Sunday, September 8, 2013

How she came to be

My pregnancy with Aliya was quite the surprise.  Our tentative plan has always been to have 3 kids. We had been planning on waiting a while for our third. We had just moved in to a huge project house and anticipated putting every spare penny into it. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I knew it was God's plan for us. Everything would work out. I was nervous because being a diabetic I am supposed to have everything in super tight control months before pregnancy, and since this wasn't planned, and life was jam packed full of stress my blood sugars were not where they were supposed to be.
  I bled the entire first trimester. It has been common for me to spot during the first trimester with my previous pregnancies but this was a lot more than what I was used to. I thought for sure I was going to lose this baby. The Doctors were kind of feeling the same way, although I did have multiple ultrasounds to verify there was a heartbeat.
  Anyway- it made me experience quite the baby blues in the first trimester. The middle of the craziest winter I've ever had. The feeling of having no control over anything.. and living in a really nasty house that I didn't have energy to make better.

 I really wanted to go natural with this pregnancy. There are a few reasons why: My recovery with the boys was horrible. For two-three weeks the pain was unbearable. I thought that if I had more control with how I pushed and the position that I was in I might be able to have a better recovery. I also thought it would be a powerful experience. I had always thought I would need drugs to have babies. I have to be induced early due to diabetes. And with Jayden and Alex I had to be induced earlier than that because of blood pressure issues. Jayden and Alex ended up in the NICU and I thought maybe if I had more control over the delivery and what was put into my body that this baby wouldn't have to go to the NICU.

Anyway- 2nd trimester hit and I started to feel better. Energy wise, physically and emotionally. I started researching giving birth naturally. Unfortunately, I never got to the part of the books about pain management. I wasn't ready for that, and I figured I'd just hire a doula to help me through everything. My Dr was on board with me going natural and told me if I didn't have any Blood Pressure (BP) issues he'd let me try to go on my own as long as I didn't hit 40 weeks.

Third trimester came, and my stomach did not stop growing. I had never stuck out so far in a pregnancy and it was killing me. My belly button never popped with my other two, but at 30 weeks- there she was! I was carrying the placenta in the front so I don't know if that had anything to do with it. My BP started to climb. When I first realized it was happening I pretty much sobbed. I felt like all hope of going natural was gone as I was going to have preeclampsia again. I knew if they did induce me it would probably be before term, and pitocin would be involved which I had heard would make labor a lot more painful.  I stopped researching natural child birth, and just focused on keeping her in there by keeping my BP down. This involved staying in bed as much as I could at 34+ weeks.  I did go into the hospital a few times for some close calls. I was put on some BP medication which helped a bit. At least it allowed me a little bit of freedom.

At 36 weeks 3 days I was given a growth ultrasound. I think it was a Wednesday.  She was measuring 3 weeks ahead, and was guessed to weigh about 7 pounds 5 ounces. The Dr. came in afterwards and felt her from my stomach. He told me he didn't think she was even that big yet. He guessed 7.2. We set an induction date for 37 weeks (the following Monday). Jayden started school that week. Had an orientation on Monday, and then did his first full day on Thursday. I figured if I was induced Monday night I could go to Jayden's orientation, and then be home from the hospital in time to take him to his first day of school.

On Thursday I lost my mucus plug. I was so excited. I knew that sometimes that means nothing, but maybe just maybe I would be able to go into labor on my own. Friday and Saturday I had sporadic contractions. Saturday evening they were coming every 5 minutes. Come night time it was every 3.  It was raining. The labor and delivery nurse said a lot of time rain causes women to go into labor.  I was so excited to be able to be experiencing this. I felt completely unprepared as I had not ended up getting a doula (more on that later), and I still hadn't read about handling labor pain.

Ryan took me to the hospital around 10 pm. He thought I would be sent home, so he wanted me to go by myself, or not go at all. But he finally got work off, and when he called his mom she insisted that he take me. I got to the hospital and my blood pressure was higher than ever. All my labs were still normal, meaning pre e had not yet reared it's head. BUT the blood pressure was very concerning So they wanted her out ASAP.

