We have been home from the hospital for a week and Phil started back at work today...so I guess its time I start a routine, this new routine includes getting back to blogging! Phil and I have both said this has been the best week of our lives. Welcoming little Ruby Sue into our lives has been an easy and amazing transition. We couldn't be happier or feel more blessed! Let me tell you what happened about a week ago........
Wednesday Feb 1st I was officially 37weeks preggo.
Thursday February 2nd we picked up our good friend Tiffany from the airport for a fun filled 4day vacation. We had previously made plenty of jokes that I would go into labor during her stay and because of her experience as a nurse she would have no problem helping us deliver the baby. We started off her visit with a traditional local style dinner of "plate lunch" and poke. It was Phil's last night of working nights and was handing over the responsibility of his crew to someone else and he joked at dinner if there was any night for him to have to miss work, that night would be the night. After Phil left for work I took Tiffany to KoOlina, the resort village a few miles from our house, for the sunset and a cocktail.
Throughout this time I felt like I was having more contractions than usual but not enough to raise any red flags. After sunset Tiff and I were both pretty tired and decided to head back to house for an early night to bed, but first I wanted to finish the very last thing on my "get ready for baby" to-do list and that was to buy a video camera... we left Target empty handed and prepared to research the web for a better deal since I had 3weeks, plenty of time, until my due date.We hit-the-sack at 9:00pm and I passed out. The 3 previous nights I hadn't slept for more than a few hours so I was looking forward to a good nights rest.
11pm, 2 hours later, I woke up to the feeling that I was peeing my pants. I jumped out of bed that was thankfully still dry, and ran to the bathroom. I had a giant gush into the toilet but I was still confused if it was pee or if my water was actually breaking. When I stood up I continued to gush. I slowly walked to our guest room shocked and confused and woke up Tiff, explaining to her that I think my water broke but I needed her to examine the fluid. We decided the pinkish tinted fluid on my bathroom floor was indeed amniotic fluid so she called her sister, also a nurse but specializing in labor&delivery for advice and I called Phil. I prepared myself before calling Phil that I needed to tell him gently as to not freak him out that I thought our baby girl was on her way...but to my surprise Phil was very calm, excited and his normal humorous self. I was the one slightly freaking out and still in shock that everything was happening not according to MY plan. Before allowing Phil to come home I sent him to the 24hr Walmart to buy a video camera. He called from Walmart to jokingly ask if the baby was "still in" and if Tiff wanted anything from McDonalds. ha ha ha. His humor was key to keeping me grounded. My next move was to get the car loaded but I had trouble focusing. Everything was packed and ready for the hospital but there were a few things that required last minute packing, Tiff was able to follow my detailed premade lists while I sat in the bathroom reflecting on what was happening and what was about to happen. I needed to talk to Jenn, my sister-in-law who's due date was about 1 week ahead of mine. It was 1am her time but I called both her and Pete until someone answered. Talking to Jenn calmed me down even more and we decided that Tiff would keep her updated on the event details and she would keep everyone else back at home updated. Phil finally got home with our newly purchased electronics and it was time for him to change so we could go. For some reason it was important to me that he changed into athletic clothes and out of his work clothes, he didnt want to and for some reason I got mad at him and slightly yelled at him that he needed to change. ha ha ha so weird that I was fixated on what he was wearing but he compromised with me and change into some shorts.
We loaded everything up in 2 cars to head to Kapiolani, in Honolulu about 18miles away. We calmly started the trek to the hospital when I realized the new video camera Phil just purchased did NOT include a memory card so back to Walmart we went. I stayed in the car while Phil went shopping and I managed to get a hold of Phil's mom, Nancy. She was due to fly out Feb 19th 3days before my due date and we had talked in detail about the birth and her important role as our doula/advocate. Her not accompanying us to the hospital made me sad and slightly worried but her always calming encouragement gave me confidence and I concentrated on every word of prayer she prayed over the phone. I had confidence that Phil and I, with Tiff's help were going to get the baby out naturally according to plan. Our trip to the hospital was fast, Phil luckily knew of the nightly road construction closures so we had no delays and made it to Kapiolani in record time. I had to make one more call, this one a little funny, before going into the hospital and that was to Jim Roe. It was his birthday and we had joked earlier that day that if I had the baby on his birthday he could name her and if I went into labor he would be the first that I would call. I still had enough of a sense of humor that I HAD to wake him up with the news.
