Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Birth of Azalea Therese

Zellie is almost two months old now and I still haven't written her birth story. So before I forget it all, I'd better write it down! Be forewarned that it is long and full of gory details. Read on if desired.
   First off, all of the other kids were born at 10 or 11 days overdue, (aside from Maria, but she was my first so I wasn't really comparing hers because firsts can be so different). And only with William did labour start on its own. So I was definitely expecting to be induced again, and honestly it wasn't a big deal - my labours with Felicity, William and Gus all went pretty much the same, induced or not. All I needed was a little push and then my body did the rest. So this time, when my OB said she didn't like letting people go more than a week overdue, and then scheduled me for induction on Thursday, which was 6 days past my due date, I didn't think it was a big deal. If I was going to have to be induced anyway, the sooner the better, or so I thought. In hindsight, maybe my body just wasn't quite ready, and maybe those extra four days would have made a difference, since this time my body just didn't quite respond the way I was used to. Read on if you're interested.
   So on Thursday, October 13, we dropped off the kids at their grandparents bright and early, and showed up at the hospital where they immediately placed some gel on my cervix to get things started. My doctor left saying, "I'll be back at noon to check on you again, unless I get a call beforehand", which she fully expected to receive since with Gus it only took four hours from start to finish. As soon as I was allowed, I began to do my thing - walking and walking and walking. Four hours later my doctor came to check me and I was.....3 cm maybe? I was expecting to have given birth by that time, so it was super disappointing. Contractions were still irregular and not very strong. She attempted to break my water, but couldn't. With orders to start pitocin, she left again, expecting to be called back soon when things got intense. In all my inductions, I have always been able to avoid pitocin, which I'd always heard made the contractions super intense. So I was scared! I was tired and getting disheartened and wasn't sure if mentally I could make it through! I knew I could make it through unmedicated if things went roughly how I expected them to. So something like this freaked me out and for the first time in five labours I began to seriously consider an epidural. The thought of just resting while things happened sounded so appealing. Especially since they said once they started me on pitocin I wouldn't be able to walk around, which is what I do in labour. I came so close to saying just give me the drugs! But in the end I decided to just wait until the pitocin started and see what it felt like. So we started it at 2:30. And nothing really changed. Except my water did break, but even that didn't really speed things up. At 4 I got on the ball, once they would let me, and bounced around until contractions started happening a little more regularly and stronger, although they still were pretty pathetic. When my doctor came back, she told me to get off the ball and lie on my side because the baby's heartbeat was dropping a little after contractions. At 4:50 I texted my sisters: "Still 3 cm. This sucks." I had told my doctor that I go from 6 to 10 cm in about five minutes usually, so instead of leaving the hospital, she was hanging out in a room next door and coming back to check on me every half hour. And every time she came, I had nothing to tell her. The contractions still were not anything to get excited about. I was barely having to breathe through them. Still she would check my cervix, and there would be hardly any change. She was hesitant to increase the pitocin too much because the baby's heartbeat kept dropping. Eventually she upped it a bit and they began to get intense. I think that was around 7pm, but my memory of the timing of this part is so hazy! Around 8 they were super intense and my doctor decided to stay in the room, checking me after each contraction. I was 6, -contraction - now you're 7 -contraction - now you're 8 - contraction - now you're nearly 9 - contraction - now you're a good 9 - contraction - pretty much 10- contraction - ok you're 10! She let a few more contractions go by so I was good and ready. By this point I was obviously in the most intense pain ever but just taking it one contraction at a time. I kept expecting her to say "Ok, time to push!"  and so died a little when I had to make it through another contraction. Finally, at 9:10pm, push time came and with one good push out she came! THE MOST RELIEVING FEELING IN THE WORLD. The next best part was that within 10 minutes my placenta came out! All of it!
  And that is how little Zellie was born.

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