My Miscarriage

Well, this week was filled with highs and lows. The high point being when we realized that we somehow had miraculously conceived without the help of IVF or any fertility treatment. The lows…

Everything was going well in the week I’d found out I was pregnant until this past Sunday. My spotting went from occasional brown to frequent red, with increasing volume. I told my husband how worried I was. He still seemed to think it would be okay, since I had a lot of spotting and even occasional gushes in my first successful pregnancy. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for my appointment on Monday at 11.

When I got to the OB I really didn’t know what to expect. Luckily the doctor was behind schedule because of a delivery, and the sono tech was free, so I had my sonogram before my appointment. (I’d really wanted that so we knew we were actually pregnant before discussing it with the doc.) I watched her face after the wand went in, trying to read her expression, she smiled and quickly flipped on the big screen- I knew this was good! There it was, a little moving baby, she guessed “our little bub” was about 8 weeks along. We were shocked and thrilled. It looked just like baby C’s early sonos: a distinct head, arm and leg buds, with visible wiggling. She said the heartbeat was 122, which sounded low to me, but she said it was fine as long as it was over 100. She took measurements and my husband and I gushed with her, sharing our story, saying what a happy surprise this was; he held my hand the whole time as we watched the screen in amazement. When she was done she said the baby measured about 7 weeks 5 days, and the due date was February 26th.

My initial discussion with the doctor a few minutes later was also excited, happy, ‘how could I not have known I was pregnant’ banter. I told her my nipples leaked a couple weeks ago and she laughed that I hadn’t suspected anything. She did a quick breast exam, and then she grabbed the speculum. I told her my spotting had picked up a lot in the last 24 hours. As soon as she got a view her tone went from positive, to downright concerned. “Oh, honey…” I believe were her words. She said there’s so many clots. She told my husband not to look as she cleaned them out. She said the good news was that my cervix was closed. She said she was “cautiously optimistic”, but she wanted me to stay home from work and stay off my feet, hoping the bleeding would stop. I asked her if there was any way progesterone would help, since I’d been on Endometrin in the beginning of my first pregnancy. She put in a call to me RE, and said she’d call me later in the day. Otherwise, she said whatever is going to happen is going to happen, but to go home, lay down, and hopefully the bleeding would stop.

My husband and I got in our separate cars (I had thought I’d be going straight to work), and headed home. We knew we’d have to explain the situation to his mom, who was babysitting C. So, I called my own mother immediately in the car. She was happy, surprised, but I told her the situation, and that it really seemed touch and go.

When we got in our house my husband told his mom we had good news and bad news. As soon as he gave her the basics, I felt a gush. I said “Don’t get too excited, I think this is ending”. I quickly went upstairs and got settled in bed. My husband brought up his iPad so I could watch TV, and try to keep occupied.

Everytime I shifted, or went to the bathroom, I gushed bright red blood. It just kept coming and coming. This went on from about 1-3pm. I didn’t have any noticeable painful cramping, just that heavy, period is coming feeling. At 3:15 I got up to go to the bathroom again and as I sat on the toilet I felt something larger come out quickly, and painlessly. Looking down in the toilet, to my horror and sadness, was gray fetal looking tissue, and what I knew was the baby. I actually grabbed into the toilet water to pick it up and look at it, just to be sure, and then put it back. I stood up I yelled for my husband, and as I moved something even bigger came out into my pad/underwear, a very dark, liver looking piece, which I assumed was placenta.

We went back in the bathroom, I sat on the toilet and let the contents fall in. I looked at him, did the sign of the cross, and flushed the toilet. What a weird situation, to flush a tiny baby down the toilet, but I didn’t really know what else to do. I didn’t have a plan for this moment.

We laid down in bed and held each other for a few minutes and cried. It all had happened so fast, which I guess I’m grateful for. We called my doctor and spoke with her, I told her in detail what happened. She sounded sorry and sad; she said the baby’s due date was her birthday. We scheduled a sonogram for today to confirm that it was a complete miscarriage, which it did today. The sonogram technician seemed genuinely surprised at how fast it all happened. She and I both.

