as he saw how good I was feeling.  Oh yes, I was a happy camper. 

The rest of the afternoon was a lot of waiting and talking.  My doctor came and checked on me several times.  (My second favorite person that day.  She was amaaaazing!)

At about 4:45 Dr. Schneider checked me to see that I was dilated to a 6 and Ansley's head was far enough down that we could safely break my water!  Woo hoo!  Everyone had told me this would speed it all up, and at this point I'm sweating having a really long labor (though I wasn't feeling it much at all :)  Dr. Schneider assured me that she believed I'd have a baby either before dark or just shortly after.  (Little did she know about my previous delivery promise of having a baby before midnight, then pushing 2 1/2 hours to make it 1:15 a.m. when Bryton was born.  Little did I know the Dr. Schneider knew better this time along :)

By 5:00 the nurse was breaking down the room for delivery, and at 5:15 I was checked to see that I was at a 10.  (6 to a 10 in 1/2 hour, I'll take that!) 

Dr. Schneider was in shortly after 5:30 and said we were going to try some practice pushes to see what happened.  Ansley's head was fairly high and she didn't want me pushing forever for the sake of trying to move her head down, when she would likely do that on her own. 

After 3 or 4 contractions of pushing, we decided it may be better to wait it out another 45 minutes to an hour as to not waste my energy pushing and see if she moved down on her own.  I was asked not to push my epidural button during this time... welcome back, contractions.  (This made me nervous to say the least... maybe I wasn't pushing 'right'.)

At 6:25 or so Dr. Schneider hopped (quite literally) back into the room saying, "Let's have a baby!" and by 6:35 we were attempting to do just that.  (With more pushing of course.) I was promised I could push my epi button if I had a few sets of good pushes. 

This part of delivery was completely different than that with Bryton.  I was much more relaxed (thanks epidural) and the whole 'feel' in the room was much more laid back.  Entertainment Tonight was telling us all about Charlie Sheen, whom we talked about all during the break between contractions, Dr. Schneider was a good 'coach', being able to tell me what was working most effectively and encouraging me along the way, we laughed about several things, and overall, I was really rested during most of it!  At about 6:50, the nurse was calling baby nurses to make their way to the room because we were going to have a baby soon.  (Shut up!  I've only been pushing 15 minutes!  I was ecstatic to say the least!)

Baby nurses made their way in, and at around 6:05 Ansley's head was out.  From my experience with Bryton, this meant one more easy push and she'd be here!  Dr. Schneider commented on how big her head was and keeping the intensity going asked me to give some short easier pushes. 
Everything went down hill from there.  Within seconds Dr. Schneider was up out of her chair, a nurse was up on the right side of my bed pushing all of her weight on my stomach, another on the left side, and Dr. Schneider was telling me to push as hard as I possibly could.  I had no idea what was going on.  I just knew with Bryton one short push got him there after his head was delivered and that something was wrong.

1 minute and 50 seconds after Ansley's head entered the world, the rest of her body did too.  Dr. cut the cord immediately, the nurses were rushing her to the table, and Dr. Schneider ordered them to bring her back and put her on my belly, not so I could see her, but so she could check her.  The room got very chaotic very quickly. 

Dr. Schneider continued telling me, "Hun, you just had a very large baby,"  over and over and over again.  My mind was still trying to process everything.  The delivery was so much faster and so much less painful (thank you epidural, whose button I had got to push again, thank you Jesus) than Bryton's. She couldn't be that much bigger, right?  Dr. Schneider was assessing my 'damage' and was telling me there would be a lot of stitching to do.  I asked her what kind of tear I had, to which she grimaced.  Before she could answer I asked the question that was my biggest fear going in, "Is it 4th degree?"  She nodded compassionately.  I then asked, "Are we glad, still, that we did it this way as opposed to a c-section?" She shook her head and said, "No." 

