Alright, so now that we’ve backtracked a little, I thought I would share a little about Olivia’s birth! Once I get us all caught up, I’m hoping I can get back to writing more regularly now that little bit is here!
So, on the Month 9 Bump-date, we left off at 39 weeks and 6 days…
This was at about 9:15 PM and we were scheduled to head in to the hospital at 10 PM. Since I was having contractions, my OB arranged for us to go ahead and come in and get everything kickstarted so that she would arrive right on her due date. We got our stuff packed up, snapped a quick pic with our oldest (Ruger), and then headed to the hospital. We checked in around 9:35, filled out paperwork, and then the nurse pulled us back and put us in a room a little before 10.
They hooked me up to all the monitors, and a sweet resident explained how the process would work and got everything going. At that point, I was 2, almost 3 cm dilated going in, so things were beginning to progress.
By midnight, my contractions were about 6-7 minutes apart and fairly bearable. Around this time, anesthesiology came in to talk about an epidural. If you have been following our story, you might remember that I consistently had low platelets on my blood work panels and there was a concern about whether or not they would let me get an epidural. Toward the end of pregnancy, my OB sent me for a few more panels, explaining that if we proved that they were holding steady, anesthesiology would be more likely to be okay with it than if it looked like they had just tanked overnight. All that to say, they were okay with me having an epidural. 😉
So, it just so happened (which, there aren’t that many of them, so the chances were actually pretty good…) that the anesthesiologist that came in was our friend Phillip! Phillip is my brother-in-law’s brother-in-law (I think that’s the easiest way to explain it? Phillip is married to Katie, whose sister Shelby is married to my husband’s brother Avery… much more complicated!). He chatted with us for a while and asked if I was interested in an epidural, to which I adamantly said yes, as soon as possible, please! So, he got everything set up and got it placed, which was great because my contractions were still fairly bearable at that point, so it was easier for me to sit still and have it placed. There was an extra pump that could pull in more medicine every fifteen minutes if I needed it, but the first jolt of it knocked everything out. At that point, I couldn’t feel anything (luckily they have that monitor that could still tell I was having contractions because I couldn’t!), so we were able to get a few hours of sleep.
At 2:30, the resident came in and checked me, and I was up to 5 cm dilated and fully effaced, and Olivia was far enough down that she broke my water. Everything was progressing well, so we went back to sleep for a little bit.
Around 3:30 AM, I woke up in pain. Legit pain. Every 3-4 minutes. I tried using my extra button until about 4:15-4:30, but it was not doing a thing, and I could feel each and every dang contraction. And unfortunately, Steven was sound asleep and my nurse call button was out of reach. He had worked all night the night before, and then stayed up the majority of the day and then went in with me, so this was his first sleep in a while, and I felt horrible waking him up, but I was in serious pain and it didn’t seem like I should have been considering the epidural. The nurse came in and we explained what was going on, so she called Phillip back down. He did an assessment and determined that something had shifted, and it was only blocking out feeling from about my hips down, meaning it wasn’t blocking high enough to get the contractions. He said we could either push a stronger medication through, or pull out that epidural and replace it. So, to start, we pushed the stronger med and waited about 20-30 minutes to see if it helped.
At this point, we were down to about every 2-3 minutes apart and I was in tears. I honestly don’t know how women do that without anything. The stronger med didn’t seem to make a difference, so Phillip went to get everything set up to replace the epidural.
He and the attending replaced the epidural and after a few boluses through the port, I was back in business about 5:30 AM. It took a little longer for it to kick in and everything go numb, so the anesthesiology attending asked when they had last checked because part of the problem could be that she was just far enough down that it was go time and there wasn’t much they could do about that. They stepped out, and OB came in and confirmed that Olivia was basically right there– they instructed me not to sneeze or laugh because she was literally that far down. And at that point, it was like a switch flipped- people came rushing in and started getting everything set up. They pulled the end of my bed off and replaced it with the stirrups, pulled a giant light from the ceiling, and brought in the scrub cart. Everything was ready to go by 6 AM– except my actual OB…
Everything had progressed so quickly that by the time they called my OB to come in, Olivia was ready to go, and my sweet OB was still at home. So, we hung out for about an hour. During this time, I was 1000% numb thanks to the three boluses, so the nurses had to physically put my legs in the stirrups for me because I had no control over any of that. I had the resident, a med student, and my nurse hanging out with me while we waited (and Steven, of course!). The residents (I had an intern and an upper level there), and shoot, probably the med student, could have delivered if I had wanted/needed to, but when you are followed by an attending, they typically wait for them to deliver. And here’s where I share a real-life little tidbit that you might not know if you are going to be a first time mom and are relying on TV/ movies for info about giving birth– there’s no sheet.
