Saturday, June 11, 2016
I guess it's a good thing I keep having babies, otherwise I may NEVER write on this blog! Bonnie Joy is sleeping now and I don't know how long that will last, so I'll make this as quick as I can. My pregnancy started (for me) with a positive test that brought such a smile to my face. After so many babies, it never gets old! Everything went well, I had very little nausea and because of this was CONVINCED that this would be another boy. Surprise, surprise!! We had the ultrasound and found out we were having another girl...our first 3 in a row experience. Of course, we were thrilled. Boy or girl, it doesn't matter, babies are a BLESSING!!! Everything went smoothly throughout the majority of my pregnancy. It was a bit harder than the others simply because I'm getting older and it's not easy having so many babies in such a short period of time. My hips were very sore throughout my entire third trimester. The whole third trimester was very hard on me, in fact. I felt worse than I had in the past. Praise God for my big girls, they swooped in and took over household duties and made it possible for our family to continue to function. Even though I was not feeling well my any stretch, I was feeling okay with being pregnant past my due date this time. I was waiting for my parents to arrive and for everything to settle into place before Bonnie made her appearance. Due to the fact that my parents had missed the birth of Violet, they had decided to come RIGHT after my official due date. On Friday, June 3 I went to the midwife for a standard appointment. I also had my last hurrah of grocery shopping to do. The shopping trip just wore me out. I went home and rested for the rest of the day, I was just BEAT. It took me until Sunday before I started feeling reasonably okay and even then my appetite had disappeared and I wasn't feeling "normal". It's amazing how such a short time in the past can be such a blur, but I believe it was Sunday night that I started to feel intensely itchy. I'm normally very itchy during pregnancy, so this wasn't shocking to me, but this was a bit different. My children are such blessings and they indulge me in nightly scratching fests while we relax and watch a show, but this time was different...I usually HATE having my hands and feet touched, but they were INSANELY itchy! I immediately recognized this as something out of the ordinary and something I needed to have checked out if it continued. It did continue. I woke up on Monday and called the midwife and scheduled an appointment to be seen again. I did some research and started to become concerned that this might be a symptom of a condition called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy. The only reason I even thought of this was because I know someone who had had this during her pregnancies, otherwise I would have written it off as nothing. I started to become a bit concerned because the effect on the baby with this condition can lead to still birth. Usually babies whose mommy's have this condition are induced at 37 weeks, I was 39 weeks 6 days along at this point. I finally got into the midwife and she didn't seem terribly concerned, but she did order lab work to check my liver function. Unfortunately, I could not get to the lab that evening because it was too late and since she didn't seem concerned, it wasn't something that she felt it was necessary for me to go to the hospital to get done immediately. The next morning, as soon as I could, I went back down to the hospital and had the lab work done. I pushed and told them I needed the results ASAP. They told me that they weren't ordered "stat", but one set of results would be ready by the end of the day. At least if one set was off, we'd know there was something amiss. I called the midwife a few times during the day to pester and make SURE they were looking for my results. They took FOR-EVER to get back to me. Finally she called. My liver enzymes were elevated and they wanted me in Labor and Delivery in 3 hours for an induction. Although I was a little bit concerned, I had had baby monitored a lot in the past couple of days and she looked wonderful, so I had no reason to really worry. All of a sudden, we were all pretty excited, we were going to meet our baby--SOON!!!! Sadly, Grandma and Papa would miss this one as well, as they were just getting ready to head to the airport the following day! I am SO thankful that the Lord saw fit to move my brother and his family out here. When I told my children what was going on, the big girls said, "Please don't leave us here alone overnight!! Call someone!" When I called my brother and told him what was going on, the first thing he said was, "I'll come over with Jadah (his daughter)" Ohhhhh, what a relief! Now it was time to get a shower, get babies in bed and get to the hospital. We finally got admitted and got all of the details taken care of and FINALLY got the induction started at midnight. This was going to be a LONG night. I've always had pitocin, but was convinced my the doctor that Cytotec would be a good option. I'm not a fan of induction and I know there are risks to all drugs, but the fact of the matter was, we needed this baby out. I was definitely disappointed though because of this condition I was switched from midwife care to doctor care. I had so very much wanted to have the freedom to deliver in the way I felt most comfortable with and I knew that with a doctor, it was going to be harder to convince them. The doctor did consent to let me do what I wanted to do, after a bit of hesitation. I told her, "Hey, I'm going to try to do this unmedicated...you have to let me do what I