March 2nd, Continued

It took most of the day for me to fully dilate.  I spent the majority of it being rolled from side to side to try to get the baby to turn fully to the back (facing my spine).  For a long time, instead of facing the back the baby faced to the side, causing a lot of the back pain.  But once the epi was on board, as long as I pushed the button occasionally, I was able to doze between shifting from side to side.

Mom and Dad came early, and MIL Marilyn and SIL Sharon were next.  By early afternoon, I was finally fully dilated.  The nurse decided to let me “labor down” for a while, which means they let contractions and gravity lower the baby into the birth canal without pushing.  At this point, I asked for a bolus of pain meds thru the epi.  The anesthesiologist was right there and I got it right away and completely dozed off.  More friends and family were coming and going but I wasn’t really aware.

Finally, the baby turned to face my back and my nurse, Mara, was ready to have me start pushing the baby down into the birth canal.  I don’t know how to explain it, but it was the first time I really felt afraid.  Mom was standing right next to me, holding my hand, but all of the sudden I was just really scared.  I was scared that there would be pain I couldn’t handle, I was scared something might happen to the baby, I was just … scared.  Mom and Troy prayed with me, then I took a deep breath and I was ready to go.

So Mom was on my left and Troy on my right.  Mara got my legs in the stirrups and would tell me when a contraction was starting and I would take a deep breath and push for a count of ten, three times in succession, with each contraction.  We did this for about 30 minutes.  Mara said I was making good progress, and I was getting more confident.  My epi began to wear off a bit and I could vaguely feel the contractions.  It helped me to know when to push on my own so Mara didn’t have to tell me.  With each contraction, I would pull my knees towards my chest and Mom and Troy would put one hand under my neck and pull up, while using the other hand to push my feet up.  It really helped.

Unfortunately, twice the baby had an episode where its heart rate dropped dramatically during the contraction.  Both times, the room was suddenly full of nurses, an oxygen mask appeared on my face, and they started rolling me onto my sides.  It was a little scary, but I felt like the nurses had it under control.  After the second episode, Mara decided to page Dr. Breen and had me start breathing through the contractions instead of pushing.  It was at this point the contractions were the most painful, because I hadn’t been using the epi button (so I could feel them a bit and do a better job pushing).  I started using the button again and grunting through the contractions, but I have to admit, until the meds kicked in the contractions HURT.

At this point Dr. Breen came in.  He said they would let me try pushing a little more, and he would even try using the vacuum if he thought it would help get the baby out faster.  But he warned me that they wouldn’t let the episodes with the baby’s heart rate dropping keep happening and a c-section may be our only choice.  Suddenly, the room exploded with people.  There were nurses, Dr. Breen, another surgical doctor and friends and family.  They wheeled in a c-section prep table.  As I saw it roll in, suddenly I KNEW with a certainty that I did NOT want a c-section if it could be helped.  I selfishly didn’t want to spend the next few weeks focusing on healing from surgery instead of focusing on my new baby.  I suddenly was flooded with the determination to HAVE this baby.

I didn’t care that I could feel the contractions anymore.  Actually, other than using them to know when to push, I wasn’t even aware of them anymore.  Those little “sets of three” pushing I had done with Mara were just junior varsity practice!  Suddenly, I could hold my breath for counts of 20 or more, over and over.  I was pushing so hard, I thought my eyes would pop out of my face so I squeezed them closed tight.  Then everyone was leaning over to see the top of the baby’s head.  Dr. Breen directed my hand so I could touch it – so soft, the softest thing I’d ever touched.

It doesn’t seem possible now but then, I found the strength to go hard-core Olympic-level pushing.  They told me afterwards that Dr. Breen had both his hands in there, trying to stretch the ring, and he was relentless – don’t stop!  keep pushing!  don’t let that breath go!  push down into your bottom! and Mara was cheering me on, and Troy and Mom were counting and squeezing me together like an accordion.  I felt a pop that I knew was a tear but it was just in the periphery of awareness.  Push harder, the shoulders are almost out, you can make this happen, PUSH!PUSH!PUSH!PUSH!PUSH! and then Dr. Breen announced, IT’S A GIRL! and seriously, just like a movie, everyone began cheering and jumping up and down.  It wasn’t until this moment I realized there were so many friends and family in the room.  Even my dad burst in, he was waiting right outside the door and just couldn’t wait anymore (I had told him earlier he could stay, but it was hard for him to see me in pain) but he came in just as Troy cut the cord, then Dr. Breen held her up in the air for everyone to see.

They laid her on my chest and began to clean her.  It felt so surreal, like I was in an episode of A Baby Story or One Born Every Minute.  Like I was playing a part, it wasn’t really me.  I thought she looked a little blue, and apparently the doc agreed and had a NICU nurse paged STAT.  They moved her over into the bassinet and began to work on her.  I couldn’t see her so I sent Troy and Mom to find out what was going on.  It took a while, but eventually I began to hear cries and everyone began to give me reports that she was doing well, she just had a lot of fluid in her lungs they had to get out.  They never did have to take her to the NICU or out of the room, which was a relief.

