Friday, January 20, 2006

The Arrival of Savannah Leigh

The Birth Story of Savannah Leigh

Born January 15, 2006
4:24 PM
8 lbs 6 ozs 21 inches long

I was officially due on January 8th so was a week past due and scheduled to be induced on Monday, January 16th. In the week between the 8th and the 16th I had grown tremendously and was starting to be tired of being pregnant, mostly because of the worry of being past due more than anything. Each day brought new worry that he/she wasn't okay. (We didn't know she was a girl and were positive that she was actually a boy- insert God laughing here). I was also worried because my Mom was scheduled to fly back to NM on Monday and had run out of time off, so she had to go back regardless. I could not imagine the birth of my first child without my mother there. Other than avoiding an induction, this was my top priority (other than the obvious of a healthy baby). The other main factor was that my doctor had been out of town and was getting back on Sunday. I really wanted her to deliver our baby and not the doctor on call.

On Saturday I thought it might be possible that I was leaking fluid so we took a trip to the hospital, but it was a false alarm. We visited with friends who just had their baby at the hospital and then came home to wait some more.

I woke up at 4:30 am on Sunday, January 15th to a pretty hard contraction. I had been having contractions off and on for about a week and a half. Most of the time they were not painful, but occasionally I would have a painful one. I laid in bed for about a half an hour and kept having contractions so I finally got up and moved to the couch. I started keeping track and they were about 6 minutes apart and pretty strong. I wasn't in too much pain, but they were making me take notice. I went outside and took some pictures of the sunset, wondering if today would be my baby's birthday. At about 8:30 I woke up my husband and told him that my contractions were pretty regular and that this might actually be it. He got up and we took a shower. My Mom was up by the time I had blow dried my hair and we called the doctor. The doctor said to go on in to the hospital and get checked. As we gathered up our stuff, I hoped that this would not be another false alarm.

We drove to the hospital with my contractions getting closer to 5 minutes apart. We arrived at about 10:30 am. It took a little while to walk in as I was beginning to be in a lot more pain. When we checked in and they put me in a triage room and checked me I was at 3 cm and 100% effaced. This was about where I had been at my last doctor's appointment on Thursday so I was somewhat disappointed. They were having trouble getting my contractions to show up on the monitor as well as keeping a good reading on the baby's heartrate. Her heartrate was good, they just couldn't get the monitor in a good place. My MIL arrived shortly after we did. We called my Dad and StepMom and they called back shortly to say they were delayed because their waterbed had sprung a leak. We joked that their water had broken. The nurse told me to walk around the hospital for an hour and come back and get monitored again. The hospital was pretty quiet so hubby and I walked the halls, stopping with contractions for me to hang on his neck and make it through the contractions. They were getting worse and I was praying that all this pain meant that I was progressing.

We went back to triage when the hour was up and got hooked back up to the monitor. They were still having trouble getting the contractions to show up on the monitor. I don't know if they didn't believe I was having contractions, but I was very vocal about the pain I was in, so I don't know how you wouldn't think I was in labor. When the nurse checked me I was still at 3cm, but she gave me a 3-4 cm when she saw the look on my face. She said they would monitor me for a little longer and then I would either have to walk some more or they were going to send me home. Hubby couldn't believe they would send me home in the pain I was in.

About 5 minutes later I felt this kick and then a gush of fluid. My water broke!!! Either my Mom or my MIL went and told the nurse and her response was, "Instant admission". Unfortunately, the hospital had gotten busy and they didn't have the staff to staff all the rooms, so they didn't have a room available for me. At this hospital we labor, deliver and recover all in the same room. I didn't really care at this point although we had up to 7 people in our little triage room at a time and it was tight. At some point my Dad and Stepmom showed up, but time had ceased to be something real to me. I was in a lot of pain and was having severe back labor. Each contraction may have had a beginning and an end, but the pain never stopped. They still couldn't get them to show up on the monitor. I was getting lost in the contractions and having trouble focusing some. My dad, stepmom and MIL took turns applying pressure to my back, while I focused on my husband and my mom talking me through each contraction. I guess about 12:30 pm I couldn't take it anymore. I was dreading each upcoming contraction and couldn't do it anymore and certainly couldn't imagine doing it for hours, so I broke down and asked for the epidural. Someone went to the tell the nurse and she said she would get it going. At some point she came in and started my IV. I moved during the first try so she tried two more times before she got it. I hate IV's and the pain of the IV on top of the contractions didn't help. The nurse came back and said it would be a little bit for the epidural because a lady had come in full dilated and ready to deliver and there was also an emergency C-section and only one anesthesiologist on that day. The nurse offered me IV drugs for the pain, which I really wanted at the time, but hubby and I had discussed and we really didn't want to do this for the sake of our baby. The less medical intervention the better so he promptly said no. At the time I really did want something, but I am really glad we didn't do it. I just kept saying, "Where is my freaking epidural?" and hubby kept saying, "It's coming."-

At some point they finally moved me to a room and my Mom called my doctor. She had told us to call her because she really wanted to be around for "the party". About 3:30 pm the anesthesiologist finally came in. They made everyone leave except my hubby. Thank goodness they let him stay otherwise I don't think I would have made it. The epidural didn't hurt a bit really. Pain is relative during the labor process. Funny, on the way to the hospital I said something to the affect of I couldn't imagine the amount of pain you had to be in to actually want someone to stick a rather large needle into your spinal canal. Now I knew the level of pain and I didn't care if you had to strap me up by my heels and beat me to take away the pain, I just wanted it gone. Pretty quickly the epidural kicked in and the pain went away.

