Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sonja is here! Her Birth Story and Photos...

Today Sonja is 9 days old. I honestly have never been so exhausted in my life. But today I decided I wanted to write out the events of her birth, non of which went as planned. In fact, if you took my birth plan and then did the polar opposite of everything I wanted, that's what happened. But it had to, so here's her birth story:

The day after I hit 40 weeks, I went to my OB/GYN. She offered to induce me that night, and I jumped on it. Mostly, because my body wasn't progressing, and it wasn't looking like she'd come anytime soon on her own anyway, so it was either induce that day or induce in a week and a half, either way it was looking like induction was imminent. Later, we found out why.

My mom, Jeff and I went to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant and then headed straight to the hospital, where we found out we were an hour early, I didn't realize I was actually supposed to show up at 8, I thought she meant around 8, so we waited in the smallest delivery room they had, and luckily they moved us to a bigger one before they started the induction process. I had to have an IV put in, which normally would've been the worst part of the process to me but it got so much worse. After the IV, they put a pill in my cervix to help it "ripen." I should warn if you have issues with words like "cervix" you may not want to read this post.

Then I went to sleep. When I woke up I was 1 cm dilated, which was an improvement, but I'd hoped for more. Because the dilation had sent my own body into irregular contractions, they could no longer use that particular pill to dilate me further, and instead decided to put me on Pitocin. The thing I said I wouldn't use, in fact I put them off for hours until the nurse convinced me I wouldn't progress without it. Long story short those contractions were from hell. I was contracting all day, and when they came to check me again that night, NO PROGRESS. I was pissed. At this point I'd been at the hospital for 24 hours, and not more than 1 cm dilated, with contractions that were destroying me. My doctor then took me off the pitocin, ordered cervadil, another dilator, and told me to sleep with it in and I should have progressed by the morning. Because of the pain of the contractions, I opted for a shot of Morphine and Fenergan, which put me out for most of the night. When I woke in the morning, I was 3 cm dilated and ready to get the baby out of me. I labored half that day and finally decided life was too short to suffer for longer than 24 hours with the worst contractions ever, so I went ahead and got an epidural. And I don't regret that decision because it made things so much better, I actually slept through most of that day until around 4:30, when I started feeling like I really needed to push, the nurse was shocked that I was totally ready to go, but then something bad happened.

When they turned me to my left side, the baby's heart rate dipped dangerously low and stayed there. We turned me back to the right and it took several minutes to return to a safe level. It was a precursor to what was about to happen. As I tried to push, with each push, her heart rate dipped and didn't return. It was terrifying. My doctor wasn't there, but the on-call doctor, Doctor Shay, came in and told me that she might have to take the baby by C-Section because something was wrong, and she didn't think the baby would survive a 3 hour pushing session, which is what I was in for because oddly, the baby was still really high for me being totally dilated and effaced. She gave me 10 minutes to rest and let the baby rest, had me push 3 times, and decided it wasn't safe and, despite Jeff's misgivings, and my complete and total reluctance to have a C-Section, we knew it was our only option if we wanted to guarantee our daughter was born alive.

Thank God I got that epidural. By now it had been almost 48 hours of labor. I cried silently as they wheeled me into the OR, and the anesthesiologist (who I had gotten to know during the epidural and who was incredibly kind to me) got me nice and numb. I started shivering uncontrollably, which is apparently normal. They draped a big blue sheet across my line of site and brought Jeff in. I guess the stabbed me to test if I could feel anything and I couldn't. So they started the operation, while Jeff and the anesthesiologist talked me through it. It was terrifying. The anesthesiologist told me I'd feel a lot of "pressure," honestly I hardly felt anything and then suddenly I felt this big weight lifted off of me, and I knew she was out. Then I heard her cry. And Jeff went off to be with her. And I started crying and saying "my baby," "oh, my baby." It made me so sad. I couldn't even see her. They didn't bring her to me because they were rushing her to the table to make sure she didn't breath any of the meconium in (when they broke my water, we realized there was meconium on top of everything else). She'd had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice, and it was a thin cord, which made it a lot more dangerous, so with every push I was cutting off her blood supply. The emergency C-Section was actually incredibly necessary and she probably would've died without it. Finally, after what felt like hours, I got to see my baby. What a beautiful baby she is!

Sonja Aurora at just a few minutes old. She was born Jan 4, 2013 at 5:02 pm, weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz, and 21 inches long!

Jeff took her to our hospital room and, once I was sewed up, I was also wheeled into the room and finally got to hold my baby. I insisted on trying to nurse her right away which ended up being a big mistake because I couldn't feel anything and she latched really badly and destroyed my boobs in the first feeding.

I ended up staying at the hospital for several days and didn't leave until this past Tuesday, so it was a 6 day endeavor. It was honestly a big nightmare for me. Recovering from a C-section and learning to care for a newborn... not fun. But thanks to my mom and husband, I'm healing quite nicely and we're getting the hang of things, including nursing, which was a rough road at first.

And, of course, what you've all been waiting for... Photos:

all the previous are from her first few minutes/hours in the outside world, the rest are photos I've taken or others have taken in the past 9 days..

My angel faced baby 
she sleeps in the funniest positions
As you can see, she's a beautiful baby and her Daddy is absolutely enraptured with her
1 week old
She's stolen my heart, my mom's heart, Jeff's heart.. pretty much anyone who's seen her on Facebook's heart.. she's the most beautiful baby I've ever seen. I'm so in love with my Sonja Aurora. Though this first 9 days has been hard, and I am not going to sugar coat it and say it hasn't been, I can't imagine not having my baby Sonja. She brings me so much joy, I'm flooded with love and admiration every time I see my baby. And the hard parts, those will pass. I will heal, breast feeding won't last forever, and some day I will get a full nights sleep again.


Elizabeth said...

My heart totally broke when I read this. I am so sorry you had to go through all that business. I wish I could have been there for you guys, but you especially. You are incredible for going through that. I hope you have a good rest of your recovery! I miss you and love you lots. Can't wait to see you guys again.. especially with baby Sonja!!

Elizabeth said...

My heart broke when I read all the details here. I wish I could have been there for you guys, but especially for you! You are incredible for going through all that business. I miss you and love you guys lots!! Can't wait to see you again, especially the new addition!

Aubrey Jane said...

So here is what I love about you:
1. You are honest. No need to sugar coat it because let's face it, life is hard sometimes and there's no point pretending it's not.
2. You also have the ability to keep an excellent perspective (ie. not your imagined/planned birth but you got a healthy baby and you know that the hard parts won't last forever.)
3. You are awesome. You are going to be (already are) such an incredible Mom. It doesn't matter how our babies get out of us or how we feed them, it matters that we love them, sacrifice for them and give them the best we have to offer.

You rock.