Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lucky for Me, My Little Groundhog Didn't See Her Shadow!

About a month ago, my dad called me. He had decided it would be hilarious if Claire decided to be born on February 2nd. If you're a normal American human being, I'm assuming that, like me, you do not have it memorized that February 2nd is good 'ol Groundhogs Day. With a booming "who who who" Santa like laugh he made some sort of a joke about "...the groundhog coming out of the hole on groundhogs day". I rolled my eyes and fought the urge to hang up the phone. Why would he jinx me with such a thing!? I looked at my belly and told Claire: "You are NOT allowed to come that day!!" Maybe I was the one who jinxed myself.

February 1st:

I was stoked. I secretly wanted a February baby. I didn't want to be pregnant that long, but I was kind of hoping that she would wait. The day was like any other. It was payday, so I paid all the bills. I noted through the day that Claire wasn't moving as much. I would have to stop and think about it in order to feel any movements. I shook it off thinking that I was extra preoccupied trying to get things done for her to get here, but it sent up a tiny red flag in the back of my mind. I kept trying to get rid of it and telling myself that it was okay. I was probably just extra anxious about anything being "off" because I STILL knew nothing from the doctors about my polyhydramnios. No one seemed to care or be alarmed about it (and probably thought I was CRAZY)

8:00PM- Claire is seriously not moving. I could push on my belly and feel an apendage bounce back at me, but it was markably "lifeless". This is Claire motion time. This is when my stomache would become a swimming pool of fun full of sommer salts and the back stroke between lungs and bladder.

I got in the bath to see if the temperature change made her wake up. Nothing.

I got out and ate some food. Nothing.

I am officially starting to freak out. Aaron thinks I'm being a little crazy but even he starting to think that maybe I should go to the hospital when he got down and talked to my belly and only felt a small roll/kick, when usually it livens her up.

I called the OB department and they told me to come in for a non-stress test ASAP

9:30ish- I walk into the hospital. "Are you in labor?!" "Did your water break" "How far apart are your contractions?!"


"The baby has a significant decrease in movement and I'm concerned." They wheeled me back to the room and set me up on the monitors. Claire's heartbeat was strong, but consistent. In a newborns heartbeat, they want to see accelerations and decelerations in response to my movements or something I eat or drink. They watched for about 30 minutes before they started moving me around trying to get a change.

Finally, out of nowhere, I had a contraction. It didn't hurt and it wasn't any different than the 4 million that I had had before. In fact, it was just like the ones that I had gone in to the hospital once before. This contraction was enough to wake Claire up from her "nap". After that she pretty much made me look like an idiot with all of her rocking and rolling. Her heart rate was perfect and she responded to everything that she was supposed to. They watched her for 20 more minutes in which I continued to have contractions every 6 minutes, but because they didn't hurt at all they sent me home.

On the way home I had one contraction that nearly blew me off the road, but I was NOT about turn around go back to the hospital to be told once again that I needed to go back home!!

When I got home I had a few more sporadic contractions but decided that it was better to go to bed and try to get a somewhat decent night sleep since it was looking like it might just be the last for a while.

February 2nd:

530AM- Emily wakes me up because she has had the first EVER poop accident IN HER BED. She is covered in diarrhea and screaming upset. I sat up in bed and had the worst contraction I had had so far!! I shook Aaron awake to have him help me clean Emily up. I had several more contractions over the next 15 minutes but they weren't consistant. They were anywhere from 5-7-9 minutes apart. I fell asleep timing them.

6:15AM- I'm rudely awaken by a hard contraction. I breathed through it and then waited. 5 minutes later. BOOM another contraction. 5 more minutes. Another one. It was time to go. Since we had our 4D ultrasound in a few days I had just assumed that Claire would wait until after that to decide to come. Therefore, there were no bags packed. I know....I'm a procrastinator to the max. I dont know if I will have any more kids after this so for all of you out there who are procrastinators too....Pack your stuff a month in advance, because it sucks real bad to be having contractions that you can hardly breath through and trying to think of all the things that you might need while you're in the hospital.

We called Kaylee and had her run over so that she could crawl in to bed with Emily and watch her while we headed off to the hospital.

6:45AM- We get to the hospital. They check me and I'm at 2CM. They hook me up to monitors and what not. I am forced to sit through an hour and a half of contractions, before they check me again. If I've progressed any then they will admit me. If not...I might go back home and ride them out there.

8:30AM- I am checked and at 5-6CM.

I am given my I.V. I am officially staying!!
Let me tell you...even now, with full knowledge of the pain that I was in throughout the day that stupid I.V. is probably one of the more painful things I was forced to endure. The nurse tried once and failed. She decided to use the other arm. After reviewing my veins she decided to use the elbow of my arm. Have you ever tried to bend or move your arms when there is something poking, prodding, taped and wrapped to the inside of your elbow? It's pretty impossible. Not to mention that it doesn't really feel that great when it's been aerated by a needle that is apparently "to big". She finally hits the vein and when she flips the switch that makes the blood go to the end of the tubey thingy so that I don't get air in my veins she realized all to late that she doesn't have something connected that she is supposed to. Aaron watched as the nurse and floor is sprayed with blood. Lucky for me, AND for the nurse, I don't have a queezy husband. The nurse tossed whatever piece she needed at my husband, yelled at him to open it. Although his hands weren't clean, they weren't contaminated with my blood so it was safer for him to open it then her. He handed it back to her and she stopped the blood. She left irritated (and probably embarassed) and Aaron and I wondered how bad that really was. We both know nothing about phlebotomy or cross contamination really...but she was notably on the verge of tears when she left the room. I really didn't care about the whole mess. I was still trying to breath through my contractions.