This morning and afternoon the bleeding continued to be pretty heavy, but already it’s tapering off. My OB called this afternoon and left a voicemail, saying she’d gotten word from the tech that it was a MC, and how sorry she was. She spoke with our RE, who explained the Endometrin wouldn’t have helped, which I kind of figured. Then she said just to call if the bleeding doesn’t stop, and if we had any questions, and she wished us the best.

My husband called our RE this morning, and he actually got back to us very quickly, right after we had gotten home from our sad sonogram. Basically, as disappointing as this has been, it is an interesting revelation for future TTC attempts: maybe we won’t have to do IVF again. He also explained that the Endometrin wouldn’t have made a difference. And that my husband’s sperm (even though he has a history of poor quality) wouldn’t have made a “bad” pregnancy: you either get pregnant, or you don’t. And we obviously can make good embryos, as evidenced by our daughter. So that was good to know. He said my husband should definitely come in and give a sample again to see if his fertility has indeed improved, or if this conception was just a total fluke/miracle. He said if that’s the case, and my hormone levels check out, maybe we could do something less invasive like a “fertility pill” (his words) and “shoot the sperm up into the uterus” (also his words). So, we will get to that sometime soon.

This certainly didn’t turn out the way we’d imagined. And it’s something I hope we never have to go through again. But having baby C to hold and kiss makes it a lot easier.

I will always remember that little 8 week old baby on the screen, and am so glad to have gotten a chance to see it wiggling around for a short while, and it’s picture to keep. Xoxo, little one.

The Shock of a Lifetime.

It has been a hectic few months for us. Our baby girl turned 1 in May for which we threw a huge bash, I had bridal showers, a handful of weddings, bachelorette parties, BBQs.

Just last week after a crazy drunken wedding, I suddenly had a painful (TMI) hemorrhoid Sunday morning. I’ve always had a couple small ones that didn’t hurt after the baby was born, but I had to do something about this pain. So Tuesday I saw a colorectal surgeon, he shot me up with lidocaine (ouch), and removed them, put some dissolvable stitches in, and prescribed me some Lortab, which I was told I would need. As soon as the local wore off I realized this was the most painful thing I’d ever experience. I was unable to go to the bathroom for 4 days, and when I did it was only because of laxatives, and was just awful. This horrifying surgery and the aftermath is really maybe the subject for another post, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what my past week was like. (Painkillers, napping, laxatives, and more painkillers).

Since the beginning of May, through all the fun and games of summer, and this nasty little procedure & recovery, I have completely neglected my cycle. I had gone on birth control in March, but the low dosage wasn’t doing much. I asked for a stronger dosage, and stayed on it for a couple months until my spring vacations were over. Since the medication wasn’t making me regular, with plenty of breakthrough bleeding and spotting the entire time, I decided to give up on it. Besides, we didn’t really need to prevent pregnancy with our severe MFI diagnosis.

Just this past Sunday (3 days ago), I decided to go to the drug store for more post-surgery pads, possibly tampons in case I got my period any time soon (where is that old thing anyway?), and a few other goodies. Before I left I told my husband maybe I’d buy a pregnancy test, half-joking, realizing I hadn’t seen red blood in probably 2 months, just the usual brown spotting. While at the drug store I debated even buying the tests since they’re so expensive, and really, what a waste of money.

Fast forward to a half hour later, I’m peeing on a stick in the upstairs bathroom. Within seconds, both lines appeared. I was stunned. I cried a single tear (probably due to worry over my drinking/recent painkiller use), and ran downstairs to show my husband. He was in total disbelief, and obviously thrilled. I took the other test in the box I bought, and had him run out to buy a few more brands. Six positive peesticks later and we were pretty convinced that I was somehow pregnant, despite my wonky cycles and his severely low sperm count, and in utter disbelief. I didn’t sleep too well that night.

