Thursday, June 4
I woke up with excitement to head to my 39 week doctor appointment. I was looking forward to seeing if I had progressed since my 38 week appointment the week prior. At my 38 week appointment, I learned that I was 2.5 cm dilated and 60% effaced. This meant that Kensie Grace was working on her exit plans. It made me so excited!
My 39 week appointment, on June 4, was scheduled for 8am, so I left my house at 7:30 to ensure I would arrive on time. As I headed to the clinic, I received a phone call from my nurse asking me to come in at 9:30am instead since my doctor had to perform an emergency c-section on another patient. I turned the car around and went home to prop my feet up. At 39 weeks, my swelling started to get really out of control, but I had never had any issues with high blood pressure nor protein in my urine (which is a sign of preeclampsia).
After heading back to the clinic, my doctor saw me at 9:30am. At that time, I had an elevated blood pressure (compared to my routine levels) and a small amount of protein in my urine. I also learned that I was at 3 cm and 70% effaced. My doctor wanted to do a few more tests before sending me on my way. He sent me to the lab to do another urine analysis and told me that he'd call me later with the results. But before leaving, he prepped me for the possibility of induction. He wanted to make sure that I wasn't starting to develop preeclampsia, and if he felt that I was, we would induce that evening.
After I did the test with the lab, I headed to work. I was so anxious to hear the results. I kept thinking to myself, "I may be having this baby soon!" As much as I didn't want to be induced, the idea of holding Kensie in my arms soon was so exciting. Around 1:30pm, my doctor called me back and confirmed that my body was starting to develop preeclampsia and he wanted to induce for both my health and Kensie's too. Since I was 39 weeks and 2 days, plus I was already dilating, he was confident this was the best decision. My doctor said to report to Labor and Delivery at 10pm that night and we would get the ball rolling.
At 9:30pm, my husband, mom, and I headed to L & D. I couldn't believe this was happening. I was so excited and so anxious/nervous. Upon being admitted into the hospital, I quickly changed and got comfortable.
Extremely swollen legs and feet. It was so uncomfortable!
Friday, June 5
Around 12:30am, my nurse inserted a small dose of Cytotec into my lady parts. This medication, a pill form that goes into the cervix, promotes cervical ripening (softening), which is necessary for labor. Since my body was already dilating and effacing, this medication would just give it more of a jump start. After inserting that, my body would do the rest and the nurse told me to get some sleep. (Yea right... I am going to have my baby soon)!!!
After an extremely sleepless night due to uncomfortableness (swelling, having to use the restroom every 5 minutes, and softening my cervix), my nurse said I didn't need any more Cytotec and that it was time to start Pitocin. At 6:30am, they started the Pitocin and I was getting even more anxious. I kept thinking, "we are really doing this!" In case you don't know, Pitocin makes the uterus contract. Labor that is induced by Pitocin is said to start off harder and progress faster than labor that starts on its own, especially in first-time mothers. I found this to be true in the coming hours.
At 8:40am, my doctor confirmed that I was 4cm dilated and 80% effaced. He also went ahead and broke my water. Once he found that my amniotic fluid was clear (a good thing), the plan was to keep going forward with dilation. After my water broke, I remember the contractions getting much strong and much more difficult to handle.
At 10am, and after swearing that this was the last baby I would ever carry and telling my family we would be selling our embryos (HAHA), I received an epidural. I could go on and on about how amazing an epidural is, but I will simply say that I was a different person before and after the epidural. Before the epidural, I was mad and thinking to myself, "why did I get myself into this?" I was in such pain and I didn't know how I would be able to manage through it all. After the epidural, I felt totally normal (just pressure down south).
I was smiling because I had my epidural. Thank you Jesus!
Around 10:45, my nurse inserted my catheter and confirmed that I was still only at 4cm, but that the contractions were getting harder and closer together.
My body continued to work on dilation and around 2:00pm, I learned that I was almost 9 cm dilated. I could feel my body contracting, but it was really just the pressure that I felt.
Finally at 4:00pm, I was fully dilated (10 cm), 100% effaced, and baby girl's head was in a +2 station. About 15 minutes later, my doctor asked family to step out (except my husband and my mom) so that he could explain how I would be pushing. We did a few test pushes and he said that I was a pro and knew exactly what I was doing. It made me feel so good. I was feeling super confident that my baby would be in my arms in no time at all!
