Baby Eleanor has my heart! I went into the hospital May 18th, Sunday night, ready to be induced (well, ready- but just so nervous and jittery- I mean everything from that moment until the rest of my life would be new). Brent and I drove to the hospital once we got the phone call that the hospital was ready for us to come in (6:15pm).
The hospital room was so luxurious! It was so big and if everything went according to plan, it would be the room I would be induced in, have contractions in, and deliver in.
My nurse, Heidi, was wonderful. But I must have been so nervous, my blood pressure was fairly high the first couple hours... Like, 140/86 and usually the first number is in the 120's.
They started the induction with Cytotec- a pill that I took (NOT orally mind you... but inserted there) every three hours. It would increase effacement and dilation and possibly start some contractions before the hospital would start me on Pitocin to really get the labor going. The plan was to take 3 doses of Cytotec throughout the night and start Pitocin in the morning.
I had contractions starting around 11 pm. As they started, I was like, ok, the contractions are doable- but this condition I'm in is not. I'm in the hospital gown, connected to an IV (with the needle in my hand- the IV sounds so trivial, but it hurt a lot. Every time I moved I could feel it pinching). I was also connected to a heart rate monitor and contraction monitor (little belts around my stomach that connected to a machine by my bed with cords) that would measure the heart rate of the baby and if and how much I was contracting) in addition to a blood pressure cuff that would measure my blood pressure every five minutes or so. I was connected to so many things and my hospital gown kept snagging on all of them! It was so hard to get comfortable- not to mention my huge belly and it taking intense straining to move any which way! I had a crick in my back... yada yada yada it was super uncomfortable.
As the night went on, the contractions... those things got intense. It was around midnight ish, and I definitely couldn't sleep through them. They'd happen and I'd just squeeze my eyes shut and hope it went away real quick. Before I went into labor, I was so curious what contractions felt like. For me, there were two different types. The first kind were the worst in my opinion- the bathroom type. They felt like I had extreme stomach cramps- not so much menstrual type- more like, I have to go to the bathroom in a not so nice way right NOW type. So, I would get up every few minutes (trekking in my IV pole and all the other cords I was attached to) to use the restroom to end the madness.
A nurse caught me on the way in asking how I was doing, so I told her, and she was like, "You can't push when you go to the bathroom, or you'll tear something." That statement stopped me right there. Yikes. I did not push after that.
After maybe an hour ish of contractions, I was at almost 2cm, which seemed like nothing. Then, the contractions stopped feeling bathroom ish and were more like a menstrual cramp, but way intense. Like my stomach would just tighten, real tight. Like when you get hit in the stomach and can't breathe for a bit. The nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural... and I was like, at 2 cm?! I cannot be asking for an epidural at 2cm. My pride got in the way, there. She could tell I didn't want it yet but I was hurting, so she offered some other drug they could give me through my IV that would help a bit (I think it was called Fentanyl). It helped quite a bit- I was so glad she offered. I could take this drug only once an hour- and I did for 3 hours. The drug would help quite a bit for the first 30 min or so (so I could finally sleep a bit), but then it would wear off and I would be counting down the minutes till the next dose.
I was at 5cm when I requested an epidural. You guys, I am just so impressed with those ladies who do not get an epidural. I just cannot imagine going the whole time without it. I wanted the epidural, but I was certainly nervous about it. I'd heard the needle they put in your spine is 6 inches long and you have to bend over and touch your toes while they stick it in (that's what happened with to this lady during her birth). But for me, I honestly barely felt the epidural at all. The IV was WAY worse. I did have 2-3 contractions while I got the epidural, but I thought for sure even a contraction couldn't hide a 6 in needle! I was so glad I got it. Fairly shortly afterward, I could feel the contractions as a slight pressure, but it didn't hurt at all, and it was such a relief.
The anesthesiologist came back a bit after to check how the epidural was doing. He noticed the baby's heart rate was at 60 beats per minute. He said casually, "Is that the baby's heart rate or yours?" and I was like, I dunno.
At that point, he left the room and Brent said he made some sort of hand signal, and literally a few seconds later there were about 7 people in my room. They put an oxygen mask over my face and had me flip over on all fours real quick like. 60 was definitely baby's heart rate, and it wasn't good. The mood in the room was intense. I heard some people talking to Brent about signing some papers for a possible emergency c section. Things were intense. A nurse jabbed my shoulder with a needle of something to get the heart rate back up.
Thankfully, the baby's heart did come up. But afterwards, after contractions, her heart rate would dip a bit and then come back up. So the nurses were on the watch. At around maybe 6am or so, I was at 9cm. However, Ella was turned a little funky. She was face towards my stomach instead of my back.
The doctor did try to turn her around (using brute force- none of this hands pushing on my stomach, but hands actually in there with the baby- that was something I didn't expect). Also it was a little gross because he was like, "She has a lot of hair!" and I was like..... you can actually feel it? eee.
In trying to turn her around, her heart lowered again and did not come back up. The doctor highly recommended a c-section... and I wasn't going to say no- the doctor seemed fairly worried. So that quick, they wheeled me into the operating room to start. Brent put on the robe and hat and footies and everything. It was quick. They hoisted me up on the operating table and put up a sheet in front of me so I couldn't see what they were up to. I was literally butt naked from the chest down. I could feel people moving me around, but I didn't feel any pain. It seemed just minutes later I heard a cry of a baby.
They lifted her up, lion king style, over the sheet so I could see her. She was reddish purple, attached with her cord, had such thick dark hair, and was wailing. It just seemed so weird that she came out of me, a real person came out of me, and I didn't even see it or barely even feel it happen, but there she was, a real little person!
Unfortunately I didn't get any skin-to-skin time like I had wanted because they started sewing me up and they had to check her health real quick since her heart rate was low and all that. I was shivering like a leaf, I couldn't stop my teeth from chattering, and was so cold. I had to ask for a blanket! Which they put on me (it was warmed! I remember it feeling so wonderful). I was surprised that I didn't cry right away. It was too surreal I think... though that hasn't stopped me from crying before.
Brent went with her to the nursery where they weighed her and all that (I was quite bummed to have missed this! Later, I saw mom's in wheelchairs with their newly born babies in the nursery going through the same thing). Then, Brent brought her back to me all bundled up and calmed down. I got to touch her soft little hair while I was still being sewn up.
Then they wheeled me on back to the original room to recover.
Oh you guys, it was so nutty. And I couldn't get over that hair! Right?!
Eleanor Kay Mouritsen. 7 lbs even. 19 inches.
More baby news to come, don't even worry about it.