Ok so it’s been over a month, but it’s been an INSANE month. My daughter was born, I landed back in the hospital for 3 days, and then my mom was in a car accident and is still in the ICU. But I don’t want to think about all that, so instead I’ll talk about Lilu and how she got here.
On Wednesday, August 24th, we were told we should induce. A growth scan revealed that our baby was around 8 1/2lbs with a large head. If we waited she could reach 9lbs — which is a really large baby for my petite body to handle. We decided to go ahead with the induction and scheduled it right away for 3am the next day. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep a wink!
We went in and got settled in our room with Bridget, my nurse. She was the nurse who gave us the Labor and Delivery tour and I really liked her. After the standard blood work, the IV and monitors were placed, and the Pitocin started flowing to get labor started. I just hung out in bed, resting and talking to Adam while we waited for my doctor to arrive.
At 10am, my doctor came in and, after making fun of my gold eye mask, got down to business and broke my water. I was terrified of this, but it was actually no big deal. Instead of the giant fishhook I’d seen in videos, it was just a plastic plunger thing that wasn’t scary at all. It didn’t hurt either, instead it felt like dipping into a hot bath because I had a lot of fluid. After that we waited for my contractions to intensify. I bounced on the birthing ball and watched Twilight with Adam.
We were about halfway through the movie when it started to hurt. It wasn’t super painful, it was just a very annoying tug, and they were coming every 2 minutes. I was still only 4 centimeters dilated so they kept upping my Pitocin. I asked for something to take the edge of so I could continue resting since I obviously had a long night ahead of me. They gave me Stadol and Adam and I passed out for a while.
When I woke up, I was hurting. My contractions were much stronger. I asked Bridget to call for the anesthetist. My epidural was painlessly placed and I tried to go back to sleep. Honestly I was more hungry than anything else, and I told everyone I would be eating pepperoni pizza soon instead of ice chips. (They don’t let you have food or drinks in case they need to put you under for an emergency c-section.)
When they came in to check me again, hours later, I was still a 4! They upped my Pitocin to level 32, inserted an internal fetal monitor, and started shifting my body so that I lay on one side and then another. I quickly went from a 4 to a 6. During the turning, Bridget suspected that Lilu had turned OP — face up. She grabbed a midwife from the hall to confirm. So now we were also shifting in order to turn the baby back around.
I started feeling more and more uncomfortable. I felt pain in my urethra and vagina, and I was starting to feel the tugging again. I asked for more pain medicine and they added something to my epidural, but I felt no relief and started moaning through the contractions. Eventually I just went to another place in my head to deal with the pain. Every time someone talked to me I started moaning and begging for the catheter to be removed. I was convinced that the catheter was causing the pain. They added even more medicine but that didn’t help.
I begged the second nurse, Missy, to take out the catheter. She finally did at 7pm and I realized that yes, the catheter had hurt a lot, but that I could actually feel everything, that my legs were only numb because I had been laying in bed for so many hours. We called the anesthetist again and said that I was still feeling pain. He said he had already given me A LOT of medicine and decided to check the epidural site. He said blood was running down my back, more blood than was normal. We decided that the epidural had pulled out enough that it was no longer working.
I went upright again to have a new epidural inserted. After that, my doctor checked and I was at 8cms. He said he’d be back after the Redskins game! Missy put the catheter back in and it didn’t bother me at all. I was in a happy place. My baby was still face up, but my labor was progressing so I wouldn’t need a c-section, and my epidural was finally working. Hallelujah!
I was checked again shortly after and progressed from 9cms to just a lip, and then my doctor showed up and said I was complete. Suddenly there were a lot of people in the room prepping things. Missy started doing perineal massage, which I said felt nice and Adam looked at me like I was crazy. (He later explained that it looked rough and painful.) My doctor suited up, I got a blue sheet over my thighs, and I started to push. It was very relaxed. My doctor reported between pushes that the Redskins had lost but that it was only the preliminaries so it didn’t really matter.
Somewhere in that hour of pushing and banter, I heard some snipping and snapped my head up, and my doctor said casually “It’s okay, I just gave you an episiotomy.” Adam told me later that the doctor had backed up, gauged the size of Lilu’s head, and reached for the scissors. After a couple of pushes, her head came out and my doctor said, “STOP PUSHING.” Someone asked about cord blood, and my doctor snipped her cord off and said, “No time.” I pushed the rest of her body out and the waiting nurses took her. The cord was wrapped around her neck and she wasn’t crying. They suctioned her nose and mouth for several minutes before she started making garbled cries. I got to kiss her cheek and then she was whisked off to the NICU.
After 16 hours of intense labor at the highest levels of Pitocin allowed with no epidural for most of it, and an episiotomy with a tear off the side, Coralie Lulette was born at 2am on August 26th. She was 7lbs 15ozs and 20 inches long, with a 14.5 inch head. Other than some mucus in her lungs, she was perfect and completely worth it.
I’m head over heels for this kid.