Yesterday I called my doctor, still panicking, begging to come in for a sonogram to date this, since I had no concept of when my period last came. I could be 5 or 6 or 9 weeks along. All they had me do was go in to a lab for a blood test, and I FINALLY found out today at 3pm, after several phone calls to my doctor, staring at my phone for 6 hours, and shaking all day with nerves, that yes, “Congratulations”, I am pregnant. WHAT?!?!

We are stunned. I feel like I’m watching a movie about someone else’s life. It’s just so unexpected, it’s something we were told would likely NEVER happen. The first couple days I was terrified, upset that I wasn’t prepared, that I’ve drank pretty heavily several times at weddings/parties, taken Lortab for surgery (just for a couple days, but still, when does THAT normally happen), not to mention no prenatals. I feel like a freaking Teen Mom. How irresponsible. How could I be so out of tune with my body? I didn’t notice any symptoms. With my IVF pregnancy I did everything right: prenatals for a year beforehand, no alcohol for months before our cycle, and here we are now, doing a total 180. I guess I feel for those “I didn’t know I was pregnant” ladies? Wtf.

So, Monday I will go in for an appointment and sonogram. As someone who knows this routine all too well I’m super nervous, and just praying we will see a little growing baby with a heartbeat, even after all I’ve put it through. I can’t wait to find out how many weeks I am. I can’t wait to actually get to surprise our families this time. Is this real? Am I really saying these ridiculous, naive-sounding things? Am I not going to have to go through IVF again? Am I really going to have a not quite 2-year-old and an infant at the same time?

I really really hope so…

Amazed by #1, and considerations for IVF # 2

Anybody out there?

This might be more like a private journal entry, but if anyone is still reading, *please feel to comment!

Our little girl’s 1st birthday is fast approaching (5/23), and we just can’t believe our eyes.  She’s at the stage where she is a knowledge sponge, you can just see it in everything she does.  Everything we say and do she is absorbing and understanding, mimicking.  Any word we have her practice she sits and thinks about, processes, and then incredibly will produce the first consonant, or the right vowel sound.  She can identify (point to) so many household objects. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.

She’s been on the move for sometime now.  She started taking steps at 10 months, and now she is a real walker, and a fast one at that.  Everything in our house, even things I wouldn’t even consider, are suddenly a dangerous weapon that she can pull onto herself, or fall on, or slam her fingers with.  I’m realizing we really should try to “child-proof” the place.  Starting with all the stairs…..Yikes. 

A lot of people who I was pregnant with in real life, or overlapped with somehow are already starting to try, or are pregnant, and that is something I’m not ready for. (Although, lucky them, they just have to have sex, don’t have to pay 10k and stab themselves with dozens of needles.  I digress…)   I have this sweet and bright child, but (duh!) parenting her is the single-hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.  I have a tendency to be a little ADD, easily tuning out my husband without even realizing it, easily becoming distracted, and so having to have laser-like focus on this VERY fast, almost-toddler is not easy. 

Because of this difficulty, getting out of the house with her is a new venture, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit.  I work MWF, so on Tuesdays and Thursdays we pretty much stay home.  I do housework, and chase her and the dog around.  Maybe I’m scared, or I don’t give her or myself enough credit, but we don’t get out much without the help of Daddy.  Now that she’s mobile and the weather is finally warming up that is changing.  We started a Music Together class this month.  The 1st class was hysterical, and made me realize that I had in fact been correct: I have a very busy, very strong-willed child, when compared to her peers.  She was the ONLY baby in the class who never stopped walking around the room (ever), approaching all the other toddlers and younger babies, trying to pull the Ipod off the table, climbing on to the instructors lap, dampening her guitar playing by grabbing the neck and strings.  Nope, all the other kids sat on their mommy’s laps, did what they were supposed to do, while mine put on a show.  My best friend and her very calm, late-walking 18 month old daughter were witness to it, and it made me happy she could finally see what I’m up against.  My 11 month old, established walker, coming in at a whopping 27+ lbs, is just stronger, heavier, and much more active than most.  I’m incredibly lucky I know, but DAMN I’ve got my hands full with this one. 

