Sunday, May 11, 2014
This is a post I have been thinking about A LOT over the past (nearly) 7 weeks and yet this is the first slot of time I have had to sit and begin to write it. Oh life with a newborn is busy when a toddler is involved. (this actually ended up being written over a few days...ha!)
**If you wish to read Jacob's birth story you can find it here.**
My due date was March 17th. I had told myself that I would expect her to arrive about a week late because that's how it went with Jacob. As I crept further and further into the pregnancy and the weeks passed by I was CONVINCED she would be early. This pregnancy was hard on me. Quite different than with Jacob. Pain every day, most of the day, with extremely worse pain at night. I barely slept from 20 weeks until the end. The exhaustion was overwhelming. I averaged 2-4 hours a night of very broken sleep. I often cried at night because the pain was so terrible. Despite my discomfort my little girl waited until 40 weeks and 6 days to make her arrival.
On Sunday, March 23rd we started our day with grocery shopping and then church. My brother was quite surprised that I was at church that morning. He said "What if your water breaks while you are here?"....I was worried about that too. I made it through the service without that happening....phew! After church we went home for Jacob to have his nap. It was a beautiful sunny day so we took him outside to play for the afternoon with the neighbour kids. I sat most of the time feeling sorry for myself (haha) and then we headed in for a bbq dinner. Right before dinner Steve's mom called me to see how I was doing. She told me, "We think today is the day," I laughed and said, "Even if I went into labour RIGHT now she wouldn't arrive today. My labour with Jacob was long and I am expecting that again" (it was 5:30pm). We had a yummy dinner and then I went up to the bathroom. I felt a little pop on the top left of my belly followed by a small trickle of fluid. I figured this was it but knew that my water could break up to 24 hours before going into labour. I went back downstairs and sat on the bottom step to chat with Jacob. After a couple mins I stood up and then my water broke BIG TIME. Still no contractions though. I changed my clothes while Steve called his parents to come and be with Jacob. This was at 6:15pm.
Next I called the maternity ward to inform them that my water broke and to see if I needed to go in or not. They told me that they were on diversion (meaning that they are sending incoming patients to other hospitals because they don't have space and/or nurses) but asked me to call them back once Steve's parents arrived at our house and they would give me instructions. I quickly packed the remaining things I needed for my hospital bags and then Steve's parents showed up at about 7:00pm. Just before they got there I started having some minor contractions. I called the hospital and they told me to come to them and get checked and then they would tell us where they were going to send us. I wasn't happy but there was nothing I could do about it. By the time we left at 7:10pm I had had 4 contractions just trying to get from the kitchen to the car. They were short but close together. By the time we got to the hospital at 7:25pm I was needing to breathe through them. I felt a bit panicky because everything was happening so fast. It took me 7 hours to get to the point where I needed to breathe through the contractions when I was in labour with Jacob. I was still thinking that this was going to be a long labour but was now scared that it was going to be harder for longer then with Jacob. That was a VERY scary thought to me.
We got up to the maternity ward and they took me into a room immediately (not the normal evaluation room that labouring women are examined in when they first arrive). The nurse checked me and said I was 3.5cms. I had been that dilated on Tuesday when I saw my doctor. Shoot, no change! The nurse told me that they couldn't find a bed for me at any other hospital so I would be staying at LMH and she would be staying overtime because of me. She made MANY comments about how she hates overtime and told me "You better have this baby fast, I want to go home"....I was very disappointed that this was my nurse. She was not kind like the other nurses I had had when I delivered Jacob. I did my best to remind myself that she was exhausted from her 12 hour shift that was should have ended when I walked in the door and that she was possibly having a bad day. Throughout the course of my labour she made comments that either made me cry, uncomfortable or angry. I won't say any more about those comments (as some of them I can't even bring myself to share) but she majorly played into my anxieties and stress.
I found out that Dr. Mah was the doctor on call from my clinic. I hadn't had any appointments with her during this pregnancy but remembered her from when I was pregnant with Jacob. She was very busy with a delivery of twins so she was unable to come in and see me once I was admitted.
The nurse asked me why my forms stated that I needed an early IV. Steve explained that I got dehydrated with Jacob and the nurses had an extremely hard time finding a vein. He also told her that I hoped to have an epidural and wanted to avoid the 45 mins of pricking that I had last time when they couldn't get a vein. She came and put the IV in about 20 mins later. I was having contractions quite close together and was squeezing Steve's hand SO hard (something I didn't do the first time) with each contraction. I would apologize to him after the contractions because I was worried I was hurting him but I couldn't even stop myself from doing it in the moment. Then the nurse told me that I would need to wait a while for the epidural because the anesthesiologist was doing a spinal tap for someone. I asked how long she thought it might be. She said 45 mins - an hour. She asked if I wanted something else for pain and I told her no because I felt like I could handle it for another hour. My contractions were now about 2 mins apart and lasting 1-1.5 mins. It was now 8:55pm.Within 15 mins of her leaving my room the contractions picked up like crazy! I couldn't stay still. I felt so squirmy. I felt completely out of control. I needed the gas mask. Even between contractions I couldn't handle the way I felt. Every part of me was writhing in pain. I asked for something for the pain. She checked me and said I was 6cms. She said I could have fentanyl. I couldn't think. I couldn't remember what that was but I wanted it regardless. She came back and I vaguely remember her saying that she was going to give me half a dose and see how I did with it. I couldn't respond.
