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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Abigail's Birth Story

Well here I am two weeks after Abigail was born (to the day in fact) finally getting my birth story done. Things are much crazier with a toddler already running around the house. But that's not what this post is about...

I had just about given up on Abby coming early. I had thought there was a decent chance she would come up to 3 weeks early and thought for sure she could come 2 weeks early, based on the changes I noted in my body. My last week of work was uncomfortable to say the least. My heartburn was awful, I had been getting some back labor-pains for a week or so, and the Braxton Hicks were painful. Abby had been sitting VERY low in my pelvis for pretty much the whole 3rd trimester and kept creeping down further. But 37 weeks came and went. My final day at work came and went. That weekend, and all the things we had planned came and went. (Faux of July party at Nicole's, Ryan's beer competition at the fair, and of course 4th of July at Randy's). Still no baby. So I waited out that 38th week, my first week off work, just hanging with Aurora and enjoying my last time with just her. Still no baby. So at the start of that next weekend nearing my 39th week, I was resigned to the possibility that this baby could be 2 weeks late if she so chose!

Saturday, July 9th my boss and his wife had a Paella Party at their house.The food was great, and I ate way more than I should have. I had been sleeping the first part of the night on the couch due to my heartburn, then moving back upstairs to the bed around 2 or 3am once my stomach was settled and totally digested. So I was generally eating small meals in the afternoon, and not much for dinner at all. But this night I said screw it, I'm going to enjoy myself and eat to my heart's content. I especially enjoyed the TWO pieces of cheesecake I had for dessert. lol.

That night I started the night out on the couch. I woke up earlier in the morning to head upstairs than usual; around 1:30 am. I got into bed and couldn't quite get comfortable. After tossing and turning for about 30 min (unusual for me, even in pregnancy to not be able to get to sleep right away), shortly after 2 am on 7/10, I suddenly felt my water break. It wasn't a full on gush like it was with Aurora - it was just enough to soak my pantyliner and my underwear - but there was no doubt what it was. Game time.

I reached over and woke Ryan up - "Ryan; this is it, my water just broke - time to get up." His reaction was a repeat of when I told him we were pregnant. "Oh shit". Since I defied statistics once again as the 15% of the population whose water breaks before labor starts, I knew that while the second labor was likely to go faster, we still had some time since I wasn't in labor yet. I went to the bathroom, and took a shower while instructing Ryan on who to call and text. We called my mom so her and Wayne could come over. Wayne would stay at the house so we didn't have to wake Aurora up, and then in the morning take her to Harb. My mom would come with us to the hospital. Then I texted the other people who wanted to be a part of this experience; Meg, Nicole, Kimmy and of course Cheryl.

A little while later, I was showered, my mom and Wayne had arrived and we had packed the last min items for the hospital. I was still not having regular contractions, although they were happening (Like 5-10 min apart and about 50 seconds long). I was planning on waiting until they got a little bit more regular, but Ryan was fritzing out and wanted to know exactly when we were going to be going to the hospital. I told him I didn't know, it depended on how quickly things progressed. He was very uncomfortable with that and it was clear that we should just go and get checked in and everyone (Ryan) would be more at ease. I made him make a thermos of his good coffee (knowing he would appreciate it later on even though at the time it was the furthest thing from his mind). And just after 4am we took off!

We met up with Kimmy in the lobby, and then checked in upstairs. They took me into an exam room, to ask me the basics, and to confirm that my water had broken. Of all chances, my midwife was working the Birth Center. She told me that they were having staffing issues; basically they didn't have a nurse to assign to me, even though they had a room. They had one women in active labor who they hoped would deliver soon, and if so they could give me her nurse. But after a good hour in the exam room and still nothing, they decided to start me down in L&D, where they could at least give me an RN and a room. They hoped that soon things would free up in the BC, and they could move me back up. So down to L&D. There Nicole met up with us (she was a little freaked out at first when they told her I was in L&D - she thought, why is she there???). The nurse there asked if I wanted to go ahead and get a Hep Lock IV (last time I got one and they used it to give me my pain meds, and then pitocin after I delivered) and I said yes. After hanging out there for a few hours, finally around 7 am we got word that the woman up in the BC decided to get an epidural, so that left the room and the RN free for me to come up from L&D! It took them a while to clean the room and get it ready for me, but finally I got into my room, which happened to be the same room that I delivered Aurora in 2 years previous! My midwife, Rebecca had finished her shift and Beth, another of the midwives was on. She was super sweet and I was pretty sure she had worked with me at some point during the last pregnancy.

