Monday, May 7, 2012

8 Years Ago Today

My daughter, Abby, was born 8 years ago today. Here's her birth story.

Abigail is our third baby. I waited patiently with her birth. I was due on April 30. Well, April 30 came and went, and I continued to wait for her. On May 7, I knew I was in labor all day but didn't say anything to Brent until I was getting somewhat uncomfortable. Her labour was the very best of all of them thus far. We were staying with a group in Independence Missouri. I was in the kitchen area with Brent and some of the women there. I remember how we were all talking and laughing. One of them (who had just had her baby a week earlier) asked me how far apart my contractions were. I casually looked at the clock and when I timed it, I said they were 2 minutes apart. She then got somewhat frantic and said Brent and I needed to leave for the hospital (it was about 30 minutes away). One of the other women (who was a nurse) laughed and said we knew when we should leave, and that we would be fine. Shortly after that, Brent and I got in the car and went to the hospital. Our friends there said they would watch Sadie and Hannah, since it was the middle of the night, and they were sound asleep.

I didn't have any pains until I got into the car. Sitting still, and knowing I was going to the hospital, stressed my body and cause the contractions to become almost unbearable. I had Brent keep the radio on, and I sang the entire way to the hospital, except when I couldn't due to a contraction.

When we got to the hospital, Brent parked the car and helped me into the emergency room area. I was in so much pain that I was cramped into a doubled over position, and couldn't stand upright. The nurses led me into an observation room, put me in bed and hooked up monitors to see where I was at. I'm not exactly sure how long I was in there. It felt like hours, but was probably closer to 20-30 minutes. The nurses came in and took me to one of their birthing rooms. The staff was very friendly, but the on call doctor was a little 'strange'. She just seemed kind of out of it, like she was asleep. I think she was just an odd person, but very friendly.

Shortly after getting to the birthing room, they broke my water. At that point, the pain got very hard to handle. I asked the staff for an epidural. As we were waiting, I found something out that I shared with Brent and the nurse. I told them that it felt so much better during the contractions when I pushed. It took so much of the pain off the contraction and substituted it with manageable pressure. The nurse did not say anything to me about it, and left. About an hour after requesting the epidural, the anesthesiologist came in with his assistant. I was in pain, and do not remember anything about this time of the labour. I am completely blank and do not even remember the epidural being administered. Brent said that the anesthesiologist had trouble with the previous woman (that is why it took so long for them to get to me) and he had blood spattered on him, and he had his assistant performing the epidural. While she was trying to put it in, he was yelling at her. That is not an ideal situation, in my opinion.

Shortly after the epidural, I gave birth to my little Abigail Marie. She was born with dark hair, almost black.

The doctors wanted to keep an eye on her. Her bilirubin level was high. They said she was jaundiced and put her on a bililight. I was still kind of 'out of it' and the doctor said something about liver failure and a blood transfusion. I lost it and started crying. I know that they were trying to explain the worst case scenario, but I didn't understand what they were saying at that time. We took her home, and she spent the first week with a biliblanket. I somewhat joked that I had to plug my baby in, but I was actually battling depression at that time. I had a hard time bonding and I was frightened for her. She did great, though. She ate like a champ, and gained all her birth weight, plus some, back within two days of being home. We had a home nurse come and prick her little heal every day to check her bili level. It was sad, and hard to do, but she did great. After a week, the nurse said she was fine and didn't need the biliblanket anymore.

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