Just a little ray of sunshine

Just a little ray of sunshine

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

That makes three.

The most beautiful creature I've ever seen made her grand debut and made us a family of three 5 weeks ago (um, actually 3 1/2 months ago now, oops - I wrote this in June and never added the pictures until now). Here I am blogging about her birth story and what led up to it. I might be biased, but I'm not so sure, because seriously look at that face!

Maeve Elizabeth McKarns
Born May 7th, 2015 at 7:33am
8 lbs. 4.5 oz. and 20 inches long
In one word: perfection.

So miss Maeve was a stubborn little thing in Momma's belly. I really wanted to go into labor on my own, but during the final weeks of pregnancy I started to have this feeling that she just wasn't going to budge for me. It made me a little sad, but I got uncomfortable enough at the end that I was just ready to meet her however it had to happen! There was still a part of me though that felt like she was going to stay in my belly forever, that I couldn't actually have a baby and become a mom. I mean, that's just too plain crazy.

Just shy of 38 weeks, I woke up in the morning feeling some wetness down there -- I'd heard that sometimes your water breaking isn't a total gush but can just be a little leaking so I wasn't really sure what to think. I shrugged it off thinking it was probably nothing, but then later in the day thought I should maybe just ask my mom what she thought. She told me I should just call the doctor and see what they say. The nurse there told me I should have called immediately that morning (oops) because it's always better to play it safe when it could be amniotic fluid leaking. So I ended up having to go to labor and delivery that afternoon to see if it was the real deal or not - sorta bugged me because I had always wanted to go to the hospital just once when I really knew I was having the baby and wouldn't get turned away. But at least I wasn't really going in under the impression that I was in labor. It was more just to make sure I wasn't, which made me feel a little better. When I got there it was strange hearing a nurse say that if the test to see if my water had broken came back positive I'd be staying and having my baby that day. Say what?! I was mildly freaking out while laying in the hospital bed waiting to get the results. I couldn't have this baby girl without my mom there yet and without insurance for the babe! I texted Adam to tell him what was going on. He seemed so calm, but later when I told him that the results came back negative he replied "Phew, I was really freaking out there for a few minutes" - ha.

At my 38 week appointment my new OB wanted me to do an ultrasound. He was a little confused on what my due date should be based on the information he got from my previous OB so I think he just wanted to see himself how she looked and get his own measurements. I was really excited for this ultrasound because I thought since she was so close to being fully cooked I would actually think she looked like a baby and be able to tell what I was looking at! News flash: wrong. The technician actually said that the bigger they got the even harder it is to distinguish what you are looking at because they're taking up so much more space in the amniotic sac. Sad day. Once again, I could barely tell what body parts I was seeing. Anywho, at the end she told me that everything looked great but that based on the measurements their best estimate was that baby girl was already 7 lbs. 14 oz., making her estimated arrival date April 29th instead. When my doc saw those measurements he told me he was nervous that she was already as big as she was given how small I am. He checked me and unfortunately my cervix was still completely closed. So he told me that at my appointment the following week if I wasn't dilating at all, we'd talk options.

I was so hoping that I would dilate on my own, but also still wanted to make it till May 1st without having her so our insurance would kick in that covered the baby as well so we wouldn't pay an arm and a leg having her. I also didn't want a huge baby. My emotions and thoughts were a bit all over the place to say the least.

April 28th rolled around and I went to the doctor. He checked me and still nothing had changed. Baby girl was holding on. He decided that if I didn't go into labor on my own before May 6th, then he wanted me to come in for another ultrasound and see how her fluid levels and weight looked and decide what to do from there. No signs of anything and May 1st had arrived. My mom had arrived at this point and the insurance had kicked in and I was ready to do whatever I could to go into labor on my own! I started walking lots up and down the stairs outside of our apartment, dancing, jumping in place and tried eating some spicy food that I could handle. I would say that I had a few painful contractions before May 6th rolled around, but they never became consistent. Chica just wanted to plump up.

So alas, I showed up to the doctor's office on May 6th at 1:30pm to do another ultrasound. Fluid levels were normal and she was now measuring 8 lbs. 4 oz. -- he went to check me and I was just waiting to hear the lovely words "you're dilated to a 2!" but sadly he told me I had only dilated maybe a fingertip. It was pretty clear to him I probably wasn't going to go into labor on my own at this point and baby girl was only getting bigger. So he told me he wanted to try putting a cervadil on my cervix to soften it and help it open up. As he told me this, he said that the chances of it working were pretty slim, maybe a 20% chance. Then he said that if it only helped a little bit then they would put me on pitocin and even that might do nothing... and if so, then he'd have to do a c-section on me. The LAST thing I wanted to have to do was a c-section so hearing this was worrying me a bit, but I figured it'd be what it would be and I'd survive. He wanted me to go to labor and delivery around 4pm.

