Monday, June 21, 2010

Elise's birth day

So per my doctor's orders, an induction it was. I have to admit I was disappointed that baby did not come on her own, but work/schedule wise for Matt and myself, this was the best possible option if I wanted my husband to be there with me on the big day. I don't think either of us had even considered that baby might not come on time!!
We went in on Friday, June 11th to Prentice Women's Hospital at Northwestern. We were greeted by a friendly nurse who unfortunately wasn't with us very long before we got a new nurse (This was to be a running theme, I can't count how many nurses I met over these 3 days!!), and the pitocin was started. I think they had me at a 2 or a 4 at this point. I got an IV of fluids and then we wait. This was about 9am. Soon after, my parents arrived about 10 or 11 and we watched some of the Hawks parade on TV, and various other programs. The hospital had this great movie channel where we could watch movies like Time Traveler's Wife, It's Complicated, etc. So basically at the beginning it was a lot of waiting around, for something to progress. I was only dilated at 1cm when we got to the hospital, so I knew it was going to take some time. I can't remember what time it was, sometime either late morning or early afternoon, I received the CRIB foley catheter, which is like a balloon that dilates your cervix. It was rather annoying having yet another item inserted and taped to my leg--made going to the bathroom rather interesting!! So the thing with the CRIB was that you either have it for 6 hours and it does the trick, or you have it for 6 more hours for a total of 12. It wasn't going to be checked again until 5pm so I was really hoping for the 6 hour check to have worked. I remember watching Jeopardy with my parents around 3 and then requesting a liquids food tray because by that point I was starving!! That chicken broth saved my life!!
At 5pm the CRIB was checked and my cervix was at a 3 or 4. They removed it and I breathed a sigh of relief. Soon thereafter, my water was broken and the pitocin was kicked up a notch, this time to about an 8? My sister and her husband arrived around 5 ish I believe, and I started to feel some pretty intense contractions. I remember each time they would come on, I would double over in pain and think about how much longer I had to sit with these before it would even be time to push. I let the contractions go on for probably longer than I should have before folding and requesting the epidural. I had wanted to try going without but since I had all these other artificial unnatural devices jammed inside me or in my veins, I thought, why not just do it? The epidural was rather painful, I hated that part so much. I was having contractions during the process so it was pretty unbearable. Once it was in however, I felt much better and while I was unable to get up and move around, I was happy to have the pain subside. The only thing I had to deal with now was the insanity of back labor. Whew, that stuff is intense. The epidural only made it worse I think!! At this point the pitocin was about a 10 and my cervix was doing it's thing, getting ready for me to push in a few hours. I think at 9pm the nurse told me I would probably start pushing around midnight. At 1am, and 9.5 centimeters, the pushing began. I have never felt time move so slowly yet so quickly all at once. With my mother, my sister, Matt and a swat team of kick-ass nurses, we pushed and pushed for an eternity. Matt had the I-Pod set to some Grateful Dead shows and we just focused on the task at hand. The nurses and everyone was telling me how great a job I was doing and that we were really making progress. I felt so empowered and confident by everyone's positive feedback, yet questioned if they were just being nice or if I was really getting somewhere!! After a few hours went by, I started to feel just slightly defeated. If I was doing so well, where was the baby?! Luckily, her heart rate stayed steady and baby worked with me to stay healthy while momma did her thing. I wanted SO badly to deliver vaginally, I pleaded with the nurses not to give up on me and turn me into a c-section delivery. They complied and said I was doing great and they saw no need to go that route given the circumstances. Praise God! Sometime at the 4-hour mark of pushing, with almost no end in sight, the lights turned bright and the OB made her appearance. I knew we were close! It was all so surreal. Then with one final monstrous push, I felt the release, and Elise Faith Kanable was born at 5:18 am on June 12, 2010. She weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces, 21 inches long. She was absolutely perfect. When they brought her to me I couldn't believe I had just given birth to this precious being. My heart swelled with love and all we could do was stare at her. It's so amazing, how we'd gotten to know each other for 9 months while she lived inside my womb and now here she was, living outside, her first day on Earth.
I just have to say, it was all worth it. The pain, the long labor, the hours and hours of pushing....I can see why women do this again and again, there is really nothing like it once you see that child's face.
After recovering for an hour or two in L & D, we were wheeled on up to the 13th floor for postpartum. Baby roomed in with us the whole time, and it was awesome to spend that time together as a little family until it was time to go home. After ordering some pancakes and bacon, I finally got some rest :)

Since last week, we have been slowly adjusting to this new lifestyle and getting accustomed to life with a newborn. There have been plenty of sleepless nights, but also many tears of joy and hours of gazing at our daughter's face and myriad expressions. I can't believe how different our lives have become, but I welcome this change and know that it is such a blessing and honor to have this person in our lives. We're a family now, and everything we do, we do together. As I type this I think it is time to go feed her so I must cut things short. I hope one day she wants to hear the story of her birth, as I will never tire of telling it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ok, now we're into JUNE!

June 1, I can't believe it. I am so excited to have this time off, I know it is just going to FLY by, so I'm planning on enjoying every moment. I sure hope the baby comes soon though, it's not quite the same sitting here alone-that wasn't the point :) I have another dr. appointment tomorrow so I'm hoping some progress has been made. I don't feel any different. I have been feeling those tiny contractions that happen for a split second. They usually happen when I'm walking around but now they'll happen randomly when I'm just sitting on the couch! I just hope I don't have to be induced, that would be such a disappointment to me, probably even more than a c-section. I just want labor to happen naturally. I'm also starting to get really nervous about being in a hospital, like I'm wimping out and should have just done this on my own, at home. It's not a medical procedure, it's something that occurs naturally to human beings and I'm worried I won't be able to speak up for myself when things start to get pushed on me and I won't have time to react or think about if it's what I really want. Especially because I'm nervous and will want the baby out and probably end up going with the flow, despite what my heart feels.
I just wish I knew when this baby was coming, it's all I can think about. Every move now is so calculated depending on when she might arrive, or can we go do this or that activity and what if I go into labor? Matt and I went to the grocery store this weekend and started to plan meals and I'm thinking, what if we aren't able to get through the week and we have wasted all this food sitting in the fridge while we're in some hospital? I can't help thinking like that, I just do, it's where my mind goes.
I'm sure everything will be fine, no matter what, but I just want it all to be so perfect and I know that is a dream scenario.

So here is my letter to baby, hoping this will inspire her to arrive this week :)

Dear precious baby girl,

We are getting so excited and anxious for you to join our home. Friends and family are calling and wondering if there's been any news. Everyone wants you to arrive here safe and sound and is so excited to meet you, you have no idea.
Mommy and Daddy have all your clothes ready, your room is all ready and there is so much love pouring out of this house for you already. All we can talk about is how much our lives will change with you here and we are SO looking forward to that. Daddy can't wait until you are big enough to help him cook dinner with him and while I know that is several years away, he is already talking about it! We are so happy and blessed that you are coming into our lives and we can't wait to share all that we are with you.
So come when you are ready (but we're really hoping it is soon :)
You will be a June baby, and your birthdays will be so much fun with this warm weather!! Mommy is especially excited and fortunate to have some time off from work so we can get to know each other better.

We love you dear little one and can't wait to see what day you choose to enter our world.

Mommy and Daddy Kanable