An update that was too long to be my status: (I was writing this while in labor)
11/30/10 Well I figure now that I'm not in labor, not all drugged up, and now that my daughter is here it's time I read this and edit it. I laughed when I looked at the time I wrote this (10:24 pm on the 24th), it was just before the doctor came in and talked to me about having a c section. I also thought it was pretty funny that I used my iphone to type such a long note during labor, but I had the epidural and was wired and couldn't sleep knowing that I was soon to hold my baby. My edits below will be underlined. If it's not underlined imagine me lying in my hospital bed with my iphone in one hand writing away.
I am so grateful for the wonderful nurses I have had here at kaiser. Also for the support of my amazing husband, mother, and mother in law. This baby just wants to be born on Thanksgiving... I started early labor late Sunday (11/21/10) but never progressed enough to go to the hospital (the closest my contractions ever got were a consistent 8 min apart for 24 hours and then they died down to anywhere from 6 min apart to 1.5 hours apart. My water broke last night (tues 11/23/10 at 8:30 pm) and I was admitted to Kaiser Santa Clara at 10 pm. At 4 am this morning (wednesday 11/24/10) I was still not in active labor the doctor was concerned because of group strep B and meconium in the amniotic fluid, she wanted to start me on petocin to get things going. I asked her if we could wait an hour and she was agreeable, so for the next hour I drank lots of fluid, power walked around the unit in between contractions and used a birthing ball to try and get things moving. At the end of the hour I was thinned out and 3.5 cm's... I was still not in active labor so I was started on petocin. When I was checked at 11 am I was at 8.5 centimeters and 90% effaced. At 3:30 pm my contractions were 2 min apart and when I was checked they found that I had not progressed, the babies heart rate was dropping (Andy said mine was too but I don't remember this) with my contractions and her head was a +1. Her head was tilted (I think they called it "asynclytic presentaion") to one side and facing out as opposed to having her chin tucked, because of this her head was not pushing on my cervix in the right spot to dialate the last 1.5 cm's. At 3:30 pm my amazing nurse, Nancy, who helped me though the day by supporting me in natural birth (I was able to walk around the unit, use a birthing ball, drink fluids, take showers, and try any position that my body felt like) pulled Andy out into the hallway and explained what was going on and recommended getting an epidural. Poor guy was put in a tough spot because I had told him to not let me get an epidural and that if staff offered it to me that he should consider asking the head nurse to assign me a different nurse who was supportive of natural birth. So Nancy came back into the room and explained to me what was going on and asked me what I thought about getting an epidural. The way she talked to me was perfect, I trusted her and knew that we had done everything we could to get me dialated the rest of the way. I am so thankful for the compassionate use of drugs when needed and I agreed to getting the epidural. I trusted Nancy and am happy to be lying in bed getting up the energy to possibly push this baby out. (there is a possibility of a c- section because of the position of her head and her heart rate not cooperating with these contractions) It has been a long slow process. I have felt peace in trusting in God. She is definitely worth the wait, I am thrilled to meet her...most likely on Thanksgiving. They are guessing that if I do push her out it will take 3-4 hours of pushing because of the position and size of her head. Sorry if all of this is TMI, but I know I have so many wonderful family and friends waiting for an update. I better get some rest now.
The 30 min after accepting the epidural were the most difficult 30 min... I knew that the relief from the intense contractions was coming and so I wanted it to kick in immediately. The contractions were difficult to get through because I had come out of my "trance like state" that I had been in. I laugh now when Andy tells me that he watched me and that there were times which he didn't think I was in pain. :) That makes me happy because I achieved my goal of letting my body go and riding with the waves. During natural labor I would go to a place of complete rest and relaxation the minute I had in between each contraction, I dealt with the contactions one at a time and stayed with them in the moment, during my resting breaks I was not anticipating the next contraction. And that is what changed when I knew the epidural was coming...I anticipated every contraction and I tensed up my body, During natural labor I never once felt the desire to ask for the epidural, although I can't say I didn't have moments where I felt like I couldn't do it anymore, but it was in those moments that I called upon my Heavenly Father for strength and support. It was truly an amazing experience to go through. Some things that helped me were: being told to stick with it during a contraction, having a loving supportive husband to lean on or hold my hand (the poor guys back was really sore the next day). My Mother-in law and Mother were also there and would massage me, feed me ice chips and popsicles. My mom said I was nice during labor, I remember that sometimes things people did during a contraction made it harder to deal with the contraction, but I was able to shew them away and then when the contraction ended I would quickly explain to them why it didn't help. (ie. asking me questions or talking to the nurse during a contraction, the smell of hairspray or scented chapstick, were some things that didn't help). After getting the epidural I wasn't able to drink, have ice chips, or eat that popsicle that I only got 4 bites out of before. My legs swelled up, and I was numb from my toes to my T4 