I told Adam to come home from work, we put a few more things in our hospital bags, and off we went. They admitted me, asked me a million questions, and then at 5pm my doctor arrived to put the cervadil patch on. It was quite uncomfortable if I do say so myself, pretty sure he was digging up clear to my esophagus, but that's besides the point. What really matters is that after he was finished and said unsure of himself, "we'll see if this works and I'll see you in the morning" and then left, the nurses were telling me that all of his patients ALWAYS go into labor immediately when he inserts the cervadil. They were laughing saying he always will downplay how effective it can be, even though his ability to correctly insert that thing was better than anyone else they'd ever seen around. From what I was gathering, he was considered a cervadil guru of sorts by all of the labor and delivery nurses. Suddenly I was feeling much more hopeful. Sure enough, by 6pm I was having regular contractions, around 4 minutes apart. I was eating my already ordered liquid diet (and hating it because up to that point I still felt like my complete normal self wishing I could have more than chicken broth, jello, and juice for dinner) and watching an episode of Married at First Sight. My contractions quickly became even more consistent and painful and continuing to watch my show went out the window. I couldn't focus on anything when the contractions came on and had to shut my eyes and grit my teeth. They very quickly started happening 2 minutes apart. I started to think for sure that things were going to happen quicker than my doctor thought because there was no way in heaven I could have contractions like this through the night and into the morning. I had to be dilating! I had the nurse check me probably around 7:30 or 8pm and she said I still was just barely open more than a fingertip. I felt so discouraged and wanted to cry because of the pain I was already in and felt that had to be impossible. She could tell I was already in a lot of pain and put two different medications in my IV. BIG mistake. Within one second, I had the strangest sensation come over my whole body and I felt incredibly weird. For a second I thought I might be having an allergic reaction, but I guess the medication is supposed to help by making you feel loopy and drowsy. Well lets just say my eyes started looking really weird to Adam, I couldn't focus and felt incredibly out of it. It was as if I was in a dream world but then with each contraction was very much there still and felt the pain just as intensely. Needless to say, I will never be accepting any other form of pain management during labor besides an epidural with my future children. Long story short, 7pm to 10:30pm was basically torturous between the pain, loopiness, and peeing every 10 minutes (I was really regretting the liquid food at that point) and I finally told Adam I couldn't do it anymore through tears and told him I had to have the epidural. I could not wait any longer or else I was certain that I would lose my mind! Sounds dramatic, but in those moments, I honestly felt that way, like my body could not handle anymore of it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you that epidurals are heaven sent. I was not scared for a second for them to put it in because I knew for certain it wouldn't come close to hurting as much as the contractions and I needed relief from that. Sure enough, I hardly felt the needle going in, which was good since they had to put it in twice since it didn't go in correctly the first time. I didn't care one bit because within minutes I was on cloud nine. I could finally breathe again, felt like myself, and if I saw the man that gave me the epidural again I probably would give him a large sum of money and tell him that he's the reason I am having more children! Okay, I probably still would have had more anyway because Maeve is just too stinking cute, but anyway... things got even better because the nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 2! Booyah. I tried to get some sleep and did drift for a little bit but then started feeling really hot. The nurse ended up telling me I had a fever and bless Adam's heart for getting cool rags for me and switching them out regularly, so I could stay as cool as possible. At 1am, I got checked again and was dilated to a 5! I was thrilled with the quick progress. By 2:40am, I was dilated to a 7 and lost my mucus plug. The nurse couldn't believe how quickly it was all happening and she thought maybe she'd still be on shift when I had the baby at this rate! Around 6am, I had dilated to an 8-9 and they let my doctor know to come. At 7am he arrived and couldn't really believe it all, but broke my water since it still hadn't broken on its own and then told me it was time to push. I pushed for about 25 minutes and after 3 or 4 sets of pushes and an episiotomy, our beautiful baby girl came at 7:33am. After her head had come out, the rest of her body came out so quickly that I could completely tell she had made it, but I couldn't hear her crying yet. Right as I said to Adam, "she's not crying, why isn't she crying??" she let out her first cry and the tears just started flowing from my eyes too. I will never forget that moment. Never. It was incredible. They put her on my chest and I just couldn't believe she was mine. I was in awe as she already looked so clean, so perfect, so alert, and so beautiful.

She never left our sight for the rest of our hospital stay (which was short, they let us leave the next day at 4pm) and although we maybe only got 4 hours of sleep total in a 48 hr. period, I didn't care one bit because I just wanted to stare at her and take in each and every moment. Here are some pictures from our stay leading up to going home with her.

She's ours. And always will be. Our lives have changed for the better because of her. How grateful I am for that! We love our sweet little Maeve Elizabeth more than she will ever know.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad your mom made it in time and you had the right insurance going on. What a stressful time but how heavenly father lined up those blessings. The most important thing is you have a perfect beautiful daughter!