Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Norah's Birth Stats & Story

Here are the stats:
  • Norah Elizabeth Freeman
  • September 27, 2011
  • 12:14 pm
  • 6 lbs at birth
  • 5 lbs, 14 oz at time of discharge
  • 19.5 in long
  • 12.75 in head circumference
  • dark brown/black hair
  • Special fact: Her birthday is the same day my daddy died 4 years ago.  So bittersweet.
  • 4 hour, 44 minute labor (we delivered less than an hour after breaking water)
  • no epidural = alert baby and mommy
Praying for:
  • My blood pressure, still working its way back down to normal
  • Stable milk supply for nursing
  • Norah's overall health and weight gain
  • Sleep: these night time nursing sessions are killing me
Just so you're forewarned, I am including as many details as possible.  I want to be able to read this in the future and have the whole story to come back to!

We went in at 7:30 am on Tuesday, September 27 for an induction.  At that point, I was 38 weeks, 4 days.  I was dilated to 4 cm with 75% effacement.  I expected to have the Dr. Rister come in and break my water at 7:30 am, but that didn't happen.  The Labor & Delivery nurse was training a new nurse, so things moved along at a snail's pace.  When the doc came back at 8:10 am, the nurses still didn't even have my IV in.  At that point, Dr. Rister had to go to his office for his regular day of OB/GYN appointments.  Sigh.

The IV insertion was quite an experience.  The nurse in training was sweet and gentle, but she pushed that IV needle into and back out of my vein.  Painful.  Very painful.  Made me jump out of my skin.

Once that was finally over, I had several hours ahead of me until I'd see my OB again.  Sad face.  So, the nurses started my Pitocin drip to get the labor moving along.  The contractions felt like menstrual cramps that became more intense as time went on.  This entire process of labor was annoying.  I know, I'm complaining about something that most women experience for hours on end.  It's just that I counted on things moving a lot faster, because I'd expected to have my water broken before then.

The nurse checked me for dilation around 11 am.  I was dilated to 7 cm and 90 % effaced.  She also noted that my bag of water was bulging.  And so that is what I'd been feeling for the last few weeks.  I had mentioned to Jadie and a few friends on several occasions that I could feel "something" pushing out.  It didn't feel like Norah's head or foot or anything, just an uncomfortable bulge very near to the exit area.  :-)  So that's what it was!  Bulging bag.  What a ladylike term.

Dr. Rister returned around 11:20 am to break my water.  Finally!  This really got things moving, as I expected.  Over the next 45 minutes, my contractions became more painful and I opted for an IV drug called Fentanyl which I could take 3 times at 20 minute intervals.  It may have taken the edge off, but I still felt just about everything.  The nurse checked me after about 30 minutes to check progress.  I was dilated to 9 cm, but she discovered that Norah's head was blocking the remainder of my water from coming out.  She shifted her out of the way a bit, released the rest of the fluid and I immediately dilated to 10 cm.  It was go time!

Dr. Rister came back to our room and told me to start pushing with the contractions.  I couldn't get myself coordinated for the first two cycles.  My body just couldn't figure out how to push.  It was probably due to the fact that I was delirious from the Fentanyl.  Once I got things coordinated, she was out after only 2 pushes!  What a relief!

Norah's birth was much kinder to my body than Caleb's or Sarah's.  I'll be sure to thank her for that later.  She managed to make her way out without the need for an episiotomy or any tearing.  Praise the Lord.  This means that recovery has been quicker and less painful as well.

The craziest thing to me is that today, on October 5, we're still 2 days away from her due date.  How in the world do women make it to 40 weeks?  I've got to give them credit!

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