Baby Violet is Here!
|December 11, 2013||Posted by The Fit Scoop under Uncategorized|
Well I should start off by apologizing for the long delay in posting. It has been a difficult three weeks here. The good news is that we have a healthy baby girl named Violet Ann that was born November 19, 2013 at 8:07 PM weighing 8.04 lbs. The not so good news is that labor and delivery were very difficult for me and resulted in a longer hospital stay and lots of recovery time at home. Thankfully I’m on the mend and feeling better everyday and very glad to be blessed with this beautiful baby girl.
I’ve been debating whether to write about Violet’s birth story. It makes me pretty emotional when I think about it because NOTHING went the way I had hoped it would (exept for getting our little girl at the end). I think it may be helpful for me to write about it so here it goes (it’s rather long so apologies for the length – I promise to go back to regular health and fitness writing after this!)
Everything kicked off on November 18th around 10:30 PM. My husband and I were watching TV when I suddenly felt a small gush of liquid – my water broke! We called my OB and were instructed to come to the hospital to confirm that I was leaking amniotic fluid. I wasn’t have any contractions at the time and the actual amount of water that leaked was pretty small so there was still some doubt as to whether or not this was “it.” After packing up the rest of our hospital bag we arrived at the hospital around 11:30 PM. The nurse confirmed that my water had indeed broken and that I would not be going home until the baby arrived. We were promptly transferred to a labor and delivery room. After the initial intake they checked how dilated I was (only 1.5 cm), and my doctor recommended I be started on pitocin to kick start labor since I was not having any real contractions yet. It had been my intention going into labor to have a birth with the least amount of interventions possible. If I really needed them then I would consent to them, but only if they were necessary. After explaining this my doctor agreed to let me wait until morning to see if contractions would start on their own before we tried pitocin. I tried walking up and down the hospital halls for a while to see if that would help get things going. Unfortunately no real contractions came so I laid down for a few hours to get some rest and hoped they would start by morning.
The next morning came and there were no contractions or progress so I agreed to start the pitocin knowing that I’d probably end up requesting an epidural since everyone says pitocin contractions are much more intense than natural contractions. I managed to hold out for a while but after several increases in the pitocin dosage I cried uncle and asked for the epidural. They seemed manageable (though uncomfortable) at first but as the dosage increased the rest periods between contractions pretty much disappeared and it felt like one long continuous contraction that would never end. The epidural provided some much needed relief and enabled me to get some rest which was helpful considering I was going on two hours of broken sleep and it had been over 12 hours since we arrived at the hospital. After a few more hours I was fully dilated and effaced and ready for pushing.
The doctor checked me before I started pushing and said Violet was at a +1. After two plus hours of intense pushing later she checked me again and discovered there had been no progress, she was still at a +1. At this point the doctor said she was stuck behind my pubic bone and wasn’t going to come out vaginally and needed to be delivered by c-section. At that point I felt a mix of disappointment and relief – disappointment that my baby would be delivered surgically but relieved that the endless pushing with no progress would finally stop.
Before I knew it I was in the operating room being prepped for the procedure. They raised a curtain in front of my husband and I so we couldn’t see what was going on. I just kept waiting to hear the cries of my baby so I could know she had finally arrived. This is where my memory starts to get a bit fuzzy. I had read that getting a baby out via c-section is rather quick so I expected to hear her soon after the procedure started. However, rather than hear her cries, I heard the surgical team discussing how she was stuck and they were having trouble getting her out. Apparently the 2+ hours of pushing had wedged her into my pelvis so tightly that it was difficult to extract her the other way as well. Though I couldn’t feel any pain, I could feel the pressure of all the hands pushing and pulling on my torso and legs as they tried to deliver Violet. The movement of my body was so forceful that the curtain keeping me from viewing what was happening was knocked down (over my head thankfully so I still couldn’t see what was happening). I started to feel very lightheaded and nauseated and felt like I was going to pass out. After what felt like an eternity I finally heard her sweet cries. All I really remember after that is that I started throwing up.
The next thing I really remember is being in the c-section recovery area, and the doctor telling us that I lost a lot of blood during the procedure and that I was still bleeding from some ruptures in my uterus. Apparently the difficulty they had in getting her to come out had damaged some arteries in my uterus and would require immediate surgery to repair them. The doctor said that they would perform a uterine arterial embolization in the hopes that it would be enough to stop the bleeding, but if it didn’t then I would need a hysterectomy. I immediately teared up at the thought of not having more children and felt very nervous about having to go through another surgery. I wasn’t able to hold Violet in the OR (though my husband was able to) so thankfully a nurse brought her in before my second surgery so I could actually meet my little girl. I wish I had better memories of this first moment with her.
I don’t remember much about my second surgery – just that it was successful in stopping the bleeding and repairing the ruptures so no further surgeries were needed. I had still lost a lot of blood and had to be in the ICU for the next couple days before being able to transfer to the maternity ward. The next few days were rough – Violet was not able to stay in the ICU with me so I was only able to see her for a very limited period of time each day. I had 3 IV’s in my arms plus numerous other attachments that made it hard to actually hold and cuddle her. Because of the dye used in my second surgery I couldn’t start breastfeeding her so I had to pump to start my milk flowing. I also was not able to stand or sit elevated past 20 degrees. Due to my blood loss I received 6 bags of donor blood plus numerous bags of additional fluids that left my body SO swollen it was unrecognizable (and very uncomfortable). I think I may have left the hospital weighing more than I did when I arrived to deliver – the clothes I wore to deliver were too tight for the trip home! Add to that all the normal post c-section discomforts and I was feeling very lousy for that first week.
I have very mixed feelings about Violet’s birth. I am so relieved that she came out 100% healthy and did not suffer any consequences from her difficult delivery. However I feel a profound sense of disappointment that labor and delivery went the way they did. Thankfully my health has been steadily improving (though slower than I would like). My first week at home was difficult since I had to limit my use of the stairs and still had a lot of pain. My second week home has been going much better – all my swelling is gone though I get tired easily and still am not back to all my normal daily activities. One side effect of all the blood loss is that I am now anemic so it may be a while before my energy levels are back to normal. Since this is a fitness blog I should also note that workouts are on hold for at least 6-8 weeks, maybe longer. I cringe at the thought of how far I have to go to get back to where I was, but I’ll save that for a future post. For now I’m focusing on small daily improvements and enjoying being home with my husband and our new daughter. To say I am grateful for my husband is an understatement – he was right by my side through everything and has been amazing taking care of Violet and me. We are both so lucky to have him!
To end this on a happier note, here’s what made the whole ordeal worth it – getting to hold my little girl 🙂