Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mary Clare has arrived!

I haven't updated in awhile, but I wanted to get Mary's birth story posted before the details get fuzzy, and also post her first pictures.

Starting with an ultrasound pic:

 As I lay in bed the night of February 13th (3 weeks til due date) dreaming about becoming a mommy again, I was awakened by a wet sensation.  Thinking that my water may have possibly broken, I changed my underwear and went back to bed.  When I got up again an hour later, I was definitely leaking.  I woke Alex up and we talked about what we were going to do.  I didn't want to call in the middle of the night, as I knew I would probably be fine for a little while so I tried to get some sleep and was actually able to get an hour or two or rest.  I knew that generally babies need to be delivered within 24 hours after rupture to prevent infection, but we read a bit online (particularly from websites advocating natural birth- which is what I wanted) that most of the time it is safe to wait 48 hours and most of the time women will go in to labor on their own.  As I hated the idea of having to be induced, we decided maybe we could wait and see if I would start contracting on my own.  We went to the hospital around 8:30 the next morning (Valentines Day!) and confirmed that my water had indeed broken, although the nurse said there was probably just a small tear at the top of the bag as I wasn't loosing very much.  After getting to our room, we told the nurses we didn't want to start pitocin yet, and waited for the doctor to come visit us when he made his afternoon rounds.  We expected him to tell us that we needed to induce so that the baby would be born by 10 pm that night, but he surprisingly agreed to take a "wait and see" approach and see if I would go into labor on my own.  He told us at the 24 hour mark we would start some prophylactic antibiotics and then induce in the morning if things weren't progressing.  So I spent the afternoon walking the hospital halls and doing circles in my room trying to get things moving.  Around 5 or so they checked me and I was 5 cm dilated, and starting to feel some mild contractions.  Alex left to get little Alex to bed, so I just hung out and tried to rest and pray for my little baby.  They started the antibiotics around 10, but it was too late as shortly after the nurse told me my temp had spiked to 102 (= infection).  She had also been monitoring the baby very closely and said that she was very sleepy, and that her heart rate wasn't fluctuating like it was supposed to.  She was frank with me and told me that a C-section might be necessary, as sometimes babies can develop tachycardia (really rapid heart rate) and that their little hearts sometimes can't take it and give out before birth.   Of course this sent me into a panic, so I called Alex crying and telling him to get to the hospital right away. The nurse put me on oxygen and had me move around every few minutes to try and wake her up.  She called the doc and he advised her to start pitocin and to continue monitoring the baby.  Of course I wanted to avoid a C-section, but needed reassurance that the baby wasn't going to be in more danger by waiting.  She told me that she is very conservative and cautious about these things and assured me this would be the best approach.  I felt a bit better once Alex was there, but then the contractions started becoming much stronger.  The contractions were more intense since they were artificially induced (which is what I was afraid of) and I ended up getting an epidural.  That was the one thing I wanted to avoid the most, but I think I was so discouraged that my labor wasn't going the way I planned, and felt like I had "failed" by having to be induced that I didn't really care.  Plus I was so tense and stressed about what was happening with Mary, and thought it would be best to get the epidural out of the way should things take a turn for the worse and I needed a C-section.  With the pain gone, I was able to relax and progressed quickly.  The nurse said Mary was starting to perk up so we were very relieved.  Once I was at 10 cm, she called the doc.  After just 2 pushes I heard the nurse announce, "It's a GIRL!"  (Alex was disappointed; he wanted to be the one to announce that :)  We we so happy that she arrived safely and I was glad it was over!  She was 5 lbs. 15 oz, and 19 in long and born at 4:38 a.m. on February 15th.  Little Alex was an angel during the whole thing despite being awakened at 1:00 in the morning to return to the hospital.  Because of the infection, we were both put of antibiotics for 48 hours and had to stay an extra night.  She was also a bit jaundiced, so they wanted to observe her before we left. All of my nurses were AWESOME and took such good care of me during my stay. We came home on Friday morning, and are adjusting to life as a family of 4!  She is such a sweet baby, and Alex and I feel very blessed to have two children to love!

First family picture:

Right after getting cleaned up.  Not a happy girl.

 Sleeping peacefully:
 She had an IV in her foot, but something happened with it and it had to be replaced.  They said she had good veins in her head so that is why they put it there.  Poor thing!

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