November 13, 2017

Bella's Birth Story

As of today, (technically a little later tonight) our little Bella is 4 weeks old! I want to share her birth story so that it's something I have saved to read for years to come and since all of you have been such a big part of our journey.

Some people may think it's crazy that people you've never met in person can be such a huge part of your life, but if you're a get it. I've been so lucky to have so many of you saying prayers for us, thinking of us and beyond that showering us with love and gifts for our sweet babe. I can't say THANK YOU enough, and our entire family is so blessed by you.

A lot of you know the backstory, but to catch you up- I was put on bed rest at 26 weeks in to our pregnancy after discovering my water had broke. The hospital was not a fun place to be, but it was safest for both me and our baby girl. For all the patient nurses and knowledgeable doctors, I am so thankful both of us are healthy here today. The plan had been to induce labor at 34 weeks, because due to my water breaking early, the longer she was in there past 34 weeks the higher risk for infection and it was safe for her to come then based on lots of research that has shown the difference between 34 and 37 weeks in development is not as far off as you would think in terms of development.

So, October 16 was on our countdown calendar. I thought for sure she would come on October 15th for a few reasons. Chuck's birthday is October 14th and I swore she would want to be just one day closer to Daddy's and nothing in this pregnancy went to plan, so why should her grand entrance?!
Little Miss proved me wrong and came as scheduled, so late on October 15th the doctor checked my cervix and determined as expected I would need some medicine to move things along.

Although my water had broke, my body wouldn't be ready for delivery so they would have to induce labor and get things started with medicine. Chuck, Ethan and I hung out for a while and enjoyed a meal together before my Mother-In-Law came by the hospital to pick Ethan up and spend the night with him. Chuck and I took it easy and tried to get to bed early in the hospital because we knew it would be a long night.
Due to the cervix medication, I would have to get my blood pressure checked every hour and have my cervix checked every three, so there wasn't a lot of time for sleep. Overnight, our nurses changed and from about 3 am on, we didn't sleep at all. The nurse made us kind of anxious with all her moving around and coming in and out of the room next door, where the baby goes after delivery. I heard her moving things, banging was kind of crazy and I hadn't been nervous until this point. At 7 am the nurses change shifts, and our nurse who would be with us all day came in and they started Pitocin, a medicine which induces labor around 8 am after all the information was passed along from the night shift.