8:59PM- I get my epidural. What a glorious invention. Almost immediately my contractions are gone. They give you local anistetic before jamming a needle and tube up your spinal cord so it really doesn't hurt that bad. In my opinion, the benefits outweigh the temporary pain. Then again, I'm sure that people say the same thing about child birth.

Some short time after I got my epidural, I had a little mishap. I guess that's what you could call it. I was talking to the nurse when all of a sudden I felt as though I was going to be sick. The room spun a few times and then started to fade to white. I got out "I think I'm about to pass o....." and I was gone. I felt like my body was trying to float but I had a 10 ton elephant on my chest. I'm not sure how long I was out. Probably no more than a few seconds before I was shook awake by a nurse while another shot me full of epinephrine. I suddenly felt hot and started sweating. I was able to focus on the room as 5 nurses bustled around me. The only thing I could really focus on was the lady beside me who was frantically searching my belly for Claire's heart beat. She was yelling at the other nurses to go get Dr. Stanislaus, another OB Dr. that just happened to be down stairs. Even though it wasn't said, I know why they needed to call her: It was looking like I was heading towards an emergency c-section. I said a quick prayer and closed my eyes. Whether they "found" Claires heartbeat (which has proven to be elusive several times this pregnancy) or God answered my prayers, I will never know, but either way everything was suddenly okay.

12:05- 6CM still.

1:25- They start Patosin. The wonderful medicine that makes contractions hurt 10X worse and contractions harder. They decided to do this since my body had slowed it's contractions and I wasn't progressing any more.

2:41PM- Dilated 7CM

3:00PM- My water broke.

It was a flood. I soaked the mattress, all of my linens, and most of the rooms floor. The nurse thought it was comical how much water I had. She said that it might even be a record. While her and the other nurse they brought in were marveling at how my stomach could hold so much water, I had my first panic attack. I really did have polyhydramnios. It really was a possibility that there was something wrong with Claire. WHY did I have the poly? We had never got the chance to figure out what was wrong because I went into labor before I was even able to get the ultrasound done. OR to see another Dr. to give me a piece of mind. What if she was Downs? I would love her just the same, of course, but after all of the testing and everything, I still wouldn't really know until she was born. Could I handle it? What if she had gastro-intestinal problems and needed surgery. Was I ready for that?

Somewhere in here the Dr. came in and told me that with every contraction that I had that Claire's heart rate was dropping too low for comfort. IF it was to continue or get worse with the harder contractions then there was a possibility of a c-section. WONDERFUL!

3:40PM- 8CM dialated

I started to feel my contractions. I was given a button to push so that I could give myself for juice if I needed it. I was pushing it like there was no tomorrow, but to no avail, I could STILL feel my contractions. And they HURT!

{I was able to squeeze in a little nap}

5:48PM- I let the nurse know that I was feeling alot of pressure. She checked me and I was at 9.5CM. She had me do a practice push with my next contraction. I was ready to go. They called the Dr. and let him know he needed to head over to the hospital.


The Dr. finally shows up and has me start pushing.

I don't know how much of the epidural had worn off...or if any of it had. I can tell you 2 things. 1) it worked fantastic from my upper thigh's down. This is a problem since I don't give birth through my knees. Also, it's incredibly hard to use stirrups (or a husband) and push with your legs when you CANT FEEL THEM! 2) I have never felt so much pain in my life. I'm really not being a baby here, and I know that billions of people before me have successfully given birth naturally and not shed a tear. Kudo's to them, because I thought I might pass out a few times.

I quickly learned that pushing during a contraction made everything hurt less. Amazing how that works. So I PUSHED. I remember after about 30 minutes, I finally got mad. I was over the pain. I wanted it all to be over. That's when I really started putting some effort into it. They had originally started me out on my side. I requested to be put on my back. It was all down hill (or uphill) from there. My life depended on getting that baby out!

7:17PM Claire makes her grand entry into the world. Her head was accompanied by an elbow. the last second Claire had decided to put her hand up next to her face! Not only did I have to deliver a watermelon head (thanks dad for those genes) but also an ARM! That might be why it took 4 times longer to deliver her than it did Emily! The lack of use of my legs might have also contributed to that!

Claire Annemarie Van Patten
Born: 7:17 PM
Weight: 7 lb. 14 oz.
Length: 21 inch

This picture that Aaron took speaks volumes as to how I felt as my PERFECT daughter was layed on my chest.

In fact, 2 of the concerns with Poly is that there is a urinary blockage or a gastrointestinal deformity. She was put on my chest and she immediately emptied her bladder. Concern #1: gone. As they took her to put her under the lamps and test her APGAR scores, she pooped. Concern # 2: gone.

The last of the possible problems was the possibility that she had a bad sucking/ swallowing reflex. This was addressed the next day when the lactation specialist came in to help me nurse. She stood there in dumbfounded disbelief as Claire latched on in text book fashion and nursed away.

If you look back at Claire stats I can't help but see all of the 7's and numbers that are divisable by 7. To me, that is God's little sign to me that the reason everything turned out the way it did is because he had his hand in every aspect of this pregnancy and birth and I have my amazingly healthy, perfect little groundhog to prove that through the ups and downs He was part of it all.

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