Sunday, November 30, 2008

Finally Fiona

Fiona Opal Ione Strange made her appearance Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 12:23 AM. All 9lbs 7oz of her! We have spent the last few days recovering, resting and basking.

It was not the HBAC we had planned for but it was a VERY successful VBAC!! Things did not all happen as we had planned, but few things in life, and especially in birth, rarely do. Honestly we could not have asked for a better birth experience.

Wednesday morning I took care of some school work and then headed out to do some errands to get ready for Thanksgiving. I had a couple more things to pick up from the grocery and wanted to get all my "outside" stuff done early so I could get some work in and start the preparations for dinner the next day. Plus Jane was home from school and I knew she would like some "Mom Time". Even when it's doing mundane things like grocery shopping they like to be able to get out with just mom. Plus there's usually a little treat tucked in there, too. A hot cocoa from Starbucks or a candy bar the sisters don't know about. We were just picking up the last things through the store when I started to feel faint. I was suddenly VERY hot and slightly short of breath and broke out in a cold sweat all over. I knew that if I wasn't careful I would end up passing out so we hurried to the cashier and checked out. Thankfully noon on a Wednesday is not a high volume sales time so we were out of there in a couple of minutes. I thought maybe my blood sugar was low since it was lunch time and I hadn't eaten in a couple hours. I hadn't been as hungry with breakfast and I hadn't had a snack before we left. I ate a Snickers and gulped down a Sprite hoping that the chocolate and sugar would make me feel better. I called Charlene to get her take on it. My blood pressure had been up a bit on Monday when I was at the doctors, too - so I was a little worried. She suggested that I take my blood pressure and so I popped into Rite Aid. It was running high but not much higher than it had been at the doctor's so she said not to be alarmed. She said that if I felt like I should go in then I should listen to my instincts and call the doctor. So that's what I did. I called and spoke with one of the nurses who said pretty much the same thing. "You should be fine but if you feel like you should come in then do so". I was glad Doug was home from work when I got home. The doctor's office had suggested that I do some kick-counts and that I should come in if I didn't get 10 movements in 2 hours. Or, if I wanted I could come in then and get monitored. (I'm starting to notice a theme here.)


So, we waited a while and I just wasn't feeling the movement that I felt like I should and told Doug that I wanted to go in and get monitored for a while. We took the girls and grabbed the video camera and Nikon - just in case (both of which we later realized had dead batteries!). I called Charlene and let her know that we had decided to go in and that we would let her know what the outcome was.

We checked in at the Birth Center and let them know how the day had gone and they hooked me up to the monitors. Luckily my OB, Dr Fassler, was on call. After a while he came in and said that he didn't like how baby's heart rate was doing. Not enough to be alarmed but it wasn't what he would call "ideal". He said that since I was term and dialated about 5 anyway that he was all for breaking my waters. Might as well get things going. This meant a hospital birth and not the home birth we had been planning but that was ok. We were both ready.
So Doug took the girls to get some dinner and called his dad to let them know what was going on and that it was time to have a baby!
We moved to the birthing room and got started! Dr. Fassler broke my water at about 7:30 and things got started right away. The contractions started getting more intense almost immediately. I had been contracting about every 5 minutes already. We got the wireless monitor and did some walking through the halls. That really got things going.
The contractions were intense and close together. I was able to talk through most of them and visit with everyone who came to be with us -Penny, Phil, Amy, Staci, Shelby and the girls. It was good to have so many people who love us close during this time. The girls did really great. There was a point when Jane was upset by seeing me in obvious pain. We sat and talked about how natural this was. How this is all part of being a girl and that there is nothing more natural in the world. I told her how this is what our bodies are designed to do as girls. That we are born to be able to have babies. I told her that yes, it was uncomfortable and hard but that it was for a good reason! She sat with me through a couple good contractions and I helped her "help" me through them. It was strengthening to know that she was so worried about me. I tried to make it clear to her that even though it did hurt that there was nothing to worry about and that we were working towards a goal and that once we had reached it I would feel so much better.
We just had to work through it together. I think this helped the other girls, too. While they weren't as vocal about it, I could tell they were concerned too. It's difficult to watch someone you love hurting for any reason. Especially when you don't know what is happening. I am so proud of them.
Doug was my rock. He was my strength. I have told him repeatedly that I could not have gone through it like I did without him. I am amazed at him. He had an almost internal monitor to my contractions. The more intense they became the more we were able to tune into each other. He was my physical support so many times and my emotional support through the entire experience. Holding me, supporting me, and reminding me of my own strength. His mom and Amy have both told me that they were amazed by us. How in tune we were with each other - how connected we were. I was disconnected from everything but the moment and him. We took one contraction at a time. He reminded me to breathe, that this is what my body was designed to do. He told me how much he loved me and how beautiful I was. While physically I was the one who gave birth to our baby, we did it together.
It was wonderful to be surrounded by family. People have been surprised to find that we had so many people there with us. Even more so that Phil (Doug's dad) was not only there but was the one taking pictures. It meant a lot to me that he was there and captured such perfect moments for us. Thank you to everyone who was able to be there with us.

Our doctor was wonderful. He helped us to have the birth we were looking for. He was incredibly patient with me. Even though I was instinctively fighting my body he helped make it easier for me. He talked me through what I had to do. He understood our desire for a natural birth and was very supportive. He didn't try to push me to do anything that we weren't comfortable with
and didn't restrict my movements during labor. We were lucky to have him on call that night. For so long we have expected to struggle with having a VBAC - this never was an issue that came up. He never brought up c-section, never discussed an epidural or any other augmentation of my labor.
It was 5 hours from breaking my water to Fiona's birth. It was intense, difficult, painful and a LOT of work. By the end I was exhausted. I could hardly keep my eyes open between pushes and contractions. Once she was born we were elated. Still exhausted but elated. She spent two hours after she was born nursing - strong and alert. We couldn't ask for a better experience.
We're enjoying our daughter and addition to our family.
It has been a long few days. I am still tired. Still recovering. I hope that I was able to do justice to Fiona's birth story. What a happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

Cooey'sMom said...

What a great story - truly a family birth. I think it's wonderful for your daughters to have such an experience. One day, they'll have better births because of watching your courage and strenth. Congratulations to your whole family!