Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Her first 48 hours

The first 48 hours of Lyla's life were very enjoyable.  Her and I were able to hang out and get some rest and we enjoyed the company of the cutest visitors ever.  Notice the pure joy on Alli's face and the pure cluelessness on Jane's face.

Shortly after she was born (after the shock wore off)


We were also visited by Uncle Joe and Whitley, Aunt Tami and Uncle Brent, Uncle Eddie, Grandma Audrey, John and Anna and my parents on their way home from Disneyland.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Birthday!

We are so excited to welcome little Lyla into our family!  She was born March 2nd, weighed 6 lbs 1 ounce and was 18 1/2 inches long.  She looks a lot like Alli and is such a sweet heart.  It's amazing how your heart can be so big and have so much love for someone you just barely met.

Disclaimer:  Birth story, super long and detailed.  I am not one to hold anything back so don't read if you don't want the details.  I am writing everything that I can remember.  Not for pity's sake, but for the sole purpose of being able to make a truly informed decision next time around.  It's amazing how easily forgotten the painful parts are later on while your enjoying that sweet little spirit in your home.  I guess that's a good thing.  My storytelling skills aren't the greatest so it may be hard to follow.

Our story begins March 1st in the afternoon.  I had a doctor's appointment that day and was somewhat depressed to find out that nothing much had changed since the week before.  I was dilated to a 3 and was 70% effaced.  My due date was March 8.  I had to at least hold out until the 1st due to our Aflac insurance. So I was glad that I had made it but was getting discouraged that she wasn't going to come on her own.  

Early on in this pregnancy I had decided that I wanted to do this one naturally.  Why?  I don't really have a good answer to that.  My other two had gone smoothly.  I have an easy time pushing with little or no tearing.  I am definitely not against modern medicine and am not like the weirdos that I was reading about on the internet.  I also would NEVER have a baby outside of a hospital setting.  I guess it was something that I wanted to try and I knew I could do it.  I had never really gone into labor before on my own so I wasn't sure what to expect.

So, back to the appointment.  Doctor stripped my membranes.  This was a new thing for me so I had no idea if it was going to work or not.  Lots of pressure, definitely uncomfortable, but not too painful.  Went home, started cleaning my flabby toosh off in case she did come over the weekend.  For some reason did not pack a bag though.  I had been having Braxton Hicks since about week 17 and they were very frequent.  At about 9:30 that night the Braxton Hicks were starting to get more painful.  I also used the breast pump around midnight because I had heard that can jump start the labor.  Well, it jump started some contractions for about an hour but then they stopped.  I went to bed around 1 am when they stopped.  I woke up at 3:30 am to more contractions that were about 6 to 7 minutes apart until about 7:30 am but they were not intense.  After that they slowed down and were sporadic, ranging from 7 to 15 minutes apart.  It was a nice day outside and we had gotten a lot of snow that night so I took the girls outside around 11 am to shovel the driveway and try to get things moving along.  This seemed to make the contractions even further apart.  We came in, had lunch and Jane actually decided to take a nap (a rare occurrence these days.)  Alli watches a movie during "Quiet time" and chose to watch Harry Potter.  That's another story for another day.  So I was able to lay down on the couch while the movie was playing.  At about 3 pm, the contractions were beginning to get more and more intense but still sporadic on time.  My doctor always said come in when your contractions are 2 to 3 minutes apart.  Mine were definitely not 2 to 3 minutes apart.  Jane woke up around 3:30 and by 4 they were still getting more intense but not closer together.  I decided to get in the bath to help ease the pain.  This may have worked if I didn't have two other children that needed things.  Jane kept coming in crying about something and I had to just tell her that I couldn't help her.  Luckily, Alli found a bag of candy in the pantry and they started going to town on that.  At this point,  I didn't care, as long as it kept Jane happy.  By 4:45 the contractions were super intense.  I texted Andy to get home now but he didn't answer me.  I called him and he had been on a phone call but he was now leaving.  (Andy works at the south end of Logan and it was almost 5 o'clock traffic time.)  He called me again while he was on his way.  Mid conversation he said, "Oh shoot, I think I'm getting pulled over I gotta go."  I hung up and was kind of freaking out a little bit thinking it was going to take forever for him to get home.  At this point I couldn't time my contractions.  I  would guess that they were about 4 minutes apart and very intense.  All I could do was get out of the bath but that was it.  Andy made it home, he didn't get pulled over thank goodness.  I'm not sure what time it was.  I was standing in the bedroom with my towel around me obviously in pain.  He immediately started throwing things together in a bag because remember, I had not packed the bag the night before or even that morning.  He found some pajamas and had to get me dressed.  He had called his mom on his way home and she arrived shortly after he did.  I was able to get into the bathroom to brush my teeth, then ended up puking in the sink.  When Andy was ushering me out the door I was worried about my chap stick (I'm addicted) and the baby's car seat.  Andy informed me that we did not have to bring the baby home that night, he found some chap stick and we were out the door.

