Monday, December 3, 2018

The Birth of Lucy Joan

At 34 weeks, we discovered I had Polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid).  Typically, it isn’t a major concern, but there are risks, and as with anything, when you know those risks, it can be worrisome.  So, from that point on in the pregnancy, I had a weekly ultrasound to check on the baby and my fluid level.  I didn’t mind that part at all!  My doctor originally was not going to let me go past the 39 week mark anyway, but once we discovered this, he moved it to the 38 week mark…just to try to prevent anything bad from happening during delivery.  So, the date was set for November 20th.

There were definitely times I didn’t think I would make it to that date and sleepless nights with contractions and pains.  In fact, we went to Amarillo the evening before, and I had consistent
contractions the two hours there, but they stopped as we arrived.  So, November 20th it would be!

For some reason, I was worried more about this labor and delivery more than my others.  Deep down, I knew I could handle it (after Henry’s birth experience), but it was the unknown that kept creeping up.  Would she turn before labor (she was posterior)?   Would any of the risks associated with Polyhydramniosis come to fruition?  Would I be able to have an unmedicated induction (for no other reason than to avoid the migraines I’ve had coming off the anesthesia before)?  All of it unknown, and again, for some reason, unsettling this time around.

After a restless night, we arrived at the hospital just a bit before my 7AM induction.  I knew I wanted to hold this sweet baby in my arms, but I didn’t want to wish the pregnancy or labor and delivery away.  As crazy as it sounds, I want those joyous moments in my heart forever, and the details of it all fade away from my memory much too quickly. 

I was put in a room and changed before my nurse arrived.  When she walked through the door, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I had a nurse I had wanted to have for years.  Seeing her in Church when in Amarillo, and knowing just by watching her, she was incredibly compassionate and gifted as a nurse, I smiled so big, and exclaimed, “I’ve always wanted to have you as a nurse!”  What a blessing she would prove to be!  She also had a student with her who was as sweet as they come.

We went through all of the questions, got an IV placed (first try – which is a record)!  She asked if I wanted an epidural.  I said I wanted to try to not have one but I was afraid I would.  She then smiled and said she needed pain meds when stubbing her toe, but if I wanted to go unmedicated, she could be my girl – “no pain, no gain” were her words.  She said there were two scheduled cesareans that morning - one at 8AM and one at noon.  So in those two hours, I wouldn't be able to get an epidural.  I then told her I was also worried about the baby being posterior, to which she replied, “They don’t call be Flip for nothing!”  I knew I was in good hands.

I started the morning at 3cm dilated and 50% effaced.  They got the Pitocin going, and my doctor came in to break my water at 9 AM.  After that I was 4 cm.  He left, and I could feel the contractions, but they were very bearable.  I sat upright in bed for a little over an hour, and progressed a centimeter. 

Angela came back in, bumped my Pitocin up to four and changed my position (laying on my left side with the “peanut ball”).  The contractions picked up a bit.  After another hour (I think), she upped the Pitocin to six, and fairly quickly, I felt the pain.
Right before noon, I texted my birth photographer (the amazing Lauren Hodges!) that the contractions were getting more intense, and then I really couldn’t text or talk much anymore.  She arrived soon after, and things picked up.  I was praying and focusing on breathing through each contraction when I saw Jeremy sitting down, looking like he was in more pain than me (he’s always has a hard time watching me in labor and feeling helpless).  They turned the Pitocin off.  I closed my eyes and asked Mary to be a mother to me as I offered up each contraction.

I kept feeling pressure with each contraction, but I thought there surely was not any way I could be that far along.  The pain was intense, and my back was still hurting between contractions.  In my mind, I thought, “I can’t do this.”  And, I knew that could mean I was close, but I also didn’t believe I was close enough. 

Angela came to check me around 12:30, and I was eight cm.  She was asking me if I could handle the pain, and instead of answering, I started crying (it’s my “go-to” emotion…when I’m hurting, sad, mad, worried, etc).  Chloe, the student, reached out with a tissue and dried my tears (what compassion!)  Angela then asked if I wanted Fentanyl.  I didn’t know.  But it was in the noon hour, and the epidural was no longer an option.  It was now or never.  I said yes, thinking the pain would go away.  It didn’t.  Instead, it felt like I was in a tunnel and couldn’t hear anyone clearly for a couple of minutes, and then life was back to normal.

She checked again, and I was complete, so she called my doctor, and we waited.  I started pushing at 1PM.  I’ve never pushed more than maybe two rounds of contractions.  But, this time was different. 

I was pushing but nothing seemed to be happening.  I got frustrated with myself, and I think I apologized to everyone in the room about fifty times.  After a little pep talk from Angela, things picked up.  They drained my bladder to make a bit more room, and after a few more pushes, I felt that ring of fire as she came into the world (that didn’t happen with Henry). 

My amazing doctor and nurse placed her on my chest, and I thanked God for a happy, healthy baby with a quick, safe delivery.

Jeremy was right by my side throughout the process, and he was such a rock for me as I felt discouraged, and as I recovered.

Lucy Joan Fisk arrived at 1:13 PM, weighing 8lb, 10 oz. and measuring 20 inches long.  She is named after two heroic saints and a very close friend.  As Jeremy and I decided on her name, we knew she would need to be a light for this darkened world (Lucy means light), and she would need the strength of Joan to do so. 

As always, this new little one brings an instant new love like no other to our family, and we are so incredibly thankful for her life. 

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