Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wuz up?

Audrina's ready to go for a run!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Birth Story

 I didn't get a chance to add this to the previous collection of pictures, so here's week 37.
For those of you who are interested in hearing about Audrina's entrance into the world, continue reading.

This story begins the weekend before Audrina was born. At the quilt shop where I worked, they participate in the local "Shop Hop". This is where most of the shops in the greater Atlanta area get together and decide on a theme. The shops all get decorated extra special for the shop hop weekend and quilters "hop" from one shop to another. A grand prize is drawn from those who have been to all shops that participate in the shop hop. It's a big deal in the quilting world. Shop Hop means that we are extra busy and work long hours on our feet.

Shop Hop weekend was March 22-25. I worked Thursday and Friday for about five hours each day on my feet. I was very tired after those two days, but it was fun to be a part of all the action. I completed my final day of work on Monday and then on Tuesday my mom flew in from Washington to be here for the birth.

Wednesday I had my 38 week doctor's appointment and my blood pressure was a bit high. They re-took it and it came out normal the second time. They decided to take a blood sample as well to make sure everything was okay. I was supposed to go in again on Friday morning to get my blood pressure taken again.

Thursday, March 29 I was rudely awoken at 10am by Damien who came home from work to get me. Apparently the doctor's office was trying to get a hold of me because they got the result from my blood work back and my blood platelet count was low. (The ringer on my cell phone was off and they weren't able to get a hold of me so they called Damien. He tried to call me too, but couldn't get a hold of my mom or me so he came home from work to get me.) The doctor wanted me to go right to the hospital to have my platelet count checked again. If it was still low, I would be having the baby.

We grabbed my labor and recovery bags just in case my platelet count was still low, thinking it would probably be back to normal since I hadn't had any complications during the pregnancy thus far. And luckily I had some oatmeal to eat before we left.

We got to the hospital and checked in. They had me go back to a room and put on the lovely hospital gown. This was a surprise to us all because they told us over the phone that we were just going to have blood drawn. I think the nurse who talked to Damien wasn't telling us how serious it was.

38 weeks 1 day
They took blood and an hour and a half later the midwife on call came into my room to give us the results. My blood platelet count had dropped from 100 the day before to 84. The midwife said they thought my platelet drop was a result from the pregnancy and the only way for them to get it back up was for me to have the baby. My options were to either be induced and have the baby naturally or have a c-section because no anesthesiologist would give me an epidural with a platelet count below 100.  This was the most shocking news to get. I was planning on having an epidural and had not even thought about a natural delivery. The midwife stepped out and I had to let it all sink in.

The labor and delivery would be very painful if I decided to deliver naturally, but the recovery would be easier and less painful than if I had a c-section. If I decided to get the c-section it would be quicker and less painful to get the baby out, but the recovery would be much harder.

I also had to consider that we were going to Hawaii for a week in the beginning of May and I needed to be in good shape to go and be able to enjoy the trip. While deciding, the midwife came back in to tell me that she talked to the doctor and he said they could also try putting me on magnesium to help relax my muscles and see if that would help my platelet count come up enough to get an epidural. I finally decided (after some tears) that I would try the magnesium. If it didn't work, I would go ahead with a natural delivery while knowing that at any point if the pain became too much I could get the c-section.

The nurse started me on magnesium (mag) and it made me super hot at first and very uncomfortable. The mag didn't help my platelet count come up so they moved me to a labor room and started the pitocin around 3 pm.

The contractions started and after trying to endure them for quite a while I got some sort of medicine to help take the edge off. That first dose was great and I was able to rest for about an hour before it wore off. The bad thing about the medicine was that it made me really nauseous. I got some Zofran to help with the nausea, but it didn't help because the doctor came in to check on me and I threw up. He didn't seem phased one bit.

I tried to endure the pain a while longer and asked if they had any other medicine they could give me to help with the pain that wouldn't make me nauseous. They tried some other medicine, but it didn't do anything for the pain. So I had them give me a second dose of the first medicine. This didn't seem to do anything for the pain either. Apparently the first dose works the best and the next two (they are only allowed to give you 3 doses) don't work as well. I did get the last dose sometime after that and it didn't seem to do anything either.

