Saturday, May 12, 2012

Emerald's Birth Story

My precious baby girl, Emerald Isabella, was born May 9th at 1:22 pm. She weighs 9 lbs 4.5 oz. She is gorgeous and perfect. Here is the story leading up to her birth:

My due date was May 8th. My midwife did a membrane sweep at 3:30 pm. I started having contractions walking to my car from the doctor's office. When I got home I did a lot of walking to try to help move things along. By 6:30 pm I was having contractions 2 minutes apart lasting about 10-15 seconds each. By 9:30 pm they were 4-5 minutes apart lasting 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. I called my mom (who was going to watch Mercedes) to spend the night just in case I couldn't make it until morning. Sure enough, by 3:00 am the contractions were strong enough I knew it was time to go to the hospital.

We got to the hospital at 3:30 am on Wednesday, May 9. I was dilated to 5 cm. They gave me a room to labor in and left me and my husband alone. I got to labor 40 minutes out of bed then 20 minutes hooked up to a monitor every hour. I was doing pretty good until 6:30 am when the midwife arrived and told me I was still dilated to 5 cm. That was very discouraging. She offered to break my water to speed the labor along.

I had my water broken at 7:00 am. The contractions started coming SUPER strong and I believe it was only about an hour later (after being told I was still dilated to 5 cm) that I decided I needed an epidural and pitocin. I planned on having a natural birth unless I didn't dilate (the same complication as when I was in labor with Mercedes).

Me and Ben both ended up taking a good nap after I got the epidural. The baby was having a little bit of trouble so I had to wear an oxygen mask for the last few hours before pushing. The midwife told me it was time to push right before 1 pm. I was surprised because I couldn't feel any pressure and didn't feel the urge to push so I wasn't even sure I would be able to do it good enough. But once I got going my instincts kicked in and I remembered how.

Even though the entire pushing process lasted only half an hour, it seemed like hours and turned out to be a nightmare. Emerald weighs over 9 lbs. Getting her head out was a challenge. Then her shoulders got stuck. REALLY stuck. I had a nurse jump on the bed, straddling me and pushing on my stomach and the midwife pulling Emerald out. Both of them kept yelling at me to push harder and harder and harder. I pushed so hard I couldn't breathe, and every time I tried to take a breath they would both tell me I needed to push more and harder. When I heard the midwife yell for someone to get a doctor I started to panic. She was stuck for only 60 seconds but it felt like forever.

I wanted so bad to hold her right when she was born, but instead they took her to the other side of the room and there were probably 10 people all surrounding her tiny bed. She wasn't crying. I kept asking if she was okay but nobody would tell me anything. It took long enough that I was literally sitting in my bed preparing myself that my baby might be dead. Probably the worst and scariest couple minutes of my life.

Finally I heard her cry. Eventually after being checked over thoroughly I was assured that she was breathing fine and she had no broken bones. The birth was traumatic for Emerald. She was in shock for the first couple minutes of her life. Both shoulders were sore. She had lots of swelling and bruising on her face and body, and her head had cones on the side and the top. The first night in the hospital she was in a lot of pain and it was hard to get her to stop crying.

The way she was born breaks my heart but I have so much to be thankful for. She is alive and healthy and passed all of the tests the hospital did with flying colors. We've been home for about 24 hours and so far she is a super happy and content baby. She nurses well and sleeps well and is happy and alert when she's awake. I'm loving every minute of our cuddling, nursing and bonding times.

So now I have two beautiful and amazing daughters, each one I love more than anything else in the whole world. I get to invest all of my time and energy making sure they have the happiest childhood possible. Making sure they are constantly learning, growing, having fun and feeling loved. I am incredibly blessed.

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