Monday, July 4, 2016

I'm A Mom!

Hadley Faith was born June 17th, 2016 at 10:14 pm.  She weighed 7 lbs 5.4 oz and was 20 inches long.  She was (and is) perfect.  Giving birth was an incredible experience - even though nothing went as planned.  When we talked about our birth plan we, Tim and I, decided that we wanted to do things as natural as possible.  I didn't want to be induced, I wanted labor to come on it's own, and I wanted to labor at home with Tim and my doula as long as possible before going to the hospital.  I didn't want any pain medication and I definitely didn't want an epidural.  None of that happened.

I had a doctor's appointment Thursday the 16th to do another ultrasound.  At our appointment the week before, my midwife brought up the possibility of inducing at 39 weeks.  Apparently it's standard care for women that have gestational diabetes to get induced at 39 weeks to prevent complications to the baby.  My blood pressure was slightly elevated but still within a normal range.  However, my blood sugars had been so good and baby was looking healthy so there was no medical reason to induce.  But, as a precaution, she wanted to check everything again on the 16th and take another look at the baby to make sure she was still growing normally.  When we went in on the 16th to do our ultrasound, Kristi (the midwife) had us do a non-stress test to listen to the baby's heartbeat.  We'd been doing these for the last couple weeks at the beginning of our appointments to measure baby's heartbeat, check for contractions, and so on.  When she took my blood pressure it was significantly higher than it had been previously.  I've not had any blood pressure issues my entire pregnancy so my midwife was pretty concerned that it had been increasing and was so high.  We talked to the OB and decided to induce to prevent any further complications.

Sitting on the labor ball while Tim rubs my back
We left Kristi's office and headed home to get our bags, which were luckily packed, and headed back to the hospital where we were admitted.  We called Melissa, my doula, and she met us there.  We got admitted at 8pm and I got my first dose of Cervidil at 9 pm.  Cervidil is a gel that is put on the cervix to induce labor.  It is the closest thing to natural labor that there is and it works almost immediately.  Kristi started off with a very light dose to get things started.  She didn't want my contractions to be too intense right off the bat so that I could rest through the night since we induced so late.  I had been having mild contractions all week anyway but the first dose made them much closer together and slightly more intense.  Melissa stayed with us until about midnight and then she left so Tim and I could rest.  She came back the next morning at 7 and never left my side.  Kristi gave me the second dose of Cervidil at 8 am Friday morning.  My contractions went from mild to super harsh within minutes.

Here's the crappy part about Cervidil.  When it's put on your cervix, you have to be lying flat on your back.  Then you have to stay flat on your back for 30 minutes so it stays put.  Then you can sit up, but you still have to stay in the bed for another 30 minutes so the staff can monitor your contractions to make sure they aren't too intense and too close together, which can happen if too much Cervidil is used.  If  they are too intense then I would have to get more medicine to make them slow down.  Luckily Kristi knows what she's doing and my contractions were fine - from their perspective.  For me, I went from 0-60 in 10 seconds - or so it felt.  Mind you, I was flat on my back and unable to move at all for an hour while I was getting monitored.  Laboring on your back is freaking awful!

Anyway, I suffered through that first hour of monitoring and then I was able to get up and walk around.  My favorite place to labor was at the end of my bed, sitting on a birthing ball.  Melissa would sit in front of me, under my hospital bed, and push against my knees while Tim sat behind me rubbing and pushing on my back and hips.  It didn't get rid of my pain but it did help relieve some of it.

That mask didn't go far
My labor was actually going pretty well, painful, but I was managing okay . . . until I had to get back into the bed so they could monitor the baby.  I only had to be monitored for 20-30 minutes but with my contractions being so intense it felt like freaking forever.  At that point I started talking about getting an epidural.  I had talked to my birth team and Tim about this situation and I asked them to remind me, in the event that I did ask for it, why I did not want to have one.  They did exactly as I asked.  They did not tell me I couldn't have one or that I shouldn't - they simply just reminded me why I didn't want one.  Right around this time my water broke and my contractions got a lot more intense.  Once my water broke, we realized that there was meconium in my amniotic fluid.  Baby was still doing great so there wasn't a lot of concern but they did call Kristi to come in and check on things.  When she got there I was in so much pain, and still talking about an epidural, that she suggested we try nitrous oxide.  I guess this is something they offer laboring women, though I had never heard of it.  Kristi told me it doesn't take away the pain of labor but it would help get my mind out of it without any side effects to the baby.  I decided to give it a try.  I had this little portable tank with a mask that I could use as liberally as I wanted.  Apparently, I used it very liberally because things got fuzzy for me after this because it really took my mind out of it.  I couldn't really focus and it made me very sleepy.  I really wasn't aware of who was in the room or not - the only focus I had was every contraction.  I would sleep in between and then when I had a contraction I would breathe in the nitrous.  I continued this pattern for some time until I had to get back into the bed to get monitored.