Ethan and my MIL arrived and were going to be there for the day, so we hung out in the room. After a bit, Ethan went to the waiting room and sat with one of our best friends who had made the trip to hang out.
Pretty soon on, around 10 am I started to feel contractions pretty bad and felt like a wimp, but I asked for that epidural ASAP, because I was scared I would miss a window and next thing you knew she would be here. HA! You'll see...
The epidural was the most amazing thing in the world and I could squeeze that anesthesiologist so tight. It was a little nerve wracking getting a huge needle inserted in my back, but I would take anything to not feel those contractions. The best way to describe what I felt after it, was that my leg felt like tree trunks. Just heavy and lifeless, so as those contractions came, I felt nothing at all down there. After I got the epidural my blood pressure dropped, and  then baby's heart rate did so they had to stop the Pitocin and get things regulated.
 I thought this would be a quick process, but boy was I wrong. I was only dilated 2-3 centimeters by noon and I thought by this point, since I hadn't ate in 12 hours I would be hangry...but all I felt was those tree trunk legs.
A few hours passed and I wasn't dilated much more and I began to think that we may not have a baby that day. I was frustrated and started to get nervous for some reason so I tried to nap. Her heart rate was pretty inconsistent so then they had me in all sorts of positions. I laid on my side with one leg up, and then about 45 minutes to an hour later they would have me switch to the other side. At one point the bed was raised super high up and I had to sit with my legs open in the "Queen's position". I joked that I didn't feel like a Queen, much like a lady with my legs open like that...but they said it could help get baby girl moved on down.
By 3 pm I was finally around 4-5 cm dilated and started feeling those contractions again, so they were able to give me another boost of the epidural. I wanted baby girl out by 5 pm, because the doctors on duty were switching and I had heard that the one coming on later pushed for c-sections the minute things didn't go as planned and I was not up for that. It's not very reassuring to hear as a pregnant woman, let alone one who's been on bedrest for 2 months just wanting the safest delivery possible.
Shortly after 5 pm, the feared doctor came to check things and I was still around 5-6 cm dilated but,  I was pretty excited.  I swear I felt her pop something inside of me, sounds weird...but it's exactly what it felt like. I was told usually 7 is when that baby comes. This was such a long process and my legs felt heavier than ever and I was starting to get a headache.
Chucks' Dad arrived from North Carolina and came in the room to visit and my other Father In Law had made it in from his work day in Ohio and we all kind of gave baby girl a pep talk and told her she could come now.
Right after everyone but Chuck and my MIL left the room - TMI...but I felt like I had gone to the bathroom in that hospital bed. I felt these three big pushes on my lower stomach and swear I had done some business. I made Chuck look, HA- but thankfully had not.
A little while later the doctor came in and said that she didn't like what she was seeing on the monitor with the heart rate, and they were going to put a more indicative monitor inside of me on the baby's head to get a more accurate reading. She said if things continued as they were we were going to have a c- section and I teared up right away. The doctor started opening the things she was going to use and checked me and replied, "Oh. No. We are not doing that. It's time to have a baby. Her head is right here!" I started crying because I couldn't feel how was I going to push?! I couldn't believe it was time and kept crying out of fear, excitement and so much more. I was SO thankful that this was working and we hopefully would not need surgery. That push I had felt was baby girl moving on down and ready to come out!
The nurse got on the phone to call NICU, because their nurses come down so they are prepared to take baby in case she needs immediate support. The doctor got everyone ready and got me in position, which Chuck and my MIL holding one of each of my legs. She told me to push when I felt a contraction and I laughed telling her...I couldn't feel a thing and I asked her how I push if I just felt numb? Ha-Ha. She sat there and told me when I was having a contraction and yelled to push. So I pushed until I felt like I couldn't breathe and Chuck told me her head was out. I pushed really hard two more times and our baby girl was here!
I bawled my eyes out as they put her on my chest because I truly didn't think that would happen, but she was doing well enough that they could. I held her for about two minutes while I probably said that whole time "Oh my goodness, this is our baby." I was nervous because she wasn't crying, but they said she was fine and she let out a little one as they took her from me. Chuck cut the cord and they got everything cleaned up so that Ethan could come meet her. I was SO worried and probably asked a hundred times if she was okay while they had her in the side room working on things.
I didn't stop shaking, it was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. I honestly could not believe she was finally here. They told us she couldn't come back to our arms, but she was doing very well. They gave her some oxygen support and got her in the NICU incubator and wheeled her past us before they took her to that area of the Labor & Delivery floor.

Bella Charles arrived on Monday October 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm weighing 4 pounds, 12 ounces and was 17.7 inches long. When they told us the weight, we couldn't believe it - 412...the day we got engaged, so cool. The NICU nurses took her and we got updates for the next hour that we had to wait until we could see her. We got the rest of my room packed up from the past two months and closed the door on that side of the fifth floor. They play a lullaby when the children are born and it always made my day when I heard it sitting in my hospital room. Turns out, the parents push a button to play the lullaby on your way out of the L&D area when you and the baby are transferred to the recovery area. I have never seen Chuck so happy to press the button and play the lullaby, it was so sweet.

 We got things in my new room quickly and were taken down to NICU as a family of 3 to see our new addition and fourth member. She was doing well and looked so small in that incubator, it was sad to only be able to touch her even though we were prepared for that. I just wanted to sit and hold her all night. Chuck and I took our family back a few people at a time to meet her and after a few hours, it was time for me to get some rest. I didn't think I would be able to sleep that night, but I actually did quite well.
The next morning, Chuck and I went to see her and she was already off oxygen support and we got to hold her. The stories we had read and things we heard told us some parents didn't experience this for weeks, so I was blown away. Bella's NICU nurse was super sweet and let us bond with her for a good hour and it was so special. Holding her outside of a hospital bed and incubator was pretty awesome and felt like a whole new world. I'm a Mom to a sweet little babe, and it's amazing.
I have to thank the doctor that I feared for actually being downright amazing and making this birth seem super easy. Much of this pregnancy was not what I saw being in our plan and isn't a fairytale that you typically read about, but it's our story and at the end of our journey we got beautiful baby Bella.
Congratulations if you made it through this story, considering her actual birth was over and done with before the time you got finished with this post.

Post a Comment