Althea’s Birth Story

by Lindsey on February 4, 2016

in Althea Marie, J&L Start a Family

Now that we’ve [mostly] found our groove around here, I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and write Thea’s birth story! I really want to document this so I’ll always remember the details, but I also know a lot of friends and family are anxious to read it too, so here goes!

We had our 39 week OB appointment on Tuesday, January 5th, and on our way there, I jokingly said to Jut “What if they send us to the hospital to have a baby today?” (I had been asking him that before each weekly appt for about a month.)

Like every other appt, the first thing they did was check my blood pressure and the protein in my urine, and both had been gradually increasing each week. This week, my BP was especially high, and without even continuing with our regular routine, the doctor (who happens to be my SIL, April) said we needed to go to the hospital for further testing. She prefaced it with “you might just be there for a few hours and get sent home, or they might have you stay and induce you.” Basically, they were worried I might have preeclampsia, and the cure for that is labor.

We looked at each other and said “guess we need to go home and pack our hospital bag!” (Because yes, we still had not done that, despite many reminders from everyone we know!) April told us we had plenty of time to go home, get ready, and most importantly, eat, just in case we didn’t get a chance to once we got to the hospital. So, off we went! I was in panic mode, and packed way more than necessary, while Justin took care of the dogs and made us breakfast. Note to future moms, pack your bag ahead of time. Trust me on this!

Once we got to Magee, we went straight to the lab to have bloodwork done, and then up to register in Labor and Delivery. We only had a short wait before we were put in a triage room, and I was hooked up to some monitors. We were told we’d be there at least a few hours while they waited for results and completed some testing.

As it turned out, my blood pressure was normal, and my protein levels were high, but they ruled out preeclampsia. The nurse told us we’d probably be sent home soon. But, then one of the doctors came in, and started talking about the risk potentially developing preeclampsia in the next couple of days, because apparently it can go from nothing to severe very quickly. He said that since I was already at 39 weeks (and one day), it would be better to induce, and avoid that risk altogether. It was officially time to have this baby!

At that point, I called my parents in Erie and told them we were officially inducing, but not to hurry because one nurse said it could take 12-15 hours, and another doctor said 12-48 hours! This is when I took my last belly photo :)

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Once we got moved into a Labor and Delivery room, it was pretty much a waiting game. They could see on my monitor that I was already having contractions, but I couldn’t feel them. They started the pitocin, and then just kind of popped in and out of the room for the next few hours checking on progress. My body reacted exactly as it was supposed to, and I quickly started contracting more intensely, and closer together. The problem was, Althea’s heart rate dropped slightly with each contraction, so they had to lower the dosage and take things slower. One of the nurses said “Well, your baby girl is already calling all the shots, she’s a little drama queen! Guess you better get used to her running the show!” (We had no idea how true this statement would be!)

I knew going into this, that I am an epidural girl. I held out longer than I had to, but around 8:30, I decided it was time. Seriously, I feel not one ounce of guilt or shame for getting that magical medicine!

Around 9:15, the doctor came in to check my dilation and break my water. I was 3 centimeters at this point, so not a whole lot of progress had been made. My parents also arrived at this point, but didn’t stay long before heading to our house for the night.

At about 1:30am, they checked me again and I was at 5 cm. Then at 2:30, I was 8cm, and they said that the next time they came in, I’d probably be ready to push. I figured that would be just another hour, so I tried talking to Justin and told him to start waking up, so he wouldn’t be half asleep while I pushed. Well, he ended up falling back to sleep, and when the doctor came back at 4:30, he was jolted awake by the phrase “Ok Justin, come hold her leg up while she pushes!” I don’t even think he had his eyes open for that first round, and immediately asked if he had time to get a coffee before the next contraction came around!

