Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's a Girl! Tierney's Arrival

Again, my apologies for not posting in so long.  We are so excited to announce the arrival of our little miracle Tierney Maelynn on April 4th, 2012 at 1205 pm.  She weighed in at 8 pounds 1 ounce and 20 1/2 inches long.  Here's the (long) story of her arrival:

For those who haven't read up on my background, I will catch you up (or you can just skip to the next part.)  I have a condition known as Asherman's Syndrome which is scarring of the uterus.  We did not find out until trying for over a year that my uterus was scarred shut, making conception impossible.  I had surgery, and the next month we found out we were pregnant!

The pregnancy progressed fairly well.  Aside from some heartburn, fatigue, and pelvic pressure I felt good for most of it.  I did have some complications from the Asherman's - I developed gestational diabetes and had a bi-lobed placenta.  Luckily, these did not have any adverse effects on the baby.  I was also at risk for placenta accreta but we will visit that later...  I was also higher risk due to the fact that I was planned a vaginal birth after having a cesarean with Ash.


My due date was April 5th and we did not know if baby was a boy or girl.  I was getting anxious to find out "who" we had in there.  On Tuesday, April 3rd we took our 6 year old son Ash to soccer practice and then to a burger place to eat dinner.  While we were sitting there, I felt a poke and thought it was the baby kicking, but then there was a little gush of fluid.  I told Erik I thought my water just broke.  He looked at me as if I had two heads, ha ha.  I said I was serious - it was either that or I just peed my pants. 

We decided to go home and get some rest since I had not actually started laboring.  We would call the nurse at midnight if we didn't need to go in before then.  I couldn't sleep, but did rest up and an hour or two later the contractions started.  Although they were still spaced apart, the nurse told us to go ahead and come in since my water had broken.  Ashley wondered why Mommy and Daddy were up and getting ready in the middle of the night, so we explained that we were going to the hospital to have the baby.  He was very excited!  We brought him along as planned because we wanted him to be as much a part of the birth as he was comfortable.

We got to the hospital around 130 am and by then my contractions were 6-7 minutes apart.  Not too painful yet, just uncomfortable.  We were in triage for about an hour where they monitored my contractions and tested the fluid to make sure my water had actually broken.  It's funny, with Ash all I wanted to do was walk around, but this time I just laid on my side and tried to rest.  My Mom showed up while we were still in triage.

Some of the rest is a blur, but I will do my best to explain.  When we got to the room, I had to be hooked up to the monitors and an IV.  I was still able to get up and move around, but I had to unhook myself to go to the restroom, etc.  We got Ashley settled on the sofa bed and he got some sleep while I labored in the early morning.  I spent most of that time laying on my side but when the contractions got stronger, I tried sitting on the birthing ball.  It helped for a while but then I got back into bed. 

At some point, the nurse checked me and I was still only dilated a 4.  By now my contractions were probably a 7 on the pain scale and getting much closer together.  I was disappointed not to be further along.  And there is always that fear of not progressing and having to have another c-section. 

The Dr. checked me and noticed that there was still some of the amniotic sack intact, so she broke that and then labor really got going. 

At 6 am Ashley was awake and raring to go.  Erik put some cartoons on the computer and he put on headphones and watched them, off in his own little world.  Now Erik's parents were here, and shortly after my Dad and Stepmom came.  We told Ashley he was welcome to go with the grandparents to the waiting room at any time.  The nurse asked about whether he was staying for delivery, and we told her that was the plan but that he could leave at any time if needed.  There was a chair up by the head of the bed that he could sit in.  In the end, I had him go out because I was in so much pain I didn't want to freak him out.  I am sorry that he missed the actual birth but it really was for the best and he was just out in the waiting room with the rest of the family.

My mom was there to help support me and keep us company.  Erik was wonderful throughout the entire labor - and actually didn't annoy me too much.  He held my hand, encouraged me and rubbed my face, back or whatever needed it.

The contractions started coming one on top of the other and got very painful.  The pressure was the worst.  The nurse looked at the readouts and said I was getting breaks in between, but I beg to differ!  I asked for the squatting bar but it actually made the pressure worse, so I climbed back into bed.  I finally asked for the IV medication.  The first dose really helped take the edge off and calmed me down.  I could tell my Mom and Erik were getting upset seeing me in pain and not being able to help.  I ended up with 2 more doses of the fentanyl, but they didn't help as much as the first one.  Then it was too close to delivery for any more doses.

At one point, we decided to take a trip to the restroom and I had a horrible contraction right there on the toilet.  I actually thought I could go in there by myself - ha!  In about 2 seconds I had Erik and the nurses come in with me.  Then I figured out sitting on the toilet actually helped the pressure and I was more comfortable sitting there.  So the nurses brought the monitors over to the bathroom and I labored there for quite a while.  Erik stood behind me, so I just leaned back and closed my eyes while he rubbed my head.  Okay, that sounds weird but it really did help.

Well, eventually the nurse had to check me again.  I hated being checked because it was painful, but I was feeling the urge to push.  They wouldn't let me push without checking me of course.  I still had a tiny bit of cervix left, so I settled back into bed and the nurse helped me breathe through the contractions.

