London Elizabeth: Birth Story

London Elizabeth Gray made her debut on Monday, March 10th at 1:25am, weighing in at 8lbs 10oz and measuring 22 inches long.  We are head over heals for our little girl.20140324-125909.jpg

My water broke around 5am on Sunday morning.  I was relatively confident that it was my water that broke and I hadn’t just peed the bed but I called labor & delivery triage to talk it through since I wasn’t having any contractions.  They asked me to come in to check everything out.  I woke up Pete up & we were on our way up to the hospital.

Triage confirmed that my water was broken.  They put me on two monitors, one to see London’s heart rate, one to measure my contractions.  Between a nurse shift change, a doctor shift change, and not enough variability in London’s heart rate we were in triage until about 10am at which point they discharged us.  We had the option to head over to Labor & Delivery and get an IV to get things going or go home for a few hours to see if my contractions would come naturally.  Once your water is broken they don’t want you out of the hospital for more than 12 hours because of the risk of infection.  We opted to go home.  It was nice to be home for a few hours to grab a little bit more sleep & to make sure everything at the apartment was in order for our return.  Call me crazy but I wanted to make sure the apartment was perfectly clean when we got home.

We returned to the hospital around 3:30pm/4:00pm just as I was started to feel a few contractions, although they still weren’t very strong or regular.  We got registered, checked in & shown to our ridiculously small labor & delivery room.  We got one of the last rooms available which is in the back hallway & is teeny, tiny – hardly enough room for Pete, the nurse, & me, let alone the doctor, resident, and anyone else that needed to be in the room.  After getting hooked up to a oxytocin IV to help induce labor, Pete & I played some cribbage to pass the time.  Thankfully during this time a larger room became available & we were able to move.  Pete literally had to push my bed into the new room.  It was quite comical us walking down the hall, me with my hospital gown & IV pole and Pete pushing the hospital bed.

The clock that was in our room was behind me so I had little sense of the time intervals but not too long after we moved to the larger room I started feeling regular contractions.  When the contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart I asked for an epidural (picture below of Pete in the gown & mask is when I was getting my epidural).  Once the epidural kicked in I was able to get some more rest – not sleep but at least relax & watch a little TV.  Some pain from the contractions came back when I was about 7-8cm dilated.  At some point during this time it was detected that I had a low-grade fever so I was given two rounds of antibiotics through my IV to fight any infection that I may have.  London’s heart rate was also hanging on the high side.  Because of those two factors, they let me start pushing as soon as I felt like I needed to, I was after all fully dilated.20140320-111030.jpgI believe I pushed for about 1 – 1.5 hours although it didn’t seem that long.  Pete & our nurse were great coaches during the pushing but I will admit I had to ask the nurse to count instead of Pete – his counting was so slow that I couldn’t push to his count to ten without running out of air.  I’m not sure what the trigger is but at point toward the end of my pushing the resident came in.  Because London’s heart rate continued to be high she wanted to use a vacuum to help with the delivery.  By the time they got the vacuum ready we were beyond the point of needing it.  The doctor came in and it was really game time. The doctor was another great coach.  She was just overseeing everything but her coaching seemed to help me.  Before I knew it they told me I could reach down and feel her head and just moments after that she was born.  Our beautiful little girl. 20140320-115521.jpg

Because of her elevated heart rate and the fact that she pooped during delivery she had to be taken and cleaned up immediately after delivery (ideally they would like to give baby directly to mom when she is born).  It only took a few minutes for her to get to me but felt like forever since everyone in the room could see her except me. 20140320-115651.jpg20140320-111132.jpgFinally, after getting cleaned up & weighed, I got her.  Cliche, but it was definitely the best moment of my life.20140320-110853.jpg



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