** Exhaustion may be blamed for typos, grammatical errors, confusion, and the like. **
Well, I can officially change the title of my blog, again. It can now say Mother of Three! (Quite honestly though, I see myself as the mother of 4, because even though I lost one during pregnancy, doesn't mean that child wasn't a child or mine.)
So, as for the "story" of my newest addition's birth. There may be TMI in this for some people, so if you can't handle it, please don't read!!
It basically started Saturday March 10th. I felt like I was peeing myself, even though I had just gone to the bathroom. So, I got up and went again, making sure my bladder was as empty as I could get it. About 10 minutes later, I felt some more trickling. Again, I headed to the bathroom and tried to empty my bladder, but at this point, there was nothing to empty. My bladder was about as dry as it was going to be. I figured I was good to go, when about 5 minutes or so go by and I again felt something warm and wet. Seriously? I couldn't be leaking urine at this point, could I? I decided to give it a good 45 minutes to an hour to see what would happen. When that time frame went by and I was still leaking, I called Eric (he was at work) and the hospital. I made sure Bretton was OK with Ephraim for awhile and headed to get Eric. After 3 hours at the hospital and 2 amniotic fluid tests, they decided I wasn't leaking fluid, just peeing myself. Yet, even after those 3 hours, fluid was still coming out and I had again emptied my bladder. Eric and I couldn't believe it, and to this day we still believe that the test was wrong, as I went home and continued to leak for another 24+ hours before being admitted to the hospital in labor.
So, Sunday, March 11th, Eric insisted I was going to have the baby that day. But, he had said this for many days before and it didn't happen, so I wasn't holding my breath. Of course, by "our" due date, I was now 4 days over due and by the doctor's due date I still had one week to go. I was still leaking some form of fluid and having irregular contractions. The contractions didn't make me think anything though, as I had them for weeks, at least.
We decided to go to Chris and Bri's store that day for lunch and to hang out with them. We sat and played cards for quite some time in the afternoon and Bri started timing my contractions. They were still irregular, though not as bad, and certainly getting more "painful". Yet, I still didn't believe it was the beginning of labor as I had gone through this before, with both this one and Ephraim. (Bretton was a totally different experience.)
That afternoon we decided to go home instead of staying to hang out as I was just feeling like I needed to be home and resting. I'm glad we did. We went to Hannaford to pick up a few needed items and walking around made my contractions stronger. We came home and put the last minute things away, packed, etc. During dinner Eric and I talked and decided that since I had been having contractions for an hour that were 5-6 minutes apart, it was time to at least go be checked. I called Nancy and asked for her to come stay with the boys, as it might "be time". I called the hospital to let them know I needed to be checked. As soon as Nancy got here, we headed over.
Dr. Aumand was on call. I was checked and she was called to see what she thought. She decided to come in and see me. When she checked me, she said I was 4cm, could easily be stretched to 5, and 50% effaced. Since I had been there the day before and was 2-3cm and 25% effaced, she said it was enough progress to keep me. She asked about my birth plan and how I felt about having my water broken. I didn't like the idea, but said that if I didn't progress on my own that I would consider it. She suggested that I get up and walk, and so for the next 1.5 hours, that is what Eric and I did. Along with Bri, who Eric called soon after I was told I was staying, so she could head over.
After the 1.5 hour walk around the unit, Dr. Aumand wanted to check me again. When she did, she said I hadn't progressed and asked if I wanted my water broken. She then got called out of the room and told me to think on it. When she came back she asked if I had thought about it, and I agreed to go ahead with it. Deep down, I was scared and nervous-- not really wanting to let her break my water. I also didn't want to stop progressing either. My first thought was about the possibility of intense contractions and I wasn't sure if I was prepared. I highly considered, for a brief moment, asking for Nubain right then. I decided against it as I really wanted to do it drug free.
As soon as the doctor was done breaking my water and I was monitored for a few minutes, I headed to the bathroom. Walking through the contraction was nearly impossible, but I made it. It hadn't even been 10 minutes since my water was broken, and I was already having intense contractions about 1-2 minutes apart. In between each contraction I tried to find a comfortable position, sitting, kneeling on the floor, leaning over things, and finally I decided if I was going to be uncomfortable, I may as well be uncomfortable while laying down. I laid on the bed on my left side. Pretty much as soon as I laid on the bed I knew I was in transition. I could no longer breathe my way through the contractions and there was literally NO time in between for me to breathe or think. I think was in more pain at this point than with my back labor with Ephraim. I thought I was going to die, and at the time, I probably was wishing I had! I needed someone to breathe in my face so I could imitate them-- I couldn't remember how to do it! I was squeezing the hands of Bri and Eric as I screamed through each contraction. Breathing now seemed impossible and I gave up on trying. I needed to be done. I couldn't handle it anymore. I even said that out loud, to which Eric later asked me what I really meant by that. To be honest, I meant what I said. Even though I knew I could continue-- that I had to-- I couldn't physically handle it anymore.
