Thursday, December 27, 2012

Absolutely positive

Just a quick post here as I am typing with one hand while Bee eats. We are going to be moving in the next few weeks, finishing up by the middle of next month. In preparation for said move I have been cleaning things up. This is what I found in one drawer. I held onto my positive HPTs so that as I was feeling nervous about the pregnancy I could look at them and remind myself that I was, indeed, pregnant.

I think those tests might really be positive.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dankbar Donnerstag: Willkommen oder Welcome

She's here! It's hard to believe that the baby I've hoped and prayed and waited for so long is here, sleeping like an angel in her bassinet. (She's tired from the five hour nurse/cry session last night.)

She did not come on 12/12/12. She came on 12/15/12, or as the Germans write it, 15/12/12.

I went in for my appointment on Thursday last week. At that point I was 10 days overdue. Dr. H said that it was probably best to induce, that waiting for labor to start on its own after 10 days was not usually the best course of action. Since very little was happening, we agreed. DH had insisted that we pack everything in the car for the doctor's appointment. I didn't want to, but we did and since we had everything, I was admitted and we started the induction.

At 11 am on Thursday the 13th, I was given my first dose of Cytotec orally. I was monitored every couple of hours for about 30 minutes to see how things were going. Nothing happened. I think that the midwife who gave me the first dose neglected to tell me how to take it because when I was given my second dose at 4 pm, I was told to put it under my tongue and let it dissolve. We did a few more rounds of monitoring, the last of which showed that I was having 30 second contractions about 3 to 4 minutes apart, which apparently aren't effective. Then I was able to go to bed and sleep from about 11 pm to when I woke up at 6 am the next morning. I didn't get a ton of sleep and was having contractions, but I managed a little.

When I went in for monitoring, my contractions had picked up and were effective. They were closer to a minute long and still 3 to 4 minutes apart. At about 8 that morning, I called my doula and she came down to help. I was still monitored every couple of hours at that point and things were moving, but not quickly. Then, the contractions started to taper off and everything slowed down. I was dilating, but very slowly and the contractions were ebbing away. Sometime in the afternoon of Friday the 14th I made the decision to start pitocin. I was given a low dose and moved to the labor room (before I had been in my hospital room) and under constant monitoring. The contractions started getting more intense. The pitocin was turned up. At one point, they broke my water. The contractions became nearly unbearable. At some point I vomited. At about 11 pm Friday night, I went ahead and got the epidural. I had really wanted to avoid this, but I was insensible with pain. After the epidural, things became much more manageable. I could still feel the contractions, mostly, but they didn't leave me screaming and crying. I had dilated to about 3 cm at this point.

DH and my doula were awesome. DH held my hand and slow danced with me and kept me drinking water and was a rock. When I was insensible with pain from the pitocin, DH helped me decide what to do. He was so amazing I can't even express it. And my doula was fantastic. If you ever wonder about whether a doula is a good idea or worth the money, I have to tell you that having her there was such a comfort to me, especially when I couldn't have my mom there. She was a fantastic advocate and I would hire her again in a heartbeat.

After the epidural and another check and maybe an hour or so, Dr H came in a told me that he thought I should have a c-section. I'm a little embarrassed by my reaction. I was laying in bed and screamed, "Noooo!" It's everything that I was hoping to avoid. We are moving starting January 2nd and the thought of moving with a newborn and recovering from a c-section had terrified me for weeks. I could not imagine that becoming a reality.

My doula was incensed and lit into Dr H. I didn't like the way she fought with him, but I was glad she was speaking out for me. I kept saying to DH, "I don't want a c-section! I don't want a c-section!" and he said back to me, "I know. I know!" It was a nightmare.

After some heated discussion, it was decided that we would wait two more hours and then see how things progressed and if the baby would move down into my pelvis so that she could put pressure on my cervix and open things up. So we waited. I squatted, I got on my hands and knees, my doula did rebozo sifting on my belly; we did everything. After about five hours, the midwife came back in and checked me again and said I had dilated to 5 cm, but the baby still hadn't dropped. She also was getting a swollen bump on her head from trying to get down into my pelvis and not being able to. I was exhausted. DH and the doula were as well. We had done all we could possibly do. The baby was not in distress, was still doing just fine with heart rate, but I was concerned that will that swelling if she wasn't born soon that she would be in distress. I have maintained throughout this pregnancy that the end result I'm looking for is a healthy baby. I decided to have the c-section.

I was in floods of tears. I cried while signing the consent form. I did not want to do it, but I felt like it was the best option. With the swelling on her head I didn't want to get further in and then have her in distress and end up doing a c-section anyway.