My Dr. unfortunately, was out of town. I was a little worried because I know not all doctors feel the same about natural child birth. But the Dr that was on shift that night was okay with me doing it, and the nurse supported me as well.
   After doing an ultrasound they discovered that Aliya was transverse. Despite the fact that I was 2 cm dilated and soft, my cervix was longer than they wanted. They decided to break my water to speed things up.  I have a pretty high pain tolerance. But breaking my water took about 15 minutes and it hurt like hell. I totally cried. I didn't cry at any other part of labor. The doctor had said it wouldn't hurt. The Dr. underestimated how long and curved my cervix was apparently. He did feel really bad, and told me that he owed me a soda... which I never got. He said he had never had that much trouble before. I love to be the first for someone.
 Contractions stayed consistent at 3 minutes apart, and got stronger but I was not dilating or shortening because of Aliya's position. So then they started the pitocin. I was worried because I new that would make going natural a lot harder. The contractions would be stronger than normal, and there would be less time between them from what I understood...  They kept checking me and  increasing the pitocin every hour. I was frustrated because with Alex and Jayden, once they broke my water I went really fast. With Alex it took under 15 minutes to go from a 5 to a 10 after they broke my water. Here I was at a four... and I was staying there. As the hospital staff made my contractions more and more painful. The Doctor I had been dealing with declared me to be at a 5 before he went off his shift.  They told me the reason it was taking so long was because her head was not in the proper position in the birth canal because she was transverse and therefore it would take longer. Dang it!!!

Once I was at a 5 the contractions got painful.

To stray off topic... I had really wanted to hire a doula. My last two labors Ryan got really uncomfortable seeing me in pain and had to leave the room a couple of times. I was sure I couldn't count on him to help me go through labor without pain meds. He just wanted us to be in the room. No other support. We had a lot of heated discussions on who should have the most say on this. He and I had never been to a birthing class. I hadn't read the pain management section of the books I had got. I hadn't dont any research. I knew he hadn't... Anyway- I told him if he researched how to help me through labor I would agree to not having anyone else in the room to get me through labor. He googled it- visited 3 websites and called it good. BUT- he was amazing. There was not one time that I was annoyed with him, which surprised me. ;) He stuck by my side throughout it all. I had to tell him when the contractions were coming because he didn't know how to read those monitors. And it was a long night for both of us. He rubbed my back, held my hand, and really made the experience a lot better for me. I'm really grateful to him, and glad we were able to share those moments together.

Back on topic- So shift change happened. And the new Dr. AND nurse were against me going natural. This Dr. was female, so it kind of surprised me that she was being such a pain. I told her one of the reasons I wanted to go natural was because my recovery with the boys was soooo painful. I thought if I had more control on the pushing that my recovery would be better. She had the "balls" to tell me that that was false. That I was going to feel so much pressure down there that I was going to try to push her out despite what they told me and I would get an even worse tear than if I had the epidural. She also checked me and said I was only a 4. Lies!!! She was on my hate list. 

Anyway- things got really painful. I tried the birthing ball. And it was okay for a bit. I screamed (I recall screaming, Ryan says I only moaned really really loudly). It must have been pretty loud because nurses kept running in. They had me get on the bed to check me again. And I was at an 8. By that point the contractions were so painful and coming so frequently that I stayed lying in the bed. That's when the pain got so bad I started begging for an epidural. Luckily I was ignored. I swore... I said I couldn't do it anymore. I asked whose stupid idea it was anyway. The pressure was the most intense... pain.. pressure ever. They started getting everything ready. It was around 10?? 11?? in the morning. The room started filling with Drs  and nurses.  That's all vague because all I can remember is the pain. I remember what a relief it was to push during contractions. It was like I was utilizing the pain, and it felt really good. As I was pushing the Dr on my hate list stuck her hand up me to turn Aliya around so that she'd come out easier.  Poor Aliya. It didn't feel good for me, but I can't imagine how hard she had to grab onto Aliya's head to get her to twist her whole body. Aliya came out with the Dr's hand print bruised on her face.

