Monday, September 10, 2012

Philadelphia Marie Came to Be

I decided that I had better sit down and write out the birth story for our latest addition before details become a bit hazy... so, you'll have to excuse my typos and any major grammatical/spelling errors that I make as I am still sitting in the hospital and severely sleep deprived (we all know that you sleep more at home than you ever will in the hospital!)

My parents were super sweet and surprised me, calling on Friday to say that they were on their way to Vegas. Originally, they didn't believe they would have the money to come but they somehow managed to make it work. Their arrival made it possible for the Little Diva to stay home with them instead of us having to drop her off with someone. I had so many offers (as the Little Diva is a very popular little girl) and I am extremely grateful for each and every one of them.( I am also extremely grateful for the people that took care of her when we went into the hospital thinking that I was in labor...)

So, what led to Friday's surprise and Saturday's warrior????
6 lbs 4 oz, 20.5 inches long, born at 8:22 PM 


Sunday, September 2, was NOT a good day.  I felt gross and funny, but opted to try to go to church. While we were sitting in sacrament meeting, I started getting dizzy and had a cold sweat come over me. I thought I was going to pass out. Jeff could tell that something was wrong, but after denying it, I finally realized that I couldn't take any more. I leaned over and told him that we needed to leave ASAP. So, right after we partook of the sacrament we were out in the foyer and then off to the car. Jeff helped me up the stairs, and took care of the Little Diva (who went down for a nap) while I laid in our bed and tried to get the world to stop spinning.  He even made me lunch!  I felt this way for the majority of Sunday...then the contractions started...I'd been having contractions off and on for weeks, but this time they seemed different...but I waited it out.

I contracted all night, only getting about 30 minutes of sleep tops.  I decided that they were close enough together and consistent enough that we needed to go to the hospital. Of course, we were so blessed because the Olson's came to the rescue just like they said they would and took Faith early in the morning so we could go. We go to the hospital, they hooked me up to machines, and we waited....they were only going to keep me if I was progressing...well, the contractions were really hard, in fact, they were so hard that the nurse had to come tip me on my side because baby was NOT liking hour rolled by, the nurse checked and was flabbergasted! I hadn't progressed at all...she sent me home but assured me because of what she was seeing that we would be back later that afternoon...

Obviously, since Philadelphia Marie is a Saturday baby, that didn't happen...

I contracted 3-5 minutes apart, with each contraction lasting a minute to a minute and a half,  regularly until Wednesday night.  I saw my doctor on Tuesday and when he checked me and realized that I STILL hadn't made any progression and my contractions were showing no signs of stopping, he was kind enough to take pity on me and schedule an induction for as soon as he could.  He even tried to see if there was a way he could fudge the dates a bit so that I could be induced on Thursday instead, but he couldn't get around the fact that everything had thoroughly been charted with my due date as Sept. 15.  Saturday was the earliest he could schedule the induction because of medical board policies and rules... Fortunately, the contractions did taper off to be 10-15 minutes apart on Wednesday night, so I was able to semi function after that, but they were still painful, so Saturday wouldn't come soon enough.

Wednesday night, my phone was ringing and it was in the diaper bag. I tripped in my living room and felt a gush of fluid when I landed halfway on  my stomach, hurting my leg! Again, we made the tour to Labor and Delivery. I am so grateful to the Moores and the Olsons for again, being so willing to come to my aid. The Olsons ended up winning the pleasure of Faith's company for the night...I wasn't convinced it was my water breaking, but Jeff ended up not being my water being broken, but they did keep me in the hospital pretty late to monitor and make sure baby was okay from the was this night that I began to appreciate the fact that we had to schedule the induction at a different hospital. The hospital we were at (which was the hospital we were originally going to deliver at) was so busy that they had a post-partum mother recovering in a labor triage suite...So, while we were sitting there listening to our baby's heartbeat (and I was enjoying the added awesomeness of my contractions picking up again...) we also were listening to a new mother tell her birth story to friends and family and her fussy newborn (it was a very harrowing story, at least it passed the time as I breathed through pain...) The nurse took pity on me and offered me an Ambien because she could see how much pain I was in...I took it gladly, and the Olsons were kind enough to keep Faith overnight.

