Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Presenting Mikaela Green Kern

She's here at last!  Last night was crazy, and not at all the birth I expected.  I had some decent but very sporadic contractions all day, but nothing consistent.  We were scheduled to come in to the hospital at 8:30pm to start me on a low dose of Pitocin (a labor induction drug) with the hopes that since I was already a little bit dilated and softened, a low dose administered overnight while I slept would get things going.  I was even prescribed a sleeping pill. 

So we checked in, and by the time everything was all hooked up with about 10:45.  The nurses said we probably wouldn't see any action for a while, so we decided Byron should head back home for the night (we only live 5 minutes away) and get some sleep, and be ready to be called back in as soon as things started to happen.  The nurses assured me they wouldn't be unecessarily waking me up all night, and strapped on the fetal heartrate and contraction monitors and left me to sleep. 

I dozed on and off for about two hours before I started to get some pretty decent contractions, but I was able to breathe/moan my way through them as I laid on my side.  At about 3 am they started to get really strong, and I started to wish I hadn't sent Byron home.  But I figured I would wait a little while longer before calling the nurses back in (I had long intense contractions with Leo for hours, so I had no reason to think this wouldn't be the case again).  Well by 3:15, each contraction came with an urge to push, which I tried to ignore, thinking I just needed to relax a bit (it couldn't possibly be time to push already, right?).  Finally at 3:30, I just HAD to get up out of the bed, and had a contraction as I sat up that sent a gush of liquid down my leg.  For some reason, I was sure I had just peed on myself.  Ha. Turns out it was my water breaking.

I scooted into the bathroom, and the moment I sat down on the toilet I was overwhelmed by the need to push.  Now I've heard other women say before that they feel a strong urge to push, but with Leo it was never that intense - I pushed with him because they said I was ready.  Not so this time.  There was nothing in this world that could have stopped me.  For some reason (grogginess maybe?), I still wasn't convinced I was pushing out a baby - but 15 seconds later her head was out, and I reached down and grabbed her and pushed one more time and pulled her up onto my lap. She cried for about 5 seconds, them tucked in next to me.

After hyperventilating for a few seconds, I remembered there was a nurse call button next to me, and whacked it.  And then sat there, by myself on the toilet, still hyperventilating, and looking at the baby on my lap.  The nurse showed up about 15 seconds later, and with a very shocked look on her face, said "Oh.  You had a baby."  About 5 other nurses appeared about of nowhere, and limped me back to the bed, cleaned up and checked over the baby, and summoned the on-call doctor to check me over and deliver the placenta. 

And oh yeah, called Byron to tell him to come back in because his wife just had the baby.  Craziness.

Despite the wild delivery, she started to nurse right away (and vigorously).  And nursed well all morning before spending the vast majority of this afternoon asleep.  She's officially 9 pounds, 1 ounce, and 21 inches long.  When I asked one of the nurses about whether they could see any of my increasing contractions on their monitor, she said that because I was laying on my side, it didn't show up as strongly as it should.  So they had no idea how close I was.

So somehow, I had an unattended, self-delivered birth in the middle of a hospital.  It sucks that Byron missed it, but it's still much better than lingering on for 3 days.  I'll take 4 hours of intensity over Leo's 53 hours anytime. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Still waiting

 I was hoping to have exciting baby Kern arrival news to share with you, but we're still waiting.  She was due March 15th, and here we are five days later.  Boo. Not even last night's supermoon drew her out.  I've had plenty of sporadic contractions, and lots of discomfort, but nothing substantial so far. We're headed back to the midwife's office tomorrow for the standard post-due ultrasound (to make sure there's enough amniotic fluid in there) and non-stress test to monitor heart rate and all that. We'll probably discuss setting a date for induction late next week assuming we get that far.

In the meantime, we can only wait.  My mom came up from Missouri for the last week, with the intention of watching Leo while we were at the hospital and all that.  No dice there, and she had to drive home this morning, but she became Leo's new best friend while she was here (I think every other word out of his mouth was "Graaammaaaww"). We hit up every playground in town, and even got to play outside a bit when some freakishly good weather hit for a few days. They had tons and tons of playtime and giggles, and Leo was pretty inconsolable (for about 5 minutes) when she drove off this morning. 
 Happily, Byron's mom is on her was over from Chicago at this moment to be on hand for Leo-watching for a while, so he gets a new Gram to play with.  Hopefully this girl shows up soon!  In the meantime, pictures of Leo will have to suffice.