This is probably the longest post ever written...
Thursday October 25, 2007
Started taking primrose oil supplements orally, 2 500mg capsules each morning and each night (this was suggested by my OB, Dr Bradley).
Tuesday October 30, 2007 (37 weeks, 4 days pregnant)
Appt w/ Dr Bradley ? 1cm dilated, 80% effaced, ?great pelvis? (could easily deliver a 9lb baby). She said she wouldn?t be surprised to see me that weekend, but that it could also take another couple of weeks. She recommended lots of sex, walking to move things along and going to see movies, going out to eat. On the way home, we went out to eat at our favorite restaurant, Teddy?s?I had pumpkin tortellini.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sex in the morning. Walked about 3 miles in evening with Kevin and Kristin Mingrone.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Called out of work due to dull constant cramping. Started primrose oil supplements vaginally ? same dosage. My brother Steve arrived from Maryland at 3pm for a visit. Steve and I went to Teddy?s for dinner (pumpkin tortellini again), and walked about 3 miles around the neighborhood.
Friday, November 2, 2007 (38 weeks pregnant)
Called out of work again, due to cramping (less than day before). Kevin stayed home, too. Started losing mucus plug (yellow, snotlike). I baked pumpkin breads and chocolate chip cookies. Steve left at 2pm to head to Massachusetts. Kevin and I had dinner in Astoria at Aliada (Greek). Sex at night.
Saturday November 3, 2007
Walked 2 miles with Kevin. Lost more mucus plug (some yellow, some pinkish). Went to see ?Before the Devil Knows You?re Dead,? ran errands. Steve came back for dinner?he, Kevin and I went to Fornino. Late at night my cramps intensified.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
5am: awoke to mucus plug, some pink, lots of red
5:30am: contractions began (more regular, more intense cramps), Kevin starts timing them. I cleaned the apartment to keep my mind off the contractions.
9:30am: walked to Rite Aid, then sat on sidewalk to see marathon front runners?watched wheelchairs. Contractions became more and more painful, buried my head on Kevin and breathed through them. I became uncomfortable and decided it was time to head home. We were able to see the first female runners before we left. Kevin grabbed an egg on a roll from Three Decker (diner) while I waited outside and chatted with some cops (who were convinced I was going to have the baby right there on the sidewalk).
11:30am: back at home. I bounced on the ball, and did cat/cows on my yoga mat. Contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, so Kevin paged the doctor. Olivares was on call, she spoke with him and they decided we should head to the hospital soon, partly due to marathon traffic. We grabbed our bags and drove in.
12:30pm: at the hospital. Very painful contractions. By this time they?d moved into my back. Triage room was awful?no attention paid to patients, lots of waiting, very noisy in the hallway outside (L&D floor). Contractions evaluated, Olivares came in to check me. 2cm dilated, 100% effaced, -1 station. Huge disappointment. The pain I was in warranted much more dilation than that! In order to be admitted to the Birthing Center (my plan), I needed to be at least 5cm?so I had quite a ways to go. In the meantime, I needed to start on my antibiotic for Strep B. I was allowed to go home, under the premise that I had to be back in about 4 hours for my next dose of the antibiotic. The nurse who gave me the IV for the antibiotic did a hack job on my hand. And I couldn?t leave the heplock in, so knew I needed to have that again when I returned.
3:00pm: back home. I tried some cat/cows, bouncing?neither was doing anything for me. I laid in bed on my side, rocking and moaning, which seemed to be most comfortable.
6:30pm: back at the hospital. I paced the halls while waiting to be seen in Triage this time. The contractions were extremely painful by now. Olivares evaluated me, and I was 3cm, same effacement and station. Ridiculous. Got my antibiotic (after a traumatic IV insertion), we discussed options (be admitted to regular L&D then, pace halls and try to make it to 5cm to get into Birthing Center, or go home to try to move things along), and decided to go home again.
8:00pm: back home. Kevin got pizza for us, made me eat a slice. Then he drew me a bath and I bathed by candlelight. It may have helped the pain if our tub was big enough for me to be underwater the whole time?but either my chest or my knees was above water at any given time. It was nice to have something different to do to attempt to cope with the pain, though. I laid in bed after my bath and waited for time to pass, things to progress more. The pain was getting very, very difficult to cope with?almost impossible.
Monday, November 5, 2007
1:00am: back at the hospital. Paced the halls for a while before being seen in Triage. Only 3.5cm dilated?I was in tears. I couldn?t bear the pain any longer. I got my antibiotic (yet another traumatic IV insertion) and talked things through with Kevin and Dr Olivares (who was so helpful, very objective). I decided to be admitted to the regular L&D floor and have a dose of Stadol (narcotic). There was no way I was going home again. I needed to give up my Birthing Center wishes in order to be able to cope with the pain.
3:00am: in our room in the Labor and Delivery unit. We had our own nurse, who was in the room the entire time. She was very sweet. I was checked one more time?now 4cm?and given Stadol via yet another IV, which lasted under two hours. Kevin ran out to the car to get our things (we?d learned our lesson, trekking back and forth home) and to move the car. He brought our CD player up with him, and we listened to music and fell asleep..
4:00am: awoke to contractions intensifying (medication wearing off). They were even more painful than before I fell asleep, and I started thinking about getting an epidural. I talked with my nurse about it, and talked with Kevin about it?never really made a decision, just kept talking and working through contractions. I felt kind of helpless and lost, and laid in bed on my side through the contractions, squeezing the bars on the bed.
4:30am: checked by Dr Olivares, was now 6cm. I was excited about this, but she wasn?t satisfied, and offered to break my water to try to move things along. I felt incapable of making any decisions on my own, so Kevin and I discussed briefly, and decided to do it. It took Olivares a few minutes to break it, it was ?tough,? she said. Once she got it to break, it went everywhere (hot liquid). The contractions intensified almost immediately. I started having a lot of trouble working through them, and was again thinking about getting an epidural?I couldn?t imagine how I?d make it through hours more of the pain.