Discussing the epidural w/Kristi, the first time


That bed was my enemy!  I hated having to lay down because it made every contraction so much worse.  Once I got back into that bed it was over for me and I knew I needed an epidural.  At this point, I was just so out of it and I was so tired.  I had such amazing support from Melissa, Kristi, and Tim.  They all knew I didn't want an epidural and when I got to the point that I was asking for one they made sure it was what I really wanted.  They didn't want me walking away with regrets.  For that alone, I am so thankful for all of them.  They helped me to be empowered and knowledgeable about the decision I made.  More than that, we tried everything else before that decision so when it came down to it, I knew what I needed and I was okay with it.  I'm pretty sure I still cried though.

After my epidural
 I ended up having to get two epidurals.  The first one only numbed my right side and for some reason all of my pain was centered on my left side.  Every contraction seemed like it was intensified by 100 on that side.  I can't even describe how awful that was.  So, the anesthesiologist had to come back in and redo the epidural.  After it was done, my left side was more numb than the right.  The epidural is an amazing thing.  I didn't feel a thing, including my legs, once I got it.  I pretty much went right to sleep and slept for a couple hours.  Once they gave me the epidural my blood pressure bottomed out and the baby's heart rate dropped to 70 beats per minute from 150's.  Things got really serious for a minute and Kristi ended up giving me an epinephrine shot and my blood pressure and the baby's heart rate returned to normal and stayed that way.  My contractions also slowed down to about 7 minutes apart though the intensity didn't change (not that I was feeling them).

First look at Hadley
From there, things were pretty relaxed.  I got some much needed sleep while Tim and Melissa kept vigil.  When it was time to push I was alert, finally, and relaxed.  The epidural had worn off enough that I had some feeling in my legs and I could feel the contractions - though they were not nearly as intense as they had been.  I could feel the baby moving into position with every push.  Kristi got me a mirror so I could see her head emerging as I pushed.  It really gave me a focus on what I was doing and it was incredible to see.  Once the baby was crowning Tim stepped aside and a nurse took his place holding my leg.  He stepped up next to Kristi so he could catch Hadley as she came into this world.  He held her head while Kristi unwrapped the umbilical cord from her neck and suctioned out her nose.  Once her shoulders came out,  he put her on my belly and I saw my daughter's face for the first time.  Her eyes were wide open and she was screaming.  Her cry was so loud - she did not sound like a typical newborn.  She was pissed and wanted the whole world to know it.

That moment was truly something else.  Nothing could ever compare to the rush of feeling that entered my body the moment that I touched Hadley for the first time.  Tim and I just looked at each other in absolute awe and everyone and everything else just faded away until it was just the three of us.

She was so alert!

My labor and the birth of my daughter didn't go as I had planned, at all, but looking back I wouldn't change it.  Well, I wouldn't do nitrous again just because it took me out of it so much.  I think that's why I ended up getting the epidural.  But, I'm absolutely okay with having gone that route.  I'm so thankful for Melissa especially.  I think everyone should have a doula, specifically her because she's amazing.  Kristi couldn't be there the entire time - she was delivering two other babies at the same time as mine.  Melissa was there the entire time.  Not only did she give me support and encouragement but she was 100% there for Tim as well.  He was able to rest when he needed to, and when things got scary she was there to reassure him.  We both agree that we could not have gotten through this without her and should we have more children we will make sure she is there again.  When Kristi was able to be with me she was nothing but encouragement and comfort.  She validated my concerns and gave me choices.  She also did everything she could to give me the vaginal birth I wanted.  This girl did not have to have an unnecessary C-Section!!
And Tim.  What an amazing thing it is to have such a great partner.  I couldn't be more lucky.  There wasn't a moment in the 26 hours that I was in labor that he wasn't there.  I don't think he ate, drank, or went to the bathroom the entire time.  He was always within reach and in all the photos that Melissa took the one constant is that we were touching each other.  Either he had his hands on me or I was reaching out to him.  I took great comfort in his presence and I still do.

Proud Papa


  1. Ohh Jenea this is beautiful. Love you sweetie. You were fantastic.

    1. I couldn't have done it without you!

  2. Congratulations!!!!! She is beautiful! I love the pictures, Tim is positively beaming:). I am smiling my face off right now, congratulations!


  3. Congratulations momma she is seriously so beautiful. I love her name!