Which brings me to my big question. How many kids do we want?  How many could I really handle, and feel like I’m doing a decent job?  When we do decide to pursue another round of IVF, should we transfer 2 embryos again?  I’ve been saying since the beginning that I really only want 2 kids total.  Now that I have this one, I KNOW this to be true: 2 is all I need and feel I could handle. Maybe there is a slight, remote chance I could change my mind in the future, but that’s where I’m at right now. (My husband is another story- he will want to try until he gets his boy.)  Besides that, obviously financially 2 would be easier, and we only have a 3-bedroom home which we just moved into.  I don’t want to outgrow it yet.  This could be our forever home, but that’s only if we have 2 children. 

I still need to do my research on eSET vs. 2 embryo transfer.  Approximately 30% of IVF pregnancies result in multiples.  Granted, our 1st IVF only yielded a couple decent embryos, and only 1 implanted to give us our daughter.  My husband likes those odds. In fact, when I brought up eSET to him he straight up said no, he doesn’t think it’s a good idea.  But I’m starting to get a little nervous.  I don’t even plan to do another round of IVF until possibly next summer, when the baby will be 2.  Maybe she will be much easier by then (ha!), and the notion of multiples won’t be as daunting.  I’m sure we will consult with our doctors again to discuss our options before we start the process, so hopefully that will give us some clarity, and better information. 

I’m just curious what any of you think or know about elective single embryo transfer, if you have done it yourself, etc. I’ve read that it’s gaining a lot of popularity; in fact one article I read said it’s commonplace in Canada.  I don’t want to hurt our chances of success, however. Thoughts? Has anyone done eSET?  Know anyone who has?  I’d appreciate some input. 

And happy almost 1st birthday to our perfectly busy baby, C.  We love you so much. 


Happy New Year!

I hope this year is as good to us as 2013 was.  I feel so lucky to be where I am.  We are moving from our cute little old city house to a cute little old suburb house.  We are going to be living in such a fantastic neighborhood, the houses are all full of character, and in a great school district.  When we moved into our current house, having children and the concept of school districts for our potential children wasn’t a real concern.  Five years later, it matters.  So off we go.  In the process of moving, everything’s been packed for a month or so, especially books, and C’s baby book.  So I thought I’d post a little update here, before I delete the note by accident.

(Baby C is 7 months old as of December 23rd.  Here’s a loose list of milestones I’ve been keeping track of on my phone for the last couple months)

October- starts rolling really well  (5 months)

November 10th- officially a supported sitter, and 1st real tooth on bottom left

November 23rd- 1st real bite of banana chunk (not pureed)

Also November 23rd-ish- As of her 6 month checkup, we began CIO.  After 2 months of exasperation at bedtime- literally nothing we tried would consistently get her down, the doctor said it was time, and we were finally on board. (We had tried at 4 months and it failed miserably, I wasn’t ready and neither was the baby.)  I put her on a real feeding (bottle and food) schedule for myself and my sitter to follow everyday, and it made such a huge difference.  Even over a month later, she still cries about 75% of the time she goes down, but it doesn’t last, and we finally have some consistency in our lives.  Also, at her 6 month checkup she was 22 lbs and 27 inches long!  Off the charts for weight, and 90%ile for height.  No joke, she is a huge baby.  She’s as big (or bigger) than most of my friends kids who are a little over 1 year old, and she’s the youngest by far. Oh boy.  I also stop nursing around this time completely and stick with bottles. 

December 4th- sitting up totally independently.  Can lean over on 1 arm and maneuver well.  Also, her 2nd bottom right tooth coming through. She loves pears, sweet potatoes, bananas, and apples.  Still no consonant sounds being produced with any consistency.  Around December 7th, speech begins to sound more conversational, with more prosody and less simple high pitched squeals.  Occasional consonant sounds emerge, “hi” is heard.

December 11th- Very efficient hands only “Lieutenant Dan” crawl.  And she pulled herself up from sitting to standing at a big armchair all by herself- in the same day!  Truly amazing.

December 14th- Pulls herself to standing in the crib while holding the railing- trouble!