I pushed for over an hour and got absolutely nowhere. My contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, so no matter how far we got when I was pushing, we’d lose all progress waiting for the next contraction. We decided to wait another hour to see if my contractions increased, but they didn’t. We tried pushing again, and that’s when they realized her head was getting stuck and coning in my pelvis. All of the nurses and doctors kept asking me “How tall are you?” I would say “5 foot” and they would respond “oh, this baby isn’t coming out of you this way. She’s not going to fit, she’s way too big for you.” (Now remember, she was measuring at least 1-2 weeks ahead of schedule all along, and I was a 10lb baby myself, so this didn’t surprise me at all.) One of the doctors who was leaving for the night actually said “I kind of want to stick around just to see how big this baby really is!” It was decided that after all the pushing and no progress, and now with her head getting stuck, I was gonna have to have a C-Section. For the record, my stance on this has been the same since the day I found out I was pregnant: The most important thing to me was getting her out the safest way possible. If that meant C-Section, so be it.

I have no idea what time it was when they moved me to the operating room. I really don’t remember much of anything during this in-between time, except that Justin wasn’t with me and I couldn’t stop shaking. They strapped me to the table, covered me with heating pads, and finally let Justin come in and sit by me. I was a little panicky, so I was really glad he was there to hold my hand.

The actual birth was so fast, I didn’t even realize it was happening! At 9:03am, they pulled Althea out, and we could hear her crying. I immediately started crying too, and couldn’t wait to see her! There was a nurse standing near me, and the very first thing I said was “Is she huge?” and she replied “Is she cute? Yes! She’s beautiful!” and I said “No, is she HUGE?” and she goes “No! Not at all, why would you ask that?” and I said “Because every single other person we’ve worked with tonight told me she’s gigantic!”

But no, our baby girl was a nice average size of 7lb, 15 oz, and 20.5 inches long. The nurses and doctors weren’t entirely wrong however, as her head circumference was in the 95th percentile! It was absolutely not going to fit through my pelvis. (She gets her huge dome from her daddy!)

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They handed Thea to Justin and he held her through the rest of the operation. I was fading in and out of sleep, and in and out of agonizing pain while they put me all back together. Justin says I would go from screaming in pain to snoring at the flip of a switch! The only part of this I remember is that at once point I felt him hold my hand and said to him “do you still have Althea?” and he said “Yea, she’s right here”, and I go “You put two hands on my baby!” Then I fell back to sleep.

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When I woke up in recovery, Justin and my parents were there, but Althea wasn’t, and I freaked out. They explained that she was sent to the NICU because she and I both had a fever during labor, and they were worried we might have chorio, an infection spread in utero. I’m still not completely sure what was going on, since I was still pretty out of it when they were explaining it to me. I know that my amniotic fluid had infection in it, but it was determined that neither of us had chorio. I also know that they were keeping her in the NICU because her blood sugar was low, and they gave her a few bottles of formula and monitored her levels. She ended up being fine, but because we were in separate recovery rooms, I wasn’t able to see her and hold her until 6 hours after she was born!

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(Please ignore the fact that I was a swollen, blubbering mess!)

Of course, I’d love to say this is where the story ends, but alas, that’s not the case.

First of all, I lost a ton of blood during the operation, so that Friday, while we were still in the hospital, I had to have a blood transfusion. They had to give me two pints, and my levels are still low, but it will take a super long time for my body to get back to the normal amount.

Secondly, after spending our first week at home, the following weekend we realized my incision was infected (an aftershock of that infection in my amniotic fluid). That meant spending yet another night in the hospital, and now I have a nurse come to the house everyday to clean it out and re-dress it. So that’s fun.

Of course, this isn’t exactly what I envisioned when I thought about giving birth. I obviously would have liked to avoid the C-Section if possible, and we definitely could have done without a visit to the NICU, but I can honestly say, every single second of it, every ounce of pain was so incredibly worth it. That moment, when the nurse put Althea in my arms, is a moment I will never, ever, ever forget. After trying to conceive for more than two years, it’s a moment I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to experience. It’s a moment that changed my life forever, and this little miracle has changed both of our lives for the better.

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38 Weeks

by Lindsey on January 4, 2016

in J&L Start a Family, Weeble Bi-Weekly

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We’re in the home stretch! Any day now!!

