Sunday, July 8, 2012

Introducing Miss Elizabeth

Nickname: still in the works. We bounce back and forth between Ella and just plain old Elizabeth. I think she may grow into Ella. Alex was Bubba as a baby for a little bit, but I dropped that. Later when he got older and his personality started to shine through, Bubba has come back as a (very personal and family use only) nickname. I would never put that down on his school form as his nickname.

True to form, Miss Ella was a bit tardy. When I last wrote, I was still pregnant and very discouraged about the fact. Little did I know how much would change in a few short hours. In the middle of the night, about 3am, on the Friday Alex got his cast, I heard him cry out in his sleep. I got up to check on him and felt a gush. He was fine, just crying in his sleep. Having gone through a similar experience with Claire, I knew what to expect. I cleaned up and laid back down in bed for a while. I figured I would wait until contractions started or at least the sun came up. I could not sleep because I was suddenly STARVING. I tried to ignore it for a while, but finally gave up and came downstairs. I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and ate some banana and had some milk. Then I laid down on the couch. I didn't know if I would fall asleep or not and I didn't want to wake Alann if I was tossing and turning. I dozed fitfully until about 645 when I heard the kids through the monitor. Or thought I did. Either way, I got up and went back upstairs and laid back in bed until the kids came into the room. We did our normal morning thing and I made some breakfast. I woke Alann up and told him we were going to the hospital at some point. I called the doctor's office exchange and told them to expect me. I also learned that scary old man doctor was on call. Sigh. More on him later. We finally left for the hospital around 930 or so. I still was not having contractions. We got put into labor triage so they could check if my water really had broken. The nurse was telling Alann that "ladies come in all the time thinking their water broke when they really are just peeing". Um yeah, I totally knew it was not that. Like I said- been there, done that. I knew what was going on. After a while, they decided to keep me and we did the check in stuff and went to a real room.
Scary old man came in. He isn't really scary, just really old. As in, he was retiring the next week. Quite possibly, mine was the last delivery he attended. He didn't have a really good bedside manner. I couldn't talk to him as well I would have been able to with either of the other doctors that I liked. Anyway, we chatted a bit about the course we wanted to take. At this point, I was still only dilated to a 3. We talked about Alex and Claire's deliveries and how we could get things going. We got an IV done and started pitocin and antibiotics because (not a surprise) I was group b strep positive. They wanted to get two rounds of drugs in before the delivery so they started the pitocin really slowly and ramped it up over time. By this time, it was lunch and I was STARVING again. This hospital had different rules than my last one, so I was allowed "clear liquids"- including water, juice, jello, and strangely enough slushies (provided in the snack room). Alann ate lunch and I had jello. By the end of the night, I was so tired of jello. I think I ate 8 of them throughout the course of the day. We walked around the halls some, we watched TV. I tried to forget that I wasn't having contractions. My nurse Megan was pretty awesome and was totally supportive of everything I wanted. I got an awesome wireless baby monitor so we could walk around. One interesting thing did happen. At about 2pm, they brought in the delivery table with all the tools and stuff. I was contracting some, but not a lot. While we were out walking the halls, we heard the nurses talking about someone coming in by ambulance and then they showed up- poor lady on the stretcher looked awful. We headed back to our room to give them some space. A minute later on of the nurses ran in, grabbed the table, and ran out. Apparently the poor lady had her baby.
During the afternoon, I was checked again and still hadn't budged. The doctor increased my pitocin increase rate so I started getting more drug more often. Finally contractions started really going. I dealt with them for a while and then decided I wanted an epidural. That's when we met Brad, the anesthesiologist. He was pretty cool. I talked to him about my previous epidurals and he tried to help me out and keep me comfortable. The epidural was great for a while. Alann went to get some dinner and I rolled over and laid down some. Apparently that was a mistake. My contractions started getting really bad again. The medicine had pooled in my butt cheek. Megan called Brad back and he helped me adjust my position, and then the medicine all flowed out of my butt cheek. It was a really strange sensation. Kind of cold as it traveled into my legs. I was happy again for a while. Shift change happened at 7. We were very sad to see Megan go. She had been very helpful. When Brad was in to check on me the second time, I was joking with Megan and she was telling me that she could tell when I was really happy and when I was just faking it. It was interesting feeling like someone knew me so well in such a short period of time. When Rita came in, Megan told her all about Alex and Claire and how Alex broke his leg and of course the pertinent details about my labor.

