Monday, December 1, 2008

Annelise's birth story, posted in LJ and reposted here...

I got my first contraction at 4:30 Monday morning (11/24), I can't believe it's already been a week!  They were irregular and uncomfortable so I went about my day.  I told my husband when we talked that morning and then told my mom.  She and I were set to run errands, so me having contractions sped her up in getting her stuff done.  We went all over the place and got lots of stuff done.  That night they were about 5 minutes apart so I decided to lay down and rest, hoping to leave for the hospital overnight.

No hospital trip, the contractions got further apart and irregular and stayed that way all day Tuesday.  Tuesday night they were more intense, I had to breathe through them.  At about 12:45 Wednesday morning, my water broke.  I felt something that I hoped was the baby's head 'clicking' into place and then felt a gush.  I had enough notice to take the pillow from between my legs and was very grateful for the advice that had me sleeping with a plastic tablecloth under my sheets for the last few weeks.  I soaked a couple of pads and pairs of underwear before realizing that the fluid was greenish.  Knowing that meant that she had passed meconium and being a first-time mom, we rushed to the hospital so she could be monitored.  That turned out to be a good and not-so-good idea.  Mom seemed to take forever getting ready, but we finally made it to the hospital and checked in around 2.

My doctor wasn't on call, but she had left instructions to be notified if I came in.  I was dilated to a 2 (after not being dilated AT ALL the week before) and Annelise was at a -1 station.  I was really excited and settled in for a long labor.  I'm glad I went in for monitoring, Annelise's heartrate was weird all night/morning.  My doc came in around 8 and checked me, I was dilated to a 3.  She asked if I wanted an epidural and I said yes, I was so tired from 2 nights of contractions.  I knew it would slow things down so she said if I wanted one right away she'd start me on pitocin to keep things moving.  So it was good that I was being monitored because Annelise's heartrate was wonky the entire time, but I know that if I had stayed at home I would have gone without the epi and pit longer.

We spent all day watching CSI and the home shopping channels and answering the phone.  My sisters and aunts called and texted all day, my mom was always on the phone with them!!

My husband had changed his flight and got to the hospital around 7:30.  By that time I was an 8 and Annelise hadn't moved down any more.  The doc said that because of her heartrate and mine (mine was high and hers wasn't fluctuating with the contractions) we might want to consider a section.  John and I talked and we realized that we would rather have a section then instead of waiting longer and being forced into one.  We really just wanted to make the decision ourselves.

My section went well, my nurse-anesthetist was awesome and so was the doctor.  I shook the entire time and all I could think about was 'How is she going to make a straight incision when I can't stop shaking?'  They got Annelise out and said that she was a girl.  We had been told she was 'most likely' a girl so I'd been saving all of my receipts.  When I heard the news I said 'Good, now I don't have to take all the clothes back!'  They showed her to me and then got her all cleaned up.  She was placed next to my head before they took her to the nursery and I gave her lots of kisses and told her I loved her.  John went to the nursery with her and she apparently kept her eyes locked on him the whole time.  She was 21 inches long and 8 lbs, 1 oz.

After they took her to the nursery the NA asked if I wanted 'the relaxing shot' and the next thing I remember, I'm in the recovery room.  They brought Annelise to me there and she nursed, latching on with no problem.  She stayed with me for an hour and then went back to the nursery for a while.  They moved me to a regular room and I got to see my parents and sisters.  

Annelise was brought back to me in the middle of the night and we've been inseparable ever since.  She had some congestion in the hospital, but my husband is now thoroughly trained in the art of the bulb syringe and she's great.  We came home Friday afternoon and are enjoying being out of the hospital.  Annelise is feeding well, my milk came in last night.  She's lost almost a pound since birth, but now that my milk's in I'm not worried about it.  Her color is great, no sign at all of jaundice.  She's smart and amazing and I am so in love.  I love watching her sleep because she's so peaceful but I hate it when she sleeps because then I can't see her beautiful eyes.

John went back to Vegas yesterday morning and it sucks not having him here, but he'll be done next week and then we get to be a family!  Annelise loves him so much and he's an amazing father.  He's been my biggest cheerleader, talking me down when I was stressed about her eating and talking me up when we have a good day.  We had a rough night Saturday night, turns out she didn't like me putting lanolin on my nipples, and she spent a lot of time screaming.  Once we jumped that hurdle, I mentioned that it's times like those that parents shake their babies, when they feel like nothing is working.  He looked at me and said, 'I guess I can see how that happens, but I didn't want to shake her at all, I just wanted to hold her close and figure out how to make her feel better.'  Not that I ever worried about him shaking her, but it just goes to show what a great man I married.