Friday, June 11, 2010

Eleanor's Birth Story

So my internet has been down and we finally got it back so before I forget it, I thought I should record how our sweet little Eleanor came to earth! I had my 41 week and 2 days checkup on Monday, May 17th. I went in hoping to at least have a "favorable cervix" if I couldn't be dilated like most all my pregnant friends reported after each Dr.'s visit. To my surprise, I was effaced 50% and was dilated to a 1! Not very much progress in some people's eyes but to me that was VERY exciting news because it made the chances of a mandate of a c-section go down astronomically which was SO exciting to me!

I figured the doc would want to see me in a couple of days to schedule induction later in the week, perfect timing so Andy's parents could make it in town to meet her that weekend. To my surprise, Dr. Behan looked at his calendar and said why don't you check into the hospital tonight? Even though I was almost 2 weeks overdue I was of course thrown off guard and thought, this is not apart of my plan!? I called Andy at school to make sure he could get a sub and Mom, Mary and I rushed home to finish hanging some last minute pictures and to make sure there wasn't going to be any wet clothes left in the laundry for the next couple days and that our bags really were packed and ready. That was all I had time for though because as soon as I had everything laid out on the bed and took a shower, Andy was home and all we had time to do was load up and grab some Corner Bakery on our way to the hospital.

Me and Eleanor on our way to the hospital

We checked into Presby Dallas at 7 and were greeted by our first nurse, LeAnn who was awesome. She first hooked me up to the baby monitors (monitoring my contractions and her heartbeat), put a saline lock in my right hand (after trying first on my left hand and making a bruise so bad it lasted for two weeks!) gave me cervadil ( a cervix ripening drug) and reminded me that my temp and blood pressure would be checked every hour. Andy and I dove into our tomato soup/salad, and sandwich and watched a pay per view movie on the hospital's dime...well probably mine now that I think about it...I stuffed my face when LeAnn reinfoced the bad news we had been hearing so long about L&D - NO FOOD OR DRINK after midnight.

At about 2:30 I woke up with contractions that kept me from sleeping. They were still pretty irregular but were getting stronger and uncomfortable but definitely manageable. I am pretty sure I wrote a blog post and then before I knew it, the clock turned to 6am and LeAnn came in to let me brush my teeth and then take me down o my L&D room.

I was wheeled down and met another nurse who was only going to take care of us for about 45 more min. She hooked me up to fluids and then went to call my doc to get orders to start "pit" or pitocin. I walked around the room because I knew I would be confined to the bed for many hours to come. Much to Andy's and my dismay, whether I got an epidural or not, because I was on pitocin, I had to be monitored at all time which mean I had to be in the bed at all time. This was VERY against all we had practiced in our 8 week long Bradley Natural Childbirth classes. Everything we had learned to manage pain without intervention (drugs) revolved around walkin/moving around/getting in different positions. Most of which I could NOT do laying in the bed. I started to halfway freak out, tat there would be no way I could do this naturally and halfway stay calm because I knew this would just have to continue to go along with God's plan and I could have no control.

This is me hooked up to IVs and you can see the baby monitor cords hooked around my neck...if you needed to use the restoom this was all that had to go along with you!

When our new nurse, Kylie, came in at 7 to start her shift, she brought us GREAT news! We went over our birth plan with her (which she was super open to) though it had already been altered since I was unable to go into labor on my own. She did, however,take note that I really wanted to TRY and go without an epidural s she thought of another option. She let me sit in a ROCKING CHAIR next to the bed so I could still be hooked up to the monitors but would not be confined to the bed that I was so paranoid about AND so that I could move. This rocking chair was my best friend. The movement really helped to get through contractions which were gradually getting more intense and closer together as Kylie continued to up the pitocin. Eleanor's heartrate was doing great and stayed so as the pitocin continued to increase.

This is me in my beloved Rocking Chair nursing some ice chips between contractions.