Right after the anesthesiologist left, my doctor came in. I hadn't been checked since before my water broke so the nurse had just finished checking me and I was at a blessed 9cm and completely effaced, no cervix to be seen hardly. The doctor then checked me and said that I was at 10 cm. She said that the next contraction we would see how I could push. At some point in this process, my doctor mentioned that she had given blood and hoped that she didn't pass out. I told hubby to be ready to catch our baby just in case. They were still having trouble getting the contractions to show up on the monitor and by now I couldn't feel them any more. The next contraction I pushed and the doctor said, "Whoa, look at all that hair on that head. Let's go ahead and have a baby." She got prepared and we started pushing. I pushed three times per contraction. Because the contractions weren't showing up on the monitor, the nurse had to feel my stomach to see when one was started. During the contractions I heard my Mom open the door and ask if they needed help. I thought she just wanted to really be in there (which she did, of course, but apparently the call button light was on outside the room and no one had come to help. My Mom was a midwife for many years, an RN and is currently a nurse practitioner in women's health so she could have helped, but I really just wanted me and my husband in there for the birth of our first child. I pushed through about 5 or 6 contractions and there she was. Hubby says he was the one that told me it was a girl. She was placed on my belly and she was so beautiful. She was wide eyed and just looking around. I think asked why she wasn't screaming. I needed her to scream so that I knew she could breathe. They wiped her off and then she let out a little wail and then quit crying again and just was taking it all in.

I cried and hubby cried and they whisked her across the room to clean her up and check her. Hubby went with her. The family was chomping at the bit to get in so I told them they could let them in. It was a zoo. I was still splayed wide open and had torn a little bit so the doctor was sewing me up. My mom, dad, stepmom, MIL, Bekah as well as my husband, the doctor and a variety of nurses were in the room. I just laid there looking towards my baby, tears in my eyes. The experience was so surreal. It happened so fast, yet took so long.

The grandparents passed her around while I got stitched up the rest of the way and then she was handed to me so I could feed her. She latched right on. The nurses were so impressed with her and everyone kept telling me how beautiful she was. She hardly cried at all while they were cleaning her up and even during her first bath, we hardly heard a peep.

I am so blessed to have this wonderful, amazing new life intertwined with mine. I am blessed to have wonderful family and friends that love me and her to no end. We have had so much help at home that I find myself saying, I can do this, no problem, but at 4:00 am I sometimes forget that.

There are a lot of interesting numerical correlations with Savvy's birth. My sister and I were born four years and 8 days apart. Savvy and her twin cousins are exactly one year and 8 days apart. My mom went into labor with me at 4:30 am and had me at 4:36 pm the same day. I went into labor with Savvy at 4:30 am and had her at 4:24 pm the same day. My birthday is December 13, Hubby's is February 14 and Savvy's is January 15, 13,14,15 and December, January, February. Don't know what it all means, but it is interesting.

Today Savvy is a week old. As I type this she is laying on her Play Gym fast asleep. I cannot get enough of her. I miss her when I sleep. Her father is the same way and my heart bursts just a little when I see him with her. There are so many things going through my mind as I come to terms with the fact that I have joined a group of people that is so special, Mothers. I am a Mother and will always be a Mother. Having Savvy has changed my relationship with my parents already. I immediately respect them more and understand their protectiveness throughout my life. I am a worrier at heart, but hope not to worry myself to death, but don't see how. I cannot imagine anything ever happening to my little girl. At night, every little noise makes me sit up in bed and check to make sure she is okay. How I will ever move her to another room, I do not know. I currently have a cold and am so afraid she will get it. I can suffer, but I do not want her to suffer.

She is already so strong. She can lift her head and throw herself off my shoulder. She can even lift her head while laying on her stomach. She hardly cries at all, except if she is very hungry or very poopy. She can projectile poop like you would not believe and she likes to store up the days' poop and let it out in little bursts all in about a 2 hour time period. She can even pee like a boy. She has what we call the pee and poop show about once a day, where she waits for you to take off her diaper and then lets it all loose at once. It makes me laugh so hard, I almost pee my pants every time she does it.

Thank you, God for the blessing you have bestowed upon me. May I make you proud.

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