Madelyn's Birth Story-
After a weekend of bed rest and a lot of fluids I went to my appointment at the Perinatal Center on Monday morning at 8:30. My intentions were to go get my amniotic fluid checked out and then head to work once I was told everything was looking good. I got to my appointment and the nurse monitored the babies heart rate and movements telling me everything looked great. Next, I headed to the ultrasound where my amniotic fluid was measured. After only a couple of minutes the nurse told me she measured 2 the first time and 4 the second time. This was lower than Friday's amount of amniotic fluid. The nurse called my Doctor while I waited. I had no idea what this would mean for us. I figured it meant more bed rest. My Doctor wanted to speak to me. The nurse handed me the phone and I was shocked when he suggested they take me right up to Labor and Delivery and induce me. I called Jamie to let him know. He was excited which was nice to hear because I was so nervous. I never pictured it happening this way. A lady from transport wheeled me to the Labor and Delivery floor and I was admitted at the desk and then showed to my room around 10:00 AM. I was given a gown which I changed into and got into bed. I sat and made a lot of phone calls, canceling appointments, wrapping up work, passing off projects, coordinating with Jamie as far as what to bring to the hospital, etc. Two nurses came in and started my IV, checked my cervix which was still one centimeter dilated, asked a lot of questions and then started pitocin. Jamie got to the hospital at 11:30 and came to the bed with teary eyes to give me a kiss and say "this is it babe". He started unpacking suitcases, setting up electronics, etc. I was more concerned that he change and get comfortable since he was dressed for business with a nice shirt and tie. We had a long day or two ahead of us. He did change and at some point he even made another trip home to get pillows and some other items I wanted.
The nurses checked my cervix after I had been on the pitocin for a a couple of hours. I was still one centimeter. The plan was to increase the pitocin every half an hour. My cervix wasn't responding to the pitocin after six hours and at some point the nurse had to call the Doctor to find out what he wanted to do. He recommended upping the pitocin even more and then broke my water at 4:40 PM . Finally I started feeling the contractions and watched the numbers on the monitors climb as the pain grew more and more intense. I was gripping the side rails of the bed and Jamie was there for everyone of the contractions coaching me through them. J held my hand and watched the numbers with me letting me know when the numbers were dropping again signaling relief. I was so grateful for him. The Doctor wanted to see my cervix change before giving me an epidural. A nurse came in soon after the Doctor left. She had been watching my contractions from the nurses station. She asked me if I was planning on going natural because I was dealing with some intense contractions. I told her I wasn't planning on going natural and she said "Then, let's get you an epidural." I was so happy. I was only one centimeter and would be relieved of the pain from the pitocin. My contractions were coming one after the other with two and three contractions in a row and little to no breaks in between contractions. The epidural was given and I was relieved of the pain for the night. We had some visitors which was nice once I was comfortable with the epidural in place. Around midnight I asked everyone to leave so I could get some sleep. I tried hard to get some rest but was constantly visited by the nurse on duty that night. The babies heart rate kept dropping and they kept having me change positions and start oxygen. I got no sleep. I don't believe I even dozed off once.
At about 6:00 in the morning or so I could feel my contractions again. I was 8-9 centimeters and thinning out. The contractions the day before were measuring in the high 90's to 100, these contractions were topping out at 127. Jamie found out from the nurse that 127 was as high as the monitor would measure. The pain was intense and they gave me more medicine in my epidural. I was relieved for the time being. At 8:00 AM the nurse had me try pushing for the first time. Jamie sat at the left end of the bed and held one heal while the nurse held the other. I pushed three times with each contraction. Jamie told me he could see the babies hair, it was dark. I couldn't believe he could actually see her. This gave me motivation to push harder and harder. I pushed and pushed, it was exhausting. I remember telling the nurse I felt the baby was stuck. My Doctor came in and touched the babies head while I pushed and said that the baby was face up and told me that they would need to use forceps. At that point I started having intense back labor as the babies head pushed on my back. Other Doctors and residents came in the room and I gripped Jamie's hand as the pain in my back grew more and more intense. My Doctor ordered more anesthesia which came quickly and everyone in the room stood quiet as I waited for the anesthesia to work. I just remember wincing in pain and squirming with each contraction The pain didn't go away between contractions either. It was so intense. Eventually I told everyone I was good and ready to go. The bed was adjusted, stirrups in place, my legs were lifted into position and with the next contraction I pushed three to four times and heard the metal forceps clang together and felt a big tug as the baby came out.