Thursday and Friday couldn't seem to go fast enough...especially Friday after we found out that my parents were coming...

and then, even though it seemed like it took forever, Saturday had magically arrived.

We had quite the eventful morning, preparing my parents for taking care of Faith and giving them all the information that they needed...and then we were off for our 9 AM induction appointment.

The hospital was a little late bringing us back for the induction and, other than it taking 3 attempts to get an IV going (OUCH!), things seemed to be pretty normal.  I handled contractions pretty well for the first 3 or 4 hours, but I'd already prepared myself and I knew that I was going to ask for the epidural this time as soon as the contractions were bad enough that I was crying and had the thought of , "Jeff, help! Come save me." (P.S. I love the fact that in my irrational states of pain I believe my  husband can make it go away...just shows how much he loves me and how much he takes care of me that my subconscious would believe he could make it better.)   I actually didn't get to that point until about an hour after they broke my water to get things moving.  Apparently, I hadn't had enough IV solution yet for them to give me an epidural (I don't think they were expecting me to get to a 3 as quickly as I did after they broke my water.) So the nurses had to quickly hang some saline bags and turn up the drip on them so that the anesthesiologist could come in and work his magic.  Jeff was surprised I didn't try to hold out longer, but the nurses were right in sync with me and said, "Daddy, I can promise you that once you do this once, you understand that its not worth it to try to be a hero..."  In between contractions, I laughed with them because that was the exact reasoning I had in my head at that moment in time.

The first time I'd had an epidural, they had me lay on my side in the bed. This time, I got to experience it sitting up. The anesthesiologist and nurses said that I would like sitting up better...they were wrong...I can honestly say I prefer laying down. It was harder for me to stay still and in the right position sitting up. I blame it on my opera singing ways- its really impossible for me to sit with slouched shoulders for very long, I naturally start trying to sit with good posture, its just ingrained in me at this point. It also took the anesthesiologist much longer to get it in than my last epidural experience...but he was super nice and was cracking jokes the whole time to try to put me at ease and that was nice. The anesthesiologist I had with Faith in Idaho was nice, but he didn't talk much while he placed it so I really didn't get the glimpse of his bedside manner that I got of this anesthesiologist's.

The epidural also took longer to take effect this time (with Faith, the numbness was almost immediate. This time it took about 20 minutes.)  I was good for an hour or two, and then it completely wore off on half my body. Of course, at this exact time, baby started not tolerating the contractions well, so they started flipping me on my side to see if they could get me in a position that baby would like better before turning to the oxygen mask.  They started by flipping me on the side where the epidural wasn't working to see if they needed to tip the medicine to that didn't work...and then I got to sit through about 45 minutes on the other side with no epidural on half my body... Finally, I said I couldn't take it anymore and the nurses could see that flipping me back and forth wasn't working to fix it, so they called in the anesthesiologist. He was kind enough to give me another dose and they flipped me back over to the side that wasn't working to see if they could drip the medicine that way. They also had to put the oxygen mask on me to see if they could keep baby's heartrate up during the contractions because it kept dipping...they even brought a surgical nurse in for consult just in case (talk about wondering if I was headed for a C-section)...Fortunately, both measures worked, but I was WAAAAY WAAAAY numb (like more numb than I'd been when I had the epidural with Faith.) My legs were completely dead and the oxygen was doing its magic and baby's heart rate was staying up for the most part.

About 20 minutes after the new dose of epidural took effect (affect? Sorry, I know there is a difference and I'm sure I'm getting it wrong, but I am too tired to want to look it up to make sure I'm using the word right...grammar nazis, forgive me.) The nurses came parading into the room, based on my contraction pattern and baby's heart rate they decided they needed to check me...lucky me...I was complete...complete and so numb that I couldn't feel to push...I thought I was sunk for sure and that I would have to give up the champion pusher medal that I'd won with Faith (she was out in 30 minutes after the midwife got there to catch her.)

It was also shift change. The sweet nurses I'd been working with came to say goodbye and my new nurse came in.  She was so sweet and so positive! She looked at my legs and moved them and said, "WOW! Those are dead legs! Okay, we will get through this, because you are complete and baby is in position for you to push- you have labored down as far as you can go. We can do this and I am going to help you!"

