Monday, November 1, 2010

Ava's Birth Story

Ava Pearl. October 12, 2010.

One of the happiest days of my life.

 The birth of a baby is truly a heavenly experience and such a miracle.

First off, my due date was October 5th. I had high hopes at my last appointment with my doctor on October 4th but, I was still not even dilated to a one! She had told me 4 weeks prior that if I was dilated to at least a one, we could induce labor. She then told us that if the baby doesn't come by Monday, October 11th, then head on over to the hospital and we'll have this baby! I'll admit I was frustrated when I heard the baby was most likely not going to come on October 5th or within the next few days to follow. However, with an exact end date in sight, I was somewhat satisfied (but still annoyed that I was going way over my due date).

*  *  *

 October 11th, 7:58 pm:

Vaughn and I arrive at McKay-Dee hospital ready to get this show on the road.
I had no idea that nearly 28 long hours later, Ava would finally make her appearance into the world.

The nurse walked us to our room, 4510 and we settled in. First, the nurse put the IV in the top of my hand and that was very painful for me, even more so than other things.  
They gave me a pill to help soften the cervix. This had to be done before they could start Pitocin (a med that  helps induce labor). 

In the meantime, my awesome family all came up to the hospital to keep us company. It was nice to have some distractions. I could only have ice and suckers to eat and I didn't really like the suckers they had at the hospital so everyone went to the store to get me some jolly ranchers. I was very grateful for those!
Around midnight, Vaughn and I decided we wanted to try and get some sleep. So my family left and then it was just us. Poor Vaughn had to try and get some sleep on those uncomfortable couch bed things and I in those terrible hospital beds. Needless to say there was not much shut eye going on that night. I got 2 hours sleep the whole night, Vaughn maybe 4 or 5.

October 12th, 6:30 am:

While we were still half asleep, my doctor arrives. I had still not yet dilated to a one and she told me she was going to break my water. What?! I couldn't believe it, finally some progress! Five seconds later, she was all done. Vaughn was still trying to wake up, "Wait, did she just break your water?". It all happened so fast. "Yes, she did", I told him.
It's a crazy, weird feeling to have your water broken, especially afterward. I wanted to get up and get ready for the day and as soon as I did that, well let's just say I could not believe how much water there really is in there! Wow!

October 12th, 11:30 am:

I had been experiencing mild contractions for several hours by now, bad cramping that felt like "that time of the month". The bed was so uncomfortable after that many hours so I sat in a chair and walked around during labor instead. I was dilated to a 2 by this point and pretty disappointed that my body was seeming to fight this inducing process. My mom came around 1:00 pm to join us, then Kyr and Zac followed later at about 4:00 pm. I finally caved in and asked for the epidural at about 2:00 pm. Ah, sweet relief! It wasn't nearly as bad or as scary as I thought it might be. Just a bit strange as I felt my lower half go numb. I also couldn't move legs at all, that was definitely crazy! If I wanted to turn in bed, I had to have Vaughn or the nurse move my legs for me. 

Meanwhile, we all watched a movie, some T.V. and chatted while we waited and waited and waited.
Slow, very slow progress. I finally arrived to the dilation of a six and held on that for hours. 
Around 8:30 pm I had slowly progressed to an 8.

October 12th, 10:01 pm:

I had been feeling a slight pressure and urge to push for a while and asked the nurse to come check me.
She did and told me "You're a ten!", let's have this baby girl! I couldn't believe what I just heard, is this really happening? It seemed as though this moment would never come and finally, after so much waiting, preparation and more waiting, it was definitely happening! 

I got nervous and a little scared at this point. Vaughn and I wanted to have a few moments alone before we became parents for the first time.

It was a very special few moments we shared in room 4510.

My amazing nurse, Lisa was the absolute best. She (and my sweet Vaughn) helped me every step of the way and was there directing me on what to do until the doctor arrived. Vaughn was quite the labor coach I must add, very encouraging. 

I was apprehensive about the delivery process and pushing and didn't quite know what to expect. It was actually a neat, peaceful experience and I was a lot more calm and relaxed than I had anticipated. 

I pushed for about 40 minutes and then at 10:42 pm, our miracle, little tiny Ava was born!

They immediately put her on my chest, she was crying as I held her and Vaughn was right there saying how cute she was. I didn't cry like I thought I might. This whole labor & birth process was so foreign to me & I was just trying to concentrate & get through it. I was also in shock as to what had just happened, I couldn't believe she was here, straight from heaven!
I couldn't really get a good look at her since she was so close to me but, I was just so happy to finally hold her in my arms. The delivery was a breeze compared to what happened next.

October 12th, 10:50 pm:
(warning. reader discretion is advised) 
The worst, most painful and traumatic 15 minutes of my life happened immediately following Ava's birth.

Apparently the placenta had prematurely aged and was coming in pieces (it's normally supposed to be fully intact, smooth and in one piece). My doctor was even puzzled by it and her and the nurses couldn't figure out what was going on at first. They seemed as worried as I was and that really scared me. Turns out, I had
a badly calcified placenta. These are rare, in fact, the nurse told my mom that in the 5 years she's practiced at the hospital, she's only seen it twice.
Parts of the placenta were stuck in my uterus and they had to get it out or it could cause infection. I had to have a D and C. The D stands for dilation, which means enlarging and the C stands for curettage which means scraping. It's much more commonly used following miscarriages or abortions in cases where the uterus fails to fully empty its content. They had to push on my stomach (extremely hard and it was scream-out-loud painful) and scrape out the remaining parts of the placenta with a sharp, spoon thing. I was screaming and crying out in pain. It was more than I could handle and the pain was 10 times worse than the kidney stones I had 3 months ago. 
Vaughn was videotaping Ava as she was getting weighed and examined but, he had to turn it off because I was screaming and crying. He didn't want that part remembered for my sake.
 I had an epidural but, by this point it had started to wear off because I felt everything. It was seriously so horrible. They gave me more medication during the procedure to try and lessen the pain but that backfired and caused me to become extremely nauseous and I threw up. Over and over. I found out after that the
protocol during this procedure is that women are put under anesthesia so they are asleep the entire time. I was fully awake and by then the anesthesia was only working for my legs. Anyway, I kept throwing up every 10 minutes after that for about 2 hours.
My body went into shock and I was shaking uncontrollably. I was freezing cold and literally had 20 blankets on me. I felt terrible and so neglectful as her mommy since I was unable to hold Ava until 4 hours after she was born. I literally couldn't though, I was passed out from the pain & sheer exhaustion. Poor Vaughn, was beside himself and worried sick about me. He later told me he had never seen me act like that or be in that much pain.  That's because I hadn't dealt with pain at that off-the-charts-level before. 

I also told Vaughn that I don't even want to think about another baby for at least 3 years. Hopefully by then the traumatic events will have faded :)  

After all was said and done though, it was worth it to have our sweet little Ava in our arms. We are so thankful that our Heavenly Father is trusting us to raise this sweet, amazing baby girl. 
We love her more each day!

We love you Ava, you have brought so much joy and happiness into our lives!

who's lookin...