Everyone else started to arrive throughout the morning (Cheryl, Meg & Justin, Melinda & Nathan, Alyssa & Keira). Not too much happened over the next several hours. The contractions stayed painful but not too serious, and stayed between 2-10 min apart and not more than a min long. As the morning wore on I started to feel discouraged; things were not picking up! I didn't want another 24 hour experience - the second labor was supposed to go quicker! The nurse suggested that I pace the halls a little, so Ryan took me outside and we paced around the BC square. Things really started picking up while doing that and within 30 min of walking, my contractions got up to less than 5 min apart and were lasting up to a min and a half. I went back into the room, and they started slowing down! Clearly the walking was helping and hanging out in the room was not; so Nicole, Meg and Kimmy took a turn with me pacing the halls. It was funny - I had my own labor entourage! One of them was keeping track of my contractions, another giving me sips of water after every contraction and the other giving my spine counter pressure during the contractions. (Kimmy had been giving me massage and it was still pretty painful so at some point the midwife came in and showed us how to apply upward counter pressure on the bottom of my spine. She explained that the baby sitting low and coming down the birth canal was putting a lot of pressure on my spine and the counter pressure pushed the baby's head back and provided a lot of relief).

I knew I wanted to try the water tub this time, since I didn't get to last time, and I let the staff know that right away since I knew it takes a while to get it all set up. They started to get stuff ready (put in the order, fill the tub, etc.) but since it would be a while and things were getting more intense I decided to take a shower sometime around 1 pm. Ryan came in with me to keep track of the contractions and for a while I labored in the shower. It was really great last time and was just as good this time. Squatting through the contractions helped, and while in the shower I started to get the beginning urges to push, so I knew things were finally picking up!

I got out of the shower after about 30 min and I wanted the tub so bad. Apparently they were quickly working to get the authorization and get my midwife in to get me checked before going into the tub while also trying to get the temp just perfect for me but to me it was all taking forever and my perception was that it was going to be like another hour before they let me in the tub, so at some point I asked for pain meds. (I can't remember exactly when this was). The nurse looked at me and said, "I would highly caution against that" since she could tell how far along I was coming and knew I would have the tub soon. And I said ok, like a little kid who has asked for candy that they know they won't be allowed to have. At about 1:15 pm they checked me and I was minus 2, 5 cm dilated, which they said was the perfect timing for me to get into the tub. (They don't want to put you in too soon, because it can slow down labor if you aren't far enough along in labor). I was in the tub by 1:30 and I was a HAPPY CAMPER! I dont know how on earth a tub can make that much difference, but let me tell you it did, and there is a reason they call it the birth center's epidural!!! It took all the pressure off, and the heat felt so good and it was just so relaxing through those painful contractions. I was only in there for about 30 min and I started to get such strong urges to push I couldn't control them anymore. I told them I had to push and was time to get out, so I got out and they checked me again.

Her head was there and I was fully dilated so it was go time! Obviously the tub really did the trick, and besides being an awesome tool for relieving my pain, it also sped along my labor. I got in the side laying position again, with Cheryl holding my right leg up, and I started going for it. I only had to push about 4 times and I had her out. She came out much slower than Aurora did. Her head came out with the first few pushes then another push got to her shoulders and then the rest of her. At 2:19 pm on 7/10/11 Abigail Rose Cross was born.

She had the same sucking blisters on both of her hands that Aurora had, and that my mom says I had too. She was wanting to suck as soon as she came out, but while they were stitching me (I did end up with some minor 2nd degree tearing; two stitches inside and a few outside, all pretty superficial) it was an awkward position on my chest, so she sucked around my boob but didn't get a great latch until a little while later when I got propped up on the bed. She was born with a full head of dark hair, and was super bright pink. This was the dark baby who looked just like Ryan that I had dreams of before I even had Aurora! Kimmy got to cut the cord, and she was ecstatic. I was so happy to have gotten through it all, and in good timing too! 12 hours from my water breaking I had my beautiful baby Abby.