At 4:31pm, I officially started pushing with my nurse, my husband, and mom in the room. I pushed and pushed and pushed.
Around 5:30pm, I was given oxygen to make sure Kensie was okay. I remember thinking, "This is the hardest thing I've ever done." Pushing is like running a marathon. It takes so much energy and you're left completely out of breath.
At 6pm, my doctor came back into the room to check on me. My nurse and doctor confirmed that my pushes were great. I kept thinking, "Okay, it's been an hour and half, if my pushes are so great, where is my baby?" Pretty much from the beginning, they could see Kensie's head. She wanted to come out. She wasn't stressed out or anything, but she was right there - just in sight. At 6pm, my doctor told me to push another 30 minutes and if there was no progress, we would reevaluate that situation.
At 6:35pm, my doctor came back into the room and I was pretty much at the exact same spot after pushing with all my might. He checked on Kensie and confirmed that her head and shoulders were too big. There was no way they would fit through my pelvis; we had to do a c-section.
I felt two things: First, I felt a sense of disappointment because I had my heart set on pushing this child out. At the same time though, I felt a sense of relief. FINALLY I can stop pushing. Having to go through contractions for several hours, and then push for several hours, I was exhausted; it was easily the hardest thing I had ever done before.
Immediately after my doctor gave the nurse orders for a c-section, things really took off. They started pumping me with medication and going over all of the risks. My thought: yes, I'll sign whatever I need to sign, and come on, let's get moving.
Right before they wheeled me off for our c-section.
Around 7:15pm I was wheeled to the operating room alone, which I guess is standard practice. My husband would be joining me once I was fully prepped. One thing that I thought was interesting is that my doctor had to push Kensie back up higher and out of my pelvis. All of that hard work pushing and he was going to push her back up. I get it though - she needed to be in the right position for the c-section.
In the room, they kept "testing" my medication to ensure I was fully numbed. It took a while to get the right amount of medication. I kept feeling the coldness of them cleaning me off, and the pin pricks on my tummy. Eventually, I just passed out from so much medication.
I don't remember anything (although my hubby told me that he got into the room at 7:30pm) until my baby girl cried for the first time. I am so thankful that her cry woke me up.
Moments after I heard her cry for the first time, at 7:40pm, my daughter was born. That was easily the most joyful thing I had ever experienced before. You can see from the below picture that this was the moment my doctor introduced Kensington Grace to me. He is looking down at me on the operating table.
For the next 20 minutes, I remember fighting the urge to go back to sleep. Like I said, I was all jacked up on medication. I remember continuing to look back at my husband holding Kensie. I could cry tears of joy. He kept telling me all about her and I kept trying to concentration, but there was so much going on. All the meanwhile, my doctor was sewing me back up and making sure I was ready to be transferred back to our room.
Next thing I know, I'm holding my baby girl as they wheel me back to our room. (Yes, as I write this, I am crying). I cannot explain the amount of joy that I was filled with. It is truly an indescribable feeling. I would give anything to relive that moment over and over again.
As we were being wheeled back, around 8-something, I remember seeing family in the hallway and I think everyone was crying at that point. It was a moment that many of us had prayed for for a very long time. And here we were, both safe from the c-section.
Eventually at 8:30pm, I nursed Kensie for the first time. Another moment I won't ever forget. It just so happens that we also had the best nurse ever the night Kensie was born. Her name was Sasha and she was totally heaven sent. Sasha was so helpful in showing me how to nurse and was just very protective over this special time for us three (Kensie, husband, and I). She wanted to make sure everything was smooth and that we got what we needed.
First family photo. Such a beautiful moment.
The most proud moment of his life. I couldn't be more in love with these two.
God's greatest creation. Utterly blessed by this little girl.
Everything else that night is a blur. I just remember thinking, "please don't let this moment end." My heart had never been more full of love. I also remember thinking, "Thank you so much God!" I truly give God all the glory for this miracle baby. From the beginning, I prayed that God would have His hand over my pregnancy and through labor/delivery and I can honestly say that He was there every step of the way. I hope that my story further reiterates what a loving Savior we have. I am not deserving of such blessings, especially one as great as Kensington, but He loves me SO MUCH that He fulfilled the desires of my heart. How could you not believe in His love?!