Except that she doesn't believe in sleeping at night :-P But we will get there, right?! Anyway, I want to share her birth story. I'm not normally a birth story sharer, but a dear friend of mine mentioned how she wished her mom would have written her story down and remembered more about it, so I figured I will write Miss Ella's here, if only to be able to go back and find it someday if she is interested, but at least it will be down in writing.
It started on Saturday the 22nd when I lost my mucus plug. I went to the bathroom and there it was and I was pretty sure that's what it was and was very excited because nothing of the sort ever happened with G. Then on Wednesday the 26th at 1:30AM, I was repositioning myself in bed and when I went to roll over I felt a slight gush of fluid. I would describe it more as wondering if a tiny bit of pee escaped or if it was more of my mucus plug ( I had been losing bits of it all week by this point ). I went to the bathroom and found I had about a baseball size circle of fluid on my underwear that also soaked through to my pajama pants. I peed and thought perhaps it was just more mucus. I changed, went back to bed and woke up the husband to ask him what I should do and to see what he thought it might be. I decided since the baby was in no danger that I would go back to bed and just call my nurse in the morning and see what they wanted me to do. I figured if I called them at this hour they would have me come in and probably just send me home because I was sure it was just my mucus plug and then it would be a pointless trip to the hospital in the middle of the night and I didn't want to be THAT pregnant woman.
So I went back to bed and in the morning I called my doctor's office. She told me that based on my story that she felt like it was just my mucus plug so I shouldn't worry and continue on with my day. About a half an hour or so later she called me back and said she had forwarded my message to my doc and that she would feel better if I came in and got checked out. So I packed a bag, but not a very complete bag because there was no way they were keeping me, right!?, and proceeded to the clinic. My doctor was of course at an outreach clinic and not inhouse so I had to see a male doc who was doing clinic that day. Anyway, he gave me a physical exam and confirmed that yes, my membranes had ruptured. He was a super nice guy but wasn't very clear. Both the hubby and I were present during this visit and we discussed all the options. The doc recommended starting pitocin and getting the show on the road, but I declined pitocin. I know the risk is very low, but because of my previous c-section I didn't want pitocin as it has a slight increased risk for uterine rupture following a C-section (which is something my doc told me and also why she said she didn't want to induce me at all). So, the doc agreed with me but then told me my options would be to wait to see if labor would start or just schedule a cesarean. He told us to walk to L&D and discuss it. So we walked there, but we didn't really understand why we were walking there. We didn't plan to have me check in or anything and didn't understand that that was the doc's intention for us to do. So we walked there and I decided that I was going to go home and finish packing my bag, clean my bathroom and hope something starts. So we walk back to the clinic to talk to that doc and tell him my plan. He laughed at me. He told me I was not allowed to leave the hospital and that I couldn't walk around with ruptured membranes. So we talked some more and by the end of the conversation I was convinced I was just going to go get a c-section scheduled for later that afternoon. I walked out to the lobby area and called my mom and proceeded to break down into tears because my family was suppose to be here and they were 10 hours away and it would be different if I were in labor but instead i was getting a c-section in like 2 hours or less and I was disappointed and sad. So now I needed my bag.....
I walk to my van and my contractions start!
PS - there's no good spots for new paragraphs but I hate one huge run-on one, so ignore all my grammatical errors and just roll with it because I'm going to break it up how I want to, lol.
Anyway, my contractions start - so we go to L&D and check in. The nurse starts to put me in the recovery room because that's where I would go after surgery but I stop her and tell her I want to do natural labor now since my contractions have started. She looked at me like I had two heads. So then i had to ask for the doc (who of course is a DIFFERENT doc than the clinic one - and still not mine ). She comes in and she tells me that I should start pitocin....so I have to tell her that I don't want it and explain a little. She keeps trying to talk me into it and the hubby interjects and tells her again how I don't want it. At this point she kind of gets up on her high horse and starts to explain how many vbacs she has done and lists off her credentials and how long she has been an OB -- yada, yada, yada...it's like, 'lady, no one is questioning your credentials or experience, i still don't want pitocin, no matter what you tell me. it's not about you, it's about me.' Anyway, we finally convinced her and they put me in a labor room and I started walking the halls. We probably checked me in around 4 and I walked and walked and walked and bounced on a birthing ball and continued to try all those until about 9:30/10 and then I climbed into the tub. That felt really good. My contractions had started piling up and getting stronger. They checked me at 11 and I was at 3cm. I was super pumped because I only got to a 3 with G ever and after I had received an epidural. So, now it's 11 and I have a lot of pain so I asked for some pain meds. They gave me nubain. I had nubain with G and I have to say, I really enjoy it. It makes me just loopy enough to relax and get a little bit of rest and takes off the edge of my contractions. So, I rested until about 1:30 and then I got up and walked the halls again. The doc checked me around 3:30 and I was at 3cm still. The contractions were still hard and felt like they were coming fast so I asked for an epidural around 4. I figured I dilated with G while I had my epidural on board and this way I could get some sleep. So the anesthesiologist came in and started the epidural process. With G (and I should not compare births, but it's hard not to), the doc got it in right away and the whole process was like 5 minutes (or it felt like it anyway). This guy started to have trouble and he poked around my back for 25 minutes before getting it in. And my back is still sore. I don't remember being this sore with G either. Anyway, during the curling over process to expose my back in an appropriate way, my water really breaks. It gushes EVERYWHERE. I had no idea you could have that much water in you. It was crazy. And then it gushed 3 more times. It got all over the hubby's shoes, the floor and of course the bed. I was half numb at this point so I felt the wetness but didn't feel if it was warm, cool, etc. I mean, it would be warm I would assume, body temp, but the whole process was just interesting. My water never broke when I was in labor with G. They broke it the next day before my c-section and the only thing I felt was a lot of pressure. But okay....new paragraph just for fun....