By some miracle, even though I couldn't feel a thing, I was STILL worthy of my champion pusher medal. For about 20 minutes, the nurse would tell me when I was having a contraction and try to give me a reference point to push to and the look on my sweet nurse's face was priceless. She got up and said, "I'm going to go call Dr. Kramer, apparently you really know how to use your muscles in your abdomen and around there because if I have you push anymore I am going to have to catch this baby." She called the doc and came back in to sit with me. By this point, I was starting to feel the pressure, so I knew I needed to push  but it wasn't overwhelming like it had been with Faith, so I knew that I must be really super numb.  We waited for 30 minutes for Dr. Kramer (darn Vegas traffic) while my nurse monitored my baby's crowning head, just in case she did have to catch her.

Dr. Kramer arrived and said, "I thought you were going to wait until tomorrow to have this baby, but I guess I can deliver you now. I can live with that." We all chuckled, he got things ready and 4 pushes (and some chastising from the doctor for pushing too hard when he needed me to just push a little- I mean, the man was trying to keep me from tearing and I was making it near impossible, especially because baby's head was much bigger than he'd anticipated...) later, Philadelphia Marie was here.  Dr. Kramer was a champ and stopped my crazy pushing ways just in time to keep me from tearing beyond superficial wounds...and just like that it was over.

Of course, about an hour later when they wanted to move me from the labor suite into my recovery room my poor nurses got to have a "Weekend at Bernie's" moment when my legs wouldn't work and they had to be on either side of me to get me into a wheelchair to move me...and then I had the fun of dealing with post partum contractions (which, in my estimation seem worse than the contractions when you're in labor!)

The first night was tough. They forgot to order my pain meds and so they had to wait for the pharmacy to draw up the orders and so I was in tears and begging for Jeff to save me (literally, I woke him up begging him for help and he could do NOTHING, poor guy.). They finally came with the meds but a few minutes later I had a wave of nausea come over me along with those awesome post partum contractions that was so bad that I thought I was going to toss my cookies everywhere...the nurse came and gave me some IV nausea medicine.

The pain pills didn't seem to be working, but eventually exhaustion won the battle and I fell into a restless sleep. Around midnight they brought baby into the recovery room to stay with me and all I could think between contractions was, "Yeah, right, there is NO way I am getting out of this bed..." but I let them leave her and it all worked out anyway because she pretty much slept the whole night and finally, the pain meds kicked in.

Since then, I've been in very little pain  (as long as we've been staying on top of my pain meds), I haven't been swollen at all (My legs and feet were so swollen with Faith that my toes looked like sausages...), and I've been able to, all in all, things have been much easier this time around.

So...What's in a Name?

I've had a lot of people asking about Phillie's name.

Here is the truth...around 20 weeks, after we found out we were having another girl, the great debate began. Jeff and I have all of our boy names agreed on, but we struggle when it comes to agreeing about girl names.  After a few days of throwing names out there, I was wondering if we would be in the same situation we were in with Faith- having a baby but no name for her and crotchity nurses getting testy with you because you haven't picked one yet.   One particular day, I had put Faith down for a nap and decided to try to see if I could nap myself because I wasn't feeling well...I had a dream. I don't remember much of the dream, except the end. Jeff was holding the baby, I was filling out the birth certificate and I said, "Jeff, are you sure that you're cool with this being the name?" and Jeff saying, "Yep, this is it! Its the name!" as he held the baby and looked down at her lovingly...and I filled out the name Philadelphia Marie Nielson on the birth certificate.  I woke up and laughed to myself....Philadelphia...right... I told Jeff when he came home from work and we both laughed about it...but then, I just couldn't shake it.

For 2 or 3 weeks, I kept thinking of names but coming back to Philadelphia Marie, it wouldn't leave me.  So, finally, I brought it up to Jeff one night. I told him that I hadn't been able to shake the name since the dream and I said, "Seriously, tell me what you think of the name." and his response was something to the effect of, "Actually, I really like it, if I'm being honest." I said, "Well, should that be her name then?" and he said, "Yeah, I think that would work for me."

And there you have it...Phillie had her name.  Of course, we didn't tell anyone. We didn't want a lot of opinions about it because I think we both just felt right. The sense of urgency and the desire to even think of other names was gone...We knew we were waiting for Philadelphia Marie...

And boy oh boy was she worth the wait. :)

Hugs and Loves until next time Darlings!

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