I started the pitocin at 7:45. At that time, the cervadil had made me efface pretty much to 100% and I was about 2 cm. dilated. I rocked in my little chair with Andy coaching me on my breathing and doing anything I needed him to. He was so amazingly supportive and sweet. He even rubbed my feet. At one point I remember him letting me lean my head into his chest and for some reason I felt the urge to bite his arm...he had a bit of a battle wound from the birth as well I guess :). At 12:45 I was so tired. I could hardly keep my eyes open between contractions. I had no idea how tiring contractions could be! I remember just thinking, can you please stop the contractions so I can take an hour nap, then I would be ready to continue ha. The contractions were very painful but definitely not unbearable, I was just SO TIRED. SO, Andy and I decided the best way for me to ger rest would be to get the epidural. I was 4cm at this point.This is me after the epi...the anesthesiologist told me if he wasn't my "bff" in 10 min, that I would need to call him back in to re-do the epi.

We called the anesthesiologist in and the epi wasn't too bad at all. He did however have to "redo it" after the first time because he only numbed one side. The worst part were the 6 or so contractions I had that I had to sit still through. Luckily Kylie was right there to help me breathe through them. They kicked Andy out which I was at first a little upset about but he came back quickly. I got the epidural at about 1 and was a 6 at 1:30. In only an hr. and a half (once my body relaxed on the epidural) I went from a 6 to a 9. I was able to sleep and rest and watch the crazy contractions on paper but not really feel them at all. I told the anesthesiologist that he really WAS my bff. Around that time, Mom, Dad, Mary, and Kelsey arrived to hang out and wait for little Ellie to come out! They rotated coming in and visiting with me/Andy while I dozed in and out of sleep. Also at spome point after the epi, Dr. Behan came and broke my water.

Check out the conractions on the right side of the sheet! SO GLAD I wasn't feeling those!

I made it to a 10 by 3:30 but was told I needed to "labor down" meaning that the nurse turned me on different sides and put my legs in the stirrups in various ways to try and get the baby to turn and come down like she was supposed to. I was fully dilated but she wasn't completely ready to come out as she wasn't stationed all the way down in my pelvis yet. My brother in law, Matt, arrived around 4:30 which I know was so special to Andy to have him there. He also hung out with my sisters in the waiting room. At 5:30, Kylie was ready for me to "practice push." When we tried it, I couldn't feel anything so I asked them to turn the epi off.

Mommy and Daddy ready to meet their little one - about to start pushing!

I continued pushing every time I was told I was having a contraction and would put on the oxygen mask and eat ice chips every time I got a break. Pretty soon, I was telling the nurse when the contraction was coming and could definitely feel MUCH more. This caused me to get super nauseas and I eventually threw up. Of course I had no food to throw up so the gagging is never fun but I did hope the nurses didn't notice that what was coming up was orange tinged from the gatorade I made Andy sneak me when they weren't in the room!

After 2 hours, I was completely wiped out! I was starting to cry and think I couldn't do it anymore. Dr. Behan finally came in and thank goodness had our best interests in mind knowing we really were hoping NOT to have a c-secion. Becuase of that, he reccommended using the "vacuum" to pull out Eleanor. He said it would help but that I still had to push. I don't remember much of the chain of events or how long it took once he got in there but shortly after, mypush finally produced results and I saw the most amazing look on my husband's face. It looked about the same if not more full of love and joy than our wedding day. We didn't have a mirror up so I didn't get to see Eleanor come out but I got to see Andy's face overcome with the biggest smile and floods of tears. I will never forget that moment EVER! Eleanor Ann Reinberg was finally here at 7:44pm on May 18th, 2010!

Once Eleanor came out, it didn't take too long for her to cry and then she was carried over to the little baby heater where the NICU staff suctioned her like crazy. There was some "mec" in my amniotic fluid which worried them that she could have swallowed or breathed it in. The nurses did hold her up for me to see and I can't explain how amazing it felt to finally see the face of the sweet little being that had been kicking and hiccuping inside of me for 9 months. Luckily she was fine and after a few minutes that seemed like hours, I got to hold her! They laid her on my chest and I was in pure bliss! Andy got to hold her as did her "Marmi" who also experienced her birth and did a wonderful job taking pictures as soon as she yelled her first cry!
We are so glad our Eleanor is finally here! As soon as the family all left to get a late dinner, Eleanor and I had her first feeding experience which was also amazing. She latched on perfectly and "was a great sucker" as the nurse said. Though things didn't go as planned initially, we really don't even think about it anymore as having her here, healthy and happy is all we could ask for. We thank God for all the wnder and joy she has brought to our family!

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