Once in the car, the contractions were super intense and were 1 1/2 to 2 minutes apart.  We turned out of our street at 5:30 pm.  Andy, who is not an aggressive driver, was driving as fast as he could.  He called the hospital to tell them we were on our way.  I yelled, "Tell them I want an epidural!"  Brave, I know.  At this point I had decided that there was no way I could continue on like this.  Andy kindly said, "I think we need to wait and see where you're at because it might be too late."  This thought absolutely terrified me.  After some more speeding, an exchange with an Idaho driver that made me despise them even more, getting stuck at 1400 north and 200 east for about 3 red lights, LOTS of intense contractions, we made it to the hospital.  Andy pulled up to the door and asked me if I could make it up to the second floor while he parked the car.  I said no way and he was going to have to push me.  He ran in and got a wheelchair that was made for someone who weighed about 400 lbs.  I was close to that but not quite there.  He couldn't fit it through the sliding door and just pushed it through anyway and probably broke the doors.  There was a nurse in the lobby that grabbed an elevator for us.  We got to floor 2 and there was a couple standing at the glass where you check in.  Andy yelled: "Can we go in?" Nurse: "Yeah."  At this point it was like a Hollywood film where the husband runs in pushing a frantic and moaning wife.  He couldn't figure out how to open the door and push me through at the same time.  Finally, the guy standing there opened the door for us.   There was a nurse standing in the hallway and directed us into the first room.  Four other nurses quickly came in, and helped me get a gown on. Andy ran back down to move the car.  When I laid down on the table my pants were still on and I was contracting.  One of the nurses was telling me to shimmy my pants down a little so they could get them off.  I couldn't speak and was thinking, "No I can't shimmy my pants down so you can get them off.  Cut the bleeping things off if you have to!"  When they were off, the nurse checked my cervix and said, "Barely any cervix there.  A 9+ and a bulgy bag of water."  Andy was back at this point and there was a nurse coming in to start an I.V.  I guess they decided there was no time because I didn't get one.  There was also no time to verify who I was and give them a photo I.D.  I spat out my name and my birthday and that was it.  I vaguely remember them asking Andy about my other vaginal births and stuff like that.  They informed me that the doctor was on his way and we had to wait for him to get there.  In the meantime, I was contracting and yelling and unable to breathe.  Throughout the whole pregnancy I had had nerve pain down both legs.  The back pain during the contractions was unbearable.  It would however, go away in between the contractions.  After waiting about 7 minutes for the doctor, he came in just before 6 pm.  It was Dr. Olsen, who was on call that day.  He introduced himself and as soon as he sat down he said, "Now I'm going to break your water and you're going to start pushing."    He popped the bag and I started pushing.  Once she started on her way out, that back pain came on full force, went down my legs and didn't abate in between contractions.  It was so severe I couldn't breathe and really thought I was going to pass out.  The only thing I can compare it to is the Cruciatus curse.  I've never had that done to me but that's what I imagine it would feel like.  I pushed for one contraction then he said he could put something down there that would numb my bottom a little bit.  I told him I wanted it.  He did one side and was turned to the table to draw up the serum for the other side when the full on urge to push was there.  I said, "I have to push!"  The nurse said, "Then push!"  I had a stupid thought of, "He had better turn around to catch this thing!" forgetting that after the head, we still have the shoulders.  The doc kept running his hands around her head to help stretch things out.  I kept yelling, "Stop doing that it hurts!"  I pushed her head out and he said we had to wait so he could suction out her nose and mouth.  Then, he started moving her back and forth to help get her shoulders out and oh, my goodness is all I have to say.  A couple of more pushes and she was out.  

EUPHORIA!  The pain  was immediately alleviated as soon as she came out.  More pain came when the placenta was delivered but it was only from the doctor pushing on my abdomen.  (You know how they come in and push as hard as they can on your uterus.)  I laid there in shock for probably about 5 minutes.  The cord was around her neck and they thought she would have to go to the NICU but she ended up being fine.  They laid her on my stomach and I was still in shock so I wasn't even paying attention to her.  When I finally looked down at her I realized she wasn't crying.  I asked if she was okay.  Luckily she was fine she just didn't cry very much.  What a sweetheart she is.  Maybe she was in shock just like me after what had happened.  She was born at 6:06 pm.  Remember, we had just left our house at 5:30.  

After the shock wore off.  I could not believe how amazing I felt.  I bet I could have done cartwheels down the hallway.  I tore just a tiny bit and didn't need any stitches.  We were supposed to go to dinner with some friends and I felt like we still could have made it!  I was speaking to my mom on the phone right after and I told her I would not do it like that again but that was before I realized how wonderful it was to have control over my legs.  All in all, it was intense, terrifying, painful and amazing all rolled into one.  I could never have imagined pain like that.  However, I know if I would have gotten an epidural I would have regretted it so I'm glad it was too late when we got there.  Andy was fantastic!  With his mad driving skills and ability to keep calm.  He was not excited about the natural birth but supported me anyway and I definitely could not have done it without him.  Afterward I asked him how he felt about how things went and he said, "I work well under pressure.  I make good decisions so, I excelled."  Oh nobody can make me laugh like he can. 

I kept telling everyone who came to visit about how I turned into a crazy woman.  Later, Andy told me that I'm not giving myself enough credit.  So, that said, I accomplished my goal.  Whether or not I acted like a lunatic is irrelevant at this point.  The nurse that got the elevator for us was my recovery nurse the next day.  She said that they sometimes get people coming in like me and they are only dilated to a 1 or a 2.  At least my scene making was justified.  (You think you're tough until you have to push a human being out of your vagina.)  Now we have a beautiful, healthy little girl and we couldn't be happier!  We have so much to be thankful for.