12:30am walking from the truck to the hospital I unfortunately had another big gush and was leaking fluid everywhere. It was so uncomfortable walking from the parking garage to the hospital and then taking the elevator to triage and then waiting in the waiting room. I felt gross but Phil and Tiff kept the humor going requesting a diaper from the nurses, no diaper, but I did get a very nice pad to sit on.
We waited in triage for quite a while. The needed to test my fluid to make sure my water was really broken. Around 2:30am it was confirmed and I was officially admitted. It was a busy night for babies so as women who were further along in the labor process arrived I would get pushed back on the list for a room. Phil and I were fine hanging out in triage, I had no pain and barely felt my contractions. When the nurse finally arrived she hooked me up to monitors to monitor my contractions and the baby's heart rate and told me I had to stay in bed. Meanwhile Tiff was still in the waiting room and Nicci had arrived. They were allowed to come in once the Dr. met with me. I had no desire to stay in bed and kept asking if I could walk around... the oncall Dr told me no as to not risk the cord prolapsing. boo. Because of previously testing positive for Group B Strep they had to start me on antibiotics. The nurse attempted multiple times on each arm to put in my IV. I hated this...thank goodness for the local anesthetic!
After a few hours my contractions didnt pick up as fast as my OB had liked so she instructed over the phone to start me on pitocin. I was upset and fearful that all the stories I had heard of pitocin would come true and cause me to need an epideral. Because the triage was so busy I managed to skate by without the medicine a few more hours before making it to the labor/delivery room but my body still wasnt producing enough contractions.
Around 4am I finally got a room and they started pitocin. I was started at level 2 and requested they not turn it up every 30mins as per their protocol and requested to please let my body do what I trusted it was made to do. They honored this and increased slowly. By the end of labor I got up to 14. The crew was tired and did their best to nap knowing we were in for long day. At times I also tried to nap hoping to charge my batteries. I had packed some marathon gel that I tried eating every few hours out of fear I'd be one of those women who don't have enough enegry to push after a long labor... the gel was gross but it helped.
I had requested intermittent monitoring so I could stay mobile but being on pitocin they required the baby's heart be monitored the whole time. I refused to lay in the bed so I had about 4 feet of cord allowing me to stand next to the bed. I was frustrated to be hooked up to machines but accepted my small square of space to sit on the ball, lean on the rolling table thing or sway standing. I was super bummed to not be able to walk the halls and not use the massage shower.
My labor on pitocin was hard but I managed. I managed because of friends at home. I kept thinking about all the friends who had accomplished a natural childbirth and felt if they could do it then so could I. I managed because of beads on a bracelet made by friends and family at my baby shower. I clenched onto that bracelet during most of my hard labor and counted the beads and thought of my support team back at home.
I managed because of my baby girl waiting to come out. I had her little coming-home-dress in front of me so I could keep my mind on the joy that was coming. I managed with the support of Tiff and Nicci, knowing they were there to help Phil and I with whatever we need.ed. Tiff was a great advocate for us. Her nursing experience helped a ton. I managed mostly because of my husband. He absolutely blew my mind! I had confidence in him that he would do great during my labor but I had no idea how awesome he would do. He remained calm the whole time and always said the right thing and did the right thing. During heavy contractions we were a perfect team getting through them. Some positions we were in required him to hold all of my weight as I became a "limp noodle" after the contraction was done. He was sore the next day from working so hard. I am actually glad we didnt have a doula, it gave Phil and opportunity to step up to the plate and be exactly what I needed him to be. I'm more in love with him after his ability to get me through that terrible day of pain.
I had to wait until 1:30pm to be checked for the first time by my OB... and when she checked me I was very disappointed to find out I was 2cm dilated, 80% effaced and baby at a -2. It had been about 13hrs since my water broke and I was exhausted. I had worked so hard to get to 2 I thought there was no way I could make it another 13hrs on pitocin...
