July 25, 2011

Birth Story - Violet Emilia - Part 2

Without further adieu here is the conclusion of Violet Emilia's birth story...

Dr. Crane had already let me stall long past the point when many doctors would, and he finally said they needed to give me pitocin to get me to progress. They had put a monitor inside me to measure my contractions (which was not comfortable) and my uterus was also getting tired, so the contractions weren’t doing as much as they should. I didn’t think I could take stronger contractions than I’d been having for an undetermined length of time and still have enough energy to push, and I told Dr. Crane that, assuming that meant I'd need a c-section. He said he thought I could do it, but after I'd told him no a few times, he gave our doula a pointed look and she said gently, "You know, you could get an epidural with the pitocin." It hadn't occurred to me that I could get one and it wasn't until later that I realized Dr. Crane wasn't offering one because it said not to in our birth plan. That was the best idea I'd heard all day. After that it took about an hour to hydrate me through an IV and get the anesthesiologist in, but I asked with almost every contraction when my epidural was coming.

It arrived at about 4 p.m. and really did take away all of the pain. It was surreal. I could see on the monitor that I was having a contraction and occasionally feel a bit of pressure, but really nothing. I was supposed to rest and I think I slept for about a half hour, but it turns out they gave me too much of the epidural. It made me get sick again and my left leg was so numb I could barely move it and I was freezing cold and shivering. At 6:30 p.m., everyone expected me to be fully dilated, but I was only 9 ½ cm. By 7:30 I was so close Dr. Crane manipulated the last bit of the cervix out of the way during a contraction so I could finally push.  

Cheryl told me I needed to get the baby out quickly and I knew I didn’t have much time. I found out later Dr. Crane had pulled Anthony aside in the hallway to tell him this was my last chance. They were worried about the baby’s heart rate and also about my blood pressure. They turned the epidural off so I could feel everything to try to make me more efficient. My first push was pretty effective, but the baby’s heart rate dropped below a safe level and they made me stop pushing for the next few contractions. 

The nurse was trying to get me to turn over, which would have slowed things down more, but the baby’s heart rate came back up just in time and I was able to resume pushing. Cheryl was on one leg, the nurse on another and Anthony behind my back and they all helped me basically do a crunch with each contraction. A few pushes in, Dr. Crane was able to reach inside me and turn the baby to face the right direction, which stabilized her heartbeat. Anthony was great, telling me how much I was progressing each time I pushed, and after several more pushes they told me to reach down to feel the top of her head. The pushing didn’t hurt nearly as much as my contractions and was actually pretty cool. It definitely hurt, but it was a different kind of pain. 

Violet was born at 8:08 p.m. on December 6th, 2010, after only 40 minutes of pushing and a 41 hour labor. I always assumed I'd sob when she was finally born. Anthony was crying, and I may have shed a tear or two, but I was mostly in shock. We just kept staring at our amazing baby, in between the doctor tidying me up and Cheryl helping us start breastfeeding and all that new baby stuff.
{Emma, Anthony and Baby Violet!}

They put Violet directly on my chest when she was born, but Dr. Crane asked to weigh her before he left, since he'd been hinting at her size for weeks. She came in at a whopping 9 lb 6 oz and 22 inches. 
{A big girl!}
Everyone assumes I must be miserable about my labor, I guess because it was so long, but it was the most incredible day(s) of my life. And I'm not just saying that because it ended with the best bonus you can ever get. It was fascinating to go through the whole journey and I'd do it again the same way. I feel so lucky to have the doula and doctor we did, when almost any other OB would have had me in an operating room hours before the end. And although all babies are pretty special, Violet is extra super amazing. We love her so much!
{Beautiful Violet}

Thank you so much, Emma and Anthony for sharing your amazing story with us. I am so amazed at the similarities and differences between all these stories. Every baby comes into this world with it's own story. It's beautiful.

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