Pregnancy Tracker: 6 days postpartum
Size of the Baby: 8 pounds, 5 ounces, 20 inches
Biggest Obstacle: Learning how to breastfeed!
Sienna Cathleen arrived at 7:41 a.m. on Wednesday, January 2, 2008. Here's how she made her arrival:
On Tuesday evening Dennis, my mom and I reported to the hospital to start my induction. The plan was to ripen my cervix overnight and begin the induction with Pitocin the next morning. However, plans changed right away.
After changing into a gown, getting my IV inserted, and being introduced to my nurse Lia, the doctor initially examined my cervix. He discovered that I was already dilated three centimeters, and there was no need to ripen my cervix, since early labor had begun. Instead, he decided to start the Pitocin intravenously that night. Luckily, my mom had not gone home yet! They advised her to stick around because there was no way of knowing how soon I'd deliver.
Around 9 o'clock we began the Pitocin. Lia explained that since my orders were for an induction, she could use more of the drug, even though we were technically augmenting labor. In hindsight, I know that I was given Pitocin at a pretty aggressive level. We were able to do this because Sienna tolerated labor extremely well. Her heart rate remained steady through many intense contractions.
In the early morning hours I used some different positions to deal with the labor pains. Mostly, I sat on the birthing ball and leaned against the hospital bed while Dennis rubbed my back. I could really feel the pressure building in my lower pelvis. When I returned to the bed, the pain was getting more intense.
The doctor checked me at 2 a.m. and found me 4 centimeters dilated and almost completely effaced. He suggested that he'd check again in two hours and break my water if things hadn't progressed significantly. From my understanding, once your water breaks, the contractions come hard and fast. I asked Lia if it made more sense for me to get an epidural before having my water broken. She advised that it would. The anesthesiologist arrived shortly thereafter.
Because of my history of fainting, I was concerned about having to remain seated upright during the insertion of the epidural. However, the doctor explained that it was a much easier and faster process with the patient sitting upright than on my side. I couldn't argue with that! The epidural didn't hurt going in and the relief came rather quickly.
Lia suggested that I might want to take a little nap to prepare myself for the pushing stage. Around 4 a.m. the doctor broke my water and I slept for the next couple hours. During this time I curled up in the fetal position and felt very little pain. I did have the chills pretty badly, and they covered me with several heated blankets.
At 6:30 a.m. I was awoken so the doctor could check my cervix. Very drowsy, the next thing I remember is being told, "You're fully dilated Kelsey. We'll get ready to push now." I had dilated from 6 to 10 centimeters in less than an hour!
The pushing phase began with Lia and Dennis each holding one leg while I pushed three times during each contraction. From the supportive comments I was receiving, it seemed that the baby would be delivered any second! After seeing that I was pushing effectively, Lia asked if I thought I could push four times per contraction. I agreed to try and we continued that pattern for the rest of the delivery.
Up until now, this story sounds too good to be true, right? That's what my mom, Dennis and I were thinking... what an amazing labor! Turns out, in my case, the last 15 minutes before she was born were by far the worst.
When the doctor finally arrived to "catch" the baby, he asked the nurses if I was well numbed. I hadn't been complaining of much pain, so they told him I was good. He decided to check for himself and nipped me with some kind of scissors. I yelped and he proceeded to argue with the nurses about why I wasn't completely numb.
From that point on, the pushing was excruciating. The doctor called for an anesthesiologist to bring me something to add to my epidural. Finally, they arrived, but Sienna was born two minutes later, so the additional drugs weren't active in time.
Because of the pain, I wasn't really cognizant of what was going on and was surprised when they yelled, "It's a girl!"
Dennis and I have spent the last week getting to know our little daughter. She's a joy and makes all of those months of effort so worthwhile.
Published On: January 09, 2008