Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ginger Ryan's Birth Story

     I guess it would be fitting to finally sit down and write Ginger's birth story during Mother's Day weekend.  My baby girl has already settled into some sort of routine so I am finding more time to myself these days.  So finally, as she nears the two month mark, here is Ginger's birth.

     Everyone said the second time was easier, but as I was nearing the due date of my second daughter I was more anxious than ever.  I was not only excited to meet her, but I was not sleeping much at all.  I could only fall asleep for an hour or so at a time, then I would have to change positions, pee, walk around, cry, anything but sleep.  It was dreadful.  I actually dreaded the evenings because I new I'd have to try to go to bed soon, and I knew it would be a long night of little sleep and lots of panic.  I'm not sure why I was so panicked.  The first time around I had no idea what to expect, but this time I did.  I also knew I would be taking care of an infant AND a toddler this time.  Yikes.
     At my 35 week doctor appointment I was measuring at 39 weeks.  Double Yikes.  I knew she was going to be big but this was a lot bigger than Juniper was measuring at this stage (my first was 8lbs 12oz).  My doctor scheduled an ultrasound to check size, which confirmed that she was already 8+lbs and I still had 5 weeks to go.  We decided that it would be best to induce at 39 weeks unless she came early.  I tried everything I could do go into labor on my own, but no luck.  On the Friday morning of St.Patrick's Day, Ryan and I headed to the hospital to check in and start the induction.  I went into labor on my own with Juniper, so this was all new to me.  I didn't sleep at all the night before because I was so excited and nervous.
     We arrived and checked in at the Anderson-Lucchetti Women's and Children Center in Downtown Sacramento at 8am.  They immediately  took me to my birthing room and got me all hooked up to the Fetal Monitor and heart rate, IV, all that crap.  I was given Misoprostol (to kick start labor) at 9am.  The contraction monitor started detecting contractions at 10am, but I could not feel them yet.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.  At 1:30pm I was given my second dose of Misoprostol.  Contractions began to get stronger through out the day.  Slowly stronger and stronger but I was trying my best to breath through them and let my body do it's thing.  This was very different the second time around.  I knew I needed to breath and focus and remain calm.  Last time I was panicked, and trying to fight the contractions.  At 11pm (yes, pm) I was at 3.5cm.  I was hoping for a larger number but whatever.  At this point it was getting pretty hard to manage the contractions on my own and I requested a 'walking epidural'.  Basically an epidural that doesn't completely numb your legs, and you can still get up and pee.  I felt like it was getting close to time, so my parents stayed at the hospital, even though they had Juniper.  Ryan and Juniper tried to sleep in a reclining chair but it wasn't working to well.  I finally told my dad he should take Juniper home and they should get some sleep.  Mom stayed just in case.  Ryan and my mom tried to sleep in the chairs as I dozed in and out through contractions and check ins from the nurses.  At 2:30am I was 5.5cm. and got another walking epidural.  I finally got some sleep and woke up at 5:30am to find I was at 7cm and 90% effaced.  I was so excited I'd made so much progress, I was also in more pain and it was time to switch to the full epidural.
     Around 6am the monitors had shown some signs of the baby in distress and I was instructed to lay on my side and had to have the oxygen mask.  I was also starting to get nauseous (sign of baby coming soon), and for some reason some really bad heartburn.  That was a bad combo.  my contractions had slowed a bit because of the epidural so they gave me pitocin to speed things along.   Finally, at 9am I was fully dilated to 10cm.  Let me stop right here and tell you that when talking birth, 10 centimeters is NOT 10 centimeters.  It is the size of a bagel.  A BAGEL!  i asked the nurse why it was referred to in centimeters but she did not have the answer for me.  This was also much different the second time around.  I still wasn't feeling an overwhelming need to push.  I felt contractions, but that was about it.  We decided to wait a bit and let her get as low as possible on her own before we started pushing.  We decided we would wait until 10am to push.
     It was 10am March 18th, and I was very ready to deliver this baby.  My mom held one leg and the nurse held the other, while Ryan (who was sick with a fever, but still there when i needed him most) stood next to me and prepared for another few hours of pushing.  The nurse had me do two practice pushes while we waited for the Doctor to come in.  The nurse said I was doing great and that the baby had dark hair.  WHAT!?  YOU CAN SEE HER HAIR!?  With Juniper it took 2 full hours of pushing to get to this point.  At 10:10am the doctor was still not here yet so the nurse said to just do another push while we wait.  As I pushed for the third time, the nurse gently held her hand up and calmly said, "OK, stop pushing".  The Doctor arrived, quickly got ready and in place, and with my next push my baby girl was out and screaming on my chest.  She was slightly purple, slimy, and beautiful.  I was so happy to see her I wept.  This again was very different than my first delivery.  I was done in 15 minutes and I was crying out of pure joy to see her face (not because I was so glad all the pain of pushing was over like with Juniper, and because I was still in pain as they were removing my placenta...sorry gross but true), everything else after was also a breeze.  At this point we had still not picked a name for our new girl, we wanted to see her before we settled on one of the two that we liked.  We got settled in the recovery room, and as I held my beautiful girl I just knew her name was Ginger.  Ryan liked it as well and we decided to go with Ryan's first name as a middle name.  Ginger Ryan was here, I was a Mother of two beautiful girls, we were healthy and happy and I am thankful for every bit of it.
     On a side note, I must take a moment and thank every single nurse out there.  You are the true super heroes.  Through both of my labor and deliveries, I had amazing nurses by my side.  They not only monitor that little life inside of me, as well as my life, they also do all the things no one speaks of and barely acknowledges.  Thank you for cleaning the blood off the toilet seat, thank you for cleaning me 'down there' when I could barely manage to bend down, thank you for holding me while I get a giant needle inserted into my back and letting me squeeze your hand when they accidentally hit bone (ooouuuccchhhhh!).  Thank you for acknowledging that I am doing an amazing job while a huge contraction rushes through my uterus, thank you for the extra pillows, and putting my slippers on for me, and for that amazing juice/sprite mixture you gave me right after birth.  Seriously, these people do it all...because they love helping people, and they deserve so much more appreciation for it.  Thank you to all the nurses at the Anderson-Lucchetti Women and Children's Center, as well as the once was Sacramento Sutter Memorial Hospital, couldn't have done it without you.

     Overall, a great experience and a pretty great birth.  I am so lucky to have an amazing boyfriend who was by my side for the entire 24 hours of labor, and beyond.  Thank you to my parents who took Juniper for 3 nights while we were in the hospital, and who waited through hours of labor to meet their new granddaughter.  I couldn't have done it without all of you as well.  Thanks for reading, now back to cleaning some spit up and changing diapers (smile).

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