December 16th- real crawling, arms and legs moving.  That didn’t take long for her to figure out.

December 23rd (7 months old)- observe that she’s making lip smacking sounds and chewing motion, really moving the jaw up and down.  So we introduce “Puffs” to her.  At first she chokes a little bit but within a couple days she’s mashing them with her 2 little bottom teeth no problem.  I start to give her small banana chunks more often too, in addition to her stage 2 purees and cereal.

Christmas-  Tries real mashed up hash browns at Christmas brunch! She loves to climb. She climbs on me and my husband.  Climbs on the coffee and side tables all day long.  She let’s go fearlessly and plops to her butt.  She also stands on the outside of her bouncer and plays with the toys.  Talk about a great abdominal workout!  She’s really building up those stabilizer muscles.

January 1st- Lets go and stands unsupported for about 5 seconds before plopping to her butt!  Also, as we were standing at her bouncer she looked at me and said “OhYeahh”.  Ha!  My husband and I freaked. Does that count as her first word?!

And that’s what we have witnessed so far…  We are still eagerly awaiting those “mama dada’s”, but for now we can’t believe our eyes.  We got together with my husband’s friends a few days ago, and of the 6 guys, there’s 8 babies between the ages of 6 months and 2.  And our little lady seems really advanced for her age.  She’s doing the things our friend’s 15 month old is still working on.  It’s unreal.  I feel so lucky.  We joked that she’s superior because she’s a genetically-modified, high-tech IVF baby.  😉

Happy New Year everyone!




4 months old

Is anybody still out there?  I haven’t blogged in ages but I’ve been lurking, still popping on every once in awhile to read and catch up on everyone’s lives. 

We’re in the 5th month with our wonderful IVF baby and so far, so good.  There have definitely been some difficulties and adjustments, but we’re learning as we go. 

Baby C is about 4.5 months old, and just about 19 lbs, comfortably wearing 9 month clothes.  She’s off the charts in weight and head circumference and at 95th percentile for height.  Needless to say she loves to eat.  I’m still nursing when I’m home, pumping when I’m at work, and she does get mostly formula on the 3 days a week I go to work.  She hated it at first, and it’s still not her favorite, but she’ll take it. 

At her 4 month checkup a couple weeks ago the doctor suggested we try rice cereal.  That’s been interesting.  The spoon makes her gag, she makes a lot of faces, and she might swallow about 1/10th of a baby spoon’s worth in the whole process.  It still doesn’t seem like she’s quite interested yet, so we aren’t pushing it.  Maybe we’ll try it again in a couple weeks.

The biggest crisis we’ve had in the last month has been with bedtime.  At just about 4 months old, she was still going to bed when we did, around 11, nursing, and being put in her rock n play sleeper in our room.  Then suddenly, she decided not to sleep anymore.  After a few nights of her staying up and crying until 2 am, we were getting pretty desperate.  Then at her 4 month checkup, the doctor said she should really be in her own room by this age, and her bassinet wasn’t working anymore, so we thought we’d give the crib a shot. 

We tried a bedtime routine: take a bath, nurse, go down in the crib.  The doc gave us an article with some guidelines, basically saying the baby should be put down to bed while drowsy, but not totally asleep.  We decided to try this new routine the night of her appointment.  What a rookie mistake.  She’d received her 4 month shots that day, and while she seemed fine during the day, it was not the best time to introduce something totally foreign.  We let her cry it out for about 30 minutes, going in every 5 minutes to soothe her.  She was getting increasingly sweaty and upset (and so was I).  Finally she made herself spit up, I heard her gagging, and I ran in there to pick her up.  We took her temperature and she had a fever of 103!  Called the doctor, talked to an on-call nurse who said to give her some baby Tylenol, and monitor it.  Fortunately she was knocked out, the fever subsided, and we let her sleep in our room that night. I still haven’t recovered from the guilt.  Her first fever and we let her cry! WTF. 