 Anyway- if that wasn't traumatic enough, Aliya experienced Shoulder dystocia.. I dont remember much of that, except the Dr swore and she and the nurse? jumped on top of me. Seriously- my eyes were pretty much closed during the last part of labor. And they screamed at me to push and push I did.

 And finally she was out. Everyone was exclaiming how huge she was. I was a little amused because I was thinking "if they think seven pounds is huge they should have seen my first..." .. HA! They were also all going on and on about how thick the cord was . I never saw it, but Ryan said he had to go at it with the scissors like 3 times. And later as I was delivering the placenta all these people came in to see the cord. They pulled the measuring thingy next to my bed, set her on it and I saw 9 lbs 3 oz. What the heck!!! Did I just do that?? The girl was huge.  And bruised :( And kind of a mess. They had sponge bathed the boys.. not her.

They all left the delivery room and Ryan and I got to spend a couple of hours together in the delivery room with her. I nursed her and I got to hold her all the way to the recovery room. It was so nice to be able to walk immediately after. Unfortunately my bleeding was out of control the first couple of days. It really worried the Drs and nurses. But it worked itself out, and I never felt light headed or dizzy despite all the blood loss. Aliya spent the first day and night in the room with me. And I was really glad I got to experience that.

See those bruises??? And still no bath :( Her hair was caked down and stunk.

The boys came That afternoon to meet their sister, and Ryan went home with them.

I never let the nursery take her until 6 a.m. Monday morning. They said they would give her a bath and bring her right back.. an hour later a Dr. came in and told me that they couldn't get her blood sugars stabilized and they had taken her in the NICU. Thanks for letting me say goodbye!! I was upset and burst into tears. I told him that he didn't know how hard it was to get my babies out of the NICU once they took them. "I understand..." he said. But he didn't.

And so the NICU is a whole different story. It ended up probably being a blessing as she was constantly being monitored. On day 3 she had the breathing difficulties and was put on O2, and she has been on it ever since. There were many expensive tests done because Im a diabetic and "most kids of diabetic moms have this.." the stinkin Doctor always used to say before telling me the test they felt they needed to run. But, surprise.. all the tests came back normal. He told me her red blood cell count would be high because I had diabetes. It was why she was so red. Imagine his surprise when her labs came back normal. Also he told me because of my diabetes she was a big baby, and there was the possibility that she would be fat in the future because of that. Ummm.... seriously?? All of my kids have been big. None of them are fat. AND big babies run in my family. I didn't like the Dr. He didn't like me either, so it's a fair game. But still. Anyway- they tried to keep her over labor day weekend because of jaundice. (Same thing happened at the same NICU with Alex) and I said I would refuse care. After that the Dr. said he would refuse to discharge. Ummm... pretty sure I have the final say of what happens to my daughter.  The room was tense. But I got our pediatrician involved, and she came home Friday night.  Instead of Tuesday morning.  I'm a bit bitter ;)

I did try to deliver at a different hospital- but the other hospitals said because of the diabetes and history with Pre E they wouldn't take me.

Anyway- she's 2 weeks old today. Came off the bilibed on Tuesday.. or Monday? She is still nice and dark though. Im anxious to see if she ends up being as fair as the boys were. She has lots of beautiful dark hair. No eyebrows :) She is being adored by all in the house. Jayden is her biggest fan. Alex tolerates her. But he doesn't see what the big deal is.

I'll do another post about her being home :) And dealing with the O2 and stat monitor . Love this beautiful little girl with all my heart and soul.


Nikki Taylor said...

Wow Tiff- you are one amazing woman! Way to go- she is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! I wish you still lived close so I could come see her. Congrats to you and your beautiful family! Take care of yourself.

sharon. said...

Wow! Crazy. I am so glad I used a mid wife. Although with diabetes I don't know if you could have, but I hate dr's. She is so cute and perfect. Girls are so fun!!

Andi and Jimmy said...

Holy drama! Glad she is home now!

Stephanie said...

You are so amazing! I'm glad she is home and doing well! Congrats! (Ps. Her poor little bruised head makes me sad, luckily she has some gorgeous hair to hide it! She's gorgeous!)