need to do for my comfort". She said, "Fine, I'm willing to do that". So they did the first dose of cytotec at midnight. I had to be monitored for an hour to make sure baby and I were responding well to it, so I tried to sleep a bit. Poor Jeremy was stuck in a funky recliner chair...so that's where he got his night's sleep. He did seem to sleep, but I can't imagine it was very GOOD sleep. As for me, between the monitoring, and the blood pressure cuff and the contractions that were slowly starting, I didn't get MUCH sleep, but thankfully I did get SOME. After 4 hours, they came in to give me a second dose. Now, I had been convinced go to with cytotec because "you don't have to be monitored constantly, you can get up and move". Well guess what I was not told? After the second dose, you have to be monitored for 2 hours!!! It was so uncomfortable because the bed was AWFUL and my hips were SO sore. Finally the morning rolled around and at about 6am I got up, got some coffee (clear liquids only! I was STARVING) and started to walk the halls. The contractions were coming, but they weren't strong and they weren't frequent. The nurse asked me if I wanted to get in the tub. I wondered if it would help get things get moving or slow things down, but it did sound very inviting to get the weight off of my very achey hips. The nurse also gave me a packet of crackers and I snuck a granola bar out of my bag for some much needed energy! With the morning came the change of shift and new nurses. We found out that our nurse would be one of the nurses we had had with Violet's delivery. She was great and we were very excited to have her as our nurse. My previous nurse that had retired also was so sweet and kind to give me a call at the hospital and encourage me! That was such a sweet and thoughtful thing for her to do. She told me that if I needed to call her, I was welcome to! What I didn't know was that the other nurse apparently knew my desires for a natural delivery and freedom to deliver how I desired and made a call to a midwife who was not on call who agreed to come in and assist in my delivery!!!! WHAT A BLESSING!!!! Strangely, even though she's been with the midwife group I had been with throughout Violet's pregnancy and this one, I had never met her! She was fantastic. She came in and we decided that in order to get things moving, and avoid more drugs, she'd break my water. She did so and did all she could to get Bonnie to move down a bit...she kept very high throughout the whole labor process. Thankfully the breaking of my water was very effective to get things moving. The contractions started coming regularly, but not too painfully. This was only the second labor I'd ever had without pitocin, so it was definitely more gentle. Bonnie continued to look great on the monitors, I was feeling pretty good, albiet very tired, but I definitely had enough strength to make it through. I started to feel more pressure and the midwife checked me and said I was at 7, but baby was still very high. That made me a bit nervous because I do NOT like the pushing part and I was afraid that if she didn't come down during labor, it was going to happen during DELIVERY and I did NOT want to have to push any more than necessary! The midwife had me do some exercises and try to help baby get into a better position then I got into the bed on my knees, leaning over the head of the bed. That's how I had wanted to deliver, but as the contractions got stronger and stronger, my legs got tired. At this point it was after noon and the midwife was hungry. She said, "I'm going to go to the cafeteria real quick for some food, I'll be right back". Ohhhhhhhh man. That made me nervous! I knew with the fact that I WAS at a 7 a while ago and the pressure was building, the time was coming--quickly! The pressure kept building and building and I said, "WHERE IS LISA???" to the nurse. She said, "I just checked, she's out in the hall, she'll be right here! She came in and had me get down on my side and checked me. I was complete and ready to go, but was not quite to the point of , "I have to push". It didn't take long though, all of a sudden they got the bed all set up and I yelled, "I have to push, I have to push, I have to push!!". They said, "That's great, we're all here, go ahead!". From what they said, it was basically one big push and Bonnie was delivered. Actually, her head was out and they told me to keep pushing and I said, "I'm not having a contraction" and they said, "It doesn't matter, she needs to come OUT! PUSH!" Then they told me to move my leg up and out of the way, but I said I didn't want to because it hurt too bad, and they grabbed my leg and shoved it up and said, "I can't SEE!". Thankfully that was the moment I pushed and out came Bonnie Joy, as beautiful as can be...crying and blinking and just absolutely perfect! The funny thing was that she was my first baby to be covered in vernix. All of my babies have been overdue enough to not have vernix on them, but she also has VERY long fingernails. Everyone thought she looked like a "tiny little thing" and were saying she was going to be in the low 7lbs...lo and behold, they put her on the scale and she was 8lb4oz!!! Not my biggest, but one of the biggest! :) She's just perfect. She's a fantastic nurser and all of her siblings are in L-O-V-E! There have been no complications from my condition other than I'm still itchy, but it's definitely subsiding. Sadly, this is a condition that is very likely to come back in any other pregnancies I may have, so for now we'll be praying about what the future holds and just enjoying every day with the wonderful blessings the Lord has given us.