Saturday, June 18, 2011

Well It Was Bound to Happen

and it Finally Did...

My mom came as scheduled on Friday night.  Dean and the big boys took the subway to the airport in Seoul to pick her up.  She came when I was 40 weeks this time so we didn't have another near miss like with Tristan (she came at 39 weeks and flew out two days after he was born at nearly 41 weeks).  Dean was stressed out as usual wondering when Cambria would show.  A fabulous doula here suggested I start taking evening primrose oil orally and vaginally to potentially speed things along, as my cervix was "high and closed" on Friday at the 40 week appointment.  I started with two orally and two elsewhere.  I put three in on Monday night at bedtime, and woke to painful contractions at about 2:00am, with the contractions coming from right there..  It took me a while to realize that they were the real deal, as I would drift off to sleep, then be woken again.  I had been having braxton hicks contractions for months, but they were nothing like these.  I filled the bathtub with water to try to relieve the pain, but it didn't much help.
Cambria Rose Lavallee was quite purple for a while.
That's when I realized it was time to wake my darling husband, whom I had woken the night before at about the same time, for a different reason.  He had been talking in his sleep the previous night, and I was afraid he was having a nightmare.  He wasn't, but was never able to go back to sleep so he was really exhausted Monday night and had taken some Benadryl to help him sleep through the night - ha ha, right on cue for having a baby.  I told him what was up and he jumped right out of bed.  We finished packing and got to the hospital quickly, with me vomiting some.  We went through the emergency entrance and I sat right down in a wheel chair.  I think the tires must have been flat - or maybe just my huge-ness weighed it down; it didn't move very well.  The triage guy walked us all the way up to the WICU.  He motioned a big belly to the staff in the ER - sometimes makeshift sign language is the easiest with the language barrier around here in Korea.
I was so sleepy I dozed off a lot between contractions, even though they were only 1-2 minutes apart.  I was too exhausted to hold her much at first, though she did try nursing right away.
Of course the contractions were monstrously painful by then, and the nurse in the WICU "checked" me right away.  I was still "high and closed," she reported - as my water broke on her hand.  She said that they would probably admit me since that happened.  There was certainly no question in our minds about whether or not it was time, even if she was skeptical  Within an hour I was dilated to a 10!  I begged and begged for an epidural as soon as we had gotten to the WICU, but they had to call the anesthesia person in, and she took her sweet time.  I was very grateful for epidurals with the first three.
June 14, 2011, 5:41am; Cambria weighed 9lb 5oz
The OB was super nice, and asked if I wanted to push then.  She also had to be called in, but got there quickly.  I said "no way", not until I could get some kind of pain relief.  There wasn't really time for an epidural, so when the anesthetist finally got there she did a spinal.  It helped a little bit - not much.  I had never made so much noise, for sure, as it hurt like the devil as always.  Once the spinal had been in long enough to take effect (about 10 minutes), Dean started prodding me to push, because it would wear off in 90 minutes.  I didn't want to - pushing is the worst part, and I've always been a lousy pusher.  But it hurt so bad that pushing like crazy was what my body wanted to do.
She is a happy baby
I had always had an epidural, which does take away the pain and some of the urge to push, so this was a new experience, and I was afraid of the pain of actually feeling Baby come out.  I only pushed a couple of times and out she came.  I screamed my head off because it hurt so bad - burning like I was on fire.  I learned later that that was the ring of fire that I had missed out on before.  I was awfully disappointed to have torn for the first time on baby #4.  My doula friend said later that if Baby doesn't crown first, then tearing happens, which is exactly what happened.  Dean said #3's head would come out a bit, then go back in, over and over.  He said the OB pulled on this one's head and neck once they were out, and I know I pushed some more to get her going because I wanted her out and the pain to stop.  Then it was all over.  It's always amazing to me how the body knows to stop hurting. Tragically, the batteries in our camera were dead, so Hubby took these pictures with his iPhone, and I wasn't able to get one of him shedding tears of joy after the birth, as he has with each of the children.  It always melts my heart.

The only other request we made was that the placenta be left alone until it stopped pulsing.  I have only recently learned about that (from Mamabirth).  So it was only a few minutes, then they had Dean cut the cord as usual.  I had never seen the placenta, so Dr. Cundiff showed it and the sac to me.  Interesting!  Dean said the placenta was by far the smallest he has ever seen - because the blood was allowed to drain into Cambria.  She weighed 9lb 5oz, and I'm sure a little of that is due to that extra blood.

Her little face had a bit of bruising, and her right eye has a bit of blood on the sclera (white of the eye), from "birth trauma", which will probably take a few weeks to clear up.  She is a delightful baby so far and we are ever so blessed and happy to welcome her to the family.  Her breathing was a little too fast for their taste, so they ended up keeping her an extra day and a half to see if she had early pneumonia or something along those lines.  There was no such thing, so they attributed it her just still adjusting to life...

It was actually peaceful to stay there a bit longer rather than face the loud crowd at home.  When the boys came to visit right after dinner one evening, Hunter got right in the nurse's face and told her he was hungry.  Kyler kept trying to get the TV to work - it didn't.  They both complained about being bored and galloped around the room like bulls in a china closet.  Tristan was bewildered without me being at home in the mornings, and spent the whole time trying to climb into my lap when I was holding Cambria, or running out of the room, or getting into everything in the room...  They quickly wore out their welcome.

She didn't think much of her first bath.

We are all home now.  The doctor had me bring her back in this afternoon to check her breathing again.  She has done great latching on, but as usual my milk supply is slow, so we've had to give her formula so she isn't so sad and hungry.  My milk seems to be slowly making an appearance.  One thing that kind of weirded me out is that they have young male soldiers as the nursing assistants, in the delivery room or immediately after - attending to the baby's and new mother's every need.  Oh, dear.  This guy above is super duper nice and loves the babies and is very complimentary and congratulatory, but it still weirds me out to have to ask them for personal items or when they check the fundus or ask very personal questions as part of their job.  Ah, well, whaddya do?


Skousen Seven said...

Congratulations!! She is a beautiful baby, can't wait to see pictures with her brothers:)
I had all 5 of mine without any pain killers! When Summer had her baby, she asked me how in the heck I did that!!!

***** said...

You are amazing. She is gorgeous!! I'm SOOO happy it is really a girl that you had. I think you are going to LOOOVE having a girl.
Nice job on the delivery w/o an epideral. The fire feeling is normal. Welcome to the club. So proud of you!
Wish I was near you to steal Cambria from you during church. She is so blessed to have you for a mom and have such a wonderful dad and fun fun brothers. What a life she will have. It's so exciting. Love you much. xoxo

Dawna Greer said...

What a cutie! She looks like she'll fit right into you're family and half grown to be able to hold her own with her brothers!

OUR HOUSE said...

So happy for you Becky:) I can't wait to hold her!

Laura McBride said...

I think you may need to change the name of your blog now! Congratulations Becky!! Can't wait to meet her

KaNdRa and JaReD said...

I am so glad it is over for you!! Hopefully she stays good and hopefully you can get some sleep. She is a cutie and I can't wait to see who she looks like:)

The Merrills said...

You're so strong

Kristal said...

Oh my goodness she is a cutie! I can't believe how fast she came. That primrose must have done it's thing. So sad to not have an epidural though. I'd be scared too. So sad that your camera batteries were dead. Glad your mom made it on time and is there to help. Congrats and I hope you get feeling better soon!

Adriane said...

Congratulations!!!! Wow, no epidural - I think I'd die right there. Great job!