2 1/2 hrs passed and labor was hard and slow. I knew I needed to stop looking at the clock, I swore it was broken. Contractions were consistently 2mins apart and all I wanted was a short break to take a nap. I requested from the nurse they check me again because I needed encouragement and I was losing my mind...I had said "mind" but I meant my will to keep a natural birth. At this point I didnt even want an epideral...because that meant I still needed to push her out, I wanted a C-Section but wouldnt never say that out loud. 3:55pm the on call Dr checked me and once again I was deflated to find out I was only 2.5cm, 90% effaced and -1. Everyone kept encouraging me that this was good news but to me it meant many more hours of pain...
At this point Nicci was gone because she had to go to work and Tiff was tired. She too thought it would be hours so she went home to shower.
the next 3hours were intense....but I some how found this crazy zone that changed my once very vocal labor to a peaceful meditation. During contractions I tried my absolute best to relax and not fight the contraction...I kept "telling" my uterus If you can push her down, I can push her out. I found a breathing rhythm that helped me manage the pain and of course clenching to the bracelet and counting the beads encouraged me. This is also when the throwing up started. It was terrible throwing up during a contraction but it also felt good feeling her go down a little more each time. I spent the majority of these hours on the ball with Phil sitting on the bed behind me holding my weight up during the contraction then letting me sit on the ball to rest. I had so much pressure in my "downtown" during the contractions I couldnt sit but I was too weak to stand.
7:00pm I felt a crazy change in my body. It looked appealing to kneal on the bed, hugging the back of the bed and Phil behind me squeezing my hips. I could no longer access my peaceful zone and the pain was so intense I was almost frantic.. I kept it together but told Phil to call for the nurse because I thought I was getting the urge to push. The nurse brought in a DR and told me I was only 6.5cm 90% efaced and +1 station. I heard the nurse call my OB to give her an update and I could hear the Dr. tell her to update her on my progress in an hour. I slightly yelled at the nurse that I was not waiting for my Dr and that I knew the baby was coming. I told her I was going to push her out and she told me not to, I wasnt dilated enough enough I risked tearing my cervix and causing it to swell...but I couldn't control my body. At the peak of each contraction I felt my body pushing out the baby. I tried to control it the best I could. 20minutes later I told the nurse she had to check me again, this time she did it herself and I was 7.5cm so she called for the oncall Dr. and mine letting them know I was progressing fast. 13mins(7:43pm) later the On call Dr arrived and checked me and I was at 10cm, 100% effaced at +3. About this time Tiff finally made it back in time to grab the video camera. They tried to get me on my back and I refused. I laid on my right side with Phil behind me. They hadn't given me permission to push yet so I continued to fight the urge but couldnt control the work my body was doing on its own. The team busted in and got the room ready as fast as they could. Between contractions my strange brain needed to meet the new Dr, Dr. Lum(sp?) and I had to explain to her my birth plan. She probably thought I was crazy but I did not want them to mess up my carefully typed out plan. ha ha ha. From all my movement the werent able to get a good heart reading on the baby and when they finally found it her heart rate was too low for their liking so for the first time the Dr. gave me the goahead to push and told me to push as hard as I could. She told me to pull up my legs but I couldnt. Phil held me in a cradle position and I wrapped my hands around his neck. So with the next contraction I was finally able to give pushing some of my own effort and with the loudest mama bear scream I had in me I pushed through the "ring of fire" and at 7:54pm, 11mins after the Dr. checked me, she shot out of my body head and shoulders all at once. It was the best feeling pushing her out. After many many hours I finally was in control of something and knowing it was up to me now it almost felt "good" pushing.
A chubby little baby covered in gunk was placed on my chest and I wasn't in awe like I thought I would be or instantly attached like I thought I was supposed to be... I was in shock and confused. I was distracted that the bad day was finally over with and confused that pushing was so fast and "easy". Once I calmed down from pushing her out I was looking at a tiny face that I had never seen before, she was a stranger that I hadn't met and I needed to introduce myself.
Looking up at Phil I saw tears streaming down his face and it was slowly settling into my brain that this was OUR baby, the baby I've been waiting for for 9months and the baby I've been wanting for years.
She was healthy and she was perfect. I couldn't believe she was on my chest and I couldnt believe for 3 weeks early she looked so chubby.
