No doubt this past week has provided many opportunities to trust in God, rejoice, and receive God's will as "good" even when it includes things not in my plan. I have probably learned more this week than I have in many many years. This will probably be a long post, but did you expect any different? :)
The Labor Story (for those who haven't heard it yet)
So it all started this past Friday morning. Lew and I had a very rough night Thursday night because I had been really sick with an upper respiratory infection that caused a lot of wheezing and difficulty breathing especially at night. In fact I was awake from 1-6 am simply because the wheezing and coughing had gotten so bad and my inhaler wasn't working. So, early Friday morning Lew decided he would work from home and we would call my doctor and find out what we should do about the infection. I had already been on antibiotics for a few days and they just didn't seem to be cutting it. I honestly thought we would end up at the hospital on Friday...little did I know that I was right, just not for the reason I originally thought. So, after finally getting a little more sleep I woke up to discover my water was leaking, it totally caught me off guard. I called my OB and he told me to come in immediately. When we got there they checked the baby and did an ultrasound confirming that I was losing fluid, but my levels still looked good so I didn't need to go to the hospital yet. I had started to have contractions so my doctor told me to go home and basically walk, walk, and walk to get things moving. We did just that, in fact I really think we walked more than 5 miles total just trying to get things started. By 5pm I talked to my OB and my contractions were getting closer, so he encouraged us to go the hospital by 9pm to be admitted. Unfortunately, my OB was going out of town so I wouldn't get to have him there, this was the first challenge for me. He has followed the whole pregnancy so it was hard to think about him not being there. But he assured me I would be in good hands with the doctor on call.
Off we go to Shady Grove at around 8 Friday night. Both incredibly giddy about the fact that we would most likely meet our baby in the next day (or so we thought!). We were admitted and put in a room and monitored. My first check I was very surprised to find out I hadn't made any progress. I was still 1-2 cm dilated and completely effaced, but no new progress. I couldn't have been more surprised. I was having contractions almost 2-3minutes apart and had been for hours, yet no change. So we walked, and walked, and walked. I can't tell you how many hours we spent wondering the short hallway in labor and delivery. My Mom met us there and I was so glad to have her there. Once we hit about 3 or 4 am we noticed something interesting, my contractions were really close together when I walked but as soon as we started to rest they would slow down if not stop. This went on for hours and we were getting so tired from walking I didn't know how I was going to be able to deliver Miya if we kept that up! So, by Saturday morning at 7 we talked to our doctor and decided to start pitocin by noon if things didn't pick up. Sure enough by noon things were going nowhere fast, so up went the pitocin. The contractions started to pick up as they upped the dose but we discovered another interesting trend. The contractions would pick up and start to come close together and stronger and then all the sudden they would space out again. It was almost like clockwork, and everyone was pretty much shocked. They just kept upping my dose over and over again and things would pick up and then totally space out and die down. We went on like this until about midnight when something concerning happened. My contractions started coming one right after the other with no breaks and Miya's heartrate started to drop. Each time the nurse would rush in turn me on my left side and put oxygen on me. I remember each time my heart would just sink, I was so worried about how all this was affecting miya. Thankfully after a break from the pitocin along with the other measures she would always recover and within an hour or so the pitocin would be back on. But this kept happening over and over again. Finally the doctor came in to check my progress at about 2 am and we were all totally floored to find out I had made absolutely no progress. It was shocking and discouraging. My Mom, Lew, and I were all going on pretty much no sleep and we all realized we were getting close to me having been in labor for 48 hours. I was terribly discouraged, but thankfully my Mom and Lew were able to encourage me and we just kept waiting and praying. Unfortunately about every hour we hit the same bump and miya was just not tolerating labor anymore. I started to panic at this point. I looked at my birth plan and cried. We had planned and prepared for this beautiful natural birth...and look what was happening. I couldn't imagine a c-section and though the word hadn't been mentioned yet, it was hanging over my head like a heavy heavy weight. I remember how much fear I started to feel at this moment, and then my Mom leaned over me and began to recite Psalm 121, I knew she was reading my thoughts, and knew the fear I was experiencing. Psalm 121 reads:
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
This is a very special verse between my Mom and I. She recited it to me many a times when I was in the hospital and struggling with fear among other things. As soon as she started to recite it I just started to cry. It was such a sweet reminder that my help comes from the Lord. I knew I was in good hands. So by 7am my doctor came in to check me one more time, I could tell by the look on his face that we were going nowhere, and my heart was at peace. He encouraged me that we had been patient and literally tried everything we could to do this naturally, but at this point we needed to consider Miya's safety. So, we decided a c-section was the best option. Every moment after this seems so surreal. But I still had peace (praise the Lord). My doctor said alright lets get ready we're going to start in 3o minutes. I just couldn't believe it, this was it, we were gonna meet our little girl in the next hour! I just couldn't believe it. So I got prepped, got my spinal and there I was strapped down on a gurney being cut open while awake (ok I still can't get over how weird this was....seriously I can't even tell you!) and I was reminded of still how funny it was that none of our plans for the birth had been successful...but none of that mattered because we were going to meet our daughter any minute. And then we heard the most beautiful thing I have every heard in my life, her sweet cries. Lew just glanced over the divider and then looked at me and said "Oh my goodness, she is precious" And I my heart just overflowed. Lew was soon able to join her and hold her for the first time. When he brought her over and I got to see her for the first time I immediately thought, I would do this ten times over for her. It all seemed so worth it. While they were stitching me up I just longed to hold her. That was the hardest part, but there was such a sweetness in watching her and how much she already loved her Daddy. I remember I looked at Lew and said "how do you feel" and he just said "so proud"....it was so precious. Once everything was done they put Miya on my stretcher and wheeled us out to recovery. Soon after Lew and Miya went to the nursery for her to be bathed etc... The 2 hours we were apart seemed like an eternity, but thankfully my Mom and Dad were there to keep me company. Once she came back with her daddy I just couldn't get enough of her! I just kept looking at her and thinking: "we made that, she's ours!?" It all just seemed so hard to believe.
This is us immediately after the C-section being wheeled to the PACU. Do you see my little babushka at the bottom?
My first time holding her in the PACU. I didn't want to let her go....ever! It was hard to let them take her to the nursery.
All I remember at this point was I was so tired....and so high on adrenaline at the same time. It had been a loooong 2 days.
The hospital stay was slightly unnerving at times. Since we had been there for 2 nights already while in labor, having to stay 3 additional nights seemed like forever! Plus let me just say the hospital is not a place to get rest. I had people coming in and out of my room all day and night! The night nurses especially tended to come in and out the most, turning on the bright lights and asking me lots of question while I'm groggy like how many poops and pees Miya has had etc... But we made it and were so thrilled to get home.
Poor Miya, not to thrilled about being naked and wondering what is going on!
She still likes to have her hands up by her face like this :) If I swaddle her she finds a way to get her hands out
Sweet girl with lots of hair