The long awaited day finally came! Kaylie made her way into this world on June 4th at 11:59PM weighing 5lbs 5oz and measuring 18in tall. It was quite a long journey for both her and I, but nothing could describe that very moment when I first saw my princess.
On June 3rd I woke up feeling quite off and had minor cramping in my pelvic region, the kind of discomfort you would get with a menstrual period. Around noon, the discomfort turned into slight pain and although at this point I still wasn’t sure if they were contractions, I started timing them anyway. I tried the best I could to monitor when it was a “contraction” and it was about 10 minutes apart. I had an OB appointment that day in addition to the NST, and they told me it was probably Braxton Hicks contractions along with ligament pain. I agreed because they weren’t severe and I was still able to move around. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this but my doctor was concerned that my baby has IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) where there’s a possibility she would be at danger for being too little. At our first growth ultrasound she was below the 4th percentile, and at our second she measured in the 7th percentile. So she was growing slowly but because she was still considered underweight my OB doctor actually scheduled my induction date for June 18th before her due date on June 25th. They wanted it scheduled before the 40th week because after that there would be a high risk for stillborn.
I came home from my appointments and the pain worsen around noon. Eventually it was evident that I was having “contractions” up to the point where I couldn’t even change positions let alone get out of bed. Now even though I was timing my contractions to be 4-5 minutes apart I still wasn’t sure but the pain was so unbearable that by 7pm I decided to go to Labor & Delivery just to get checked out. I was 36.6 weeks at this time and a couple days ago I had the same type of contractions in triage but they sent me home because although I was 100% effaced (cervix completely thinned out) I was only 0.5 cm dilated. At that point they told me that if labor were to start they weren’t going to do anything to stop it, so I knew if I was in labor now it was definitely game time. My water haven’t broken and I still had my mucus plug at this time.
When I got to triage they hooked me up to monitor baby and she showed signs of depression and they immediately wanted to admit me. I changed positions and luckily she got stable again. I was 1cm dilated at this time, and still 100% effaced. They confirmed I was definitely having contractions. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t move even the slightest. At one point I had to use the restroom and as independent as I was, I had to resort to a bedpan and eventually the nurse even gave me the option to just pee on the bed. I tried and tried to go but it didn’t happen. Eventually almost an hour later I pushed myself up with the help of Phong to use the restroom. I hated medicine and I would rather not take Tylenol at home even when I know it was safe during pregnancy. But at this point I was begging for some pain medicine and I didn’t receive anything until around 1am. I think they gave me Stadol, which immediately made the whole room spin and forced me to sleep. I think I was out for a good 40 minutes and it made me forget the pain. But as soon as it wore off the pain came right back.
We didn’t get admitted to our L&D room until 3:30am and I have been in pain for a good 10 hours. I told the nurse I wanted the epidural and they were quick to give it to me right when I got to our room. After the epidural kicked in I felt immediate relief from the sharp pain. They also placed a foley catheter (a tube in my bladder) so that it drains my urine. When an epidural is given, it numbs your whole body from the waist down, so from that point I was on bedrest. They gave me my first dose of Cytotec to help “ripen the cervix” as the first process to induce labor. I was told that I could receive this pill up to four times, 6 hours apart, before they could start Pitocin to strengthen my contractions. After I took the pill I was able to knock out for the rest of the night thanks to the epidural. By 7am I was still 1cm dilated. Along with a small continuous dose of the epidural I had a button for an extra dose every 10 minutes if needed, and even though I was constantly in pain I held off on it most of the time because I was able to “handle” the pain. Like I said, I hated medicine. To made it worse, I haven’t really eaten so the epidural would make me drowsy, fall asleep, then wake up to nausea and dry heaves. It was the same cycle over and over again. By 10:45am they gave me my 2nd dose of Cytotec, which I threw up 30 minutes later.
At this point the midwife came in and gave me the option of placing a foley balloon catheter to mechanically help dilate the cervix. She said since I have the epidural, I probably won’t feel anything anyway and it’ll help the cervix dilate to 3-4cm. Of course I agreed! She said later on this afternoon they’ll remove the balloon or if we’re lucky it’ll just pop out. At 4pm they rechecked me, the balloon had already came out by itself and I was 4cm dilated! I also didn’t have to take any more doses of Cytotec. The midwife broke my water around 4:30pm and Pitocin was started at 20 mg. The nurse didn’t have to increase the dose at all for the rest of the induction because my contractions were so consistent and strong. At 8:45pm they rechecked my cervix again and to our surprise I was 9.5cm dilated! I had a lot of family with me during this time and we were all so ecstatic. Time dragged by before I was 10cm and around 11:15pm the nurse said I could start trying to push.
In addition to the pain and nausea I ended up with a fever of 100.4 during the last hour of labor. They placed ice packs everywhere..my family took turns holding it over my forehead to help cool me down. I eventually crowned and that’s when the nurse called in the whole team. By the time the doctor came it took about 6 pushes before Kaylie made her grand entrance. Nothing could beat that moment when I first heard her cry and saw her face for the first time. She had a bit of a cone head but that’s okay, she was still cute. =P Kaylie wasn’t much of a crier but she was so alert and had her eyes wide open the entire time, studying everything around her. While they took care of her, the doctor stitched me up, I had a small tear requiring only two stitches. I didn’t feel that but when she started massaging my stomach to get the placenta and clots out, I kid you not, I felt like that pain was up there with the contractions before my epidural. They eventually brought my baby for skin to skin and she immediately recognized my voice and looked up at me whenever I talked to her. BEST. FEELING. EVER. I was in love.
We got to our postpartum room around 2am and I had no idea what was going on anymore at that point. I knocked out till 5am and woke up to my niece holding Kaylie. I felt so bad I didn’t even realized I fell asleep, but I just went thru 28+ hours of labor and I guess my body couldn’t take it anymore. I felt extremely hungry and my nurse gave me some crackers, jello, and water to start off. The nausea was still there but I was able to hold it down. This was also the first time I held Kaylie to breastfeed. It definitely is challenging and the nurse said although she is full-term, she is still only 37 weeks and her coordination is a work in progress. Kaylie’s glucose levels were tested every 6 hours during our stay. She was a little on the low side, 43-48. But the doctor said for her age and weight she wasn’t too concerned, however they still wanted to keep an eye on it. Our goal was 50 by the end of 24 hrs. We ended up not making it, her last glucose tested around 45 so the doctor decided to supplement formula after breastfeeding to increase her sugars. Two bottles later it was at 53 so they were able to stop poking her for blood! Her poor heels were getting so bruised up…broke my heart. Her bilirubin levels were at 7.5, in the moderate range at risk for jaundice but the doctor didn’t think it was necessary to keep us.
Overall she was a healthy baby and was ready for discharge. We were so happy to be taking our bundle of joy home! This is definitely a new journey for Phong & I, not to mention it’s the best thing that has happened to us. We are so overwhelmed with love for our little one
and we can’t wait for many more memories with her!