Monday, February 21, 2011

Lexie's Birth Story

Last week, I found an old journal, and one of the entries was Lexie's birth story. As I read it, all of the emotions from the day came flooding back. It is so hard to believe that my baby is going to be 4!

We weren't planning on trying for our second child until September 2006. On Father's Day of that year, Grant convinced me to try just that one time. We never expected for it to actually work! A little over a week later, I swore I had food poisoning, after eating at a new restaurant. When the "food poisoning" lingered, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I took it right after Grant left for work, and just laughed when I saw the positive result. As soon as Dylan woke up, I told him he was going to be a big brother!

That night, Dylan told Grant the news with the Big Brother shirt he was wearing. We shared the news with our families by telling them that I had gotten a tattoo. When I lifted up my shirt, the words "Baby Inside" were written on my belly. Everybody was so excited!

My pregnancy with Lexie was very similar to the one I had with Dylan. I had hyperemesis until 20 weeks. Thanks to the combination of a nasty cold and morning sickness, I had to go to labor and delivery and get an IV during the first trimester. The morning sickness improved, but didn't completely go away until I delivered. Due to all the preterm labor issues with Dylan, my doctor immediately put me on limited activity. All I was allowed to do was light walking and prenatal yoga. The contractions started around 14 weeks, and got stronger as the weeks went by. Before long, I was on partial bed rest. All that meant was that I had to stay off my feet as much as possible, and make sure to put my feet up for at least 20 minutes every hour. By 28 weeks, I was already 1 cm dilated.

All of the doctors in the practice were certain I was going to deliver early. My contractions were frequent and painful, and I just kept dilating. I was monitored frequently, and each time I left the office, they informed me it would be soon. I should have realized then that my baby was going to be a stubborn one!

At my 38 week visit, I had two strong contractions before the doctor even examined me. When she did the exam, I was 4 cm and 90% effaced. She told me that she knew the baby was coming soon, but could tell I was exhausted after weeks of contractions. She decided to schedule an induction 36 hours later to get things moving.

I spent the following day with Dylan. All day, I experienced really painful contractions, but I wanted to make the last day with Dylan as an only child a special one. My dad picked him up around 7 that night. I kissed my baby boy goodbye, and got ready to meet my new baby. Despite the fact that the induction was scheduled, that was meant to be her birthday. I had contractions all night, but stayed home, because we were leaving for the hospital soon anyway.

By the time Grant, my mother-in-law, and I arrived at the hospital at 5:45, I was already 5 cm and almost fully effaced. The nurse started the pitocin, but returned to the room in about 20 minutes to turn it off, because I was contracting strong enough on my own.

The contractions started to get unbearable, so the doctor ordered the epidural. I was really nervous, because getting it with Dylan was incredibly painful. The anesthesiologist broke two needles while trying to administer it. This time, I explained what had happened to the current anesthesiologist, and he assured me that that had never happened to him before. Two broken needles later, he declared that I had a spine of steel!

I should have known that I was having a girl, because at that point, all the drama began! A few minutes after the anesthesiologist finally got the epidural in place, my blood pressure dropped drastically. All I remember is feeling completely relaxed, hearing a loud beep, and then getting stabbed in the thigh with a needle. That alone, hurt more than the epidural, and left a bruise that took weeks to go away! As if that weren't enough, apparently getting really itchy is a side effect of the epidural. I began scratching my arms like a lunatic, and the nurse had to give me another injection. Finally, all was well, and the pain was completely gone.

By this point, our family members and friends began to arrive. The morning flew by, thanks to their companionship. At one point, I looked at the clock and realized it was 11 AM. My doctor was supposed to break my water at 9, and she had never showed up. I later found out that she was stuck in the OR, performing multiple c-sections. Although my labor would have probably progressed quicker if she had broken my water, it did end up breaking on it's own before noon.

Everything had been going well since the epidural incident, and the early afternoon hours were ticking by, but we were soon surprised by an alarm going off. The nurse ran in and strapped an oxygen mask to my face, and kicked everybody out of the room. She pointed to the monitor and told us that the baby's heart rate was in the 200's, which was a sign that the baby wasn't tolerating the labor well. For the next hour and a half the alarm kept going off every few minutes, and the oxygen mask stayed on.

Finally, my doctor was able to leave the OR, and examined me. I was fully dilated and effaced, and she told me I only had about 45 minutes to push the baby out. If the heart rate kept increasing, I would need an immediate c-section. We were planning on my mom, mother-in-law, and friend staying in the room during delivery, but the doctor only allowed one person other than Grant to stay, due to the baby being in distress. My mom ended up staying with us.

I was desperate to get my baby out. I wanted to make sure he/she was okay. I wanted to avoid a c-section. Most of all, I wanted to see if it was a boy or a girl. Grant and my mom coached me, but I was in my own little world. I had an oxygen mask strapped to my face and a washcloth over my eyes to help with the low grade fever that I developed.

I remember whipping off the washcloth, and catching the reflection of the baby crowning in the TV. I pushed with all my might, and it worked!

After a few seconds of silence, the doctor declared, "It's a girl!!!"

Those were the best words I've ever heard! I wanted a girl so badly! I immediately began crying tears of joy, along with Grant and my mom. That moment alone was worth all the waiting!

Lexie was wailing, and I just knew she was okay. Just as it had been with Dylan, though, the doctor quickly handed the baby to the pediatrician before I could hold her or Grant could cut the cord. The last thing she said before handing her off was, "Wow, she's really big. Wow!"

Alexandria Elizabeth was born at 4:16 PM. She weighed 9 lbs, 1 oz (after being estimated to be 8 lbs even!) and was 21 inches long. After a thorough examination, she was given a clean bill of health, despite a low grade fever.

I fell in love with her the moment I laid eyes on her. When they finally put her in my arms, I felt as if I had known her forever. It's been almost 4 years since she was born, and she continues to melt my heart every single day.

12 comments:

  1. What a beautiful story! No matter the pain and sickness that we go through, we can always look back and smile on the blessing that we now have today!

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  2. Aww! I love a happy ending! She is such a blessing!

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  3. Awhhhhhhhhh!! That was amazing!! =)

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  4. Lexie was a little drame mama wasn't she? LOL So, what sex are you hoping for this time??

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  5. That's quite the birth story! It makes me think of Buddy's birth story. I had a lot of complications with his birth.

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  6. So sweet! It's such an amazing feeling to be a mother.

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  7. :) Thanks for sharing her story! I remember when she was born and getting her picture on my phone when I was at work. Really does not seem like 4 years ago! She is such a cute lil bean. Happy Birthday Lex, we love ya kiddo!!!

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  8. what a beautiful birth story! and another on the way...

    Such a happy ending and such a precious little girl!!!

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  9. WOW!!! That's indeed amazing and truly inspiring! Thanks for sharing it with us :)

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  10. I'm so glad that the potentially scary situation turned into such a beautiful birth story. Yay for Lexie :)

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  11. Such a beautiful story! Love hearing people's birth stories!

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