Abigail Rose Cross
Born 7/10/11 2:19 pm
6 lbs 7 oz
18.25 inches

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Labor is Eminent, Resistance is Futile.

This baby is coming soon. Seriously. Its really very interesting to go through it the second time around and see what the differences are.

Last time I had increased discharge the week before, and then the evening before I felt Aurora drop, and she was moving around like crazy very low in my pelvis. I also got the crazy nesting and went into a cleaning frenzy. Then the morning of I had pink discharge then my water broke at lunch that day. I was getting Braxton Hicks for a few months too.

This time, same deal with the Braxton Hicks, but last weekend and again last night I had an hour stint where they were over a min long and only a few min apart. Increased discharge has been the same too. But I have been carrying Abby much lower the whole pregnancy than Aurora, and she's inherently way more active than Aurora was. However, the last few days she has been twisting and turning deep in my pelvis more than before. The last few days I have been exhausted and have not had the energy for too much of any cleaning even though the house has needed some tidying. Then suddenly last night I couldn't stand it and had to clean up. I also had a sudden bathroom run in the middle of the day yesterday, another sign. And anyone who knows my bowel schedule knows its normally a first thing in the morning, on a schedule, and takes a long time. So all in all its pretty clear that things are getting close here, and my guess is sometime this weekend.

Which is fun, and right on track with my guess for another holiday baby (4th of July) but also sort of sad because we have such fun plans for the weekend; Faux 4th at Nicole's tomorrow, Sunday at the Del Mar Fair and Ryan submitting his home brews, and the 4th at Randy's. I guess having to choose between the two (having a baby or fun events) could be a much worse choice though!

Switching gears, Aurora got her first big girl ouchies! On Monday, Ryan was at the chiropractor then getting fitted for his tux for Blake & Alyssa's wedding and I was home with Aurora waiting for him to be done to pick him up. We were outside on the patio after some water play and she was fighting with me on the couch trying to put on her own diaper. She lost her balance and fell backward off the couch, and smacked her head flat on the brick flooring. I picked her up right away, consoling her, patting her head and back, knowing that she was going to be upset and would have a bump on her head.... then I noticed there was blood. "Oh no, where is the blood coming from?" I thought. Then I saw that her beautiful white-blonde hair was soaked with a circle of blood in the back. I started to really freak out, but then I was able to locate the laceration and see that it wasn't bleeding anymore. It was about an inch long and looked pretty deep, so I knew it would probably need stitches. But with Ryan not being home, not really knowing what to do (or where to take her?) I called Cheryl and she came over right away. She agreed that it would need stitches and suggested I call the Dr. and ask where to take her. So I called the UCSD Pediatrics office, and they put in a message to have the Dr. on call call me. While I was waiting for that call, Cheryl went to go pick Ryan up. The Dr. called back and said to take her to urgent care, and they would do staples, not stitches because it was on the scalp. I called them and they said to take her to the Children's ER, as they didnt have the facilities to do staples there. So by then Cheryl had Ryan back and we jumped in the car and headed to Children's.

They checked us in pretty much right away, and had us hold a cotton ball with lidocain and some other stuff on her laceration for about 20 min, then they came in, pumped the gurney up to chest level, had her lay on her tummy head to the side facing Ryan and I, and they stapled her up, "cha-chink, cha-chink, cha-chink". 5 staples later, Rory was all Frankensteined up and ready to go. She didn't blink an eye, bat an eyelash or whimper a single peep the entire time. What a trooper. She was very excited to get an orange popsicle afterward. They gave us a staple remover to take to the Dr. with us for her check up and told us to make an apt on Friday with her regular Dr. to see if they were ready to be removed.

Ryan took her in yesterday and they were. He said that she was just as good with them being removed as she was when they were put in. No getting her head wet for 48 hours though. Which means we have to be really careful in the pool at Nicole's, or not go in the pool at all. At least she will be free and clear by the 4th at Randy's. So that was our little ordeal with her. And as a last note on that, how funny is it that of all the boys (esp Brayden,) Aurora, little miss girlie girl, was the first one to have a major boo-boo needing stitches or staples????