She’s here! Our Little Princess arrived on August 25th and we are overjoyed to have her in our arms.
The story of how she came into this world is not what we thought it would be and we are so very grateful that all are now healthy and healing.
Here’s a general outline:
- Developed late-pregnancy preeclampsia which put me into the hospital at 39 weeks 2 days.
- Induced that night
- Put on a magnesium citrate IV (because of high blood pressure/preeclampsia)
- Dr broke my water
- Began Pitocin
- Labored 15 hours- no epidural
- Pushed for just over an hour- recalling 3 big pushes that popped her out.
- Tore my cervix
- Tore down the birth canal
- Tore my perineal (2nd degree)
- Tore my labia
- Uterus wouldn’t contract to stop bleeding
- Lost 3 liters of blood
- Placenta didn’t deliver- Dr had to use her hand to scrape it out
- The placenta was not completely removed
- Went to OR for a DNC to get the remainder of the placenta out
- Discovered I had Placenta Accreta– which can be more common for pregnancies resulting from IVF. It is sometimes caused when the lining is too thin upon conception. Although it’s not said to happen with every pregnancy I have, it is a possibility of recurring in the future and therefore my pregnancies moving forward with be considered higher risk.
- Dr inserted a water-filled balloon into uterus plus 5 feet of gauze to help with bleeding
- Received 4 bags of blood (transfusions)
- Spent 36 hours in ICU
- Reunited with family and began producing milk! A shock to all since I lost so much blood
- Little Princess latched wonderfully and feeds well
- Released from hospital after 48 hours in regular postpartum care
What I can say is WOW! What an incredible experience.
Aside from the scare of the after birth- laboring without an epidural was such a cool experience (that I may never do again) and am grateful to have been able to live through.
Feeling her move through my body with every contraction.
Praying for God to help me through the pain and beliving this is what my body has been created to do.
Being fully present with my thoughts and my feelings as I was experiencing this transition from pregnancy to birth.
Although it did not go according to my “Birth Wishes”, I can see God’s hand in every step of the way.
Hubby was an incredible support and stayed with me through every contraction.
What I thought would be a sweaty, exhausting experience was more of an endurance race for my body… no sweat at all! Not like how they show it in the movies 🙂
My lower back muscles fired with every contraction.
My arms clenched to the side of the bed with each bracing of pain.
My abs and whatever other muscles are down in that area moved naturally to push this baby down into position for birthing.
When the pushing began, I had no control over my body.
It took over and it was my sole job to focus my energy from the loud cry to a deep groan and then into a holding of energy to push fully downward.
A capturing of energy from outward to inward and downward.
Such a beautiful science.
What people didn’t tell me:
- My expectations (even unconscious ones) held me back from seeing the good in the journey and led me to more discouragement.
- “She is coming ‘soon’”, does not mean in the next 10 minutes or the next hour, it may mean in the next 4-6 hours. I grew to not like the word ‘soon’ as it was too misleading and discouraging.
- Having a meal during heavy contractions may not be the best idea. I threw it up within the next hour.
- Ice chips were a lifesaver in the heavy contraction stage!
- Dilation takes a longer time than I expected. I was hoping to be in active labor when I was still 4 cm dilated.
- The pain of childbirth is unlike any other pain I have experienced. It’s ongoing, tiring, repetitive, painful.
- Hours seem long and patience goes out the window when you don’t know how long you’ll be in that state of pain.
The joys certainly outweigh all the hardship– this is a true statement.
Little Princess was and is worth it!
She is perfect.
Arriving into this world weighing 7lbs 6oz, 20 inches long, full head of brown hair and a perfectly round head. I think I pushed so quickly that it didn’t give her head time to reform as it was moving through the birth canal. Her eyes are grey/blue and I’m hoping they stay on the blue side (Hubby has blue eyes) but am ok if she is a brown-eyed girl (like her mama).
I’m not going to say I won’t birth another child. Maybe next time I’ll go the route of the epidural. Part of the reason I wanted to go without was to be able to A) fully experience the feeling of her moving through my body (which I did and it was amazing!) and B) so I could be fully alert with her afterward.
Given that I didn’t get to live out the second half of that desire and still be okay with my bonding and connection shows that in the future, it might be okay to have the pain relief.
Swedish Hospital was an incredible place to have this traumatic delivery. I was amazed at the care and attention of each of the nurses and staff to me, Hubby and Little Princess. I felt completely taken care of and seen as a person, not just another patient.
Huge shout outs to the following nurses: Mackenzie, Becky, Allison, Mel, Callie, (there were 2 in the ICU that I had that I was too foggy to remember), Kelly, Terri, Mandy, Dani, and the lactation consultant Dotti.
Our journey is not over, as it’s simply just beginning.
I am amazed at how in love with this little peanut I am.
Years of wanting her. Desiring a little one and scared of letting go of my independent, self-centered lifestyle.
One thing I know for sure- the writing of my fertility journey may be over for the time being, but my thoughts and struggles, experiences and trials of being a selfless, caring, discerning, trusting mom are just beginning.
For those of you who have read this blog looking for connection in the fertility journey, I do hope you have felt understood. I certainly have not been alone as I have walked this road and found the more open I have been about my own struggles and emotions, the more connection I have felt.
To those still on the journey- know that it is worth it. Each poke of the needle, pop of a pill, inconvenient Dr. appointment, etc… it’s all worth it to have a little tiny human in your arms, loving and needing you.
We are not sure what our future holds with more children. We would like to have another or more but know that it might look more in the form of adoption than another IVF journey. Hey, we are even open to conceiving all-natural! 🙂 We will see what God has in store for us. For now, we are grateful to have this little one.