I said I needed to push. The doctor came in and checked me and said I was 8cm and 80% effaced. I requested Nubain, as I felt I couldn't handle any more pain, and thought it would still be awhile before I was done. So, the nurse went to get some. They tried to put the IV in, but it blew my vein and by then it was too late. I kept saying I felt like I needed to poop, and the nurse kept telling me it was just the baby's head coming down. "Seriously?! No, I have to poop!" In reality, she was right, but it didn't feel like that. I had given birth twice before and never did I feel so much pressure in the rectum, with hardly any in the vagina. Within moments of my last check I was pushing. I told whoever would listen and they kept saying not to push because I wasn't ready. Um, I can't stop it! I'm trying not to, but the pushing is happening anyway! Dr. Aumand told me to lay on my back so she could check me again, and she didn't even need to-- baby's head was right there. It was time!
The next four minutes are blurry. (Yes, you read that right, four minutes-- that's how long it took for pushing!) I remember not being able to feel any downward movement of the baby as I pushed. I remember being told to hold my legs but couldn't. I remember grabbing Eric, the doctor telling me to push harder, me telling her I was, and then I remember the nurse jumping on the bed and pushing on my stomach. I knew as she got on the bed that something was "wrong". I never really felt the nurse on me though. The pressure from the baby was enough pain that I don't think anything else would have phased me a bit! However, I did feel the lasting effects from the nurse pushing on me about 3 days later, when my body, especially my mid section, felt like I had been hit by a train. The pain was incredible and it took me a good week to feel like I could bend, sit, stand, lay down, or even breath normally! All of this, because my baby had shoulder dystocia. For those that don't know, dystocia is a term used when something during labor and delivery "goes wrong". In my case, the baby's shoulder was stuck in my pelvic so bad, that it took me pushing, the doctor pulling and tugging baby to the side, and a nurse on my stomach to get baby out. Dystocia can lead (but doesn't always) to other complications, in the baby or in the mother's future deliveries. (I will give some info about what it did to my baby at the end of this birth story.)
As soon as the baby was out, Eric and I were both looking to see what the sex was, but we couldn't see past the umbilical cord! Dr. Aumand was awesome and didn't say, she just moved the cord and asked Eric what it was. A girl! Eric got to cut the cord and our daughter was placed on me. I so wanted this experience with the boys, but for various reasons, wasn't able to have them placed on me right away, so this was truly a "treat"! After a few moments, the nurses took her away to be cleaned up and Eric went over with her. I started asking the doctor questions about the placenta and if I tore. I think I was probably annoying her, but I really wanted to know and I was really hurting! I swear, while she was waiting to deliver the placenta, she was tugging at the cord and pulling downward on it, making me feel like I was being torn again, and again.
After what felt like forever and a day, the placenta was finally out and Dr. Aumand finally answered my question regarding whether I tore or not. The answer was beyond satisfying to me, and very surprising. I had a first degree tear, but needed no stitches! This was huge to me, as I had a 3rd degree tear with Bretton that took over 12 weeks to heal properly, and a 2nd degree tear with Ephraim that also included spiral lacerations all the way through the vagina. I was boggled that I had a baby that was in between, size wise, of both boys, who had shoulder dystocia, and was actually forced out by more than one person, and still ended with such a small tear. I was walking around with little to no pain within 24 hours!
The rest is pretty normal stuff. Our new daughter was cleaned up, weighed, and checked thoroughly. I was offered a room in pediatrics (with two beds so Eric could have one) or to stay in the room I was in. We chose to go to pediatrics across the hall-- same unit basically.) We went over as soon as I was cleaned up enough to walk over. Bri said goodbye and headed home (loved having her there, though I don't remember much about her whereabouts during transition and delivery...) and Eric grabbed all of our stuff and brought it over to our new room. Soon after settling in, I remember asking if I could go home ASAP. I already missed Bretton and Ephraim and felt well enough to leave! Eric went to bed soon after and I spent most of the night awake, admiring my daughter, who we named Lorelai Ruth Winchester. She was born at 12:24am on March 12, 2012. She weighed 8 pounds 10.5 ounces, was 21.5 inches long, and has a head circumference of 14.25.
Lorelai (pronounced Lor-lie), was assessed many times during our brief stay in the hospital (less than 33 hours after her birth). Her left shoulder was immobile. The pediatrician explained that it could get better in time, or could have permanent nerve damage. She set up an appointment for us to see her when Lorelai was a week old to have it assessed again and to determine whether we should see a neurologist about it. She told us to watch for movement and to support the arm as much as possible. Eric and I were worried, but kept open minds and hearts. We hoped and prayed for improvement and about a week or so later, she was using it! We still watch it, as she tends to baby it a bit, and it dangles to the side a lot still, but improvements of any form are good signs and news!!