They rolled me into the operating room. I was numb from the waist down. I kept thinking to myself that here it is, my first time in a hospital, and I'm having surgery. It was all I could do to keep from weeping. They moved me over to a bed that had separate sections for my arms and legs and strapped me down. There was a curtain placed at my chest level. I felt someone washing my belly and upper thighs and someone shaving the top of my pubic hair. There were a ton of people in the operating room. DH was supposed to be there with me, but I couldn't find him. Eventually, I heard him say, "I'm here." He came and sat down next to me. Dr H started with the incision. I could feel that something was happening, but there was no pain. I felt some tugging and then a forearm pushing the baby down from where she was sitting around my rib cage. Dr H told DH to stand up, and then he must have pulled her out of me because DH looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "We're parents!" It was 5:40 Saturday morning, the 15th. The first thing I heard from the OR staff was "Schwer Mädchen". Heavy girl. There was a little delay while they cleaned her off, and then they brought her over to me and I got to look at her. She had a full head of dark hair and was looking at me inquisitively. Then, after maybe 30 seconds, they took her away and DH left and I was sew up. I was so exhausted from the previous two days, that I just closed my eyes.

After a while, they wheeled me over to another room and moved me onto my hospital bed using a lift. Then they took me back downstairs and into the room where I had been laboring. DH had the baby and handed her over to me and I fed her. She latched on right away and ate like a champ. After a little while, they wheeled me back to our room and I spent most of the day sleeping. I couldn't feel anything for several hours, and then when I could I wished for the numbness back. It was quite painful. The nurses got me out of bed that evening and had me walk a few steps. I was only wearing a sleep nursing bra and the lovely mesh panties and compression stockings. I had a catheter in. There is a large loss of dignity in birth.

The next few days were long. The last night in the hospital, the baby cried and cried. I discovered that I don't do well with a crying baby. We got home from the hospital on Tuesday. We had been there five days.

9lbs 11oz, 21.25 inches long oder
4400 grams, 54 centimenters long.
It's an adjustment. I love how cute she is, but I'm still getting to know her. I don't feel that overwhelming love that is talked about all of the time. Sometimes I wonder why I wanted this so badly. I tell myself that things will get better with time. I cry often. I'm trying. But, today, I am thankful. This is my Thankful Thursday. I am thankful for my little Bee.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

überfällig oder overdue

I have hopes of seeing spawnette today, but they are diminishing with each minute that ticks by. I would love for her birthday to be 12/12/12, but I don't know if that's in the cards.

Before you give me any recommendations to help get her out, let's review what I'm doing.

  • Raspberry leaf tea three times a day for the last two or three weeks. 
  • Evening primrose oil three times a day orally and a vaginal dose some nights
  • Walking at least a half hour every day
  • Squats
  • PODO
  • Acupuncture
I have not done castor oil yet because I'm not really keen on starting off labor with explosive diarrhea. I am starting to consider it though.

I lost my mucus plug starting Monday night. Last night I started getting bloody show. I've been having some contractions, but not loads. It's just a waiting game. This morning I have to go to the hospital for the third time this week to do a non-stress test. Then back again tomorrow for another doctor's appointment. If we haven't had any more progress by tomorrow, I'm thinking that we will induce. Her birthday is going to be close to Christmas as it is and I don't want it to be right on top of that. Plus, I'd like to have any few extra days to recover I can get before we start moving on January 2nd.

So, more walking, more tea, more squats. It will be worth it, in the end.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wie lange? oder How long?

How long? This is the question that I keep getting asked.

Today, December 3rd, is my due date. A little more than 38 weeks ago I had done my trigger shot and was just hoping that this would work, but not believing that it would. But it did! And here I sit, very pregnant, on the brink of one of the biggest changes that I will ever experience in my life. I still marvel at this fact.

So, how long? I never expected that I would give birth on or before my due date. In fact, when I was told December 3rd, I automatically thought December 10th. But modern medicine being what it is, I am behind the power curve and am expected to hurry up and perform!

When I went in for my appointment today, we did the normal non-stress test. Spawnette was deeper in than usual and a little lazy for the monitor, but still healthy enough that the doctor is happy. I'm getting really tired of those non-stress tests, let me tell ya! Dr. H checked my cervix, and everything is still closed up tight.

Then we did another ultrasound. She has not engaged in my pelvis, something that I could have told you without an ultrasound. Dr. H seemed concerned about this. He also said she is measuring at 8 lbs, 10 oz. This I take with a grain of salt that's about 2 lbs, the size that late term ultrasounds can be off (either way). He thinks that she may be too big to fit into my pelvis. I think that he doesn't realize that she's just not ready. He said we could wait, or do a trial labor, or schedule a c-section.

I'm still (relatively) comfortable and I'm in no hurry, so I said wait. I'm going back in on Thursday for another appointment, where I'm sure I'll be told that we should really consider some medical intervention.

Here's the thing: when my mom had me, I was born 20 days after her due date. Now, I suspect that there was some miscalculation and since there was no ultrasound done, that due date was a guess as much as anything. No question, I was overdue since I pooped while inside, but I was not huge. All of my aunts were overdue as well. This is a long(ha!)-standing tradition in my family. So, given that, I am content to wait. My plan is to wait until next Wednesday. To give myself and spawnette time, and also because how cool would it be if she was born on 12/12/12?

So, we will wait. And I will try to be polite, but insistent with my doctor. And try not to think too much about the what-ifs. And enjoy the last few days of freedom.

I'm not in a hurry, but I do look forward to meeting my daughter.