While all of that was going on, Dr. Breen and the surgical doc began to work on me.  The placenta came out easily, I could feel it squish out.  I thought the sewing up would go quickly, but they just kept working and working, talking quietly to each other.  They began pushing hard on my pubic bone and pulling and pushing at my parts.  The epi had been forgotten during the intense pushing and I was beginning to feel everything.  What I found out later was, apparently, when her shoulders came out, I had a 2nd degree tear in the perineum – not bad, pretty standard.  But – I also had a first degree tear in the urethra, which was incredibly painful to have sewn up.  TMI – it tore through the pee opening up to just under my clit.  In addition to this, everything became hugely, insanely swollen, and they were having a really hard time figuring out what was what before they could even start sewing it all back together.  But what scared me was that up ’til now, they had been really good at telling me what was going on and explaining everything to me.  But now, they were so focused and only talked to each other.  And it just kept going on and on.  I kept thinking, this is standard, there are worse tears, it’s almost over, but after about 20 minutes, I was really getting nervous.  I had my eyes closed and I was hanging on to the bed rails on either side, trying to just breathe through the pain and pressure.  Suddenly, I felt small fingers on my hand – it was Marilyn, standing beside me, holding my hand.  In all the chaos and commotion, I didn’t even realize I had started to get scared, and I was so grateful to find her standing there beside me that I started to cry a little.  My mother-in-law has had her hips and knees replaced and standing for a long time is hard for her, but for another 15 minutes she just stayed and held my hand and told me she loved me.  It was such a blessing to have her there.

Finally, we got all good reports for the baby, she was doing fantastic.  It took about 45 minutes but at last I was all sewn up, to0.  The catheter I had in with the epi fell out, and they tried to put in another but couldn’t do it with all the swelling.  But it felt good to sit up and start celebrating with everyone.  My SIL Sharon and girlfriend Melissa had taken pics and videotaped a lot of it.  We started passing the baby around and marveling over her.  I can’t believe the baby was a girl.  I just KNEW I was going to have a boy.  I didn’t realize how excited I was to have a boy, and I definitely still want to try to have one. 

After all that, it still doesn’t seem real – I keep expecting someone to come take her back, to give her back to her “real” parents.  How can it be that I am someone’s Mother?  I feel so … unworthy, too inexperienced to be entrusted with something so important.  Fortunately, we have proof that she really does belong to us!

The big debut:


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Txgirl
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 21:35:25

    woo hoo!! Congratulations! I know what you mean about it being surreal sometimes–feels a little like out of body stuff. Enjoy your precious girl!


  2. Kari
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 23:01:53

    Way to go Mama!! Congratulations on your little girl!! Enjoy these moments!! My repair job took about an hour so I know how scary that can be. So glad you had someone there to hold your hand. The surreal feeling never really passes, trust me. But it’s true, you’re a Mama and she’s all yours!!


  3. My Bumpy Journey
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 23:30:21

    I am so excited for you sweetie!!!!! I love that you remember so much about your story, and it is awesome to have it on video.


  4. Katie
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 00:12:25

    A HUGE congratulations to you and Troy! Parenthood is awesome, and you’re just beginning your amazing journey with your beautiful baby girl!


  5. lifebytheday
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 05:32:38

    Congratulations!!!!! I’m so glad that everyone is okay 🙂 Sending you hugs and lots of love!


  6. athena
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 07:50:11

    Yay!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!


  7. Amber
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 09:14:34

    I was determined that I was having a boy too, but now I can’t imagine my little angel being a boy. I’m so blessed to have a little girl! Congrats!!!


  8. Mrs. Bushey
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 09:46:52

    Congrats on your baby girl!!!! What a story, glad you didn’t have to have a c-section.


  9. Katie
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 11:59:15

    Congrats Mama! Welcome to the exciting journey of parenthood! I can’t wait to see lots and lots of your baby girl!


  10. Andrea
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 12:58:20

    Wonderful, a baby girl! Congrats you made it. I am so proud of you my IF sister. We really do get our happy endings.


  11. Pie
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 13:27:47

    Oh, a huge Congrats Stacey!! I know that certainty of a boy, only to be surprised by a sweet little girl! She will melt your heart in all new ways! You really did so great, and found all sorts of momma strength you didn’t even know you had, I’m so proud of you! 🙂


  12. Hope
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 21:39:13

    Wow! I cried reading this. Congratulations! You’re a mother. Can’t wait to see pics of your little bundle.


  13. linds
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 22:29:26

    Congrats Stacey!! 🙂 You deserve this so much. Lots of love to you and your little girl! Will you be sharing her name??


  14. Christine
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 22:30:49

    Congrats, Stacey!! I’m so happy for you. Enjoy her!


  15. iamstacey
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 17:40:11

    thank you all so much for all for sharing in our joy! I’m so glad you are here to cheer me on and wish us all well! I couldn’t have made this journey without you all, my IF sisters!


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