I really thought it would be like TV/ movies and like when you are in the office and they give you a draping sheet for modesty. No ma’am. There is no modesty in giving birth whatsoever. I was lying there chatting it up with the girls (the resident, med student, nurses, and scrub tech) and they were seeing everything I’ve got. And I would have cared, except I was totally numb and not in control of my lower half, a little sleep deprived, and figured it wasn’t anything they hadn’t seen before.
My OB ran in about an hour later at 7 AM requesting they give her a little more of a heads up next time, and scrubbed in quickly. Since it was right at shift change, we actually ended up with double the staff for some areas because my night team felt so invested that they wanted to stay for her birth (how sweet is that??). They gave me instructions on how this was going to go down and we got ready to go. I pushed three times for 10 seconds each, and little miss was here!
Honestly, with the epidural, I couldn’t even feel the pushing. They told me to push harder, or that I was pushing correctly and I couldn’t feel one bit of difference because I couldn’t feel a thing! Luckily something was working and we got her right out by 7:14!
They immediately put her on me while they got everything else taken care of, and then once they were all finished, they let us have an hour of quiet time with just the baby, which they call the Golden Hour. Steven and I held her, and she ate a little bit, and Phillip dropped back by to check on me, so he was actually the first one to get to hold her other than us 😉
At the end of the Golden Hour, our nurse (who was AMAZING!! both of our L&D nurses were so, so wonderful!) came in and weighed/ measured her (7 pounds, 14 ounces, 19.5 inches), and gave her a bath.
We got her squared away, and then the nurse helped me to the restroom so that we could get moved over to postpartum. The problem was that thanks to all those boluses, I couldn’t feel my legs still, even hours later. I sat on the edge of the bed for a little bit to help with blood flow, and that gave me better feeling from the knee down, but I still couldn’t feel anything from my knees to my hips, which you strangely need in order to walk. The nurse and Steven were able to help me in and out of the bathroom, and just as we got everything packed up, Steven’s parents arrived and helped us move over to postpartum.
Later in the morning, Steven’s brother Avery arrived to visit. We had lunch and then my parents and grandparents came to visit in the afternoon. We had dinner with them, and then they left just as our sweet friends Jake, Cortney, and Lainey came in to visit with the most legit bag of snacks! After they left, we decided to turn in early and try to get some sleep, which turned out easier said than done! Between nurses and nursing students coming in to check on us, and Olivia wanting to eat, we didn’t really sleep much.
Around 8 AM they came in to take her to the nursery for her checks and blood work (like the PKU heel prick), and then others funneled in and out for different things like the paperwork for her birth certificate, etc. The tech came in to do her hearing screening, and of course, I took a picture…
And, of course, the stinker didn’t pass either ear. While I was in undergrad and grad school, I worked for about five years as a newborn hearing screener at the hospital in Lubbock, so I asked a few (probably obnoxious) questions but wasn’t really concerned knowing what I know about the process. They scheduled us for a retest 10 days out (which she passed with flying colors!). They also swabbed her for CMV (cytomegalovirus) because it is a known cause of congenital progressive hearing loss, and recent research has shown that administering a certain medication within one month of life can improve outcomes, so they swab all newborns who don’t pass the initial screen just to be safe and well within the time window to administer that medication (this was also negative).
We sat around packed up and waiting for about an hour and a half to be discharged, and were finally set free a little before noon on Saturday.
And that was when we started adjusting to life at home as a family of 3! (Or you know, 7… 😉 )
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3 thoughts on “Olivia Anne”
Morie- I enjoyed this story so very much! You are such a creative, talented writer. I had been wanting to hear the “whole” story from the mommy’s side. Olivia is beautiful and so blessed to have you and Steven as her parents. Rest when you can and hold her all you can. She will grow up so fast!