Sweetbaby2010: Isabel's Early Arrival
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 3:13 PM
"Once the doctor broke my water, everything really began! I was feeling
all of the contractions, but, to my surprise, it was actually quite
easy to deal with them..."
An early start
Isabel Nicole is finally here. She arrived a bit early at 38 weeks -- I went in to have a routine check-up with the Maternal Fetal Specialist on Monday, March 8th. The nurse took my vitals, and my blood pressure turned out to be extremely high. She continued with the ultrasound to check on the baby. When the doctor came in, he said that the baby looked great, but he wanted to know how I was feeling. I told him that I was extremely exhausted, that I’d had a headache for the last two days, and that the pitting edema in my legs, ankles, and feet had gotten so bad that it hurt now. He said that based on everything I had told him, and on my escalating blood pressure, his recommendation would be that I get induced in the hospital – however, since he was not my primary physician, he couldn’t make that decision. So he called my primary OB/GYN and she said that I needed to come over right away.
I made the trip to her office and, just going from one doctor to the next, my blood pressure continued to go up. The OB/GYN, of course, agreed with the first doctor and decided it was too risky to let me carry the baby to term. In any case, I was already 3 cm dilated as well. My friend Shonia arrived to pick me up, and she took me to the hospital. We arrived at around 5:30 pm, and I went through the routine check-up while the nurses ordered my Pitocin from the pharmacy. They started my IV, and we waited for the Pitocin and the doctor to arrive. They administered the Pitocin around 6:30 pm, and my doctor arrived a little after that to break my water. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I didn’t know what to think. Of course, I had been preparing over the past nine months for this, but I don’t think the fact that I was actually going to have a baby became real for me until that moment.
I had decided that I wanted to have a natural child birth, and my doctor was ready to follow this birth plan (she still had an epidural request on file for me in case I changed my mind). Before my doctor got there the contractions didn’t hurt, and I was even wondering if I was having any contractions -- I didn’t feel anything yet and they were increasing the dosage of Pitocin every 20 minutes! But once the doctor broke my water, everything really began! I was feeling all of the contractions, but, to my surprise, it was actually quite easy to deal with them.
Nausea and contractions
My birthing partner James finally arrived. He had been delayed because of work, but it didn’t bother me since at that point the contractions hadn’t really intensified yet. My friend Shonia left, and James and I began to get ourselves ready. The Pitocin started to make me feel nauseous, and I started dry-heaving at first. That’s when things started becoming unbearable. I just could not handle the nausea on top of the contractions, so I broke down and asked for the epidural. The doctor agreed to give it to me, but she had to make sure I got more fluids beforehand. Even waiting for the fluids to be administered was torture because the pain of the contractions, compounded with the nausea, made me frantic for relief.
The doctor checked me again, and I was about 6 cm dilated. I ended up waiting about another hour before the anesthesiologist showed up to give me the epidural. This was at around 11:30 pm. When I had finally gotten my epidural, my doctor examined me again, and I was already 10 cm dilated. She chuckled and said, “It’s time to push, Angela!” I was horrified! I had just gotten the epidural and it hadn’t even kicked in yet. The doctor said that it didn’t matter, and whether the epidural had kicked in or not, it was time to push. This was at around midnight.
Finding the strength
So I slid on down the delivery bed and started pushing through the contractions. I kept thinking that the epidural would start working, but it never did. I felt all the contractions and kept right on pushing through them. It was so hard for me to push because, by the time I started, I was already so exhausted. I didn’t know if I could go any further. My doctor warned me that I had to pull the strength out somehow because the baby was sitting on the pelvic bone and we needed to get her over it quickly. She told me that once I got her over the pelvic bone, the hardest part would be over; one or two more pushes and she would be out. That’s exactly what happened! Once I got her over the pelvic bone, I gave every ounce of strength I had left in me for two more pushes -- then my sweet angel was here. I cut the umbilical cord, and the nurses took her to clean her up.
I did tear a little bit, but the doctor said it wasn’t that bad. She stitched me up while the nurses cleaned off little Miss Isabel Nicole and made sure that I was ok. James went to Isabel’s side and made sure they took great care of her and he took tons of pictures for me. She was 7 lbs. 6.5oz and measured 19 ¼ inches. Needless to say the epidural never kicked in at all, and I never became numb! I felt every single thing from beginning to end, including the sewing up of my tear. My doctor told me I had accomplished a natural child birth.
This was a wonderful and beautiful experience! I was only in labor for six hours, and I pushed for less than one. I’m so happy that things happened like they did, including the epidural not working. Even my blood pressure was eventually back under control. Isabel got to stay in the room with me the entire time, and she was perfect. She didn’t have any issues and has slept through the night since day one. Breastfeeding actually came so naturally to both of us, and she loves it now. We were ready to go home on March 11th, and, while it felt good to get home, I am definitely going to miss the staff at Emory Johns Creek hospital in Georgia. They were so wonderful and caring -- each and every one of them added that extra personal touch to make me feel like I wasn’t a burden and they were excited that we were there. So now my journey as a mom begins. I can’t wait to experience every moment.