Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Eli is here!!!

I am sorry that it's taken me so long to post about Eli's birth. It has been a busy and exhausting 2 weeks. But without further ado...

Monday Dec. 15th Big John and I headed to the hospital to check in and start my induction. We got all the paperwork done and the nurses started my blood work and IV. They gave me my first dose of cytotec. It is a pill that is supposed to ripen your cervix and thin it out to start dilation. They told me that I would get a dose every 4 hours through the night and then the next morning they would start me on pitocin. After about 30 minutes I started having some minor contractions. They felt more like menstrual cramps than contractions. Big John and I were able to play some cards and watch some tv. After the first 4 hours the nurse came in and told me that I couldn't get my next dose of Cytotec because I was having too many contractions. So that was good news. The medicine was working really good. They came in and gave me a sleeping pill and we settled down for the night. The next morning they came in at 5am and started me on the Pitocin. It is an IV medicine that stimulates the uterus into having contractions. The doctor checked me at that time and I was dilated to 2 and 60% effaced. My cramps started getting stronger but still weren't strong enough to make me stop what I was doing. My family came down to the hospital to visit and so they could be there when Eli made his appearance. At about noon the doctor came in to check on my progress. I was dilated to 2 and 80% effaced. So I was making absolutely no progress. The doctor decided to take me off of the Pitocin for the night and give me Cervidil. It is a tablet that is attached to a string that they insert in your vagina and place it right on your cervix. This is supposed to do the same thing that the Cytotec was supposed to do. The doctor told me that they would leave it in for 12 hours and at 5 am on Wed. he would come in and break my water for me.

I started getting cramps again almost immediately after they inserted the Cervidil. Again they weren't that bad but were stronger than they had been until then. I got another sleeping pill and settled down for what I thought would be my last night of sleep for a while. I woke up at around 12:30 to a really strange feeling. Then before I knew it, my water broke. Now when I say it broke, I mean it really gushed. I am so happy that it happened at the hospital. It would've been really embarrassing if it happened anywhere else. Big John ran out and got the nurse and she came in and got everything cleaned up.

After that, my contractions started coming faster and harder. The doctor came in around 5 am and checked me. I had made some progress already. He said that he expected to be in around dinner time to deliver me since I was a first time mom. All morning my pain got worse and worse. There were so many times that I didn't think I could do it anymore and I started thinking about getting some pain medicine. Big John kept me going though. He kept telling me how strong I was and how proud he was of me. Finally I decided that I couldn't take it anymore. I called the nurse in and started asking her about the epidural. She had me get in bed so she could check me before calling the anesthesiologist. She checked and told me that I was dilated to 8 and it wouldn't be much longer. She also said that she thought Eli was face up. Which is really bad. She had me labor on my side with a birthing ball between my legs for a few contractions to see if we could coax him to turn around. If we couldn't, the doctor would have to reach in and manually turn him around. It turns out both Big John and I were face up and had to be turned by the doctor. The whole time I was on my side I had the urge to push that was so strong I couldn't resist it. I just had to push. The nurse kept telling me that it wasn't time to push yet and I had to stop. That was the hardest part of the whole process. It took everything I had to stop pushing. Finally she decided to check me again and told me that I was at a nine and there was only a lip of my cervix left. She said that the next contraction she was going to try to stretch that lip over the baby's head so I could start pushing.

Just then the doctor poked his head in the room. He was at the hospital on his lunch and wanted to check my progress. The nurse told him to call the office and tell them he wouldn't be back. He didn't believe her so he had to come and check me himself. He checked and said that the lip was still there but he was able to stretch it over the baby's head. He left the room to scrub up and get ready to deliver me. Meanwhile the nurse started preparing me for pushing. She had Big John get on one side and hold one of my legs for me while she was on the other side holding the other leg. She had me do a few practice pushes and then I was ready for the real thing.

I started pushing at 1:15. It was so exhilarating to be able to finally push. I asked them to move the mirror around so I could watch Eli come into the world. But as it turns out I couldn't push with my eyes open. I did manage one peak and got to see him crowning. Big John was so good to me. He was cheering me on and telling me everything he could see. He watched the whole thing! The nurse was cheering me on just as much as Big John was. She kept telling me what a good job I was doing and how impressed she was with how well I was pushing for a first time mom. The doctor came in and couldn't believe how much progress I had made already. He had expected it to take me a few hours to deliver. It turns out that I pushed for only 30 minutes and Eli was born at 1:46 in the afternoon. Just a little over 12 hours after my water broke. He weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long. I can't describe the feeling I got when they laid him on my chest. It was the most amazing and powerful feeling I have ever felt. I instantly loved him enough that I would lay down my life for him.

It has been a wonderful, amazing, exhausting, exhilarating, empowering, and happy 2 weeks since Elijah David was born. I hope to post more often now that he is sleeping better and is on somewhat of a schedule. Meanwhile, here are some photos to tide you over until next time. Also you can check out my Flickr page for more...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We have a plan...

