Friday, September 21, 2012

Anna Kathryn has arrived!

Our sweet baby girl is here!  She was born on September 9, 2012 at 5:54 PM.  She weighed 7 lbs 13 oz and was 21.5" long.   Mom did an excellent job writing down details from the day in a special green notebook (even what time Nate had lunch!), but unfortunately that notebook has gone missing.  So I'm going to do my best to remember details.

I ended up being induced.  At my appointment on September 4th, the doctor decided that I didn't need to induce on the 5th like we were tentatively planning.  That was kind of a shock.  But he did want the baby to be born by the end of the weekend.  We went with Sunday just to give me another day to hopefully go naturally.  No such luck.

So on Saturday evening, we took Elizabeth over to Nana and Papa's house to spend the night.  I cried and cried.  I had been super emotional about Elizabeth no longer being an only child and not getting to spend as much time with her.  I'm thrilled for her that she is getting a new baby sister, and she's excited too, but her life is about to change so much.  Then I had to drop her off and couldn't even spend her last night as an only child with her, also knowing that I'd be in the hospital for a few days and wouldn't see her much.  Anyway, I was an emotional wreck. Fun!

Sunday morning we made it over to the hospital almost on time (7:13 AM).  We got the same room at the end of the hallway that we were in when Elizabeth was born! (yay!) 

After getting changed into the hospital gown, the nurse came in to put my IV in.  Wow.  That sucked.  After two unsuccessful attempts in my left hand, I started feeling light headed and nauseous. I didn't actually throw up, but it was close.  I've never had a reaction like that to needles, as much as I hate them.  An older nurse came in to try it on my other hand.  That sucked too, but at least it worked that time.  She said whenever I need an IV, look for the oldest nurse because she has the most experience.

They started the pitocin around 9:30 and contractions started coming regularly an hour or two later.  They were uncomfortable but tolerable. I was able to talk through them and everything. I mostly felt them towards the bottom of my belly.  At one point, after coming back from the bathroom and climbing into bed, I mentioned how I felt like I was leaking.  Could this possibly be amniotic fluid??  I was really stoked that SOMETHING with this labor could be happening naturally!  Someone got the nurse and she tested with some tape thing and said it was negative.  I was bummed.  But then she checked me and said that my water had definitely broken.  She said when she moved her hand, there would be a gush.  And?  There was a gush! Yay!

The contractions started getting more intense and the anesthesiologist came in around 12:30 for my epidural and got done around 1:00.  This actually sucked.  A lot. With Elizabeth, I remember this process being fairly quick and easy.  This time, I had 3 numbing shots (or "bee stings") and he had to try a couple times to find a good spot to put in the epidural because the first spot caused pain on my left side.  At some point, I remember hearing Nate breathing funny, like real quick breaths.  I thought maybe he was trying to get me to mimic his breathing or something, but I had to keep looking down so I couldn't see what he was doing.  After the poking of all the needles was done and he was pretty much just putting in the medicine (or whatever it is they do after poking with all the needles), Nate said something about feeling faint.  I looked up at him and he was white as a ghost.  He almost fainted because he was so worried about me.  (Aww... :)  Not that I wanted him to faint!  The nurse told him to go sit down in the rocking chair.  He kept saying how he felt like a wimp, and I'm the one that needed supported, he held out as long as he could, etc.  What a sweetie. 

So when the epidural didn't really seem to be working, I was pretty upset.  The anesthesiologist came back in after 15-20 minutes with a glove filled with ice and asked how cold it felt on different parts of my legs.  When I didn't feel the cold on the calf of one of my legs he said, "It must be working," and left soon after with instructions to call if we needed anything.  I remember with the epidural I had with Elizabeth, I was feeling much, much better by the time the anesthesiologist left the room.  This time, I was in quite a bit of pain still.  The nurse asked if we should call him back in to try again.  Nope.

However, when the nurse checked me, I felt nothing down there!!  Which is actually a pretty big deal.  Every time my doctor checked me at appointments and when the nurse checked me up til that point, it HURT.  It hurt SO BAD.  Apparently my cervix was waaaay back there.  They had to reach AROUND the baby's head to find the cervix.  I swore my doctor was up to his elbow in there.  It SUCKED.  So when I wasn't able to feel anything after the epidural, I was thrilled.  I still felt every contraction in my abdomen though.

So for the next few hours, I progressed and rested as much as I could with a rude interuption every two minutes.  Shortly before my doctor came in to check me again, all of a sudden I felt nauseous.  I told someone to grab me a puke bag and I got it just in time.  I sat up straight and threw up.  The nurse then said, "We are going to have a baby soon, guys!"  I guess from the way I was acting and the throwing up and stuff, she could tell we were getting close.

I remember telling Nate around 5:20 that this baby had an hour and 40 minutes to get out.  I didn't want to switch nurses half way into pushing like I did with Elizabeth!  (Actually, with Liz, I had the same nurse all day and started pushing at 6:45.  Fifteen minutes later, there was a shift change and I had a new nurse.)

The doctor came in and checked me (if I were to guess, I'd say around 5:30), then said they were going to get some things to set up and then I can push.  I was shocked.  I asked if I was at 10 cm.  He said yep!

Things got even more intense from there.  Everybody was moving quickly.  My abdomen and back HURT really bad and my right hip/leg started hurting so bad with each contraction.  I remember saying to Nate after a particularly bad contraction that, "This is going to suck." All of a sudden, the doctor was instructing my mom how to hold up my leg and telling me to hold my thighs when I'm pushing, etc.  And then I was pushing. I had four people yelling at me to push.  I pushed with everything I had.  But... I couldn't feel it!  I couldn't tell if I was just making intense pushy faces or if I was pushing my guts out.  These four voices were telling me that I was doing great and they could see so much of her head, etc, so apparently I was doing something right.  I just focused on my doctor and what he was saying to me. 

Nate said, "Did you just hear what the nurse said?"  Then he told me that she had been on the phone with someone (no idea who) and said something about how I have one push left.  I said, "What?!"  She nodded.  Okay, maybe I can do this! 

So I pushed one more time and everyone said, "Her head is out!"  And I'm thinking, "Are you freaking kidding me?!?"  Then, just like that, she was out.  After about 3 contractions and maybe 4-5 pushes, my daughter was out!

I remember asking why she wasn't crying. They said she was fine.  After Nate cut the cord, they put her on my chest.  The nurse was picking on her, trying to get her to cry.  Then she took her from me, saying something about how she looked too comfortable.  Meaning she wasn't breathing very well and was turning blue.  They took her over to the infant warmer and picked on her there.  Typically they leave babies on their mama's chest for an hour or so right after they are born, before weighing them or anything.  So it was pretty scary that they had to take her from me.

Mom went over there and I guess pretty much collapsed on the couch.  I told Nate to go over there to be with the baby.  He clearly felt bad about leaving me alone, he kept coming halfway back across the room and turning around, not knowing what to do.  I said that as long as she was fine, I was fine.  I was busy getting stitched up anyway.  (Which hurt not at ALL, by the way.  WAY different than after Elizabeth was born.)  I thought it was sweet that he didn't want to leave me alone though!  They kept assuring me that she was fine and oh so beautiful!

After she was pink enough, they brought her back to me and laid her on my chest. They were right.  This girl was gorgeous.  She has my ear lobes and Nate's toes.  She has Elizabeth's cute little nose.  Lots of dark hair and a perfectly sized abdomen, if I do say so myself.   Then she started rooting around.  It was adorable and shocking!  I moved her over to my breast and she latched on perfectly.  What a good girl.

I love her so much already.