6AM Kali's water broke! We scrambled to pull our stuff together. (Kali's bag was already packed, mine was quick thanks to her list & prep). Three weeks early, but full term & we're excited to welcome The Wetus to our world. We're in the hospital getting checked up initially--there's a possibility of natural birth if the placenta has moved...something we weren't prepared for! Getting ready to do an ultrasound to check. Cindy is nurse attending to us, very nice. 9AM Unexpected turn--Kali's showing all signs of preeclampsia, so we won't be able to use Anna (our doula) and they'll likely give Kali magnesium sulfate to help keep her calm & prevent seizures. We can possibly choose between natural or Cesarean, but we haven't prepped for natural birth, so Kali's a little reluctant to go that path w/o a doula. Contractions ~7 minutes apart. Kali is falling asleep. Dr. Foltz will deliver the child--she recommends natural birth (vaginal) and will allow Anna to doula--Kali's blood work apparently checked out fine and her blood pressure is coming down some. Getting ultrasound now to see if placenta has moved away from the cervix...technician thinks so, but need doctor's assessment. Lights are low, no phone/computer/stimulating devices, needs to be quiet for concern of preeclampsia/seizures.
(Kali's note: These concerns were never founded and were the over reaction of our nurse. It was actually more stressful to envision these limitations and then after the blood work came back within normal limits, we realized that clearing everything through the doctor first was the only way to go.) 10AM Contractions ~2 minutes apart but not so strong. 11:45AM I went to get a World Wrapp & stuff my face, and bought a cord to connect the mp3 player to the speakers...Kali is sitting tight, just had a mildly strong contraction. Waiting for Dr. Foltz to come give a word. Kali is really hungry, poor thing. Listening to Prokofiev's Concerto 1 in D Major.
12:30PM Dr. Foltz came in--the placenta previa has totally cleared so rather than a c-section we're going to go with natural vaginal birth (!). We're going to get full use of our doula now :) Kali is able to eat a bit, which makes her very happy. 4:10PM The labor/delivery nurse is encouraging us to get Pitosin going to induce labor. Kali called Anna who suggested trying nipple stimulation...trying that now. 5:20PM Kali spoke with Dr. Foltz and agreed to a little Pitocin to get the ball rolling. She's having it added to her IV now. Anna is on her way...things are going to get going soon I suspect! I've been watching "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf" on Netflix, good movie. 11:30PM Anna is here--very comforting. She knows just what to do to help Kali cope with the contractions, which are about 2 minutes apart now and difficult for Kali. She has had 2 half doses of Fentanyl and will get an epidural eventually. The pain spikes are bringing on some nausea. But next she'll do a few contractions on the toilet, then some time in the tub. Dr. Foltz says the baby will come at about 6AM. Cool beanz! I'm a little tired, but happy all is well so far.
(Kali's note: I wanted to try everything and get dilated to at least 5 before the epidural. We got to use the ball and the tub which I was very happy about. But by the time we hit the tub I was almost at my pain threshold limit and that turkey salad that I had so badly wanted earlier came back up. Aside from vomiting on my husband and doula, the transition from the tub to getting an epidural was smooth. I can see why women swear by them--it was a gigantic relief and to know that I had waited long enough on the dilation part also made me feel very good.)
4:10AM We've slept some since Kali's epidural (on & off for ~3 hours)... Kali is at 10cm and ready to go!!! Anna's going to come over and we'll do this thing. :)
This is where Ken stops writing. Baby's head hasn't molded to get through the pelvis so we're waiting another few hours to see the progression.
Checked again and head has molded so baby can come down through the birth canal. Real pushing to begin before the end of the hour.
Hard labor with major pushing. Ken and Anna on each side holding a leg. Dr. Foltz pops in and out to see progression. Fingers being placed at the opening so I can focus on a place to push and a 10-count are very helpful since there is a lack of feeling and after 24 hours of dilation--I'm very tired. Also lamenting the lack of core strength due to no exercise during pregnancy and the suspension of yoga due to "placenta previa" concerns.
Touched baby's head. Intense stretching at the opening--they call it the "Ring of Fire." No shit. Haven't taken any labor/delivery prep so I am doing whatever the doula & the med staff say. Since I'm tired, there is a lot of pausing during the pushing which doesn't make it very effective in pushing baby out quick but it is stretching so there will be less chance of tearing or an episiotomy. At one point, they asked me if I wanted a mirror to "see" what was going on down there--"No! Let's focus people and get this baby out!" I said. I request them to tell me when contractions are coming (via the monitor) because the epidural interferes with me being able to feel them yet I can intensely feel the Ring of Fire--how is that possible? In my mind, I'm wishing the doctor would just pull the baby out--feels stuck. Finally one of the pushes gets baby's head clear which is a major relief to the Ring and to me since I am utterly exhausted. In the final pushes, Anna says to be "fierce" but my first thought is of Christian Siriano.
But that didn't quite do it. So I then thought of a great white shark and that seemed to do the trick. Never have I felt such relief as when the baby exited my body. Whew.
It was surreal as they pulled her out and Ken cut the cord. He had to double-check then announced what I had suspected the whole pregnancy, that we had a girl. "This is Sidney," he said. We had decided on the girl's name years ago (like on one of our first dates) but we had a list of 40 boys names--nothing really standing out above the rest. So that was a relief. They placed her on my chest and vigorously rubbed her and got her bundled up. She had a long cone shaped head and her face was sort of swollen. Ken cried and I would have too if not for the exhaustion. So I just gazed at her and just couldn't believe that I had given birth.