Ok so here is our plan. Friday at 1:30 we are going to the doctor's office to have an amniocentesis done to make sure Eli's lungs are developed and ready for him to breathe. We'll get the results on Monday morning and if everything is ok we will check into the hospital Monday evening at 5pm to start my induction. I am so excited and anxious and happy and nervous at the same time. I just love the fact that we know when he's going to be here now. Unless he decides to come on his own sometime before Monday. But I doubt that.

Yesterday at my appt. I was a fingertip dilated and 30% effaced. So I have made a little progress since last week but not much. I also found out I am Group B Strep positive. Group B Strep is a bacteria that naturally occurs in 1 out of 5 women. It is harmless in adults but could be harmful in a baby. If the baby were to get the bacteria during the birth he could develop menengitis. So to avoid that, I will have antibiotics through an IV during labor and delivery.

So that is our update for now. Hopefully, the next time I write a post it will be about our birth story and pictures of Eli!!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Not so patiently waiting...

My doctor's appointment isn't until 4:15 today. I seriously feel like I have already been at work for 8 hours. I hate how when you are looking forward to something it makes the day go by so slowly! I have a feeling this will be one of the longest days in my life!! I just want to go to the doctor and find out what our plan is. I am hoping that they schedule the amniocentesis for tomorrow or Thursday and then schedule my induction for sometime in the next week.

I have been having some contractions off and on. Nothing regular enough to go to the hospital or anything. But enough to make me think that maybe today I will have some progress as far as dilation goes. At least I hope I have...

I hate not knowing what is going on with my body! I hate waiting for each doctor's appt. But at the same time, it's so exciting when we do go to the doctor because I know it's getting so close and Eli will be here before we know it!

There are nights that I go into his nursery and just sit and look around. I wonder what he's going to look like. I wonder if he will look more like Big John or me. I wonder if he will sleep good for us. I wonder what his personality will be like. I wonder what he will be like while he's growing up. I wonder about the man that he will grow up to be. I just sit and rub my big ol belly and talk to him and tell him how much I already love him and how ready I am to meet him! And then I tell him that if he doesn't choose to come out on his own within the next week I am going to evict him! Aren't I a nice mommy???

I will update after our doctor's appointment today. It seems like it's still hours and hours away. But really I only have 6 more hours to go... And only 5 more hours until I leave work for the day!! I hope it goes by quickly for me!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

36 week appointment

Big John and I went to our 36 week check up yesterday. We had an ultrasound to see how big Eli is since I have been measuring ahead the whole time. At 36 weeks an average baby weighs about 6 pounds. Eli tipped the scales at a whopping 7 pounds 11 ounces already. Yes that is no typo. He weighs 7 pounds 11 ounces already!! That is more than some newborns I have been around! So the plan right now is we go for our next appt. on Tuesday. Between now and then my doctor's (I see 3 different ones) are going to talk and come up with a plan of action. I will be induced either next week or the week of Dec. 15th. Since we are inducing before I will be 39 weeks I have to have an amniocentesis done to make sure his lungs are fully developed and ready for him to breathe. So here is what I am hoping will happen. We will go to our appt. on Tuesday and they will do the amnio that day. The results will come back the next day and we'll be good to go. And then we will check into the hospital on Friday Dec. 12th to be induced. Like I said, that is what I'm hoping for. That doesn't necessarily mean that's what is going to happen.

I lost 2 pounds from my last appt 2 weeks ago. So I have lost a total of 12 pounds this pregnancy. Which tells me that Eli is sucking all the food I put into my body!!

The doctor did mention that Eli's renal pelvis is dilated a little tiny bit. But there is no cause for concern about it right now. He will have to have an ultrasound done on his kidneys after he's born to see if it's still dilated. If it is, he will just have to be on antibiotics for a few days. So no worries!!

I have a list of things I want to accomplish this weekend just in case they do schedule our induction for sometime next week. I want to make sure that my house is clean and all the laundry is done. I need to finish packing our hospital bags. But I am pretty sure that everything is done that needs to be done for Eli. His room is all ready for him to come home!! I like to go back there and just imagine what he's going to look like. I can't wait to be able to hold him!!!

I am still planning on having a drug free birth. Well, except for the drugs they have to give me to induce. But I am planning on having a pain medicine free birth. The way I see it is I have nothing to compare the contractions to. So for all I know my contractions aren't going to be any worse than they would be if I went into labor on my own. And please if you are going to comment, don't tell me your horror stories. If you want to leave a comment about your induction, tell me how wonderful it was or don't tell me anything at all. I don't need any negative comments about how I shouldn't induce or how bad my labor will be. I will never understand why women do that too each other. We should be supportive of each other and cheer someone on instead of telling them how horrible something will be...

So for right now we are at a stand still unless I happen to go into labor on my own between now and Tuesday afternoon. But I don't think that's very likely since I'm not dilated at all yet! The doctor did tell us one way to bring on labor naturally is to have lots of sex. I think Big John kind of liked that idea!!!