Emily Adali Craig
December 11, 2013
7lbs 7oz, 19.75in
The short story is that I ended up having a c section, but I’m healing great and she’s perfectly healthy. If you want the long story…
I think my labor sort of started on Sat the 7th. I had a new back pain and a lot of tightness that continued through Sunday and Monday.
Leading up to my due date doctor’s appointment on Monday, I was really really struggling with what to do about an induction. Josh was staying pretty quiet and just listening to all my reasonings, but I think he was leaning towards doing it earlier. My decision really came down to my experience with Kylie. I waited for things to start naturally with her, and I still needed Pitocin. It was a blessing that we didn’t have any problems from my water leaking and the meconium, but those things may not have happened if we induced closer to my due date. And I remember feeling very nervous about placenta issues during that last week.
My doctor started my appointment by saying “So you want to wait until next week to induce?” I think he just assumed, since I’d been adamant about not doing anything up until that point. I asked him what he would prefer and he said Wednesday (2 days after due date). I really appreciate that he wasn’t going to push me! Then he checked me and I was a 1.5 (I was never dilated in the doctor’s office with Kylie). That seemed to be the sign I needed, and I felt good about scheduling for Wednesday, Dec 11.
Then that night (Monday, my due date) I started having 5 min apart contractions. They were more pressure than pain and I was able to sleep through them. I also was freezing cold with chills. I was pretty sure I was in labor, but I had no idea how fast things would move. All day Tuesday I wrestled with when to go into the hospital. I really didn’t want to show up and have them tell me to come back at midnight for my induction. Josh kept telling me that heroes have babies in cars, but my contractions really weren’t painful, just very regular.
They started getting a little painful and I finally decided to go in at 2:45pm. My contractions were 4-5 min apart on the monitor, but I was only 2cm. My doc said since I was coming in at midnight anyway I could just stay. And we could skip the ripening thing that was supposed to happen at midnight. I felt really silly for coming in too early and really bad that Josh wasn’t able to get a few hours of sleep in a bed at home. He finally made me quit apologizing.
My doctor let me eat and I learned just how spoiled I was with the food at my last hospital. Broccoli is the one food that makes me sick, the spaghetti was interesting and my sweet tooth loves pretty much all desserts except banana flavored ones. I just had to laugh. The only food I like less is baked beans (which I was served the next night :) ) But I ate everything except the broccoli because I knew I would be starving later! And Josh went to Panera and got some bagels I could eat right before my food cut off at midnight.
My contractions slowed way down at night and I slept a couple hours. I woke up very nauseated and asked for my IV early so that I could have some Zofran. They started Pitocin at 6 and it brought my contractions back to 5 min apart. They still weren’t very painful. All during the night, the baby kept slipping away from her monitor. And she had been moving a ton since I got to the hospital.
Josh went for a walk because he was feeling a little closed in listening to my IV and the heart monitor. I told him he could leave and get some coffee, but thankfully he didn’t. At 7:30 my doctor came in and said he was going to break my water. But when he checked me, he said he was pretty sure the baby wasn’t head down. I knew what that meant, but I think he was trying to ease me into it. He started saying something about it being late into labor to wait for her to move, and I interrupted and told him I was ok with whatever we needed to do. Apparently the night nurse had been suspicious because of the location of the heart rate and had given him a heads up. He also said that’s why I wasn’t dilating.
While we were waiting for the ultrasound machine I texted Josh “time to come back.” I hoped that sounded urgent but not scary. The ultrasound showed that she was transverse, with her bottom and hand coming down first. They immediately started prepping me.
I had been feeling dumb for coming in early, and I had wrestled with scheduling the induction, but I’m grateful God led me to both. I assume going farther into labor at home with her in that position would not have been a good thing.
Josh didn’t come in for the c section. He has bad anxiety about hospitals – it’s pretty much the only thing in the world that makes him nervous. We had discussed even with Kylie that if I ever needed a c section he would not go in. I have my share of anxieties and irrational fears and I would never ask him to go into an operating room. When the nurses handed him scrubs he glanced at me in what looked like panic and I was able to speak up for him – letting him and them know I was ok with it. I’m not sure I could handle holding his hand while someone cut open his abdomen either. He stayed in the adjacent room where they take care of the baby, so he was able to hear her cry and me talk. I was relieved he didn’t have to pace a hallway. He said once things got going he felt fine. A nurse offered to take my camera in and take pictures of her actually being born but I passed. I was a little curious, but in case we decide to have another one, I’m not sure I want to see that.
There was just a second when there weren’t many hands prepping me, and Josh prayed with me before they wheeled me away. I wasn’t scared of the c section until after my spinal. The anesthesiologist was great. We discussed my fusion and he had no problems. He was my coach through the whole thing and he was somehow funny without being annoying (I’m almost always annoyed when doctors try to be funny in serious situations). But when they laid me back and spread my arms, I all of a sudden realized that I had no idea what to expect. Would it hurt? Would I feel anything? What if the spinal didn’t work well?
Then I got super nauseated and lost my mind. This would be the part I’m not proud of. Nausea makes me panic, and I felt like I HAD to sit up and move my legs. I just started thrashing my head and arms and completely panicking. I am sooo glad Josh wasn’t there for that part. He said that the whole thing took 10 minutes but it felt like forever. They all acted like my behavior was normal and the anesthesiologist said he was giving me medicine. (I’m not sure if it was nausea medicine or calm me down medicine) They showed her to me while they were stitching me up, but my panic cloud was too thick to feel anything. The doctor said she was difficult to get out and the kind of incision I had meant I would always need to have a c section. I couldn’t manage to respond or ask any questions. Finally they sat me up a little and I started throwing up, which was actually a big relief. It made me feel a little better and took my mind off the fact that I couldn’t move my legs.
We got back to my room and Josh was holding the baby. I was continuing to get sick and shaking like crazy, so I said they could take her to the nursery for a bath. They gave me some more nausea medicine and I feel asleep while Josh was trying to show me pictures. At some point I asked the nurse about my incision because the way they were talking in the OR made it sound unusual. She said my skin incision was normal, but they had to do a large T shaped incision on my uterus.
When they brought her back, she had been alive for about 3 hours and was mad and hungry. She opened huge, latched on the first try, ate for 10 minutes, and was perfectly happy. It was awesome.
And that’s how Emily came into the world! I used to think a c section sounded easier, but being numbed like that was terrifying. It’s obviously quicker, but definitely not easier. She was head down at my 38 week ultrasound and my doctor kept saying this was pretty rare. But he said it also would have been rare for me to labor so slowly with my second child. I’m so grateful that we have the technology and skilled people that made this just a different situation, not a life threatening one.
Emily looks like her sister, but she is not a clone. She has beautiful long fingers, feathery hair, and Daddy’s great coloring. She could not be more healthy. I’m excited to learn her personality!