A few times during the labor, I told my mom, erik, the nurses, and even the doctor that I wanted to quit!  Of course, I knew that wasn't really an option.  The doctor said we could just stop and do a c/s, but that she knew that wasn't what I wanted which was right.

Then, all of a sudden (it seemed) the doctor came in and started putting all this protective gear on.  I noticed the nursed bringing in a tray... and then they pulled the end off my bed, ha ha!  The squat bar was still there, so I tried pushing with it but I didn't like it.  The crazy thing is, I did NOT want to be laying in the bed to deliver but that happened to be the most comfortable to push in.  And once I started pushing, I felt a lot of relief.  The pushing was painful and hard to do but it took the pressure off the contractions and made me feel progress.

I pushed for less than an hour but it seemed like forever.  I know it's ridiculous, but I thought the doctor was getting impatient for it taking so long.  I wanted to just get the baby out!  The nurses helped push my knees back and Erik supported my head while I grabbed the rails to give myself leverage.  Erik and my mom were very encouraging, and saw the baby start to crown.  The nurse had me reach down, and I felt the gooey beautiful hair!  This renewed me and helped me to keep pushing harder.  I was not able to feel the contractions, so the nurses put their hands on my belly and helped me know when to push. 

They had me feel again, and the baby was out almost to the ears.  I made the comment that I couldn't believe it was that far but not coming out.  I pushed for a while longer, and the doctor worked on stretching me and guiding the baby out.  But she finally put her hands down and explained that she thought an episiotomy was necessary.  The baby's head was stuck and when it came out, I was going to tear badly.  She understood that I was hoping to avoid being cut and I appreciated that she explained it to me and allowed me to decide.  I told her to go ahead, and I know it was the right choice.  She numbed me - and I wish I hadn't seen that huge needle! - then a quick, painless snip.

The very next push and the baby was out!  I did not feel any pain from her head coming out, probably from being numbed up.  I did feel a lot of pressure when the rest of body came out, but it was very quick.  I kept trying to see if it was a boy or girl, but couldn't.  Finally my mom asked, and the doctor turned the baby so I could see and it was a girl!  I was so happy, and she was just beautiful.  All messy and blue and screaming, with tons of hair matted to her head - it was the sweetest thing I had ever seen.  It made my choice to do a VBAC seem perfectly right, because I missed out on that moment with my first.  I was thrilled to have my girl, and even more wonderful she has red hair and eyebrows like her daddy.

I held her for a few minutes, and then the nurses took her to clean her up and weigh her.  Erik cut and trimmed the umbilical cord.  We had planned to wait until it stopped pulsing, but in the excitement we forgot all about it. 

One of the nurses reminded us we hadn't taken any pictures!  So Erik got out the camera and took pics of her getting weighed and all that.  We named her Tierney Maelynn.  Then they brought her back to me and put her inside my gown for some skin to skin contact.  It was heavenly.


While all this was happening, the doctor was working on my placenta.  It had gotten stuck, known as placenta accreta, it is a common complication with Asherman's.  We knew it could be a possibility.  The doctor waited patiently for a few more minutes, but it wasn't budging.  She tried pushing on my belly and it hurt worse than any of the labor.  It also made me bleed a lot.  In the end, we decided it was best to put me under general anesthesia so that she could pull it out without hurting me any more.  We would go to the OR just in case there were any further complications and I needed surgery.

I was so sad to be missing out on time with the baby, but I had to get myself taken care of.  They took me to the OR and covered me with warming blankets but I could not stop shivering.  The doctor held my hand and talked to me the whole time we waited for the anesthesiologist.

The procedure was a success, and no other treatment (such as scraping or worst case - hysterectomy) was needed.  A balloon was placed in the uterus to help stop the bleeding.  I woke up a few times and briefly interacted with my family and the baby.  I was too out of it to hold her or feed her.  I kept falling back asleep.  I saw Erik giving her a bottle, which crushed me because I had wanted to nurse her right away.  I cried but said I understood - she needed it.  I was still shivering and ached all over my body.

Later that night, I finally came out of the anesthesia and started to feel like myself.  I couldn't get out of bed because of the balloon and also a catheter.  I actually started to feel really good, and if I could I would have gotten up and taken a shower.  I was able to nurse Tierney and she did wonderful!

They had me on percocet and ibuprofen for the pain/cramping.  By the next day I didn't need the percocet anymore.  They kept icing my girly parts, but they really didn't feel that sore to me.  I got the balloon out the 2nd day and stayed in bed for that night.  They also gave me 2 units of blood just to be cautious and because my hemoglobin kept dropping.  The nurses took Tierney so we could rest.  I had wanted her to room in, but we really needed the rest while we had the chance.  They brought her back every few hours to nurse.

I missed the first time Ashley met his sister, but I guess he just kept giggling.  He is still totally in awe of her and is a wonderful big brother.  He got to miss 2 days of school, and spent some time with his grandparents while we were in the hospital.  He even got to "share" Tierney with his class when we came to pick him up after being discharged on Friday.

On Good Friday (April 6th) I was able to get out of bed and shower and was eventually discharged.  Tierney had gotten a clean bill of health the day before.  My recovery, even with the placenta issues, was 100x easier than it was with the c-section.  I am so happy and proud to have had a successful vbac.  I know it was the best for her and for me.

Enjoy some pictures! :)