Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Brielle's Birth Story

I can't believe that it's already been more than two months since our little Brielle arrived. I wasn't able to post about her pregnancy much, due to insane amounts of homework, stress, internship responsibilities, and work. Fortunately, her pregnancy was pretty easy on me. Until the end, that is. Those were some of the longest weeks of my life! Anyway, I'm finally getting around to typing up her birth story for the books, so here it goes!

Brielle's due date was March 16th, but my midwives told me to plan on going into labor at least a week or two earlier. (This was largely due to the fact that Zia was born almost a week early.) Brielle was due just two weeks after midterms in my last semester of college, so I was torn between hoping she would come early and hoping she came late enough that I could take all my tests before she decided to make an appearance. Fortunately, midterms came and went without any action. I was having a few early labor contractions off and on, but they didn't lead to anything. Once midterms were done, I was so ready for her to come! I ended up having pretty painful prodromal labor for about two weeks leading up to her delivery. My contractions would get really close together, consistent, and painful, but they wouldn't lead to active labor because of Brielle's positioning. I wasn't sleeping much because of all the contractions, and every day and night seemed to drag on forever. I felt completely different when I was nearing the end of Zia's pregnancy--I wanted her to stay in as long as was safely possible! For whatever reason, Brielle needed a little extra time to cook.

The morning of Brielle's due date finally rolled around, and I was starting to think I was going to be pregnant forever. I decided to get a little dolled up (read: actually straighten my hair and do my makeup) and do some fun stuff with Zia before going to my afternoon classes. Here's my very last belly shot for the pregnancy! I had no idea that I'd be holding Brielle in less than 24 hours!

I was craving pancakes but didn't want to cook, so Zia and I took a little adventure to our local IHOP. Zia picked some chocolate chips out of her pancake but mostly wanted to play with the syrups. Silly, messy girl!

I went to my class a few hours later then hung around our apartment for the rest of the evening. We watched some TV and tried not to feel to antsy. Around midnight, my contractions started up again and started to seem real (again). I tried not to get excited, since this had been happening for weeks now. After trying for about an hour to sleep, I gave up and went back to the front room, trying not to wake Austin. I let him sleep during my labor with Zia, knowing I'd need him well rested, and I decided to do the same this time. I'd already called my parents a few times when contractions were less than 5 minutes apart only to have them fizzle out to nothing, so I waited to call them until they were quite painful. I think that was around 2:00 am, maybe 2:30. I called the on-call midwife not long after that, explaining that the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and quite painful. Since I was so calm, she was hesitant to have me come in. I expressed my concern that I needed to go in, since I progressed pretty quickly with Zia once my contractions were that close together (though I ended up pushing FOREVER...that is a different story...). She said it couldn't hurt to go in and get checked at the hospital, so I finally woke Austin up and told him to get ready. He was completely delirious, which would have been hilarious if I weren't in active labor. I finally got him up, and he took a quick shower to help him wake up. He called his sister and asked her to come over as soon as she could so that we could get to the hospital without having to wake Zia. Shantel was there within 20 or 30 minutes, and we quickly loaded the car, took out Zia's carseat, and took off. (Shantel thought something was wrong with me, because I was being kind of short with her, sitting down randomly in the middle of conversations, etc. She didn't realize that was my way of coping with contractions--going silent, sitting/squatting, etc. Turns out not everyone screams during contractions like in the movies! We both laughed after I explained to her days later what had been happening during that little chunk of time.)

While we were driving, I told Austin that if I wasn't already to a 7 or 8, I probably would need the epidural this time. Turns out that's what I say when I'm in transition. (I guess it's common to feel like you can't do it anymore as you near the end.) As with Zia's labor, Austin drove ridiculously fast to the hospital. Both times, I told him not to speed. Both times, it was a good thing he did! We walked in, leaving our stuff in the car, and headed up to labor and delivery. We filled out some paperwork and got checked into a triage room just after 4:00 am. The contractions were getting extremely painful, and the nurse quickly got me hooked up to the monitors and checked me. I was already to an 8 and soon started feeling like I needed to push.

The nurses called the midwife, who didn't realize how serious I was about going in to the hospital during our call. She flew to the hospital, breaking a few laws, as she later told me. Our L&D nurse reassured me that she had delivered many babies without the help of a midwife or doctor, and got ready to catch Brielle in case the midwife didn't arrive in time. Thankfully, the midwife, Jenn, walked in just in time. I went from 8 to 10 in no time flat, and Jenn finally said I could push. (I had been for a while anyway. I couldn't help it!) I stayed on my side, which was most comfortable through those crazy contractions, and in just 3 short pushes (according to Austin, I don't really remember), Brielle Isabelle joined our little family. It was incredible! She was born at 4:28, so we were checked into the hospital for less than 30 minutes before she was born!

My parents arrived a few minutes later, so they were able to see Brielle when she was still brand new. I think they have pictures of that time, but I was too preoccupied with meeting my daughter to think about taking pictures! I was also shaking like crazy from the roller coaster of after-birth hormones. That didn't happen after Zia's delivery, so I wasn't expecting it this time. Since I had some problems with hemorrhaging after Zia's birth, they decided to give me some pitocin in order to prevent problems this time. We didn't have any complications, so I'm grateful! Isn't modern medicine wonderful?

Anyway, that's her story! Short and sweet. Her labor was under 5 hours. I tell everyone that she just waited around an extra day because she needed to be my good luck charm--my little St. Patrick's Day girl. The nurses even put a little green bow in her hair with the pink one. So cute!

Here are a few pictures from our hospital stay and first day or two at home. Most of the pictures ended up on Austin's phone or my parents' phones, so I may have to add more later as I can collect them. Anyway, here's our sweet girl! I'll post more pictures with an update soon. She's getting so big!


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