5:30am: Dr Olivares came in to say that the baby?s heartrate wasn?t doing so well, but that it was most likely due to the monitor falling off while I moved around. I had to lie still in bed so they could better monitor the heartrate. It was irritating lying still through the contractions.
6:00am: I was OK?ed to get up and about again, but at this point I was in so much pain, I couldn?t bring myself to get out of bed. Kevin and my nurse eventually got me to get out of bed and rock on the ball, stand by the bed, etc. I was really frazzled and not feeling calm about any of it. My contractions were only about a minute apart.
7:00am: My OB, Dr Bradley came on, as well as my new nurse, Mary. Dr Bradley didn?t check me since I?d just been checked, she just gave some suggestions for coping (including rocking on the ball and being on my knees on the bed), and let us be. I spent the next few hours in excruciating pain?back labor is horrendous. For some reason, the thoughts of having an epidural were gone, and I was just determined to get from one minute to the next. This was the blurriest part in my memory of the labor. I was moaning, yelling, groaning, all very primal things. Kevin was getting me ice chips (my mouth was incredibly dry).
10:00am: I started feeling the urge to push, but wasn?t sure if I might just have to go to the bathroom. Mary called Dr Bradley in - she said I was 8cm. She was going in to a C section and told me I?d probably be another 2 hours or so, but introduced me to a doctor who?d be covering while she was in the C section, just in case I needed anything. She suggested I labor only on my hands and knees on top of the bed to get things moving along faster (the baby was posterior and it was ideal to have it flip). She said the goal was to hold off on pushing for as long as possible, in order to shorten the actual pushing phase (which is usually very long for first time moms).
10:30am: I felt a very strong urge to push, and told Mary. She called the covering doctor in. I was 10cm! They told me to hang in there, keep working through the contractions and avoid pushing at all costs. While waiting, I almost couldn?t NOT push.
10:45am: Dr Bradley came running in, putting on gloves, etc. She checked me, said I was indeed 10cm, but that there was a little lip in the way. She wanted me to try to push past it. I told her I needed to go to the bathroom first, and she assured me that was just my needing to push the baby out. I insisted that I needed to go to the bathroom, so she let me go try. As soon as I got on the toilet, I knew I just needed to push the baby out (doctor knows best ). Dr Bradley heard me yell out as I tried to stop pushing, and told Mary to get me off the toilet. Mary ran in and brought me over to the bed.
11:00am: Dr Bradley had me start pushing. During my first push, she looked shocked and told me to stop?the baby was going to come right out! She didn?t want me to tear, so wanted the baby to come out much slower. Then, for each contraction, she had me push 3 times each, trying to hold for a count of 10. Before I got to 10 most times, she?d tell me to stop, so the head would go back in. She was letting me stretch gradually, and also massaging me with gel, all so I wouldn?t be as likely to tear. She offered to let me feel the head at one point, but I wasn?t interested ? I was so focused on pushing the baby out. She, Mary and Kevin were great cheerleaders, telling me I was doing a great job and was so strong, etc. I didn?t realize this at the time (Kevin did and told me later), but the only reason Dr Bradley let me push the baby out as soon as she did was that the baby?s heart rate was becoming questionable.
11:22am: Gretchen Loretta was born! She was immediately placed on my chest, then Kevin cut the cord. I was completely in shock that she was a girl. And she looked much bigger than I?d expected, for some reason. She was quiet, so they had me rubbing her to get her to cry?she did within a minute. Kevin and I were both amazed by her, she was beautiful. We thought we?d be crying messes, but we only teared up a bit, and just kept saying ?Oh my God.? Gretchen was taken away to be examined in the corner of the room (7lbs 1oz, 19inches long, 9 on apgar).
Between 11:22am and 3:00pm: Immediately after Gretchen was born, Dr Bradley had me deliver the placenta?she pulled it out, I only had to give one small push. Then she told me I?d torn, so she needed to stitch me. It was a 1st degree tear and took about 10 minutes to stitch. I felt most of it which sucked, but it wasn?t bad at all compared to what I?d been through with the contractions. My bleeding wasn?t slowing down quickly enough, so I was put on a pitocin drip (ended up being on it for 12 hours). My blood pressure was also very high, so I was tested for pre-eclampsya (came back negative), and was monitored closely. Due to not having been able to give birth in the Birthing Center (a LDRP room), we needed to move to another room. We decided to splurge on a private room due to how long and painful everything had been for me, and due to not having been able to birth in the place and way I wanted to. We had to wait for the room, as well as wait for my blood pressure to return to normal. While we waited, we spent time with Gretchen and made phone calls to family and friends.
3:00pm: in our private room. Beautiful, large room, with excellent food. We were so glad we decided to go for the private room. We had visitors that evening?Kevin?s sister Dawn, her husband Ken and their two kids Olivia and Lucas. And later that night, my parents. They were leaving the next day for 2 weeks in Greece, so Gretchen had arrived just in time to meet them before they left.
11:00pm: finally done w/ the pitocin and able to shower.
Monday, November 6, 2007
9:00am: Lost some major clots in the toilet before showering. Called in a nurse, she said anything smaller than my fist was normal. Eew.
9:30am: hearing test?passed!
11:00am: pediatrician checked her out?everything perfect!
All day: lots of visitors! Our friends Fitz and Stipi, my best friend Celia, my parents, and my brother Steve. I looked in the mirror and realized I looked maybe 5 months pregnant
By later that week, looked about 2-3 months pregnant (little paunch), and could feel a tugging sensation where my stitches were.