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Baby Care

The birth of
Amanda Michelle Logan

The preceding days didn't give me a definite sign as to whether I was in early labor or not.  I knew I had lost my mucous plug 2 days before and I felt a little crampy but nothing to really say that I was in labor or would be in labor.
At 8:30 am on Friday (6/25/99) Andy and I were sitting on the couch watching Nick when I heard and felt 'the pop'.  I knew immediately.  I got up, went to the bathroom when the fluid began running down my legs.  After a towel of fluid I thought 'oh wow this is it'.
I called my mom first, then I called my OB.  We had not really discussed what to do if and when my water broke.  He told me to go to the hospital.  I was still calm mainly because I knew the fluid was clear, no cord and no contractions.  I then called Dale.  Dale was in instant panic....Rushed home... Only for me to tell him that I wanted him to do a few things around the house and oh yeah get me some Mickey D's for breakfast.
So after all that we dropped off Andy at my moms and we were on our way....This is the point where I should have brought a gun or horse
tranqs with me.......

1-2 dialated-approx. Noon
We went through ER, up to the LDRP floor and went into triage where the sac break was confirmed. Before I got to my room they put in an IV.  I was having some light contractions, I was put into my room and hooked up for a bit then they let me walk around.  There wasn't too big of an area to walk around in so that got boring real soon, especially pulling an IV poll.

Still 1-2 dialated-approx. 5:00 or so pm....
Still 1-2 dialted, I knew the pit was coming....and it did.....My mom showed up around this time.

2-3 dialated-approx 7:00 pm
2-3 dialted and the contrax are beginning to hit a bit harder....We are hooked up to the internal monitoring, not a big deal.  It's better than trying to keep the external monitors on.  They still take me off here and there to go to the bathroom or walk around....
Needless to say I asked for the epidural at 11:00 or so.  The fear of getting the epidural hit.  I had such a painful memory of the last one that I began to cry before it was even put in.  That
epidural for me is some of the worst pain I have ever felt, (the worst was yet to come).  I cried and cried...they put in a 'inter-thecal' first then the cath for the epidural...The inter-thecal was wonderful I slept for 2 hours.  It made me feel very itchy all over my abdomen but I could live with that.  I fell asleep for a bit.  Then it wore off......

Still 2-3 dialated-approx. 12:30am
It's now 12:30 ish.....The contrax are on the very, very uncomfortable side....The worst news is that I am still 2-3 in dialation.  The OB says
he'll check again at 2am, if no change then it's a c-section....He mentions that the cord could be too short or that my pelvis could be too small.
I get up, rock, and sit on the toliet for a bit.....I beg for the epidural lady to come back to start the epidural for real, she does, nothing happens...Nothing....The epidural never worked, not even to take the edge off, zip zilch.  When you are so looking forward to this it becomes devastating.  We can still see the baby's bottom just above my belly button, we know she's not moving down or entering the birth canal.

6-7 dialated-approx 2am
I am now 6-7 dialated.  I am happy to a point but I am also starting to wonder if I can do it without an epdural and I should mention at this point the PITOCIN is almost at it's max.....
From roughly 2 am to 4am I SCREAM in agony and sheer terror.  I cannot get on top of the contrax....No matter what I do or how hard I try, I can't breathe but of course I get yelled at to breathe :-) (by DH).  My mom is there as well, she had been there all along she is bewildered as
to what to do to try and help me.
It is around this time that I notice weird things...
Like my husband's deodorant failing ;->  and I ask him to go put some of mine on.  The point being my sense of smell becomes very acute to everything in the room, including myself and I ask DH to reapply my own deodorant!
I am vaguely aware of what is going on around me.  Conversations seemed to echo and the nurse seemed to be staying longer and longer in the room with us.  (BTW the room was nice).
Nothing could help me, I just wanted it over with.  I never thought I would but I went through the entire rundown of 'Please let it stop' 'I want the
c-section' 'I can't do this anymore'.....
Full pit and no drugs or pain relief was not how I prepared myself.
My BP was fine and Amanda's Fetal Heart Tones were perfect the whole time.....
I began to fall instantly asleep as soon as the contrax ended and wake as soon as they started.

3:30am
About 3:30 the contractions  were on top of each other, no stopping no breaks.  The monitor was going into the 150's and higher for each contrax.  I began to beat the rails with my right hand and I was very much out of control at that point, I begged for the pit to be turned down, I couldn't
breathe......And hour of non-stop contrax and I felt like I would just pass out. I felt so sick to my stomach...I knew I was in transition.

10! - 4:30am
For the past half hour or so I kept hearing that the Doc was coming in to check me.  The doc came in just after 4:30.  The best news....the very best...I was 10 centimeters and ready to go!  At that point I didn't care.....They said I could start to push when my Doc came in.....But with each of the next contrax's I felt my own body beginning to push.  I could feel Amanda on her way down...For the first time we didn't see her butt where it had been all night, up high in my uterus.

