Monday, September 1, 2014

Grace Michele Armstrong: The Real {Birth} Story Part One

Well, since my little Gracie Loo is now five months old,
I've shared her birth announcement,
and today is Labor Day,
it's about time I get around to sharing her birth story before I forget
it completely and the details runs together with the stories of her brother and sister.

Grace Michele Armstrong - August 31, 2014
It all started on the morning of my 35th birthday - Friday, March 21, 2014 - 
just one day before my due date.

 I had seen my OBGYN on Monday of that week and we both agreed that it
was about time to have that baby.
I had been insistent during this entire pregnancy that I did not want to be
induced, unless it was absolutely necessary, as my elective induction with
Isabella had gone terribly wrong.

Trying to blog - March 16, 2014
My doctor said she would let me get to my next appointment (the next Monday),
but with my blood pressure not behaving itself during the last few appointments,
she said that I wasn't doing myself or the baby any favors being
pregnant any longer that.
I wasn't dilated much at all, and my cervix was still pretty firm and high,
so I didn't have high hopes that I would go into labor before my last appointment.

So, back to my birthday.

JT went to school like usual and Isabella and I headed over to
the Hoag Fetal Diagnostics Center for my 9:30AM fetal monitoring appointment.
I had fetal monitoring off and on during my pregnancy due to high amniotic fluid
numbers and wacky blood pressure.

hoag fetal monitoring
Fetal Monitoring - March 11, 2014
My doctor had me back going twice a week to make sure everything was staying
status quo. I had never taken Isabella with me before, but I had lunch
plans with a college friend that was in town from Boston that I hadn't seen
in over 5 years, so I decided to take her to avoid having to drive back
and forth to a sitter's house before going lunch about 10 minutes away
from the hospital where my appointment was that day.

I should have known better.

I thought it was going to be a good day at fetal monitoring.
I got a room with a view and not the closet room that gave me a panic attack a month
or so earlier and I had a nurse that I'd had before.
Not my favorite nurse, but still a nice nurse.
My nurse got me hooked up to the fetal monitoring machine and right away
I knew things were not going to go nice a normal like I had imagined.
Grace's heart rate dropped just as she was getting me settled in, like seriously dropped.
The nurse was a little bit worried, but since it popped right back up,
she decided to watch it and see if it was just a fluke (like the monitor was picking me up)
or if something was really going on.

Well, something was really going on.
Little Grace, that had performed beautifully at every other fetal monitoring appointment,
just was not cooperating

From what I've come to understand, they want the baby to move, move, move
at fetal monitoring so they can see how the baby's heart rate responds to movement.
If the baby is moving, her heart rate should accelerate and then settle back down
once she settles down again.
If I have a contraction, her heart rate should accelerate and then settle again.
You get the idea.
Usually Grace was all over the place. Since I had high amniotic fluid levels,
the nurses told me it was like a giant bath tub in there and she could move around
and have a jolly good time.
Her heart rate readings were just like they should be at every other appointment.
Now, my blood pressure was another story . . .
Today, however, she refused to move around. Her heart rate was even steven.
Drinking ice water didn't get her going. The baby shocker thing didn't get her going.
I could tell that this, combined with my high blood pressure, and Grace's
heart deceleration at the beginning had put my nurse on edge.

Fetal Monitoring - March 21, 2014 9:47AM
 Isabella was starting to get antsy too.
 My 20 minute appointment that was supposed to be in and out
so that we could meet Heather for lunch at Cafe Rio and celebrate
my 35th birthday and a reunion of old friends, was now getting close to an hour.
Isabella had drawn in her notebook, played on my phone, and was ready
to get the heck out of there.

But it was not to be.

My nurse announced that it was baby day.
Isabella got a horrified look on her face and when the nurse left
the room she announced,
"You can't just take off your underwear and have the baby here!"
I assured her it would be quite sometime til that happened and she would
be safely at Grandma's house and far away from the situation.

The nurse came back and said she was going to do an ultrasound
to check my fluid levels and see if Grace was using her lungs to practice breathing.
She told me Isabella could stay in the fetal monitoring room while we went to ultrasound.
I was like - You obviously don't know my nervous Nelly 5 year old very well.
So we all trekked down the hall and she started on the ultrasound.

Of course Grace didn't cooperate.

I started to get nervous. 
But I could hear her heartbeat and see her moving around on the monitor,
so I couldn't figure out what was going wrong.
Isabella started to get really nervous. She started pacing and worrying.
She's my little worrier and has anxiety issues, so I knew this dark room with her
mom hooked up to a machine with a nurse that wasn't talking wasn't doing her any favors.
I had her come stand next to me and I held her hand.
Hand holding always calms her down.

What seems like forever later, the nurse told me what she was doing.
She had to get some many seconds of Grace using her lungs and she couldn't get a 
good angle and just when she would, Grace would shift.
I failed to mention this nurse wasn't a talker.

In my experience there are three kinds of nurses:
(1) nurses that like to talk TOO much and you're like - stop telling me things!
(2) nurses that talk just the right amount
(3) nurses that don't talk enough and you're wondering - WHAT'S WRONG!

This was a - SAY SOMETHING! - kind of nurse.
So, she says she's going to have someone come down from L&D and get me
and have me admitted to have the baby that day.

Happy Birthday to me!

So I text JJ and tell him it's baby day and tell him to have his mom
come and pick Isabella up before she has an anxiety attack.
Then I text my friend Heather and tell her that I won't be making lunch.

Then the little girl with the wheelchair shows up and I feel like a weirdo
being wheeled through the hospital up to L&D by a teenager, 
with my Nervous Nelly 5 year old having a panic attack walking next to me.

hoag labor and delivery
Hoag L&D Room - March 21, 2014 12:21PM
 So fast forward - 
By 12:30PM I get admitted, JJ arrives, 
Isabella gets picked up by Grandma and we are ready to get this baby party started.


Come back on Wednesday for {PART TWO}.



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