IT'S A GIRL!!!!
Miss Maia Ellin joined our family at 11:19 PM on Wednesday, February 20, 2008. She is healthy and we are all doing great. We just got home from the hospital yesterday. Here's what went down:
Tuesday night we went to the hospital for the scheduled induction. They were very busy so we just kind of hung out for a while. I had been having some contractions on and off but nothing too regular, and they were barely noticeable to me. Around 11 PM, they administered Cytotec, which is supposed to soften the cervix and can also possibly start contractions. Never mind that the FDA has never approved it for this use, but I digress... Tried to get some sleep.
Wednesday morning they checked me and found that I'd dilated a bit more--to about 3 cm. I was having contractions that I couldn't really feel. They decided to start pitocin. We called our doula, Julie, to come join us at the hospital. The first few hours on pitocin were pretty uneventful. The contractions were getting closer together and were pretty bearable. The biggest problem we were having was with the fetal heart monitor strapped to my belly: the baby's heart sounded great, but she was moving all over the place so we kept losing it and had to readjust the belt frequently. Not cool when you're trying to cope with contractions by using different positions. I rotated between sitting on the birth ball to getting on hands and knees, to standing up and holding onto J.
As the day went on, I lost track of time in terms of how far I progressed, etc. They didn't check me too often, which was nice. All I know is that things got steadily more painful and that I did start having thoughts along the lines of "why was it that I wanted to do this without pain meds?" But I didn't want to give up, and J was such an awesome partner that I just wanted to keep going. My water broke around 2 PM--while I was on my hands and knees on the bed! J was standing next to me and actually heard an audible "pop"! By late afternoon/early evening I think I had gotten to about 7 cm. Somewhere in there they put in an internal fetal monitor so that I could change positions more freely without worrying about losing track of the heartbeat. At that point I felt like it couldn't be much longer, and that's the thought that helped me keep going. Well, things didn't seem to speed up a whole lot, but by about 7 PM I was checked again and was told that I was at 9, almost there! I kept waiting for the urge to push to arrive, knowing that then we would be in the home stretch. But the only time I felt like my body wanted to push was during the contractions. Apparently that's not quite enough. Around 9 PM the other doctor came and checked me, and I was still at 9, but wasn't completely effaced.
Then came the reality check. The doctors told me that they thought the baby was lying transverse, which would explain why we had trouble keeping track of the heartbeat, and would also explain why I still wasn't 100% effaced despite being at 9 cm. They told me that a c-section was looking very likely. They offered to put in an epidural and give me a little time to see if that might help the baby move into the right position. I decided to go ahead and get the epi then--something I had really wanted to avoid but that was looking inevitable if I was likely to have to have surgery anyway.
Getting an epidural when you're having contractions that are 2 minutes apart is no fun, but the anesthesiologist was awesome and once the meds started working I was able to relax. About 40 minutes later I was checked again and nothing had changed, so we decided to go ahead with the surgery.
Before we knew it, our baby was delivered and I have to say I was very surprised and excited when they announced that it was a girl! She looked a little like a Klingon when she came out--her forehead was mashed into a cone shape because she was trying to come out forehead-first. We knew then that having the c-section was definitely the right decision since there would have been no easy way for her to make it out the way she was trying to go!
She was 7 lbs, 10 oz, and 21 inches long, and she is absolutely beautiful. Daddy and I are completely in love already.
Pictures to come soon!!