Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm So Happy

I know many have waited a long time to see a post about Charlotte Moon. And I've been waiting to make the post as well. There are already so many wonderful things I want the world to know about our beautiful baby girl it will take me forever to share them all with you. So, I decided to start small and have been making a list that I will try to get to over the next couple of weeks. The only problem is... sometimes I get so caught up just staring at Charlotte I forget that I have other things to do. :-) I'll start tonight with the "birth story." On Monday, August 6th, I had my regularly scheduled 39-week appointment. While there, Dr. Salamon checked my cervix and decided I was 70-80% effaced and 1-2 cm dilated. Apparently, every time my belly was hardening in the last couple of months, I was having a contraction. If only they had stayed so innocuous! Monday afternoon though, I did start to experience stronger contractions but they were fairly irregular.

After talking to several people and doing some of my own research, I am sure the cervical exam helped to spur on my labor. When I woke up on Tuesday morning at 5:30, I was still having some contractions, only they were coming more consistently, maybe every 10-15 minutes on average. Since I wasn't sure if these were the real thing or not, I laid down for a couple of hours to see if they would go away - they didn't. So, Bruce and I spent the rest of the day finding places to walk. We went to Lowe's and visited just about every department. Then, we went to Walmart and walked around there for another hour or so. By this time, Bruce was hungry and I was tired of walking and contracting so we stopped at Burger King for Bruce to eat something. I ate a Zone bar myself since I didn't want any greasy fast food in my system.

From there, I decided to go to the Regency to see if I had made any progress since my contractions were now about 1 minute long and ~5 minutes apart. After the triage nurse examined me, we were told to go home. I had not progressed. She speculated that I was tired and tense so my muscles weren't relaxing enough for my labor to progress. Her suggestion was to go home, take a Tylenol PM and try to get some rest because I would need it. She was right! I caught about 2 1/2 hours of shut-eye and then my water broke.

We high-tailed it back to the hospital and got me admitted. It was a long night of walking around and trying to breathe through the contractions. The most comfortable position during a contraction was kneeling over one of the couches in the Family Lounge. By the time 8:30 am came around though, I was exhausted. My contractions still weren't progressing and I was only dilated about 4 cm. I decided to ask for some Stadol to ease the pain. Along with the Stadol I took something to relax my muscles. This allowed me to sleep for about 2 hours. I desperately needed that sleep. I didn't feel as if I had it in me to push when the time came and it didn't feel like it was coming anytime soon.

After resting for 2 hours (in which I could still feel my contractions, but ignore them if I wanted too), Dr. Salamon came in and pulled my tape only to announce that my contractions had slowed down and were now irregular. Of course, at this point, my water had been broken for about 10 hours and Dr. Salamon said it was time for Pitocin. I wasn't happy about that and we discussed the decision for several minutes before I conceded that her advice was the best for my situation by this point. So the Pitocin drip started out at the lowest dose, 2, and the nurse did her best to not increase it until she had to. I only ended up getting a dose of 6, which I was told is only a half-dose.

The Pitocin worked though. I ended up getting to the pushing stage around 1:45 pm, which lasted for 2 hours. It was not fun nor was it easy. As many people as I talked to and as many books as I read, nothing prepared me for the pain of actually pushing Charlotte through the last bit of the birth canal. Renee, the delivery nurse, told me it would feel like a ring of fire. She was right, but I didn't know how right she was going to be! I think the majority of my pain came from the 2 tears I had. One small one on the bottom and one slightly larger one on top. I ended up with 4 stitches total.

One funny part of this whole story is that when I gave the final push, once Charlotte was out a huge gush of amniotic fluid went flying across the room and part of it caught the doctor in the face. It was a surreal moment to say the least. :)

After she was out, Charlotte Moon was brought to my chest. I didn't think I could get the hospital gown off fast enough to hold her skin-t0-skin. It was an amazing feeling to meet her and well, find out Belly Monster was a little girl! She stayed in my arms for close to an hour before the nurses took her to finish their measuring and testing. Here is a photo taken of her after they took her and bathed her. I like to think her dance career starts here, as she practices her Krumping. If you look close at her eyes, don't be alarmed by the wet stuff... she wasn't crying, that is some sort of vitamin E goop they put there to prevent blindness.

It has taken me 3 days to write this post because I keep getting distracted by Charlotte and her attempts to eat and my attempts to sleep. I'll try to get another post up by the end of the weekend. If I start now I should be able to make it.

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