Minutes later I asked how much this 'very large baby' weighed, and they responded 10 pounds, 1.1 oz.  Almost two pounds more than the ultrasound read the day before.  A few minutes later I had to know how long she was (still trying to assess my own damage, if she was 10 pounds she better be 3 feet long, not 14 inches!)  21 1/2 inches.  She was at least pretty long. 

It was in the minutes following Dr. Schneider was explaining a potential problem with Ansley.  They were getting no response from her left arm.  Her fingers would move, but her arm would not.  She was explaining that her collar bone was not broken, but nerve damage can happen when a baby is cramped for so long. I was warned that the damage could be permanent but was later assured since she had shown some movement with that arm that it would probably take some time, but she would probably be fine.

Being that I was being worked on myself and had not had the opportunity to see her for myself, I asked Aaron if he was getting a lot of pictures.  He hesitated and said he was not getting too many, and said that Ansley was severely bruised so we'd probably not post them for the sake of making people things were much worse than they were.  So of course, I was scared yet again.

It took over an hour to stitch me up, a call to another floor for whatever the medical name for "potato starch" is (to try to make my tissue hold together for the sutures), and a lot of explaining from the doctor as to how to care for the damage.  The 4th degree tear the doctor thought I had got "downgraded" to a 3rd degree, but 'only by a hairline'.  She said it was the worst it could be without being a 4.  Great. 

Aaron had the opportunity to hold and feed Ansley during my sutures.  I tried to see her but my bed rail was in the way.  Finally, after the damage was repaired (with encouragement from Dr. Schneider that she was very happy with the sutures and thought all should heal up 'just fine') I finally could hold my little girl. 

It was awesome, and immediately worth it. 

The rest of the night was a blur.  A shook for a long time after they took her to the nursery... apparently the combination of lots of adrenaline and the epidural.  They had decided, since the delivery had been so traumatic on my body (especially my bladder, which may have received trauma when the nurses were pushing on my belly trying to release Ansley) to put the cath back in and let my body 'rest' for the night.  Fine with me... I wasn't looking forward to using the bathroom at that point. 

My right leg stayed numb for a long time due to the epidural.  I was completely happy with that, and they ended up bringing my bed over from the mom and baby suite and moving me from my delivery bed to that one so I wouldn't have to sit in a wheel chair. 

In our new room they brought Ansley in to see us for about a half hour before they took her back to the nursery and encouraged us to get some sleep.  (I had the greatest nurses ever... the last of which came in for the end of my delivery - so she knew what was going on - and then was transferred over to the other side and was my nurse in our mom and baby room.) I slept better that night than I had in a month!

The next morning they removed the cath and decided we would stay an extra day for the sake of allowing my body to heal some and to have the help of nurses.  Aaron agreed that it was a good idea. 

We spent all day with Ansley in our room, visiting with company, and me learning what my new 'norm' was going to be like for the next couple of weeks.

We are now home, and I'm learning that I need to back off on doing so much and allow my body to rest and heal.  Too much too fast is a bad thing.  I go Wednesday to see the doctor and see how the healing process is going.  I'll know more about my restrictions at that point.

Ansley on the other hand is great.  We are of course trying to figure each other out.  She eats like crazy and likes to be held or have her pacifier to sleep (which was difficult last night).  But she'll figure it out :) And so will we. 

I'm sure I'll keep you posted, but since I've kept you forever now I'll make it until then...



  1. Alicia,
    Unfortunately I know your pain too well:( I'm glad you're taking it easy. It's definitely not an easy recovery, but I promise you that the pain will pass and one day you will feel normal again. Congratulations on your precious baby girl:-)

  2. Congratulations and Lord. have. Mercy. My eyes got wider and wider as I read this, girl, you are a wonder woman. Praise God for His provision over everything, and I will pray you heal swiftly and wholly. A might-as-well-be 4th degree tear??? That made me squirm, bless your heart! BUT, those babies are so worth the pain, can't wait to see pictures of your sweet pea.