Saturday, February 14, 2004

Baby Bridget Makes Her Debut

Our family has had a busy couple of days. When I last blogged, my water had broken and I used the word yucky at least twice. Not strange considering it is a bit yucky when a foreign liquid pours out of you without you having any control over it. I actually went to my neighbors apartment (after going through two of Piper's diapers) and asked her for a couple of large pads. Her baby was born 2 weeks ago, so I knew she had some.

I called Dominic's office and let them know that, no, I wasn't having more contractions, I was spilling amniotic fluid all over the house, and couldn't he please come help me give birth? He called back and we arranged to meet at the hospital. My Minnesota Twin came by to pick up the kids (whom I'd hastily packed for) and she kindly drove me to the hospital.

After being settled in a room, I began doing things to help make the contractions come. It seemed that the contractions that wouldn't stop for weeks suddenly ceased when my water broke. After bouncing on a birthing ball and walking and doing everything but stand on my head for six hours, I finally agreed to start pitocin. That stunk. I didn't want to be stuck in bed and hooked up to monitors, but that's where I ended up. It did start the contractions though, and it didn't take long for them to be coming on hard and fast. I'm such a bad patient, I actually removed myself from the monitors and got back on the birthing ball for a while to help manage the pain. It was no use. Pitocin really does bring on a close to unmanageable labor.

I became ultra sensitive to light and was crying while trying to breathe through the contractions. Dominic was wonderful, rubbing my back and listening carefully to anything I asked. Our Tia came too, and was a great support to the both of us.

After about 5 hours of this heavy labor, it seemed I was still stalled out at 4 centimeters. That's when I broke down. If I'd been at 6 or 8, perhaps I could have held out, but this was too much. The pitocin had brought contractions on that were so intense that they weren't actually helping because I was too tense to relax and allow my cervix to open. I requested an epidural. I was really disappointed, as I'd hoped to go drug free. But in the end, I got a baby, so it all works out.

The best anesthesiologist EVER came in. I don't know his name, but he was fantastic. He had a virtually pain free epidural in very quickly. 15 minutes later I began to feel like I could handle things. I could actually feel the baby moving down and the pressure changing. My body was still working, but I was in control again. Within 2 hours I had dilated completely and was ready to push.

I pushed for under 10 minutes, and it was all caught on video. Dominic made me promise never to make him watch it. He held a leg and I had to show him where to put his hands to hold it properly. He was so sweet and had been so helpful through the whole process. Bridget was born at 1:10 am on Valentine's Day.  My first question was, "What is it? Someone lift a leg and tell me what we've got!" I was answered with, "It's a she!" I was shocked, I really thought it was a boy.

This time I didn't itch as my epidural wore off. But it took a lot longer to get my legs back. I could feel them, but I had no control. I tried to get up to go to the bathroom after birth, and absolutely could not stand on my own two feet. It took me several hours to get control again.

I told Reagan that God gave us Bridget because He needed a home for her that would include a really great big brother. He liked that idea better than the one he'd had. He thought God misunderstood him when he asked for a brother. He said he thought maybe God had made a mistake. Our God doesn't make mistakes. He knew exactly what he was doing putting Bridget in our family.

The birth really did go well, with no tears or cuts. I have to keep reminding myself that I actually did give birth as I'm really pushy with myself and know I may try to overdo it. I'm still having a little trouble standing up straight and taking deep breaths. And I'm still having a lot of cramping as my uterus clamps back down. But I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.

The kids were apparently very good during the day they were away. But then bedtime arrived. While Reagan was good about going to bed, Piper wasn't going to do sleep anywhere but home, and she kept our friends up all night trying to comfort her. I felt so bad. Dominic had to go and rescue them from the kiddos the next day. We owe them a BIG thank you card!

Bridget and I enjoyed our time together in the hospital. We were attended to by a fantastic staff that took good care of us, including one homeschooling nurse! Piper and Reagan came to meet their new sister and seemed pretty excited by her.

We came home today and all was going well for a while. Then Piper broke down. I don't know if she's already feeling neglected or if she's just getting over being so sick and not sleeping for a night. But she was screaming and crying so much that we actually had to put her to bed an hour early. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. Thank God I have such a great husband who has taken such good care of us. He even made dinner tonight.

Bridget is calling! Goodnight.

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