Thursday, May 01, 2008

A bit late, but finally officially announcing the arrival of Maggie!

We've had a crazy week. But now that we're finally settled in and all safe at home doing well (she's a champion nurser, and at her checkup today had gained 2 ounces in 2 days!), it's time for an official announcement!

We are pleased to announce the arrival of Margaret Nancy (Maggie), born April 24 at 3:19 pm Pacific time, 7 lbs., 8 ounces, 21 1/2 inches.

Here's how it happened:

We went in for our scheduled 39 week induction. The doctor came in to check me, and we decided to break my water (for comfort and also to see if the baby's head would come down, she had floated up a bit.) I was 1 cm, 50 effaced. He left orders to start pitocin and give me an epidural as soon as an anesthesiologist was available (four of them were there but all were in an unplanned c-section. So we waited.) We just kinda hung out and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The nurse checked me before starting the pitocin, and just from her head coming down and hitting the cervix (which happened almost immediately), I had progressed to 2 cm. Adding the pitocin, by the time I got the epidural (there was a little problem; I for some reason had pain when he tried to do it in the usual spot, so he had to move up twice, but once it got in it was a fairly good one), I was 3 cm and 80% effaced. At that point the movie was over and I had decided to listen to music instead. We went through a couple of CDs, and when I was checked again I was at a 5.

So then we watched another movie (The Princess Bride-- I had had Jeff put in Napoleon Dynamite but decided quickly that I wasn't in the mood, ditto Beauty and the Beast) and I actually fell asleep during part of it (which is why I had only packed movies I know by heart.) In about an hour I went to a 6. The movie had ended at that point and I warned the nurse, "Now, with my last two, once I hit 6 I went very quickly to 9 or 10. I won't be surprised if that doesn't happen, but I won't be surprised if it does." She said okay, she'd be back in an hour, and I said, "If I don't drag you in here first!"

Well, sure enough, I called it. In about 20 minutes I started feeling incredible pressure. The contractions were coming harder and closer together. I told my husband, and then all of a sudden I couldn't talk through a contraction, and they were one on top of another, and I said, "I think I feel the head moving down." I had Jeff look to see what was going on when I felt some really intense pain and he saw blood.

I sent him for the nurse and she asked, "Do you want me to check?" I said, "Not right now, but in about 20 minutes I think I'm going to have the baby. So come check me in 15." I don't think she believed me. But she came back in about 10 minutes and sat observing me. I kept saying, "I really feel the head, I really think it's moving down." Every time I would have a contraction it hurt, the epidural was wearing off even though the nurse had upped it, I was numb down lower but could really feel the head, and I would just relax, and breathe, and the baby would slide a little more down-- I really did feel it. When I started snapping at my husband about changing the CD (to Hourglass, Kate Rusby) and about how he was sitting and, well, just about everything, she decided she'd better check me in case I was in transition (duh. Of course I was, I told her I would be!) She reached in looking like she didn't expect much, and then all of a sudden said, "We're at plus 3. I'm calling the doctor." She put my legs together and said, "Keep those together, don't move, and don't push! The doctor is on the way." She went out to call, and a few minutes later was back. She got me in the stirrups, reminded me again to just breathe, no pushing, and swabbed me with betadine. My doctor came in and was chatting while he got on his booties, etc. I looked at him and said, "You need to hurry now." He took one look at my face and raced through the rest of his prep. He came over, said, "Oh, good, the nurse already sponged you and everything, let me see what we're doing here." He took a look and said, "The head's right here." We got me comfortably sitting up and he said, "Now, when you have a contraction and need to push..." I completed, "...take a deep breath, hold it, put my chin on my chest, and push down in my bottom like I'm having a bowel movement." He laughed, as did the nurse, and he said, "Go for it when you feel you need to, just warn us. I think you'll push once." The nursery nurses were coming in at this point and setting up the equipment, but I just ignored them. A minute or two later I said, "I feel a good contraction, and I'm going to want to push." He said, "Go for it!" I did but only got halfway through because I started late in the contraction. He said, "Take a breath now and do it again, one more!" I started to but only just started to push and he said, "That's enough, you can stop!" So I pushed about 1 1/2 times. He said, "Look down!" I did and got to see her sliding out (the first time I've been able to do that! The other two had the cord wrapped too tight; Maggie had it around her neck but just once and loosely so he had already slid it off.) Then he put her right into my arms! That was the first time I had ever done that, too, because my other two were blue! I was thrilled. I held her while they dried her and he stitched me (I had a bigger and more jagged tear than last time-- when he had done perineal massage for me to reduce the tearing-- because she pushed her own way out so far and so fast! She just tore me whatever way she wanted hurrying her little self out!) Then he started poking trying to loosen the placenta, which hadn't come yet. I told him, "If you just wait a minute, I feel another contraction coming that's going to get that out." He said, "Well, I'm just trying to loosen it." I said, "Well, yeah, but that poking hurts." So he stopped and waited, and sure enough, next contraction I pushed a wee bit and it slid out, intact! Another first for me-- my other two shredded and had to be cleaned out. I told him that and that I was curious what it looked like since I'd never seen an intact placenta, only a bloody mess! Once he finished checking to make sure it was intact he was happy to show me my placenta, which I found fascinating. (I was way more alert and happy at this point than with my other two, not really sure why! I was kinda out of it and exhausted and dizzy with them, this time I was just really fascinated with everything going on! Maybe a combination of different epidural and less blood loss.) And he even said it wasn't weird I wanted to see it, that he wished more people were interested. My doctor and I totally get each other. :D He did continue the pitocin, which I had requested, because it really helps my recovery.

As we held her and looked at her we kept saying, "She's so little!" The nurses were laughing at us; they see 5 lb. 18 inch babies every day. We said, "Well, compared to our others!" The doctor glanced back and said, "Oh, I'd say 7 1/2 lbs." They weighed her and she was 7 lbs., 8 oz. EXACTLY! We cracked up and I told him, "It's almost like you've been around babies a little bit or something." I think the real reason she looks little is not only the weight comparison to my other two but that she has a smaller, rounder head than the two of them did. She looks a LOT like me as a newborn, my whole family agrees. In fact, I said that in the delivery room, too!

I held her and nursed her while they got things ready to move me, and it was really funny-- at one point the cd stopped and she started crying. She was fed and swaddled and we couldn't figure out why until I realized the cd was over! I had Jeff start it again and she stopped crying! She always has liked that cd... We called people and let them know she was here. Then Jeff went with her to the nursery for footprinting and such-like. They moved me to my room and soon she and my husband were back with me. It took a little longer than my other two because she was having a little bit of a temperature regulation problem (I had noticed in the delivery room that her feet turned purple as she got cold... I think she has Bridey's and my circulation...) But they said an extra blanket fixed it and put her in the bed with me to snuggle and nurse to keep warm, which she LOVED.

After that, my recovery was pretty normal, except for the anxiety that went with leaving her (which you all know about.) She of course got lethargic and sick from the jaundice and did need treatment (you know about that, too.) We are just so incredibly glad she's home and well. Did I mention she's gaining an ounce a day? That's really good since she got a bit dehydrated with the jaundice and was 7 lbs. even two days after birth, though she had managed to gain back to 7 lbs., 1 oz. by the time she came home.

And now for the pictures! (These are from LDR, more to follow.)

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