vertebrae, it felt so strange, I felt like a huge beached whale. The shooting pain down my leg, the pain in my abdomen and back and the rectal pain were all gone, the only thing I could feel was some rectal pressure. They had to stop the petocin to give me the epidural, once I got the epidural they started it back up again. After having the epidural from 4-11pm I had still not progressed, I was 8.5 and had gone down to being 90% effaced (at some point I had been fully effaced). The doctors were worried about the baby being in there so long with the bag of waters being ruptured now for 26 1/2 hours, I was still not dialated and the babies position of the head had not changed (which they had hoped would). Dr. Jacob asked me how I felt about having a c-section, I teared up as she explained the benefits and risks of it to us. I asked her for a minute alone with my husband in which we hugged and cried, came up with what we thought would be best and prayed for confirmation that that was the best option. We decided that we would go for a c-section, we felt that the baby was not doing great and that she was not doing terrible, we were still stuck away from the phase of being able to push and the last thing I wanted was to have something go wrong and to then have to be rushed in for an emergency c-section and be slashed open. Since it was less than an hour from Thanksgiving I asked to be prepped for the surgery and to be able to deliver the baby after midnight so it would be on Thanksgiving, afterall it was less than an hour away at this point. It turns out that the girl in the room next to me had to be rushed in for a c-section (her babies heart rate had dropped for 5 min), I was thankful that the staff was preparing for mine at the time so they were maybe even able to help her a little quicker with hers. I went in at 1:15 and heard the cry of my sweet baby girl at 1:58 am on Thanksgiving morning. It makes me tear up thinking about this amazing experience, my heart is filled with joy and thankfulness to my Heavenly Father for sending me this perfect little child. The c-section was interesting, I laid on the table with Andy sitting next to me holding my hand. There was a curtain across my chest so I could not see anything below. An anesthesiologist sat on the other side of me and let me know what was going on during the operation. It was such an interesting feeling, there was no pain just a lot of pressure, when they cut into the uterus the pressure came all the way up to my lungs and I felt like I couldn't breath. When they pulled the baby out we heard at least 3 of the doctors say, "wow, she is huge!" Andy squoze my hand tight and full of emotion said, "can you hear that, that's our baby girl crying". She came out with a good strong cry that was so soothing to hear. Andy was able to go see the baby and from across the room he told me she had hair. She was pretty and pink, and had an apgar rating of 9. The doctors told my mom that I was lucky that she had had such a strong healthy heart beat throughout my pregnancy, that this is what helped her through such a long labor. Adalyn Joy Armstrong weighed in at 9 pounds 9 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. While getting sewn up Andy and Adalyn had some bonding time in the hallway. Once we got back to our room I was able to immediately get the skin to skin bonding time with my baby that I had wanted. I was shaking uncontrollably and as soon as Adalyn was placed on me I no longer had to focus on taking deep breaths to stop shaking, the shaking and trembling instantly went away. The nurse asked if I wanted help with breastfeeding and I said no, I wanted to see Adalyn use her natural instincts first. I had read somewhere that after giving birth the nipples secrete the scent of the amniotic fluid which attracts the baby to them (yet again another witness of our divine Creator!). I had also watched a video of a baby being placed on her mom's chest, the baby bobbed around until she latched onto the nipple. This was just what Adalyn did, she bobbed about 5 times and latched herself on and ate so good, it was so amazing to see!
I am so happy with the wonderful labor and birth experience I had. I know that Heavenly Father has a hand in all things, and there's nothing that I would change about the way things went. If my labor goes faster with the next baby, I'll gladly accept that ! :) I don't know the reason for everything but I do know that because I had a c section my hubby is an expert diaper changer. Our love for one another has grown immensely through this experience. I truly have so much to be thankful for. And I look forward to trying for a vbac with the next one.
Our beautiful Adalyn (named by her Dad) doesn't have a half of an inch of room in her newborn clothes and she is already in size 1 diapers. She loves to have her head tilted back and to the side and I am amazed at the strength and control of her head and neck muscles. She is easily soothed, latches on well, has hair that hangs out from her beanie, exceeds the daily goals for the number of wet and poopy diapers by about triple, has very alert periods, is easily moldable when she's asleep (good for pictures), is chunky, and so loveable.
I was attached to the name Adalyn throughout my pregnancy, never thought I would be set on a name, always wanted to decide on a name once she was born. Andy never liked the name and was always giving me other suggestions. A few days after she was born I said okay we have to name her. We went through a list of names and I liked the name Julia, Emma, Aleah, and of course Adalyn (however I would have spelt it Adelyn). Not wanting to choose the name he didn't like, I said to Andy, I think she looks like an Emma, and his response was "I think she looks like an Adalyn". :) So I got the name I loved, and he was set on spelling it with and "a" so that her name would have his initials in it, :) Andrew Douglas Armstrong. I couldn't argue with that.
Now I've got a baby to feed! Goodnight!