Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ruth Elanor, a Birth Story

The last photo of the bump!

This time around I tested positive for group B strep, which is fairly normal but made me a little nervous because of my previous quick deliveries. Since I had Winnie literally 40 minutes after getting to the hospital and they like you to be on the antibiotics for 4 hours before the baby is born... my doctor recommended inducing me at 39 weeks to make sure we'd be in the clear. I was pretty opposed to being induced with Winnie but this time I was like "yes! Sign me up!" I went in for my 39 week check up on Monday, having been dilated to a 2 for 3 weeks already and they told me I was scheduled for an induction the next morning at 8am! Baby time! I called Steve and we were both totally giddy, it was hard to believe she was actually going to be here! I got my nails done, gave the house a good last minute clean, took a long shower, made avocado toast for dinner and soaked up our last night as a family of four. The one thing I will say for an induction, it was so nice to know it was baby-time, to go to the hospital with my hair and make up done, not in a rush but totally calm. The drive was serene, fields were covered in early morning fog and Steve and I kept hypothesizing....what's she going to look like? What's she going to be like? 

We got to the hospital and signed in and then waited for our room to open up... for 2 1/2 hours. I guess that's what happens in labor and delivery when you're needs aren't urgent! We got into our room at 10am and they started me on the antibiotics. My dr. came in at 1pm and broke my water, he was expecting me to go fast so they didn't start me on pitocin right away. Then, we waited, patiently watching the monitor. I was getting contractions, not very painful or regular. I've decided that the difference between being induced and going into labor is akin to the difference of jumping off a cliff versus being pushed. I think I'd prefer to be pushed....all things considered. Waiting for something to happen was mentally exhausting, especially after expecting it to go so fast! After not progressing for a few hours the nurses started me on a small dosage of pitocin at 3 pm and my contractions picked up  and got to be more intense and regular. They were about like the contractions I felt the morning I went into labor with Winnie, too intense to put on a pair of pants or talk through, but I was still standing, so not crazy. These lasted for a couple of hours about  2-3 minutes apart, I thought for sure I would've progressed to at least a 5 or 6, but when they came in to check me I was only at a 3!! I think they actually said 3 1/2 but I assume that was only to make me feel better ;) at 5pm they upped my pitocin dosage again and this is when my contractions really picked up. They were coming intense and very close together, some of them one on top of the other. They were about the intensity of transition contractions with my other two girls. The nurse came in to check me several times because the readings were coming in so high, but I was staying (frustratingly) at a 4-5. At this point I was exhausted, hungry (I hadn't eaten since my bowl of yogurt at 6:30 that morning), discouraged and getting nauseous- probably from the aforementioned lack of food.

At this point I considered getting an epidural but didn't want to risk slowing labor down even more than it was already. I was nervous about what would happen to baby girl if my labor didn't start progressing any better. My contractions that were coming one on top of the other (coupling, I think they called it) were concerning the nurses and I just wanted to get the whole thing over with! I tried to get in the zone and focus on visualizing baby girl coming down with every contraction and breathing well. Steve held my hand and rubbed my back and let me pinch him through the pain (not sure why I needed to do this??). This labor, more than either of my others I really needed him there, more than just back tickling it's like he anchored me down somehow. He ran out to use the restroom once during these contractions and I was seriously nervous about getting another one without him there. Around 8 pm our nurse came in to check me again and I was at an 8! Woo hoo! I had about 30 seconds to be excited about this before another contraction came, and with it an overwhelming need to push. Literally, the nurse had just shut the door when Steve had to call her back in. She checked me again only to find I'd gone immediately from an 8 to a 10+. My dr. was assisting in a c-section in the OR and they frantically called him in as several other nurses rushed in the door. At this point I was holding myself trying to stop from pushing and I could literally feel her head with my hands. It was crazy. Dr Swanson whisked in hurriedly but calm and told the nurse to hold the baby's head in while he prepared. She was literally pushing Ruth's head back into my body, exerting not a little force. Crazy crazy crazy. I pushed for about 30 minutes and at 8:55pm we FINALLY welcomed our perfect baby girl into the world.

I was exhausted and so incredibly relieved. Hearing that sweet cry was the best sound in the world. She was completely covered in white goop (way more than our other girls), perfectly healthy with a full head of brown hair. They wiped her off somewhat and put her on my chest. Tears of joy and relief were shed as I snuggled my precious girl. It's such a wonderful distraction to have while they stitch you up. There's nothing like holding that sweet baby after the adrenaline high of giving birth! By the time they stitched me up and weighed and measured baby girl it was almost 11pm and I was RAVENOUS. The cafeteria was closed and so was most everything else outside the hospital so Steve headed out and brought me back a double double animal style with fries and a large diet coke. I don't think anything has ever tasted so good! And no heartburn! Hallelujah! Baby girl latched on right away and has been the best nurser I've had so far right off the bat. 

She's such a calm, sweet baby and just the best addition to our family already. We named her after her great grandma Marcum (Ruth) and a flower that grows in Lothl√≥rien (Elanor), just to remind her forever that her mother is a nerd :) We love this little girl so much already and as cheesy as it sounds, I already cannot imagine life without her.          

also, for those interested... Clara's birth story and Winnie's birth story          

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