Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Long Awaited Arrival of Chloe Lynne

Ok, so, here is the birth story.... the story I had waited so long to be able to tell. Hang in there, it could get lengthy.

As you know, Chloe's due date was June 2, which came and went. It seemed like every minute would drag by as I waited for each contraction or the feeling of my water breaking. Early in the morning on June 4, I got out of bed and went to the couch. I was having contractions, but nothing consistent. They were making me uncomfortable though and I wasn't able to sleep through them. I got in the shower around 2:00am. The warm water helped calm me and made me feel better for the time being. (Later, I would be very thankful that I took this last minute shower!) The contractions were seeming a bit stronger than before but still not coming consistently. I woke Keith around 4:30am and we started timing the contractions at 5:00. By 6:00 we realized that I was having contractions that were about 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long. This was the magic number!!!

You would think that I would have started to panic at this point, but the opposite happened. I became very calm. We packed the last minute things we needed for the hospital, Keith took a quick shower, we made the phone calls to our parents to let them know we were heading to the hospital and Keith got me down the stairs into the car. Thank goodness we left when we did because we just missed the morning traffic on the interstate. I started to get nervous on the way because it seemed like the contractions were not coming as regularly. I was SO hoping that I wasn't in false labor. I would have hated to get to the hospital, be examined and sent home.

Of course, that was not the case.

They admitted me right away, before my exam since I was post due date. During the first exam, around 7:30am, I was 3 cm dilated and approximately 70% effaced. I was happy with this and still fairly comfortable. The contractions were regular again, but not unbearable. At this point I was still unsure of what decision I was going to make regarding pain management. (Have I mentioned that I was deathly afraid of an epidural?)

They got me into my labor and delivery room and I met my nurses. We had a FANTASTIC nurse. She was so kind and unbelievably supportive. I adored her and she made my experience so much easier. She hated to see me in pain though. She asked if I wanted an epidural and as time went on and the contractions increased in length and intensity, I figured I might need to attempt the epidural. She went to get the anesthesiologist.

Well, then the shaking started. My arms and upper body just started shaking and I could not stop! I was so nervous. They had Keith sit in front of me, but not close enough for me to hold his hand. The nurse held me against her body and talked me through it. Of course, the epidural did hurt a little bit, but nothing as bad as I had conjured up in my mind. I could feel the effects of the medication almost immediately. Talk about a strange feeling. My legs were so heavy and they told me I had a pretty intense contraction, which of course, I did not feel at all.
R-E-L-I-E-F! There was no way I could have made it through labor with out medication. I would have been too exhausted to do anything.

Next came the catheter- another procedure I was nervous about. Naturally, since I was numb from the waist down, I didn't feel a thing. And, how great is it to pee while laying in bed?!?! For the first time in months, I wasn't running to the bathroom every hour.

The next time they checked me I was 5 cm and 80% effaced. My water broke on its own around 1:30, not long after they gave me the epidural. It was really strange. Keith was on the phone with my mom, I was laying in bed. I felt a "pop" inside of me and then warm liquid all between my legs. I gasped and then realized what happened and told Keith "I think my water just broke". He lifted up the sheets and said "Whoa! Yeah, I'd say that's what happened".

I was so excited! Everything seemed to be moving right along and I was able to get some rest.

The next exam was around 3:30pm. I was dilated 7cm and 90% effaced. The nurse said that I had a really soft cervix and the baby's head was in perfect position. This was the last time I got good news about my progression.

Nothing changed over the next couple of hours and exams. Actually, my cervix started to swell and Chloe's head turned a bit so she was in a less favorable position for delivering. At 7:00 (and a nurse shift change), they told me that they were going to insert an internal monitor to monitor my contractions. They wanted to make sure they were strong enough to progress my labor. They were. Still, my body was not progressing. At 8:00 they told me that if I hadn't dilated any further, by 9:00 they would need to prep me for a c-section. They were concerned with the fact that my water had been broken for hours, infection was a possibility, and the fact that my cervix was still swollen, which led them to believe that her head may be too big for delivery. The nurse spoke with my OB and came back in at 8:15pm to tell me they needed to prep me for a c-section, that they were about to make me a mommy.