Rita was also pretty cool. She was an older lady, somewhat maternal. Rita checked me and I was joking with her that I would be happy to be at a 5. Surprise- it was a 9! We were all shocked. Apparently, once my labor starts, it just goes. Rita was even able to tell Megan that I was about to deliver, because she was still there doing paperwork. About this time, my epidural stopped working again. I hadn't changed positions. I had pushed the button too much and locked myself out and couldn't self administer anymore. The doctor had come in and told us he was going to go do a quick surgery and Brad was there also. We kept calling Brad and he finally was able to come back up. That was honestly the most painful hour of my life. If it wasn't totally natural childbirth, it was pretty dang close. He gave me another big dose. Problem was, labor was moving too fast for the epidural to keep up. It definitely got better, but was no where near comfortable like with Alex.Around 9pm, the vomiting started. Rita and Alann were both there, holding my hands and wiping my face. I definitely tried to break Alann's hands during the contractions. After I quit throwing up (and never wanting to eat jello again), Rita helpfully suggested that I was probably ready to push now. After checking, we were a go. But the doctor was still in surgery. A few more nurses came in to get ready for the delivery. Finally I just yelled "he isn't my regular doctor. I don't care if he's here or not! Call the house doctor!" which they promptly did. I knew that the only way to stop the pain was to get the kid out, and get the kid out was what was going to happen whether the doctor was there or not. The house doc was there almost immediately and after a few pushes (maybe 3, but I wasn't anywhere near able to count), baby Elizabeth was born. With Claire, I remember feeling almost nothing after she was born. I was so tired and just out of it. With Alex, I felt utter relief to not be pregnant anymore. With Ella, I was amazed that the second she was born, the pain stopped. And I just laid back and enjoyed the fact that I didn't hurt anymore. The doctor walked in just as Ella was being born. He stood back and let the house doctor finish. Alann cut the cord and they put her on my tummy. I rubbed her with the blanket and did a good job not being totally grossed out.  Alann and I had been talking earlier and I said she would be born 9 pounds at 10 pm. I was a bit off. She was born at 9:28 pm and was 10 pounds 2 oz. I knew she was big when the nurse who put her on my tummy said "oh she's a big one!" The house doctor let scary old man doctor clean me up and he started asking me about how much weight I had gained. His tone was kind of blaming me for having such a big baby. I had been telling the doctors that she felt big. No one believed me. I didn't gain any more weight with her than I did with the others. (This may have been when he started stitching me and I could feel it because the epidural wasn't really working and I was mad at him anyway for hurting me, so I may have been reading more into his tone than was really there...)
Alann had been planning on heading home after the baby was born, but by the time everything was cleaned up, it was very late, close to midnight. He slept on the couch/bed and I napped on and off between caring for the newborn. Rita and I were joking about how dads sleep through everything. In the morning, he asked if the nurse had been in at all. He's a heavy sleeper, so I was not surprised by his ability to sleep through everything.
The kids and Grandma came and visited Sunday after church. The kids were quite happy to meet their new sister. Alann finally left with them and I was alone. I watched a mythbusters marathon until they started repeating the shows and finally went to bed.
Since Ella was so big, the nurses had to check her blood sugar before each meal. And she apparently "drank too much of the swimming pool" before getting out. She kept spitting up brown gunk. Rita finally took her to the nursery to suction out her tummy early Sunday morning. On the way there, she threw up a bunch of gunk. After that and the suctioning, she felt better and quit choking so much.
She's a pretty healthy baby. Her main problem has been fussiness/spitting up after meals. We aren't sure if it's acid reflux or a dairy problem. I've been off dairy for 4 days and giving her mylanta and that seems to help. Today she got worse again though, so I am going to call the doctor tomorrow and see what they suggest. It will be VERY difficult for me to go dairy free, but I would do it for my baby. She's still gaining weight and she doesn't throw up every meal, so it's a bit of a quandary for us.
But anyway, that's my story. We are quite glad to have Ella/Elizabeth here with us. She's a good sweet baby with beautiful "Sholly" blue eyes and brown hair. So far, she looks a lot like Claire. She seems to have Claire's skin coloring but Alex's skin sensitivity. It will be fun to see what she grows into.

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