As I sit down to update our blog on Isabella's arrival...I have her sitting on her little Boppy right next to me on the couch. She is such a precious little angel - pretty much like a live doll baby! So....I will do my best to remember all the details from the labor and delivery process! I'm hoping to take some of these blogs and put them in Isabella's baby book...
It all began on April 2 at 5:00 when I arrived to Baptist Hospital. My parents arrived earlier that afternoon and they followed Jer and I to the hospital. We signed in to labor and delivery and headed to our room! I requested the big room with the labor bathtub...just wanted to make sure I had all my options open for the laboring process! I put on my cute little hospital gown that Christi made me...got my polka dot pillows all set up in my bed...and tried to make my room as "homey" and relaxed as possible. My nurse explained to me the details of what the next several hours would entail....we signed a TON of paperwork...and then my induction began. She checked me and I was 1 1/2 cm dilated. So, they proceeded to give me one dose of Cytotec to try and thin my cervix and help with dilation. I had to lay in the bed for an hour just to make sure it was dissolved in my body. I shared with my nurse my birthing plan and explained to her how I desired to go as natural as possible. Of course - I wanted a safe and healthy delivery...healthy baby and healthy mommy were top on my list. So, if medication intervention was necessary at any point - I would definitely be willing to take what was needed to insure a safe and healthy delivery. The nurse said they would monitor my blood pressure every 45 minutes and as long as it was in the "normal/high" range - I could be up and active as much as I wanted! So - I began praying that my blood pressure would stay under 150/100...and the Lord answered that prayer! My blood pressure stayed the lowest it had been for the past few months! Praise Jesus!
Around 7:30 - The nurse shift changed and my new nurse arrived. I loved her from the beginning! She shared with me that she typically gets all the high risk patients as well as those who desire to go "natural". I hadn't requested her...this was yet another answer to prayer! Jer and I began walking the halls to try and get things moving along! We strolled to the nursery, visited family in the waiting room...I ate popsicles and drank juice! Our family began showing up through out the evening which helped time to pass by very quickly! I really did not have any cramping or contractions at all...so my nurse began to prepare me for Pitocin which she would probably start at midnight.
Here's a pic with my sisters and my mom........probably around 11 o'clock...
At midnight, my nurse checked me again and I was 3cm dilated 70 percent effaced. So, all the walking had helped things progress - but I still wasn't having any contractions or cramping. So, we discussed the Pitocin. I had read a lot about Pitocin and talked with friends who had also been induced. I knew that this medication had the probability of bringing on hard and fast contractions. So, I asked my nurse if she could just give me the lowest dose possible for a few hours to see how my body responded. At this point...I had pretty much decided in my head that I was determined to go all natural unless medical intervention was necessary for the safety of the baby or me. I was ready for major pain...deep breathing...focussing on relaxing...and remembering all the strategies I had learned from my classes and reading. So, the Pitocin drip began. All our family went home to get some sleep - and we decided we would touch base early in the morning. They all made bets on when Isabella would arrive - and they pretty much were all 10 am and later! =)
Soon after the Pitocin started, I began having mild cramping. So, I told Jer that I was going to sit in the birthing tub to try and relax my body. I went in the tub for about an hour or so - until my cramping began to get more intense. I enjoyed the tub - but it was so big and I was hooked up to the Pitocin drip by IV - which made it very difficult to relax because I couldn't get my arm wet. So, I headed back to the bed around 1:30.
At 2:00, my nurse came in to check me and I became very nauseated. The contractions had begun...and my body was beginning to respond to the pain. I don't want to include too much info...=)...but I did begin to throw up. Sweet Jer held the trash can for me....such a wonderful hubby! He got lots of practice during pregnancy b/c I was nauseated LOTS! Well, after I pretty much threw up everything in my stomach - the nurse checked me and I had dilated to about 4-5cm! That was the one good thing about being nauseated...all the pregnancy nausea had finally paid off during labor! =) So, around 2:30 - we began experiencing "labor." Let me just say that I did not have the gradual building up of intensity and pain. I pretty much went from very light cramping to major contractions that were 1 1/2 min. long and about 2-3 minutes apart! They were all sporadic so some were longer and closer together than that too! I had my running watch on and I was determined to do everything I could to continue laboring naturally. When I felt a contraction I would focus on my watch....and once the intense 45 sec. was over - I knew I needed to force my entire body to relax until the next contraction. I pretty much laid on my right side through out the entire night of laboring.....except for frequent trips to the bathroom....cause I was eating lots of ice chips! Jer sat right beside me the entire night....he was truly the best coach I could have ever prayed for! He read scripture to me during contractions, prayed out loud for me.....and some how managed to find some "yoga/nature" music for me to listen to the entire night! I had made a playlist of all my favorite songs that I thought I would want to listen to during labor - but that music ended up being way to intense. =) Yep...Jer was the best! We have some funny memories - definitely weren't funny at 3am - but we laugh about them now! One story...Jer would sit at the end of my bed and in between contractions he would rub my feet to help me relax. Then, during the contraction - I needed to have all hands off and NO movement on the bed. Well, poor Jer - he was just doing everything he could to try and help me.....and at one point he moved and sat on my feet during a contraction.....NOT a good move! Haha =) I remember looking up and he had completely froze....was staring at the wall and was praying for me! He was so cute......and I'm sure I was a bit demanding during those heavy contractions....to say the least! =)
Well, about 4am - the nurse came to check me again. Sure enough - I started feeling nauseated once again and thew up! I know it's soooo disgusting - but every time I got sick - I just knew that I must have dilated more! The nurse checked me and I was now a little over 6cm dilated!