How far along: 38 Weeks

How big is baby: Weeble is still the size of a Watermelon. More accurately, the dr told us last week that she’ll probably be around 7.5-8 pounds, which is much smaller than we had been assuming! (6.3-8.5 lbs, 19-21 in)

Sleep: I actually slept pretty well the past 2 nights, but I’m sure I just jinxed myself by telling you that.

Excited about: Her arrival! I’m ready. Jut’s ready. Just come out, little one!!

Anxious about: I’m actually doing okay with this right now. I’m still a little nervous about actual labor, but I’m just so ready to meet and hold my little girl, that nothing else really matters anymore.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: No changes here, still chomping on ice and annoying the hell out of Justin :)

Gender: Weeble is a GIRL!

Movement: Like crazy. She’s going all the time.

The belly: is somehow still getting bigger? It’s crazytown.

Miscellaneous: I’m starting to feel a lot of pain as we get closer to labor. A lot of crampiness, backaches, and just overall uncomfortableness. I’ve been spending some quality time with my heating pad, which helps. And, I do like that I’m able to tell it’s getting close!

Best moment of the week: Obviously celebrating Christmas and New Year’s were the highlights of this week! We had a nice relaxing holiday and since we were both off all of last week, we were able to soak up some quality time just the two of us. It was perfect.

xoxo,
Linds

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One Little Word 2016

January 1, 2016

Last year I wrote this. To be honest, at the time, I had no idea what it would mean for me in the months that followed. I figured I’d have it in the back of my mind for a few weeks and then I would be right back to stressing about our situation. Instead, though, here […]

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36 Weeks

December 23, 2015

Yup, I skipped week 34 and I’m still another week late, because I’m behind in every aspect of life. So, here we are. How far along: 36 Weeks (but really, 37) How big is baby: Weeble is the size of a Watermelon. Considering I’m 5 feet tall, I’d like you to stop and think about that for a […]

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32 Weeks

November 23, 2015

How far along: 32 Weeks How big is baby: Weeble is the size of a Honeydew (4.2-5.8lbs, 17-18in) Sleep: No change, really. I get up right around 3:40 every night, but I am able to fall back to sleep 60% of the time. And I’m still completely exhausted by mid-afternoon. Excited about: Finally getting some things done! We’re going to get […]

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30 Weeks

November 9, 2015

Justin and I spent a REALLY long time trying to get my photo right, and I finally just settled for this. Daylight Savings messes up the lighting so bad! How far along: 30 Weeks – Yes, I skipped Week 28. Just never got around to taking a photo. Oops! How big is baby: Weeble is the size of a Winter Squash […]

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26 Weeks

October 13, 2015

  How far along: 26 Weeks – HELLO THIRD TRIMESTER! How big is baby: Weeble is the size of a Papaya (1.4-2.2lbs, 13-15in) Sleep: I told my doctor that I wasn’t sleeping well, and he told me I can take Benedryl if I need to. I only have twice, the night before and the night after our shower, because […]

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24 Weeks

September 28, 2015

How far along: 24 Weeks How big is baby: Weeble is still the size of an Eggplant (1-1.3lbs, 11-12in). My app has suddenly changed to one veggie/fruit per 3 weeks. Sleep: is back to being horrible! I had about 2 good weeks, but now I’ve reached the insomnia portion of pregnancy, where once I wake up to pee, I’m ALIVE […]

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22 Weeks

September 15, 2015

Again, I’m a week behind in posting this, but at this point, you should just assume that :) How far along: 22 Weeks How big is baby: Weeble is currently the size of an Eggplant (1-1.3lbs, 11-12in) We’re officially weighing pounds! Sleep: is SO MUCH BETTER! I finally got myself a Snoogle, and it really has changed my life. […]

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20 Weeks

August 31, 2015

Holy crap, we’re halfway there! (Also, I’m a week late again, sorry!) How far along: 20 Weeks How big is baby: Weeble is currently the size of a Mango (10.58oz, 10.08in) Sleep: Has gotten much worse. I can’t get comfortable and I have to get up in the middle of the night to pee often. Also, I’ve always been one […]

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