Saturday, August 9, 2014

pre-birth story

The week leading up to Ellie's birth was full of ups and downs and it would feel wrong not to include the moments/days that led to her birth. So if you are looking for all the birth details they wont be in this post, but you will get a good sense of my mental state before going into labor. I promise the birth story is coming up soon, but until then, I present to you her "pre-birth story".

Lets start at my 39 week appointment with my midwife- on the 15th we found out I was dilated to 2 cms and 80% effaced. We were over the moon and prepared ourselves for a sooner than later birth (big mistake). A couple days later (the 17th) we were completely convinced that I was in labor- I had contractions for 14 hours that grew in intensity that got to only 4 minutes apart and stayed that way for over 2 hours! My good friend and neighbor, Sarah hung around me all day and even she was convinced it was the real thing (she has 5 kids and her last was born just 4 months ago, so she's a pretty reliable source when it comes to all things pregnancy, labor, baby and children)  She also marched me around the neighborhood militant style for a couple hours and forced me to eat spicy tacos. After my late night walk and my belly full of spicy tacos I went home where I started to pack my hospital bag. At two in the morning I was pretty uncomfortable, but mostly tired. I decided to lay down and prayed that I would have a distinct feeling on when to call the midwife (who lives 30 minutes away), but I felt pressed that I should just try to get some rest. Sure enough I fell asleep and the contractions while they didn't stop, became less frequent and died in intensity. This lasted for days. Seriously. Contractions and the consistent-growing-in-intensity-this-is-the-real-deal-I'm-in-labor contractions for many many days (and nights). I was over it.

A couple days after the false labor, I called my midwife after having a big meltdown because I was so discouraged with how many contractions I was having, but having no other sign I was in labor. She had me come into the office where she did another check to find that this time I was only 3 cms and still 80% effaced with baby very in my irrational I'm-going-to-be-pregnant-forever way of thinking I took that as no progress (even though I was one more cm dilated so those contractions were doing some thing...I guess). I about had it. I then promised myself to ignore all contractions and wait for one of the "for sure" signs of labor. I wasn't going to believe it until I had other "cervical signs" (those of you that have had babies know what I am talking about), my water broke or I was in transition. Every thing else I would ignore and pay no attention to.

My sister, Katie, flew into Idaho Falls on my due date and much to my dismay, I was still pregnant. At lunch Katie told me about a dream she had a month or so back that Ellie was born on the 24th  I scoffed because there was no way I would be 4 days late... 2 maybe, but 4? No way! I thought she was just having some subconscious "premonition" because Maisie was 4 days late and her brain some how remembered that and was applying it to Ellie (I don't know what it was, but it turns out she was right). We spent the next couple of days relaxing because Maisie was down and out with a cold and I was 40+ weeks pregnant, tired and cranky.

Wednesday, July 23rd AKA the worst day of my life- okay okay, not life, but probably in my top 5 worst days and most definitely of the whole pregnancy. I had my 40 week appointment scheduled for 2pm and since we had a couple hours to kill, we went up to Idaho Falls to run a few errands. We ran into Sam's Club for a few things, but mainly the soft pretzel I was craving, but sure enough they were sold out and Heaven knows I wanted that pretzel. That was strike #1 of my worst day tally. Anyway, we lost track of time in Idaho Falls and missed my appointment (strike #2) I felt so dumb, but after calling the midwife she told me to just come in and she would squeeze me in. We quickly made our way to my appointment where we waited for what seemed like forever (totally my fault because I missed my allotted time, but still I'm not fond of waiting. strike #3). My midwife did another check and this time a 3-3 1/2 and 80% effaced so this time no change at all expect a measly 1/2 cm (strike #4) I almost started bawling right there. Then we started a stressful conversation about possibly doing an induction because my sister only had 6 days until she headed back home and the whole purpose to her visit was to be here for the birth, so I felt seriously pressed for time. My midwife looked me in the eye and told me she was convinced it would happen by itself and with Katie here. So we decided not to schedule the induction which was risky because they don't do it on weekends so my only option would be Monday a day before Katie leaves that is if they weren't already all booked up (strike #5). No bueno.

 My midwife asked if I had any questions or concerns and so I mentioned I hadn't been feeling Ellie move around very much the last few days, I figured it was due to her getting into position, but to be on the safe side my midwife decided to give me a non-stress test. What should have taken 20 minutes ended up taking over 2 hours because Ellie's heart rate wouldn't accelerate and even out (strike #6). Why that's what they are looking for? No clue, but I did know that they weren't very happy with how it was going. Finally close to 2 and 1/2 hours in Ellie got the hiccups which was great relief to me to finally feel her move, but it also accelerated her heart rate enough for my midwife and nurse to assure me everything was fine and to go home and take it easy. Those hours were so stressful, I was beyond worried and upset that some thing was seriously wrong with my baby. The way the nurse looked at the strip and tried to act like she wasn't worried, really freaked me out. I was so upset that I felt like a bomb about to go off, I am sure Austin, Katie and Maisie could all feel the tension radiating off of me. I had reached my threshold and from there on it took everything in my power to try to stay calm, but really I was anything but calm.

 I hadn't eaten since 8 that morning and it was pushing 5 o'clock- I was starving (or as I say hangry- hunger/angry- strike #7) which on top of the 6 other strikes set me over the edge. I made a huge salad and ate it while hot angry tears dripped down my face. After my salad I went upstairs where I took a little nap and then was woken up by contractions. All I could think to myself was great, now the false labor is back, but little did I know then that I truly was in early labor...