Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week 40

Week 39 turned out to be THE MOST AMAZING week of our lives! And, here's the end product. Cecelia Ann Zschunke (stats - 7 lb 10 oz, 20 in) shot (dad's description) into the world on Tuesday morning, July 14th, at 10:47 after a very precipitate natural labor and delivery. While anyone who's been keeping up here knows that we were scheduled for induction on Tuesday morning anyway, Cecelia had plans of her own. Fortunately, they were very much in line with the plans I hoped she had! I woke up on Tuesday morning around 5:00 with labor pains, but I convinced myself that they were probably false labor pains. I mean, really - what are the chances? During the last few days before the induction, everyone and their mothers (literally) were telling me of someone they knew that had a scheduled date and baby came prior or on that date on their own instead. The contractions were already 5 minutes apart, so I did all the things that you're supposed to do to check if it's "really real." I got up, I moved around, I drank water, and I ate a hearty (this will be important later) breakfast, and I kept track of the start times of each contraction. I called the scheduler at the hospital at 6:30 as I'd been directed to do. She informed me that there were a lot of women in the night before and they weren't ready for me and to call back at 9:00. She also told me I could eat a "light" breakfast - now keep in mind, I had already eaten, so I didn't deliberately dismiss this information. "OK," I said, "but also...I might be in labor." She told me that if the contractions got more intense I should call my doctor to see how to proceed and if a room opened up in the meantime, they'd call me back before 9. So, I went about some household items - put away laundry, put away dishes, made mental notes - throw the sheets in the washer, run the dishwasher before we leave. Fortunately for us, since everything was scheduled, all the bags were by the door and ready to go. I had even thought about putting them in the car the night before, but regardless - we were ready. Jeff woke up shortly after 6:30 and I informed him that I was having contractions and...since he was up, could we put the sheets in the washer now? The contractions grew closer and closer together and still, I just wasn't sure. When they were 1-2 minutes apart and I was down on the floor in the fetal position to get through them, I was a little more certain. Jeff called the doctor who asked to speak with me. After asking, "Can you stand through contractions?" No. And, "Can you talk through contractions?" Not really. We were instructed to go to triage, a part of the maternity's labor and delivery unit where they check to see if you're really in labor or just faking it. And away we go (Good movie by the way). After joking (Jeff) about stopping in at Cosi for a coffee, we arrived at the hospital. Jeff asked if we should go through valet/emergency or to the parking garage. "Garage," I said, valet would just be a pain because he'd have to come back down to the car to move it later. Once in the garage (our garage ticket indicates this was at 8:28 AM), we only had to take one contraction pit stop where I sat down and hunched over in the parking garage before making a "run" for it to get a wheelchair. We took our wheelchair up to 4 Toll and straight to reception. After copying my license and insurance, I asked the receptionist if there was anything I might throw up in, and on that note, she said, "You go right through that door quickly." We got to triage, and similar to Monopoly we "passed go." The nurses gave me something just in case and told me they'd been expecting me since I was scheduled - in fact they already had a room for me, was being cleaned. Which was fine with me. I was just happy to be in the hospital. I felt very safe, and I knew that if the flood gates opened (i.e. my water broke), they'd have to clean it up. After observing me for a few moments, the nurses decided that perhaps they shouldn't wait for room 7 and instead directed me to room right across from where I was - #5. From here on out, things get a bit blurry for me, but I'll do my best. Nurse B hooked me up to all sorts of monitors, an IV, and a blood pressure cuff. While she was performing these tasks, I followed through on my earlier intuition, and breakfast came back for a quick visit. Fortunately Jeff (PS - the best labor coach EVER) was prepared with the aformentioned container. Dr. P arrived at 9:40 to check me out and as she was doing so, the nurse asked her to wait to rupture my membranes (i.e. break the water) until she put many towels down around me due to the high fluid, to which Dr. P replied, uh - too late (she didn't do it on purpose though) and she pulled the sheet up to catch everything. That woman must be a magician because I don't think a drop hit the floor, though I didn't investigate that further. She reported that I was 5 cm dilated, 100% effaced and baby was in 0 station (which just means she's where she's supposed to be and we're halfway there as far as cm goes). In my mind, this also meant that we could still be here all day. But, approximately 20 minutes later, I felt the urge to bear down and communicated this to the best labor coach EVER who quickly communicated it to anyone else who would listen. Dr. P checked and she indicated that we were now 10 cm and ready to rumble (she didn't use those words exactly...sometimes I improve the visual with such references). Just prior to this I started to question (in my mind only) my natural birth plan (no pitocin, no epidural, no nubain) as the pains were intense, but as it turns out this was transition...which is intense and indicates that in those moments of self doubt I was between 8-10 cm and past the point where I could have changed my mind anyway. After 47 minutes of pushing (during which I was evidently awfully polite to those around me, thanking everyone who encouraged me and apologizing if I didn't breathe right) our daughter came storming into the world as a friend so kindly put it (fitting and all on Bastille Day). There had been meconium (baby poo) in the amniotic fluid so the doctor had already called the NICU doctors prior to her arrival to suction her immediately and check that vitals were good. They were, daddy cut the cord, and she was placed right on me for some family bonding time. Amazing. That's all. Amazing.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Hi Ellen and Jeff and little Cecelia!
Ellen, I love your description of Cecelia's arrival. You are amazing...but next time do valet parking and I am certain you'll skip the meal, regardless of what time of day.
Clearly, all is well and we send our proud congratulations to Jeff and you. You all look great in the photos. Hope you get some ZZZZZZZZ's on a regular basis.
Love, Aunt Fitzie and Uncle Jim