Pushing - approx. 5:00am
Just before 5am the doc came in.  The nurse had begun getting the room ready as soon as the '10' was pronounced.  They broke the bed down, pulld out the stirrups.  A light came down from the ceiling and a table appeared with all the equipment the Doc needed.  Sometime during all this the lights in the room were dimmed completely.  I can't recall when that happened.
For the next hour I pushed and pushed and  pushed..... The first push, in the set of 2, was the most uncontrollable.  The pain was still there from the contrax but it did provide some relief to be able to push.  In fact once the contrax started I couldn't wait to push it really did feel good to push.
My mom helped me get my chin to my chest, Dale held one leg, the nurse (who were all wonderful) held the other.
Of course many chants of "push harder" and "harder harder harder harder" were the main source of chatter.   I on the other hand was only every begging for ice chips.  My mouth was so incredibly dry.
I really started to doubt a bit when after several pushes I couldn't seem to get her to get under the pelvic bone all the way...Then pain aside of course and skipping the 3 sets of pushes and more like on my 8 or 9th one I felt the magic before I heard it..."her heads out"...a small push and out came the shoulders....Right before her head came out
I saw the doc give me a shot of Lidocaine I suspected then I was going to tear and I did.  The relief I felt in my body once she came out was
amazing...
I heard the announcement of 'it's a girl' and then began to beg for it all to be over, to please get the placenta out and make the pain go
away....The cord was amazingly long, or at least to my husband it was, at least 4 feet he thinks.  Once the placenta was out I realized I had given birth...I had no energy left to deal with the little pokes I did feel when I was being sewn up for the 2nd degree tear....
Amanda, covered in very thick vernix gave a few cries, was very alert and just looked around....After she was cleaned and checked and I was all done I got to hold here....

Epilogue
Of course the rest is not to hard to figure out....
I apologize for so much focus on the pain...It is still very real in my thoughts.  The resident on call that night came to me after the birth
and said quite frankly he was shocked I didn't end up with a c-section and even more impressed that no vacuum or forceps were used.
He said he really didn't think I would continue to have enough cervical change.  Perhaps thats why the pit was only turned down a bit at the end, to ensure cervical change would happen.  He was a very nice and good resident so this conversation was more in a tone of concern.
He then said (once the screaming on my part had started) he was very concerned that 'they' had made to wronge decision to keep letting me try
with the VBAC once the epidural didn't work.  But of course he was very glad that it did...
Why didn't the epidural work?  I have no idea.  This hospital told me and reassured me my expierence would be different than my last (it hurt like heck as well, it didn't last, I felt the initial beginnings of my c-section) but it wasn't, it was worse.  They said I am a rare few that
the epidurals won't work on.  The inter-thecal was marvelous even if I did itch all over, I still don't know why I couldn't have another one of
those....
So for all practical purposes I had a natural VBAC....how amazing....
My mom said she was concerned at the way things were progressing.  Not only the pain but my BP kept getting lower and lower, in fact it was
110/45 for a while....We saw that on my grandpa when he was dying, normal for some, not for me...
I know the memory of the pain fades.....it is doing so now but that expierence is still a very positive one because I made it full term, no pre-e, no preemie and I took my beautiful daughter home today with no O2, monitors or any problems (aside from latching on)....
One thing I was surprised about was how completely sore my body is.  I was a bit concerned and asked the nurse...She said it was from all the pushing I did while bracing my body on the bed....Muscle wise I am really sore...Bottome wise I am sore but a lot less sore than with a section.

Again once the pain fades (btw my back is horrifically sore where the cath for the epidural went in) I have the end result.  My baby girl,
healthy and a product of a VBAC!  She has a slight bruise where her forhead slid along the pelvic bone but so far she is amazing.
Oh yeah...We both came home today (6/27/99) with Miss Amanda not even 48 hrs old
 

Update July 1, 1999
Miss Amanda and I are doing well.  It felt wonderful to go home shower and rest in my own bed.
The 'peri care' is going well.  I felt the stiches and they don't feel as 'weird' as I thought they would.  I have epifoam and some witch hazel pads to help me out and of course the peri bottle.
I can sit in a chair with some discomfort and get around with the same amount of discomfort.
My body was stilled swelled up until today.  My left foot was swelled to the point it hurt to walk on it.  As of today the swelling is almost completely gone.  I am still taking an occasional Tylenol.  Not for my bottom but for my back which still hurts and as I can recall from Andrew's birth it'll hurt for many more months to come (epidural realted in my opinion, I did have a bump on the spot of the cath that came off in the shower now it is just a red spot on my back).
Amada is a quiet baby so far.  I am having to pump as she has gotten some serious nipple confusion.  She is jaundice free according to her pediatrician.  She is doing well......

When Amanda was just over a week old I developed a nasty bout with Mastitis.  It hit me with the flu like symptoms - the works.  I ended up calling the Dr. and was put on antibiotics and Ibuprofen.  A red spot developed on the second day and grew through the third day.  It took the full course of the week for the infected area to clear up.
As for the bleeding or lochia, after week 2 I was done with the heavy bleeding and after week 3 I was done with the light bleeding.  Going into week 4 I just have the light yellowish stuff.
I feel just about completely recovered except for the occasional stretch or bend that reminds me that my vaginal area is still a bit tender.