Damien and I were glad our birth class instructor went over breathing techniques and different positions to try because we ended up using all of it during the 11 hours of labor. I sat in a rocking chair, knelt in bed with my hands on the back of the bed, stood beside the bed with my hands and head resting on the bed. I was willing to try anything to help with the pain. Damien was good and rubbed my feet or put counter pressure on my back during contractions which seemed to help.

Finally after about 10.5 hours of laboring I felt pressure in my bottom and had the urge to push.The nurse checked me and I was dilated 9 cm. She said I could start pushing during contractions while she went to get the midwife for the delivery.

The midwife came in and told me to stop pushing. She wanted me to do it slowly so that I wouldn't tear. So I was trying not to push while they got the bed situated even though it almost made it feel "better" to push. All I could feel was a lot of pain. I would agree with others when they say it feels like a burning ring of fire. It was definitely the worst pain I have ever felt! I couldn't tell what the baby was doing because there was so much pain when I was pushing. I was told her head would come to the opening when I pushed and then go back in when I stopped. So in between pushing I had to hold a push so her head wouldn't go back up the birth canal.

Finally after a million pushes her head and one shoulder came out. I guess the midwife turned the baby the wrong way when she was coming out and her other shoulder got stuck. The midwife was trying to hurry and get the baby out because her heart rate was low from the mag they had me on. So she had to pull and twist to get the baby's other shoulder out and that's when I tore. I felt so much better after the baby's head and shoulders were out though. The rest of the baby's body just slid right out with no problems!

They put her up on my chest as they wiped her down. I don't really remember much about this part because I was so relieved that the laboring was basically over and I was totally exhausted! (It didn't help that she was born at 2:09am.)


Damien and my mom both got to hold baby before the nurses took her and checked all her vitals, measured, and weighed her. Then Damien got to have some skin-to-skin time with the baby while the midwife worked to pull the placenta out. Then she gave me some numbing shots so she could stitch me up. Apparently I tore on the inside, but she was able to stitch it up without me feeling anything.
They finished stitching me up and brought the baby over to breastfeed. She was so tired though that she wasn't interested at all.

My mom with Audrina
Proud Papa
Skin-to-skin (I think she was crying because of his scary mustache!)

I looked at Damien and asked him what we should name her. We had two names we really liked but were waiting to see her before we decided. I told him I thought we should go with Audrina. He told me he was okay with whichever name I chose. So lame, I wanted him to have an opinion. (Damien is the one who heard the name Audrina and told me about it, so I guess he helped name her.)

After I'd held Audrina for awhile the nurses took her back to bathe her. One of the few nice things about not have the epidural was that I was able to walk around right after I gave birth. So I walked over and watch the nurses as they cleaner Audrina up.

She LOVED having her hair washed!

First picture as a family of three.
Damien went with Audrina to the nursery to get her blood taken and my mom came with me as they wheeled me up to my recovery room. Soon after, Damien and Audrina came into the room and it was just us and my mom. It was nice to have all the nurses and doctors gone. Damien left to take my mom back to our house and it was just me and Audrina. She started to fuss so I picked her up and laid her on my chest where she fell into a peaceful sleep. I was finally able to relax!

Damien wanted to try out my bed. His bed on the couch was much more cushy!

We stayed at the hospital until Sunday evening because they were watching Audrina for jaundice and wanting to make sure my platelet count came back up, which it did! But it was so nice to finally be home!
They let us bring her home!
So sweet!
This is what your house looks like when you have a baby. Baby stuff everywhere!

Friday, August 17, 2012

4 Months

We had Audrina's 4 month check-up today. She's technically 4 and a half months old now. Her appointment is a bit late because of all our travels. More on that later! Here's Audrina's 4 month stats:

Weight: 16 lbs. 15.5 oz. (87%)
Height: 25 5/8 inches (80%)
Head: 16  1/4 inches (56%)