A couple more unsuccessful nights of letting her kinda cry it out, and I had had it.  Several of my friends swear by the method, but my baby appeared traumatized, and so was I.  I’m sure a few nights of letting her cry for 30 minutes to an hour didn’t cause any long-term psychological damage (hopefully), but it was awful, and it did not work for us.

So, we’ve switched to a more gentle way of doing things.  Starting at 9:30, I take her to my bed to nurse, like she’s used to.  She usually falls asleep, and once she’s out, I carry her to her room and plop her in her crib.  Sometimes she wakes up and cries, and wants a few more minutes with the boobs, but now she’ll even fall asleep in the crib even if she wakes up.  She stares longingly at her baby Einstein aquarium, I rub her belly, and she drifts off to sleep, for the most part.  We also bought a D’ohm white noise machine at Buy Buy Baby, which has been amazing.  This baby loves her white noise. 

As far as her demeanor and personality, she is a delight.  She is all smiles and happy babbles from the minute she wakes up, until she goes to sleep.  She is so aware and alert; her head is on a swivel.   She isn’t rolling over, which she should be by this point, but she’s close.  The doc said she might just be too big.  She practically does sit-ups on her own, and her legs are so strong.  This week, she discovered her feet at her changing table, and has successfully gotten them into her mouth.  Everything goes in the mouth.  She grasps with both hands and in it goes.  I’m also losing hair in chunks, which can all be found in her sticky little hands.  She’s had some big belly laughs this week, and starting sticking out her tongue in imitation of her weird parents.  She’s amazing. 

That’s all for now.  I’ll try not to disappear for such long stretches. XOXO. 


Appreciation for my new life

I’m feeling very appreciative this morning.  

I just read a couple articles and blogs that I was linked to through PAIL bloggers, about the effect of infertility on men when MFI is a factor.  It brought me back to the dark emotions that took over my life in February 2012.  I still remember the voicemail from my RE when he said not to start taking my Femara prescription, as my husband’s sperm was a factor, and “actually quite poor”.  We were in such disbelief.  Everything changed. 

But here I am now, only 16 months later, staring at my baby girl in her lamby Fisher-Price swing.  She is perfect.  I can’t even believe how lucky we are to have a baby, let alone a healthy baby, let alone a gorgeous baby.  It’s hard to believe the despair I was feeling just last year at this time.  Not knowing if we’d ever get to experience this.  

Often I feel somewhat removed from the pain of infertility.  I am so grateful to have her, but now I’m just like any new mom: overwhelmed, overtired, wondering if I’ll ever have a social life again, wondering how I’m going to shower that day.  I don’t think about the lengths we went to get here.  I’m just living minute to minute, trying to keep her fed, healthy, and happy.  

Then there are times like today when I am reminded of the pain.  And my eyes well up with happy and sad tears, and I’m extra grateful.  And I hope I always remember.  It makes the sleepless nights a little easier, it makes me stare at her a little longer, and give her a few extra dozen kisses a day.  Our road to this wasn’t an easy one.  

I dread having to go through IVF again.  I dread the needles, and the anxiety, and the fear. But I’m lucky in that I know it can work.  I know that I just as easily could have been someone who had to endure round after round of IVF, or a miscarriage, or something worse.  

And when I look at her sweet little face, I know I can go through it again.  And I’ll be okay.  

Our delivery story

My due date of May 21st came and went, and still no baby.  I’d been dilated to 3 and effaced to 90% for about 3 weeks, with no sign of change.  I’d had 2 weeks off from work already, and was starting to lose it.  I was taking long walks, eating lots of pineapple, having more sex than any 9 months pregnant woman wants to, and still nada.

I had an appointment on my due date, and I asked about postdate induction.  I was willing to go over my due date by a week or so since I know it’s just an estimation, and I really did want to go into labor on my own.  But my family had a lot of conflicts, and I wanted them to be there.  So my doctor scheduled an induction for 40 weeks and 3 days.

I kept taking walks, and doing lot of yoga squats.  I was so apprehensive about the induction, worrying that I was pushing things just a little too fast.  I was hoping and praying that I’d somehow go into labor on my own at 40 weeks 2 days.  I had one day for it to happen naturally before being induced.

