Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I would walk 500 miles--& I would walk 500 more!

The Birth Story
For my own personal record. Read if you would like.
My due date was January 10th, 2012. Four weeks out from my due date I had high blood pressure. My doctor didn’t think much of it because the baby’s heart beat was fine and I was healthy otherwise. With each proceeding visit my blood pressure rose. It could have been due to the fact that I finished school just within weeks of my due date, or the fact that we’re living with my in-laws and that alone can make a girl’s temperature rise now and again. Not to mention the fact that I have paranoia about having my weight and blood pressure taken. Every visit I was nervous about giving a urine sample, being weighed, and having my blood pressure taken. And of course, I was completely anxious and nervous for labor and delivery. At my final appointment when my blood pressure was still elevated at the end of the visit my doctor decided to send me to the hospital for testing for preeclampsia. She said that if I still had elevated blood pressure at the hospital they would have to induce me the next morning and I would be staying at the hospital that night. If all was well at the hospital after testing, then my doctor recommended being induced the day after my due date because she would be working that day, and she didn’t want to risk waiting another week since I had been experiencing high blood pressure for a few weeks by then. I couldn’t hide my fear or my disappointment and my doctor gave me a hug. She said it would be okay and that she’d call the hospital to let them know I’d be on my way. 

I hadn’t even packed my hospital bag yet. I left my doctors office in tears and called Nate bawling. I told him that I didn’t know what was going to happen, but that just in case he needed to come home. Poor guy had just gotten to a restaurant with his coworkers and hadn’t even ordered food yet. He had been talking that place up all week, and then he gets there and I made him come home. His coworkers were very understanding and one of them drove him back to work to get his car. I told him he should just eat, but I was very grateful that he just came home. After calling Nate I called my mom to tell her the news. I wasn’t emotional on the phone with her, but more upset because I didn’t want to have to be induced. I was still only dilated to a one after four weeks and my cerix wasn’t “favorable.” I then called my sister in-law Kate, and asked her what I actually needed to pack for the hospital since she had just delivered her little boy a few weeks prior. Talking to her always makes me feel better! When Nate arrived we finished packing, I put on some mascara and blush, and then he gave me a blessing and we were on our way.

We made our way to the hospital for testing. My nurse’s name was Dixie.  I loved her name because I just thought of St. George and home. Thankfully, my blood pressure was normal. All other tests came back normal as well, so I was discharged. I was still scheduled for an induction the following Wednesday, January 11th.  After a couple hours at the hospital Nate still hadn’t eaten that day, so naturally we found a Chick Fil’ A because that seems to be our meal of choice as of late. Nate decided that it wasn’t worth it for him to go back into work that day. He called his manager and explained the situation. In return the guy was very understanding and told Nate how he and his wife induced labor by riding some crazy elevator when they lived in Switzerland. 

After all that I could relax some. We made all of the final preparations for baby over the weekend and booked my mom’s tickets for the following Friday. No matter what I would have the baby by the time she arrived. With nothing better to do, I started my walking regimen. It was thrown off one day due to some freak Texas weather. I was determined to go into labor on my own, so I walked and walked and walked (just like the pioneers. NOT! But it felt really good to walk it out!)  Taking walks in the neighborhood also became my social hour. Anytime I’d call friends or family I’d be out walking! If only I had been this consistent with walking my entire pregnancy. I did what I could with school, but I know that walking there at the end helped me. I was doing two a days, averaging 8 miles a day. Not too shabby! So the 48 hours up to delivery I walked a good 16 miles. 

I was pleasantly surprised when I started having contractions early in the day on my due date, Tuesday January 10th. By the evening I was having real contractions and anxious for Nate to get home. Busy season technically started that week. He got home around 9pm that night and an hour later I was having regular contractions. We were both really tired, so we just laid in bed and timed the contractions on our phones. I was scheduled to go into the hospital for the induction at 4 am, but I called the after hours nurse and told her that my contractions were averaging 6 minutes apart. She told me to stay home for another hour before coming into the hospital. I was finally excited! With school and everything else going on, I hadn’t really been excited for the baby. It was all just happening. 

