On November 12th, I had my 37 week appointment. Since I live so far from the doctor, He told me to skip the 36 week appointment, and he’d see my at 37 weeks. So, at that appointment, we did a growth scan to determine what we might be looking at in terms of the size of the baby. During that scan, everything with the baby turned out great, but my fluid levels were high. I remember the fluid levels being a bit high with Sophie at some point in my pregnancy with her, but it never seemed to greatly concern my previous doctor. Well, my new doctor seemed a bit more concerned than my old doctor had been. He said that those levels could mean nothing OR they could pose a few risks…infection or the cord delivering before the baby and cutting off the oxygen supply. He wanted to check back in a week and decide what to do from there.
So, five days later we had another appointment scheduled. The day before, a blizzard hit. So, we got everything packed and ready, in the event that we’d have to deliver early, and braved the icy roads with everyone in order to get to Amarillo. They closed the roads behind us, if that tells you anything about their condition. It turns out it was a good thing we made it to Amarillo. In five days, my fluid levels went from 25 to 32. I became a bit more worried than I had been before, and let Dr. Hopkins know that I was afraid to go into labor at home, two hours away, in the event that one of those risks came to fruition. He was concerned, too, and scheduled the induction for the next day, Thursday, November 19th.
We stayed the night with Jeremy’s parents and were at the hospital the next morning by 7 to start things. I started at a two and probably about 40% effaced, being a week earlier than my previous inductions. But, since I had been at nothing when I was induced with Carter, I didn’t think it would make much difference. It always is a bit tough to get things going because I’m really hard to get an IV in. Luckily this time it only took three tries, as opposed to the seven or eight typically. It’s always the worst part. Then, right away, the doctor broke my water, forcing the baby down as he did in order to insure the head would come before the cord. Once that was done, I started the Pitocin and waited.
And, I waited.
By noon, the contractions were getting a bit painful but not bad. By 12:30, I was at a five. Knowing my past history (when I get to a 6, the baby has always been here within thirty minutes), I decided to get the epidural before it was too late. Little did I know, I had plenty of time.
The epidural didn’t go quite like it had in previous years either. I’m not sure the doctor waited long enough for the numbing shot to take effect, but I could feel every part of it, as he threaded it and all…kind of gives me the chills to think about again. Then, it kicked in, heavily and quickly, and my already super low blood pressure dropped, and I almost passed out. Instead, I just felt nauseated for the remainder of labor.
I thought things would pick up quickly. But, I was wrong.
I bet I sat at a five for another three to four hours. To add to the no progress, the baby was having trouble. I could only be in one position to keep the baby’s heart rate up, and that position was sitting straight up.
After watching the baby’s heart rate drop with every contraction, the nurses came in to check me.
Still a five.
They said they’d give it another hour, with an internal contraction monitor, and then they might have to think about going another route – cesarean. If it was the only way to keep us both safe, I would have done it. But, I didn’t want to.
An hour later, I was at a seven, and things picked up! But, there was one problem. The right side of my cervix had quit thinning.
I was quickly at a ten, but the cervix wasn’t completely thinned on that right side still, and the baby’s heart rate was dropping – plus they put me on oxygen. The doctor came in to see what happened during a contraction but then quickly changed his mind saying we just had to get the baby out.
I was scared. I didn’t know what was going on. And, while it could have been so much worse than it was, I started worrying. Why had this labor (my fifth!) gone so differently/taken longer? Why wasn’t everything just falling into place? Was this little one okay?
I pushed and the head came with the cord wrapped around the baby’s neck. So the doctor quickly pulled the cord around the baby’s head, and helped pull the baby out with the next contraction to get her breathing. She was bruised up a bit, and it was a very quick and forceful delivery, but she was finally here and safe.
Sadly, I was so caught up in what might be happening and worried that she might not be okay, that I don’t think I was able to fully be present for the gender surprise! We had another little girl…a sister that I longer for for Sophie!!
In those moments, when the doctor/nurses put that baby safely in your arms, the flood of emotions is indescribable, and at the top of my list that day was gratitude for a doctor who knew enough to induce early and help get her out quickly and safely.
It won’t matter how many times I give birth, each time I’m overwhelmed by the amount of love I have for that tiny baby completely dependent upon us.
Welcome to the world, Genevieve Mary Rose!
(in almost all of her ultrasound pics, she was just like this)
*Jeremy and John Paul were very present, but Jeremy was behind the camera, and John Paul was all over the place, so hopefully I'll be able to update with more photos once I see what is on my mom's camera!