Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Labor Story

t's a little jumbled, but I wanted to get my memories and thoughts down about the whole labor process before I forget the little details. I did "edit" some of the story to leave out the graphic details.

Just like with my pregnancy, my labor, delivery and recovery were all different this time around. Of course with this pregnancy, I had a lot of morning sickness, developed a thyroid issue and I actually had contractions the last week or so even though I didn’t know that’s what it was till I got to the hospital.

I was scheduled to be induced Sunday, April 25th at 8pm, so that’s when my “labor” story begins. As Josh and I drove to the hospital that evening I was pretty nervous. My labor & delivery were so smooth with Haylee but I had since heard of too many horror stories so I was pretty scared that things wouldn’t go as well. I checked in right around 8pm, put on my gown, and got into bed. Allison was my labor nurse (until about 2 hours before I delivered) and she was so sweet. We did some paperwork and then she started my IV. It hurt but at least she got it in the first try. She told me Dr. Huff’s plan was to start my pitocin at 2am, break water around 6am and deliver between 8-12pm. At that point I was dilated 2-3cm, and having good contractions every 2 minutes. When I was feeling this tightness in my belly I asked if I was having a contraction at that point and she said “yes.” I had been feeling that “tightness” for the past week or so but didn’t know it was a contraction. It almost felt like Natalee was moving and kinda pushing her body way out against my tummy I guess. Some of the contractions were actually pretty uncomfortable. My mom arrived a little after 10pm and by that point I decided I should go ahead and get my epidural because I was more and more uncomfortable during contractions. Of course my motto is, why be in pain if I don’t have to be. At 11pm I got my epidural and it hurt. (With Haylee I never felt a thing, not even the numbing shot) I felt a lot of pressure and then I felt very uncomfortable during the “test” run of medicine. After everything was in place I was able to relax comfortably again (but not for long). This was a very weird epidural. I could still feel all the exams, the catheter being placed, some contractions, and then Natalee coming out (which was the best part of the wacky epidural). I was never in pain, I could just feel what was going on….weird to explain. Shortly after I got my epidural, I started feeling like I was going to pass out. I told the nurse, she said my blood pressure had dropped and I lost color. She called Joe (the anesthesiologist) and he came to give me medicine to help stabilize my blood pressure. The cause of the blood pressure issue was the epidural. Then I got the shakes really bad. I couldn’t stop shivering. I didn’t feel cold, I just couldn’t control it. Sucked. At 1am I was given Tums because I was having really bad heart burn. (I swear it was literally one thing after another the entire labor process) Then at 1:15am I was given oxygen because Natalee’s heart rate was high. I was then given more fluid in my IV and some Tylenol because I had a fever. At this point my legs were driving me nuts. They weren’t completely numb. They were in limbo between being numb and not numb, just kinda tingly. So I pushed my epidural button hoping that would help. At 2:20am the pitocin was started and I was dilated to 3cm. (So even though I was scheduled to be induced I actually went into labor on my own. Pitocin was just used to speed up the process) At 3am I pushed my epidural button again because I was still uncomfortable. My pitocin was upped to 4 and I changed sides (how I was laying). I was given oxygen again for Natalee’s heart rate. At 3:45am my pitocin was upped to 6. At 4:10am I was given a booster shot in my epidural because I wasn’t feeling the way I wanted. I still felt too uncomfortable and I wanted my legs more numb. I couldn’t stand the tingly in-between stage. My pitocin was upped to 8 and I switched sides again to get comfortable. By 5am my pitocin was upped to 10 and my legs were too numb. I just couldn’t find a happy medium. I thought I was going to go insane between my legs and wearing the oxygen for almost 5 hours. They weren’t too concerned about Natalee’s heart rate because even though it would go up, it also came back down on it’s own without intervention. That’s why I just continued to wear the oxygen mask. 6:15am my pitocin was upped to 12, then at 6:30am Dr. Huff broke my water, I was dilated 3-4cm, and my oxygen was finally taken off. At 8:30am I was dilated 5-6cm. At that point Dr. Huff checked with the nurse to see where I was because he was going into a surgery. All the sudden around 9am I started feeling a lot of pressure. It felt like Natalee was coming out. Sure enough, the nurse checked and I was dilated to 10 and ready to go. It happened so fast and I was scared to start pushing because I was worn out and I didn’t know if it was going to hurt since I could still feel almost everything.

Dr. Huff came in right away and things were prepped for delivery. (Come to find out, he left his patient on the table to come deliver Natalee) At 9:04am I started pushing. I pushed during 3 contractions and at 9:10am Natalee Ann Coplan entered the world. It was crazy to feel her actually come out, I was just glad it didn't hurt at all. She was placed on my belly, (had a lot of white stuff on her) Josh cut the cord, and they started to take her away because she wasn’t crying yet. However, as soon as they picked her up off my belly she screamed.

She weighed 7lbs. 1.9oz. and was 20 inches long. And yes, she had lots of hair. (Not as much as Haylee but a lot more than most babies)

Shortly after Natalee was born, Haylee came down to meet her little sister. She didn’t know what to think really. There was so much going on that she didn’t pay too much attention to Natalee.

Natalee was given a bath which I didn’t get to see since the sink was around the corner in my room, and then shortly after I was moved to a recovery room because they needed my room for someone else.

Around 1:30pm the lactation specialist came by to help me attempt breastfeeding. Natalee wasn’t interested so I expressed milk on a spoon and fed it to her.

Throughout the day, Natalee had many visitors. Haylee brought us 3 balloons and a pink rose, she was so adorable! She got in bed with me and held her sister. Since it was just her in the room this time, she was more interested in sister.


For dinner, Josh and I got this “celebration” dinner complete with sparkling cider and cheesecake. The food was actually very good this time around.

Before bed I attempted breastfeeding again, and this time Natalee latched on great and nursed for about 30 minutes. In the next 9 hours, she only woke again once to eat, and the nurses even left us alone, so we were able to get some sleep. Tuesday, we both showered, ate breakfast and just waited to be discharged. There were a ton of nurses, specialist etc. coming in an out doing different things. Dr. Huff came to check on me, Natalee got a hearing test, the photographer came in to schedule pictures, a pediatrician came to check Natalee and so on.

Haylee and my Mom came back down to help pack up and come home. It was always so wonderful to see Haylee’s smiling face enter my hospital room. After pictures (which turned out so adorable) we were able to leave around 1pm. We went home and enjoyed a 3 hour family nap, just the 4 of us!

Looking back at my pregnancy, labor, and recovery this time around, I realize things were a lot more difficult. By now all the negative things are a distant memory and I'm just extremely thankful I have a healthy, beautiful, little girl. I feel so blessed.