Thursday, May 20, 2010
Jennifer's Birth Story....in facebook status updates!
after having attempted to sit down and write out the events surrounding Jennifer's birth...i can tell you how valuable access to facebook turned out to be for us in labor and delivery. If it hadn't been for Mike using the hospital's wireless internet and posting updates throughout our birthing process (when he wasn't needed directly at my side,) I wouldn't remember how to tell this story! I keep finding myself with holes in the story and uncertain exactly when different things occurred.
the following is a collage or my journal entries from the week after her birth and mike's status updates surrounding the hours spent in labor.
April 19 at 5:39pm ·
"Michael David Springstead has heard from the momma, and we are going to the hospital Tuesday night to have Becca put down- er, I mean induced! Definitely planning to have her induced!"
On Monday afternoon of April 19th, Jennifer's due date, I went to one final doctors appointment at which my Dr suggested we should go ahead and induce labor before the baby got to be too big to fit through. We scheduled the induction to begin the following evening. I felt a little panicked at the thought of having a time set, instead of just waiting on things to happen. I now knew when events would begin and worried that my anxieties might be worse for having a definite countdown in play. I was a little overwhelmed and anxious.
My friend Jenny Mills and I had already made plans to get a "still pregnant on my due date" pedicure...which took place after that Dr appointment.(because i hadn't been able to reach to trim my nails in about 2 months..and they NEEDED it!) Turns out that i REALLY needed that pedicure not only for the trim, but for the time of relaxation in order to process the thoughts i had about the coming induction. sitting for awhile with my feet in a whirlpool and my back and neck being treated to a massage by the spa chair was very good and well-timed therapy.
Several phone calls later, mom, dad, nick, and the twins decided to make the trip to join us for the birth (if possible) and some days afterward. They hit the road on tuesday afternoon from south carolina and drove to Monroe, LA from where they would make the remainder of the trip wednesday morning...hoping to arrive before jennifer's birth.
"Michael David Springstead , in the face of a planned Tuesday night induction for their little girl, has to quote his wife: "I sure do hate waiting for good gifts!"
April 20 at 3:17am"
Tuesday found me feeling achy and nauseated on the couch all day , which forced me to rest instead of running all over town doing errands...turned out to be a good thing!
That evening we got smoothies for dinner (since i was required to cease taking solid foods) then we packed the car and checked into the Labor and Delivery at Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest. We got settled in and began Cervidil (a "pill" to ripen the cervix and start labor) about 9pm. by early morning the Cervidil had done its work and my water broke, along with some contractions beginning.
"Michael David Springstead is letting folk know that water broke just before 2:30 a.m. (We're on our way!)
April 21 at 3:34am"
"Michael David Springstead wishes it to be known we're about 1.5cm, and the nurse is administering Putocin to intensify the contractions.
April 21 at 5:37am"
The pitocin made the contractions stronger (read: more painful and more frequent) by 8am, when the dr stopped in to check on things, i had had about all i wanted to handle. Nurses were given permission to allow me to have pain meds. For months preceding this, i had feared the epidural needle, but by this point, i was very ready for its help. i don't remember feeling afraid of it at this point..just ready. It took some time to get the anesthesiologist to our room. when he arrived my contractions felt like they were right on top of each other. it was about 9:30. I remember asking him what would happen if a contraction hit while he was administering the needle. his response: "you will just breathe through it and don't move." (don't move? are you kidding me???) once he was done, things began to calm down, and stayed calm for a while. i could see on the monitors that contractions were happening, but i didn't need to breathe through them and hang on till the end of each one. i was able instead to rest (and apparently respond to emails, though i don't remember doing that...i have proof that i did)
"Michael David Springstead is catching you folks up: water broke about 2:30 am; epidural administered around 9:30 am, around 3 cm; doctor checked before lunch, and we're at least past 4 cm - mom has been good and relaxed, but we're still moving along.
April 21 at 2:31pm"
I don't remember what time it was, but i did begin to feel the need for more medicine through the epidural @ some point that afternoon. the lower contractions were again becoming more painful than i could cope with alone.
I don't remember what the times were, but i remember that my dilation began to progress, though slowly (1 cm, 2 cm, 3 cm...then 6cm,) and we began to think we'd have a baby before the day was over (still wednesday)
"Michael David Springstead wishes it to be known that Jennifer's head is at -1. Still waiting. (I have a funny feeling we're gonna have this baby TONIGHT.)
April 21 at 5:31pm"
we used the verse cards I'd made to help me remember God's promises to be with us and be my strength. I remember reading them myself during the easier times, I sent the stack with my family to read over while they were in the waiting room, my mom read them all to me, and then when it got really tough, mike read them over me while i agreed with them. Taking every thought captive and correcting them with the truths of scripture. I was shaken so much by my need to be reminded of these simple known truths. I'm very glad that I had the cards were the review and focus on.
"Michael David Springstead Around 9cm dilated for the last hour or so. Still waiting, but perhaps not for much longer.
April 21 at 8:37pm "
by 11pm I was stuck at 9cm...and needed more meds in the epidural to cope. I was afraid to get more because I didn't want it to delay the labor any further, but i also didn't feel that i could endure pushing through delivery without the relief of the epidural. I finally asked for more and received another dose. still no sight of my Dr (we'd seen him at lunchtime but not since) I was exhausted , and still feeling pressure and pain, and still not dilated far enough for birth.
Around midnight the dr showed up, checked me, said he'd be back to check again after another delivery (since i wasn't going anywhere yet) but if no progress was made by then we might talk about a c-section.
it felt like for-ev-er till he came back,and by then i had made up my mind that i "couldn't" push after all of this, and unless progress had been made, i wanted the c-section.
"Michael David Springstead After little change in four hours (and a third dose through the epidural), we're about to switch to the operating room for a Caesarian section. Jennifer is about 6 days larger than average, so she gets extra help coming out!
April 22 at 12:28am"
By 1am we were on our way to surgery and at 1:16am Jennifer Mikaela was born. It was a long long day or two, but worth it! the Lord Sustained us through it.
"Michael David Springstead got to see Jennifer Mikaela at 1:15 am, when she weighed 7.9 lb and was 20.5 in! Strawberry blonde hair and good cry. (A little congesty starting out, but with her parents, that's to be expected.)
April 22 at 2:17am"
by about 2am we were back in the L&D room. my arms were numb and my entire body shaking. but i was holding our baby! i was scared to feed her because i was so numb, shaky, and exhausted. but i was able to get a little into her system before i decided (about an hour later) that i couldn't safely hold her anymore, and passed her to Michael. she was SO wide-eyed! seeing them stare at one another was the first of many sweet moments. i slept for about an hour and then they transferred us to our recovery room about 4am..where i slept while michael went with jennifer to the nursery to watch her receive her first bath.
"Michael David Springstead is guessing Jennifer was sleeping through part of that day of labor. Our little bug came out at 1:15, saw some family, nursed for about a half hour, then stared at her worn out parents until about 4, when she was taken to the nursery for her bath. No sleep! (Fortunately, though - remarkably peaceful disposition.)
April 22 at 4:52am"
they talk about not "remembering" the pain after its all over. i remember it, it just all runs together. i dont want to forget the pieces of this big event in our family. thank you facebook and michael for helping keep the pieces so i could reassemble them. it really does feel like i had to "make" this memory. I'm glad, too.
best part ever...i have a hard time remembering what it was like not having a baby :)