At this point, the pain was very intense and I was trying to decide if I wanted pain medicine just to take the edge off (Nubain). But, I really thought that I could just make it a little longer....I kept telling myself - just one more hour. Honestly, it was similar to an intense track work out! The contractions were horrible - just like a sprint interval - but I knew once I made it though the contraction - I would have a couple minutes to rest before doing it again. I asked my nurse if it would be possible to take me off of the Pitocin. I just knew that it was making labor much more intense than if I had gone into labor on my own. She agreed to stop the Pitocin for a little while and see if my body would continue on with labor without the Pitocin. If labor slowed down - she would have to put me back on the Pitocin. I prayed so hard that my body would just take over on it's own. We kept praying together, quoting scripture......and persevering! My mom called Jer around 4:30 and Jer shared with her that I was 6cm......no meds yet and that the nurse thought it could be just a couple more hours! So, all the family quickly woke up, got dressed and hurried to the hospital.
The contractions did continue on their own without the Pitocin! I just had a feeling that it would.....
Around 5:30 - I got sick again...the nurse checked me and I was almost 9cm dilated. Can't really describe the pain in words - but it was super intense.......and getting worse. At this point, I remember quickly talking w/Jer and the nurse about medication options....just in case the pain got unbearable. She said it was too late to take Nubain (cause it would get to the baby). I asked her..."So, it's too late for an epidural too..right?"......"just tell me it is cause I don't want it to be an option!"....with a little smile on her face - she said, "yep, it's too late" Deep down I wanted her to say that - so I would know mentally that I just needed to keep pressing on! =)
The nurse called my doctor at 5:45 and told her to head to the hospital. At 6:15 - my doctor broke my water (I was 9cm). I continued to labor...labor...labor. Around 7:00 - the charge nurse and my new nurse came in......but the sweet nurse I had all night wanted to stay for the delivery even though her shift was over. So I had 3 nurses in there! =) They were all amazing! They checked me and told me I was just about 10 cm and ready to push. Let, me just tell you that this was the most amazing moment! I remember seeing the nursery nurses bringing in all the little things for Isabella. There was another nurse setting up tools for the doctor to use during delivery......and I was ready to push! Pretty much - this was like the sprint at the end of a marathon......I had come this far - I could make it to the end! They didn't have to tell me twice - I was determined and ready to push this little girl out! I'm not sure exactly how long I pushed but probably about 30 - 45 min. I remember the charge nurse telling me......"girl, you're doing awesome - you give me one more good push and we are going to get Dr. Doyle!" So, let me tell you.....I gave them a GOOD push! In came Dr. Doyle - I pushed about 2 or 3 contractions and Isabella started to come right out! It's all a blurr......but I remember Jer saying, "Babe, I can see her head......you're doing awesome"........next thing I knew I heard my baby girl crying! And I just burst into tears.....tears of joy, tears of exhaustion and fatigue, tears of thankfulness to my God who had been so faithful to me! That moment in my life will never be forgotten. The Lord had blessed me with a beautiful little angel.........they laid her right on my chest and she was just looking at me crying.....and I was looking at her crying. I cry now just thinking about it! =)
The nurse who had labored with me all night went to the waiting room and said to my family, "8:09." - She had big tears in her eyes.....my family didn't know what she meant - was Isabella 8lb. 9 oz??? Then, they realized - Isabella had arrived at 8:09am!!! The nurse told them, "Whitney just looked at me with those sweet big brown eyes and I just couldn't leave even though my shift was over......"
Here's the first kiss I gave my baby girl...
We didn't know it at the time - but our family had gathered outside the delivery room and heard her crying.....they were all in tears too!
They let her lie on my chest for several minutes...then they took her across the room to weigh her and check her out......she passed all the little "baby tests"...praise Jesus! (She weighed 6lb. 14.5 oz, 20.25 inches long and her head was 13 3/4 inches.) Then, they brought her back to me......I was starving...she was starving - so we ate our breakfast together. Jer fed me as I fed her! =)
I was super dehydrated and very weak after the delivery - so they gave me lots of IV fluids to help me regain my strength. We spent a couple hours together as a family as I recovered. Then, we gathered our things and moved to a new room. I remember calling my mom...."mamma...I did it and she's beautiful!" My family quickly headed to our new room to meet Isabella!
Here's my daddy (Pappa) meeting her for the first time! That room was filled with tears of joy!
Mimi meeting Isabella...(notice her shirt says, "World's best Mimi")
After everyone held Isabella, we all gathered around in a circle and had a time of prayer. This was the sweetest celebration......just to hear the prayers of thanksgiving that each of my family members prayed.....our God is truly so faithful and His timing is so perfect. Just a reminder that life is not always easy.....but He gives us the strength we need to persevere and endure.
The nurse came in to take Isabella to clean her up and check her more thoroughly. I pretty much fell fast asleep....total exhaustion - physically, mentally, emotionally....in every way!
Here's her little footprint....she sure has her daddy's feet!
We had two little bunnies in her crib with her......she was born on Good Friday...and we would take her home on Easter! God's timing is truly perfect....such a special weekend we will never forget.