Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mae Alexander - Our Birth Story

I had a scheduled c-section due to this little girl being breech, set for January 2nd at noon. I thought I still had a week left to finalize our hospital bag, finish cleaning the house, do some last errands, and go on a couple more dates with my hubby. Airplane tickets had been bought by my parents - man wasn't it so nice to know exactly how things were going to happen!

Today I was exactly 39 weeks

December 28th, 2013 9:30 AM - Still enjoying time off work during the holiday break together. Taylor had just turned the shower on and was waiting for the water to get hot when I climbed out of bed. I felt a cramp and groaned, he knew this was normal. Then I felt a stabbing pain and I let out a more intense cry, Taylor came out to see if I was okay and to his surprise found my clinging to the bed while at least a gallon of "water" gushed from my body. It was one of those movie moments, I had no indications before that moment that I would be going into labor. My mind flashed back to my OB telling me that if my water ever did break it was an emergency and to get to an ER right away. Since she was breach they were worried about a prolapsed cord or feet coming down the birth canal which would put the baby at very high risk. There was also meconium in my water which can indicate fetal distress. My mind went to the worst place in second and I thought there must be something wrong with the baby. 

Taylor grabbed the car and loaded our hospital bags inside. I don't think we have ever made it to the hospital so fast! My contractions started in the car about 5 minutes apart right off the bat. They were strong (so I thought) but definitely manageable. While Taylor drove I called both my parents and declared the baby was coming TODAY!!

I waddled into labor and delivery and announced I was in labor, my water had already broken, my baby was breech and I needed an emergency c-section right away! If only it actually worked like that right? They got my settled into a room after checking in, and got my all hooked up to those fancy machines and confirmed that the baby was doing great and that I was indeed in labor (oh thanks I was worried it was false labor!). Since it was the weekend after christmas our OB was out of town and there was only one full crew in labor and delivery. They said they would get me into surgery as soon as possible, but there was another women who need a c-section and had been here longer so I would probably have to wait until she went in probably only an hour. They offered me an epidural while I waited which I declined since I had originally wanted to go natural in a birthing center. I labored for about 2 hours and they told me it would only be another 15 minutes, then another women was crowning and my curriery got bumped probably only another 45 minutes. My contractions were anywhere from 3-9 minutes apart, sometimes with double peaks before ending. 

At list point I had been in labor for 4.5 hours which I was not mentally prepared for. Taylor and I had taken a birthing class but any position I tried seamed to just make the pain worse, and the contraction just kept getting stronger. My body was doing it's job!! But since I had the idea in my head that I would never go into labor and the c-section was planned it all seamed very overwelming. The anesthesiologist came in and let me know that it would actually be another 2 hours and he was about to go into another surgery and would be unavailable for that time and offered me the epidural again. My husband and the nurse both told me to get the epidural and there was no point in being in pain when I was getting a c-section anyways, so I agreed. I am very happy that I got the epidural for my last 2 hours of waiting, because I had a long road ahead of me for the day and much more pain to come.

Finally I was being wheeled into the operating room around 2pm, they rolled me off my hospital bed onto the operating table and started prepping me for surgery. The room was freezing and I had Taylor standing with my at the head of the bed all dressed in blue coveralls. I was shaking on the table, teeth shattering at they put some warm blankets on my arms. This is when I declared, "I'm butt naked laying on this table right now aren't I!?" everyone laughed and Taylor and a male Dr in the room confirmed my suspicions. Maybe it should have bothered me more but I was just so ready to meet my little girl I didn't even care that I was naked in front of more then a dozen people. I laid there staring up at the big surgical lights shining over me when I saw a red line appear in the lights reflection, it grew longer and opened wide. This is when I realized the red line was me! I quickly asked them to cover the reflective light from my view before I had a panic attack. There was lots of pulling and tugging and at one point it felt like someone was trying to rip my ribs right out of my body when I heard Taylor say, "She has a cute bum just like her Mom!" I was confused at everyone giggled at his joke then I realized he was talking about our daughter. They announced she was out, I saw her for less then a second then she was taken over to be wiped down, measured and weighed. At this point I felt the cavities of my inside swell in stabbing pains. I tried to be tough but they kept getting stronger and growing higher into my chest, I asked the Dr to stop whatever they were doing because it was hurting too much. Luckily this is when they gave me more drugs and finally the siring pains started to dim and go away as the sewed me up. Taylor came over and handed me our little swaddled swollen peanut. She was so tiny and so calm, I just kept looking at her and then squishing my face next to hers. In the midst of me cuddling her surgery was over and I was taken back to the recovery room. I was still shaking from being so cold and I am sure being pumped full of so many meds but at this point I didn't care because I had my daughter in my arms. 

After an hour of being stable we were taken to a room upstairs where I would recover for the next couple of days. These days were a blur of feedings, nurses checking on us, crackers, juice, more tests,  lots of medicine, and lots of cuddling. I didn't want her to leave my arms ever!! My favorite thing was to get her unwrapped and right up against my skin and then bundle us together to sleep. I just couldn't get enough of her. 

We had lots of visits for her since she was so tiny, she had a hard time feeding, and staying warm so she was constantly being checked. They were also concerned about her hips not forming right since she was breech, so far they seam fine but they are being tested every week right now to make sure no problems come up or she won't be able to walk properly when the time comes. 

My first night of recovery was very painful, those stabbing pains I felt in surgery was air which was now trapped inside me. For the first 24 hours I shook a lot and no matter how much morphine they gave me I was just constantly moaning in pain. Cuddling with Mae was the only thing that made it tolerable, she reminded me that all the pain was well worth it!

Those first days in the hospital I just cuddles my sweet baby all day and all night. She slept on me for days, the only way she left my arms was for bathroom breaks and vital checks. I just love her sweet face and soft skin and how politely she asks for food.

First Family Photo - I look a little scary but oh well

Such a good Dad!

First time I laid eyes on her, she was so puffy, squashed and perfect!! I couldn't help but cry I was so happy and so in love!

I wish I could go back to this moment she was soooo incredibly tiny and would just sleep all day right on Mom

Meeting Grandpa! This gives you an idea of just how tiny she is.

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