Here it is. Caroline's birth story. It definitely did not go as I expected, but everything turned out just fine and she is here with us safe and sound!
Let me start by explaining how I thought things would go. Isabel and Ian were both 2 days overdue according to my calculations, so I assumed that I would not go early on my own, and I've never had complications at the end of my pregnancy that necessitated an induction, so that was not on my radar. While I hoped I would go into labor a little sooner than 40 weeks, I really did not expect that to happen.
So Monday, April 1 I had a regular OB appointment and my blood pressure was a bit high for me: 130/80, (I had been running about 112/68ish for the pregnancy) so I was told to come back the next day to check it again.
Tuesday April 2nd, I went in (38 weeks & 5 days) and my blood pressure was 136/92. I was told to collect a urine sample for 24 hours and bring it back on Wednesday at which point they would check my blood pressure again. My doctor also told me to go home and put my feet up and relax. Hah! With two little kids...yeah right.
Wednesday April 3rd (39 weeks), my mother-in-law came over and watched Isabel and Ian so I literally got to put my feet up and relax until my appointment that afternoon. Even resting, something felt different that day...I felt kind of jittery like I had been drinking caffeine...alot of caffeine. My blood pressure was 160/98 on my left arm, 158/98 on my right arm and 150/100 on the third check. The doctor sent me next door to the hospital. They observed me at the hospital for several hours and my blood pressure went down! I thought for sure they would send me home, but when the doctor came in she decided that she didn't really care that my BP had come down at the hospital, she did not like how high it was at the office and thought it would be best to induce me that evening! She even added "with your history" which made me feel good that the doctors were all reading my chart and did not want me to lose another baby under any circumstances! I was surprised, but also a bit relieved. For one, I was ready to meet this little baby, and second I was a little anxious about the thought of going home and trying to relax for the next week and not knowing what my BP would do during that time, and the stress of having to get the kids to where they needed to be should I need to get to the hospital ASAP. So, I was really fine with the induction even though it was not how I expected things to go.
They started pitocin at about 8pm. I did not need cervadil as my cervix was already "ripe enough" at 2cm and 60% effaced. Baby was still at -3 station.
1:30am Thursday 4/4 I got an epidural. Epidurals always seem to work really well on me, but I hate them going in! I always get really faint and hot, and this time I thought I was going to throw up everywhere. Luckily I didn't...and it started working immediately, but the queasies continued.
1:50am I am 4cm and the doctor broke my water.
3:00am The nurse wanted to check me and thought it might be time....Already??? I thought she must be crazy. Sure enough she was ;) because I was still 4cm.
Sometime after 3am the baby started dropping off the monitor so the nurse had to keep coming in and make me change positions so they could continue to monitor the heartrate.
4:00am The nurse checked me again and this time I was 4-5cm but the head had dropped way down. I was a little worried at this point that I was just kind of stuck around this 4cm mark, and had all these thoughts about "I wonder when they would start talking c-section"....
Luckily I didn't have to worry....by 4:45am it felt like my epidural had completely worn off on just one side of my pubic bone....I felt immense pressure and pain with each contraction. I knew the nurse was coming back in at 5am to check me again and I wanted to try to hold off calling her, but the whole 15 minutes I was thinking "wow...this is so painful and I am only feeling pain in one tiny little section down there--I can't imagine how women go through natural labor---that is so amazing!"
5:00am The nurse checks me and says the head is right there and we are ready to push! She calls the doctor who comes in a few minutes later and they set everything up. Then it's time to push and I push through one contraction and she just pops out.
I'm a good pusher. ;) Hahaha!
Caroline was born at 5:12am. The doctors and nurses all screamed, "It's a girl!!!!!!!" And Rob and I were just in complete shock! Utter complete shock. The doctor said the look on my face was priceless. I just absolutely thought she was going to be a he! But there she was...definitely a little girl when I looked down there!
I had no tears, no stitches. The doctor was just amazed that it only took one contraction of pushing and they all said, "You make labor look so easy!" I was definitely thankful for that! I know that women can push for hours!!
So then she was just there, our new little baby girl and soon after she was nursing and I was cuddling her, and we both cried I think, that it was a little girl. There was so much emotion, not just in having a new baby which is always such a miracle each time, but in the surprise- that was so powerful! Much more so than I had initially expected! I would definitely do another pregnancy as a surprise!
But also that this is the first little girl to come to our family since we lost our last little girl. Of course Caroline does not and could not replace Mary Grace, but there is kind of a fulfillment in that those dreams we had of adding another little girl to our family are now realized. There is still alot to process with that, so I'm not really sure how to articulate it all right now, but we are just so thankful.
Thankful to have gotten pregnant again.
Thankful for a problem-free pregnancy.
Thankful for a healthy baby.
Thankful for another little girl.
Thankful to be a family of five!
All thanks to God!