She had the softest cry. She was placed on my stomach. I told her how long we had waited to meet her. I cried one of the happiest cries of my life. I was in awe. She was beautiful and perfect. The room was filled with so many strangers and so much commotion but for that moment, it was just us two. I will never forget that moment. The moment I met my daughter for the first time.
The nurse took Madelyn to the warmer and J followed with camera in hand. I watched the two of them from the bed while the Doctors worked on me. Jamie was so proud. He had tears and was taking so many pictures and I think he even updated facebook and sent a few texts. I had to remind him to go touch the baby since they say that touch is so important in those first few moments.
We had planned for the first call to be to J's Grandmother. No one knew the babies name and we wanted her to know first. J called his Grandmother, Shirley, in Florida once the baby was brought to the warmer and told her the baby was born and that she was named after her. I spoke briefly to his Grandmother who congratulated us and told me how honored she was to have our baby named after her. It was a great moment. That was the one single moment J and I looked forward to after the baby was born. Telling his Grandmother that our baby would carry her name was special for us. We had planned on naming a girl after Shirley for years.
A week after Madelyn's birth-
We came home on Thursday with a new baby and a billi-bed. Madelyn had Jaundice. She had to lay on this tiny little light bed when she wasn't being fed. It was so difficult to have a new baby at home and not be able to hold her for three days except to feed her. Her Jaundice levels grew higher for three days and her blood was drawn daily. Finally, the levels dropped and we have sent the bed back to the hospital and can hold our sweet baby.
I did try breastfeeding. I gave it everything I had. I fed from the breast and I pumped but such a little amount came out that after speaking to a lactation consultant we decided it wasn't worth the stress. I was getting maybe 1/8 ounce per pumping session and she was eating 1 1/2 ounces per feeding. My milk came in but had no way to get to the surface after a breast reduction. I cried once I realized I wouldn't be able breastfeed. I wanted the best for my baby and felt I was letting my baby and my husband down. J was so supportive the whole time, I am so fortunate. He told me he hated watching me work my ass off for so little milk. I remember one time after pumping at home I got a decent amount one time and showed Jamie and he told me how beautiful the milk was. He really was supportive of the ups and downs of the entire process.
Another way he was supportive was of the baby blues I had once I got home. For the first night or two I cried every time I looked at Madelyn. I cried because I loved her so much and didn't want her to ever grow up. I wanted to cherish these moments forever and hated that she had to lay on the light bed while I sat idly by watching her and not being able to hold her. I felt time slipping through my fingers while I was watching my little girl lay on a light bed. A couple of days later those emotions gave way to fear, confusion, exhaustion and hopelessness. I stopped eating, I felt nauseous, I looked at Madelyn and felt completely overwhelmed. I watched my life turn upside down with a baby. I had no control, I had no desire for control. I did nothing around the house. I was a mess. I was lacking sleep. I cried repeatedly. I called Jamie and work crying and telling him I hated how I felt. I was scared. I was scared of today, tomorrow and the future. I made an appointment with my therapist who did some depression diagnostic testing and recommended I call my OB and get placed on an anti-depressant immediately. I did call yesterday and had a prescription called in. By the time I picked up my prescription yesterday I was feeling a little better and was told that the baby blues last a couple of weeks or less. I am thankful for my husband and his Mom who helped get me through this by letting me sleep and taking care of the house. I weighed this morning and I have lost all of my baby weight in the one week since Madelyn's birth plus four additional pounds. I weigh four pounds less than I did before starting IVF. I still don't have the desire to eat but I am making myself.
I am feeling better. I woke up this morning to a bright-eyed baby girl. Her Daddy and I are so in love with her. I feel thankful to be feeling better and thankful to be able to enjoy her. We had Madelyn's new born pictures taken Tuesday. She did amazing! At one point I looked at J and said I can't believe she is ours, I can't believe we made her.
I enjoyed every minute of my pregnancy and delivery. I feel honored to have been able to carry a baby and give birth. I always wanted to experience those two things and to experience being a Mommy. It's incredible. I love our family and I love our new life.