What I've been busy with lately
Meet Baby Skwerl, born on Dec. 6th. Her arrival came as somewhat of a surprise. (Obviously, I knew I was going to have her eventually- the date, however, was earlier than expected.) My OB-Gyn had scheduled an inducement for Dec. 13th because of my high blood pressure, and my regular due date had been Dec. 21st.
When I went in for a non-stress test at 11 a.m. on Dec. 5th after a doctor's appointment, I was told that the baby was experiencing variable decelerations- she was crimping her umbilical cord and causing her heartrate to fluctuate. It was also seen on ultrasound that there was a section of cord wrapped loosely around her neck. The doctor assured me that this was fairly common and not likely a problem, but told me that I would not be going home that day.
In order to maintain control over my labor and delivery, and prevent problems that could arise outside of immediate medical attention, I would be staying in the hospital and having my inducement a week early. Being the control freak that I am, I FREAKED OUT. I pleaded with the doctor to let me at least go home for a few hours to get things squared away- I had so much planned for the next week (Christmas stuff, housecleaning, etc.), and I was in my last days of work with a lot of loose ends needing attention.
No dice. She calmly explained the situation, and insisted that I should stay in the hospital, and said that I would be having my baby the next day. Wow. I called my husband and family, checked into a room in labor and delivery, and waited around until that evening, when they started a Pitocin drip to soften my cervix and prepare for full inducement the next morning.
On Wednesday at about 4:45 a.m. the Pitocin was increased, and labor began. They broke my water around 8:30 a.m., and I had regular (ahem, painful!) contractions until deciding to have the epidural at around 3 p.m. Boy, am I glad I did that!
Labor progressed quickly and painlessly, and by 7:45 p.m., I was dilated enough to begin pushing. After just over an hour and twenty minutes of pushing, our daughter was born with her umbilical cord tightening severely around her neck just as her head delivered. The cord was quickly cut and she was rushed off to the Neonatal ICU. I didn't even get to see her. My husband and I sat stunned and terrified, not knowing what would happen next.
The doctors said she experienced "severe depression" and could have died. Baby Skwerl remained in the NICU for six days, showing marked improvement every day. After the first day, her respirator tube was removed and replaced with a nasal tube delivering oxygen. On the third day, we got to hold her for the first time. It was five days before I got to attempt breastfeeding.
On the sixth day, Tuesday, Dec. 12th, our sweet baby got to come home- healthy and gaining weight.
That's all for now. There's so much more to be said about this entire experience, but right now, I'm turning off my computer and turning my attention back to this adorable tiny girl sleeping on my chest.