Sara Elizabeth was born on Friday October 16th at 2:10 in the afternoon. She weighed 8lbs 4 oz and was 20 in. in length. Overall the entire experience was wonderful but it was not without its ups and downs. The process began on Thursday night around 9PM when I was admitted to Riverview hospital to begin induction. (I warn you that I am going to recall the entire process not only for those who want to know but for own recollection and benefit in the future) Dr. Conley came in and began the induction with an insertion....however we thought that this was a waste because I had still not dialated past a centimeter. I sat at the hospital with my mom watching Grey's Anatomy til Dave came to relieve her after bowling. By the time by mom had switched with Dave around 11 I still had not felt any pain or movement to going into labor. Well one that morning came around and I suddenly became very uncomfortable and could not get comfortable either side I laid on, so the nurse offered a shot of morphine. The morphine did NOTHING for me. I still could not get comfortable. It turns out that I had dialated to a little less than 6 centimeters by five o'clock that morning. (Which explains the consistent discomfort...the contractions were coming about every 5 minutes)
Well it was then that I was given the opportunity to opt for an epidural. Initially I did not believe that I wanted an epidural for the pain, I wanted to go naturally. There had been a few horror stories that I heard about how people reacted post epidural. Well with the opportunity to get the epidural came a time restriction because the anesthesiologist was due to be in another c-section and would be unavailable for the next hour....so it was then or another hour of uncomfort. Next thing I knew I had another painful contraction so I quickly opted for the epidural. The worst part of that decision is that Dave has to leave the room and the size of the needle that has to go in my back is huge. I will never forget how much I was shaking from the amount of IV fluids that was inserted...it was scary!
So here I am with the epidural flowing, my pain subsided, and the doctor telling me that my progress had stopped so she would need to break my water and start the petocin. This was approximately at nine in the morning. When the doctor broke my water she informed me that I would be having a special nurse in the delivery room because Sara had gone to the bathroom in the unterus and there was a possibility that she had swallowed some of it..and that I should not be alarmed that she probably would not cry when she came out cause she would have lots of mucus. By one that afternoon I still was not making any progress and the doctor had asked me to make the final decision of my labor process...either continue to wait and hope to make progress sooner than later or have a c-section and get her out.I looked at Dave and asked him what he thought was the best decision and he said it was entirely up to me...it was my body that was in discomfort. I chose the c-section.
With that decision in came the anesthesiologist to numb not only my uterus but everything from my chest to basically my knees. They handed Dave scrubs and rolled me into the surgery room. The time was 1:45 in the afternoon and by 2:10 Sara was out, crying her healthy lungs out. You would think that was the end of the beautiful experience but it only seemed to go down from there. Surprisingly my recovery went very smoothly. As soon as I was off bedrest I took a shower, got changed and had a little something to eat. The nurses were actually shocked at how well I was doing and how little pain I was feeling in the recovery state. Sara also seemed to be doing well...til things just seemed to get uncomfortable. At first the on-call pediatrician came in to tell us that Sara had failed her right side hearing test. I know you are probably thinking how do you tell that a newborn has failed hearing but supposibly our daughter did. The doctor kept reassuring me that it was probably nothing but a little bit of mucus back up (kind of like the feeling you get when you need to pop your ears on a plane) but still it makes you nervous as a first time mother. The days had progressed and it was the morning that we were to be discharged.
Our pediatrician came in, like every other morning, and informed me that Sara had developed an infection on her foot that was serious enough that she was not comfortable discharging Sara that day and that potentially she might have to stay for an additional three to five days. When I think of it now it seems insignificant compared to what could have been wrong with Sara but at the time I was devastated with the news. All I could think of was that I was going to be discharged and Sara was going to have to stay in the hospital without Dave or myself. I was heartbroken to think of my daughter alone in the special care nursery and not home with her parents where she belonged. However Dave was most frustrated with the fact that he had mentioned to the nurses when she was born on Thursday that it seemed that the ankle bracelet was put on too tight and now the doctors were telling us that she could not go home because she had an infection on the same foot as the bracelet.
Well Sara moved into the special care nursery with an individualized nurse. They had to put an IV in her hand and her arm was attached to a board because Sara is so full of energy that her arms and legs are constantly going. They were afraid that she would pull at the IV so they taped up her arm and her hand to make sure that the other hand could not knock it out. Sara's foot was taped up on her one leg with gauze and pads. It just looked very depressing and often brought a tear to my eyes seeing my newborn in that state. Twice a day Sara received an antibiotic through her IV for an hour at each time. I worked closely with the nurses to plan out her feedings. The one nurse convinced me that I should start pumping to ensure that she always has something to eat because I did not want them to supplement her with formula if I was not there. At first I was beside myself that I was pumping because I did not want her to take a bottle so early but Dave told me, as well as the nurse, that this would be my last opportunity to get some consecutive hours of sleep so I ended up allowing the nurse to give her a pumped bottle of breast milk at three in the morning after I fed her around midnight and then fed her again around seven. That was also difficult for me to deal with because I felt as though I was being a horrible mother to not be there for her at all times when she needed me but I kept trying to say to myself that it wasn't hurting her and it was benefiting me to get a little bit more sleep to help her.
Finally a week after I entered the hospital Sara was discharged and allowed to go home with a clean bill of health. We were given instructions on how to continue the antibiotics to completely get rid of the infection on her foot. We made our way home with the carseat completely intact and Sara fast asleep inside. Thankfully the first day Sara came home was a beautiful, warm day and we were able to take her for her first walk with the dogs. She did a great job making it through the night. She took her medicine when she was suppose to, fed at the times she was suppose to, and slept the rest of her day away. It may only be her second night at home but she seems to be adjusting well to her new home and is a very good baby. Daddy and Mommy love spending time with her all day long. Just to sit and stare at her and watch her explore her surroundings is amazing. We love our new daughter!