Friday, June 12, 2009

More on Pearl

Be advised, this is long. Like 57 hours long. But Connie wanted to read the birth story, so here's the PG version (ie, the version I would have my dad read):

It started Sunday evening when JunkMale and I went out to a famous restaurant in our area whose eggplant parmesan supposedly induces labor. We went with another couple from church, J & A, who were overdue. The idea was to have some fun together pre-baby and to hopefully help A have an easier induction the next day (unfortunately it didn't work for her). The eggplant parm was SO good that I didn't care if it started labor or not. It was the best eggplan parmesan I'd ever had. In fact, Mom, I request a repeat visit there for your birthday, especially since they give free meals on your b-day....

Anyway, back to the story. After dinner we went back to J & A's house for fresh pineapple. We joked that this could be our last time without babies, wished A luck with her induction and went home to bed. At 2 that morning, I woke up to contractions 5 minutes apart. They didn't hurt, but they were close and consistent. I went back to sleep because I wanted to have a good night's sleep in case I was actually going to have a baby the next day. Monday morning I woke up to contractions 4 minutes apart. They still weren't hurting. So I ate the leftover eggplant parmesan and waited it out. Around 11am I went on a walk with Luna. The contractions stopped. About 4 or 5 hours later, they started up again. This time they were 3 minutes apart, still not hurting. So when JunkMale came home, we called the on-call midwife and she told us to come in to the hospital. We did, but I was only fingertip dilated. So they sent us home, with instructions to disregard all timing of contractions and come back "when you can't talk through them". Unfortunately, the hospital exam was done with me flat on my back, and it wasn't 5 minutes into our car ride home when I started to have massively painful contractions. She had turned posterior and this was back labor. But because I didn't recognize it as such (the back labor only showed up during contractions, and I expected back labor to be painful all the time), I just thought the intensity of the contractions was picking up. I labored at home for a few hours, but around 2 am I definitely was unable to take them calmly. So we called again and headed back to the hospital. We also called the doula and she arrived shortly after we did. I still wasn't dilated much (a generous 1 cm), but there was no way I could sleep through those contractions. So I agreed to take some morphine and phenergan to help me sleep. It worked beautifully. I got at least 5 hours sleep that night. ;-) In the morning I was still only 2 cm, so they sent me home. Baby was still posterior, so my every-3-minutes contractions were still horribly painful. By this time, Luna was at my parents' house. We decided to go over there for two reasons: 1) they have a much larger tub than we do and I thought warm water would help the pain; and 2) the doula lives just down the street. The tub didn't work (we couldn't get the water hot enough to do any good), but we called the doula and she came over to help. She was great. She worked her magic with the baby, did a sacrum release, some rebozo sifting, and got the baby to turn anterior.

We eventually decided to go over to her house, where I labored for a while. I finally got into her tub, which was steaming hot and so helpful. Around 7pm we headed to the hospital. The doula estimated that I was about 7cm. She was very close - 6cm by the nurse's estimation. The gave me my IV antibiotics for GBS and monitored the baby before allowing me in the birthing pool, per hospital protocol. But they finally let me in, and wow. My pain level went from a 7 or 8 immediately down to a 4 or 5. Absolutely amazing. I wish I could have stayed in there longer, but around 8cm or so my water broke and there was meconium in the fluid. Hospital doesn't allow you to labor in the water if there is meconium, so out I came.

Oh dear... with the water breaking, she had turned posterior again. Ouch! Pain went from about a 5 to a full 9. But the doula once again worked her magic, getting me into knee chest position and turning her back anterior. At least things were bearable again. From then on it was the birth ball and then pushing. I had a friend in high school who always used to say I had "birthing hips" and that I would "pop out babies." Well... she may have been right. ;-) No more than 30 minutes after I was completely dilated, Pearl was born all at once. One moment you could just barely see the hair on the top of her head, the next she was all here. JunkMale tried to catch her, but she shot straight past him and (thankfully) into the midwife's hands. She was whisked away rather quickly and kept for a while because of the meconium, but she was perfectly healthy. Her apgars were 9 and 9, which everyone keeps telling me is amazing.

Okay, now on to the best part: baby pictures! :-D

A hospital picture, back when she was still super tiny. Oh wait... she still is. ;-) Maybe we'll be out of preemie clothes by next week. lol That is her halaboji's (grandfather's) hand, for reference.

The cutest baby picture ever in my most humble and unbiased opinion.

And I just get a kick out of this one. She's such a cutie. :-)

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