Friday, August 28, 2009

Piper Johanna

Piper Johanna arrived on August 15th at 2:40 in the morning. August 15th was my due date so she was actually quite punctual!

My water broke (partially) around 11:15 pm in the evening and we made it to the hospital just shortly after midnight. I was having constant contractions every two minutes so I thought things might happen quickly, although I had no idea just how quickly.

When we arrived at the hospital, the nurse did a strip test to confirm if, in fact, my water had broken. Unfortunately, that came back as inconclusive (which it did when my water broke with the twins as well so I guess my pH must be out of whack or something). So, I was told that I may have to go home, since they couldn't confirm if my water had actually broken, despite the fact that I was having strong, regular contractions. I knew I was in labor (having done it once already before). However, I guess the nurse was not convinced. And, since it was a Friday night and I was only one of three L&D patients (and let's thrown in the fact that they were having a big birthday party at the nurses station for one of the nurses) so I, apparently, was an inconvenience. I was taken off of the monitors and told to walk the halls or whatever I'd like to do for the next two hours until they were to check me again. If I wasn't making any progress, I was going home. If I was making progress, I would stay and they'd call my doctor to come in. This was around 12:40 am.

So, I walked the halls for about an hour, with contractions coming one on top of the other (sometimes less than a minute apart). They were becoming unbearable and I decided to see if a soak in the tub would help. I filled the tub, which seemed to take forever, and finally climbed in around 2 pm. I knew I still had another 40 minutes or so to wait until they would check me again. Within a few minutes of being in the tub, I was experiencing contractions like I had never had before, and they were excruciating. After two of these contractions, my water (what was left of it) broke again in the tub. I had Gene call the nurse and she checked me again. At this point I was 5-6 cm. I was 3 cm when I arrived so my nurse knew I was staying. She called my OB to come in to the hospital, called in another nurse to start my IV, and call anesthesia as I was begging for an epidural.

Over the next 15 minutes, a nurse is jabbing my arm multiple times trying to start an IV as I'm suffering thru one horrendous contraction on top of the other. The anesthesiologist arrives and my nurse sits me up on the bed so that he can start my epidural. As I sit up, I feel this enormous amount of pressure and feeling like I have to push. But, it had only been 15 minutes since I had been checked and I knew I was only 5-6 cm. I should have a few more hours, right? There's no way I'm fully dilated.

The nurse checks me and I'm complete (10 cm) and the baby is coming. My OB has not arrived at the hospital yet and I hear my nurse requesting that the resident OB be paged. Great. They can't get my IV in my arm, I'm without my epidural and my OB isn't even going to be able to deliver my baby. And, all the while, I can't really focus on any of this because I'm lying there, eyes closed, clinging to Gene's arm, trying my best to deal with the pain.

Thankfully, within the next minute or so, I hear my OB's voice as he walks into the room. He throws on his medical coveralls (or whatever those things are called), checks me and tells me that I can start pushing. I pushed for three hours with the twins so I was expecting this part might take some time. Well, maybe it was because I knew the harder I pushed, the sooner it would be over or, maybe I was just better at it this time around, or maybe it was because I've already birthed two children, but after three pushes, Piper entered the world.

She was taken by the staff right away because there had been meconium in my water so they wanted to make sure she was sufficiently suctioned before handing her off to me. Thankfully, she was such a good crier that they didn't have to suction her lungs.

Two hours and forty minutes after arriving at the hospital, Piper was born. I actually ended up signing all of the consent paperwork (allowing the hospital to deliver her) AFTER she was born because she came so quickly. Despite the horrendous pain, and the scary moments of realizing that she was coming and no one seemed ready, I was thankful for how short my labor was in the end.

I still not happy with how my L&D nurse handled things. Contractions coming every two minutes upon arrival to the hospital should have warranted a bit more service than "walk the halls for two hours and then we'll decide if you're in labor", especially for someone having gone thru labor once before. You know when it's the real thing. She should have checked me sooner. She should have called my OB sooner. She should have completed the paperwork and medical history sooner. But, in the end, I had an uncomplicated delivery and a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Better service is at the bottom of that list.


Rose said...

congratulations! she's beautiful. enjoy your sweet new daughter :)

Side by Side said...

Congratulations Tracy.
She is beautiful...what an experience you had.
Love her name...just curious how much she weighed :)

from TS Digi-scrapping

Annika said...

Congrats Tracy!! She is absolutely beautiful!! And you look amazing for just going thru labor!!! And I agree about the nurse...grrrr!!!

Beautiful name for a beautiful girl! Enjoy!!!

Therese said...

HUGE HUGE congrats, Tracy - she looks like a little doll - and you look amazing :)

The Roses said...

Loved reading your story. Congrats again. Can't wait to meet her!