All along I was kind of against the whole idea of a birth plan. From what I know about giving birth, it happens how it wants to and does not follow the plan you make. I'm so glad that was my mindset, because nothing really went as I imagined it would when our sweet girl was born.
On Thursday, November 3rd, I was scheduled to go in to see my doctor for a simple blood pressure check. Throughout the pregnancy it had been just a touch high a few times and they wanted to keep an eye on it, especially the closer I got to my due date of November 7th.
My blood pressure was a little high when I went in, so they asked us if we would go across the street to the hospital to get monitored for a few hours, just to make sure everything was safe. At this point I'm telling Andrew to drop me off and go head in to work (he did not listen) and in my head I was wondering what I was going to pick up at Whole Foods on the way home since I hadn't eaten breakfast yet.
A few hours later, after taking a nap on the monitoring bed, a nurse walked in and told me that my doctor decided she wanted to induce me. I think I just looked at her and said: "Today?" It was quite a surprise!
Like the crazy organizer I am, our hospital bags had been packed for weeks, but we didn't bring anything with us today. So just like that they whisked me off to a labor and delivery room and I sent Andrew back home (only a few minutes away) to go grab our bags and a few random other things.
While Andrew was gone they got me started on a drug called cytotec which they had me put in my gums between my lip and teeth. I had never heard of this before but they told me this would get things going. They also got me hooked up on an IV which was my first ever and hurt way more than I expected, especially since they had to do it twice!
Andrew returned and we basically hung out and tried to rest for about 6 hours.They even let me eat lunch and dinner! Once about 8pm rolled around they told me I was ready to get started on petocin. I t was so strange to never actually "go into labor" like I had imagined. I always assumed I'd be at home and then we would have to take a long and painful ride to the hospital but here I was, getting my epidural before I even felt a contraction. Also at this point I was thinking FINALLY this baby is cutting me a break. If you read any of my previous pregnancy posts you know I've been majorly sick this whole 40 weeks! Nausea and morning sickness all day, every day. I thought this was my easy delivery that I earned for a terrible pregnancy. But then it all started to change.
I was in labor throughout the night not really feeling any contractions and being quite numb but still pretty uncomfortable. around 7am they told me I was ready to start pushing. The doctor informed me that the baby was flipped face up but she thought she could get her to flip back. I really didn't want to have a C-section or have any other interventions so I just got it in my stubborn mind that I was going to push this baby out no matter what direction she was in as long as her heart was stable. Well after 5 hours of intense pushing we realized it was time for me to give in. Andrew had to be the voice of reason because after 5 hours, I was delirious with exhaustion. I don't know how he had the stamina to count out each push for that long either. And remember that nausea and sickness I had the last 40 weeks? Well it didn't let up through labor! They had to give me a shot of Zofran to stop me from gagging my way through pushing. Glamorous, right?
They said she was stuck under my pelvic bone and that I had two options: c-section or forceps. Both I knew were going to come with some extra painful consequences and risks for the baby. We decided to let them use the forceps and literally in less than a minute she was out. It all happened so fast after that. I wish I could say I had some magical moment where I remember them putting her on my chest but all I remember was fear. I was so weak and out of it that I was afraid if they put her on me I would not have enough strength to hold her. I really don't remember much and from what Andrew told me, it was a pretty scary moment for him too.
At 11:51 a.m., 6 lbs 12 oz, 20.5 inches long, Athena Marie Welhouse officially arrived.
A few hours after, and after some skin-to-skin, some shots, and some medical checks, the epidural started to wear off and they wanted to move me to a post delivery room. I had some terrible stomach pain that I was beginning to feel more and more. As they tried to get me to move to the wheelchair, I felt like something was terribly wrong with my epidural site. It felt like an electric numb spike was in my back and I was terrified to move. I seriously couldn't move an inch out of fear and was sobbing. They called the anesthesiologist to come remove everything that remained in my back. That was probably the most terrifying 5 mins of my life.
The cherry on top of this horrific day came after they moved us to the post-delivery room, with a visit from the lactation consultant with the least empathy of anyone I encountered in my entire birth experience. She basically offered no helpful solutions to help me nurse with the serious amount of pain I was in. Like, "couldn't sit upright to nurse" kind of pain. She told me that I needed to decide if I was going to do this or not, breastfeeding that is, which at the moment after the morning I had, seemed next to impossible. Lucky for me and baby girl, my next two nurses were awesome, encouraging and patient! They helped me leave feeling confident.
I stayed in recovery for two days. I think that is where I finally really got a chance to get to bond with my girl. We snuggled all day and I was totally in love. She's just the sweetest little thing and I could stare at her all day. Sure she hadn't cut me a single break since day one, but I still love the heck out of her.
Now that she's here, she's such a lovely little sweetheart. It doesn't even feel weird that she's here, it just feels right. We moved out here to Salt Lake City and built this life and home just for her and now she fits right in like it was meant to be.
The beginning of my induction. Luckily in no real pain but filled with A LOT of anxiety.
Proof that they did let me hold her and that I didn't drop her after she was born. This is the very first picture taken of us together.
I still can't get over her little muscular legs. No wonder her kicks hurt so bad. Just look at that thigh muscle!
Since I coudn't get up after delivery, Andrew went with to watch her get her little foot prints taken.
Athena and Papa getting some cuddles in.
On our last night there, we let them give her a bath and I made it down to watch.
She screamed and cried when they washed her body but man did she become as calm as could be when they washed her hair. It's like a baby shampoo commercial! She was in heaven!
How Athena and I spent pretty much our whole time in the hospital.
I was lucky enough that one of my first nurses was also the one who released us! She was so sweet and took this picture of us on the way out. Do we look worn out or what?
As you may remember from my Instagram post, Andrew and I wanted to take her here right after she was born so we made a stop here for a quick picture. As you can see Andrew did this whole thing injured. He's in a walking boot with a stress fracture in his foot.