Monday, November 9, 2015

Levi's Induction Birth Story




Levi Alexander Iliyn
37 Weeks
10/18/15 7:56PM
6.4 lbs 19 1/4 in.


   Might as well dust the cobwebs off this blog-slice of the internet and for my own memories sake AND because I love reading things like this, all nosy like and such, here it is: "The Most Awesome Induction of Baby Levi 2015!" I cannot stop smiling about this day, thanks to postpartum hormones and that new baby smell, and because it truly was awesome. Plus, macaroni and cheese was involved. First, you'll need a little back-story. About the pregnancy, not the mac & cheese.

   Early testing through my regular midwife's office revealed that this time around, things would be quite different. My body, my DNA, had literally changed since my first pregnancy-labor-delivery, and now, posed a serious threat to our baby. (You can read more about "Antibody E" {here} It's weird and random and science and I still don't quite understand the logistics) Scary words like, "interventions" and " transfusions" were being tossed around. Juggling appointments between my midwife and perinatologist resulted in many hours spent waiting in doctor offices (with a three year old and an iPad) and anxiously praying over the flashes and beeps of numerous in-depth ultrasounds. Every time we heard the technician say that baby boy had scored an "8 out of 8," we exhaled.

   Our goal changed from 30 weeks to 35 to 37. There comes a point when baby is better on the outside than the inside. Daniel had just finished his last day of work before taking paternity leave, when my phone rang during a last minute Friday afternoon trip to JJ Jump with Josiah. Over the noise of bouncing children, my midwife excitedly informed me that my induction had been scheduled for Sunday at 7:30AM, set in stone, good to go.
I spent most of that Saturday in total nesting mode. Cleaning the entire house, packing our bags, and thinking cervical-ripening thoughts. My labor and delivery with Josiah {read about it here}, mostly at home until I ventured to the birthing center at 9cm had been such an incredible experience and this new induction big hospital business had been looming over my head for quite some time...I was trying not to worry and hold on to the fact that earlier in the week my stats were 2 cm/50% effaced. No matter what happened though, I wanted a baby out and about. No matter how. Such a "mom" thing to say, right?

   Early Sunday morning, Daniel and I whispered goodbye to Josiah and left my parents' house in the darkness and coldness of an Oregon October. We quickly checked in on the maternity floor and were ushered to our room by my 1st l&d nurse of the day. By 9AM, I had been poked and prodded, ordered a bagel from the hospital menu, and cracked open "The Girl on the Train." My midwife arrived soon after to place the 1st round of Cervidil and talk about the game plan for the next several hours. I braced myself for a potentially loooooooong day (days?) of Cervidil and Pitocin and a never ending commentary about my cervix. So, we settled in. Daniel, on the couch in front of the big window overlooking the courtyard. Me, in and out of the bed, bathroom, pacing around the room like my childhood cat, Bella, did before she gave birth in my bedroom closet.

   At 2PM, Nikki, my midwife, popped in again to check any progression that had taken place. 4cm! I'll take it. At this point, my contractions have been extremely consistent for a few hours and since the Cervidil is doing the trick, we will hold off on anything else. I'm still comfortable, walking, talking, eating my delicious hospital macaroni and cheese, and visiting with Daniel's parents who stopped by on their way to the airport. My father-in-law jokingly asks Nikki if the baby will arrive before he has to leave on his trip. She answers, "I think we should definitely be having baby by today!" Uhhh, yes please! Nikki decides we will continue laying low and waiting. She knows I'm aiming for another natural birth and we're hoping my body takes over and runs with that plan. With that, she steps out for a bit, telling us that if anything doesn't change, she'll plan on being back in a few hours. Also, I have the option of grabbing the doula on-call if need be. I'm blissfully munching on my pasta lunch, nodding "sure!"

   At 4PM, my new l&d nurse glances at my monitor, "These contractions are impressive! Are you feeling it?!"  Up until this point, they have been the slight tightening over and over. I can tell they are now changing, becoming more intense. I toss my book and phone to the side table and begin getting in the "zone."

   At 5PM, I've moved to the birthing ball and commandeered Daniel to his role as back-massager. He camps out on a tiny stool behind me and it's a win-win for both of us. Some instant relief from back labor for me and a nice view of Sunday night football for him. By the time our moms stop by the room for a quick visit, I am concentrating and focusing on breathing through each contraction that hits. I overhear their conversation but at this point have to tune out every two minutes or so when another wave hits. They leave at 6:30 to go pick up Josiah from AWANA, and I glance up at the clock for the first time in awhile. My new mantra is, "Nikki will be back at 7PM. Nikki will be back at 7PM." Along with my old mantra of, "Pizza!"

   At 7PM, I'm standing by the hospital bed, leaning over to rest on my elbows when a contraction rolls around and my water breaks! Daniel presses the call button and a flurry of nurses rush in, along with Nikki who has just returned to the hospital. She quickly examines me, almost in disbelief, "You are fully there!" I let out a sigh of relief and then say, "Yes! And I feel like pushing!" They pull up the bar across the bed, but that option is SO not comfortable this time around. Someone suggests, "Why don't you stand up again? You seemed to be doing well in that position!" I readily agree and roll over to the side of the bed. With the next four contractions, I bear down during each one and it feels so good. My body has completely taken over by this point. About ten minutes of pushing later and we hear that baby boy arrive with a loud cry at 7:56PM! Since I'm standing up, my three nurses and Nikki have to catch the slippery little guy and weave him back though my legs so I can hold him. Daniel says they were basically right up and under me, ALL of me, while I was pushing, with flashlights...thanks ladies! Seriously. Nurses ya'll.

   The next few hours are full of oohing and ahhing over Levi with our family and friends. I'm eating ALL the food things being brought to us, totally famished after the marathon that is labor. In between bites of cookies and chocolate and scones and all the glorious hospital ice I want, I steal glances at our new sleepy bundle.

   Levi Alexander is here. Healthy and safe. He's perfect. Couldn't have asked for a better day.












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