Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sahara Julie Pettet: A Birth Story


Before we begin, I am fully aware that our sweet girl was born two and a half months ago, thanks for letting me take a much-needed break!  I am also fully aware that I look like death in the following pictures...10 days of early labor and 19 hours of active labor will do that to ya...forgive me!  I promise I try to take care of myself ;)

There are a few days in my life that I will never forget, this, being one of them, I felt like I should write it down.  I didn't do all those weekly posts for nothing ;)

 On October 15th, I had my first round of consistent contractions, about 5 minutes apart for 45 minutes, then they completely stopped.  An hour  and a half later, same story.  This was pretty much how things happened for the next 10 days.  Contractions would come, get regular, then stop with no warning.  This was definitely the worst 10 days of pregnancy, just waiting for my body to stay in labor. At my last doctor's appointment on October 22nd, I was dilated 2.5cm and we scheduled to induce on October 28th if nothing had happened by then.  I never thought I would want to be induced, but I was so ready to be done with the contractions.

On Thursday, October 25th, around noon I noticed yet another round of contractions that were fairly consistent, about 5-7 minutes apart.  My mom texted me to check up and see how I was doing.  As 1 and 2 o' clock rolled around and I was still having contractions, my mom convinced me that we should at least go to the hospital and be checked.  I texted Josh and told him what was going on but told him to finish up work for the day, I was still convinced this was a false alarm.  At 3, my mom came and picked me up and off we went.

The whole way to the hospital I was a nervous wreck, not because I was nervous to have a baby, but because I was nervous they would send me home.  My contractions weren't hurting and I knew for sure they would take one look at me and say "lady, you are crazy! GO HOME!"

I was now at 3.5cm and got hooked up to the monitors. Indeed, my contractions were quite regular, 5 minutes apart, and my blood pressure was really high...turns out that was all my fault because I was so freaked out... whoops...  They told me I could walk around and they would keep me for an hour to monitor the contractions, I told my nurse if they would keep me I would consider naming our little girl after her.  I'm really glad she had a good sense of humor!  So my mom and I started walking.   Around 4:30 pm my nurse told me that because I was scheduled to be induced three days later, my doctor told them to keep me overnight, I could have an epidural whenever I wanted, and they would start pitocin at 5am the next morning.  I could have kissed them all!  Contractions still weren't hurting so I was happy as a clam, called Josh and told him to come over after he rounded up last minute items for the hospital bag.  At this point, my mom took my last pregnant picture:


That was kind of a bittersweet moment:) Then more walking and waiting for Josh:)




They brought in some delicious looking dinner for me and just as I was getting ready to dig in and enjoy my last meal not caring how much I ate, the nurse said "don't eat much, we don't want you to puke everything back up!"  Thanks :(

My sweet little sister Abi stopped by and made us laugh with clips from "Father of the Bride II," what would I do without her ;)  At this point, I was starting to feel the contractions and they were getting to the "uncomfortable" stage.  Walking helped so when Josh got to the hospital around 6pm, off we went.


By 7:30pm I was finally at 4cm, and contractions were starting to be more painful.  I asked for an epidural so they called the anesthesiologist, Mike.  About 15 minutes before he come, the nurse came into my room and started by saying "Now Mike has medication," my first thought was "well, ok did he take it today?"  but what she really meant was if I started feeling nauseous, he had medication that would help me.  Much better than telling me that the man who was going to be messing around with my spinal chord may or may not have taken his perscriptions that day!

When he finally got to me around 8:30pm I was shaking like a leaf.  Josh held my hands as I laid on my side and cried like a baby.  I was scared out of my mind.  As I was laying there, I was so thankful that I had Josh there with me, to tell me it was going to be ok.  I knew as long as he was there squeezing my hands, it would be alright.  

The epidural was much weirder than I imagined it would be.  Mike said "ok, you are going to feel some crunching..." and just as I was wondering about the "crunching," I felt it!  He had described it perfectly.  Weirdest feeling ever!  After some sharp pains and nausea, he adjusted everything just right and explained that whenever I wanted, I could push the button to get more juice flowing to numb things up better, then off he went.

Five minutes later, I was ready to sleep.


Things settled down for a while, the nurses would come in and check periodically.  At 3am the nurse came in, checked me, and at this point I was at 4.5cm.  She told me they were going to start the pitocin early and try to jump start things.  I was thrilled!  In went another IV and I drifted off to sleep again.

The nurses would come in every 30 minutes, make me drink some apple juice and roll me from side to side, Sahara's heartbeat was staying just a little too consistent and they wanted to see more variation, so I felt like a whale as they would roll me around...those poor ladies.


At 4:30am I woke up because I couldn't hear the quick little flutter of her heartbeat.  My mom was running out of the room and I started bawling and moving the monitors around on my belly hoping that they had just moved around too much.  The nurses ran in just as my mom was getting to the door and laid me on my side, gave me some oxygen, and moved the monitors and were able to find her heartbeat.  They checked me, and found I was at 7cm and accidentally broke my water.  The nurse explained to me that the pitocin had worked almost too well, causing me to dilate quickly and baby girl's head dropped into my pelvis even faster and probably scared her.  So off the pitocin I went.


Now it was just time to wait.  Wait and fight that stinkin' oxygen mask...


A little after 6am I was feeling a lot of pressure, so I called my nurse and asked to be checked again.  At this point, I was at 9.5cm.  They told me we would do some practice pushes and see how those went.  They went really well, too well in fact so my nurse said "Oh!  Ok, we are just going to keep your legs together and lay you on your side, I will go call your doctor!"  Like it would be the easiest thing I ever did.  Not true.  I cannot believe the pressure I was feeling and I was sure that in those 45 minutes that we waited for my doctor, my pelvis was going to split in half. 

He arrived at about 7:15, and four pushes later, she was here!
I had no idea until Dr. Hall started unwrapping the umbilical cord from around her neck, "one, two, three, four times around!"  he said.  Baby girl loves necklaces the nurses concluded:)  I am so thankful that the cord didn't cause more problems from being around her neck so many times.  Josh cut the cord, and they laid our sweet baby girl on my chest, I will never forget how she was so quiet, and just looked at me, giving me the look that she was so thankful to be here and she would trust me with anything.  Josh and I were both crying, and I lost it when they called for respiratory because of the darn cord.  They took her from me, and all I could think was how beautiful she was. 

That feeling, right then, when you realize what a beautiful person you have created, is the best feeling I have ever felt in my life.  Almost as if I could explode with love right in that moment.


She was born at 7:17am, weighing 7lbs. 7oz., 21.5 inches long, and perfect in every way.



 I couldn't wait to have her in my arms again as they sucked out her tummy from the stressful labor and gave her shots, weighed and measured her. Having her here and Josh holding my hand, nothing else mattered.








It was such a precious time, becoming a family of three and spending a few days of precious time in the hospital.  A time I will never forget. By the time our three days were up, it was a bittersweet moment going home, we couldn't wait!


Little bug was so mad to be unswaddled:)


Sister and daddy ready to go!


Now, two and a half months later, we still can't imagine what life would be like without her.
We love you Sahara Julie and feel like the luckiest people alive to finally have you!