So I have my epidural....now I go to sleep. But my blood pressure kept dropping when I laid on my left side and so did E's heart rate. I like lying on my right side anyway so it was more comfortable when they would flip me back but for some reason they kept trying to go on the left as well. Around 6:30/7 the doc checked me and said I was at a solid 4, maybe even 4.5-5. I was super excited and thought for sure that we would keep progressing. She left around 8 and the doc that I saw in clinic actually came on. He checked me so he had a baseline and told me I was a solid 5. But then he said he had been reviewing my monitors and thought my contractions had started coupling and they weren't nearly as strong as before. So he wanted to put in an intra uterine monitor and come back and check on the charts in a half an hour. He also wanted to recheck me in 2 hours and if there was no change in dilation he recommended a c-section. So of course he came back and checked in a half an hour and confirmed they were not changing and then two hours later he checked my cervix, which revealed no change so it was decided we would have a c-section.
They prepped me and moved me into the OR - it happened pretty fast. P came out pretty fast and was doing great. I cried and it was so weird to see some dark hair emerge. I knew that was a possibility of course, but since G came out so blonde I for sure thought P would come out blonde, too. I think it's pretty fitting though because Penellapi is kind of a Spanish name and she was dark Anyway, after she came out I was having kind of a hard time. I mean, they tied down my arms and of course my lower half was numb and then there was the blue sheet that was preventing me from seeing what was going on and I'm super claustrophobic so I started to freak out a bit. That didn't happen with G either so I don't know what was going on. Anyway, I had the anesthesiologist telling me stories about wide open spaces, haha, and his daughters and basically anything that he could to try and distract me. I also felt like they were taking forever to sew me up. I could feel some pressure down there and wondered if maybe my uterus wasn't contracting or something?! Anyway, I started asking questions because I know just enough medical stuff to make me dangerous but not enough to know what the heck is going on....I asked the doc if I was bleeding too much or if my uterus wasn't contracting or why it was taking so long....he told me he just had his own method of doing things and he was old school so it was taking a little longer because of that (Um, BS, but whatever). Anyway, at that point the anesthesiologist said he was going to give me something to calm me down...so he gave me Versed....and I went unconscious. He attempted to wake me up but couldn't so the hubby slapped me across the face and then I woke up. I struggled to stay awake for a bit during that point and i'm sure they flushed me out with saline or something and then I was finally awake again (I don't remember a lot of this - versed I suppose) and then I was sewn up and got back to the recovery room.
In the recovery room I got to hold E and she nursed right away, so that was good. The L&D nurses kept checking my uterus, which sucked. I totally understand why and everything, but it hurt like heck. They assured me once I got to postpartum they would only check once a shift - they lied. I was checked 5 times before midnight - probably because I lost more blood than I was suppose to - not enough to get a transfusion, but my suspicions were correct and my uterus was not contracting appropriately and so now they were making sure it was firming up like it was suppose to and I was getting irritated. My pain was not well managed that first night and I was starving and they wouldn't advance my diet like I was hoping - all for good reason I know, but it was hard. E was thankfully really good that night. The next day I felt SOOOO much better. My pain was under better control overnight and I walked around the unit 3 times and I showered and got to eat and life was just a lot better. The doc that did my procedure came to visit me and that's when he told me I lost more blood than I was suppose to, but he assured me my scar tissue from my previous c-section was minimal so I should be able to have at least one more c-section safely. He gave me his blessing to leave the next day if it was good with the new doc that was coming on.
We were inundated with educators throughout that day and lots of visitors as well, but it was a good day. That night we were all very tired though and E struggled to be restful and relaxed. It was a long, frustrating night. By Saturday morning I was very ready to be discharged home. My doctor came and visited twice, which was really nice. I am still bummed she didn't get to deliver us, but what do ya do. The doc that discharged us was a really nice lady though that I had seen once in clinic and I really liked.
We got home without a hitch and being there was very nice. My mom and dad and youngest sister were here from Wednesday night until Sunday (taking care of G while we were in the hospital). Then Sunday my older younger sister came and my dad and other sister went home. My mom and sister were here then until that Thursday morning. I of course was under lifting restrictions for awhile so it was super nice to have the help with G. Then the hubby's HS teacher Dawn came to visit that Thursday and helped for the day. Friday we were on our own but it went okay. Like I said, I was very blessed with a nice recovery so far, so I was able to lift G out of her crib, etc. Then that weekend the hubby was home so he was able to help and we did family pics that Sunday.
So that's my story. And otherwise we've just been figuring this life out with two little ones. It's been fun for sure and frustrating and exhausting Gwendolyn loves Ella so that is super nice, but she is regressing in a couple other areas. She especially likes to act out while I'm stuck on the couch breastfeeding and not able to get up. She's smart like that Ella still has her days and nights mixed up. Sometimes we have great nights and others are very rough, which of course I expect, but it doesn't make it any easier. She eats super frequently still, which can be hard. Then there are times during the day where she goes 3+ hours and I'm like "kid, do this at night!" oh well. She will get there.
Here's one of my new favorite pictures of my girls <3