We arrived at the hospital at 1:30 in the morning. Our nurse’s name was Taylor. Nate and I had been debating on Taylor or Jane as Eliza’s middle name, but we decided to go with Taylor J I was dilated to a 3 or 4. I wasn’t sure when I should get the epidural, and I was breathing through the contractions fine. Finally, the contractions were making me sick and I figured there was no reason to wait. By about 3:30 a.m. I had the epidural. (Note to self: put your hair up next time during this part!) Thankfully that went well and I couldn’t feel anything. A totally strange feeling, but it gave us the opportunity to rest for a couple of hours. Nate had a good snooze while I tried to stay calm and get some rest. I was shaking quite a bit and wasn’t sure if it was due t nerves, being cold, or the epidural. They started me on pitocin, and after a while realized that the baby wasn’t reacting well. I don’t remember the technical term for what was occurring, but the baby’s heart rate kept dropping. Another nurse came in and told me the possible outcomes and explained everything to us. It was very nice to have her take the time to share exactly what was going on and to make us knowledgeable about the situation. There was a chance that if I didn’t progress on my own that they’d have to do an emergency c-section. The thought of that made me nervous, but there was still time. They put me on oxygen and informed my doctor. She wouldn’t arrive until 7 am. They decided to take me off of the pitocin and see how far I progressed on my own until my doctor arrived. She arrived around 7:30 and checked me and I was to a 6. She broke my water, and decided to start the pitocin again on really low levels.  I guess a couple of hours passed, and the baby’s heart beat couldn’t be found suddenly. They quickly called my doctor. In the meantime they hooked up a monitor to the baby’s head and the baby’s heart beat picked back up. This part scared me and I began to cry because a few more nurses came rushing in, in what seemed like a panic. Perhaps I was the only one panicking really. Then, one of the nurses said, “Well maybe she just transitioned really quickly.” She checked and I had gone from a 7-10 very quickly. They called my doctor again and told her not to worry because everyone was fine and I was ready to push.

My doctor arrived and said that we were going to go forward with the pushing and as long as the baby didn’t go into distress that I’ve be able to deliver her without the c-section. We started pushing and the baby was turned sunny side up, as my doctor called it. She was able to flip her around the first time I pushed, but the baby turned again. She was able to flip her again the second time I pushed. Pushing took a total of about 40-45 minutes, and most of that time I was waiting for a contraction to push. My doctor was phenomenal and made this whole experience a good one. I was so grateful she was able to deliver Eliza. At one point while we were pushing my doctor said she has a lot of hair! I remember looking at Nate who was getting teary eyed then and so I teared up too. I was so proud of Nathan, the boy afraid to watch ER, was actively taking part in the delivery. He was right by my side, taking a peek at the head, and cutting the umbilical cord. Eliza Taylor arrived at 11:19 am. It was surreal! Delivering her felt like such an accomplishment. She was finally here. She weighed in at 8 lbs 2.5 oz and 19 ¾ in long. She’s a beauty and we’re smitten!!

That afternoon she went to the nursery for what seemed like an eternity. The Grandparents patiently waited to see her, and I finally was able to feed her again after four hours. Now I’m just amazed at how quickly she is growing. I just want her to stay little!! I love my sweet Eliza Taylor and am so happy to be a mom! Having my mom come the day we left the hospital was the biggest blessing. I’m so glad she was there when we went home. There is nothing like having your own mom by your side. I feel so lucky to have my own little girl, and to have her be my first just like I was my mom’s first born. Heavenly Father knew I needed a little girl. He has blessed us with a happy, healthy, beautiful miracle! Our joy overfloweth!


Nate and Erin Russell said...

congrats nate and rach! she IS beauty and i'm excited to meet her in a few months!

Melinda said...

Awe! Congratulations you guys! I love her name, she is a doll.

Becky said...

I just love hearing birth stories, what a miracle, she is. I'm so glad everything went well. She is gorgeous like her mother.

Danielle said...

yay! congrats you two. love all three of you! glad things went ok rach. i swear walking is the key!

Lil' LeBaron Family said...

Rach I'm so happy for you! I'm so glad that everything worked out in the end and that you're all doing well! Call me any time you need a break or need to talk mommy! Congrats!

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