What a crazy few weeks it has been! I ended up having my baby girl 4 days after my last post! Here’s the story, all the details, and hopefully I can get through it without crying too much (those post partum hormones are no joke).
Wednesday, February 27th I started having some early signs of labor. I won’t get into the TMI details of this, but it was enough to start getting my hopes up that something would happen soon. I went to work, I got a low back ache during lunch. After work I decided to work out. I hit the eliptical and was planning on doing my usual 30 minutes but I just didn’t feel good. I kept watching the clock waiting for it to be over and I had this pain in my pelvis which I assumed was the baby’s head. After 20 minutes, I’d had enough so I finished the last 10 mins by walking on the treadmill. Even walking on the treadmill felt uncomfortable.
During my drive home I started having some cramping in my abdomen. I got home, cooked and ate dinner and then Tim and I went downstairs to watch tv. I started having more regular and painful contractions so we started getting excited! We timed them for a couple hours, but then, as usual, they tapered off and finally stopped.
Frustrated for getting our hopes up yet again, Tim and I went to bed about 10:30 p.m.
At exactly midnight I woke up suddenly with intense pain in my abdomen. I tried ignoring it and going back to sleep but after a few minutes realized that would be impossible! I went downstairs without waking Tim and started timing my contractions. They were already 1-3 minutes long and only 30-40 seconds apart. I was starting to get excited and then they got really painful. It was so strong that during a contraction I couldn’t move, I had to be hunched over the chair gripping the handles. In between contractions I crept upstairs and woke up Tim at 12:40 am. I told him we needed to get ready to go to the hospital. He started rushing around gathering up last minute things as I called the on call doctor. She heard me talk through a contraction and told me to come in.
I had always imagined that in the begining labor wouldn’t be too hard and I’d have time to shower and finish packing my things. That was not at all how this went. My contractions were hard and strong from the begining and I barely was able to round up my last minute things in between contractions.
On the drive to the hospital Tim still didn’t believe it was real. He thought it was another false alarm. I was acutely aware of how real it was. It was the worst pain I’ve experienced in my life! Whenever I had a contraction I’d grab onto the handle and I couldn’t talk. Tim would try to talk to me and I just couldn’t do it. Even in between contractions I had a lot of pain in my uterus. It seemed like I had no break.
We arrived at the hospital about 1:15 and I was in such pain. I remember thinking how much I didn’t think it would be like this. I was in constant pain and one contraction would be on top of the next. I knew that if I had hours and hours of this I’d be miserable. So I found myself already requesting an epidural. We had to wait for the anesthesiologist, which took a couple hours. A couple of horrible hours.
I was dressed in the hospital gown, which is open in the back, and during my contractions I was sitting up on the bed on all fours with my head pressed into a pillow and my bare butt hanging in the air with all kinds of people walking in and out of my room and I didn’t care. That’s how bad it was.
When we finally got the anesthesiologist and I got the epidural it was immediate relief. My coworker put it best in regards to her epidural, “I wanted to enjoy my daughter’s birth”. I was not enjoying anything. I was hating every minute. After the epidural, I could see my contractions continue on the monitor, but I couldn’t feel them at all. I finally relaxed. I was no longer able to get out of the hospital bed because I couldn’t feel my legs, but honestly, I didn’t care. I was finally enjoying the birth experience. We called my parents around 5 am when I knew they would be up and then Tim and I started dozing off.
At 6:30 am everything changed. I spiked a fever and Alexandra’s heart rate went from the 150’s to the 180’s. They took samples of my blood and came back and told me that I had an infection in my uterus and that they needed to do an emergency c-section to get her out ASAP. They said it was a dangerous environment and were afraid that we could lose her. That was all I needed to hear. I signed off on everything and after they left the room I started crying. The tears weren’t for me. I hadn’t wanted a c-section before because of the prolonged recovery, but in that moment I didn’t care about any of that I just worried that she would be ok. Tim was very reassuring and I quickly called my sister and asked her to pray. She was reassuring to. I got off the phone and Tim was already dressed in scrubs and they were coming in to prepare me for surgery.
My doctor arrived at 7 am and soon after I was wheeled into the operating room. The anesthesiologist gave me a stronger epidural so I wouldn’t feel the surgery but could still be awake. I saw the curtain, and Tim said there was a mirror so I could watch, but I stayed focused on Tim’s face beside me the entire time. I was fighting back tears and I was shaking horribly in my upper body. I kept trying to relax and trying not to shake because I was afraid it would make a tough surgery. I apologized and they told me it was normal.
The surgery was completely painless. It felt awkward a couple of times when I felt pulling from my abdomen but no pain. My doctors even joked with me, telling me that I had strong abs and they were hard to cut through. It made me laugh a little. Then finally, at 7:25 am I heard the most wonderful sound…a baby crying. I looked at Tim and said “Do we have a baby?” I was crying. When he said yes, I think I was the happiest I’ve been in my entire life. They quickly swung her around to let me look at her for just a second before they took her to clean her up. She was covered in the white stuff and screaming and looked absolutely beautiful. Tim went with them as they cleaned her up and I guess there was a lot of clean up because she had a huge bowel movement inside my uterus (a sign of distress). They had to pump it out of her stomach and get it out of her nose and mouth. After they cleaned her up, they brought her to me again and placed her across my chest for a few minutes. She was perfect and I cried as I looked in her deep blue eyes and they stared back at me in wonder. Then they whisked her off to the nursery so they could immediately start her on antibiotics and take the blood cultures to determine if she had an infection. Tim went with her, and that was where I wanted him to be.
When they closed me back up, it seemed to take forever. I still had no pain and now that Alexandra was out safely, they gave me some morphine for after the epidural wore off. I just wanted to see my baby again.
After they were done, they wheeled me into my recovery room and this was one of the worst parts. I was still violently shaking and started throwing up. My shoulder, neck and jaw started to really ache due to all my shaking. I couldn’t move my legs, knew that I had just been cut open, and didn’t have Tim or my baby with me. Finally though, a couple hours later my vomiting and nausea had subsided and both Tim and Alexandra came into my room. They unwrapped her and put her skin to skin on my chest to try to initiate bonding but my eager little girl went straight for my breast, latched on like a champ and started nursing to the surprise of the nurse. It was the best thing in the world. I was still very worried about her having an infection, but she seemed so perfect and so healthy that I just let myself enjoy it for the time being. I held her and stared at her and watched her nurse and realized how incredible it was that my body carried her for 9.5 months and now was still nourishing her. I realized in that moment that nothing in life had ever made me this happy before. Everything that I had been through, it was so worth it. She was suddenly everything to me and I just wanted to hold and protect her forever. I was in love instantly.
So that is the long version of how Alexandra Adams entered the world. The doctors described her immediately as “feisty” and I couldn’t have been more proud. She entered the world on her own time and entered it kicking and screaming despite some pretty scary circumstances. The birth was not anything I’d ever imagined, so I guess that’s why its important not to get tied to a detailed birth plan. I had had a relatively easy, uncomplicated pregnancy and was very healthy. My doctor had said I was a great candidate for a med free, vaginal delivery and everything turned out to be just the opposite. I’d do it over and over again to get her. She’s my perfect little angel. I don’t think that anyone in the world could ever love anyone more than I love my little jumping bean. I’ll post more about how things have been going since her birth as I get more time.