Phil cut the cord once it stopped pulsing as I instructed the on-call Dr. before I pushed her out, and the nurse immediately helped me try to nurse.
They let me have about an hour with her before taking her to get cleaned up. Hospital protocol required a 2hr monitoring of the baby... I was mad but Phil calmed me down.
I was so surprised when my 3week early baby was not a tiny skinny little thing. I for sure thought she would be in the 6lb range MAX. But she came out a very healthy weight. I can't imagine how big she would have been if I carried her to 40weeks!
My OB missed the birth. I was fine with it. As some might already know I didnt like my OB. She treated me like a "patient" and not a "person" and Im pretty sure she doubted I could deliver my baby med-free. She made it in time to stitch me up and her attitude toward me completely changed. All of a sudden we were good friends and she kissed both Phil and I in congratulations. I didnt care that she missed the birth and I accidentally told the nurse and the on call Dr. a few times during my contractions that I didnt like my OB and I didnt want her to come. ha ha ha
The baby at this point didnt have a name. I wasn't ready to commit until things settled down. It took a few hours to get me stitched up(2deg tear) and cleaned up and wheeled up to my recovery room. The Dr. was concerned about the amount of blood I lost so I had to stay on pitocin through the night and next morning to make sure my uterus continued to contract. SO ANNOYING! By the time we got settled in to our room 11pm my baby was back.
Phil had wanted to name the baby Ruby Sue for months and after meeting her I agreed Ruby Sue fit. She would be named after our bestfriend Ruby. Someone we both admire and respect. We hope our Ruby is as hard working, thoughtful, creative, adventurous and loving as her auntie.
Our first night together as a family in the hospital I couldnt sleep. It had been 2days since I had slept but all the endorphins had me wide awake. I wanted to hangout with my baby and continue to get to know her. Phil was exhausted and passed out immediately. Our first night in the hospital he slept for 12hours! Not sure how he could sleep through people constantly coming in and out of our room. I wasnt tired but I was starving! I couldnt eat enough or fast enough. Holding the baby in one arm and trying to eat with the other wasnt working so I started to eat my hospital turkey dinner with my hands. ha ha ha. It was soooo good! I was surprised at how hungry I was and as of today the hunger hasnt stopped! Pretty sure I'm eating more than Phil.
I didnt allow Ruby to sleep in her plastic hospital bassinet, she had to be in my arms the whole stay. I had to touch her and know that she was breathing.
I also attempted to nurse every 2hours and I was strict about it. I was determined that little Ruby would learn to latch. Nursing was one of the things I was scared about, maybe more than delivery. I think it is so important so I wanted to make sure we got-it-down-pat before we left the hospital. My OB didnt allow us to check out early. We had to stay the full 48hrs post partum, so thats a total of 3 nights in the hospital. This gave us extra time with the nurses and a great lactation consultant. A very funny lady who was very comfortable with her breasts and mine. Its amazing after giving birth Im now 100% comfortable with my body. I had prepared myself to be disappointed by the hospital but to my surprise I loved being there! The mostly filipino nurses at Kapiolani were outstanding and I grew to love them. They were that maternal presence I needed. I felt like a queen. They catered to my every need and at times I felt bad asking for things but they were just so happy to serve. The food wasnt terrible as I had expected. I had so much fun filling out the order form for my meals and allowed myself to have whatever I wanted.
Phil changed his first poopy diaper and did awesome!
We had a few visitors in the hospital.
Tiff and Nicci brought us lunch from my favorite mexican restaurant Saturday, and Sean and Jessica our new pastor and his wife came to meet Ruby Saturday night. I didnt have the energy to call people for some reason but did manage to facetime Jenn in the delivery room, post delivery and Ruby Saturday night.
Sunday afternoon we were cleared to leave the hospital. When we were finally all packed up and driving out of the garage I started crying. It was kind of a weird cry. I was sad to leave the hospital and the great care I was getting and I was going to miss my nurses. I was also crying because everything was DONE, Phil and I were finally driving home with our baby and it was a crazy feeling. We were on our own to take care of a tiny little girl.
And now my new life starts. My new life as a mom. Its an incredible feeling and I already feel like she is growing so fast.