October 18, 2012

The Greatest Gift...

Some how life always has a way of slowing you down, but never has this been more true than this last year.  Here I am 6 months later with the long overdue introduction of our gorgeous rainbow!

Our precious Izabella Luna was born on April 18th at 1:26 am!  My induction began on April 16th at 8am and moved very, very slowly since I was trying to do as little Pitocin as possible.  I talked my OB in to allowing me to be induced with only the folly bulb and no additional medication because I didn’t want to be tied to an IV pole or relive the memories that came along with the device.  It became evident that wasn't going to work by late Monday night, but they gave me until morning to continue to try other methods to dilate my cervix.  So my husband and I walked the halls ALL NIGHT LONG!  I tried homeopathies, foot massages, squats and dancing, but I just didn't have the energy to keep it up for very long.

The progress I had made with the folly bulb never progressed further, so they ended up having to break my waters Tuesday afternoon and begin the Pitocin drip.  Unfortunately once my waters were broken she began dropping quickly, but as Sprout dropped she rotated her head so she was facing my left thigh, and the further she dropped the more significant the pain became.  By late Tuesday evening the pain was so bad that I couldn't lay on my side with out excruciating sharp pains.  After a few hours of trying everything under the sun to manage the pain without any relief, the urge to push became incredibly strong.  I had been laboring for nearly 36 hours, but my cervix was stagnating around 6 - 7cm, so my OB, Doula, and nurse were all telling me not to push.  Sprout, on the other hand, had other ideas and the more I tried not to push the worse the pain became! 

At this point the OB began making noises about me possibly needing a c-section due to Sprout's head presentation, my exhaustion and the lack of progression - I was terribly upset!!  I really wanted to have Sprout as naturally as possible with a vaginal birth, but my body didn't seem to want to cooperate.  The urge to push had become completely uncontrollable and my emotions erupted!  I knew I wasn't dialed enough (according to my OB and nurse), but my body and Sprout were saying, “PUSH!”  Each time I pushed a little I mentally broke down more and more because I started feeling like I was, once again, failing my babies!  My body wasn't cooperating properly and I was risking my second daughter by allowing my body to push when I knew I shouldn't!

Luckily we had an incredible birth team by our side!  Sprout’s team consisted of two Baby Loss Mommas; our awesome Doula and a wonderful supporter who leads our Prenatal Loss Support Group with a background as a Labor & Delivery nurse for 25+ years, as well as a great nurse who also took care of me the night before and after Stella's birth.  These women helped me through my entire labor, comforting, listening, supporting, encouraging me and helping me ask the important questions so I could feel in control and know everything that could be done was being done.  With out them during those extremely difficult hours with the OB talking about c-sections, the physical and emotional pain overwhelming me and the lack of progress I think I would have regretfully thrown in the towel and allowed the OB to do what ever she felt best.  We feel truly blessed to have had such a fantastic team help safely bring Izabella in to the World!

With all the information available to us we finally decided to go with an epidural (something I thought I would never do!) around 10:30 pm on April 17th, which was Stella’s original due date back in 2010.  It brought immediate relief and the plan was for me to relax and rest for about an hour and see what kind of changes had been made before continuing laboring.  I wasn't looking for a way out of the pain, just needed a break, both emotionally and physically.  As soon as the epidural was on board my OB checked me and suddenly I had dilated all the way to a 10 and was ready to begin pushing!  She asked if I wanted to go a head and rest like previously planned and I responded, "No way!  I'd like for this baby to be born today!"  The OB left the room to get ready and said she would be back in 15 minutes so we could begin, but while she was gone my BP dropped dangerously and that along with the contractions was making Sprout's heart rate jump.  I'm still kind of unclear, and so is my husband, exactly what all took place during this time, but he told me afterwards he seriously thought I might die and was worried about our little girl, too!  The Anesthesiologist came back and began rapidly working with my nurse.  We later learned she gave me a dose of epinephrine to increasing my BP and heart rate, but that also negatively affected Sprout so there was some tension going on and a lot of intense monitoring.  My OB came back in to learn of this situation and expressed her desire to go ahead and deliver as quickly as possible and then address my BP issues once my baby was safe, but the Anesthesiologist wasn't willing to risk my condition by postponing my treatment.  We spent another 45 minutes with them tracking my BP and Izabella's heart rate before they felt I was in the clear and we could begin pushing.  Once I finally was cleared to begin pushing it really didn't seem like it took too terribly long for Izabella to be delivered and her placed directly on my chest for the much anticipated kangaroo time!  After her nuzzling around my chest, being wiped down and her cord stopped pulsing Trey got to cut the cord and she began nursing like a little champ! 

We came home from the hospital on a Friday evening and began to learn more about each other and get on a schedule.  Luckily my Mom spent the weekend at our house and took care of laundry, making us food and allowed us to nap in between feedings.  After a few sleepless nights Izabella started adjusting and we learned a few tricks to help her sleep better. Thankfully this pattern has continued and wasn't just some fluke - Momma loves her sleep!

The love, joy and happiness Izabella has brought back to our lives is greater than words could possibly describe!  After loosing Stella I never thought I would be able to laugh or smile again with out it being faked, but Iza keeps me smiling and laughing like I couldn't have imagined.  While Stella will always be our first born and will be loved and missed forever, her baby sister has patched and stitched my shattered heart.  Izabella is a true blessing in our lives and a gift from the brightest stars above!
"'Rainbow Babies' is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope." ~ Anonymous