Instantly, the nerves kicked in. The shakes started and fear just poured over my body. I have never had any medical procedures! That day was even the first IV I had ever had! I've never broken a bone, had a black eye, or even been admitted to the hospital before, so to hear that I was about to have a major surgery was extremely frightening. They gave Keith his protective gown, hat and footies, told him to get dressed and wheeled me off to surgery.

I won't go into the entire prep process, just that I shook the ENTIRE time. Well, my upper body shook, my lower body was pretty much immobile. Keith sat beside me and even watched the procedure from around my curtain. I cannot believe he was able to watch it, but he has a very strong stomach. After a few minutes, I heard Keith say "they are pulling her out" and then I heard her little cry for the first time. I was groggy and kind of out of it, but so thankful that she had arrived.

I was able to watch the nurses carry her over to the clean up station. Keith was able to cut the umbilical cord. They wheeled the scale over so I could see her weighed- 8 lbs. 4 oz of just pure beauty. They brought her over to me after all that and I was able to see her up close and just take in the fact that our daughter was here and healthy.

The longest part was putting me back together and sewing me up. I went back to the labor and delivery room and watched them give Chloe her first bath and was able to nurse her for the first time. It is really indescribable. To know that this little girl, this perfect gift from God, had finally arrived- emotions were running high, even highly medicated.

I was exhausted though and still having some shaking. I was thankful that Chloe was here and healthy, but still unhappy with the fact that I had to have a c-section. Not that I feel like I went through any less than a vaginal birth, but because I knew the rocky road of recovery I would have ahead of me. Because I knew that I wouldn't be able to do the things I would be able to do had I delivered her vaginally. I am still struggling with this.

So, that is pretty much the entire story.
We stayed in the hospital until Sunday morning. It is great to have her here, with us, at home. She is just the most precious thing. I still can't get over the fact that we have a child, a daughter. I just adore watching her, nursing her, seeing Keith and my Mom enjoy her. It is the most amazing blessing.

Recovery is slow and will be a process. I am trying to take it easy, but that isn't really my personality, so it is very difficult for me to do.
Keith went back to work today, since my mom is here with us through the weekend. I know he hated to leave her for the first time.

We have our first pediatrician appointment tomorrow. I'm anxious to see how much weight she has put on since we left the hospital. She was down to 7 lbs, 9 oz. It is so hard to tell how much milk she is getting since I am breastfeeding. I can only try to measure by her diaper output, which seems to be quite healthy. (smiles)

There will be many more posts and pictures to come!

Thanks for all of your encouragement and support over the past months!


Cerella said...

Congratulations to you both! You are a beautiful family of three now! :)
Can't wait to see more pics of Chloe!

Sarah said...

Love birth stories!!

Isn't it so amazing how we can build up our deliveries in our head and then have it all be so completely different?!

So glad she's here and safe and that you're doing well.

Get plenty of rest! Major surgery is huge and the best way to recover faster is to let yourself heal and let your mom and Keith help you as much as possible.

Like Cerella, can't wait to see more pictures!

Carrie said...

Congratulations! How exciting! And FYI, my hubby's bday is June 4. I'll be checking back for more updates and pictures!
God bless :)

it's me, Val said...

Dearest Cor, you know how I feel about all this already. I want to congratulate you again . . . I'm so proud of you, mama!

Did you ever find the reason as to why she wouldn't progress? Absolutely everything is like what I went thru with Maia except that my labor prior to the c-section was 30 hours :(

Hope you are healing okay. If you need anything, please please call me.


Alexis Jacobs said...

Congrats on your precious baby girl. I hope the recovery goes well. Can't wait to see lots of pictures!

Anonymous said...

You're such a great story teller Ms Habernathy!! Are you keeping the tradition of telling her the "birth" story on her birthday every year? What a wonderful one to tell. I MISS YOU TERRIBLY!

Louise said...

That is so awesome!
Enjoy her!! :)
Can't wait to see all the pics to come!