30 mins after getting the fentanyl I had felt NO difference in the pain. It was getting worse. I was moving all over the bed desperate to find a position that relieved some pain. I was still squeezing Steve's hand for every contraction plus squeezing the gas mask against my face as hard as possible. I was screaming into the mask with each contraction (with Jacob I was SILENT). The nurse would pull the mask away from my face between contractions because I wasn't even really aware that I was still holding it there. She kept saying to me, "You aren't getting any breaks. They just keep coming!" I had to push. My body pushed whether I wanted it to or not. Again I felt out of control. I knew I was only 6cm just over 30 mins ago. I knew that pushing before being completely dilated wasn't good. I tried to pant in order to not push but it didn't help. I finally managed to yell "I HAVE TO PUSH. I CAN'T HELP IT!!" She quickly checked me and said "She's 10. We're having this baby now." Steve said, "What do you mean?" (in complete disbelief). The nurse replied with, "She's having this baby without the epidural." I didn't want to do it. I didn't know how I would do it. She said to me (a little louder now so I knew she was talking to me this time), "Your baby will be out in 10 mins. She is SO low. I am going to deliver your baby. Don't worry, I have delivered thousands of babies." I still hadn't seen the doctor. I was thinking: How am I having this baby now when I haven't seen the doctor yet? And TEN minutes? NO WAY! I pushed for 2 hours with Jacob. I can't do 2 hours. I don't even think I can do 10 mins. Oh God, please help me!
I was still pushing without even trying. Within a couple mins I heard Dr. Mah's voice. One more push and that was it. Our girl was here. 10:16pm. 4 hours from when my water broke. and 3.5 hours since my first contraction. They put her on me. I tried to hold her but felt very weak. Everything went from being very fuzzy to being very clear. I finally opened my eyes after about an hour of squeezing them closed. I saw people in the room that I didn't even know were there. I couldn't believe my girl was here. I forgot about the pain. I felt nothing but this little body on me. I said "She's tiny." Within a couple mins I said that I needed to push again and within one push the placenta was out. I was so thankful to have it all behind me. I turned to Steve and said, "Never again." He nodded.
Livia was weighed and measured. 8lbs 5ozs (not at all tiny like I had thought) and 21.5". She didn't have the cone head like her brother had. She was perfect.
Within about an hour I was up and showering. That shocked me because it took almost 12 hours for me to be out of bed, and not passing out, after I delivered Jacob. That shower felt so good and so awful at the same time. I had forgotten how difficult it is to stand up straight. It felt like there was a big empty gap in my belly. I felt so uncomfortable. But the water felt so good. I was still shivering and shaking like crazy and got out of there pretty quickly but was so happy to feel that water even for just a few mins.
We didn't have any visitors that evening. We wanted to sleep when Livia had her long recovery sleep, and she did a long 6 hour stretch. I have no idea if this is accurate or not but I feel like sleeping from midnight to 6am that first night set her up for not mixing up her days and nights. She has taken her long stretch of sleep at night, every night since she was born. :)
I need to say that all of the other nurses (particularly Elva) were wonderful!! I am still so happy I delivered at LMH again. I had Elva for both day shifts that I was there for and she was BEYOND fantastic. Such a calming presence. Very encouraging. She asked a lot of questions about Jacob (which made me happy) and was so sweet to me as I bawled my eyes out to my family doctor. When he came to see Livia I cried a ton because feeding wasn't going well....again....just like with Jacob. She listened. Praised me for working so hard at it. I know she didn't need to do these things. They aren't technically part of her job but she did it regardless. And she helped me. A lot.
We went home on the Tuesday in the early afternoon. Livia needed an extra blood test because of some jaundice but thankfully she checked out just fine. The girl didn't even cry for the blood tests!!! (Jacob screamed. Hard.) She is such a peaceful baby. We are thrilled to have her in our lives. Couldn't imagine our family without her. The perfect addition.
Livia - this name we heard when a friend of a friend named their daughter Livia (she was born a few months after Jacob). I thought it was such an adorable name. We had loved the name Olivia and Jacob would have likely been named that if he had been a girl. But Livia...just slightly different and yet it seems so original. Finding a meaning for Livia has been kind of tricky. It is a form of Olivia which means Olive, but I did some serious digging and found that it also has the meaning "peace and harmony." Isn't that a lovely meaning? I think it's perfect. Just what I need in my life. A little peace and harmony.
Jayne - I thought Livia Jane sounded nice. It just kind of goes together in my mind. I told a friend (Lindsay) that I was thinking of using Jane for the middle name and she suggested adding a Y. It made me go from "I like it" to "I LOVE it." Jayne means "Gift from God" which is also what Lael means...how awesome is that?!