At 4 AM at 40 weeks 2 days I was up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep.  I was obsessively googling “elective induction 40 weeks 3 days”, to get a bunch of strangers opinions that didn’t really matter.  I stood up to go to the bathroom after about 20 minutes, and noticed something wet.  Once I got to the bathroom I saw that I was leaking pink fluid. My water had broken!!!

It kept coming in occasional little gushes; it wasn’t anything a pad couldn’t handle.  I was so relieved it was pink; had it been clear/yellowish I might have just thought I was leaking urine.

After 3 calls to my OB’s answering service, the on-call OB finally got back to me.  He told me to come on in to the hospital.  This was happening!

We got to the hospital around 8:30, and were in a room a little bit after 9.  By 10 o’clock I was hooked up to monitors for my contractions, as well as the baby’s heartbeat.  The pitocin went in around 10.  I didn’t realize they’d start me on pit right away, but since I wasn’t having many contractions and my water had broken, I guess that’s my OB’s protocol.  I felt tethered to that bed.  Getting up to go to the bathroom was a project.

I listened to music, ate several red popsicles, and my contractions picked up from mild at 11, to somewhat unbearable by 2, when I was begging for an epidural.

While the anesthesiologist was putting in my epi, I was having horrible contractions, and it was so hard to sit still.  As he placed the needle he asked me if it felt more to the left, middle, or right.  I said left.  Within 15 minutes, sure enough, my epidural was working, ONLY on the left side.  I was so mad I cried.  The nurse got me 2 more boluses of epidural, and had my lay on my right side, in hopes that it would work it’s way down.  It did eventually, but it wasn’t nearly as strong on my right.

Here’s something I never realized: having an epidural doesn’t take away the HORRIBLE pressure of contractions.  I’m not sure if this is everyone’s experience, but from about 4pm (5 cm dilated and up) on, it felt like a tree was trying to come out of my butt every 2-3 minutes, and I just had to lie there and hold it in.

They checked me at 6, and I was dilated to 9.5 cm.  They turned the epi off, and let me regain some sensation.  By 7, the nurse told me with each contraction I could gently push; I needed to relax, and not resist the pressure.  It was soo uncomfortable.  My mom and husband were in the room for all of this, and I remember a lot of swearing on my part, and insisting to the nurses that I was going to poo all over the table.

By about 7:20 PM the OB was there, the nurses were getting all set up for me and the baby, and I started to push.  I probably only pushed through about 5 or so contractions, with about 3 good pushes per contraction.  At this point my OB and resident realized that her head was coming out sideways, facing left.  I kept pushing harder and harder, doing what I was told to do, and it did feel like a relief to push.  Finally, her head came out, and I continued to push.  The doctors then realized that her shoulder was stuck.

They called for help and about 10 nurses/doctors ran in.  Several people gathered around me and started pushing hard on my stomach.  I realized something very bad was happening, and I needed to push as hard as I possibly could.  After about 10-15 seconds (that felt like much longer than that), her shoulder and body came out, and everyone’s faces lit up with relief.  I remember looking at my husband whose eyes were filled with tears; he had been absolutely terrified.

She didn’t start crying until they got her to the warming table, so they didn’t bring her up to my chest for skin to skin.  Instead she was cleaned and assessed by nurses, and an orthopedic doc came down to look at her shoulder.  This whole time I’m practically yelling, “Why can’t I see her?! Bring her over here!  What happened? Was her cord wrapped around her neck?!”  The nurses must have thought I was crazy.

After about 5-10 minutes, and finally understanding what had happened, they brought her over to me and my husband.  My mom had been snapping away pictures at the warming table, proclaiming how gorgeous she was, but my husband stayed right by my side so we’d meet her at the same time.

They brought her over to lay on my chest.  She was 8 lbs 2.5 oz, 20 inches long, and pure perfection, minus her tiny broken collarbone.  She is and was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen.

It’s impossible to put into words how much we love her.